What if loans were based off of merit – your future salary, your education level, your timeliness of paying bills – rather than simply your credit history? San Francisco-based Earnest hopes to do just that, starting with the launch of its merit-based loan program for fiscally responsible graduate students and young professionals throughout Massachusetts.
Earnest claims its underwriting technology looks at the individual borrower holistically, assessing applicants on not only credit history, but also current and future potential.
“The current system essentially only looks at your credit score, which is a very blunt instrument. It doesn’t take into account your current salary or your spending or saving habits,” Earnest CEO and co-founder Louis Beryl told BostInno.
The idea for Earnest first came to Beryl when he and his wife were preparing to attend graduate school themselves.
Earnest currently has six people in its beta and made $50,000 in loans thus far.
Earnest closed an undisclosed round of funding in September 2013, led by local firm Atlas Venture, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital.
With a high density of talented young professionals and students, Boston makes a strong first market for Earnest.