8 C
New York
Friday, February 23, 2024

Constructing Credit score With Your Debit Card

Varo Financial institution’s Imagine card is marketed as a worry-free solution to construct your credit score, however does it actually work? That’s what we goal to reply with this Varo Imagine card evaluation.

We’ll discover all of Varo Financial institution’s options and check out how the Imagine card will help you construct your credit score.


No minimal secured steadiness


Deposit account funds are locked

Doesn’t report a credit score restrict

Required $500 in deposits

Who Is Varo Financial institution?

Varo Believe Card Review: Varo bank homepageVaro Believe Card Review: Varo bank homepage

Varo Financial institution is an online-only financial institution that provides a full suite of banking options. This consists of checking accounts, high-yield financial savings accounts, a credit score constructing account, and extra.

Established in 2015, Varo has been accredited with the Higher Enterprise Bureau since 2017. Varo can be a totally chartered, FDIC-insured financial institution. That is value noting, as comparable merchandise (i.e., Chime Credit score Builder) are sometimes backed by separate banks.

On this evaluation, we’ll be specializing in Varo’s credit-building account, Varo Imagine. This account is a wedding of a secured card and a debit card. Your Imagine card purchases are at all times secured by your deposit account steadiness.

This will help you construct credit score with out risking overspending and going into debt.

Let’s dig deeper into this Varo Imagine Card Evaluate to discover ways to use the cardboard.

How Does the Varo Imagine Card Work?

The Imagine card works and builds credit score in a singular method. This Varo Imagine card evaluation will discover the entire course of, from utility and funding to credit score constructing and cancelation. 

Varo Believe Card Review: Varo Belive credit builder card - pageVaro Believe Card Review: Varo Belive credit builder card - page

How Do You Apply?

To be eligible for the Varo Imagine account, it’s essential to meet two {qualifications}:

  1. Have a Varo checking account in good standing.
  2. $500 or extra in deposits to your Varo checking throughout the final 90 days.

In the event you meet these two necessities, you may apply for the Varo Imagine account. Making use of does not require a credit score test. There’s additionally no minimal account steadiness.

How Do You Use the Varo Imagine Account?

As soon as authorized for the Imagine account, you’ll acquire entry to a brand new Varo Imagine deposit account. This sediment account is what funds your card. You may consider it like a safety deposit.

Funding the Account

You may switch cash out of your current Varo checking account or one other exterior account to fund your Imagine account. The quantity you switch turns into your spending restrict. You can’t spend greater than you switch.

Spending With the Card

Every time you swipe the Imagine card, the corresponding complete might be locked in your deposit account. As an example, in the event you purchase a cup of espresso for $5.95, then $5.95 of your account steadiness might be locked. Locked funds can’t be spent.

Paying your Steadiness

On the finish of the month, your locked steadiness (what you’ve spent) turns into your assertion complete.

You may arrange autopay (SafePay), mechanically paying your steadiness along with your locked funds. Or you may manually pay the whole with an exterior account, and the locked funds might be launched inside 3 days.

In the event you use autopay, you’ll additionally need to use Transfer Your Pay to refund your Imagine deposit account each month.

How Does Imagine Assist You Construct Credit score?

Varo studies the next info to all 3 main credit score bureaus every month.

  1. Your assertion quantity
  2. Your fee quantity
  3. Whether or not the fee was on-time or late

By paying your Varo Imagine account on time, you may positively impression the fee historical past portion of your credit score, which makes up 35% of your credit score rating. In the event you don’t pay your account on time, you’ll take a unfavourable hit to your credit score (and your account may be closed).

Varo doesn’t have an effect on:

  • Credit score utilization (they don’t report a credit score restrict, so there’s no foundation for calculating credit score utilization).
  • New credit score (there’s no laborious inquiry if you apply).

You may view your credit score rating and obtain notifications on modifications to your rating utilizing the Varo app.

Cancelling Varo Imagine

Whereas the Imagine card is nice for constructing credit score, the secured funds requirement makes it a poor long-term possibility.

In our Varo Imagine card evaluation, we famous that to cancel the cardboard, you’ll want to achieve out to customer support. Sadly, this can require you to make use of in-app assist throughout enterprise hours (Mountain Time). Varo has cellphone assist however is not going to cancel your account over the cellphone.

In case you are maintaining your Varo checking account, your Imagine funds will be transferred there, which is able to doubtless be faster than ready on a bodily test.

When you shut your Varo Imagine account, you can’t re-apply for the cardboard sooner or later.

Extra Varo Companies & Options

One other factor we wished to deal with in our Varo Imagine Card Evaluate is the extra providers side. The Varo Imagine program comes with a number of options for constructing your credit score, together with:

  • Setting a spending restrict
  • Autopay with SafePay
  • Reporting to all 3 credit score bureaus
  • Vantage credit score rating updates

However that is simply a part of the entire Varo bundle. Varo additionally presents checking and financial savings accounts with their very own distinctive options.

Checking Account:

  • No charges
  • Early payday
  • Funds with Zelle
  • Cashback
  • 40,000+ fee-free ATMs

Financial savings Account:

  • 5% APY as much as $5,000 steadiness
  • 3% APY limitless
  • Spherical-up financial savings
  • Auto transfers

Along with these particular account options, Varo presents common options such because the Varo Advance program, debit card safety, a sturdy cell app, and cash administration sources.


Varo Imagine is a zero-fee account. On this Varo Imagine card evaluation, we’ll spotlight some widespread charges that different playing cards cost however Varo doesn’t.

APR None
Late Cost Price $0
Month-to-month or Annual Price $0
Minimal Safety Deposit No minimal

You’re by no means charged a charge for a late fee. Nevertheless, not paying on time may lead to account closure.

Entry to Varo Imagine requires you to have a no-fee Varo checking account. You’ll solely encounter a $3 charge in the event you use an out-of-network ATM.

Varo Advance, Varo’s low-limit money advance program, is the one Varo characteristic with a charge.

Borrow Quantity Price
$20 $0
$50 $4
$75 $5
$100 $6
$150 $9
$200 $12
$250 $15

It’s value noting that you just’ll want to satisfy particular {qualifications} earlier than you should use Advance.

Buyer Critiques

Nearly all of common evaluations in regards to the financial institution are nice. Individuals appear to take pleasure in all of Varo’s options.

As an example, this reviewer actually loves the early pay characteristic.

Varo Believe Card Review: BBB positive review of the cardVaro Believe Card Review: BBB positive review of the card

And this buyer compliments a number of providers. 

Varo Believe Card Review: BBB positive review of Varo and the cardVaro Believe Card Review: BBB positive review of Varo and the card

Many evaluations specializing in the Imagine card are much less complimentary. The largest complaints revolve across the period of locking funds (30+ days) and lack of customer support.

This evaluation is from a Varo buyer who was beforehand proud of the financial institution however not so proud of the Imagine card.

Varo Believe Card Review: Negative review of Varo on TrustPilotVaro Believe Card Review: Negative review of Varo on TrustPilot

Different reviewers point out that customer support has lately modified for the more severe.

Negative review of Varo on TrustPilotNegative review of Varo on TrustPilot

General, Varo Financial institution has a 3.58 common score from the Higher Enterprise Bureau (BBB) and a regarding 2.7 common from Trustpilot.

Varo Imagine Alternate options

Varo Imagine is certainly one of many credit-building debit playing cards in the marketplace. Beneath, we’ll spotlight some different choices and the way they examine to Varo Imagine. It’s value noting that Varo and all these alternate options report back to all 3 credit score bureaus.

Cred.ai Unicorn Card Chime Credit score Builder Visa Credit score Sesame – Sesame Money Varo Imagine
APR 17.76%* None None None
Price None None $9.99/month* None
Safety Deposit No minimal No minimal No minimal No minimal
Credit score Restrict $1000** N/A N/A N/A
Exercise Reported Cost historical past and utilization Cost historical past Cost historical past  Cost historical past
Cashback No No Sure Sure
Credit score Test Comfortable credit score pull and ChexSystems inquiry No No No
Evaluate Evaluate Evaluate

* will be waived
** will be larger or decrease relying in your banking historical past

The largest outlier right here is Cred.ai. Their Unicorn card is the one one which has a credit score restrict and studies utilization.


We hope this Varo Imagine Card Evaluate will show you how to select the cardboard that finest aligns along with your monetary wants. Constructing credit score with the Varo Imagine card is fairly easy, however it received’t work for everybody. Varo states the next:

Some clients could not see a rise, however clients with unhealthy or skinny credit score histories are prone to see the largest optimistic impression on their rating from utilizing Varo Imagine and making constant on-time funds.

As additional proof, Varo quotes that 90% of their clients who didn’t beforehand have a credit score rating have been in a position to generate one after simply 1 month with Varo. And people with current credit score scores noticed a mean 42-point enhance after 3 months.

In case you are an current Varo buyer on the lookout for credit score constructing, then Imagine might be a good selection. Or, in case you are on the lookout for a full-featured financial institution with a credit-building possibility, Varo may be an excellent match.

However for these on the lookout for most impression on their credit score or available customer support, different banks/merchandise will doubtless serve you higher.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles