Upstart joins Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Project REACh to promote greater access to credit for underserved populations
SAN MATEO, CA (November 4, 2021) — Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST), a leading artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform, today announced it has joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) Project REACh (Roundtable for Economic Access and Change) to promote financial inclusion through greater access to credit and capital. Since joining Project REACh, Upstart has been focused on the workstream to revitalize small minority depository institutions.
Project REACh brings together leaders from the banking industry, national civil rights organizations, business, and technology to identify and reduce barriers that prevent full, equal, and fair participation in the nation’s economy. For example, almost 50 million Americans have no credit score, according to the OCC,1 which is an enormous barrier to getting a traditional loan.
“Historically, an over-reliance on traditional credit scoring has meant that not everyone has had the opportunity to establish credit, despite being creditworthy,” said Nat Hoopes, Vice President and Head of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs at Upstart. “Less than half of American adults can access prime credit, despite the fact that four in five Americans have never defaulted on an obligation.”2
Upstart is one of the first companies to apply AI to the multi-trillion dollar credit industry. Upstart goes beyond the traditional score, using more than 1,000 variables to evaluate each application, which helps improve consumers’ access to credit.
Upstart’s model provides higher approval rates and lower interest rates for traditionally underserved demographics. For 2020, Upstart’s model approved 30% more Black borrowers than a traditional model and provided 11% lower interest rates than a traditional model. The same is true for Hispanic borrowers, despite offering its service only in English. Upstart’s model approved 27.2% more Hispanic borrowers than a traditional model with 10.5% lower interest rates than a traditional model.3
In order to promote inclusivity, Upstart’s personal loan platform is available in Spanish with an end-to-end lending experience in Spanish — including disclosures, application, loan agreement, customer service, and repayment dashboard.
To learn more about Project REACh, Upstart and the Minority Depository Institution (MDI) Workstream, visit: https://www.occ.gov/topics/consumers-and-communities/minority-outreach/mdi-workstream.pdf.
Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST) is the leading AI lending marketplace, connecting millions of consumers to 100 banks and credit unions that leverage Upstart’s AI models and cloud applications to deliver superior credit products. With Upstart AI, lenders can approve more borrowers at lower rates across races, ages, and genders, while delivering the exceptional digital-first experience customers demand. More than 80% of borrowers are approved instantly, with zero documentation to upload. Founded in 2012, Upstart’s platform includes personal loans, automotive retail and refinance loans, and small-dollar “relief” loans. Upstart is based in San Mateo, California, and Columbus, Ohio.