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S3 Ep4: How Altro is Helping Build Credit Through Community Driven Solutions
Episode 45th October 2022 • Humans of Fintech • Nicole Casperson, a Workweek friend
00:00:00 00:33:46

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When you don’t have a credit history, accessing even the most basic financial services is almost impossible.

Find out how Michael Broughton is providing a unique solution.

Michael grew up in Japan and Korea before returning to the United States, where he founded Altro, the free credit service helping people build credit through recurring payments and subscriptions

Nicole and Michael talk about the innate discrimination of the credit score system, especially for people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll also hear how Altro effectively functions as a not-for-profit to provide solutions for no credit.

Michael shares why building a community of investors who share in the mission is important and why financial education is built into the Altro platform.

And our sponsor MainStreet is making it easy to find thousands of dollars worth of R&D Tax Credits. You only need to plug MainStreet into your payroll and let their team of experts do the heavy lifting, scanning hundreds of federal, state and local tax credits on your behalf. It’s going to save you so much time and your company so much money.

Head to to sign up for their limited time offer.

And if you love listening to Humans of Fintech, please leave me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast:

Thank you so much!

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You can keep up-to-date with everything Humans of Fintech at

And if you’ve enjoyed Humans of Fintech why not try: Chicks of FinTwit, Tech Unlocked, Breaking Banks or Fintech Insider

Nicole is a friend of Workweek, working in partnership to bring you great podcasts on the subjects you love. Find out more at:


00:00 Introduction

02:55 Military Kid to Community Builder

07:04 Building Equity Into An Unfair System

11:53 Finding Your Way Through Fear

16:23 More To Overcome

19:00 The Education Formula For Success

22:37 The A-Ha Moment

25:06 Becoming The Change

29:00 Coming Up For Altro

31:08 My One Piece of Advice

How to Build Financial Credit

When you are just starting out, it can be challenging to build a credit history. This is especially the case if you are young and don’t have access to parental assistance or another adult who can add you as an authorized user on one of their accounts.

If you cannot add yourself as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card or loan, how else can you establish financial credit?

Unless you plan to live exclusively on cash for the rest of your life, building a credit history is essential for making future purchases easier and more affordable.

To do so, however, requires establishing what is known as “financial credit." Financial credit usually comes in the form of a secured loan from a financial institution such as a bank, credit union or online lender.

What is a Secured Loan?

A secured loan is a type of loan in which the borrower pledges an asset as collateral. This means that, if you default on your loan repayments, the lender has the right to repossess and sell the asset in order to recoup their losses.

For example, if you take out a $10,000 loan, but you only have $2,000 in savings or assets, the lender might ask you to secure the loan with one or more of your assets (e.g. your car, laptop, etc.). In the worst-case scenario, if you default on the loan, the lender can repossess the asset and sell it in order to recoup the loan amount, interest and fees.

Which Loans Help You Build Financial Credit?

Here are some of the most common loans that can help you build financial credit: Credit Cards. If you have a solid relationship with your existing credit card issuer, you might be able to have your credit card lender add you as an authorized user on one of their accounts.

Pay the account monthly, on time and in full, and you will soon have a solid credit history. Automatic Loan Payments. If you don’t have an asset to use as collateral, or if you want to build credit without incurring debt, you can ask a lender to set up an automatic loan payment plan.

While this practice does not result in the same type of credit history as a secured loan, it can help you establish a positive payment history with lenders.

Where to Find a Secured Loan?

When you are ready to find a loan, you can start by asking your bank or credit union. If they don’t offer secured loans, you might want to look online for an alternative lender.

You can also check out websites like LendEDU, which feature an extensive list of lenders where you can find a secured loan. Another option is to visit your local financial institution and inquire about a secured loan or small business loan.

How to Choose a Secured Loan?

The best way to select a lender and loan terms is to do your homework. Once you have identified a few potential lenders, be sure to check out each lender’s website, read reviews and/or reference their BBB rating.

You can also call the lenders and ask questions. If you are applying for an SBA loan, you can apply online. Be sure to ask about the lender’s rates, interest payments, and any fees. Before signing a loan agreement, also make sure that you understand the terms of the loan, including the repayment schedule, payment amounts, and what will happen if you miss a payment.