If you asked a bank for a loan to buy Coachella tickets, they’d probably laugh and maybe take away your credit card.
But Float, a credit app, is launching a new service just for needs like that.
“We want to get you to your next paycheck,” said CEO Max Klein.
The iOS app lets users apply for personalized lines of credit from $50 to $1,000. Applicants can connect Float to their accounts to be protected from overdraft fees, or use the line of credit to pay for unexpected purchases.
Applying for credit through Float won’t hurt your credit score, because it doesn’t base its credit decision on the traditional FICO credit score. Instead, the app’s algorithm uses machine learning to analyze bank transaction data and public records to predict credit risk. In practice, Float looks at how you make money, how you spend money and if you’ve borrowed money in the past.
Borrowers sign up for Float using their bank account information and can spend the credit through a debit card, as cash or for bill payments online.
How you pay back Float, however, does affect your credit score. The app reports its relationship with borrowers and their payments to credit bureaus, allowing borrowers to build credit or potentially hurt their credit if they miss payments or incur late fees.
Credit used one month is due back by the 21st of the next month, or it gets slapped with a $20 late fee. Float borrowers can use autopay to repay their balance like they could for a normal credit card.
Most Float applicants use the line of credit for three main reasons: To get to their next paycheck and protect from overdraft, to pay for unexpected expenses like a broken laptop or car, or to seize untimely opportunities like tickets to a music festival going on sale or a 50 percent off sale at a favorite store that doesn’t line up well with their paycheck.
Float’s borrowers — about 600 so far in beta — are for the most part in their mid-to-late 20s, earn around $3,000 to $4,000 a month and have either one credit card or no credit cards.
Float’s loans come with a 5 percent transfer fee — or a $2.50 fee for transfers under $50 — and no interest. For now, Float is available to consumers in California and Utah, but the app is hoping to expand nationally within the next year.
The company raised $3 million in funding this week from Camp One Ventures and Funders Club, among other investors. That money will go toward product development and Float’s national expansion.
“We believe that access to affordable credit should not be reserved just for those with a lot of credit history and prime FICO scores,” Klein said in a statement. “We built Float to help consumers avoid costly overdraft charges while empowering them to begin building credit with transparent, affordable and accessible living capital.”