In a Nutshell: Canadian consumers have a vast array of loans available to them as evidenced by the growing amount of debt in the country. But having lots of options also means that finding the best deal can be a time-consuming task. LoanConnect helps prime and subprime borrowers compare offers in real time, and apply for and receive loans in a timely fashion. The platform’s security measures and its lenders’ credit-check procedures protect consumer credit scores and personal information, ensuring a worry-free shopping experience. And LoanConnect’s customer relations adds even more value with a call center that assists consumers with the lending process, and a credit improvement program that helps them qualify for better rates and ultimately save money.
A few years ago, while sitting in his dentist’s office, Adam Rice — now the CEO of LoanConnect — overheard a patient asking about in-house financing.
The dentist’s answer was no; some people made payment arrangements, but the office didn’t offer financing options. This conversation made Rice, who had previously started a real estate aggregation firm in China, stop and consider Canada’s need for fast consumer financing.
“I put on my aggregator hat and said, ‘It’s becoming a lot more congested and difficult to find lenders, but it’s also more difficult for those lenders to find consumers. What if we basically created a platform where multiple lenders competed to help that individual finance and purchase in real time — truly, an open system they could use on their phone, where they searched multiple lenders, and used one of those loans to finance whatever they wanted?’” he said.
The result is LoanConnect, which helps Canadian consumers find the loans they need, when they need them, and at the best rates, terms, and conditions they qualify for. And if an individual doesn’t qualify for a prime loan, LoanConnect will help them find offers they are eligible for, while also helping them improve their credit so they qualify for lower interest rates in the future.
“If you’ve got bad credit, we’ll work with you. We’ll move you up, and we’ll get you a better loan,” Rice said. But unlike some online loan aggregators, LoanConnect doesn’t exclusively deal in subprime loans. Instead, it’s focused on unearthing financing options for everyone. “We’re there to help people with poor credit, but we’re absolutely there to help people who have exceptional credit, too,” he said.
It’s no secret that Canadians make extensive use of credit. The Financial Post reports that, according to Equifax, Canadians carried $1.821 trillion in debt during the fourth quarter of 2017. This is a 1.3% increase from the third quarter and up 6% from the previous year. Under the nation’s current economic situation, this level of debt is sustainable — but that situation can fluctuate quickly.
This makes responsible borrowing a priority to safeguard individuals’ personal finances, as well as for national economic stability. But, a subprime consumer isn’t going to qualify for the best deal on a loan, and in an emergency, won’t take the time to comparison shop.
LoanConnect’s automated application process allows borrowers to quickly obtain funding for a variety of purposes. Because comparing rates and eligibility is built into the platform, they can be certain they’re getting the best deal available while enjoying security and service that will help them meet their financial needs and improve their credit.
A Faster Lending Process than Banks and Better Rates and Terms than Payday Loans
To find offers through LoanConnect, borrowers need only enter some basic personal and financial information. LoanConnect will query lenders and return the best results to the user. If the borrower finds a loan they like, they can accept the offer and have their money inside 24 hours.
“The idea is quick adjudication,” Rice said. “Come to our site, fill in an application, and we’ll show you offers right away. It takes 60 seconds to get through the app, and funding can be as quickly as the same day. There’s no need to fax any documents or go back and forth with a financial institution.”
LoanConnect’s automated process allows it to offer these fast application and turnaround times, which far outpace those of Canada’s big banks.
“Many banks have you fill out a paper application,” Rice said. “They would fax that paper application off to their head branch in Toronto. And it would take about five days to adjudicate, and then they’d come back to you with a yes or a no.”
Anyone who’s ever needed an emergency loan knows that time frame doesn’t help them, which is why people turn to payday lenders, said Rice. “They need the money now. They don’t need it two weeks from now,” he said. “I think the system is essentially broken — not allowing people to access something they needed in real time.”
LoanConnect’s process sidesteps the wait times of banks and the high interest rates of payday loans. “By having automation, we’ve minimized friction almost entirely. You’re filling out a small, simple application, we’re showing you offers, and you’re proceeding to get funded as quickly as the same day,” Rice said.
How a Call Center and Credit Improvement Program Put Consumer Interests First
LoanConnect’s mission extends beyond helping people obtain loans. The platform can also help subprime borrowers improve their credit scores, qualify for better loans and lower interest rates, and keep more money in their pockets.
“We’re one of the few platforms that has developed a consumer-facing call center that can help you with whatever’s going on. I think a lot of people feel like their voice isn’t heard, and we want LoanConnect to be that place where it is heard,” Rice said.
“We actually operate the call center at a loss, strictly for the reason of having people there who can help. It’s a very important part of our business. We want to be known as a company that cares.”
LoanConnect also supports customers through its credit building program. “If we’re not able to get you a loan, we’ll work with you to try to get you to a place where you can,” Rice said. “If we get you in on a subprime loan and it’s high interest, we’re going to tack you into the credit improvement program. We’ll work with you to improve your score, and we’ll try to move you to a lower interest rate. That’s something a lender will never do.”
Future Plans Include Point-of-Sale Term Loans
LoanConnect prides itself on doing things a bit differently, and it’s not content to rest on its laurels as seen by an upcoming offering of fully flexible, point-of-sale term loans.
“We’re going to be moving into a solution where we’ll allow consumers to finance anything they want, anywhere, through our network of lenders,” Rice said. “You could be in a store looking at a television, and you could use LoanConnect to search lenders. We’ll show you offers, and you’ll end up being able to fund your purchase with the loan in real-time.”
Through this expanded service, LoanConnect will provide consumers with an alternative to high-interest credit cards when making large purchases. “A lot of people put money on their cards, they leave it, and they pay the monthly amount. We’re trying to move people out of that into a more stable payment plan,” Rice said. “Have that thing paid down in two years, and be done with it, and save a lot of money while you’re doing it.”
By getting fast loans at reasonable rates, consumers can obtain the funds they need without taking on an inordinate financial burden. And they’re able to maintain a certain quality of life by continuing to spend, helping sustain the Canadian economy.