Two months shy of his freshman year and $10,000 short of tuition, Michael Broughton kept being denied for loans. Many young people find themselves similarly stuck, he says: “It’s hard to get your first financial product if you’ve never had one.” So Broughton developed a free app that allows users to build a credit history and credit score via common small recurring subscription payments they may already make: Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, you name it. “We let people take control of their credit-worthiness,” says Broughton. The company, which is the only such credit–building app that works with all three major credit bureaus, has raised about $21 million from investors, including Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners.
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