Advocacy

Upstart believes in active discussion and collaboration among advocacy groups, fintechs, lenders, policymakers, and regulators to advance the responsible use of AI in lending and improve access to credit.

What they’re saying

Key stakeholders in government recognize the role of artificial intelligence and fintechs in expanding access to financial services.¹

“Advanced computational models are increasingly going to be a part of not just financial services, but decision-making across sectors of the economy”

Director Chopra | CFPB for an American Banker Q&A; July 2022

“Bank-fintech partnerships [are] here to stay...This is the future, so let's do the future right.”

Mike Hsu | Acting Comptroller, OCC during a Reuters Interview; Oct. 2022

“To encourage consumer-beneficial innovation, regulators should support innovations in consumer credit underwriting designed to increase credit visibility, reduce bias, and prudently expand credit to underserved consumers.”

“When properly regulated, these [fintech] partnerships can provide greater financial inclusion, spur technological innovation, and foster competition that ultimately benefits consumers.”

Letter to the OCC from Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) | Incoming Chair of the House Financial Services Committee; Oct. 2022

“Successful risk management and consumer protection are paramount to the success of a bank’s business operations, including those involving fintech relationships.”

Martin Gruenberg | Responses to Questions for the Record at “Nomination Hearing,” Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Nov. 2022

“To the extent that a bank uses AI or other algorithmic systems in making lending decisions, they should review the underlying models, such as their credit scoring and underwriting systems, as well as their marketing and loan servicing activities, just as they should for more traditional models”

Michael Barr | Vice Chair for Supervision, The Federal Reserve, Remarks at the “Banking on Financial Inclusion” Conference; Feb. 2023

Get more perspectives from regulators and policymakers here.

Engagement

First company to receive ‘No Action Letter’ from CFPB

For several years, Upstart worked closely with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on responsible AI model development as the first company to receive a CFPB No-Action Letter (NAL) under its innovation policy. The CFPB published Upstart’s access to credit results that confirmed Upstart’s model delivered a significant increase in access to credit with lower interest rates. In 2022, the CFPB approved Upstart’s request to wind down participation in the NAL Program as the Office of Innovation was de-emphasized by the Bureau.

Independent public monitorship to promote fair lending

In collaboration with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC), in 2021, Upstart commissioned a groundbreaking third-party audit of its personal loan underwriting model to ensure its fair and responsible use of AI in compliance with fair lending laws. “The agreement among Upstart, SBPC, and LDF sets a standard for cooperation, transparency, and independent oversight of automated underwriting models.” We continue to work with these groups and independent experts to ensure Upstart remains a leader in fair lending.

Partnerships

Upstart is a founding member of More Than Fair, a community of organizations dedicated to improving access to affordable and inclusive credit for American consumers and small businesses.

MoreThanFair logo

Other partners of Upstart include:

Viewpoints

Upstart’s commitment to fair lending

Our promise to continue the rigorous testing of our models on behalf of our lending partners.

Fintechs can help banks meet CRA obligations

What people are missing in the debate over making fintechs comply with the Community Reinvestment Act.

Upstart testifies about AI in credit underwriting

CEO Dave Girouard spoke to the House Task Force on Financial Technology about alternative data.

Comment letters

Upstart regularly makes its voice heard on important issues and proposed laws for the banking and fintech industries through official letters to regulators.

Impact

By the numbers

Upstart technology helps banks and credit unions reach more customers and make better decisions while increasing access to credit for people who need it.

Access to credit

Inclusive lending is a priority for Upstart. Upstart’s lenders approve more Black and Hispanic borrowers at lower rates than traditional lenders.

For more on our partnerships, engagement and impact, see our latest ESG report.

¹ The logos above are owned by the US Government and the respective agencies. Their use is not intended as an endorsement by any of these agencies.