Climb Credit Featured in Bank Director Magazine


We're excited to share that Climb Credit CEO Zander Rafael has been featured in Bank Director's article "The People Who Plan to Change Financial Services." Check out the segment on Zander and Climb here, and subscribe to Bank Director's free(!) digital magazine to read the full article:


From "The People Who Plan to Change Financial Services"

Naomi Snyder, Editor for Bank Director Magazine

Zander Rafael

This student lender calculates the school's ROI to determine eligibility for a loan.

With the rising cost of tuition, students who take out loans end up with an average of $20,000 in debt after college, leading to rising rates of delinquency. But what's holding the schools accountable? Alexander "Zander" Rafael, 32, and his team created Climb Credit in 2014 to service student loans based on the returns the college provides its graduates. This places Climb among a menagerie of fintech startups, including like SoFi, LendEDU and CampusLogic, all trying to serve the student loan market.

Climb, which funds its loans through investors, stands out because it only works with schools that have a record of landing students jobs that "pay them enough to [cover the] cost of tuition," says Rafael. In addition to evaluating the student, Climb also assesses the schools. If the institution passes Climb's graduation and return on investment analysis, then its students are eligible for Climb loans and the school takes on some of the risk of the loan, receiving more money if more students pay them back.

Climb has grown by focusing on more non-traditional learning environments, like coding bootcamps, where students invest $10,000 for a yearlong program to learn web development. According to Climb's analysis, many of these students land jobs that pay up to $70,000. "The return was very strong," says Rafael. Climb now works with 70 schools, including some two and four-year university programs.

Schools benefit because they can accept students that lack cosigners and who otherwise may have struggled to find a private loan elsewhere. Climb charges an average of 9 percent APR for the loans, but it can range from 7.59 percent to 23.41 percent.

With a $400 million lending capacity, Climb has raised a Series-A funding round of $2 million. But the idea has shown early promise, as Rafael adds that profitability is "within line of sight."