In late March, San Francisco finance tech startup Earnest launched its merit-based loan program in the Boston area.
A trio of elite venture capital firms from both coasts participated in the round: Cambridge’s Atlas Venture and California’s Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital.
Earnest’s underwriting technology looks at an individual’s current and future potential – not just their credit history.
If qualified, people receive one-year loans of $1,000 to $10,000 at a flat six percent interest rate, with no hidden fees.
Earnest C0-founder and CEO Louis Beryl got the idea for Earnest when he was having difficulties getting a student loan without a co-signer for graduate school at Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The startup began shelling out its ultra-low interest loans in Massachusetts in March, and they are now also available in Florida, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Connecticut, New Jersey and Utah.
Earnest employs 11 full-time people in its offices in San Francisco.