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Helping 4 million customers avoid high-cost lending

This week, in celebration of hitting the four million customer milestone, our product managers are each writing about a product feature they like or have worked on during their time at TotallyMoney. Jorge examines the app-exclusive Credit Assistant and how it’s helping customers identify their borrowing habits, and avoid high-cost credit.

Credit Assistant’s development started with a simple question: how can we help customers improve their credit score? However, it quickly evolved into much more than that.

Anyone working in-product will know it’s easy to start with a simple idea for a new feature. Then, you explore the underlying user needs that you’re trying to satisfy, and you end up discovering bigger challenges that you initially weren’t even considering.

Once we started examining the use cases for Credit Assistant, we realised that having a poor credit score wasn't the only problem customers were facing.

Some were using expensive forms of credit, such as overdrafts or cash advances, as they didn't realise there were other options, or couldn't get credit elsewhere. While these don’t have an impact on your credit score, they do affect your ability to repay debt, because more money is going towards expensive interest and charges. 

So it can turn into a vicious cycle of higher interest costs, which can lead to getting more credit to repay the costs, to more debt, to more costs, and so on. For some, this revolving debt can be impossibly hard to escape from, and one we dearly wanted to solve.

Monitoring this and letting you know when you’re using expensive forms of credit was the problem Credit Assistant, in its ‘final’ form, was designed to solve.



With many credit cards offering 0% introductory offers when you first sign up for the card, it can be easy to forget that once they end, you’ll usually start paying at a considerably higher interest rate. And when we looked into this we found that there was a large proportion of customers carrying a balance without a promotional rate.*

What some don’t realise is they can move this balance to another 0% interest credit card. Paying interest (or not paying interest) on a card balance has no impact on credit rating. But, with the average balance on credit cards without a promotional offer totalling £2,426.26, it’s clear this could have a large impact on finances.**

So, using Credit Assistant, customers can make better borrowing decisions, powered by the insights it shows them. They can avoid high-cost lending practices, using their increased eligibility to find a card or loan better suited to their needs.

In the longer term, Credit Assistant also keeps tabs on how customers have used credit in the past, and how this has changed over time. This gives them a high-level overview of their financial health, helping them to see not just when they’ve changed their borrowing habits, but why and how.


Jorge Bastos, Head of Product: Using Credit Assistant, customers can make better borrowing decisions.


*According to data from TotallyMoney, captured on Tuesday 23rd November.

**TotallyMoney research, 13th October 2021.

We're on a mission to improve the UK's credit score and help people move on up to a better future.


TotallyMoney is an independent credit broker, not a lender. Our comparison service works with most leading lenders, covering the majority of the market. Though we may be paid a fee by lenders or brokers this never influences how our products are ranked.

We don't provide financial advice. Product information is obtained from independent sources and rates displayed may vary depending on your personal circumstances. While we make every effort to ensure that information is up to date, you should always confirm the terms of the offer with the product provider.

TotallyMoney is owned and operated by TotallyMoney Limited which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06205695). TotallyMoney Limited is an Appointed Representative of TM Connect Limited, which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06967012) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of consumer credit related activities (FCA FRN: 511936). Trading Address and Registered Office: Chapter House, 16 Brunswick Place, London N1 6DZ. Credit is available, subject to status, only to UK residents aged 18 or over.

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