Lending Startup Shills ‘Super Chill’ Loans On Facebook

Browsing Twitter, we came across the post below. It’s a screenshot of an ad from Facebook, promoting loans up to $US25,000:

Upstart tweet

The company behind the ad, Upstart, expanded its focus earlier this year from income share agreements to more traditional, fixed-rate loans for everything from paying off credit card debt to starting a business.

While its new product might be traditional, its approach is anything but. The difference between Upstart and typical lenders, like banks, is that the startup isn’t using just your credit to gauge creditworthiness. Instead, it plugs a potential borrower’s academic and work history into an income-prediction algorithm to judge the wisdom of giving a three-year loan of $US5,000-$25,000, at interest rates starting below 7%.

Its similarly non-traditional Facebook page contains references to everything from “New Girl” to “Anchorman,” interspersed with pictures of “elite” young employees grinning alongside a tiger, a camel, and a horse.

Upstart is trying to make loans cool (or “super chill”), but are oversized glasses, a hat straight out of “Portlandia,” and a dig at “mainstream consumers” doing the trick? From these Tweets reacting to @BradOFarrell, the company may have to keep at it: