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Accel-backed Machine Learning Startup SelfScore Launches New Credit Card for Those Without a Credit History or Social Security Number

The company debuts its Achieve Card to open the door to financial success for more than 1 million international students in the US without previous access to credit


MENLO PARK, Calif - March 28, 2017 - SelfScore, an analytics-based lender that provides financial services to international students, today announced the launch of its new Achieve Card. SelfScore has partnered with Mastercard to announce the second credit card in a series of products the company is introducing to meet the financial needs of students overlooked by the traditional FICO scoring model.

There are more than 1 million international students enrolled in US universities that not only demonstrate the leadership and promise to be eligible for financial support, but also contribute more than $32 billion annually to the US economy through tuition costs and other living expenses. Without the over $9 billion in tuition and fees alone contributed by international students currently enrolled at US universities, the tuition for US-born undergraduates would increase astronomically, devastating millions of American students and their families. Despite the potential and importance of international students, lenders are still using prehistoric credit models based on social security numbers that limit their access to credit cards, loans and financial aid.

By using machine learning and data to measure potential rather than risk, SelfScore determines the eligibility, or creditworthiness, of a candidate based on attributes like the ability to repay and predictive attributes such as education, major, cost of education, source of initial funding, and future employability, without discriminating for lack of a social security number.

The Achieve Card arrives on the heels of the SelfScore Mastercard, which was introduced in March 2016 to help the deserving, yet underserved international student population build credit and gain financial independence in the United States. The card’s impressive benefits, paired with continued use will allow customers to build excellent credit and establish financial stability.

The new features of SelfScore’s Achieve Credit Card include:

  • Zero percent intro APR on all purchases for first six months

  • One percent cashback on all purchases

  • Credit limit increase from $1,500 to $5,000

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • No security deposit

  • No SSN required

In addition, both SelfScore credit cards now come with the following MasterCard Platinum Benefits:

  • Purchase Assurance

  • Extended Warranty

  • Travel Assistance

  • Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver

“As an immigrant and former international student, I understand the economic struggles faced by foreign scholars seeking higher education and career opportunities in the United States,” said Kalpesh Kapadia, co-founder and CEO of SelfScore. “International students make enormous financial, intellectual, and cultural contributions to this country, but are overlooked by the traditional system of banking in place. We are launching the Achieve Card to help pave the pathway to financial stability and success for this group of deserving scholars.”

Last year, SelfScore launched the first dedicated scholarship for international students at US universities to help lower tuition costs and as of today, thousands of students from more than 100  countries and 600 colleges in every US state have a SelfScore credit card.

“When I first came to the US to attend university, I was excited for the experience but was unsure of how to manage my finances without access to credit,” said Gowtham V., a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. “SelfScore made the difficult transition much easier by providing me with a credit card when no other bank would - I can’t wait to start taking advantage of the rewards offered by the Achieve Card.”

For more information about SelfScore or to sign-up for a credit card, please visit

About SelfScore

SelfScore opens the US financial system to deserving but underserved populations using machine learning and data. In 2017, we’re connecting international students with fair credit before expanding into other products and populations. SelfScore is a venture-backed financial startup whose investors include Pelion Venture Partners, Accel Partners, Aspect Ventures, and Fenway Summer Ventures. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, subscribe to our newsletter, The Score, and check out the latest news on our frequently updated blog. Accounts issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah Chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC.


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