Lending practices have typically been racist, but one BIPOC-led fintech firm is aiming to shift that with a powerful new partnership.
Stratyfy, a company that uses AI and machine learning to streamline equitable credit underwriting decisions recently announced that it joined forces with Beneficial State Foundation on its Underwriting for Racial Justice (URJ) program.
The two-year pilot program equips 20 lenders with Stratyfy’s technology to minimize racial bias in assessing credit risk.
“We are honored to partner with Beneficial State Foundation on this groundbreaking initiative,” said Laura Kornhauser, co-founder and CEO of Stratyfy in a statement shared with ESSENCE. “The innovative lenders selected for the URJ program are redefining how people of color in their communities are able to access credit, and Stratyfy is the technology chosen to deliver the collective insights and recommended actions to make it happen!”
“Stratyfy is a key partner in this effort, using their credit risk solution to help lenders confidently make bold and meaningful changes, while managing risk and meeting regulatory requirements for safety and soundness,” said Erin Kilmer Neel, executive director and chief impact officer at Beneficial State Foundation. “Beneficial State Foundation launched the Underwriting for Racial Justice program to guide lenders through a process to increase access to fair credit.”
Black borrowers are more likely than other racial groups accrue high interest loans to keep businesses afloat, secure credit cards or purchase a home.
The following lenders will take part of the pilot program: Beneficial State Bank, Berkshire Bank, BetterFi, Chehalis Tribal Loan Fund, Community Vision, Eastern Bank, Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF), Leech Lake Financial Services, LISC, Montecito Bank & Trust, NBT Bank, N.A., New Orleans Fireman’s Federal Credit Union, REDF Impact Investing Fund, Rivermark Community Credit Union, Texas National Bank, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Lending, Inc., Urban Redevelopment Authority, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Working Solutions CDFI and Washington State Employees Credit Union.