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Bright
Fee
From $9.99 per month
APY
N/A

Our verdict

A money app with tools designed to pay off credit card debt.

Bright is a financial app specifically designed to help you get out of high-interest credit card debt. The app offers an AI-built debt payoff plan and can sync with your accounts to craft a custom plan based on your income, spending, credit card balances and APRs. With a plan in place, Bright gives you a free Bright Stash account that automatically pulls money from your linked account and pays your credit cards. It also offers a line of credit and a credit-building loan. However, this app and its features aren’t free. It has multiple plan options, with the annual plan costing $89 per year, which equals about $7.42 per month.

Best for: Those who want to pay off credit card debt.

Pros

  • Autopay credit cards
  • Savings round-ups
  • AI-crafted debt payoff plan
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Consolidation and credit-building loans

Cons

  • Unavoidable monthly fee
  • 9% to 24.99% APR on line of credit
  • Doesn’t report to Experian

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  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

How Bright Money works

The Bright Money app features the Bright Plan, an AI-driven, personalized debt payoff plan to help you pay off credit card debt and establish savings. The Bright app syncs to your bank account and credit cards to create that repayment plan, and pricing starts with the annual plan, which costs $89 per year — roughly $7.42 per month.

It works like this: Sync your accounts and credit cards with the app so the AI can create a custom plan based on your spending patterns, income, credit card balances and APRs. The app proposes a step-by-step payoff plan, such as withdrawing $10 per paycheck to put toward your credit card debt and saving $10 per month.

The app automatically moves money from your linked account to your Bright Stash account, with the amount and frequency depending on your custom plan. With those funds, Bright makes your credit card payments and automatically puts money into your Bright savings pockets — subaccounts of your Bright Stash account.

While the app crafts a plan for you, you can edit the plan anytime within the app, add or remove cards, set your own savings goals and change the payoff pace. You can pause autopayments and withdraw funds from your Bright Stash account anytime.

Additional Bright products

Aside from the main debt-payoff feature, Bright Money offers two other products: Bright Credit and Bright Builder.

  • Bright Credit. An unsecured revolving line of credit designed to consolidate credit card debt. There are no late fees, prepayment penalties, origination fees or application fees. It does require an application with a hard credit check, but you can check potential rates with a soft pull. The credit limit ranges from $500 to $8,000 and has a 9% to 29.99% APR, depending on your creditworthiness. The minimum monthly payment is 3% of the outstanding balance plus accrued interest.
  • Bright Builder. A secured line of revolving credit. It requires an opening deposit of at least $50, and your deposit sets your credit limit. There are no interest charges and no minimum credit score to qualify. Payments are reported to Equifax and TransUnion to help you build a credit history. You’ll make minimum monthly payments of $10 or 50% of your outstanding balance.

Bright Money products and cost

ProductDetails
Bright Plan, base appFour payment options:
  1. $89 billed annually ($7.42/month)
  2. $53.94 billed semi-annually ($8.99/month)
  3. $30 billed once every 3 months ($9.99/month)
  4. $9.99/month
Bright Credit, unsecured line of credit
  • APR: 9% to 29.99%
  • Credit limit: $500 to $8,000
  • Opening deposit: $0
  • Late fee: 0%
  • Prepayment penalties: 0%
  • Origination fee: 0%
  • Application fee: 0%
  • Minimum payment: 3% plus accrued interest
Bright Builder, secured line of credit
  • APR: 0%
  • Opening deposit: $50
  • Late fees: 0%
  • Minimum payment: $10 per month or 50% of your outstanding balance

Who is Bright Money best for?

The Bright app is best suited for someone looking to tackle credit card debt — most of Bright’s features are designed specifically to do just that. However, the Bright Plan isn’t free, so you’ll have to factor in the cost, starting at $9.99 per month.

Bright uses Plaid to connect to your bank account. If your bank isn’t compatible with Plaid, you may not be able to use Bright to the fullest extent — or at all.

What we like about Bright Money

Available for Apple and Android phones, Bright’s app is full of features designed to help pay down credit card debt and offers additional lending services for extra help.

An AI that creates a debt payoff strategy for you

Bright uses MoneyScience, a patented system built by 34 algorithms and over 120 experts. It syncs with your accounts and crafts a personalized repayment plan that runs automatically, so you don’t have to think about it.

