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Update: Grouplend/Grow is no longer offering unsecured loans directly – they are now partnered with various financial institutions. This decision was made in order not to compete with their new partners. If you are looking for a personal unsecured loan, visit Borrowell.
Apply online for a personal unsecured loan HERE
Please note: Some of the information below is currently not relevant, but has been left here for reference purposes or incase Grouplend Grow switches back to offering personal loans directly again. For information on Grow’s alternative go to the Borrowell Personal Loans page on this site.
Grouplend has changed their company name to Grow. The financing options they offer have not changed, they just felt the Grouplend name was not suitable for the direction the company was headed in. They will still be offering the same personal loans as before, only the brand has changed to Grow “Powered By Grow”.
Online lender Grouplend has rebranded as they are moving to offer products beyond personal loans. On Wednesday they announced that the Grouplend name would be replaced by “Grow” and have changed their main website address to poweredbygrow.com.
In a Globe and Mail interview, Kevin Shandu (CEO of Grouplend/Grow) said, “we were born from the spirit of peer-to-peer lending, and the name Grouplend served the purpose of describing what we did in a very literal way. We continue to deliver personal loans through an investor-backed model that lowers interest rates, but during our journey to this point, we discovered that our technology can be leveraged into many other areas of financial services as well.”
Expanding the services provided by the company is the principal reason behind the company rebranding to Grow. They now looking into complimentary products such as investment and insurance. Grow is working in partnership with a number of Canadian financial institutions to hopefully introduce some new products as early as the beginning of 2016.
Conventional banks are being challenged by more agile and user-friendly lenders, like Grouplend, that have identified an opportunity in a market that is in need of change. The online world and technological innovations have definitely changed so many different businesses, and the finance industry just happens to be next.
Video on how Grouplend’s application process works
Peer to peer lending
Peer to peer lending in Canada (p2p lending), and around the world, has become quite popular with new companies like Lending Club and OnDeck making news headlines with their IPOs. The change is truly international and Canada is now witnessing an increasing amount of progressive financial start-ups seeking to change the banking world. Vancouver’s Grouplend sees themselves as just what Canada needs. Grouplend and it’s competitors are bridging the gap between the banks and payday type lenders, offering unsecured loans at reasonable rates. With the average Canadian unsecured debt at $28,000 in 2014, it would seem there is definitely a market for Grouplend’s peer-to-peer lending service.
Grouplend was founded by former banker Kevin Sandhu and software engineer Daniel Cowx. Grouplend’s offices are fittingly situated halfway between Vancouver’s Financial District and the startup-centric Gastown neighbourhood, we are the product of collaboration between technology entrepreneurs and financial industry veterans. The founders noted that the average Canadian’s debt had soared to over $28,000 by the end of 2014. This is a situation where the problem is meeting a solution with peer-to-peer lending and the time is right for Canada.
How Peer to Peer Lending Works
Peer-to-peer lending, frequently shortened to P2P lending, is the basically the lending of money to unrelated people, without having to go through a traditional financial middleman such as a bank or other financial institution. This lending takes place online on peer-to-peer lending companies’ websites, using a variety of unique lending systems and credit score monitoring technology. Most peer-to-peer financing is unsecured personal loans. Secured borrowing products are also being provided by using possessions such as jewelry, cars, and art as security. The loans are made to a person rather than a company. Other forms of this type of lending would be student loans, real estate loans, payday loans, and secured business financing.
Personal Loan Interest Rates
The personal loan’s interest rates are set by the money lenders who contend for the lowest rate, or can be predetermined by the lending company on the based on the borrower’s credit rating. Borrowers assessed as having a higher risk of default are assigned higher rates. Lenders offset the specific exposure of loans not being pay back, by choosing which borrowers to lend to. The risk is further offset by diversifying their investment decisions amongst a variety of borrowers.
Many of the online lending in the peer-to-peer space is fully automated, allowing companies to operate with lower overhead. This makes providing the personal loans more cost-effective than the larger financial institutions. Borrowers are able to obtain funds at reduced interest rates and lenders are able to generate greater profits. When compared to the stock market, p2p financing has a tendency to have less volatility.
Even though the development of peer-to-peer lending in Canada was much slower than in numerous other countries, a number of startups had emerged in 2015. Grouplend Canada, based in Vancouver British Columbia (BC), is the country’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform, having processed $65 million in loan applications by May, 2015. The technical creativity of these alternate lenders has become a cause for concern for the country’s five big banks.
