The new fintech start up, launched in 2014, is an online peer to peer lending service that was founded by Ashwin Parameswaran and Rito Haldar to challenge an out of date pawnbroking system and other high interest payday loan style lenders. “At Unbolted, we use a peer-to-peer online model which strips out many costs and ensures our customers can benefit from lower rates than typical larger loan companies or pawnbrokers” explains co-founder Rito.
Sounds interesting but how are they different and how much more do they offer than the aforementioned companies? Well there are a number of benefits to using them rather than other lenders/pawnbrokers. Firstly there is no need for a credit check as money is borrowed against the users assets. This of course benefits the applicants in 2 ways – no footprint left on their credit file and no chance of being refused a loan on the strength of their credit report. Then there are the much lower interest rates offered by Unbolted.
With monthly interest rates of between 1.5% and 3% the rates are much more attractive than the 5%-10% offered by secured high interest lenders. With the loan being secured against high value assets, if a borrower defaults on the loan the item is sold at auction and any surplus funds are returned to the lender. Early repayment of the loan simply means the item being returned to the owner.
The assets that can be borrowed against is extensive but not exhaustive.
- Luxury handbags from designers like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes – original dust covers, fitted cases and the condition of the item will determine how much can be borrowed.
- Fine Wines from Mouton Rothschild, Petrus and Margaux that have been authenticated and stored at the correct temperatures.
- Artwork including paintings, antiques and collectibles as long as they can be authenticated and meet the correct requirements
- Diamonds, Watches, Jewellery and Gold or other precious metals, and classic cars are also items that as long as they can be authenticated and sold at auction can be used as security for a loan.
- Items not on the list include electronics, artworks by unknown artists, property and stocks and shares.
The application process is simple starting with pictures of the item/s and any accompanying certificates/paperwork being uploaded to the site. A member of Unbolted’s experienced team of valuers will then assess the item’s value taking into consideration the condition and authenticity of the item before an offer is made. This process usually takes around 3 hours. The offer is provisionally made and then once the item is received the money will be in the borrowers account within hours.
So it seems simple – use valuable assets as security to unlock short term cash with no credit checks, no exorbitant interest rates and the opportunity to pay off the loan and withdraw those assets once in a position to.