Tag Archives: Gallup

Lenny App Introduces Credit to Millennials

Joe-Bayen

Lenny Founder Joe Bayen

Lenny is a new financial app that will offer credit lines of up to $10,000 to millennials and report their payment activity to credit bureaus to build their credit history.  A millennial is considered a person who reached adulthood around the year 2000.

Lenny is designed to modernize credit for millennials.  As a demographic millennials lack credit and that impacts major purchases such a cars and homes. According to Lenny 49 percent of millennials don’t have a credit card and 43 percent  hold credit scores below 600. The Lenny app seeks to empowers young adults to take control of their finances through credit lines, peer-to-peer payments and credit-score education.

According to the Wall Street Journal the average U.S. college student leaves school $35,000 in debt. These graduates are in desperate need of help to secure loans and find solid financial advice. Many millennials are entering the job market financially handicapped with little or no knowledge of how the credit score system works. Lenny offers a way to fix this situation by offering financial tools and education through its blog.

But there is another factor that come into play. Many millennials are rejecting credit or at least credit cards. According to a survey conducted by Bankrate 63 percent of people between the ages of 18-29 years old have no credit card. 

Another interesting fact from an April 2014 Gallup poll revealed that Americans’ reliance on credit cards, in general, has declined steadily since the Great Recession. Additionally, it is tougher to get a credit card thanks to the the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, or CARD Act, made it harder for anyone under 21 to get a credit card.

Lenny founder Joe Bayen admits to his own credit problems while he was in college. Bayen used a credit card to purchase a car while in college resulting in a poor credit score. Now that he has recovered from that experience Bayen seeks to prevent other students from making the same mistake.

To use Lenny millennials simply download the app and set up a Lenny account. By signing up they can apply for an initial credit line from as little as $100 up to $10,000 with zero percent interest  if they make the payments on time. Rates increase from as low as 4 percent rising to an average of 9.8 percent interest when payments are not made in full. Lenny uses a credit decision algorithm to determine an individual’s credit score. After a credit line has been approved, users can move the money to their personal bank accounts or instantly pay their friends using the peer-to-peer payment function. When re-payments are made on time, users’ credit limits can increase by up to $1000 a quarter.

“Lenny is building a one-stop shop organization that serves the financial needs of a generation,” said CEO and co-founder Joe Bayen. “We help individuals improve their credit scores by informing major credit bureaus when payments are made on time. Your improved credit score can then be used to rent a house without needing a cosigner, help secure great credit cards, and more.”

Online Holiday Shopping 2015 – Shopping While Black

canstockphoto18667912Racial profiling is a reality. People of color have suffered from the idea that we are untrustworthy and dishonest by nature. Nothing could father from the truth. As a result of this hideous myth black people are more likely to be wrongly accused, wrongly prosecuted and wrongly convicted. And even with a trillion dollars of consumer buying power we face racial stereotypes even when spending our money. Its called shopping while black. The result is that many black people have taken to shopping online.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you shop being black is a negative mark against the African-American consumer. Notable African-Americans including Oprah Winfrey and Condolezza Rice have been mistreated simply for shopping while black.

Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson dropped by a Schwanke-Kasten jewelry store in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin shopping for a Rolex watch.  The staff of the store reacted to the tall black man by refusing him entry into the store and calling police.  The police verified Henson’s identity but the store employees still insisted that the police supervise the professional athlete while he shopped.

The sad truth of this is that research indicates that black people are no more likely to shoplift than any other ethnic group. Statistics indicate that shoplifting is spread fairly evenly across all colors and economic categories. 

A recent Gallup poll revealed that African-Americans felt  more discriminated against while shopping than doing anything else. Twenty-four percent said they experienced discrimination in a retail setting, compared to while eating out, 20 percent, at work or during police encounters, 18 percent, and while obtaining health care ,12 percent.

Blacks have moved their shopping online to avoid the hassle and embarrassment of dealing with race while shopping. African-Americans are more likely to shop online using mobile devices than other racial groups. So the move to express our buying power online was a small one. However it should be noted that the overall trend among consumers is to shop online. African-Americans continue to be the fastest growing demographic of online shoppers.

African-Americans are savvy shoppers. According to Experian black people are deal seekers and 28 percent more likely to respond to social media advertising and 14 percent more likely to use social media to tell friends of products and companies they like.

Black people are also more likely to shop online using a mobile device. African-Americans have a higher mobile aptitude compared to other groups and use their mobile devices, smartphones, to comparison shop, to price match and investigate products. And after all is said and done African-Americans are actually more likely to buy online.

A 2013 report from Adweek showed black people shop online more than other groups. According to the magazine higher income African-Americans shop online in record numbers. Half of black people surveyed made at least 30 percent of their retail purchases online. And at least 22 percent of high income blacks made at least half of their retail purchases online.

Holiday shopping is bad enough without being treated suspiciously when you walk in a store. A trillion dollars in buying power is nothing to laugh at. Using the Internet permits black people to shop and buy with dignity. Blacks are showing our willingness to stay away from brick and mortar stores when we feel we are not being treated properly.