Grouplend – who are we?
We’re Canada’s very first online lending platform. Our role is to give Canadians a much better way to obtain financing which is quicker, much easier and more affordable than obtaining a financing from a bank or keeping a balance on your credit card. We are reducing the fees of borrowing due to the fact we have reduced the costs associated with lending. We take advantage of technology to connect borrowers, with decent credit seeking loans, and investors looking to earn a reasonable return on their money. All of this is done in a conveniently online, that guarantees timely, personalized service with very competitive interest rates. Our loans are 3 year personal unsecured loans, and our rates range from 5.9 to 17.25% APR currently.
Who does Grouplend lend to?
Each of our loans are tailored for financially responsible Canadians with good credit. Our borrowers have to be at least nineteen years of age, citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and have a minimal 36 months of credit track record. A minimum gross annual employment income of $30,000 is required and a FICO credit score of 690 or better.
Can I apply for a second loan with Grouplend?
Following six months of on-time repayments, we will consider providing second loans to customers on a case-by-case basis. If you are considering getting a second loan with us, please contact us directly by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1 888 540 3951
What can i use my Grouplend loans for?
While we do ask what the funds are being used for business development purposes, It is your money to use as you like. Typically people use our loans for many a variety of needs. Commonly they are used for consolidating credit cards, other high interest debt, household renovations, and opening or developing a small business.
Where do we lend?
Our loans are currently available to residents of all provinces except Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Saskatchewan although we are working on that.
What determines my rate of interest?
We take into account a wide variety of elements when calculating your interest rate such as your credit score, employment related information, loan amount required and other publicly obtainable information. Because of to the effective design of our technology, we are able to take a look at many various details in a very quickly to provide an interest rate that is customized to you. The personalized type of our rates, the specific determinants vary from applicant to applicant. Above all, we do our best to make sure that you are charged a fair and affordable rate that reflects not just your credit background, but also your credit in the foreseeable future also.
Will getting a rate quote affect my credit score?
No. Your personalized quote is what’s called a soft inquiry into your credit, and it does not affect your score. After you have obtained your quote, and if you have chosen to move forward, we will do a hard inquiry which may affect your credit score.
Are interest rates negotiable?
No. We look at a number of different factors when determining your custom interest rate, including your credit score, employment details, loan amount sought after and other publicly available information. Our credit algorithms then determine a personalized interest rate for you dependent on this broad collection of information. These interest rates are not negotiable, but they can be higher or lower at different loan sizes because of the way that our technology establishes your rate.
Doe is cost anything to apply or get a quote?
No. There are no application fees.
How long does it take to get a quote?
The application process takes only a few minutes and you will receive a quote immediately following that.
Will the rate quoted change during the term of the loan?
No. Rates remain the same during the term of the loan.
What are the minimum requirements to get a quote?
To obtain a quote you must be at least 19 years of age, a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, reside in one of the approved provinces, have 12 months of credit history within Canada. A minimum gross annual employment income of $30,000, and a minimum 690 FICO score are also required.
Do I have to be employed to receive a quote?
Yes. At this time we can only offer loans to people with a minimum income of $30,000.
Can I apply for a loan on a smart phone or tablet?
Yes, our website is designed for those devices.
What is APR?
APR represents the Annual Percentage Rate and is the annualized cost of your loan as a percentage of the loan amount.
If I am approved, what happens next?
To complete the application process, and get your loan, you will have to submit a few supporting documents to confirm your identity and income. All of the necessary documentation can be submitted through your Grouplend account and all done online. If you have any questions about the documentation, you can reach out to us through our live chat, by email at email@example.com, or over the phone at 1-888-540-3951.
What documentation do I need?
Within your account, you’re required to upload the following documentation:
1. A picture of the front and back of your driver’s license or provincial ID card, and a photo of your face.
2. A picture of a secondary piece of government issued photo ID. (One of the following: passport, birth certificate, social insurance card, provincial health card, permanent resident card or Nexus card.
3. Copies of your two most recent employment pay stubs. If you can’t provide pay stubs, we will also accept copies of your three most recent years of notices of assessment from the Canadian Revenue Agency.
