It’s a source of macro-economic concern, with roughly $1.2 trillion in student debt on the books at various lenders and now Earnest, which began as a personal lending company, is stepping into the breach.
The company has launched a new student loan refinancing service offering loans with annual payment rates as low as 1.9%. The online service is also instantly flexible, with options to change the rates of repayment at automatically reduced rates, based on a user’s decisions.
Akin to other new entrants in the credit scoring and lending market, Earnest uses ever-popular big data technology to determine credit scores based on what the company calls a customer’s long-term financial profile.
Earnest launched in September 2013 with its personal loan product that’s typically tapped for life events like weddings, childbirth, or personal educational growth.
The company’s foray into student loan refinancing is just the first step in its mission to penetrate every major lending market.
The average loan size for the company’s student loan refinancing program is between $55,000 and $75,000 in its limited beta.
Loans on the traditional side of the business tend to be smaller, with a typical loan coming in at around $12,000 to $14,000, rather than the tens of thousands available for student loan refinancing, says Beryl.