Pawn shops have been a feature of the High Street for as long as High Streets have existed, with this traditional form of in-person lending seeing a resurgence in popularity over the term of the financial crisis (over which time such shops grew in number by 280% [BBC 2012]). Yet this age old industry is beset by a pretty terrible reputation of over inflated interest rates and a business model that preys on the poor. Conversely another impressive financial emergence over the course of the credit crunch has been that of peer to peer lending (which has been directly attributable to banks and other financial institutions restricting consumer lending).
Pawn Shops and Peer to Peer Lending: Unbolted entrepreneurs develop a financial hybrid
Today one innovative start up is looking to shake up the lending industry once more, and are planning to do so with a business model that can be described as a pawn shop/peer to peer lending hybrid. This company, Unbolted.com, will offer exclusively online peer-to-peer lending upon high-value personal assets that can allow for loans of anything up to £1 million. Each loan will additionally benefit from what are industry leading rates, with a 70% loan to value offered and an interest rate of 10.5%APR.
A Service that promises efficiency, as well as fairness
The Unbolted.com model features expert valuers who will provide loan offers within three hours; offers that are then up taken are then charged in the usual way (with interest calculated on a daily basis) and with the ability to repay the loan early, at any point that the consumer wishes.
The Co-Founder of Unbolted.com, Rito Haldar, introduces his fresh take on how loans on personal assets should really work:
“We set up Unbolted because we want to challenge the way people can access credit through the out-dated pawn industry and other secured lenders. We’ll do that by being transparent, offering fairer terms, cheaper rates and a convenient, easy-to-use online service that puts consumers firmly in control of their borrowing.”
Fellow co-founder of Unbolted, Ashwin Parameswaran, describes his views on how Unbolted will revolutionize the consumer lending industry:
“There’s a certain stigma, probably quite rightly, attached to the pawnbroker industry, which is in real need of a shakeup. We’re aiming to remove this stigma and create a new financing option that benefits more people.”
“The reality is that in difficult times people sometimes do need extra cash and through Unbolted they now have a smarter, fairer and more sustainable way to do just that.”
A solid start to a firm footed future?
Initial signs, as reported by co-founders Rito and Ashwin, may well show this new financial concept to be set for success; with healthy levels of enquires by lenders and borrowers alike. And with a current lending rate that rests between 1.5% and 3%, consumer interest doesn’t seem set to subside anytime soon.
Unbolted: Say goodbye to the outdated and outmoded form of pawn shop lending, and say hello to lender/borrower arrangements that benefit each in equal measures.
Unbolted is a trading name of Open Access Finance Limited, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with interim permission to conduct peer-to-peer lending platform activity.