Frequently Asked Questions

Our Commitment

We pledge to reinvest a majority of our profits into our social mission.

Apple vs. Android

You need a smartphone (Apple i-Phone or Android), a valid US Social Security Number or driver's license, and a US bank account in your name. If you do not wish to provide your Social Security Number or driver's license, you may be able to register with your Facebook profile.

Yes. Users can download the Android version of our app off of the Google Play store here.

You cannot register for Esusu using an international phone. You may be able to use the Esusu app internationally if you have a US Sim Card or a Twilio US phone number. You should consult with your phone carrier before trying to use the Esusu app internationally.

Yes. Groups can be formed across phones and operating systems.

Rotational Savings Clubs

Esusu is a mobile app that helps people create and manage Rotational Savings Clubs with their friends and family members.

A Rotational Savings Club is a group of individuals who save and borrow together in a form of peer-to-peer banking. Group members contribute funds into a pool on a regular basis, and then take turns withdrawing funds from the pool.

Rotational Savings Clubs are also known as tandas (Latin America), partnerhand (West Indies/UK), cundinas (Mexico), susu (West Africa and the Caribbean), hui (Asia), Game'ya (Middle East), kye (South Korea), tanomosiko (Japan), pandeiros (Brazil), juntas or quiniela (Peru), and arisan (Indonesia).

Esusu Fees

Esusu charges each group a flat subscription fee of $10 per pay-in cycle, which is allocated equally amongst the members in the savings group.

Example 1: if there are three (3) members in a savings group, and they each make monthly contributions into their collective group fund, each member will pay a fee of $3.33 per month.

Example 2: if there are ten (10) members in a savings group, and they each make contributions into their collective group fund every two weeks, each member will pay a fee of $1.00 every two weeks.

We do not charge any other fees at this time.

Payment Processing & Data Security

Your bank account must be linked to the Esusu platform so that payments between group members can be processed in a way that is convenient for you.

Please see our Privacy Policy for information regarding this topic.

We ask people to provide their Social Security Number (SSN) during registration, as described in our Privacy Policy, as part of an industry standard process known as ‘Know Your Customer’ so that we can validate user identities. This is an important measure to ensure the platform safety of all Esusu users. Esusu also plans to report each user’s payment history on the platform to credit bureaus to help them build their credit score, and a SSN is required as part of this process.

Alternatively you have the option of validating your identity through a Facebook Login or form of State ID.

Esusu’s payment processor works with a FDIC insured bank and all amounts for individual users are insured up to the FDIC maximum of $250,000.

Esusu uses industry standards to encrypt and safeguard your information. Furthermore, we do not store information about your bank account after it is linked.

Payments are auto-withdrawn from your linked bank account 7 days prior to the next scheduled payout. Payments are processed via SynapseFI, our payment process partner, and are held by Evolve Bank & Trust.

Group payouts are made available on the scheduled payout day in the “Payouts to Collect” menu option in your respective groups. To initiate transfer go to the “Payouts to Collect” tab and click on the respective payment. If there are no available payouts you will see an empty screen stating “No Payouts To Collect.”

No, not at this time, because credit cards have high transaction fees.

You are welcome to change the bank account that you have linked to the Esusu platform.

No, not at this time. We are exploring ways to expand to international banks.

At this time our platform requires a basic bank account. We are exploring ways to expand Esusu to individuals without a bank account.

No.

Please do not share your account details with anyone.

If you suspect that your account has been hacked, please email us at [email protected].

All fraudulent, hazardous, or questionable activities should immediately be reported to Esusu Support. Behavior that should be reported includes: (1) Failure to pay; (2) Harassment on group chats; (3) Suspicion of money laundering.

Bank services are provided by Evolve Bank, Member FDIC, through our banking software provider, SynapseFI. To report a complaint relating to the bank services, email [email protected].

Yes, users are limited in their transaction volume for compliance and security reasons. Users can have up to $2,000 daily, $5,000 monthly, and $10,000 annually in transactions one-way.

