Immigrants Have Always Made America Great

LendUp is founded on a simple idea: that technology and innovation can deliver financial opportunity and inclusion to the 56% of Americans shut out of mainstream banking. Our mission is to provide anyone with a better path to financial health. Our company values and culture underpin everything we do to support that mission. Our values are so important to us that we recently revisited them to see if anything needed an update. We didn’t change much; the core of what makes LendUp great is still the same. Yet, we did make some important revisions, and here’s one example of one of our updated new values:

Different Backgrounds, Same Mission
Diverse perspectives and a culture of inclusion help spur innovation and achieve better outcomes for our customers. The best ideas can come from anyone. Speak up, contribute, listen and learn from those around you.

An executive order was signed last week that bans refugees and even lawful residents from certain countries from entering the country. While we recognize the need to keep the country safe, we are greatly troubled and concerned by any actions that discriminate broadly against any people or compromise the growth of American businesses. We share the deep concerns of countless Americans and countless companies.

The order and subsequent actions are not only disappointing and break with long precedent, they are at odds with our values and hurt our ability to serve our customers, grow and innovate. They violate our strongest belief and forget our collective history. Simply put, they are wrong and destructive to ideals core to our humanity.

This comes from a very personal place for us, starting with me and Jake, my LendUp co-founder and stepbrother. My grandparents and great grandparents came to the US as refugees and I would not be here if the US had anti-immigration policies. Jake, LendUp’s CTO, is also the grandson of immigrants. In addition, several more of LendUp’s executives would never have come to the US if these policies were in place early in their careers.

It doesn’t end there. What helped create LendUp—our mission, our values, and our success saving working class Americans millions of dollars, improving credit scores, and delivering over a million financial education courses—came from the hard work of LendUp’s 200+ employees—whether their families have lived in the US for years, they come from a line of immigrants, are first generation Americans or they’re here on visas and work permits.

Many other LendUppers come from families of refugees and holocaust survivors. Whether an engineer, data scientist or customer service representative, it’s safe to say our immigrant colleagues fuel a lot of LendUp’s work. We, and our customers, benefit greatly from these individuals who’ve come to the US to pursue their educational and professional dreams. Immigrants at LendUp aren't taking opportunities away from Americans. Rather, we’re actively improving the lives of Americans each and every day.

In short, LendUp can not deliver on our mission to give anyone a path to better financial health if we don’t have a diverse team full of different perspectives and life experiences.

We know we didn’t come up with this idea. It is at the heart of our humanity.

Should the government follow through on plans to restrict work permits and other forms of legal immigration, the impact would be felt directly by LendUp and many other companies. Some of LendUp’s talented employees could be forced to leave the country. They are brilliant and hardworking people, who care deeply about our company and our country. These rules will drive talented people away from our companies today, and rob us of their contributions tomorrow. Much of the amazing technology that’s built here is in part thanks to the motivated people from around the world who move to the United States. Diversity of ideas and perspectives keeps us curious and innovative. To stop that influx would hurt our companies, the economy, and most importantly, the American people.

LendUp is well aware that many in America are hurting economically. We lend millions of dollars every day to people who aren’t served by the country’s mainstream banking systems. We spend time with them on the phone, hearing about how they are trying to improve their financial lives; many call just to thank us for helping them in a moment of need. Trying to push out legal immigrants who are contributing to this country’s health and prosperity is not an effective path forward. We must continue to benefit from the timeless value that “Diverse perspectives and a culture of inclusion help spur innovation and achieve better outcomes”... for everyone.

Disclaimer: LendUp is not providing financial, legal or tax advice. If you need or want such advice, please consult a qualified advisor.

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