“Financial barriers prevent millions of Indian students from considering an education in the United States. And students who take advantage of loans from Indian banks end up paying high interest rates and fees, which impacts their ability to save money and access credit for other important life needs. life”, note Nikhil MudgalFounder and CEO, Lorien Finance.
With 14 years of investment banking and lending experience in the US and European markets working at global banks such as Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and PNC, Nikhil started Lorien Finance after identifying student difficulties immigrants to obtain and repay a student loan for study abroad. Lorien’s core team brings over 40 years of experience in the global financial services industry as operators, advisors, lenders, risk managers and entrepreneurs. Whereas Vishal MundraCo-founder and CTO, Lorien Finance leads product development at Lorien, Gaurav Arya leads sales in India and brings over 14 years of experience in business development, strategy and operations in the Indian fintech space.
Lorien disrupts the status quo by combining his fundraising connections in the United States with his understanding of Indian culture and financial risk. “Our mission is to make loans cheaper, accessible and transparent for students by connecting US banks to student financing needs and privatizing credit risk while solving an important social problem,” says Nikhil.
What awaits Indian immigrants?
Annual expenditure by Indian students studying abroad is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025 and the number of Indian students studying abroad is expected to reach 2 million by 2025. However, affording an education to United States can be very daunting for a middle class Indian family. . Therefore, most of the students opt for an education loan to fulfill their dream of studying in a foreign university or college.
Lorien Finance offers you education loans to Indian students at interest rates as low as 8.5%, so they don’t have to bear the burden of high monthly payments. Moreover, it does not require any collateral and does not impose forex conversion fees, prepayment penalties or hidden fees. Applicants can avoid stacks of paperwork and get their loans sanctioned within three days, thanks to their fast online application process.
“Our strong relationship with American banks and private credit funds allow us to source capital on favorable terms enabling us to offer our clients lower interest rates on student loans,” adds Nikhil.
Lorien’s underwriting model is progressive. Unlike other lenders who look at current repayment capacity, Lorien looks at future income potential to underwrite and sanction loans. The company analyzes local credit history and alternative data sources to find several ways to prove creditworthiness.
Based in New York and New Delhi, Lorien Finance stands out from local banks and other lenders in the market because of its exceptional customer support this makes obtaining a student loan extremely quick and hassle-free. It also offers rate discounts to encourage and reward timely payments. The company has also eliminated the need for insurance from the 1.5% charged by most Indian lenders. Students can also start building their credit history in the United States since the loan is issued and repaid in USD.
The road ahead
The platform received over $75 million in loan requests within weeks of its launch and was recently awarded the 2022 Global Icon Award for the ‘Best Cross-Border Fintech Platform‘ by the World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME). After revolutionizing the Indian market, the company plans to extend the same model to other emerging economies such as Southeast Asia, South America and Africa.
Student Loans and US Bank Accounts are initial product offerings only. The company has big plans for its future. “Lorien is not just a student loan company. Our vision is to become a neobank offering a full range of financial services to our customers as they work and settle with families in the United States. We establish a banking and lending relationship with customers even before they set foot in the United States,” says Nikhil.
The company is backed by leading investors including Venture Catalysts, TSM Ventures, Kunal Shah (Credit), Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta (boat), Brijesh Agrawal (IndiaMart), Varun Alagh (CEO, Mamearth), Arjun Vaidya (Verlinvest), Dhruv Dhanraj Bahl (COO, BharatPe), founders of Shiprocket, founders of Classplus, Yaser Moustafa (CEO, NBK Capital – Kuwait) and John Werner (Ex-VP, PNC Bank).