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About Earnest

Earnest is a technology company using technology, data, and design to build affordable financial products, deliver them to more people, and engage in more human experiences. Founded on the belief that financially responsible people deserve better options and access to credit, Earnest's lending products, student loan refinance, and private student loans are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company's mission is to empower people with the financial capital they need to live better lives.

Earnest Headquarters Location

303 Second Street Suite 401N

San Francisco, California, 94107,

United States

+1 888 601 2801

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Expert Collections containing Earnest

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Earnest is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Fintech 250.


Fintech 250

248 items


Digital Lending

1,603 items

This collection contains companies that provide alternative means for obtaining a loan for personal or business use and companies that provide software to lenders for the application, underwriting, funding or loan collection process.



7,442 items

US-based companies

Earnest Patents

Earnest has filed 2 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Biodegradable waste management
  • Composting
  • Organic gardening
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date


Related Topics




Composting, Sanitation, Biodegradable waste management, Organic gardening, Sewerage


Application Date


Grant Date



Related Topics

Composting, Sanitation, Biodegradable waste management, Organic gardening, Sewerage



Latest Earnest News

The best private student loan refinance companies of May 2022

May 4, 2022

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. Read our editorial standards. Best student loan refinancing 660 650 Undisclosed 660 Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed You may want to refinance your student loan for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you're looking to lower your interest rate, switch from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan, or to change up your payment term length. However, you may want to think twice about refinancing if you have federal student loans, as you can lose key protections and repayment options if you switch. Before you refinance your student loan, you need to decide if the process is right for you. If you choose to turn to a private lender to refinance your loans, here are several of the best places to begin your search. Commonbond student loan refinancing Regular APR A tooltip Loan amount range Editor's Rating Editor's Rating Regular APR A tooltip Loan amount range Pros More Information Loan maximum up to $500,000 Customer service available via phone, email, and physical mail Late fee of $10 or 5% of payment amount, whichever is less Loans made through CommonBond Lending, LLC Commonbond makes our list because of its unique hybrid loan offering. Commonbond's hybrid loan fixes your interest rate for the first five years of your loan term, then switches it to a variable rate for the last five years of your loan period. The fixed rate offered on these hybrid loans is lower than Commonbond's traditional fixed-rate loan, so you can benefit from a locked-in lower rate if you think you'll be able to pay it off early. Look out for: High minimum interest rates. While Commonbond's higher rates are comparable to competition, its lowest rates don't hold a candle to some of the better lenders on our list. Earnest student loan refinancing A tooltip Loan amount range Editor's Rating Editor's Rating A tooltip Loan amount range Pros No late fees More Information Five, seven, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment term lengths available Loan amount range between $5,000 to $500,000 Skip a payment feature allows you to forgo making one payment every year Loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC Earnest has some of the lowest starting rates of any of the lenders on our list, so if you have excellent credit, it could be a good choice for you. Like Earnest 's undergraduate and graduate new loans, its refinanced loans have a special perk: the ability to skip one payment every year. You can ask for your first skip once you've made at least six months of consecutive on-time, full principal and interest payments, as long as your loan is in good standing. However, interest will accrue during this time, and the lender will extend the final payoff date of your loan by the length of the skipped payment period. Look out for: Opaque maximum interest rates. Earnest eagerly shares its minimum rates, but the company doesn't disclose its maximum interest rates anywhere. If you have a shakier credit history, you may end up with a higher interest rate than you initially expected. SoFi student loan refinancing Customer service available via phone, mail, and social media Loan amount from $5,000 to full balance Term lengths of five, seven, 10, 15, and 20 years Unemployment Protection provides up to 12 months of loan forbearance for eligible borrowers who lose their job through no fault of their own Loans are serviced through third-party affiliate MOHELA Currently, SoFi has a promotion offering zero interest through August 15, 2022 when you refinance your federal student loans with SoFi. You also won't make payments until October 1, 2022. While this sounds great on its surface, remember that the government has already paused payments on federal loans through August 31, 2022. Your federal loans aren't currently accruing interest. Additionally, if you refinance your federal loans, you'll lose eligibility for federal student loan relief programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness . Watch out for: Third-party loan servicing. Once your loan is funded, your loan servicer will be MOHELA, SoFi's third-party loan provider. If you prefer a direct relationship with your lender, this might not be the best choice for you. PenFed student loan refinancing Loans originated by Pentagon Federal Credit Union PenFed offers the lowest maximum rates of any lender on our list. If you have poorer credit and are still able to qualify for a PenFed refinanced loan, you might get a better deal with them than elsewhere. You need to be a member of the credit union to get your loan. If you've served in the military or work at qualifying associations or organizations, you'll qualify. If that doesn't apply, you can easily join by opening a savings account  with a $5 minimum deposit. Watch out for: Doesn't offer variable-rate loans. Variable-rate loans often start at lower rates than fixed-rate loans — although this rate can overtake a fixed loan over time. If you want a variable loan, you won't be able to get one with PenFed. Laurel Road student loan refinancing Customer service available via phone, live chat, and email $5,000 loan minimum, with no maximum Late fee of 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less .25% three-month introductory discount when you open a checking account with Laurel Road, then .25% discount for $2,500-$7,499 in monthly direct deposits, .55% discount for $7,500+ Loans are offered by KeyBank, member FDIC While Laurel Road offers some of the best fixed rates of all of our lenders, keep in mind that only 11% of applicants who applied between July 2019 and June 2021 qualified for Laurel Road's top rate, according to the company's website . Don't bank on getting the top advertised rate unless you have excellent credit. If you sign up for a Laurel Road checking account , you'll receive an interest rate discount on your refinanced loan. Look out for: Late fees. Laurel Road's late fee is $38 or 5% of your payment, whichever is less. If you fall behind on payments, the total cost of your loan will add up. Depending on the lender, the loan amount range is $5,000 with no max Splash Financial operates through a network of lending partners Splash Financial, like LendKey below, is a student loan marketplace, not a direct lender. A student loan marketplace allows you to compare loan offers from  multiple lenders  at once. The marketplace allows you to check your rates with no impact on your credit score . As a result, it's tricky to nail down the exact terms you'll receive with Splash Financial. For instance, some of the company's lending partners have no maximum amount you can refinance, while other have a cap. You may like Splash Financial if you want to compare a bunch of different companies all at once with one application. Watch out for: Splash Financial doesn't underwrite its own loans. As a result, you'll be dealing with whatever partner lender you choose and may have a different experience with them managing your loan than the one you expected. Citizens Bank student loan refinancing Repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15 and 20 years .50% rate discount if you or your cosigner have a qualifying Citizens Bank account at the time you submit a complete application and you sign up for automatic payments Loan amount range from $10,000 to $750,000 Loans are originated by Citizens Bank, N.A. Aside from the couple of lenders on our list which have no maximum loan amount, Citizens Bank's top amount of $750,000 is the most of any lender we compiled. It's also the only brick-and-mortar bank we have listed, which may be a good option for those who are more comfortable with traditional banking. Watch out for: High minimum loan amount. Citizens Bank's minimum of $10,000 is the highest of any lender on our list. If you have a small amount of student debt, you might find that another lender is a better fit for you. LendKey student loan refinancing LendKey operates through a network of partner credit unions and community banks LendKey, like Splash Financial above, is a student loan marketplace, not a direct lender. A student loan marketplace allows you to compare loan offers from multiple lenders  at once. The marketplace allows you to check your rates with no impact on your credit score. LendKey partners with credit unions and community banks, so you may get a more personalized level of service than you would with a Splash Financial partner. Watch out for: Low maximum loan amount. LendKey has the lowest maximum refinance amount of any of the lenders on the list. This probably won't be an issue unless you have a significant amount of student loan debt. College Ave student loan refinancing Late fee of $25 or 5% of payment, whichever is less Loan amount range between $5,000 to $300,000 Contact customer support by text, email, phone, live chat, or physical mail Loans made through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC College Ave offers 11 repayment term lengths. You're able to take out a loan for five to 15 years. Many other lenders limit your selection to four or five options — though some others do offer 20-year term lengths (which College Ave does not). Watch out for: Lower maximum refinancing amount. If you have a truly significant amount of student loan debt (we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars), you may not be able to refinance all your debt with College Ave. This won't be the case for the vast majority of borrowers, but it bears noting. Other student loan refinancing lenders we considered Discover:  Discover does offer competitive rates on its consolidation loans , which function similarly to other lenders refinanced loans. However, you're only able to consolidate a maximum of $150,000 with Discover — a lower maximum amount than every other lender on our list. ELFI: The minimum amount you can refinance with ELFI is $15,000, so if you have a smaller amount of student loan debt you want to refinance, the lender wouldn't be a good choice. PNC Bank: The bank's rates start slightly higher than the competition, and it jacks up its rates if you didn't graduate from school, so PNC's refinanced loans may be prohibitively expensive for people who didn't finish college. Which lender is the most trustworthy? The Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust, measures businesses using information like their responsiveness to consumer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here is each company's score: Lender A+ All of our top picks are rated A or higher by the BBB, with the exception of Commonbond and Splash Financial. Commonbond received a B+ rating because of 14 complaints filed against the business, and Splash Financial also got the same grade because of eight complaints filed against the business. It's important to note that a good BBB grade doesn't guarantee you'll have a good relationship with your lender. Ask family and friends about their firsthand experience with the company before signing on the dotted line, or read online customer reviews. How did we pick the best student loan refinancing companies? Personal Finance Insider's mission is to help you make the best, most informed decisions with your money. To do that, we combed through many student loan refinancing companies, comparing interest rates, terms, and fine print so you don't have to. We also compared our findings to other personal finance sites. We looked for several factors in determining the best student loans, including:  Interest rates: We looked for lenders offering competitively low interest rates, and we prioritized lenders with the lowest interest rates for both fixed and variable loans. Nationwide availability: We searched for student loans available in all or most US states. Variety of term lengths: We picked lenders that offered term lengths that fit many borrowers' different situations. No or few fees: We prioritized lenders that didn't charge fees, like origination fees or prepayment penalties. Some of our lenders still charge late fees, however. High maximum loan amount: We prioritized lenders that offer high maximum loan amounts to ensure you're able to refinance your loans with the same company. Better Business Bureau rating: We chose lenders that were given high marks by the BBB as a part of our screening method for trustworthiness. Frequently asked questions What is not a good reason to refinance student loans? While opting for a lower interest rate is often a good reason for people to refinance, it doesn't come without drawbacks for certain types of loans. If you have federal student loans, be careful before choosing to refinance them. You will  lose key protections that come with federal loans if you refinance. For instance, you won't be eligible for the COVID-19-related student loan payment pause, currently in place through August 31, 2022, and federal student loan relief programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness . You also won't be eligible for specific repayment options like  Income-Driven Repayment plans , which take your specific income and family size into account when determining monthly payments. Does refinancing your student loans cost money? It depends. Most of the time, lenders won't charge any application fees to refinance your loan. However, sometimes lenders will charge origination fees, which are deducted from your overall loan proceeds and add to the cost of your loan. None of the lenders on our list will hit you with origination fees to refinance your loan. Is it hard to get approved for student loan refinancing? Your credit history is the biggest factor in your refinancing approval chances. If you have a poor credit score, it'll be harder for you to get the green light for a new loan, but you may be able to enlist a cosigner to boost your likelihood of approval. How many years can you refinance student loans for? The lenders on our list allow you to refinance your loans with terms ranging from five to 20 years. All of them will let you pay off your loan early with no prepayment penalty. Does refinancing hurt your credit? In the short term, yes. When you apply for a new loan, lenders will conduct a hard inquiry to check your credit history, which will ding your credit score a bit. Additionally, when you refinance, your original loan is closed and a new one is opened. As part of your credit score is based on your payment history, your credit score may take a hit as your work to establish a new track record of reliable payments. What documents are needed to refinance student loans? While these documents vary depending on the lender, generally you'll need some combination of the following: A statement verifying your current loan Proof of income

  • When was Earnest founded?

    Earnest was founded in 2013.

  • Where is Earnest's headquarters?

    Earnest's headquarters is located at 303 Second Street, San Francisco.

  • What is Earnest's latest funding round?

    Earnest's latest funding round is Acquired.

  • How much did Earnest raise?

    Earnest raised a total of $307M.

  • Who are the investors of Earnest?

    Investors of Earnest include Navient, Otter Rock Capital, Correlation Ventures, Maveron, Wildcat Venture Partners and 20 more.

  • Who are Earnest's competitors?

    Competitors of Earnest include SoFi and 8 more.

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