In the latest example of consolidation in the digital lending sector, a pair of consumer-facing startups are joining forces.

LendingPoint, a Kennesaw, Ga.-based company that focuses on borrowers with blemished credit records, has acquired San Diego-based LoanHero, which specializes in loans at the cash register, according to a press release Thursday from the two firms.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LendingPoint said that the acquisition will accelerate its expansion into the financing of consumer purchases at retailers.

“LoanHero’s merchant platform is the perfect complement to our consumer portfolio,” LendingPoint CEO Tom Burnside said in the press release.

Tom Burnside, CEO of LendingPoint
“LoanHero’s merchant platform is the perfect complement to our consumer portfolio,” said LendingPoint CEO Tom Burnside.

“We’ve been so impressed by the energy and talent of the LoanHero team, and we look forward to working with them to dramatically improve access to credit for a large and underserved segment of consumers and merchants, whenever they need it.”

LendingPoint is part of a crop of fledgling lenders that look beyond credit scores to assess the likelihood that borrowers will repay. The four-year-old company’s scoring model is premised on the idea that scores developed by the likes of Fair Isaac are overly pessimistic regarding certain consumers.

LoanHero offers installment loans in partnership with retailers that sell big-ticket products or services, including in the medical, dental and home improvement sectors. Hundreds of merchants currently use the LoanHero platform, the two company said.

“We join one of the best teams in the industry, with unparalleled knowledge in risk management, credit and underwriting across consumer and merchant finance,” LoanHero CEO Zalman Vitenson said in the press release.

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Kevin Wack

Kevin Wack

Kevin Wack is a California-based reporter for American Banker who covers the U.S. consumer finance industry.