Verity Credit Union partners with Zest AI to expand credit access to underserved communities
Leveraging an alternative scoring model for specific loans, Verity furthers its mission to provide fairer lending practices and increase opportunity for all to prosper financially
SEATTLE, WA (March 15, 2023) — Verity Credit Union, a $735 million asset financial institution in Seattle that focuses on socially responsible banking, announced today its partnership with Zest AI, the leader in automating underwriting with more accurate and inclusive lending insights. The partnership will provide a new process for approving credit cards, personal loans, lines of credit, and auto loans, using around 300 data points to assess credit risk, as opposed to one credit score.
“This partnership allows us to give more people an opportunity to build a better credit score by gaining access to loans and products used in developing these scores,” said Tina Narron, Chief Lending Officer at Verity Credit Union. “It’s an alternative and holistic approach that strives to distribute capital to everyone in our community who qualifies, reaching members we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach. This partnership also supports our mission to provide products that serve everyone in our community.”
Zest AI’s custom credit scores use hundreds of data points to determine a member’s credit readiness, resulting in more equitable and accurate underwriting decisions compared to traditional national scores. This approach safely expedites approvals and provides greater access for those overlooked by legacy scoring, achieving over 25 percent higher approval of applicants with no added risk tolerance. Zest AI’s approval increase for protected-class individuals is higher than the total increase in approvals. For women, it’s a 40% increase, for Black individuals, it’s a 41% increase, for Hispanic individuals, it’s a 49% increase, and for AAPI, it’s a 31% increase.
“Our AI-automated underwriting technology provides a more accurate picture of credit risk, enabling financial institutions, like Verity Credit Union to make quicker, fairer decisions for their members,” said Aaron Long, Head of Sales at Zest AI. “Automating their underwriting process with precision allows the Verity team more time to focus on providing crucial member support like building credit readiness or financial counseling.”
“The goal here is fairer lending using AI, distributing capital to more members, addressing knowledge gaps, and helping our underserved communities build wealth,” closed Narron.
Verity Credit Union has eight branch locations in Lynnwood, Auburn, and Seattle’s Ballard, Greenwood, Beacon Hill, Northgate, Wallingford, and West Seattle neighborhoods. The credit union is known for its customized products that address the needs expressed by the community. These include bicycle loans, solar loans, no-minimum CD programs, small business programs, and more. For more information, visit www.VerityCU.com.
About Verity Credit Union
Verity Credit Union is a Washington credit union that believes in socially responsible banking. We’re part of a movement working to co-create stronger, healthier, more sustainable communities because we believe a financial institution can partner with communities to create lasting change. When you bank with Verity, your money helps make positive impacts in our vibrant communities. About 87% of our deposits are used to invest in the local economy and members through loans, whether it’s a loan for an eco-friendly car, or adding a tiny home to your backyard.
About Zest AI
Zest AI is a tech company on a mission to make fair and transparent credit accessible for everyone. Since 2009, we’ve worked with financial institutions to provide AI-driven credit solutions to their borrowers. Today we work with all types of lenders — but especially credit unions — to democratize underwriting automation and equitable credit decisioning. Learn more at Zest.ai and connect with us on LinkedIn.