While major credit card issuers tightened lending standards and slashed credit limits amid COVID-19, some financial technology startups took a different tack.

In 2020, young companies like Grow Credit, TomoCredit and Chime launched or expanded credit cards that are available to those with less-than-ideal credit — because they don’t run a credit check at all. Instead of relying on the traditional FICO credit scoring model, these “fintech” products can evaluate alternative factors like bank accounts and money management to determine eligibility.

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