In 2003, David B. Coulter had an idea: technology should allow consumers to interact with their banks, creditors and other institutions with a simple button. With that mission, he created the SmartCredit system to help consumers control their future credit score. In 2020, David launched ScoreMaster.com, a proprietary set of credit score tools that work with lenders, brokers and real estate agents so they can offer borrowers a way to achieve their best possible score — empowering borrowers and helping lenders secure better loans.
Here, David speaks more about the origins of ScoreMaster.com and some of the tangible results lenders and consumers alike have seen.
When did you become interested in consumer money, credit, and identity? What were you doing before that?
Before I got into the consumer money space, I ran two companies that I eventually took public. But when I went to buy my first house, my name was crossed with David A. Coulter. (I’m David B. Coulter.) At the time, David A. Coulter was the Chairman and CEO of Bank of America. He was embroiled in class-action lawsuits and had a ton of legal issues and trouble. His issues were negatively affecting my credit score. So I wondered: how do I solve this mixup of data and errors, because my credit score should represent who I am financially? After doing a lot of research and coming up empty, I realized there has to be a better way — a way for consumers to solve data reporting problems by pushing a button. That is why we built an amazing system connecting consumers directly to over 60,000 different financial institutions. A consumer can get an alert whether it’s an alert about their credit, banking or identity and then push a button to immediately ask a question, resolve a credit reporting error to get a better interest rate, or any other item that one normally calls a customer service department for. It’s a much better way than using the phone, writing a letter or filling out a form. One button simplicity always wins. Then we added to that additional credit score tools no one else has.
What inspired and motivated you to create ScoreMaster.com?
ScoreMaster.com was created to give consumers the benefits I mentioned, but primarily it’s for lenders, brokers and real estate agents to get their clients into ScoreMaster.com as a first step to see how many points can be added to their credit score. The goal is to help the consumer get their best possible score before they finance, even if they already qualify. My goal is to return the power of finance to the consumer. When the consumer can see that they have more points available in their credit score, they’ll be able to make a more strategic and informed decision on when to finance and at what rates. That puts them in charge. If you know you’re a 750 instead of a 700, that can give you the confidence to get a better deal.
Conversely, lenders who are providing ScoreMaster.com to their clients get more consumer loyalty that results in more and better deals.
How is ScoreMaster.com different from other credit tools in the space?
In two fundamental ways. First, we’re interactive. We have the Action button that connects 60,000+ institutions to ask questions and resolve problems, whether it relates to a consumer’s credit report or to online banking and identity matters.
Second, ScoreMaster.com has gamified credit score tools. We specifically identify how many plus points you have (in other words, how many points you have available to add to your current credit score) and provide a specific plan to get them. Users can play around with their score and see what happens if they spend too much money or make specific payments at odd times.
What results are consumers seeing by using ScoreMaster.com?
The results have been staggering. The average ScoreMaster.com user boosts their credit score by 61 points in 20 days or less. We’ve seen people go from a 621 to 706 in 10 days. There was even a person who went from 691 to 775 in 4 calendar days. What we’ve shown borrowers is there’s no reason to finance until they log into ScoreMaster.com and see how many plus points they have available.
How has ScoreMaster.com made a positive impact on lenders?
In two important ways. First, their consumers become extremely loyal by getting ScoreMaster.com (which includes a million dollars of fraud protection and their money, credit and identity reports in one place), and lenders are paying for it, so consumers are on board. More importantly, lenders stop caring about what a borrower’s score is today — they care about what their score will be tomorrow and how ScoreMaster.com will help them achieve it fast.
When a consumer uses ScoreMaster.com and realizes they’re a 750 instead of a 685, they’re going to save a tremendous amount of money on their down payment and even on their monthly payments. More importantly, lenders keep their customers and do a better loan, meaning they get paid more because the quality of the loan is better.
We’ve seen that fewer than 6% of consumers enrolled in ScoreMaster.com cancel — which has demonstrated that they love the product and are endeared to the lender.
What were some of the early roadblocks in ScoreMaster.com’s history and how did those roadblocks ultimately shape the final product?
We’re doing two things that are very unorthodox for your typical website. If a consumer wants to sign up directly, we have a way for them to do it for free for 90 days. All they need to provide is at least one bonafide reference: the email of a friend, their favorite lender or their employer. It’s unorthodox because we’re asking for a referral before they’ve used the tool. Turns out that almost 50% of enrollees choose the advocacy membership, which is amazing.
Secondly, when somebody clicks to sign up, we ask them if they’re a borrower; a lender, broker or real estate agent; or, an employer. It’s surprisingly successful. We’ve written a lot of content for these specific groups as well on our blog.
*Legal Disclaimer – ScoreMaster is a patent-pending educational feature simulating credit utilization’s effect on credit scores via payments or spending. Your results may vary and are not guaranteed.