Climb Credit raises $50 million funding from Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group to expand access to career-transforming education for students
According to US News, income inequality is exacerbating the gap between rich and poor school children. According to a 2018 report, poor kids participated in fewer educationally enriching activities over the summer than middle class and wealthy kids. Only 7 percent of poor kids and 13 percent of “near” poor kids (families of four living on an income of $22,000 to $44,000 a year) went to summer camp. One fintech startup, Climb Credit (Climb), is hoping to reverse this trend by providing financing for students to affordably learn valuable career skills that have a life-changing impact.
Today, Climb announced it has raised an additional $50 million in lending capital from the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, which makes investments to benefit underserved communities in the United States and address the opportunity gap for low-income people and families. The funding will be used to expand access to career-transforming education for more students by providing financing with competitive interest rates and a clear, measurable return-on-investment.
Since 2001, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group has committed $7 billion to underserved American communities. Partnering with local leaders and non-profits, we focus on comprehensive community development that supports the fundamental building blocks of opportunity, including affordable housing, quality education and healthcare, and growth capital for social enterprises and small businesses.
Founded in 2014 by Alexander Rafael, Raza Munir, and Vishal Garg, the New York-based Climb is a student lending company that expands access to quality education for the new economy. They identify schools that consistently improve their graduates’ earning potential and justify the cost of their tuition. They then provide simple, fast, and affordable loans to their students to help them meet their career and financial goals. They know students are more than just their credit score. By factoring in the power of a transformative education, Climb can offer more students better rates–and they strive to only finance education that positively impacts students’ lives.
Climb Credit partners with programs and schools that consistently improve their graduates’ earning potential and demonstrate a return on investment, with schools ranging from IT, coding and data science to healthcare, welding, and heavy machine operations. The company provides schools with the opportunity to offer affordable financial aid to all students––regardless of credit profile––because Climb Credit believes in the life-changing (and wage-growing) power of the education programs they finance. Climb Credit’s mission is to change the higher education paradigm by providing accessible funding to students pursuing high ROI education. Since its inception in 2014, Climb has originated nearly $100 million worth of loans, funded the education of nearly 10,000 students and partnered with over 100 schools in career paths that have strong earning potential in today’s economy—ranging from data science to healthcare to heavy construction operation.
At a time when millions of Americans are confronted with the choice between the significant burden of college debt or a life of low-paying work and job insecurity, Climb empowers students to find education programs which will allow them to learn valuable skills and directly increase their earnings in high-growth industries in a cost-effective way. Climb uses a proprietary Return-on-Investment Calculation to evaluate schools on their platform. The calculation takes into account factors including graduation rates, job placement rates, starting salaries and salary growth over time. When programs demonstrate a proven return on a student’s investment of time, energy and money, the end result is the alignment of interests between the students, schools and lenders.
“The Urban Investment Group is proud to partner with a company that is making career-focused post-secondary education accessible for students from all income levels and backgrounds,” said Margaret Anadu, managing director and head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. “We look forward to supporting Climb as they help create opportunities for students to deepen their skills and create opportunities for their futures.”
“We are excited to use this lending capital to strengthen and extend our offerings so we can help new students, career-switchers and employees who need to up-skill. The funding will allow us to help more people across the country build hard skill sets and transform their careers,” said Angela Ceresnie, CEO of Climb Credit. “By aligning school motivations with student career and salary goals, we open the door for thousands of people who want to change their lives through education.”