Credit Scores

Esusu may report your payment activity on the platform to America’s main credit bureaus. When you keep your commitments to your group members, your credit score may benefit.

In addition, Esusu may compile a unique ‘Esusu Score’ that can serve as alternative proof of creditworthiness. Credit is designed to be a proxy for trust. For individuals with limited credit history this is very difficult to build in a short-time frame. Thus the Esusu score looks to provide an alternative way for financial institutions to evaluate your trustworthiness as a borrower or bank user.

If a person doesn't make their contributions, Esusu may report their default to the credit bureaus just like any other unpaid bill.

Prior to reporting to a credit bureau Esusu will notify the user of their late payment via electronic message so that they have an opportunity to rectify the matter.

Esusu will auto-withdraw the necessary funds from your linked bank account 7 days prior to the payout date. For example: if you have a monthly group and the next payout is due on April 1st, Esusu would auto-withdraw the funds on the 25th of March.

Yes. Please (1) click on your group’s icon; (2) enter the “My payments to this group” tab; (3) swipe down to refresh the screen; and (4) click on the payment you want to view.

Yes. Please (1) click on your group’s icon; (2) enter the “Payments made to this group” tab; and (3) scroll down the screen to view the group’s payment history.

Yes. Please (1) click on your group’s icon; (2) enter the “Upcoming payouts” tab; and (3) scroll down the screen to view all scheduled payments for the group.

Joining and Leaving Groups

Once you have downloaded the app and completed the registration process, it will prompt you to create a group. You will need to enter a group name, set the number of members, amount of each payment, and frequency of payment.

Once you have set the basic parameters you will need to invite members to join the group. All members you invite will receive a text message from Esusu inviting them to join your group. Prior to joining the group they will need to download the app and link their bank account to the Esusu platform.

As a group leader you have the following obligations: (1) set the savings and payout parameters of the group; (2) invite people to participate; and (3) help encourage group members to keep their savings commitments.

If you do not set up a group yourself, you may be invited to join a pre-existing group. Invitations are issued by text message and email.

At the moment you must receive an electronic invitation to join an existing group. You can also create your own group.

Esusu will send an electronic warning notice to any individual who fails to keep their commitment to the group they are a part of. If the group member owes money to other members, Esusu will process an auto-payment from that person’s linked bank account. If the withdrawal attempt fails, the individual will be blocked from joining new groups on the Esusu platform, and any balance they owe may be sent to a collection agency. The missed payment may also be communicated to credit bureaus.

No, once you have committed to joining a group you need to stay a part of it until the payment cycle is complete. It would be unfair to other group members if you were able to terminate your agreement in the middle of the cycle.

The group payout order is determined by the group leader prior to the start date of the group.

Yes. At present we require all groups to have at least 3 people prior to starting.

The group will be held in the “Pending” category and you will receive a notification that your group does not have enough people to start. Once your group reaches 3 or more people you will receive a notification that asks you to select a new start date.

Each group has as many cycles as it has members. For instance: for a 5 person group, there will be 5 cycles so that each member receives a payout.

The group will move from “Active” to “Archived” status. The group leader then has the option of restoring the group with the same members.

After a group moves to “Archived” status you can restore the group with the same members and parameters. To do so please: (1) navigate to the “Archived” screen in the groups tab; (2) click on the group you are interested in; (3) scroll to the bottom of the screen; and (4) click the “Restore” button. From there follow the steps laid out on the screen to adjust the group parameters and restore your group.

The group will move from “Pending” to “Active” status. You will receive a corresponding notification to let you know your group is active. You will also have the option to make a payment by: (1) navigating to “Active” groups; (2) clicking on your group’s icon; (3) scrolling to the bottom of the screen; and (4) clicking the “Make payment” button.

No, not at present. In future versions Esusu will allow members to request changes to the payout order.

No, not at this time. In future versions Esusu will allow group leaders to change.

