Investors browsing loans on Lending Club in the past couple of weeks may have noticed a few home improvement loans for backyard pools. This may become a growing trend because last month Viking Pools, based in West Virginia, has teamed up with Lending Club to offer financing for their customers buying a pool.
It is an interesting addition to their p2p lending platform and a logical extension from a marketing perspective. By working with retailers who provide financing for their customers Lending Club can ensure a steady flow of qualified borrowers coming to their site. I expect to see more partnerships like this one being announced in the coming year. CommunityLend in Canada has partnered with Autotrader.ca for car loans, I think car financing would be a logical extension for Lending Club as well, although definitely far more competitive than pool loans.
As of this writing there are four loans on Lending Club for pool financing. They range in rates from this three year A grade loan at 7.66% to this five year F grade loan at 19.36%. Would I invest in these kinds of home improvement loans? If they met my other investing criteria I would (neither of these loans met that criteria). What do others think? Is this a good idea for Lending Club to partner with retail companies for major purchases? Be interested to hear your feedback.
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.