Enter Earnest cofounder and CEO Louis Beryl: He wants millennials to harness their frustration, and take action.
Unlike traditional loan providers, which evaluate borrowers‘ credit histories through the lens of the FICO system, and unlike startups such as LendUp, which mine Facebook and social media to assess borrowers‘ risk of default, Earnest approves applicants based on a comprehensive snapshot of their career history and their finances.
“We have you connect your bank account, your active credit cards, your home loan, your student loans. We also give people the opportunity to connect their asset accounts.” The end result: “It dramatically reduces fraud. It dramatically reduces our costs. And it allows us to pass on those savings to customers.”
One of the customers who participated in the company’s student loan refinancing pilot, Beryl says, was a librarian with a master’s degree in English literature.
Policymakers, concerned about those effects, are finally responding to the 28,000 formal complaints logged against student loan servicers over the last two years.
The average Earnest loan term: 8.4 years, a metric that would be nonsensical for other loan servicers with standard 5-, 10-, or 15-year terms to analyze.
When Earnest noticed that many prospective customers were dropping off at the point where they needed to track down their original student loan documentation, the company decided to launch a $2