UPST news

Hi Guys,

Crossed the Schwab wire

AgFed Credit Union Selects Upstart for Personal Lending


thanks for all the help

long UPST


AgFed Credit Union Selects Upstart for Personal Lending

Unfortunately AgFed sounds quite small with only six branches and $300 million in assets.


This announcement, although for a small institution, is part of the Upstart expansion of credit that is one of the unknown and unknowable points to factor in any attempt to forecast the future. For me, the investing thesis in Upstart relies on gaining more and more partnerships like these.

With every signing, the signing bank or credit union’s peers will experience FOMO as they see another institution upgrade their lending processes to compete with any process from a national lender. I believe, but don’t know when or at what point, there will be a critical mass of Upstart partners that will create a lemming-like rush to Upstart by everyone else.

As Saul pointed out in another thread, when thinking about the personal loan market, Upstart is providing a means by its rankings to expand the number of borrowers. But by partnering with these smaller institutions, Upstart expands also expands the market for funding personal loans as the institutions provide more funding for personal loans.

Upstart says it rates credit risk better for 2/3 of borrowers. At this point, though, as long as Upstart rates risk as well as anyone else, the company provides a platform for the small institution to upgrade its lending processes and not lose customers to local competitors or to lenders who are offering loans nationwide over the internet.

Right now, credit unions and small banks engage in very little personal loan lending because of the perceived risks. They also have a longer and human-based process to issue the loans. Upstart moves these institutions to a platform that levels their lending process in terms of time to match the biggest banks. Further empowers these smaller institutions to lend more in that space, knowing Upstart has a market in which they can sell the loans.

As for other lending categories with these institutions, credit unions’ share of auto lending - last year about 20% of the total market (10% of new cars) - has been trending down, probably due to the shift in consumer behavior to using the internet to shop for loans, or as Capital One offers, shop for a loan and the car at the same time.

Upstart can help them stem those losses by providing a lending platform that can be fast and efficient to compete with anyone and stem that downward trend in lending for these smaller institutions.



Six branches, but 25,000 members. My mom’s credit union is similar. They don’t have a lot of branches but they do a lot of network partnering and remote banking to make up for it.

"…AgFed CEO. “With Upstart’s modern, all-digital lending experience, AgFed will be able to meet the expectations and needs of today’s consumer.”

AgFed became an Upstart lending partner in September 2021 and will be part of the Upstart Referral Network. With the Upstart Referral Network, qualified personal loan applicants on who meet AgFed’s credit policies receive tailored offers as they seamlessly transition into an AgFed-branded experience to complete the online member application and closing process.

I like how this sounds like a SAAS platform relationship. Join the platform, look modern and add value/functionality for your members. Hopefully they can accelerate onboarding time and make more sense for smaller institutions over time.