CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 201 Jeff Keltner Upstart on Smarter Lending

What happens when you throw a bunch of ex-Googlers into an office in San Mateo California?

Enter Upstart, a new breed lending company that helps financial institutions – credit unions very much included – make more, better-unsecured loans and also do auto refinancing.

Upstart comes at lending with a focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and doing a lot of data crunching.  Using Upstart’s analytics an institution approves a higher percentage of loans – but also enjoys a lower default rate.

How can that be? According to Jeff Keltner, who heads business development at Upstart and is himself an ex-Googler, lots of models plain look at the wrong data when making credit decisions.

Upstart has a page full of dazzling stats about how its models perform versus traditional lending models.  Check it out.

20+ years ago I interviewed the Google founders for MIT’s Technology Review magazine. Here’s that story.

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