Here's Why Eloan Was Founded

Eloan was founded with the vision to deliver a "radically simple" loan application process using modern technology to improve the traditional lending experience. Since its early days as one of the pioneers of the online lending industry, Eloan has continued to uphold this promise, continuously adapting with the times to give borrowers a trustworthy, secure, and most importantly, simple, borrowing process.


While this may seem like common practice today, it represented a fundamental shift in the industry at the time of the company's founding. Original founders Chris Larsen and Janina Pawlowski had a vision for a better loan provision process and took advantage of the changes technology was making in the digital world to make that vision a reality.


In this article, we’re going to dive into the history of Eloan, why it was founded, and how it has transformed over the years to continue providing the best in class online loan services.


The Loan Industry Before Online Lending


In today’s e-commerce and tech-enabled world, it only takes a few clicks to get your hands on personal loan, allowing individuals and families to maintain financial stability in an easy timely manner.


Prior to the existence of online loan providers when the internet was still new and evolving, borrowers would have to apply for a loan in person. You would have to fill out several pages of long forms and provide every bit of your personal financial information to a lender.


As you can imagine, this required several trips back and forth to the bank and hours of real-life face time with representatives, which would take up time and money for everyone involved. Once the paperwork was submitted, it could still take weeks to find out if you were approved and then a while longer to receive the funds.


In a nutshell: it was a stressful, time-consuming experience dreaded by borrowers and lenders alike. Fortunately, with the advent of the internet, the opportunity for a revolution in the loan industry became a possibility. All that opportunity needed was someone willing to take the first step.

Eloan's Inception: The Loan Industry Steps it Up


Chris Larsen and Janina Pawlowski opened a traditional brokerage in 1992, shortly before the internet made its way into the mainstream. Before beginning on this new venture, the two had left behind jobs that were on the bleeding edge of technology. Pawlowski, a marketing expert and IT professional for the tech company Xerox, and Larsen, a financial systems designer for Chevron and an engineer at NASA, had the perfect blend of experience to launch a radical new lending company—they just hadn't realized it yet.


Shortly after setting up shop in Palo Alto, California, the two quickly found the traditional brokerage process lacking. The loan provision process was bogged down by slow systems and costly fees at every step. To compensate, loan providers had to raise interest rates, leading to a poor experience for customers as well. The end result was a system where both the lender and borrower were left unhappy.


Larsen and Pawlowski wanted something different and when the internet became fully commercialized in 1995, the pair had their solution. In 1996, using their unique set of experience, they transformed their small brokerage firm into one of the first online loan providers: Eloan.


By keeping the scope of the company's focus limited to mortgages and avoiding any reliance on traditional methods, Eloan was able to provide customers with a revolutionary borrowing experience. Eloan's methods cut costs by 50% which lead to lower interest rates and their unwavering commitment to customer service made the process seamless.


No more high-interest rates, no more excessive wait times, no more hassle. A radically simple loan process for everyone was on the rise.

It didn't take long for Eloan's unique, streamlined service to become popular with consumers. By 1999—just two years after the company's launch—Eloan was the number one lending site in the world. They secured 25% of the online lending industry during that time—an industry that had quickly gained $4.2 billion in revenue. Using the service, borrowers could compare more than 50,000 loans from 70 providers from the comfort of their own home with nothing more than a few clicks.


As the company grew and adapted with the technology of the times, Eloan continued to experiment with new avenues of lending and further refining the process each time. Through ventures like Auto Fund One—a separate entity that allowed the company to easily provide individuals with car loans—or Escrow Closing Services—another company created with the sole purpose of managing Eloan's closing services—Eloan was able to have end-to-end control of their service.


This meant no reliance on banks, no need for waiting, and no need for unnecessary fees. By incorporating services from companies like Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, and Oracle, Eloan was able to further improve their service by delegating time-consuming tasks to software that could accomplish the work in significantly less time.


In 2005, their reputation caught the attention of Popular, Inc.—the largest financial institution in Puerto Rico—and they became a division of Popular shortly after. Now equipped with the vast reach and resources of Popular, Eloan was able to provide more loans than ever at an even lower rate. To this day, they remain a part of the 124-year-old company, Popular, working together to provide customers with the best online lending experience possible.




Eloan offers personal loans to consumers with the same award-winning service that made them a hit to begin with. Their attention to detail and commitment to individuals shows in every aspect of their services.


Eloan is still on the forefront of financial technology, offering free resources like a personal loan calculator or debt consolidation calculator—both of which help individuals make an informed plan for their financial future. They also offer a robust Learning Center that provides resources on topics like Home Improvement, Debt Management, and Personal Finance.


Backed by the same principles of Larsen and Pawlowski's original vision, borrowers can use Eloan's service with the same peace of mind that sparked a new era for the lending industry.

* Please consult with your attorney, financial consultant/planner, accountant, and/or tax advisor for advice concerning your particular circumstances.  The information contained herein is for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional, tax, financial or legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. The information or opinions contained herein should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any particular product or service.


The information contained herein was prepared for general information and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional, tax, financial or legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. Eloan a Division of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or tax advice. Please consult with your attorney, financial consultant/planner, accountant, and/or tax advisor for advice concerning your particular circumstances.