What's Wrong with Banks and Credit Today? One Man Opens Up

For millions of Americans, getting an affordable line of credit is a nightmare (think Freddy Krueger).

Why? The market is saturated with terrible interest rates and painful, short-sighted applications that rely on dated scoring methods for newcomers and broken borrowers alike. This isn’t a poor person’s problem. It’s systemic, affecting an array of socioeconomic backgrounds in need of relief.

To put it into perspective, imagine that rent is due tomorrow. Your roommate begrudgingly asks you to pay up, but you can't. You're short $250 and have nowhere to turn. You have little to no credit history, and no savings to speak of. So what do you do? Lean on your family to spot you again? Take a payday loan and suffer the soul-crushing consequences? Leave your roommate in the dust? (Don’t lie, you thought about it.) Given the circumstances, your options are bad. Your roommate's decision to throw your clothes off the balcony is worse.

Despite how common this issue is, most aren’t chomping at the bit to discuss it. It’s a frustrating, embarrassing, and stressful reality after all. In certain cases, it’s debilitating. Perhaps your own roommate is caught in the thick of it now, so put their clothes down.

Here at Float, we’re building a better credit experience for the millions that deserve it. Getting there requires honest communication and feedback. It requires walking up to strangers on the streets of Hollywood, and asking them to open up about their finances.

What follows is the first of many candid interviews to come. If it sounds familiar, you're not alone. Rest assured, relief is on its way.

Daniel Rios, 31

Education: High School

Occupation: Hotel Industry

Do you have any student loans? Right now, no.

Who do you currently bank with? [National Bank]

How do you feel about the relationship you have with your bank? It's average.

Have you banked with anyone else? Yes.

What problems did you have with your other banks? Just miscellaneous fees. It was too expensive to let them hold my money. Overdraft fees. ATM withdrawal fees.

"It seems like they will discover a way to just nickel and dime you to death."

Have you ever taken a payday loan? Yeah. I usually ended up re-loaning and paying just as much of the amount I borrowed in fees trying to get the loan paid in full. 

Do you have any credit cards? Yeah, I have two now.

Have you ever applied and been rejected? Yes, plenty of times. 

Why did you choose the cards you have? Because they approved me. That's the only reason. 

"The APR is sky high on both of them, but they are the only ones that said yes."

Do you have any fears associated with having a credit card? Yeah, just getting in over my head, and getting in debt. 

"I have pretty small credit limits, but if you add in the interest and just do the calculation yourself, you add 24-28% on top of that and you're paying quite a bit for that small amount."