KOHO Credit Building Review 2021

KOHO Credit Building Review 2021

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated November 18, 2021

Without a healthy credit profile, you’ll find it difficult — if not impossible — to secure any number of affordable credit and loan products, including mortgages and car loans. For this reason, making an effort to ensure your credit score is strong is crucial, but it can be difficult to do so without the proper tools. 

That’s where the KOHO Credit Building Program comes in. This handy tool makes credit building as easy as possible, and it’s extremely affordable.

Let’s dig deeper to see how this convenient credit building program can help you improve your credit profile. 

Who Is KOHO?

KOHO is a Toronto-based fintech company that offers banking services and products, including their mobile app and prepaid Visa card. The company is not a bank itself, but rather has partnered with Visa and Peoples Trust to provide consumers with secure banking products that can be used across the globe. KOHO is also backed by long-time investors including Drive Capital, the Power Group, and Portag3.

The company was developed with the goal of providing Canadians with convenient financial products. More importantly, KOHO’s mission is to help Canadians establish and build healthy credit that will open the door to more financial products in the future.

KOHO currently offers the following products:

KOHO Prepaid Visa

  • $0/month
  • 0.5% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Extra cash back at participating retailers
  • Round up your expenditures to the nearest $1, $2, $5, or $10 to help you save every time you spend

KOHO Premium Prepaid Visa

  • 2% cash back on groceries, restaurants, and transportation
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • Financial advice
  • Price matching to help you get the lowest price for your purchase
  • 1 free ATM withdrawal/month

KOHO Joint Prepaid Visa

  • 0.5% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Extra cash back at select retailers
  • Share finances with a spouse, partner, friend, or family member
  • Round up your expenditures to the nearest $1, $2, $5, or $10 to help you save every time you spend
  • Share savings goals with another person to save up for a specific expense by contributing on a set schedule
  • Notifications sent when money is spent on your card
Learn More

What Is The KOHO Credit Building Program?

KOHO offers a credit building program called Credit Building by KOHO that helps you establish and improve your credit profile every time you spend using your KOHO card. 

You can add this optional tool to your premium KOHO account. 

Overview Of The KOHO Credit Building Program Features

Cost$7/ month
Eligibility– Canadian resident
– Age of majority in your province
Credit check?Yes (soft check, no affect to score)
AvailabilityBC, AB, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, NL, PEI, NT, NU, YT
Program length– 6 months
– Can reapply after 6 months
Special Features– Helps build credit

How Does The KOHO Credit Building Program Work?

Credit Building by KOHO is a 6-month program. Upon registering for the program, KOHO will conduct a “soft inquiry” of your credit report, which does not affect your credit score. 

All you have to do is make sure that there is $7 in your account every month to cover the subscription fee (KOHO will automatically withdraw this amount each month).

Each payment made will be reported to one of the credit bureaus in Canada, which is how you build good credit. Timely bill payments have the biggest impact on credit. 

You can keep tabs on any changes in your credit score using the KOHO mobile app. And once the initial 6-month period is over and the initial funds deposited have been paid back, you can reapply for the program. 

How Much Does The KOHO Credit Building Program Cost?

The program costs $7 per month. There are no other costs involved, nor any interest charged on the line of credit you received. 

Pro Of The KOHO Credit Building Program

There are several perks to using the KOHO Credit Building Program to help you rebuild your credit score:

  • Convenient. Simply sign up for the credit building tool and forget about it for 6 months as your credit score effortlessly builds over time. 
  • Affordable. At $7 per month, the KOHO Credit Building Program can easily fit into just about any budget.
  • Track your progress. You can follow the progress you’re making and see how your credit score is doing throughout the 6-month period. 
  • No hard credit check. Since KOHO does not perform a “hard inquiry” on your credit report, there will be no negative impact on your credit score when you apply for the credit building program.
  • Earn cash back. Earn anywhere from 0.5% to 2% cash back on eligible purchases. 
  • No interest. Your line of credit will not be charged any interest. 

Cons Of The KOHO Credit Building Program

Before you apply for a KOHO card and the Credit Building Program, there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Not free. The credit building program offered by KOHO is not free, though the $7 monthly subscription fee is extremely affordable. 
  • Missed payments. If you miss any payments, it’s possible your credit score will take a hit.

How To Apply For The KOHO Credit Building Program

Applying for the KOHO Credit Building Program is easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Register for the Credit Building tool in your KOHO account on the app.
  2. KOHO will obtain your credit score through a soft check after you’ve signed up.
  3. KOHO will deduct the $7 subscription fee every month from your account.
  4. Each month over the course of 6 months, KOHO will withdraw a portion of the dedicated funds and report the payments to a major credit bureau as a payment.

As long as you have at least $7 in your account every month for the subscription fee, there’s nothing left for you to do. KOHO will take care of the rest in the background to help you rebuild your credit score. 

KOHO Credit Building Program FAQs

Does the KOHO Credit Building program require a credit check?

Yes, but it’s a “soft” credit check, which means it won’t impact your credit score. 

Is the KOHO Credit Building program available in Canada?

Yes, except for residents of Saskatchewan. 

Does KOHO report to both the credit bureaus?

Every repayment made will be reported to at least one major credit bureau in Canada.

How fast can the KOHO Credit Building program improve my credit?

Your credit score can improve within 6 months of using the credit building program.

Final Thoughts

Having a healthy credit profile is an important part of your financial life. And while building up a good credit score can be challenging without some help and know-how, the KOHO Credit Building Program makes the entire process incredibly easy. With minimal effort, you can see a big difference in your credit score in just 6 months. 

Lisa has been working as a writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same. She's used a variety of financial tools over the years and is currently growing her money with Wealthsimple, while stashing some capital in a liquid high-interest savings account so that she always has a financial cushion to fall back on. She's also been avidly using her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect as many Aeroplan points as possible to put towards her travels!

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