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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

NY Fed highlights an increase in unsecured loans from fintech firms in report, primarily among subprime lenders

Fintech Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank of New York Subprime Consumer Finance New York

Fintech

On November 21, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report on the rise and then contraction of unsecured personal loans from 2019 to 2023 for nonbank or fintech companies, and the role of alternative data and underwriting in that growth.

The report looked at how the economic conditions from 2019 to 2022 “created an ideal environment for FinTech firms to increase their loan originations.” It specifically noted that the U.S. government-issued stimulus payments and student loan repayment moratorium enabled fintech companies to expand their services to low- and moderate-income borrowers, including those with subprime credit. The report also looked at fintech’s role in that growth, what consumer segments are utilizing unsecured personal loans, the overall growth of the products, and the subsequent tightening of credit. Finally, the NY Fed discussed various fintech models and analyzed which models service the needs of low- and moderate-income households.