Bankrate Acquires Detroit-Based Credit Monitoring Company Quizzle

Bankrate, the New York-based aggregator and publisher of online content about personal finance, announced yesterday that it acquired the Detroit credit-monitoring company Quizzle. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Quizzle was part of the “family of companies” under the Quicken Loans umbrella, created in 2008 as a special project by the marketing team at Quicken, which is the country’s largest online mortgage lender. Quizzle’s CEO Todd Albery said in a 2012 interview with Xconomy that he wanted to create a paradigm shift in the way people interacted with their credit scores by demystifying the process.

“We planned to build a great technology company, and if an acquisition was in the cards, we’re thrilled about that—especially with a great company like Bankrate,” he said.

Quizzle hopes to take the shame out of finding out one’s credit score and then, when appropriate, help consumers build that number up through free reports and credit improvement tools. The company also goes after consumers who have been rejected for a home loan by Quicken Loans, and helps get them stable enough to become a Quicken customer. Albery said that Bankrate was particularly interested in Quizzle’s “recommendation engine,” which looks at more than just a consumer’s credit score to determine what kinds of financial products to offer.

“The recommendation engine takes a lot into consideration, including goals and intent,” Albery said. “Not everyone has a financial planner they can call. We’re trying to ask questions and provide solutions.”

Though he couldn’t go into detail, Albery said the next step is for Quizzle to integrate its relationship-building technology into the Bankrate framework so that it can have follow-up conversations with visitors to the site. “They have an amazing service that we want to take to the next level.”

As part of the acquisition, Bankrate will retain Quizzle’s technology platform, vendor relationships, and more than 2 million accounts. The company, which has 19 employees, will remain based in Detroit, Albery said—a decision that came about after Bankrate visited and toured the Motor City.

“Quizzle’s acquisition represents a huge milestone for Detroit’s tech scene,” he added. “For a New York company to come in and see all the exciting things happening in our tech scene is a little bit of a vote of confidence for the businesses born and bred here.”

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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