Do you know your credit score and what you can do with it? Credit Sesame is an online credit report platform which gives users information about their credit profile and offers comparisons on credit card, loans and mortgage offers.
Founder Adrian Nazari explains, “90% of the population doesn’t have a financial advisor, no one looks at their finances and helps them understand the picture. Credit Sesame aims to provide consumers with the tools and analytics to evaluate their options regarding financial products.”
Nazari is a serial entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in finance and a focus on liability management. Before the financial crisis of 2008, Nazari worked to provide liability consulting services to major banks. Nazari explains his client base was depleted when the crisis hit, so he shifted focus to working directly with consumers.
“Consumers, especially after the credit crisis, were burned out and the need for transparency just skyrocketed. And we were just there at the right time with the right experience to do that. We had the background in working with financial advisors, working with banks, so we could come up with a solution that works, that people liked, we got traction, we got adoption, and the rest is history. We had the right formula.”
Credit Sesame launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2010. Nazari says consumers were initially wary of the product. For many, a free credit check service sounded like a scam.
“The biggest challenge was that there were so many players in the market prior to Credit Sesame that tainted the market, that abused consumers and lied to them. So one of the biggest challenges was to communicate this notion that you don’t have to pay for it, you can truly get these services for free.”
Credit Sesame doesn’t make money from the consumer directly, but from financial institutions after users get a credit card or personal loan through the site.
Nazari credits Credit Sesame’s simple format to the high engagement rate of their users, and says more than one third of the site’s six million registered users log in each month.
Ultimately, Nazari says less is more when developing a successful personal finance product.
“A lot of people make personal finance very complicated. Whenever I see a tool that is complicated, I immediately know that’s not going to work. The average consumer spends very little time on personal finance. It’s an important aspect of everybody’s life, but the reality is most people spend very little on it.”
In the next year, Credit Sesame hopes to expand its userbase to twenty million and build out additional tools and services. Nazari says the goal is to empower people to take more control of their finances.
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