Jersey City — Entering college is much like entering adulthood, it is full of first-time experiences, including getting your first credit card.
The process to start your credit journey can be confusing without much help. Most people do not know who to turn to, or where to begin. Afterall, 29% of Gen Z consumers “don’t have a credit score or don’t know if they have one,” according to a recent study by FICO.
To offset the learning curve that Gen Z college students have when establishing credit, Kenji Niwa, a serial entrepreneur built Firstcard, a platform that helps students get a credit card and start building credit.
The platform aims to lessen the fear students have when worrying about their credit history overspending, or credit card application rejection. Firstcard also builds students' bank accounts that help users get up to 15% cash back at selected merchants.
Earlier this month, Firstcard raised $4.7 million in seed funding from venture capitalists and Angels such as AngelList Early Stage Quant Fund. This brings their total funding to date to $7.7 million.
With this new round of funding, Firstcard plans to scale its tech infrastructure and marketing efforts on college campuses. The company also plans to introduce an AI “financial advisor” to the platform that can help students save money and build credit by analyzing their financial behavior. Additional pending features will include a budgeting tool, financial aid and student loan solutions and financial education content.
It is crucial for Gen Z to get equipped on managing credit and I am all for apps and AI helping us do so.
For those who are not aware, having a good credit score is what often opens doors to better savings on auto and home purchases, amongst many other benefits that tend to appeal to folks at later stages of life.
Considering that Gen Z holds immense amounts of purchasing power in the market, it is only right for us to have access to credit, as that access can help folks spend in ways that liquid cash does not allow.
More importantly, it is essential for us to build good credit as it lays the foundation for financial opportunities later in life.
Keeping it gee, financial tech apps like Firstcard are crucial for those who may not have otherwise been able to learn about credit from their communities. I am always excited to see companies that have an emphasis on education enter the market as it is my belief that tech can be revolutionary to those who find time to utilize it.
Miranda Perez (she/her/hers) is a Jersey City, NJ-based journalist who covers the tech industry. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @mimithegee.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett