San Francisco-based Earnest introduced personal loans that charge interest based on several factors beyond traditional credit scores.
The lending marketplace offers unsecured, personal loans from $2,000 to $30,000 with fixed interest rates ranging from 4.25 percent to 9.25 percent.
Earnest sets what it calls “Merit-based interest rates” based on such factors as an applicant’s income and savings to monthly budget, credit history, education and “Career trajectory.”
“Our new merit-based interest rates are designed to give many more financially responsible people access to the credit they need to pursue their dreams at the very lowest rates available.”
The loans are expected to be especially popular with millennials, who are often shouldering substantial student loans.
Earnest has raised $15 million in venture financing, TechCrunch reported, noting that the company has so far lent $3 million, with an average loan of $10,000.
Earnest joins a proliferation of online lending marketplaces and other platforms providing financing alternatives to traditional banks, including Lending Club, Prosper Marketplace and Affirm.