The relatively new app Pave was originally targeted at freelancers and gig economy workers, who are arguably at an unfair disadvantage when it comes to credit scoring and borrowing money due to irregular incomes. Now, it’s there for anybody looking to build their credit score. It offers a range of smart tools to help you stay on top of your finances, and in turn, your credit score.
What is Pave?
Formerly known as Portify, Pave is primarily a subscription service to pay your way to a better credit score. If you’ve heard of LOQBOX, it’s very similar. It’s also a “personal finance management” app, using open banking to connect your bank accounts and offer smart suggestions/reminders to help you track and stay on top of your income and outgoings.
Pave has grown members by partnering up with gig economy platforms, which then offer it to their workforce, but you can also sign up directly.
How does Pave work?
You need to download the app and create a Pave account. You’ll then be asked to connect your bank account(s) to Pave, granting it permission to access your banking data in read-only mode. Features include the following:
- A solid budgeting tool. It categorises your spending and income, tracks your expenses, gives you nice little “financial reports” with insights on your spending behaviour, tells you if your balance is likely to go below zero and analyses your cash flow. It’s really easy to use and to personalise.
- A credit building tool. Provided you’re willing to part with a monthly fee, Pave can help you track and improve your credit score with either just Experian or all three of the main UK credit reference agencies (the guys banks turn to when deciding whether or not to approve you for a loan).
- Exclusive offers or discounts at selected retailers. At the time of writing, these include Tesco and Starbucks among others (you can only access these if you work for one of Pave’s partners though), plus a refer-a-friend bonus.
Can I get a Pave loan?
No. Previously this was a key part of Pave’s business model – acting as a cheaper alternative to expensive payday loans or overdrafts. Plus members were able to access to interest-free loans up to £250 over 30 days subject to affordability checks (but without credit checks). This facility was axed in 2020.
How much does Pave cost?
Pave currently offers two tiers of membership plans with monthly fees (Pave Lite and Pave Plus). You can access Credit Spotlight for a one-time payment of £3. The paid plans offer the Pave Credit Boost. Check out our table of features.
- Credit Spotlight: £3 (one-time payment).
- Pave Lite: £5 per month.
- Pave Plus: £9 per month.
|Credit Spotlight||Pave Lite||Pave Plus|
|No hard credit check|
|See and track your credit score|
|Alerts to protect your credit score|
|Build your credit score with Experian|
|Build your credit score with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion|
|Money back after 12 months if your score doesn’t improve|
How does Pave boost my credit?
Your Pave membership fee is reported to credit reference agencies as a credit repayment. Your membership plan is structured as a 12-month contract, with each monthly membership fee treated as a repayment on this contract, which demonstrates that you are capable of making payments on time, potentially boosting your credit score. It is available on both Pave Lite and Pave Plus plans.
The boost to your credit score is not guaranteed, as your other activities (say, missing a credit card repayment or getting a CCJ) could undermine the benefit of using Pave.
Who is behind Pave?
Pave (formerly Portify) was founded in 2017 by Sho Sugihara (CEO) and Chris Butcher (CTO). They met through Entrepreneur First, a company and programme that encourages experts in various tech fields to found their own companies.
In December 2019, Pave secured £7 million in funding. Investors include Entrepreneur First and VC firms Kindred Capital and Redalpine.
What’s good or bad about Pave?
- You could improve your credit score, making it easier (and cheaper) to borrow money in the future.
- The app has a good range of budgeting features that really help you figure out how much you earn, spend and save every month.
- Features are really tailored to gig economy workers and their financial needs.
- The app is still very new, and sometimes it shows – the overall experience could be smoother.
- You have to pay a monthly fee (free plan was removed).
- Potentially LOQBOX could be a more suitable service.
- Pave no longer offers loans.
Is Pave safe?
Pave is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can search it up in the FCA’s register (reference numbers 828125 and 826665 ), where you’ll be able to see the specific business activities that the company is authorised to get up to in the UK.
Pave accesses your accounts in read-only mode, which means you can see your balance and transactions on the Pave app, but you (or Pave) can’t move your money or make payments.
All your banking data is encrypted. Pave states that it uses the most secure technologies possible – such as AES-256 encryption and TLS protocols – to protect your data. Pave doesn’t share your data with any other parties, other than credit reference agencies (if you opt for the Plus or Lite credit building plans).
Am I eligible for Pave?
Anyone can download the app, connect their bank accounts and use it as a budgeting tool.
Eligibility criteria for Pave are as follows:
- You must connect your main bank account to Pave and use it frequently.
- You must have at least 60 days of account history on your bank account.
- You must not have received a CCJ in the last 12 months.
- You must not be going through a bankruptcy.
- You must not have been put on an IVA or debt management plan in the last 12 months
Is Pave any good?
The Pave app brings together a range of features that can be useful for gig economy workers and is nicely tailored to their needs. The app still needs a bit of work, but all in all, it does a good job of predicting your expenses and cash flow and helping you stay on top of it.
If you’re just looking to improve your credit score as quickly, easily and cheaply as possible, you should also consider LOQBOX – a similar service which also reports to all three UK credit reference agencies.
How does Pave compare?
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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