Today we are interviewing the top executives at EarnUp – CEO Matthew Cooper and President Nadim Homsany.
EarnUp is a financial technology application that helps Americans avoid missed payments and build financial health. EarnUp automatically sets a few dollars aside when the customer can afford it for future loan payments so that the payments are made on time and the customer is on track to get out of debt. This technology is a win-win for consumers and for consumer debt lenders, servicers, and investors. EarnUp is also fully transferable between lenders so consumers can enjoy uninterrupted benefits if their loan is sold or transferred to a new loan servicer.
1) AI has been a differentiating and driving force in data analytics these days. What type of AI technology do you use to automate payments for your customers so they can get out of debt faster while also being able to save?
Nadim - We are always advancing our artificial intelligence capabilities to help consumers. EarnUp uses AI to help find the best payment schedules for our customers. EarnUp automates a consumer’s payments so that they can get out of debt faster and easier.
30% of EarnUp users report fewer missed payments since they started using the application, based on a 2017 internal study. In addition, 80% of EarnUp’s users report that they were able to automate their loan payments for the first time, indicating the power of EarnUp as a revolutionary technology solution for a broad range of consumers.
We constantly try to remove obstacles to financial betterment for those who need it most. We want the customer journey to be easier so that they can further their education about money and harness more opportunities for personal financial growth. We are relentless about helping those in poverty too. EarnUp’s priority is advancing financial inclusion to help low-income Americans manage their debt. We will continue to develop partnerships with major nonprofit and for-profit companies and organizations to create win-win partnerships that help Americans get out of debt faster.
2) To clear up any misconceptions out there, is your platform geared toward loan consolidation or loan refinancing? Or is it neither?
Matthew - EarnUp does not believe in solving debt challenges with more debt! One of the things that differentiate our platform is that EarnUp does not consolidate or refinance any loans. We are purely a payment and budgeting solution that helps people efficiently manage their earnings to make their loan payments on time and build financial wellness. Consumer debt in the U.S is at a record high with roughly 200 million Americans burdened with debt from student loans, mortgages, credit cards and more. With more than 60% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, low-income citizens struggle to pay off debt given the complexity of the existing loan payment system. Since its launch in 2015, EarnUp has helped Americans manage over $1 billion in consumer loans.
3) What resources does EarnUp have available for first-time homeowners?
Matthew - Information and access to qualified professionals are both major challenges to supporting affordable homeownership in America today. We are passionate about this area and work with a broad range of mission-driven platforms to help Americans achieve their goals. In partnership with Freddie Mac, EarnUp currently works with over 15 nonprofits nationally including GreenPath Financial Wellness, HomeFree-USA, and NHS of Chicago. These nonprofits collectively provide counseling services to over 300,000 Americans per year. The majority of these consumers are renters today and we help them move toward homeownership by getting on track for their current loan payments, paying down debts faster, and connecting consumers with the right education resources to make smart home buying decisions. We have recently been approached by a number of banks and mortgage originators about extending these services to their customers and we are evaluating expanding our partnerships in this critical area.
We also have a new partnership with Framework Homeownership to support consumers throughout their homebuyer journey. Together we have the shared goal of increasing the financial wellness of homeowners. Framework will offer a personalized combination of financial technology solutions to help the consumer throughout the homeownership journey. The partnership is supported by grant funding from EarnUp investor Acumen America, a nonprofit venture fund tackling problems of poverty in the United States.
We have some exciting stuff planned in this homebuyer space for 2019 so keep a lookout!
4) Tell us about the need for your partnerships with Acumen and GreenPath?
Nadim - Big challenges like this are never completed alone. We have amazing partners, investors, advisors, and team. The community and fintech industry supports what we are doing and we are so thankful for partners like GreenPath and Acumen, as well as Freddie Mac and Framework.
Earlier in the year, we announced the results of our partnership with GreenPath. Together we created a one-of-a-kind for profit/nonprofit fintech partnership designed to support the goal of bringing Americans out of debt. The report, Building Successful Nonprofit-Fintech Partnerships, offers a “how to” for other organizations that wish to launch similar efforts. You can read the report here: www.greenpathpartner.org/Docs/Successful_Partnerships.pdf
5) Since your launch, do you find any trends in American consumer debt? Also, are you finding more consumers able to “put a few dollars aside” in this economy?
Matthew - This is a great question. The most critical insight we have gained in our 5+ years at EarnUp is that average Americans can make their payments and save if they are given the right financial tools. Technology has an amazing ability to help paycheck to paycheck consumers and we are passionate to expand access these tools to every American borrower. Earnup has proven we can reduce missed payments for consumers by a third and help over 90% start to put extra money aside. This is very exciting for consumers, lenders, and regulators who are trying to find ways to support affordable lending and sustainable homeownership in this country. There are no shortage of challenges in this market with mounting consumer debt, increased regulations, and macroeconomic uncertainty. We are proud to be working with many of the leading financial institutions and nonprofits to get ahead of these challenges and leverage technology to empower consumers.
EarnUp is a Forbes Fintech 50 winner offering a consumer-first platform that intelligently automates loan payments and identifies earning opportunities for the 200 million indebted Americans. EarnUp puts a few dollars aside for loans when consumers can afford it—then makes timely payments to help consumers get out of debt faster. Based in San Francisco, EarnUp is backed by prominent venture capital firms Blumberg Capital, Kapor Capital, Correlation Ventures, Camp One Ventures, and Fenway Summer Ventures plus other leading angels and entrepreneurs. EarnUp is a winner of the prestigious Financial Solutions Lab sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Center for Financial Services Innovation. For more information, visit www.earnup.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow on Twitter @EarnUp.
About Matthew Cooper
Matthew is EarnUp’s Co-Founder & CEO. He is the son of a minister and a teacher and has lifelong passion supporting marginalized communities through volunteer work and advocacy. Prior to EarnUp, Matthew worked at Clearlake Capital, a $3B private equity firm focused on software and financial services industries. Prior to Clearlake, Matthew worked with NCB Capital, a $12B asset manager, leading private equity investments in the emerging markets. Before that, Matthew was at McKinsey & Company counseling Fortune 500 clients in the financial services and retail industries. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University. You can learn more about Matthew and follow on LinkedIn and Twitter @MatthewWins.
About Nadim Homsany
Nadim is the son of immigrants who arrived in the US with virtually nothing. His upbringing instilled in him a passion for helping people build financial resilience and independence. Prior to EarnUp, Nadim worked at Serent Capital, a $600M private equity firm, focused on tech-enabled services. Prior to Serent, Nadim led investments with NCB Capital, a $12B asset manager. Before this, Nadim worked at McKinsey & Company, consulting large banks. Nadim also practiced IP and technology law at Kirkland & Ellis. Nadim holds a JD degree from Harvard Law School and graduated highest honors from Rutgers University. You can learn more about Nadim and follow on LinkedIn and Twitter @nhomsany.