Yes. The credit bureaus reserve the right to refuse data from savings circles that are shorter than 6 months in duration.

Yes. We have seen the most success with groups between 6 and 12 people.

Yes. We have seen the most success with groups saving between $500 and $2000 per month over a period exceeding 6 months.

How Does It Work?

A Credit Builder Individual Savings Account is a small installment loan that is held in a certificate of deposit (“CD”) bank account. The account is FDIC insured and is held in your name.

The product works in the following way:

  1. You download the Esusu smartphone mobile app (available in the Apple and Google Play stores) and connect your bank account to the Esusu platform;
  2. The program’s banking partner lends you a small loan that is held in a FDIC insured CD (these funds are locked until the loan is paid in full);
  3. You begin to repay your loan by making equal payments over the term of the loan.
  4. Each month, your payment history is reported to the credit bureaus.
  5. At the end of the loan term, you've paid off your loan and your CD matures and unlocks. During the term of the loan you've demonstrated months of payment history to the credit bureaus, which accounts for 35% of your FICO score.

No, the program is only available to U.S. residents.

No, only individuals can use the program.

The typical Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan lasts for 6 or 12 months.

Unlike a traditional loan, a Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan does not allow you to immediately withdraw the money upfront. Instead, your loan is immediately placed into a FDIC-insured certificate of deposit (“CD”) account. The CD account is held in your name at Evolve Bank & Trust. These funds are locked and not available for withdrawal until the end of the loan period.

Signing Up

Yes, you do need a bank account in order to apply for a Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan. To get started, you need to be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. resident, and you will need:

  • A bank account
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Valid U.S. physical residence
  • Social security number (SSN)

You can only have one active Credit Builder Individual Savings Account at any given time.

Here’s what to expect with your new account:

  • Your first monthly payment is due one month after you open your Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan.
  • Typically, 30-60 days after you make your first monthly payment, your Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan will appear your credit report. Don’t worry if it takes a couple of months. Payments will appear retroactively.
  • Some people will see a change in credit score faster than others. The best thing you can do for your credit score is to make on-time payments each month because payment history makes up 35% of your credit score!

No. At this time, only one person may be listed on a Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan at any given time. In addition, you may not transfer your Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan to any other person, because the Credit Builder Individual Savings Account product is a secured-installment loan and the terms and conditions are locked.

Service Fees

The standard fee is $2 per month for the savings period. In some instances, approved users of the product may qualify to have their standard service fee paid for by a Community Development Financial Institution.

Making Payments

Monthly payments are withdrawn automatically from your linked bank account.

You have exactly one month from the start date of your Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan to make your first scheduled payment. Your payment due dates can be found on your Esusu mobile app dashboard. Payments made by check, money order, cashier’s check or similar instrument are not accepted and will be returned.

Prepayments are not permitted at this time.

If a loan payment is more than 30 days past due, the payment will be reported as "late" on your credit report. If you are experiencing financial hardship and need to close your account early please contact [email protected] as soon as possible to discuss your options.

No

If Credit Builder Individual Savings Account is closed early, Esusu will take funds from the client’s savings account to pay off the loan and any accrued fees, and will report to the credit bureaus that the loan is “paid off” – a status that does not have a negative effect on your credit score.

No, not at present.

No, you cannot pause or temporarily suspend a Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan. If an unforeseen circumstance, such as a job loss or death of a family member, has caused you to be unable to make your monthly payment, please contact [email protected] as soon as possible to discuss your options.

The Impact On Your Credit Report

Esusu reports each month to Equifax.

The Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan will appear on your credit report as a “secured-installment loan” from either “Rent Reporter Inc.” or “Inclusive Data.”

At the moment we do not have enough data to give a definitive answer. As we gather more data, we will share it on our website.

We cannot accurately say if or how much your credit score will increase because everyone’s credit report and financial history are unique. Please be advised that even if you are paying your Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan on-time, any negative activity from your other credit accounts, such as late payments, delinquencies, bankruptcies or public records can impact your results.

