StellarFi, a Grow Credit alternative

Choosing the right credit building tool can make or break your financial health. Here’s everything you need to know when choosing between StellarFi and Grow Credit.

Compare credit builders

How do StellarFi and Grow Credit stack up? Compare features, perks, pricing, and more so you can choose the most effective and affordable option:

Type of credit account

StellarFi shows up like a line of credit on your credit report.
Grow Credit shows up as an installment loan on your credit report.

Credit bureaus

StellarFi reports to all major credit bureaus: Experian®, TransUnion®, Equifax®.

Grow Credit reports to three credit bureaus.


StellarFi shows up on most members’ credit reports within 30 days of joining.
Grow Credit’s FAQs advise that reporting can take 60-90 days.

High credit limit

StellarFi reports a high credit limit of up to $25,000.
Grow Credit reports an annual installment loan of up to $1,800.


StellarFi members can link almost any monthly recurring expense, like rent, utilities, streaming services, and more.
Grow Credit allows users to link certain monthly subscriptions.

Spending limit

StellarFi members can pay up to $25,000 in monthly bills with their Virtual Bill Pay Card.
Grow Credit users can spend up to $150 a month with the most expensive membership tier.


StellarFi’s $9.99/month plan offers up to a $25,000 limit reported.
Grow Credit’s $9.99/month plan offers a $1,800 annual limit.

Credit monitoring

StellarFi members can view their current credit score and full updated credit report any time.
Grow Credit displays the user’s recent credit score.

Extra features

StellarFi offers one-on-one credit counseling with nationally accredited advisors.
Grow Credit offers financial literacy resources.

Bill management

StellarFi conveniently automates your monthly bills and compiles them in one dashboard.
Grow Credit is not intended as a bill automation or management tool.

1. Why is credit important?

A healthy credit score can empower you to reach major milestones in your life. It can also reduce costs and help you save money. Here are some of the key reasons to make building credit a priority:

  • Without a strong credit score, you won’t be approved for a mortgage.
  • Consumers with higher credit scores pay lower interest rates on loans and credit cards.
  • Landlords typically check your credit to determine whether or not to rent a home or business space to you.
  • People with poor or invisible credit pay higher deposits on utilities.
  • Some employers even check applicants’ credit before proceeding with the hiring process.

2. What is StellarFi?

StellarFi is a simple, but revolutionary, way to build credit. With StellarFi, you can build credit without the downsides of other credit building products and services:

  • NO minimum score
  • NO interest expenses
  • NO deposit
  • NO surprise fees
  • NO new debt

How StellarFi works

StellarFi is easy to use. You just need a bank account and some monthly household bills to get started.

Here are the steps to building credit with StellarFi:

  1. Sign up as a StellarFi member.
  2. Connect your bank account.
  3. Link any monthly bills you’d like to use to build your credit by replacing current payment information (like your debit card) with your StellarFi Virtual Bill Pay Card number.
  4. These bills will now be paid using your StellarFi Virtual Bill Card
  5. The amount charged to your StellarFi Virtual Bill Card to pay a linked bill will be simultaneously withdrawn from your bank account.

With StellarFi, your bills are automatically paid, AND they’ll automatically help you build credit.

How StellarFi improves your credit score

StellarFi affects the credit factors that contribute most significantly to your credit score, AND builds credit with all three major credit bureaus. Here’s how StellarFi works directly on your credit score:

  • StellarFi shows up on your Equifax® , Experian® and TransUnion® credit reports like a line of credit.
  • StellarFi reports on-time monthly payments to all three credit bureaus, improving your payment history.
  • StellarFi optimizes your credit utilization ratio by providing a payment cushion, displayed as a high credit limit on your credit report, which is much higher than any balance you may reflect.
  • Because a new account is created on your credit report, StellarFi can enhance your credit mix.
  • As you continue to use StellarFi, the account’s age can also contribute to your score.
  • StellarFi does not add credit inquiries to your report. Credit inquiries can put a dent in your credit score.

3. StellarFi Pros and Cons

StellarFi was built for anyone looking to build, improve or maintain their credit scores. Here are some of the best reasons to use StellarFi:

  • StellarFi works for every stage in your credit journey. People with poor credit or no credit, those interested in taking their score from “good” to “excellent”, and anyone looking to maintain an optimal score will all benefit from using StellarFi..
  • StellarFi can report a high credit limit of up to $25,000.
  • There’s no credit check or hard inquiry.
  • You don’t need to pay a security deposit.
  • You’ll build credit history with all three major credit bureaus.
  • You can manage your monthly bills in one dashboard.
  • Access your credit report, current credit score, and advanced credit tools such as personalized score projections.
  • By paying bills with your StellarFi Virtual Bill Pay Card, you can protect your debit and credit card numbers from theft and security breaches.

So, what are the downsides? Here are some situations in which StellarFi may not be a good fit:

  • You’re currently in the underwriting, pre-approval, or under contract phase of buying a home and have been advised against any changes to your credit report
  • You don’t have a bank account
  • You pay all your bills by check, cash or money order

4. How does Grow Credit work?

Grow Credit works similarly to StellarFi, but is limited to subscription services (like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc). Here’s the process:

  1. Apply for Grow Credit account and link your bank account.
  2. Receive a Grow Credit virtual card number.
  3. Use the Grow Credit card number to pay for subscriptions.
  4. Grow Credit creates an installment loan account on your credit report.
  5. Grow Credit reports a monthly payment to the three major credit bureaus within 60-90 days.

5. Grow Credit pros and cons

Here are some of the benefits of using Grow Credit:

  • Grow Credit reports to all three credit bureaus.
  • Grow Credit offers a free plan with a $204 loan reported and a $17/mo spending limit.
  • Monthly payments are reported to build credit history.
  • Users can access financial literacy education resources.
  • Some subscription partners offer discounts for Grow Credit members.
  • Users can save money by paying their Grow Credit membership costs annually instead of monthly.

Here are some of the drawbacks of using Grow Credit:

  • Grow Credit is limited to subscription services such as music or television streaming services.
  • The $17/month spending limit for Grow Credit’s lowest-cost plans further reduces the options for linkable subscriptions.
  • The high credit limits reported to the bureaus are relatively low, with a $204 annual limit for their lowest-priced membership and a $1,800 annual limit reported for their most expensive membership.
  • Grow Credit reports as an installment loan. If you have only installment accounts like student loans on your credit report, Grow Credit will not improve your credit mix.
  • Users can see their current credit score but not their full credit report.
  • While Grow Credit does offer a free plan, some users may not meet the underwriting requirements. These users need to make a deposit to secure the loan in advance.

6. StellarFi vs. Grow Credit: What’s the best way to build credit?

Your credit history and credit needs are unique. Finding the right solution is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. That’s why it’s important to take an objective look at your options.

Because Grow Credit offers a relatively low reported limit, this service may be best for those with thin or invisible files for whom a smaller account will still be impactful. For those with many existing lines of credit or those with major credit damage, Grow Credit’s reporting system may not be potent enough to make a significant change. Grow Credit is also a good solution for those who need to add an installment loan to their credit mix.

StellarFi is a good option for those who want to make a more significant, expedient impact on their credit by using substantial monthly bills. It’s also a great solution for those who would like to manage their bills and view their credit scores and reports in one dashboard. Those with mostly installment accounts on their credit report will also see an improved credit mix when they join StellarFi.

By comparing credit builders side-by-side, you’re sure to find the right tool, or combination of tools, for your goals. Best wishes to you on your credit journey

How it works

Get your free credit report

View your current credit score and access your detailed credit report, just by creating your account.

Add and pay your bills

Make automatic bill payments using your StellarFi Virtual Bill Pay Card. Next, we report on-time payments to all major credit bureaus each month.

Build your score

See your credit score increase while we build your payment history, optimize your credit utilization, and more.