KOHO Credit Building Review 2023

KOHO Credit Building Review 2023

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated November 29, 2022

Without a healthy credit profile, you may find it difficult 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 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 affordable.

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

Who Is KOHO?

KOHO is a Toronto-based fintech company that offers banking services and products, including their mobile app and prepaid credit cards. The company is not a bank itself, but rather has partnered with Peoples Trust to provide consumers with secure banking products that can be used across the globe.

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 three full-service accounts.

KOHO Easy Account

The Easy Account is KOHO’s original account, there is no monthly or yearly fee for this account. Account holders can earn interest on their account balance and use their prepaid credit card to make purchases and earn cash back rewards.

  • No annual fee
  • 1% cash back on groceries, bills and services
  • Up to 5% extra cash back when you shop with certain KOHO partners
  • Earn 0.5% saving interest on the entire balance in your KOHO account
  • Free e-transfers
  • No NSF fees
  • Credit Building for $10/month

KOHO Essential Account

The Essential Account is one level up from the Easy Account. Users will benefit from all the same perks of the Easy Account while earning higher cash back rates.

  • Has a monthly fee of $4 or an annual fee of $48
  • 1% cash back on groceries, bills and services, and eating and drinking
  • 0.25% cash back on all other categories
  • Up to 5% extra cash back with select merchants
  • Earn 1.5% saving interest on the entire balance in your KOHO account
  • Free e-transfers
  • No NSF fees
  • Credit Building for $7/month

KOHO Premium Account

The Premium Account is KOHO’s most expensive account, but it also comes with the most perks.

  • Has a monthly fee of $9 or an annual fee of $84
  • 2% cash back on groceries, transportation, and eating and drinking
  • 0.50% cash back on all other categories
  • Up to 6% extra cash back with select KOHO partners
  • 1.2% interest on the entire balance of your KOHO account
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1 Free International ATM withdrawal each month
  • Credit Building for $7/month

What Is The KOHO Credit Building Program?

KOHO offers a credit building service called Credit Building. New users can register for this credit building subscription service for $7 or $10 a month, depending on the account they have.

Overview Of The KOHO Credit Building Program Features

Cost– KOHO Easy: $10/ month
– KOHO Essantial: $7/month
– KOHO Premium: $7/month
Eligibility– Canadian resident
– Age of majority in your province
Credit check?Yes (soft check, no effect to score)
AvailabilityAcross Canada
Program length– 6 months
– Can reapply after 6 months
Special Features– Helps build credit
– Free credit score

How Does The KOHO Credit Building Program Work?

Credit Building by KOHO is a credit-building line of credit. Users need to make on-time payments for 6-months to help build their credit history. The program can be cancelled at any time, users do not need to complete the full 6-months if they do not want to.

All you have to do is make sure that there is enough money 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 can work toward building good credit. Timely bill payments have one of the biggest impacts on credit. 

Upon registering for the program, KOHO will conduct a “soft inquiry” of your credit report, which does not affect your credit score.

Keep Tabs On Your Credit Score

You can keep tabs on any changes in your credit score using the KOHO mobile app, where you can see your credit score for free. And once the initial 6-month period is over you can reapply for the program if you want to continue to work on improving your credit.

Koho Credit Building banner

How Much Does The KOHO Credit Building Program Cost?

The program costs $7 or $10 per month. There are no other costs involved, you simply need to make sure you have the money in your account every month so that KOHO can withdraw your payment and report it to a credit bureau. 

Pros Of The KOHO Credit Building Program

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

  • Convenient. Simply sign up for the Credit Building feature tool in the KOHO app and forget about it for 6 months. With time you should see your credit score improve. 
  • Affordable. At $7 or $10 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. 
  • Free credit score. When you sign up for KOHO’s Credit Budilting tool you’ll get your credit score for free.
  • 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 1% to 6% cash back on purchases. 

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 or $10 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. Subscribe to the Credit Building tool in your account on the KOHO app.
  2. KOHO will obtain your credit score through a soft check after you’ve signed up.
  3. Make sure there is at least $7 or $10 in your account each month.
  4. KOHO will deduct the subscription fee every month from your account and report it to a major credit bureau
  5. Use the app to track your credit score and watch it grow

As long as you have enough money 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, KOHO’s Credit Building tool is available across Canada.

Does KOHO report to both 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 credit 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 difference in your credit score in just 6 months.

Lisa has been working as a personal finance 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.

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