On March 27, 2024, Relman Colfax published the Fourth and final public Report in its role as fair lending Monitor of Upstart Network (“Upstart”), pursuant to an agreement between Upstart, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (“LDF”), and the Student Borrower Protection Center (“SBPC”). 

Over the course of the monitorship, we did not find quantitative evidence that variables in Upstart’s Model functioned as close proxies for protected class status, but we did identify approval disparities for Black applicants. We also identified what we believe would likely have been a viable alternative model that would cause fewer disparities for Black applicants. The Final Report describes those findings, related recommendations, and responsive enhancements Upstart made to its fair lending testing protocols.

The Parties remain at an impasse over the appropriate and legally required methodology for assessing whether the performance of a potential less discriminatory alternative model would be comparable to the performance of an existing model. The final Report explains that impasse and the importance that resolving it has for ensuring fair lending testing of models is a meaningful exercise.

The Report also notes agreement by the Parties on the contributions of the monitorship to public dialogue about algorithmic discrimination, and it concludes by providing recommendations from the Parties and the Monitor to lenders, regulators, and policymakers.

Sentrana, a leading firm in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and Dr. Bernard Siskin of BLDS, served as expert consultants throughout the Monitorship.

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