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The Buckle Philosophy

April 20, 2020

At Buckle, we believe in fairness. We know that it’s unfair to judge people and mistreat them based on their financial status. Credit is a valuable tool to rich and poor alike but indebtedness, generally speaking, is seen as a crutch.

Buckle aims to build relationships and get people the financial services they deserve without relying on assumptions from a credit score. In insurance, loans, and several other elements common to financial life, people without a history of successfully using credit are heavily penalized. However, a closer review of the proper use of debt reveals it to be more of a tool for flourishing than a crutch. Borrowing a reasonable amount from a capable lender for the benefit of both parties involved is a rational practice and not only enriches borrower and lender but society as a whole.

While debt can be dangerous and entrap people, the evils of debt are usually perpetrated by the lenders rather than the borrowers. Common tactics include unnecessary fees and extreme interest rates supported by low credit scores and the companies that track them. Greedily withholding resources or overcharging the less fortunate is the detriment of our modern economy. Selfish practices can bury individuals under a mountain of debt that cannot be repaid, ultimately leaving both parties at odds and disparaged. Financial services companies can be profitable like this for a time, but inevitably the business model breaks down. When you take someone for all their worth, eventually there’s nothing left to take.  This is the cycle that subprime institutions perpetuate that crush the working poor beneath them - Buckle is seeking to break this wheel once and for all.

Forgiveness of debt is a moral high ground agreed upon by most faiths, creeds and cultures. Therefore, there should not be such a focus on the notion of charging someone more for poor credit. Credit score is merely a number describing how someone has handled indebtedness in the past. Debt can be incurred countless ways that may be completely out of an individual’s control. Treating people differently depending on their credit score is not fair or prudent for building a long-term relationship.

We don’t believe a person’s credit score -- a momentary freeze frame of their financial situation -- is the best information to look at when starting a business relationship. A single number does not show what's going on in a person’s life. We concentrate on their timeline. We’re about helping our members through their trajectory upward. We fully believe our members will benefit from Buckle as we continue to climb towards success and profit together. While the traditional ways of handling debt and credit have worked for some in the past, Buckle focuses on values and developing relationships. We despise the fact that those with poor credit pay more than those with good credit - this is why we only offer zero-interest payment plans for our insurance products to our members, regardless of credit score.  

At Buckle, we’re about progress. We know a revolution needs to happen in the shared economy space if we want to keep moving forward. Lenders are afraid to put their trust in borrowers for fear of not getting paid back. Borrowers are forced into overpriced services that encourage animosity. Change needs to happen and the onus of the change is on the enterprise side. Companies have the power and resources to affect this shift in practice and therefore the moral obligation to do so. Everyone should be fighting for what is fair. Buckle is taking the first steps.  

The top priority of Buckle is to maintain ethical and sustainable practices. We’re changing lives for the better and still profiting as a company. Holding true to high moral values can be a dependable business model. One does not have to be predatory to be profitable.

In the future we plan to navigate to other avenues of financial services for shared economy workers and the relationships we build today will benefit off those ventures tomorrow. Trust is built on actions, not words. Over time our members will experience how fairly we treat them and how we’re always looking out for them. We put our trust in them and they in turn reciprocate. Once a relationship is established, we can accomplish great things.

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