Extra budgeting tools

Within the Bright app, you can see your credit cards, view upcoming payments, set up reminders, use budgeting tools, build a rainy day fund and set savings goals. Its savings round-up feature rounds up your checking account purchases to the nearest dollar. Bright sends the rounded-up amount to your Bright Stash for credit card debt payoff.

Other debt-payoff and credit-building services

This fintech also offers Bright Credit, an unsecured line of credit to consolidate credit card debt. The Bright Builder account can help you build savings and credit history. The Bright Builder line of credit is secured and has no interest charges, making it an effective way to build credit history without worrying about repaying APR.

Compare Bright Money to other credit-building options

Narrow down top credit-building providers by features, fees and reporting. For a better comparison, tick the Compare box on multiple options to see features side by side.

1 - 5 of 15
Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Requirements Credit Bureaus Offer
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Score: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
$0 per month
$0
Must have a Chime Checking Account with eligible direct deposits to qualify.
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
A secured credit card that helps build credit and is designed to work with Chime’s Checking account.
Step Black Card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Step Black Card
From $0 per month
$0
Step users who are 13 years or older
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
Safely build credit without a credit check or credit history while earning savings rewards and cashback.
Extra debit card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Extra debit card
From $20 per month
$0
Requires an existing bank account.
Equifax, Experian
The Extra Debit Card can help build your credit and even offer rewards on every purchase.
Cleo Credit Builder Card
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cleo Credit Builder Card
$14.99 per month
$1
Requires bank account
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
A secured credit card designed to help build credit with up to a $500 cash advance
Ava Card ‍Build Credit
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Ava Card ‍Build Credit
From $9 per month
$0
Requires bank account
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
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Where it falls short

The monthly fee is a big downside, and there’s no way to waive it. The fee is also a bit counterproductive since the app’s main goal is to help users pay down credit card debt — which you could do faster if you weren’t paying a monthly fee to use Bright’s features.

May want to consolidate elsewhere

Compared to other ways to consolidate credit card debt, Bright’s unsecured line of credit isn’t the best option. You can use the Bright line of credit to pay down your existing credit card debt but not for purchases or other debts. Bright Credit also charges APR immediately, which ranges between 9% and 29.99% APR, depending on eligibility.

We heavily suggest comparing other methods, such as personal loans or balance transfer credit cards. Plenty of credit cards feature 0% APR for months at a time, during which you can pay down that debt without worrying about interest charges.

Customer experience

Bright Money has a decent reputation online. It holds a so-so B rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Bright actively works to resolve any BBB complaints. The support team isn’t stingy on issuing refunds for most grievances, which often include customers closing accounts and overdraft fees caused by the app’s autopay. Most customers report they were happy with Bright’s resolution, which isn’t something we see often.

On Reddit, users frequently complain about being charged for an annual membership, as Bright mainly advertises monthly costs on its site. Others say withdrawals were not coming out of their accounts, which led to late payments on their credit cards — either from user error or the app’s error. However, those complaints were often met with swift refunds.

On Trustpilot, the positive reviews are flowing. There are nearly 5,000 customer reviews, with over 80% of them being 5-star ratings. Bright offers 24/7 human customer support, and most reviews say the support is helpful, quick and responsive. The most common review is a story of how helpful and courteous Bright’s support team is; a true rarity in the world of fintechs that lack physical branches.

Frequently asked questions

Is Bright Money legit?

Yes, Bright Money is a legitimate app. It’s partnered with Evolve Bank & Trust and CBW Bank, Members FDIC. The Bright Stash account is FDIC-insured.

Does Bright Money give you money?

Not all Bright’s products lend you money. The Bright Plan is a debt repayment plan that costs $9.99 per month. The unsecured line of credit Bright Credit is for refinancing credit card debt, not for spending. The secured line of credit, Bright Builder, lets you spend how you wish, but your deposit amount determines your spending limit.

Does Bright check my credit score?

Yes, Bright checks your credit if you apply for the unsecured line of credit Bright Credit, which you can use to consolidate credit card debt. Bright isn’t clear on its exact credit score requirements for this credit line — it just states you will likely need fair credit, often considered a credit score of around 580 to 670. If you want to see what rates you may qualify for, its preapproval option only performs a soft credit pull, which won’t impact your credit score.

If you apply for the Bright Builder — the secured line of credit — there is no hard credit check or credit score requirement.

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Bethany Finder

Editor, Banking

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