How Wilmington’s Best Egg became a leader in personal lending

LendingTree users recently rated Best Egg No. 1 in personal lending, building Wilmington's rep as a potentially major fintech hub.

Best Egg helps people with personal finance.

(Photo by Flickr user Sean MacEntee, used udner a Creative Commons license)

In 2013, Jeffrey Meiler founded Marlette Funding with a mission to find better ways to make loans accessible to consumers. A year later, in March 2014, the company launched its online personal loan service, Best Egg.
Three years later, Best Egg has been named the No. 1 personal lender on LendingTree’s quarterly list of the top customer-rated lenders.
One of the runners up was Goldman Sach’s personal loan product, so you know, nbd.
Best Egg’s selling points are its speed, flexibility and convenience. You can check your rates without dinging your credit score, and interests rates are considerably lower than most credit cards, making it a popular option for credit card debt consolidation. Not to mention, you don’t have to stress over dealing directly with a loan officer.
When Meiler started the company, he knew he wanted to stand out, but wasn’t initially covering all of those pain points.
“I brought in Brian to develop the product,” he said. Brian is Brian Conneen, Marlett’s CIO/CTO, and he brought the technical innovation to the table. The infrastructure he developed is cloud-based and easily adaptable.
“What Brian has helped us build is a different experience,” Meiler said. “The most frequent time our customers are applying is during their lunch break. They’re on their phone, and in about 10 minutes they have a loan offer. Of those consumers who accept the loan offered to them, more than 50 percent have the money in their account within 24 hours. That’s the big difference from a customer experience standpoint.”
The key to the speed of service is Best Egg’s interface with various data vendors. “We interface with payroll providers, for example,” Meiler said, “so the consumer doesn’t have to send us information like you might experience with a mortgage.”
Best Egg’s popularity and high ratings means growth for the North Wilmington–based company, which currently employs about 100 people in Delaware.
“We’re expecting to add 30ish more jobs in Wilmington in the next year,” Meiler said. Some of the positions the company is looking to fill include Manager of Digital Marketing, Strategy Implementation Manager (GDS Coder), Credit Risk Data Analyst and Manager of Credit Strategy.
“Wilmington is a great place to have a tech company,” said Conneen. “We’ve had no problem finding good talent here.”


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