Suncoast Credit Union selects Zest AI to bring better lending to its members

Florida’s largest Credit Union will migrate to AI-Powered Lending for more automation and a smoother member experience

TALLAHASSEE, FL (May 4, 2021) — Zest AI, a leader in software for credit underwriting, today announced a partnership with Suncoast Credit Union. Suncoast, Florida’s largest credit union and the 10th largest in the U.S., will leverage Zest’s machine learning software to improve its credit decisioning for managing risk and expanding access to credit for its 930,000-plus members.

The Zest Model Management System enables lenders to analyze vast amounts of credit data to help increase approval rates and reduce the risk of faulty credit decisions. Zest software provides the ability to explain complex and powerful data models to measure business impact and comply with regulatory requirements. The companies expect to be live later this year.

“Suncoast is always looking for better ways to help more members,” says Victoria Lovett, Chief Lending Officer, Suncoast Credit Union. “It is and always has been our mission to improve our members’ lives, and we see this as an investment in that mission.”

Suncoast joins a growing roster of credit unions of all sizes adopting Zest software for more accurate, efficient, and inclusive lending. Along with Suncoast, Zest’s credit union partners now stretch across the U.S., from Coastal Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C., to Altra Federal Credit Union in Onalaska, Wis., to Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union in Honolulu. Together, they represent close to 3 million members nationwide.

Credit unions that lend using Zest-built models have seen, on average, a 15% increase in approval rates with no added risk, and up to 30% reductions in charge-offs by using more of their own data and the advanced math of machine learning. Zest models are also more inclusive, increasing approval rates dramatically for women, seniors, and borrowers of color.

“The direct link between faster decisions and member experience goes right to the service ethic of the credit union movement, and so does being more inclusive with lending,” says Zest AI CEO Mike de Vere. “Our whole team is grateful for the opportunity to help these organizations achieve their goal of saying yes to more members.”

About Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the 8th largest in the United States based on membership, and the 10th largest in the United States based on its $18.2 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 78 full-service branches and serves more than 1.2 million members across Florida. As a community credit union, anyone who lives, works, attends school, or worships in Suncoast Credit Union’s service area is eligible for membership. In 2021, Suncoast Credit Union’s field of membership was expanded to include public K-12 teachers, college educators, and educational support staff from all of Florida’s 67 counties. Suncoast is passionate about community support. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $44 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education, and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit or follow us on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Zest AI
Zest AI makes the power of machine learning safe to use in credit underwriting. Lenders using Zest AI software make better decisions and better loans—increasing revenue, reducing risk, and automating compliance. Zest AI was founded in 2009 with the mission of making fair and transparent credit available to everyone. Learn more at and connect with us on Twitter @Zest_AI or our Insights blog


Ben Norton
Brock Communications
Cell: 508-837-1700

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