When looking for refinancing, I consulted multiple lenders and websites conglomerating lenders such as SoFi, Credible, Purefy, etc. I had heard such great things about SoFi, but the rates they offered me were much higher than I expected to get from them. My credit score is >750, I have a solid and steady income, and a perfect history of on-time payments. I realize my debt is rather high, but that's the point of refinancing, right? Purefy gave me great rates but required two consecutive years of full-time employment. I had had over two years of full-time employment; just not consecutive so they denied me. Finally, I was down to Credible and Earnest. Ultimately, Earnest's option to let me choose my rate and loan terms resulted in me signing with them over Credible's Citizens Bank loan.
I can't say enough about how much Earnest has helped me both with their business model and their customer service. They clearly respect their customers every step of the way. If I had trouble with anything, they would email me back as quickly as possible with a complete and non-vague explanation. They would occasionally call me during the application process to see if I needed any help with anything. Plus, they will advocate on your behalf in front of your soon-to-be-former loan servicers. For example, I was afraid that Great Lakes would apply my refinancing funds incorrectly. I asked the Earnest help team about this, and they told me that if it does happen, they would be sure to straighten it out for me. Sure enough, Great Lakes applied my refinancing to the wrong loans and kept the "excess" that I didn't want going to them. Less than 24 hours later, Earnest had had Great Lakes apply the payments correctly and ensure that the excess will be sent back to them as a principal credit.
It is true that the entire process from application to payoff will take a good deal of time (1 - 3 months) which was highly unexpected and unfortunate for me because I was promised a 10-day payoff. Without me even complaining about it, Earnest informed me that once the payoff is sent, they will also be reimbursing me for the excess interest I had paid for not having their lower-interest-rate loan sooner as promised.
This is indeed a business, but it is a business that realizes that when your customers are treated like people rather than ATMs, the profits will come, and I wish them luck.