BuildMyCreditScore Secures Grant to Boost Financial Inclusion

Published 6 months ago

BuildMyCreditScore, a tool powered by open banking, secured a £200,000 grant from the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK. The grant will accelerate the tool’s offering, enhancing financial inclusion and improving access to credit products.

About BuildMyCreditScore

The tool is a Mastercard debit card that aids users in building their credit score without altering their spending habits, taking out extra lines of credit, or risking debt accumulation. It measures affordability accurately and increases applicant acceptance rates, especially among individuals who might generally be denied access to credit products.

Innovate UK’s Involvement

Innovate UK is known to drive productivity and economic growth by assisting businesses in developing and realising the potential of innovative ideas. The Innovation in Professional & Financial Services grant has an acceptance rate of 8%, with only 18 successful applicants out of 224 submissions. The grant’s maximum award is £200,000 from a total prize pool of £5m.

Credit Score Improvement for Financially Underserved

According to PwC, there are 20 million financially underserved individuals in the UK with fair or poor credit scores. BuildMyCreditScore aims to support more of these people looking to improve their credit scores, thereby significantly expanding its market share. The grant will play a pivotal role in this development.

Addressing the Demand for Alternative Solutions

A significant segment of the population, 23%, has been denied credit due to poor credit scores, and 43% seek an easier way to build their score that doesn’t involve taking out new lines of credit. This creates a demand for alternative solutions that don’t risk long-term debt accumulation.

How BuildMyCreditScore Works

The BuildMyCreditScore card, which is compatible with all major high street bank accounts, allows users to spend directly from a debit card, ensuring users do not have to change their spending behaviour. The money is collected via Direct Debit by BuildMyCreditScore several days later, enabling people to build their credit score by showcasing their ability to manage rolling outgoings and repay credit promptly.

Pilot Phase Success

During the pilot phase, BuildMyCreditScore assisted hundreds of people in improving their credit score. The product was tested between December 2022 and June 2023 by a pilot of 632 customers. The majority of these customers saw a credit score increase of between 11 and 55 points within the first three months of trialling the product.

Mission to Boost Social Inclusion

James Lynn, CEO and Co-Founder of BuildMyCreditScore, views this funding as a significant milestone in their mission to boost social inclusion across the UK. He believes that the traditional model, which requires a strong credit score to access affordable credit, is in dire need of an overhaul. The support from Innovate UK will enable BuildMyCreditScore to accelerate growth and expand their offering to a broader group of financially excluded individuals needing improved access to credit.