4. Your three most recent months of bank account activity from the account that your pay goes into. We work with a bank account verification service provider that allows you to log into your online banking and authorize your bank to release to us a one time read only snapshot of your activity. The process is entirely safe and secure. We never know your password, and we don’t have access to your account going forward.
5. A void cheque or direct deposit form for the account that you verified in the step above. We will deposit your loan and debit loan payments from this account.
What happens after I have submitted the necessary documents?
Once you upload your documents, a Grouplend Client Care Manager will be in contact with you to respond to any inquiries that you have, and to ask you a some identity verification questions just to make sure it is really you who is taking out a loan in your name. Our credit team then requires a few hours to go through your application to make the final decision. If your application is approved, we will send you a loan contract for you to sign digitally. Once that is complete, we will send the funds.
How do I sign my loan agreement?
We are going to email you a link to your loan agreement, which in turn you sign digitally straight from your computer, phone or tablet.
How quickly can I anticipate receiving my loan?
As soon as you sign your loan agreement, we will send the funds. It generally takes one business day for the funds to be deposited into your bank account.
What fees are associated with my loan?
None. We do not charge you a fee for originating your loan. We also do not charge extra fees for paying off your loan early. We do charge a $50 fee if we ever attempt to debit a monthly payment and we are unable to because the funds are not available in your account.
One of the ways that we are able to maintain lower rates at Grouplend is the automated nature of our program. Processing cheques requires more resources on our end than automatic bank account withdrawals, so we charge $25 in order to recover our costs if you’d like to pay by cheque.
How do I repay the loan?
You provide us with a void cheque or a direct deposit form during the course of the documentation process, and we set up straight forward withdrawal every month.
Is there a penalty for repaying the loan ahead of time?
No. There are no early payment penalties or limits.
Can I make additional repayments?
Yes. Get in touch with us at a minimum of 3 business days in advance and let us know how much you would like us to withdraw and the date you want the extra payment to be processed.
How does Grouplend determine the interest?
Interest is calculated monthly and not in advance. If you pay the loan off early, you only pay for the interest up to that day and nothing additional.
What happens if I can’t make a payment on time?
If we try to process a payment and you have insufficient funds in your account, there is an insufficient funds charge of $50. If you know you will not be able to make your payment on time, please call us as soon as possible before the payment is due so that we can work with you to structure a payment plan to get you back on track.
Like all accountable loan providers, we report loan repayment history to the major credit bureaus. For our clients who make their payments on time, this can have a positive effect on their credit history and credit score. For borrowers who are regularly late on their payments, this can be harmful to their credit history and credit score. Being late on your payments or not repaying your loan can significantly affect your potential to obtain credit from any financial institution in the foreseeable future. In cases where borrowers are unsuccessful making their payments and are unable to work out a repayment plan with us, we will send outstanding payments to collections services.
Will my personal information be secure?
We are governed by most of the same governmental bodies that regulate the banks in Canada. Also we do not rely on older technology and systems. Your data is probably safer with us than it is with the banks.
How does Grouplend prevent fraud?
Combating fraud and protecting your personal information are our maximum priorities here at Grouplend. During the course of the loan application procedure, we take numerous steps to make sure that it is in actual fact you who is taking our a loan in your name. We work with reliable third parties to verify that all information provided is factual and legitimate. If we ever think that fraud is being perpetrated, we will contact the affected individual, and the Canadian credit bureaus to report the attempt. We may also contact law enforcement if the situation warrants it.
Grouplend in the News:
Markus Frind Invests In Grouplend
Markus Frind, the creator and CEO of POF (Plenty of Fish) is looking for new business interests after agreeing to sell his company for $575 million to The Match Group based in New York. Frind and Peer 1 Hosting founder Lance Tracey, are investing $10.2 million in the Vancouver peer-to-peer lending (P2P Lending) business, Grouplend. The online financial company was founded just 10 months ago, and makes use of data analytics to determine various loan rates for customers dependent upon on their credit history.
Marcus Frind told Business in Vancouver last month that he prefers investing in more established companies, such as the $21 million financial investment he made in Burnaby based e-commerce company Cymax, earlier on this year.
“We’re a bit of a departure from Marcus’s traditional strategy,” Grouplend CEO Kevin Sandhu told BIV, adding Marcus had invested a more modest amount last year. I think he was pretty overwhelmed by huge opportunity to leverage data to really improve on an industry that hasn’t changed much,” said Sandhu.
