NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - If you think you're too small of an account for Goldman Sachs, the elite investment bank is expanding from Wall Street to Main Street with a new consumer loan division called Marcus.
Harit Talwar, head of digital finance for Goldman Sachs, says the everyday consumer can certainly get a loan from Goldman Sachs. The new online lending platform offers loans from $3,500 to $30,000 to help consumers save money by paying off their high-interest credit card debt.
Goldman launched Marcus in October by invitation only. Talwar says Marcus already given loans to tens of thousands of individual customers in the last 5 to 6 months. Marcus is now available to anyone who qualifies.
Talwar says a typical customer has at least $5,000 in credit card debt, is paying high-interest rates, and is a responsible person who pays bills on time with a FICO score of 660 or higher.
So why would a Dow component known for global investment banking, and producing powerful government personnel from Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Steve Mnuchin to President Trump's Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Director of the National Economy Council Gary Cohn get involved in consumer debt?
There's simply too much of it to ignore.
Talwar says there are tens of millions of people in our country who are way creditworthy, very responsible, and have anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 of credit card debt with very high-interest rates.
Americans are now carrying more than $1 trillion in credit card debt, according to the Federal Reserve. And Creditcards.com says the average interest rate on that debt has reached 15.72 percent.
The typical Marcus loan offers some relief: $3,500 to $30,000 for 2 to 6 years with interest rates from 5.99 percent to 22.99 percent and no fees. Talwar says they decided against the fees after talking to some 10,000 consumers about what matters most to them. They asked for value, fixed rates, no fees, and options.
Goldman Sachs is uniquely positioned to take on the credit card companies, having no legacy credit card business of its own. Talwar hopes Marcus will also take some of the shame out of carrying debt. He says that one of the big issues is that not only are people carrying a lot of debt at high interest rates, but they're also too embarrassed to talk about it.
"Debt happens," Talwar says. "It's how you get out of it that counts."
The Marcus website has a savings calculator so you can figure out whether a loan might actually save you money. It also has a call center in Salt Lake City where you can talk to real humans within 10 seconds without having to go through an automated system. Talwar says that and a simple website were also among the things consumers wanted most.