Project Details

Nova Credit

World’s first international credit reporting agency

By Nova

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @NeedNova

  • Economic Empowerment

Entrepreneur Misha Esipov, 28, knew all too well the struggles immigrants face when arriving in the US. Coming with his Russian parents in 1990, it took the family 15 years to build their lives from scratch and become citizens.

One of the biggest challenges immigrants face is zero credit, which prevents them from renting an apartment, leasing a car, and even getting a cell phone contract. While both the UN and the World Bank focus on financial inclusion and the ability to access global credit as a key to development, the US prevents the roughly 15 million people legally landing on US shores from accessing credit, even if they had successful jobs and an excellent credit history abroad. 

Esipov teamed up with fellow immigrants Nicky Goulimis and Loek Janssen to create Nova Credit – the world’s first cross-border credit reporting agency. Collecting credit information and credit proxies like cell phone billing receipts, Nova Credit provides its customers with the Nova Credit Passport, which is passed on to lenders, so they can make a more informed determination whether to approve an applicant for credit. The company receives revenue by charging lenders for access to their reports, in the same way that Experian or Equifax do. 

So far, the team are concentrating on India and Mexico, which account for 21 million immigrants to the US each year, and they hope to expand to the EU, Brazil, Russia and China. 

The opportunity for lenders is immense – extending credit to immigrants in the US could open up to $600 billion in opportunities, but financial inclusion is the ultimate goal: “We’re partnering with credit unions and fintech lenders,” said Goulimis. “Credit unions are committed to financial inclusion [and] we’ve been working with bigger fintech lenders [who] are trying to underwrite people who are unbanked.” Find out more at

Image courtesy of Giovanni

Last updated: 31st of August, 2016

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