Elevate’s Growth Shows It Pays to Focus on Non-Prime Consumers

Non-prime consumers are getting a boost from credit solutions provider Elevate.

The company’s focus on this financial segment has led to extensive growth this year, especially in products like its Elastic service—a bank-issued line of credit, backed by Republic Bank, that has just surpassed $200 million in total outstandings, the company announced today.

“These consumers have high volatility in income, a lack of savings, and a lack of access to credit,” Jason Harvison, COO for Elevate, told Bank Innovation regarding the company’s non-prime focus.

It’s not an unfamiliar problem to those in finance: about 64% of American non-prime consumers (which are, incidentally, the majority of American consumers) are unable to cover a $500 expense, according to Elevate—stats which have led to several startups and companies launching financial literacy products and tools.

“Financial innovations are really servicing those customers who have access to credit—but not those without access,” Harvison said.

Currently, there are 120,000 open Elastic accounts, and the product has issued over $680 million in loans since its launch in 2013. Users can borrow up to $3,500 in personal loans. Think of it as “chunk by chunk” credit–users are approved for a line of credit, and simply pay 5-10% back of the money they choose to borrow at a given time (5-10% of a $200 draw on the credit, for instance).

The Elastic product also focuses on financial literacy, with users gaining access to financial wellness tools and modules once they have joined the service.

The company is currently exploring ways to continue its goal of proving a consumer “relationship, not a transaction,” to its Elastic users, according to Harvison, which might include a future mobile app—currently, Elastic customers are invited via direct mail before applying on the website.

“TV, digital, are natural marketing advances [for Elastic],” Harvison said. “A mobile app is a natural extension of the website.”