Even Staff

2015-07-23

Why Borrowing is Getting Easier for the Consumer

With friction disappearing in every possible area one can think of, borrowing money should not be a painful experience. For the moment, however, that’s mostly still just theory.  In practice, there are still many issues for people in getting easy access to funds to help with everything from home repairs to preschool.

rejected2-300x175 For starters, there’s the way institutions look at you as a borrower.  Traditional credit metrics like FICO now seem restrictive and outdated because they were designed at a time when much less data could be known about potential borrowers. These metrics don’t take into account many characteristics that would make someone a better credit risk than those blunt scores would indicate. Those scores and the way they are calculated are still less than transparent, making it difficult for borrowers to even know how they could be better managing their public-facing profile. Second, traditional banks have become more restrictive regarding who they will lend to.  This means that many borrowers with less than perfect scores will be shut out of the system entirely.  Third, in the traditional models, applying for and getting cash can be a time consuming process that does not get people cash when they need it. And lastly, there is a limited range of products available to borrowers at traditional institutions.

This isn’t how things should be, and thankfully the world of consumer lending is changing.  A new generation of lenders can see people as more than just their credit score, and are creating more transparent and robust systems to make real-time decisions on lending that take more characteristics into account.  Because lenders have more information about borrowers available to them, such as career and education, and the investors who buy the loans, a more complete picture of “what works” is emerging and allowing for those scoring systems to evolve. This information availability and competitive scoring creates competition among lenders, which helps to lower borrowing rates for consumers.

These lenders are also making it easier for borrowers by offering services online and with easy user experiences - a natural evolution for a world where the internet is a consumer’s first stop; not an adjacent access point.

These improvements are noteworthy, but much still remains to be done.  In retail, such as in the restaurant or travel industries, consumers can get a variety of options presented to them by different vendors along with ratings and reviews at services like Expedia, Kayak and TripAdvisor.  Consumer borrowers, however, still have to go to multiple lenders or sites to find out all options.  Information is fractured and incomplete, which makes the experience confusing and frustrating for a borrower.  A consumer might, for example, hear about a lender on the radio or in a subway ad, go to their website, only to be rejected for a loan -- when another lender that specializes in their type of loan or credit profile would have approved them and they could have had their money in days.

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The infrastructure for real-time lending is in its early stages.  Many lenders haven’t built out the necessary tools to enable the best user experience. And even if that infrastructure were present, the market-based model of alternative lending still requires more liquidity.  Transparency with new credit models is growing but still in its infancy, so borrowers are still too far in the dark to make informed financial planning decisions.

Outside of the world of consumer lending, financial services integrations are still rare between disparate products.  Financial planning and automated investment services such as Betterment and Wealthfront help consumers save and invest, and credit-report services such as freecreditreport.com Credit Karma, and Credit Sesame help consumers understand traditional scores - but why can’t all of these services be combined into a comprehensive view that combines debt, savings, risk and investing?

The reason, just as within the alternative lending space itself, is the infrastructure- the connective tissue necessary to power the next generation of consumer financial services is not yet present.

Even Financial’s goal is to address this connective tissue problem, initially by bringing more and better quality borrowers into the marketplace lending ecosystem - and by using data more effectively to match borrowers with the right lender and loan product at the right rate.

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From there, we’ll see...

Disclaimer: The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the suitability of any Even Financial product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any information or statistical data sourced by Even Financial through hyperlinks, from third-party websites, are provided for informational purposes only. While Even Financial finds these sources to be accurate, it does not endorse or guarantee any third-party content

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HAVEN LIFE
Haven Life’s All-Digital Life Insurance Application Experience Launches on Even Financial’s Leading Life Insurance Search Engine
Even features the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace New York, New York – August 16, 2021 – Even Financial (“Even”), the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, has announced the launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on its life insurance marketplace platform. Leveraging machine learning and advanced data science, Even solves a significant pain point in financial services customer acquisition by seamlessly bridging financial institutions and channel partners via its industry-leading API and embeddable solutions.   With the addition of Haven Term and Haven Simple, Even has further expanded its extensive network of premium life insurance offerings, strengthening its position as the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace. Haven Life, which offers Haven Term and Haven Simple, and is backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), is known for its customer-centric approach and for its commitment to making life insurance more affordable and accessible. Haven Life’s term life insurance offerings will be available on Even properties and via its wholly owned subsidiary LeapLife.   “In these uncertain times, the majority of U.S. adults want the financial security of high-quality life insurance, but are often dissuaded by the complex application process and need to complete an in-person medical exam,” said Phill Rosen, Founder and CEO of Even Financial. “Haven Life’s groundbreaking, all-digital application experience brings tremendous accessibility and peace-of-mind to consumers. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Even platform.”   The launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on the Even platform enables consumers to get matched with medically underwritten term life insurance policies that they can apply for and, if approved, purchase instantly online. While most Haven Term applicants will need to take a medical exam, Haven Simple applicants do not. Haven Life’s offerings expand the variety of life insurance options already available to consumers through Even’s API.   “Haven Life is committed to meeting life insurance customers wherever they are — and often, it's where they are managing the rest of their financial life," said Wade Seward, Head of Distribution Strategy at Haven Life. "On the heels of introducing even more affordable pricing for the Haven Term product, our partnership with Even Financial allows us to marry that affordability with greater accessibility to offer comprehensive financial protection to shared clients with ease and efficiency.”    Even entered the life insurance industry in 2020 through its acquisition of LeapLife, a leading insurtech and licenced life insurance agency. Since that acquisition, Even has worked with its large network of channel partners to make the process of getting personalized life insurance fast, easy, and accessible for consumers. In addition to Haven Term and Haven Simple, products offered by leading insurance companies including Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life, and Mutual of Omaha are available through LeapLife, Even’s life insurance platform. Companies such as TransUnion and Lantern by SoFi rely on Even’s embedded finance marketplaces to power 100% digital personalized life insurance policy quotes for their customers, with live agent support.   Even has continued its rapid growth trajectory in 2021 by reaching over $3 billion in consumer credit issued through its API and expanding its platform to over 800 partners. Earlier this year, Even was named one of “America’s Best Startup Employers'' by Forbes for 2021 and placed in the Top 50 of the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which recognizes the fastest growing tech companies in the world.   About Even Financial   Founded in 2014, Even Financial is a B2B fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. As the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, Even seamlessly bridges financial institutions (such as SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion) via its simple yet robust API and embeddable solutions. Even turns any consumer touchpoint into a comprehensive financial services marketplace with full compliance and security at scale. The company is backed by leading financial services firms and VCs, including American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, Citi Ventures, Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital, Greatpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, and MassMutual Ventures. Learn more at www.evenfinancial.com.   About Haven Life Insurance Agency   Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life) is re-thinking how people financially protect the ones they love. Haven Life is committed to delivering exceptional products, delightful purchasing experiences, and meaningful moments of service to the modern life insurance customer. Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC21 Haven Term in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company (C.M. Life), Enfield, CT 06082. In New York (DTC-NY), and California (DTC-CA), and other states, it is issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001.    Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Haven Term is available through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life), whose agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527. Both Haven Life and C.M. Life are wholly owned subsidiaries of MassMutual.   Please note that issuing the policy or paying its benefits depends on the applicant’s insurability, based on their answers to the health questions in the application, and their truthfulness.   MassMutual and its subsidiaries C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company are rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of June 1, 2021 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.   Media Contact media@evenfinancial.com    
YAHOO! FINANCE
Yahoo! Finance: Even Financial Reaches $3 Billion In Credit Issued Milestone
Even has surpassed a significant threshold in credit issued, having now facilitated over $3 billion in consumer credit as of July 2021. The milestone is significant in the financial services industry, as Even has also expanded its platform to over 800 partners.    Click below to read more at Yahoo! Finance.
PYMNTS
PYMNTS: Even Launches Embedded Finance App on Salesforce
Now, financial advisors and other businesses will have a way to leverage Even’s platform for their clients. ‘Financial Products for Salesforce’ - Powered by Even, a plug-and-play app available on the Salesforce AppExchange, matches consumers with real-time, personalized financial product offers.   Click below to read more at PYMNTS.com.