Millions of immigrants start over with no credit history. Here's how one startup is changing that
As Canada pushes toward record immigration levels, people arriving face one major hurdle to get them off the ground: the credit data needed to access financial services.
To address the problem, Nova Credit has partnered with Scotiabank to offer newcomers a “credit passport,” which allows customers to access their foreign credit history.
“(We’re) incredibly excited to be able to launch this partnership and launch here in Canada,” Misha Esipov, founder and CEO of Nova Credit, told BNN Bloomberg in a television interview on Tuesday.
The program will start serving customers primarily in the Toronto area, with plans for further expansion in the future.
“Partnering with Nova Credit creates another opportunity for Scotiabank to support our customers, remove hurdles, and clear a path for newcomers to make a smooth transition to their new life in Canada,” Tracy Gomes, senior VP of Retail Customer Value at Scotiabank, said in a news release.
Canada has been making a big push to bring newcomers to Canada, with plans to attract 1.5 million immigrants over the next three years as the country deals with a labour crunch, a slowing birth rate and an aging population.
Esipov said when newcomers arrive to a country, they quickly find out how much credit history is needed for everyday life and are often left starting from scratch.
“It’s a systemic issue, it’s one that exists all over the world,” he said. “When you first arrive, you arrive credit invisible, you have no information about who you are in the local credit system, so you are basically locked out of your ability to access to financial products.”
“We allow people to be able to land here and access credit as if they’ve lived their entire lives,” he added.