SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 27, 2015) - Today Earnest (meetearnest.com) introduces a transformative student loan refinancing option that will empower a generation to save money and tackle the nation's staggering $1.2 trillion in student debt on their terms. Earnest's offering is the first-ever student loan product to provide personalized payback options and an application process that rewards you for your own financial merit with rates as low as 1.92% APR. The company has also announced the close of a $17 million Series A equity investment led by Maveron.
Earnest is pioneering a new approach to analyzing creditworthiness, using data science and a unique software-based underwriting platform to develop a comprehensive understanding of your long-term financial profile and offer the best corresponding rates. By harnessing thousands of data points not used in a traditional credit check, Earnest is able to offer lower rates that reward you for investing in your future via retirement accounts, savings, smart spending and education.
Earnest is now applying the company's proprietary technology to the student loan market, where outstanding student loans total $1.2 trillion nationwide and have a profound impact on the daily lives of millions of young Americans.
Student Loans, Reinvented
Earnest's new student loan refinancing for government or private loans takes into account your full financial profile by seamlessly connecting bank, investment and credit accounts. Examining thousands of additional data points beyond a traditional FICO score enables Earnest to deliver lower rates based on the applicant's sound financial decisions. Once Earnest accepts a loan refinancing application, the company offers unique and radically flexible repayment options, including the ability to:
- Save Thousands With Merit-Based Rates: By examining your entire financial health and future potential, Earnest can often save clients thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in interest -- simply as a reward for your own financial responsibility.
- Set Your Own Terms: Set the exact monthly payment amount or the repayment length that makes sense for your personal financial situation rather than choosing from a few pre-set options like a five-, ten- or fifteen-year term.
- Adjust Repayment To Fit Your Needs: Throughout the life of the loan, increase or decrease the payment amount in response to life changes.
- Skip Payments: Easily skip a payment once a year and make it up later if life requires some flexibility.
- Switch Between Variable And Fixed Rates: Switch between rates with no fees to guarantee peace of mind.
- Split Your Payment In Two: Earnest lets you pay twice per month, making your student loan easy to match with your paycheck, reducing interest expenses over the life of the loan.
- Avoid Fees: Earnest charges no origination, prepayment or hidden fees.
- Count On Earnest: Earnest never passes you off to a third party, ensuring top-quality customer service throughout the life of the loan.
"Our student loan refinancing options will help a generation of people who have invested in their education to get out of debt faster, cheaper and on better and more flexible terms," said Louis Beryl, CEO and founder of Earnest. "Student loan debt continues to have a daily impact on our clients' lives -- where big things like saving for retirement or a first home, funding a wedding or raising a child might have to take a back seat to the repayment of student debt. By giving our clients the ability to customize their repayment plans, we're able to help them manage their finances and stop putting off life's important moments."
More information on Earnest's new student loan refinancing product can be found on Earnest's website.
Earnest Announces $17 Million Series A
Earnest has raised $17 million in new equity financing led by Maveron and with participation from existing investors. The new investment will accelerate the company's expansion nationwide, as well as the development of additional lending and financial products. In addition to the company's new student loan refinancing product, Earnest currently offers personal loans starting at 4.25% to financially responsible people in 21 states, reaching more than 70% of the U.S. population.
"We back great entrepreneurs and have found in Louis and his team a passion to build an enduring financial services company that consumers love. They have a unique combination of startup, technology and finance experience that will guide Earnest as it quickly scales," said Dan Levitan, co-founder of Maveron and board member of Earnest. "As an early seed investor and now as lead on the Series A, we view Earnest as providing a better experience for the consumer based on trust and transparency. The financial services industry is ripe for disruption from innovative technologies and market approaches, which is why we think Earnest is one of the winners."
To read more about Earnest's latest capital raise, please visit CEO Louis Beryl's blog post discussing Maveron, Earnest's mission and the future of the company.
Earnest provides merit-based loans for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company is built on the belief that financially responsible people deserve access to low-interest credit, but are often denied or overpriced due to an outdated system that fails to comprehensively evaluate their full financial picture and potential. Earnest is able to offer the lowest possible rates by using technology to understand every applicant's unique financial story and dramatically reduce overhead and infrastructure costs. Earnest's lending products acknowledge the challenges and opportunities faced by graduates and young professionals, harnessing the power of data science and software to provide radically flexible and personalized loan options for living life.
Founded in 2013, Earnest is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Maveron, Andreessen Horowitz, Atlas Venture, Collaborative Fund, First Round Capital and others. For more information, please visit www.meetearnest.com or follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Earnest Blog.