REGIONAL: Cooper announced Credit Karma to establish East Coast HQ in Mecklenburg

Published 3:13 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2021

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Credit Karma, a personal finance technology company, will add 600 new jobs in Mecklenburg County, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday. The company will invest more than $13 million to expand its Charlotte presence with a new high-tech engineering hub.

“We are thrilled to have Credit Karma establish their East Coast headquarters in our state,” said Cooper. “North Carolina is the ideal place for technology companies to do business, thanks to our tech-savvy talent, resilient economy and great quality of life.”

Credit Karma is a consumer technology platform best known for providing more than four billion free credit scores to consumers. The company has since grown into a go-to destination for more than 110 million members globally for everything related to their financial goals, including identity monitoring, applying for credit cards, shopping for loans (car, home and personal), savings accounts and now checking accounts both offered through banking partner, MVB Bank, Inc., Member FDIC. This latest expansion will create an east coast engineering hub for software development and programming functions for new products and services throughout the world.

“Credit Karma has been in Charlotte for four years and with the significant incentives provided by the state of North Carolina and from the city of Charlotte, we are doubling down on the market and making this our East Coast headquarters. The intersection of technical talent and having so many financial companies concentrated in one market makes Charlotte’s talent pool unrivaled for the roles Credit Karma is recruiting for as we accelerate on building products to deliver on our mission of championing financial progress for all,” said Credit Karma Founder and CEO Kenneth Lin.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to support Credit Karma’s decision to expand in North Carolina. The new positions will include analysts, software engineers and management personnel. The average annual salary for all new positions is $156,605 creating a potential payroll impact of more than $93.9 million per year. Mecklenburg County’s overall average annual wage is $71,689.

“North Carolina has one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the nation,” said Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Credit Karma’s expansion affirms that North Carolina’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem, with our highly-skilled and diverse workforce and world-class research institutions, is the platform for innovative companies to develop advanced technologies.”

Credit Karma’s expansion in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the 12-year life of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $2.6 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the tax revenues generated by the 600 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $20,306,250 spread over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. By law, JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

Because Credit Karma is expanding in Mecklenburg County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement will result in the allocation in as much as $6.7 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business and new jobs. When new jobs are created in a Tier 3 county such as Mecklenburg, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically distressed communities elsewhere in the state. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here.

“Credit Karma’s decision to expand in Mecklenburg County is fantastic news,” said N.C. Representative Wesley Harris. “We welcome this major expansion and new high-paying jobs to our community and are thrilled that Credit Karma recognizes North Carolina for the best and brightest talent in the world.”

“An investment of this magnitude is a great win for the entire state,” N.C. Sen. DeAndrea Salvador. “Credit Karma and the region will grow stronger because of the company’s continued investment and confidence in our fintech economy and community.”

In addition to the N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Central Piedmont Community College, Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.