Sandhu said the company’s technology has been effective in pinpointing high-risk clients and successfully predicting the odds of having a loan paid back. This enables Grouplend to provide qualified applicants with a whole lot more competitive interest rates than its competitors.
Frind said in a statement Grouplend shows a lot of promise on the Canadian startup scene. “It is a technology based approach has the potential to revolutionize banking in this Canada.”
Grouplend’s customer volume has been two and a half times better than forecasted over the previous ten months and they are planning to use some of the investment to increase staff. Grouplend presently employs nine people, and they expect to expand that to as many as 20 employees by the end of the year and then doubling that by the end of 2016.
1 888 540 3951
900 – 510 West Hastings St
Grouplend CEO Kevin Sandhu’s interviews
Please note that Grouplend’s rates have dropped since the making of this video and now start at 5.9%
Announcement from Kevin Shandu on Powered by Grow.com
What I did not know, however, was how fast this change would unfold and how quickly Canadians would adopt our platform in search of a faster, more affordable and convenient way to borrow money. Nor did I anticipate how many areas of banking would benefit from intelligent technology paired with obsessive focus on customer needs.
Another thing I’ve learned along the way is that nobody should let a former (albeit reformed) investment banker choose a company’s name – at least not without some help.
We were born from the spirit of peer-to-peer lending, and the name Grouplend served the purpose of describing what we did in a very literal way.
We continue to deliver personal loans through an investor-backed model that lowers interest rates, but during our journey to this point, we discovered that our technology can be leveraged into many other areas of financial services as well. That brings smiles to our faces as it allows us to fulfill our vision of helping Canadians in ways far beyond what we ever thought possible. With each milestone, it becomes more apparent that the name Grouplend no longer describes what we do or what we stand for.
Today, Grouplend becomes Grow
Grow is a promise to our customers, our partners, our team and our investors. It is simultaneously our philosophy and our collective goal. It stands for relentless focus on improvement, for always setting our sights beyond the horizon. It is our culture.
Grow embodies what we believe in and what we expect from ourselves in the future. It gives us the freedom to explore alternative paths and challenge the status quo in financial services beyond the current framework, whether that’s in lending or elsewhere.
Latest in the news:
Grow, Canada’s Fastest Growing Digital Banking Company, Expands Its Loan Offering and Lowers Its Interest Rates
Mar 30, 2016 – Grow, Canada’s fastest growing digital banking company, announced today the most recent evolution of its online loan product to continue to help Canadians improve their financial well-being. Grow now offers loan terms that range from 1 through 5 years. The company has also adjusted its personalized interest rates, which now range from 4.8%-18.99%.
“Our mission is to relieve financial anxiety and improve Canadians’ financial health,” said Kevin Sandhu, Founder and CEO of Grow. “An important part of that is giving our clients as many borrowing options as possible so they can make the best financial decisions for themselves.”
The reduction in Grow’s interest rates is further validation of its technology-driven approach to banking. As the company continues to expand, it is able to reduce its cost of funds, increase efficiency and further develop its lending algorithms. The benefits of scale allow Grow to further increase its competitiveness in the market, in regard to price and product development, and pass even more savings to its clients.
The expansion of Grow’s personal loan offering comes on the heels of its recent partnerships with two of Canada’s leading financial institutions: Conexus Credit Union and First West Credit Union. These partnerships will incorporate Grow’s personal loans into the credit unions’ product offerings, allowing them to further empower their members and communities.
“While we are excited about this evolution of our personal loans, this is just the tip of the iceberg in regard to how we want to use technology to revolutionize the way Canadians access banking products,” said Sandhu. “In the coming months, with the support of our credit union partners, we will continue to deliver Canadians a world-class digital banking experience that pushes the boundaries of anything that exists today in Canadian financial services.”
Grow is reinventing banking by leveraging the power of technology to make personal finances understandable and anxiety-free. Through cutting-edge software and data science, Grow gives Canadians a faster, easier and more affordable way to borrow. The company’s no-fee personal loans are entirely online, the application can be completed in minutes, with the funds deposited by the next business day. Grow’s newest product, RateTracker, provides unparalleled transparency into a person’s creditworthiness by offering an updated interest rate on a monthly basis and information about what the person can do to improve their financial health. Grow was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Vancouver, BC. Visit www.poweredbygrow.com to learn more.
VP Partnerships at Grow