Renovate America Mobile App

Spring 2018


In 2018, Renovate America was facing increasing headwinds: sagging sales, ferocious competition, negative press, and increased regulatory pressure on the company’s signature PACE financing product.

Market analysis revealed that Renovate America’s PACE financing option, HERO, could be sold alongside the company’s unsecured financing option, Benji, as a viable alternative for some home improvement customers. This created an additional challenge by requiring customers to fill out multiple credit applications and triggering two separate credit report inquiries.

The company needed to increase the likelihood of converting every home improvement renovation sale possible without creating obstacles to accessing credit and while assuring a high bar for customer protections.


The team’s strategy focused on providing more financing options without increasing the burden on the homeowner during the application process. This allows customers to select financing for their home improvement projects that makes the most sense for them and provides contractors with a more reliable set of options for their customers.

To accomplish this, customers now needed to accomplish two key tasks:

  1. Estimate monthly payments associated with any financing option available at a specific location
  2. Apply for all financing options using only one application form and rendering only one credit report inquiry

The team examined the opportunity to augment an existing mobile app that had been designed only for the company’s unsecured financing product, Benji. The new mobile app would take a generic direction, designed to provide all available financing options in all scenarios

The app only works with an active login credential, but you can examine multiple use scenarios by trying the prototype ยป

First, the team improved the pricing calculator in the app to show all Benji and HERO payment options for a given project cost. The two forms of financing are not only structured differently, but repaid differently, posing a significant design challenge for presenting them as comparable options. The team worked through nuanced set of inputs and controls, ultimately arriving at a simple and powerful tool for calculating payment amounts.

Then, the team worked through the application itself. While the initial intake form for the credit application is relatively simple, the variety of error messages and validation scenarios facing two totally different and complex forms of financing is enough to make the team’s collective head spin. The application was branded OneApp and refined to provide clear transactional pathways for the customers while keeping sensitive information secure.


  1. Product Lead: Cartic Natraj
  2. Engineering Leads: Christopher Robinson, Quentin de Bruyn, & more
  3. UX Lead: David Panarelli
  4. Visual Design: David Defenbaugh