#FinancialInclusion / Women in Fintech: A conversation with Earnest CEO Susan Ehrlich

Susan Ehrlich is the CEO of Earnest, a San Francisco-based consumer debt company that provides private student loans and student loan refinancing. The company was founded in 2013 and provides undergraduate and graduate student loans, co-signed loans, medical, law school and business school loans.

The company says it provides a nine-month grace period when the typical loan is only six months and there are no fees for origination, disbursement, prepayment or late payment. The company also offers personal loans and uses software to match consumers with potential loans without impacting their credit scores.

[Ehrlich:] In joining Earnest I saw a massive opportunity to bring much needed change to an industry that has not seen meaningful innovation in 30 years. We are helping students and graduates chart a path to financial wellness and the work we are doing is so important. I’m proud to share that at Earnest we have refinanced over $11.6 billion in student loans for over 130,000 individuals across the country saving them over $2 billion in interest – a life-changing amount of money.

… Over the past five years alone, education and technology have evolved tremendously. Student loans have not. That’s where we come in. Earnest is modernizing the process from start to finish to eliminate a historically laborious and time-consuming process. We’re primarily known for our student loan refinancing product and we’ve been able to help graduates save a meaningful amount of money with lower interest rates. A lot of people graduate from college or graduate school without understanding that refinancing is an option available to them. We want to help them get out of debt in a sustainable way that works for their financial situation.