Payments typically appear on your credit report 60 days from your first due date. Credit data is compiled at the end of each month and reported to the credit bureaus, usually at the beginning of the following month. The credit bureaus then decide when to post the data.

Every person’s financial history is unique, which makes it hard to pinpoint the exact cause for a credit score decrease. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Late payments – can impact a score heavily for years;
  • Credit utilization – amount of revolving debt compared to the total revolving credit limit;
  • Derogatory marks like bankruptcy, collections, or tax liens;
  • Closing old accounts in good standing;
  • New lines of credit – this reduces the overall age of your credit. By opening a Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan, you may have reduced the average age of your credit history. If this is the case, it is common for your credit score to bounce back with on-time payment history.

Once your balance is paid in full it will no longer report to the credit bureaus monthly. It is possible that your credit score will fluctuate as you are closing an account.

Canceling Your Account

If you wish to cancel your Credit Builder Individual Savings Account loan, please contact [email protected] as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Payment Processing & Data Security

Your bank account must be linked to the Esusu platform so that loan payments can be readily processed.

We ask people to provide their Social Security Number (SSN) during registration, as described in our Privacy Policy, as part of an industry standard process known as ‘Know Your Customer’ so that we can validate user identities. This is an important measure to ensure the platform safety of all Esusu users.

Esusu’s payment processor works with a FDIC insured bank and all amounts for individual users are insured up to the FDIC maximum of $250,000.

Esusu uses industry standards to encrypt and safeguard your information. Furthermore, we do not store information about your bank account after it is linked.

Payments are auto-withdrawn from your linked bank account 7 days prior to the next scheduled payout. Payments are processed via SynapseFI, our payment process partner, and are held by Evolve Bank & Trust.

Group payouts are made available on the scheduled payout day in the “Payouts to Collect” menu option in your respective groups. To initiate transfer go to the “Payouts to Collect” tab and click on the respective payment. If there are no available payouts you will see an empty screen stating “No Payouts To Collect.”

No, not at this time, because credit cards have high transaction fees.

You are welcome to change the bank account that you have linked to the Esusu platform.

No, not at this time. We are exploring ways to expand to international banks.

At this time our platform requires a basic bank account. We are exploring ways to expand Esusu to individuals without a bank account.

No.

Please do not share your account details with anyone.

If you suspect that your account has been hacked, please email us at [email protected].

All fraudulent, hazardous, or questionable activities should immediately be reported to Esusu Support. Behavior that should be reported includes: (1) Failure to pay; (2) Harassment on group chats; (3) Suspicion of money laundering.

Bank services are provided by Evolve Bank, Member FDIC, through our banking software provider, SynapseFI. To report a complaint relating to the bank services, email [email protected].

Banking & Payments Partner

Esusu partners with Evolve Bank & Trust to hold all money transacted on the platform. Evolve Bank & Trust is fully FDIC insured and PCI Compliant.

Esusu partners with SynapseFI for all payment processing and transacting.

To report a complaint relating to the bank or payment services, email [email protected]. Please also reach out to [email protected] in order to ensure any issues are resolved.

SynapseFI’s Terms and Conditions can be viewed here, their Privacy Policy is available here, and additional Legal Resources can be found here.

Support & Other Services

Please contact Esusu at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Esusu Rent Reporting is a service we offer to help renters improve their credit scores. For more information please refer to http://esusurent.com.

Please note that we only recommend this service if you are confident in your abilities to make on-time rental payments for the foreseeable future, as Esusu will have to report both on-time and missed payments.

SaverLife is a program offered by earn.org, a non-profit based in San Francisco. SaverLife is a separate platform that pays users to save. For every month that you save at least $20, SaverLife will match your savings with $10 — up to a maximum of $60 over 6 months. If you are interested in participating in this program you must register online at https://www.saverlife.org.

Use the “Message” functionality in the app to chat with members of your group(s), or to send a message to an individual you have been or are in a group with.

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