Introducing the Credit Decision API for Banks


By Alex Rouse, Product Management Director

I’m Alex, Product Management lead in Upstart’s Columbus, OH office. We’ve been hard at work these past few weeks, even while working from home.

I’m excited to announce a significant step forward in our journey to help banks unlock the power of AI. Today, we’re announcing Credit Decision API, a simple, easy-to-integrate service that enables instant credit decisions for auto loans, personal loans, and student loans, with potentially higher approval rates and lower loss rates. Let me tell you how we got here and why it’s so exciting.

We learned about this opportunity from you.

In the past year, our Lending as a Service platform for personal loans has grown tremendously, helping our bank partners leverage AI to increase growth, manage risk, and delight customers. Along this journey, we’ve heard two recurring themes from banks with whom we’ve met:

  1. An end-to-end platform is a perfect tool to launch a new lending program or modernize one that’s outdated. But some banks have already invested in a digital experience and aren’t looking to replace it.
  2. While there’s a lot of opportunity in personal loans, banks want to leverage the benefits of AI in other lending programs, such as auto, student loans, and more.

And we’re quick learners. Based on this feedback, we created the Credit Decision API. Here’s how it works:

You’re in control

Credit Decision API allows you to enhance your current decisioning process with the power of AI, but while maintaining complete control. You configure your existing credit policy across more than 15 different criteria (e.g. minimum credit score, maximum DTI, maximum interest rate, loan size, and many more).

Once an applicant meets your credit policy, that’s when the AI kicks in. Upstart’s AI model predicts the probability of default for each individual applicant for each month of the loan. This calculation uses Upstart’s modeling prowess, incorporating more than 1,500 variables trained on more than 530,000 loans and more than 7 million repayment events. That’s more than 10 billion data points leveraged to assess the potential performance of each loan.

Once you know the probability of default, the credit score API simply adds your target return on assets for each risk grade to determine the borrower’s APR. You deliver the right decision at the right price, tailored to meet your credit policy and risk appetite.

It’s plug-and-play

Credit Decision API is a simple, secure REST API that integrates into your existing loan application process (where you call your current decisioning service). You simply pass the credit score API the borrower’s name, address, income, and requested loan amount, and you receive a decision recommendation based on the credit policy and target return you’ve defined. In the event of decline decision, you may opt to receive a PDF of an intuitive bank-branded Adverse Action Notice to provide to the borrower. Decisions are instant and can be made leveraging a soft or hard credit pull, depending on your requirements.

Enhance all your credit decisioning

We know that credit decisioning is core to a bank’s business, so it needs to be right. Our goal at Upstart is to give you complete control over your decisioning, even while bringing state-of-the-art AI to the forefront so you can grow your business, delight your customers, and manage risks associated with lending. Today we’ve announced our support for auto loans, personal loans and student loans, but this is just the beginning. Over time, we aim to unlock the power of AI for all your credit decisioning.