Salad Money – The business using Open Banking technology to help 1000’s with their finances.

Invisibility could seem like a dream superpower. But it’s a huge burden for five million ‘credit invisibles’ with little or no credit history.

Like nine out of ten of us, they and the millions more people without a perfect credit score use credit sometimes. But without that credit record or blemish-free score, they are excluded by lenders using unfair, score-based assessment. So they often turn to toxic, high-cost or illegal lenders, with figures showing a huge rise in use of loan sharks even before the cost of living crisis.

Many NHS workers and people delivering frontline public services are among the credit invisibles or unfairly penalised by impaired credit scores. Salad Money, an award-winning fintech, was launched to help them. It says people are “more than their score.” It builds their financial resilience by unlocking access to fair, affordable loans, and by delivering relevant financial advice which has put millions of pounds into people’s pockets.

CEO Tim Rooney cites University of Edinburgh research, commissioned by Salad Projects, which shows worrying levels of financial vulnerability among NHS and public sector workers, and demonstrates that many need support to become less reliant on recurring overdrafts and high-cost credit. Yet before Salad, “there were frustratingly few resources available that public sector workers could turn to for advice about how to improve their financial position,” he says. “This, and the fact that many credit options are simply not-fit-for-purpose, traps NHS and public sector workers in harmful debt cycles.”



The firm, a social enterprise, uses “open banking” technology to instantly assess affordability for a loan. It also does something almost unique among credit providers, using applicants’ information to check whether they are eligible for benefits they were not claiming. It then highlights these to everyone who applies, whether or not they are offered credit. Astonishingly, seven out of ten applicants don’t claim all the benefits they could. Because of Salad they find £443 per month, on average – more than £5,000 per year. To date it has helped people identify more than £88 million pounds in unclaimed benefits.

With rocketing costs of living it’s crucial people claim benefits they are due, but £16bn remain unclaimed every year. Often people don’t think they will be eligible for benefits, so won’t use a government benefits checker. But if their finances are tight and they need a loan, checking their eligibility makes sense, getting money into their pockets and meaning they need less credit.

Salad’s innovation and impact were recognised when the firm and its technology partner Yapily scooped the “Fintech for Good” category in the Fintech Awards London.

For stretched NHS and public service workers it has turned “invisible” benefits into something real in their bank accounts and household budgets. Now that is a superpower.

Salad Money is a social enterprise specialising in affordable credit for NHS and public sector workers. It was established in 2018 after identifying a severe lack of affordable credit for individuals with impaired credit score. It gives borrowers an alternative to toxic high-cost lending by using Open Banking for its affordability assessments, rather than credit scoring. It is a member of Responsible Finance, a network of financial inclusion-focused community lenders in the UK and an investee of Fair4All Finance, founded to support the financial wellbeing of people in vulnerable circumstances.


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