May 3, 2022
Millions of Americans can’t get ahead financially no matter how hard they work. They feel hopeless, undervalued, and stuck. In 2017, my co-founders and I decided to do something about it. We created Possible Finance because we believe that every hardworking person in our society deserves a path to a better life.
Our first product was the Possible Loan, an affordable, small-dollar loan that you can repay over time while also building credit. Over the last few years, we’ve provided over 1.65 million Possible Loans to more than 500,000 customers across the US. By helping our customers escape the paycheck-to-paycheck debt cycle and build credit, the Possible Loan offers an on-ramp to reach lower-cost financial products.
As the Possible Loan business took off, we found that a small number of customers were taking out a new loan every few months right after repaying their previous loan—in other words, a debt cycle. It was sobering to find that even though our customers paid significantly fewer fees than payday loans or bank overdrafts, a small segment was still having to constantly reborrow. While these serial loan customers were a boost to Possible’s profits, our mission was to help them truly break the debt cycle.
Our initial plan was to graduate these customers from Possible by referring them to upstream credit products, such as a credit card. We initially thought that if we could help our customers qualify for a credit card sooner, they wouldn’t need to perpetually rely on the Possible Loan. We started looking for consumer-friendly credit card partners to build a marketplace of third-party financial products—a place we’d feel good about referring our existing customers. But as we got into the details of how the credit card industry works, we realized that credit cards are just as predatory as payday loans.
Like payday lenders, credit card companies intentionally lend to vulnerable customers knowing that they will get stuck in crippling debt cycles. Out of the $100B consumer credit card industry in the US, roughly 80% of the revenue comes from revolving customers who are stuck in debt cycles and have to constantly pay interest and late fees. The whole industry is economically incentivized to keep people in debt. That’s just how their business model works, so they purposely make fees confusing and difficult to understand. It’s no wonder many of our customers tell us they’d rather use a Possible Loan even when they have a credit card.
There is a fundamental misalignment between the interests of hardworking people and the financial companies that exist today. To truly help all of our customers, we not only needed to innovate within the small-dollar lending space but also needed to reinvent the credit card industry. So we took a different approach: we completely jettisoned traditional credit card company tactics to create a product that is aligned with our customer’s long-term interests.
Today, we’re introducing the Possible Card, the first credit card designed to help customers stay out of debt rather than in it. Possible Card members pay no interest or late fees—ever. You simply pay a flat monthly fee to get up to an $800 credit limit without a credit score check or security deposit. This way, we don’t profit from our customers being stuck in debt.
Customers who consistently repay their Possible Loans will automatically be approved for a Possible Card. As with the Possible Loan, you can set your Possible Card balance to be withdrawn regularly on your paydays. If you can’t repay your balance all at once, there’s no need to worry. For no additional cost, we will break your full balance into three or four equal installments to be repaid over your next few paydays. That way, you can catch your breath without the fear of falling into a spiraling debt cycle.
The Possible Card is not only the safest credit card ever, it’s also the first card to help customers spend less, not more, of their hard-earned money. In every way, Possible helps you build healthy habits and improve your financial health. We’re completely aligned with your best long-term interests and we only do well when you do.
At Possible, we’re building a new type of consumer finance company. One that’s helping our customers stay out of debt rather than profiting from them staying in debt. One that has our customer’s best long-term interests at heart. Possible’s brand promise is Here for Good. And we intend on keeping that promise to our customers and ourselves.