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Credit Building by KOHO review

Canadians can build and recover their credit score with Credit Building by KOHO, an affordable, accessible and easy-to-use financial product.

For a small monthly fee, KOHO will deposit a nominal sum of cash into your account. For six months, KOHO withdraws a portion of the deposited cash. It reports the withdrawal as a repayment to a major Canadian credit bureau, thereby helping you build and improve your credit score.
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In Canada, credit scores are an important tool for achieving financial and life goals. If you’re new to Canada or just beginning your financial journey, you may not have credit history yet. Alternatively, you may have endured financial hardship that took a toll on your credit score. Either way, lack of credit history or a poor credit score can significantly impact your ability to achieve your life and monetary goals. KOHO created the Credit Building product to help Canadians improve their credit score.

How does borrowing from KOHO work?

Immediately after applying for Credit Building by KOHO, a specified amount of dedicated funds will be deposited into your KOHO account. It is advised that you refrain from spending the amount to avoid complications with the loan.

For the next 6 months, KOHO will withdraw a $7 fee every month from your account. It will also withdraw a set amount each month, which will be considered as repayment of the loan. Every payment will be reported to one of the major Canadian credit bureaus. Full, timely payments have a positive impact on credit scores.

Once the 6 months period is over and the specified amount that was initially deposited has been repaid, users can reapply for Credit Building by KOHO, if they choose. Keep in mind that users are not guaranteed an improved credit score under this program. External factors can impact your score, such as missed payments or utilization ratios.

Features of a personal loan from KOHO

Below is a summary of the Credit Building by KOHO features:

  • No interest. This product doesn’t have an interest rate. However, you will be charged a monthly fee of $7.
  • Available almost everywhere in Canada. Credit Building by KOHO is available in all provinces and territories except for Quebec, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.
  • Credit score check. Every time you apply for this product, KOHO will pull your credit score. Credit checks have a short-term, negative impact on your credit. Repayment of the dedicated funds has a positive impact on credit scores.
  • Credit Building page. Users can track changes to their credit score using the Credit Building page in the KOHO app.

How much will a KOHO personal loan cost?

It’s free to apply to the Credit Building by KOHO program. Users will have to pay a monthly fee of $7 over the 6 months period. The total cost for this program is $42.

How to apply

The method you’ll use to apply will depend on whether you have an existing KOHO account or you’re a new user.

For a new user on a desktop or mobile app

  1. Click “Open Account” on the KOHO website and choose the colour of the prepaid Visa you want.
  2. Enter your email address and create a password to secure your account.
  3. Move to the next form and fill in details such as your name, date of birth, occupation and address.
  4. Enter a referral code if you have one (this number should auto-populate if you’re signing up with Finder).
  5. Review any card disclaimers and accept your cardholder agreement before clicking “Continue.”
  6. Check your email for an account confirmation from KOHO, along with instructions for how to download the KOHO app.
  7. Enter your username and password into the mobile app, and create a four-digit passcode for easy future logins and to view your virtual card.
  8. KOHO will run a soft credit check to verify your identity. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to upload a photo of your ID and take a selfie to verify your identity in the app. You can also click “Enter the app” to bypass the ID verification process if you only want to use the app on a limited basis before you verify your ID.
  9. Once in the app, follow the instructions for existing users (outlined below) to sign up for KOHO credit building.

For existing users

  1. Click on the “Tools” tab in the app and select “Credit Building.”
  2. Fill in the required fields and select “opt-in.”
  3. KOHO will pull a $7 fee from the spendable balance on your account. If you don’t have $7 in your account when you opt-in to credit building, you’ll receive a notification to load up your account.
  4. KOHO will request your credit score from TransUnion, which can take anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours.
  5. Your score will appear in the KOHO app under the “Credit Building” page when it has been processed.
  6. If your score can’t be pulled for some reason, KOHO will refund your $7 and you’ll receive an email to reach out to customer service (who will manually review your file and attempt to retrieve your score).

Bottom line

Credit Building by KOHO is an affordable, safe way to build or recover your credit score. Even though the program lasts 6 months, KOHO customers can use the program numerous times until they achieve their credit goals. Keep in mind that Canadians can incorporate other financial habits into their daily routine to further assist with credit score improvements.

Compare KOHO prepaid card accounts

Name Product Monthly fee Cost per transaction Foreign transaction fee Rewards with this card
KOHO Prepaid Visa card
0.5% cash back
Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.
KOHO Joint Prepaid Card
0.5% cash back
Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.
KOHO Premium Prepaid Card
$9/month or $84 annually
Up to 2% cash back
Earn 2% cash back on transportation, grocery and restaurant purchases. Plus, get a 30 day free trial. Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.

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