LEVERAGE Affiliate of Southeastern Credit Unions partners with Zest AI

Zest-built models approve 25% to 30% more loans across all credit products without added risk Offers LSCU & Affiliates powerful new risk models tailored to their markets

BIRMINGHAM, AL (April 19, 2022) — Zest AI announced a partnership today with LEVERAGE, the for-profit service corporation for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates (LSCU), to bring Zest’s industry-leading AI lending software to more than 10.4 million members across Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

LEVERAGE will work with CUNA Strategic Services to facilitate models built with Zest that use thousands of data points and better math than traditional models to more accurately and quickly approve members overlooked by legacy scoring. Credit unions using Zest software achieve five-fold increases in instant-decisioning rates and are more inclusive, drawing on deep insights from credit reports and loan histories.

“This partnership with LEVERAGE is a meaningful opportunity to bring the benefits of AI-driven lending to credit unions of all sizes and across the Southeast,” said Jose Valentin, Senior Vice President of Partnerships at Zest AI. “AI-driven underwriting supports better, more inclusive lending decisions, which is critical to expanding access to more affordable credit.”

LEVERAGE is committed to equipping credit unions with the products and services they need to grow their financial institutions,” stated Steve Willis, President of LEVERAGE. “Credit unions are increasingly being called upon to deliver both fast turnaround and equitable decisions, and Zest has earned the trust of many institutions by delivering significant value on both of these fronts.”

“Credit unions need solutions that help them grow and thrive, but that also help insulate them from higher credit risk and compliance concerns. Zest’s meticulous attention to such needs makes this relationship a powerful tool in helping credit unions lend more effectively, and we’re proud to partner with LEVERAGE to facilitate this impactful change,” says Barb Lowman, President of CUNA Strategic Services.



LEVERAGE, the Service Corporation for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates, is the business services provider that leverages credit union system resources, relationships, and industry knowledge for optimal performance and sustained growth of its clients and business partners. We work to offer credit unions best-in-class products and services that result in reducing costs, maximizing results, and making the most difference. For more information, visit or follow LEVERAGE on Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Zest AI

Zest AI software helps lenders make better decisions and better loans—increasing revenue, reducing risk, and automating compliance. Since 2009, it has made fair and transparent credit available to everyone and is now the leader in software for more inclusive underwriting. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at and connect with us on Twitter at @Zest_AI or Zest AI’s Insights blog.

About the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates represents 315 credit unions throughout Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and has a combined total of more than $151 billion in assets and more than 10.4 million members. LSCU provides advocacy, compliance services, education and training, cooperative initiatives, and communications. For more information, visit Follow LSCU on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

About CUNA Strategic Services

CUNA Strategic Services develops strategic alliance relationships to bring credit unions innovative solutions that will drive membership growth and operational excellence at an attractive price. The company is majority-owned by Credit Union National Association and state Leagues. For more information, visit



Mike Miller
Communications Manager

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