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Upturn: Educating consumers about credit monitoring — and empowering them to fix mistakes they spot

 

The team at Upturn Credit, a BBVA New Digital Businesses portfolio company, is on a mission to help Americans understand, improve, and protect their credit — through clear communication, education, and completely digital, do-it-yourself financial tools.

Though Upturn has several well-established competitors in the credit-monitoring sector, Upturn has chosen a narrower focus: “We want to focus on credit improvement — more specifically, finding and fixing credit errors,” said Rod Ebrahimi, co-founder of Upturn. “The ‘credit repair’ industry has a lot of bad content in it, and the industry has a negative reputation. We want to change that.

The weight a consumer’s credit report carries for major purchases, loan approvals, and more varies in different countries, but in the United States, credit is truly king. So for consumers, the importance of both regularly monitoring and proactively fixing mistakes on their credit reports is critical.

Why is it important to regularly review your credit report?

There are approximately 230 million credit files in the United States. And a 2012 Federal Trade Commission study of just over 1,000 consumers found a disturbing trend: 26 percent of those consumers had discovered “potentially material errors” — which make them look riskier to creditors than they really are — in at least one of their credit reports.

A 2019 article on Upturn’s blog aims to educate U.S. financial consumers on exactly why it’s so important to review and monitor their credit reports:

1. Because it’s like a physical for your finances. Upturn wants to empower consumers to understand everything in their credit report, rather than being scared of what they might find.

2. Because credit report mistakes could be hurting your score. Upturn impresses on readers that checking credit reports regularly allows them to catch mistakes and dispute them in a timely fashion — so that they don’t realize too late that they have a problem.

3. Because it can help you catch identity theft faster. Credit reports can actually show signs of identity theft, and if consumers discover those subtle changes through regular monitoring, they can nip the damage of identity theft in the bud.

4. If you wait to check your credit until you need a loan, it could be too late. Upturn is all about helping consumers be more proactive, rather than being surprised at the moment they’re hoping to embark on a big financial decision.

5. Because good credit can save you money. Upturn wants consumers to understand that people with solid credit are actually eligible for better rates and lower monthly payments on mortgages and other loans — and that’s just the beginning. (According to the FTC study findings, after disputing errors on their reports, 5.2% of the consumers’ scores increased to the point that that their credit risk tier decreased and they became “more likely to be offered a lower auto-loan interest rate.”)

Helping customers resolve inaccuracies in their credit reports

Though the idea of disputing mistakes with the United States’ three credit reporting bureaus might seem daunting, Upturn is eager to educate financial consumers on how simple it can be — and why it’s worth it to try to quickly resolve the issues they spot when monitoring their credit reports.

Upturn makes it easy for users to dispute errors in their reports directly from the platform, while reviewing items, with a single click. More than 28 percent of Upturn users have spotted errors or inconsistencies in their credit reports and opened disputes — more than 10,000 to date — with the corresponding credit bureaus. Additionally, 20 percent of users who opened disputes via Upturn have seen their credit scores increase by 50 points or more — over the course of just a few months.

With numbers like that, Upturn seems to be on its way to achieving a much loftier goal: to empower more consumers to take proactive responsibility for their credit — and enjoy more financial freedom as a result.

Visit Upturn at https://upturncredit.com/app/

 

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