It’s been a big week, here at Borrowell! On Monday, for the first time in Canadian history, we made credit scores available for free, without having to apply for credit.
The number one question we’re being asked is “Why?”
So why are we doing this?
We’re a digital lender offering Canadians with good credit loans online. Ironically, we’re a lender that wants to help Canadians get out of debt, not into more of it. Most of our customers use our loans to pay off credit card debt, but others use them for weddings, home improvements, etc.
We know, from speaking to our customers, that many Canadians don’t know their credit score, even though it’s a crucial metric that lenders use to make decisions like who qualifies for a loan or a mortgage. Credit score knowledge shouldn’t be rare because with debt, as with all things, knowledge is power. Tell someone their credit score and they will make better financial decisions, we believe.
Is that the only reason?
Offering credit scores for free is, we believe, not only the right thing to do. It can also be good for business.
As a small start-up – though one with some amazing, well-respected and large investors – our greatest challenge is getting the word out to Canadians. We hear great feedback from our customers all the time, and we know we’d be able to help more Canadians pay off their credit card debt – if only we could get the word out.
But we don’t have the multi-million dollar marketing budgets that big financial institutions have.
So Why Is Borrowell Giving Canadians Their Credit Scores For Free?
First and foremost, because we’re all about empowering Canadians with more information and more choice when it comes to their financial services. And there’s no piece of financial information more useful than your credit score. So we worked really hard on a partnership with Equifax to be able to purchase and then give away credit scores for free.
Second, it’s cost-effective marketing. Even though it would cost you $24 to buy your report and score from a credit bureau, we can purchase the score alone much cheaper because we’re buying in bulk. (And because we hope to buy lots of scores, and update them every three months, Equifax is benefitting too.)
There has been a lot of coverage in the press about our announcement. So the money we’d normally pay for ads is going instead to paying for credit scores.
The media, bloggers, and you through word of mouth, are doing the work of getting the word out about Borrowell in a much better way than we could by buying ads.
Even better, we’re creating value for Canadians in a way that makes sense for our business. As a lender, we use the credit score with other information to determine the interest rate someone gets. If we can help you understand your credit score, and improve it, you’ll get a better rate from us and be more likely to become a customer.
But what about all the people who will never become Borrowell customers?
We know that not everyone wants or needs a loan from us today. But maybe they will in future. Or maybe they’ll need something else, and we’ll be able to recommend another product or service to them.
So are you going to sell my information?
We will never sell or disclose your personal information to another company that wants to sell you something. What we plan to do is understand their criteria, and then share THEIR information with YOU. If you can save money or benefit from taking the offer, that’s great, and the company will pay us. We think it’s a win all around. You get a great product, the company gets a new customer, and we get paid for brokering that relationship. Never in that process do we ever share your information with them.
Okay, but you’re going to spam me with a million emails, right?
No. By default, we’ll send you financial tips and custom Borrowell vetted offers tailored to your profile. The number one question in our mind will be “Is this useful to you?” That being said – you can unsubscribe from Borrowell marketing offers at any time, and we’ll still update your score every three months for free.
The bottom line is that giving Canadians their credit score for free is the right thing to do…and also a cost-effective way for us to get the word about who we are and what we do.
We’d love to get your feedback on the experience of getting your score. What did it feel like when you saw the number? And how was our online process? We’d also love for you to tell your friends, so that they can get their credit scores for free too!