Mortgage Tech Startup Privlo Expands Into California, Serving The State’s Burgeoning Self-Employed Population

Using A Proprietary Credit Model For Complex Incomes, Privlo Focuses On Qualified Small Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Seasonal Workers Often Overlooked By Banks

January 22, 2015 | Los Angeles, CA: Privlo, a Non-QM mortgage startup backed by Spark Capital and QED Investors, just launched in its home state of California where a growing self-employed workforce is increasingly locked out of homeownership by traditional banks. Privlo’s mortgage platform takes in a far wider range of credit criteria and unique documentation than traditional lenders to assess high quality borrowers with complicated incomes or financial histories. These segments include small business owners, entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals and seasonal or commissioned workers with spiky incomes. Where banks may shy away from strong applicants who can’t prove financial ability with simple tax returns or W2s, Privlo works with them to sort through the complexity and find a truer measure of their creditworthiness.

In a state where 1 in 6 people in the workforce are either self-employed or small business owners, traditional lending standards are creating an imbalance. “More than 90% of California’s small businesses are sole proprietorships, and it’s no secret that many in this group are totally capable of taking on a mortgage but simply can’t get approved. There’s pent up demand in every state we’ve launched, but we expect California to exceed anything we’ve seen so far,” says Privlo’s Chief Credit & Product Officer Saro Vasudevan. California cities like Berkeley and Santa Monica lead the nation, hovering around 22% self employment and reflecting the state’s entrepreneurial and contract-based industries like entertainment and technology.

The company, which also specializes in people who have had a single negative credit event, provides mortgages to highly qualified applicants who may have a bankruptcy or foreclosure as recent as a year old, and a short sale 6 months or older. This is compared to the general standard of two years or more among traditional lenders.

“We retain lifetime interest in every loan we make so we’re still quite selective. When we look past things like uneven income, we’re finding really qualified people, some even with credit scores in the high 700s with great financial capability,” says Privlo Founder and CEO Michael Slavin. “What we’re doing is more of a mind shift if you think about it. If you live here in California, you’re probably blazing your own path in one way or another. Traditional careers are becoming a thing of the past and we believe in embracing people and their entire financial picture, however complex it is, rather than devaluing their true financial ability.”

The company expects most self-employed Californians who will qualify for home loans, or “Privloans” as they are called, to come from consumer-facing industries such as entertainment, tech, food and beverage, hospitality, and health care services – sectors with variable income that make them unattractive to traditional mortgage lenders, but an ideal fit for Privlo.

About Privlo
Launched in 2011 by CEO Michael Slavin, Privlo ( provides mortgages to highquality borrowers who aren’t eligible for traditional bank loans. The founding team comes from the worlds of consumer finance, real estate and technology startups, and is backed by Spark Capital and QED Investors. Privlo is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and currently lending in California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia with additional states planned in the coming months.

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