Earnest to Join Utah’s Fintech Sector 

Pete CodellaNews, Tax Credits

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) today announced Earnest, Inc. will expand in Utah, adding up to 500 jobs to the community and $5.6 million in capital investment over the next five years.

“We welcome Earnest to Utah, where they will join the ranks of many cutting-edge companies disrupting the financial services industry and defining the banking of tomorrow,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “The company will benefit from Utah’s innovative business environment, which has produced a thriving financial technology sector. We are excited by what the future holds for this partnership.”

This marks the first major expansion for the San Francisco-based private financial services company. Earnest currently has 150 employees located at its headquarters. The new Utah operation will employ team members across credit and client operations, sales and marketing, engineering and management positions.

Earnest’s mission is to provide financially responsible borrowers with better access to credit through low-interest, hyper-personalized, no-fee loans. The company’s holistic, data-driven approach to underwriting more accurately prices financially responsible, high-quality borrowers at the low rates they deserve, reducing the current barriers and costs to credit faced by millions. Earnest looks beyond traditional markers of creditworthiness to consider factors such as income, savings, education, employment and credit history. Services include personal loans, student loan refinancing and home loans.

“We’re excited to announce that our second location will be in Utah,” said Louis Beryl, CEO and co-founder of Earnest. “Utah has become a thriving hub for both technology and financial services companies, with a deep talent pool across multiple areas that is complementary to what we see in San Francisco. Expanding to Utah is an important next step as we continue working to build the modern bank for the next generation.”

Earnest will create up to 500 jobs over the next five years. The total wages in aggregate are required to exceed 110 percent of the county average wage. Projected new state wages over the life of the agreement are expected to be approximately $63,622,881. Projected new state tax revenues, as a result of corporate, payroll and sales taxes, are estimated to be $14,017,108 million over five years.

“Earnest’s decision to expand to Utah further strengthens the growing fintech industry in the state,” said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “We welcome Earnest and hope they take full advantage of our competencies in IT and financial services.”

Earnest may earn up to 20 percent of the new state taxes they will pay over the five-year life of the agreement in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax credit rebate. As part of the contract with Earnest, the GOED Board of Directors has approved a post-performance tax credit rebate not to exceed $2,803,422. Each year as Earnest meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the total tax credit rebate.

The company is working closely with the local community to determine the best location for the project. Exact location will be determined at a future date.