Earnest, which provides merit-based loans for graduating students and young professionals, has secured $15 million in funding.

After offering successful initial programs across Massachusetts and Florida, Earnest loans are now immediately available in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Connecticut, New Jersey and Utah.

We are excited to offer loans to people who are independently building their future and deserve a smart and fair financial option for important life events and milestones,” said Louis Beryl, co-founder and CEO of Earnest.

Our clients have been using their Earnest loans for responsible milestone purchases. We love getting to know their life stories since we get to play small part in it, whether it is moving into a new apartment or purchasing an engagement ring. It is all about making it happen for them in a financially responsible way.”Merit-Based Lending: How Earnest is DifferentIn contrast to other consumer lenders that focus only on credit history, Earnest takes modern approach, evaluating individual applicants on their current situation and future potential by analyzing data including income, savings, monthly budget, education history and future income potential.

Rather than squeezing consumers for what they would pay for a loan, Earnest focuses on what a consumer should pay.

Earnest loan interest rates are less than half of the average interest rates currently charged on a personal loan or credit card.

As a result, Earnest has expanded its offering to include two-year loans, as well as its original one-year loans, and increased the total amount for which clients can apply to $20,000.