Veteran entrepreneur David Zalik started GreenSky credit back in 2006. The impetus behind the formation of the company was Zalik’s insight that far too many deals were being lost by home improvement companies when the homeowners were faced with estimates that were far higher than what they believed the cost of their remodeling projects would be. Zalik saw an opportunity to create a company that would serve as an instant point-of-sale lender, allowing average homeowners to essentially have access to the same kind of bridge financing that professional real estate developers use every day.
But the real key behind the success of GreenSky Credit was Zalik’s ability to create the technology that would link lenders, contractors, retailers and homeowners at the point of sale and on an instant basis. This technology is what forms the core of GreenSky Credit. And with more than a dozen of the largest lenders in the nation as partners, including Sun Trust, Fifth Third Bancorp and Region’s Bank, GreenSky Credit has been able to push through billions of dollars in home renovation projects that would otherwise have likely never happened.
By 2010, Zalik saw how well his idea was being put into practice. GreenSky Credit was doing more than $1 billion in loans each year, almost all stemming from point-of-sale lending for home improvement projects. He began wondering if opportunities for providing consumer-level bridge financing for big-ticket items or services existed in other industries. Soon, he would get his answer.
Today, GreenSky Credit has expanded to more than 17,000 retailers across dozens of industries. The firm has taken the same business model that served so well in the home remodeling business and has applied it to everything from medical procedures to window replacement and roofing. The key behind the company’s success has been the fact that its borrowers all tend to be in the upper echelons of creditworthiness. With an average FICO score of 760, the average GreenSky customer is well above average in terms of ability to pay back loans. And this has resulted in lenders that actually vie among themselves for a chance to lend through GreenSky’s interface.