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Boro Leverages Alternative Data In Extending Low-Interest Loans To Students, Graduates: 'We Can Help Them Do That'

Boro Leverages Alternative Data In Extending Low-Interest Loans To Students, Graduates: 'We Can Help Them Do That'

Mobile financing app Boro announced Wednesday that it will use $12 million in newly secured Series A funds to expand lending capabilities to credit-crunched students.

Boro provides credit to students and graduates who are underserved by traditional lenders CEO Hao Liu told Benzinga. 

Why Boro?

“I was very poor, so I totally feel the pain.”

Liu told Benzinga that he too was once a cash-crunched student.

“I could not get any access to credit; once I left campus, I got rejected by multiple landlords … they wanted three months of deposit.”

Knowledgeable about financial hardships, Liu helped launch Boro in 2015, targeting students with no credit or access to financing.

Boro’s core product portfolio consists of:

  • Boro Cash
  • Boro Drive

“We started with auto loans and recently expanded to personal loans, both of which evolved into Boro Cash and Boro Drive,” he said. 

Boro looks beyond traditional creditworthiness factors. Instead, the firm uses a proprietary application process that accounts for educational background, utility bills and banking activity, among other factors, in making lending decisions.

Boro's New Features

Recent additions to the Boro product portfolio include a behavioral analysis engine that determines how students will spend their money.

“We can give them advances based on their behaviors; we can either increase their credit line or increase the terms," Liu said. 

Boro issues incentives and shields against overdrafts via an educational content library and simple trivia. The company asks users to answer questions to help build financial literacy and improve client data. 

Boro's Next Steps

Boro is scaling quickly, adding tools that help with budgeting, investing and credit building, Liu said. 

The firm builds financial profiles, he said. 

“We introduced new features like budgeting; we analyze bank transactions and other data.”

The app determines "what kind of person you are — in terms of financial management — and gives advice depending on different attributes,” the CEO said. 

Boro aims to focus on and build long-lasting relationships with the college student population, Liu said. 

“In the next three to five years, we will focus on the college student population because it’s big enough and we think they are on the way to become prime — we call them early primes. We want to be their first lender; once they graduate, [they] stick with us and then we can continue to serve them until they are mature enough to use other lending products.”

To learn more about Boro and its diverse portfolio of lending solutions, visit


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