Something is Wrong on the Internet (Or, Why We’re Here)

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Hi, I’m Anisha, the girl on your right. I’m just one of the nerds here to help you on your quest to money mastery. Whether you’re looking to cut down costs, find new savings, or make major life decisions, NerdWallet’s fighting in your corner. We think that doing right by the consumer isn’t only solid business practice, but the reason that we come to work every day.

What’s wrong with the Internet?
Our mission and our promise
How NerdWallet works
Our story

What’s wrong with the Internet?

When it comes to finding information, the Internet is a resource without parallel. Within decades, we’ve managed to pool centuries of knowledge and put it at the fingertips of anyone with a computer. But when it comes to making decisions, the Internet falls short. Whether you’re looking to buy a new cell phone, find the best college for creative writing or pick a decent mutual fund, Google isn’t going to be much help. Any useful information is drowned out by the noise of people looking to make a quick buck. Most “best of” websites will literally rank their products by what will earn them the most money – and oddly enough, the highest-earning products are usually the least consumer-friendly options.

We’re not against information, of course, but we think we can do better than simply drown you in data. We recognize that each individual is different and that serving the consumer requires more than just giving banal and generic advice. Whether it’s providing personalized recommendations with our interactive tools, arming you with knowledge via our written content, or simply being responsive and answering emails, we are your decision-making engine.

Our mission and our promise

As we see it, there are two problems with information on the Internet today: it’s either generic or biased. Here at NerdWallet, our goal is to be your guide, advocate and ally in financial decision-making. As part of that, we promise to deliver information and recommendations that are:

  • Clear. The key to empowerment is understanding.
  • Unbiased. We will never sacrifice consumer welfare for corporate profits.
  • Personalized. Everyone is different; advice should reflect that.
  • Comprehensive. There’s nothing fair about a comparison site that only lists paying products.

We’re data-driven, we’re committed, and we’re fighting in you’re corner.

How NerdWallet works

NerdWallet is committed to unbiased and data-driven advice for everyone, not just those who can afford to pay. We’re on a mission to save you money, and we’ll use the latest psychology, technology, and economics to make that happen. The hard truth is that most people out there in the world – and especially on the Internet – are just there to make a quick buck. We’re up against a lot of people with a lot of money. Here’s what we believe:

Advertisers use psychology, technology and economics to make you spend unwisely. Only by using those tools ourselves can we level the playing field.

To achieve this, we’ve got a number of tools in our arsenal:

We fund all these operations with money earned through lead generation – that means that if you find our information useful and end up applying for certain products, we receive a commission. Only a few of our tools earn any revenue, and even then, only a small percentage of the products in those tools pay us anything. We’re dedicated to comprehensiveness, objectivity and transparency, and doing right by you. And we’re always working to develop more tools, content and platforms to help you in the fight for your wallet.

The NerdWallet story

NerdWallet was founded in 2009 by Tim Chen (that’s him with the hat) and Jacob Gibson (the guy on your right), two high school buddies who left their Wall Street jobs to do more with their financial knowledge than simply make the rich even richer. They looked at the credit card landscape and realized that there was no way for the everyday consumer to make a good decision. And so they started NerdWallet, a credit card website with a .com head and a .org heart.

Since then, NerdWallet has grown from a simple credit card site to a comparison engine for everything finance, from travel fees to college education to the cost of living. We’ve attracted nerds from Wall Street and Washington, venture capital and grad school, many of whom left high-profile jobs to take a risk with a company whose mission they could believe in.

I joined NerdWallet because of something on the About Us section (it looked a little different back then):

So you’re clearly not a non-profit, how are you making money?

Truthfully, not very well. Less than 10% of our credit cards are sponsored, so our monetization definitely suffers. But we’re able to automate the site with a little fancy programming, so our costs are also very low. We’re confident that by doing what’s best for our users rather than what’s best for short-term revenue, we can become the best source for unbiased credit card information, and draw enough traffic away from the big guys to keep our little site up and running.

A website that cared more about helping consumers than increasing revenue? I was intrigued. And Tim and Jacob lived up to their promise. Just as they walked away from cushy finance jobs to do something more meaningful, they’ve consistently made the decision to put people over profits. At the end of the day, that’s what makes us nerds happy – doing right by you.