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Lendio Helps You See All Your Loan Options And Find The Best Rate

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Below is our recent interview with Brock Blake, CEO and Founder of Lendio:

Brock Blake

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Lendio?

A: Lendio was founded in 2011 with one goal in mind: helping entrepreneurs get access to capital so they can grow, recharge, and thrive. A free online marketplace (like Kayak, AirBnB, or Yelp), Lendio helps small business owners find the right loans within minutes. When a small business owner comes to Lendio, they fill out one application and it gives them access to multiple loan products from over 75 lenders including online lenders like Kabbage and Fundbox as well as large institutions like Bank of America and American Express. Lendio handles the customer experience from start to finish, compiling offers for the borrower to compare rates, terms, and payment amounts, and providing expert advice to help them select the ideal loan for their business.

Since its inception, Lendio has been making an impact on the American economy helping one small business at a time. To date, Lendio has helped small business owners get more than $850 million in loans and pump an estimated $3B back into the economy.

Q: How exactly does it work?

A: Lendio is unique in the vast world of lending companies because of the way it offers borrowers the best in options, speed, and trust when it comes to business loans. Its marketplace model allows small business borrowers to shop the most small business loan options in the world for free. Lendio’s technology not only makes the application process fast and easy, it puts capital in the hands of small business owners much quicker than a traditional financial institution. Lendio’s unique customer experience also stands out from the competition’s. Each borrower is assigned a funding manager that is consultative and there to answer questions from the moment an application is submitted until the loan closes—and even after.

Historically, business owners needed perfect credit or a decade of time in business to get a loan. An online lending marketplace like Lendio is a game changer for business owners with less-than-perfect credit or those who are just getting started. In addition to credit and time in business, the lenders on Lendio’s platform will consider a variety of factors to determine if they’ll offer a loan including:
● The type of loan
● The business’s financial projections
● Use of funds
● Industry
● Monthly revenue

This means Lendio is able to serve a much wider swath of business owners and continues to help fill the financing gap for mom and pop shops, seasonal businesses and women- and minority-owned small businesses that have traditionally been underserved.

Lendio distinguishes itself in the small business lending space by being a one-stop shop for small business owners in need of financing. Lendio helps them take the guesswork and legwork out of getting access to funds so they can focus on what they do best: running a successful business.

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Q: What types of loans do you provide?

A: There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the U.S. and 80 percent of them want small-dollar loans. Since it costs banks just as much to underwrite $1 million loan as a $100,000 loan, and traditional banks only lend to businesses that can put up collateral and make personal guarantees, it is very difficult for most small business owners to get loans.

Lendio fills a critical credit gap for these types of business owners. The typical loan size granted through Lendio’s marketplace is $40,000, and the industries best represented include retail, restaurants and construction. Lendio’s marketplace is a faster, easier way for these small business owners to get financing including credit cards, lines of credit, short-term specialty loans and long-term traditional loans.

Lendio gathers loan offers for approximately 70 percent of the small business owners who apply. Funding times vary by loan type, but instead of the traditional weeks or months of wait time on loan approval from banks, Lendio approves business owners within a few days, and sometimes in as little as 24 hours. Funding times vary by loan type but business owners can often access their capital in as little as 24 hours.

The Lendio experience is unique: it is both high-tech and high touch. With a laser-focus on customer experience and satisfaction, Lendio is driving repeat customers while helping newcomers build a credit profile and graduate to more long-term financing solutions.

Q: You’ve recently announced that Lendio Gives has provided more than $70,000 in microloans to 2,800 underserved entrepreneurs in 78 countries; could you tell us something more?

A: Lendio Gives is our way of making an even bigger impact, both locally and globally. Through this employee-driven charitable program, Lendio matches every dollar our employees donate and also provides opportunities for volunteer work.

One of our biggest charitable initiatives is Kiva microloans. For every loan facilitated on our marketplace platform, Lendio Gives donates a percentage of funds to low-income entrepreneurs around the world through Kiva.

Kiva is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that alleviates poverty by connecting small business borrowers in impoverished countries to short-term micro loans. These loans help borrowers all over the world start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy, and much more. Each month, Lendio employees pick the Kiva loans they’d like to support, then Kiva pools our employee donations with others to provide loans in more than 80 countries. Eighty-eight percent of Lendio’s Kiva loans go to female borrowers who don’t qualify for traditional loans and have to look beyond banks to access credit and financing.

Lendio’s contributions to Kiva are part of its greater mission to eliminate the barriers to starting and growing a business and to empower individuals to take advantage of opportunities. We believe strongly in the long-term impact our donations to Kiva are making on business owners around the world. Microloans can help underserved entrepreneurs for years to come, and empowering those who have struggled without financial services means more jobs, more opportunity, and stronger economies.

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Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: There are nearly 30 million small business owners across the United States. On average, most of these business owners are looking for financing every three to five quarters. When you consider that the average business owner spends about 26 hours on the traditional loan process, not to mention sometimes weeks or months waiting for an answer from a bank, you can see the need for better options and better access to capital for small businesses.

Lendio is primed for continued growth driven by the increased demand in the economy to support small business financing. What’s exciting is the market is still largely untapped for online small business lending. Lendio plans to become a household name as the marketplace, both online and in its franchise locations across the country, for business owners to do comparison shopping and find the loan product that is the best fit for them in the most efficient way possible.

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