The U.S. is facing dual emergencies, with people taking on significant medical bills and losing their jobs. When unemployment goes up, credit scores go down. During the last recession, 20 million people lost 50 or more points on their credit scores. Currently, new weekly unemployment claims are higher than they were at the peak of the great recession, and we can expect millions more to lose points from their credit scores.
Many technology companies trying to help people with their finances tend to focus on the wealthy, or young high-earning millennials. Yet, a sizable percentage of the American population (40%) wouldn’t be able to easily cover a $400 emergency with existing cash savings or credit.
We believe BraveCredit is on a path to creating a better way for people to find answers to their financial questions in one place and start rebuilding their credit efficiently.
The Nuts & Bolts
Problem: More than half of American adults have subprime credit scores, which can cause them to pay higher interest rates for a mortgage or a car loan compared to people with prime scores. If a person’s score is low enough, they may even be denied car insurance, a place to rent, and even a job, since so many aspects of our society currently require a credit score. The problem is that rebuilding one’s credit score can be difficult as credit information is scattered. Many companies charge more than $100 in fees per month to help people sort through and understand everything about their scores.
Solution: BraveCredit targets American adults (primarily ages 30 to 55) who have built a credit history but lost their job or had a medical emergency that caused them to fall behind on their bills. This target group also tends to fall in the low-to-moderate income level. BraveCredit starts by making it easy for users to review their credit reports and identify any issues, and then offers them ways to rebuild their credit. For example, users can dispute issues with credit bureaus and send creditors letters automatically from the BraveCredit app. The startup is tackling all aspects of credit building, starting with credit history and new credit, and then helping people manage their credit in the future so that once their score improves, it remains in good standing.
When 500 Met BraveCredit
We met BraveCredit through social impact fund Kapor Capital, where BraveCredit’s co-founder and CEO Jorge Davy-Méndez sourced investments. He also worked in strategy and business development at Personal Capital, a wealth management company with $17 billion in assets. As an immigrant, he personally experienced difficulties with the credit process and became passionate about helping others. BraveCredit’s Co-Founder and CTO Jonathan Pizzolato has worked in financial services and has a background in consulting as a developer and data scientist.
The team recently started outsourcing some of their software development to Latin America to take advantage of emerging tech talent in the region. BraveCredit is also working towards UN Sustainable Development Goal #1, ending poverty in all its forms.
BraveCredit is well-positioned to help a generation of Americans who are stuck in predatory payday lending schemes and high-interest debt situations by helping them improve their scores as quickly and affordably as possible. Communities of color and women have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which face bias when trying to buy a house or get a job.
Future of BraveCredit
BraveCredit’s goals include growing its user base and offering its own credit products. We look forward to supporting the team on their mission to help more people reach long-term financial stability.
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You can learn more about BraveCredit at: https://brave.credit.
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