Lending and financing technology companies to watch in 2021

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Personal loans can be useful for everything from consolidating high-interest credit card debt to financing major expenses. As more lending and financing companies join the fintech space, it’s important that consumers compare various lenders to find the best loan for their individual needs. 

Insider Intelligence has put together a list of the top lending companies, including AvantCredit, Zopa, and Bond Street. Learn how each of these firms rank in areas like competitive interest rates, loan term offerings, and inclusive eligibility requirements. We’ll offer insight on what has led to each company’s growth, and what it means for the future of the financial services industry.

AvantCredit 

AvantCredit, a subsidiary of Avant, was founded in 2012 to improve the borrowing experience for middle-income consumers. The company boasts to have lent over $6.5 billion. It’s ideal for borrowers who are looking to get funds quickly, have a FICO credit score between 600 and 700, and are interested in managing a loan online.

That said, AvantCredit has a high annual fee, no rewards, an origination fee up to 4.75%, and no direct payment to creditors. Competitors that offer the ability  to earn rewards and avoid an annual fee may ultimately win over customers.

Jaidev Janardana Zopa logo

Zopa CEO: Jaidev Janardana

Zopa


Zopa

Founded in 2005 in the UK, Zopa is the largest and oldest peer-to-peer company that survived the 2008 financial crisis. It now has more than 75,000 active investors who have lent over £3 billion to borrowers. As with other social lending sites, loans can be exchanged between individuals without the involvement of a bank, which can mean lower interest rates and fees for the buyer. 

However, loans are unsecured and you are tied to the terms of the agreement, so lenders must be aware of defaults and withdrawal fees that can make them lose money. Lenders may not receive the interest rate agreed upon with the borrower, as the site may take around a 1% cut. Business loans are also only available to sole traders, those ages 20 and older, with a minimum two years of trading experience.

Bond Street

Founded in 2013 by David Haber, Bond Street launched as a peer-to-peer lender as an alternative to traditional lending options. It offers borrowers a quick and seamless application process and access to loan funds up to $1 billion. The company offers rates between 8% and 25%, and allows borrowers to pay off their loan at any time without penalty. 

Despite these advantages, there are some potential downsides. Bond Street requires a credit score of at least 640, and it calls for borrowers to have a business that is at least two years old, which earns a minimum annual revenue of $200,000. Borrowers will also have to pay an origination fee between 3% and 5% of the amount they borrow.

Samsung Money by SoFi

SoFi

Samsung


SoFi

SoFi’s $0 reading commission and $0 account minimum make it an appealing option for new, cost-conscious investors, as other robo-investors may charge a management fee of 0.25% or more. Many may also find value in SoFi’s member bonuses, such as its career coaching and interest discounts on student loans.

However, the company’s lack of investment choices like mutual funds and bonds is not ideal for those saving for retirement. Unlike some of its competitors, SoFi doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting, which can reduce taxes owed on investment gains. What’s more, since the company launched in 2017, it’s not as established as larger players, such as Wealthfront and Betterment.

Assetz Capital

Assetz Capital entered the market in the UK in April 2013, and has since funded a total of 4,846 new homes and has grown to be a top 6 peer-to-peer market player with more than 30,000 active lenders. 

Investors are able to prioritize according to need, and spread their investments across different accounts in preferred proportions. Those looking for a higher rate of return may opt for automated and manual lending accounts, while those looking to easily return cash without a commitment can leverage access accounts. 

During the pandemic, Assetz Capital was quick to release capital when investors pulled out their capital rapidly, which caused problems with

liquidity
. But many users are confident they will continue to rebound from this as we transition into the new normal.

Funding Circle Founder and CEO: Samir Desai

Funding Circle Founder and CEO: Samir Desai


Funding Circle



Funding Circle

Funding Circle has helped more than 81,000 small businesses worldwide secure $11.7 billion in financing. It provides each customer with a personal account manager who takes the time to better understand and meet their individual business needs.

While they offer competitive rates without fees, borrowers may have to pay interest and an origination fee. In addition, while they do offer medium-term installment loans to established businesses, their requirements rule out younger and smaller businesses and start-ups.

Younited Credit

Younited Credit, formerly known as Prêt d’Union, was founded in 2009 as a peer-to-peer lending platform headquartered in Paris, France. It was designed to offer hassle-free loans and credit directly from individual lenders at a much cheaper interest rate. The fintech start-up holds its own license as a European credit institution, offering consumer loans in six countries: France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, Austria, and Germany. 

While the company offers especially low rates starting at only 5.18%, it makes a profit via a management fee up to 2%, which is taken from a loan before it is paid to an account.

Orchard

In the real estate market, buyers need to act quickly when looking to land their ideal home, which can be challenging when trying to sell their current residence at the same time. Orchard, a private lending company based in Scottsdale, AZ, counters this obstacle by offering cash for buyers who want to make an offer before they have moved. 

The benefits are that consumers don’t have to pay more than one mortgage at once, the purchase of their new home is not contingent on the sale of the old one, and they can cancel any time without penalty. 

Buyers should keep in mind that Orchard is only available to marketers, and there is a strict qualification criteria. The company charges a 6% service fee, and also requires that its borrowers keep paying their mortgage until their old house is sold.

LendUp

LendUp was established as an alternative to payday lenders. They have no credit requirement, which appeals to those with lower credit, and they…

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