Nova Credit: Credit Where Credit Is Due

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Nova Credit helps newly arrived immigrants get off to a good start

Talk to any of the 2.5 million immigrants who arrive in the U.S. each year and, chances are, they’ll have a story to tell about the challenges they faced trying to purchase a cell phone, apply for a car loan, rent an apartment or even get hired for a job. When Nicky Goulimis moved to the U.S. from London in 2014, she was unable to get a credit card and had to provide several letters of reference and six months’ rent in advance just to lease an apartment.

While Goulimis had built an impeccable credit history back in the U.K., it did her no good in the U.S. The reason is that newcomers are typically categorized as “credit invisible” on arrival because American underwriters have no way of accessing foreign credit data. So, in 2015, British-born Goulimis joined forces with two fellow Stanford University graduates—Russian-born Misha Esipov and Dutch-born Loek Janssen—to found Nova Credit, a fintech that helps immigrants apply for financial services using their credit history from their home countries.

“What we do is translate international credit data into a U.S.-equivalent score and report in a format familiar to American underwriters,” says Esipov, who is CEO of Nova Credit. This is accomplished by means of a sophisticated digital framework that translates an individual’s credit history from their home country to the U.S. This creates what Nova Credit calls a “Credit Passport,” which U.S. credit bureaus and lenders can use to evaluate applications for credit products.

Immigrants pay nothing for the service; the company’s revenues come from the credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions with whom it works. Nova Credit’s coverage area includes Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea and the U.K. The company plans to add China, Jamaica and Kenya in the near future.

Immigrants today account for 13.5% of the U.S. population, and 55% of annual population growth, the company notes. No doubt the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine will in time push those numbers higher as refugees seek to rebuild their lives in the U.S.

“The modern world as we know it has been created through the movement and collaboration of humans across changing borders, regions, and cultures,” says their website. “We strive to enable the flow of humans not just for their economic potential, but because of the value of that movement itself in bringing new perspectives, creativity, community, and innovation. Our mission is to inspire and facilitate the flow of human diversity.”

As we see it at Carpenter Group, Nova Credit is one of that select group of companies whose very brand, value proposition and business model—not just its philanthropy—make the world a better place and help creditors fulfil their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Some companies are said to do well by doing good. At Nova Credit, the two are one and the same.

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About Brand Acts of Kindness® 

Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.

The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.

Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.