I joined the LendUp team a year ago, and the question I’m still most excited to answer for my friends and family is “What is LendUp?” While I don't have a one-size-fits-all answer, my own experience as a LendUp customer is a good place to start.
I moved from Turkey to San Francisco in 2006 to pursue my graduate studies. The first items on my to-do list were (1) buy a mobile phone to keep in touch with family, (2) open up a checking account, and (3) get a credit card for extra expenses. Not the most exciting tasks, but simple enough, right?
Wrong. I walked into the mobile phone store and was promptly told that I could not get the phone I wanted because I was missing a vital thing called a “credit score.” I had never missed a bill payment. I assumed I wouldn't have any problems.
Ultimately, I was able to start with a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. I also set up a student checking account and a secured credit card with $200 limit. This was the first lesson I learned about how credit affects my day-to-day life.
For 3 years, I made all payments on time, and kept a low balance on my credit card, and I was able to build enough credit history for an average credit score. My improved score helped me get a better phone, but I wanted great credit, and I knew I had a long way to go.
Then, my job took me back to the United Kingdom. Before leaving, I closed my credit card, because I would have been charged a monthly fee while abroad and unable to use the card. When I returned to the U.S. four years later, and went to the bank to reopen my accounts, I realized I had made a big mistake: closing my credit card had caused my credit score to drop significantly.
Disappointed but unsurprised at this latest obstacle to building credit, I started working at LendUp. I wanted to help fix the credit access problem I knew all too well. One of the first things I learned was that LendUp looks beyond credit score when deciding whether to approve a short-term loan application. I was impressed to see a lender that looked for reasons to approve people, not just reasons to decline them.
My credit score was still in need of repair, so I decided to test our system by applying for a LendUp loan. The outcome was fascinating: I was actually considered a low-risk, good customer in LendUp's eyes. I was able to get my loan in minutes.
I’m just one of many LendUp customers who would have otherwise been turned away from short-term credit, and knowing that my story is being told every day in our products makes my job that much more meaningful.
Learn how LendUp is changing the landscape of short-term credit access here.