Ascend raises $1.5M to launch loans where you can bet on yourself

A San Francisco startup is the latest to join the trend of companies offering you an opportunity to bet on your own risk-worthiness.

Today, Ascend Consumer Financial announced a $1.5 million seed round and the launch of its inaugural product, RateRewards, which introduces dynamic pricing into consumer loans.

The company is reinventing “the whole concept of underwriting and risk assessment,” CEO Steve Carlson told me by phone.

At Ascend, consumers with so-so FICO credit scores of 580 to 660 have two choices for a three-year personal loan of up to $10,000.

They can take the standard loan with an interest rate ranging from about 25 percent to an upper limit of 36 percent, depending on their score and initial assessments of creditworthiness…