Guest post by Philippe Garneau
Finish this sentence: Walking into your bank to ask for a personal loan is…
First, there’s the desk.
The one between you and the Loan Officer. The great divide. Then there’s the title ‘Loan Officer’. You almost expect to hear “What seems to be the problem here.” Yes indeed, years of banking tradition make the pageantry of applying for a personal loan pretty intimidating. Banks try to make the process as pleasant as possible, after all they want to lend you money, but does it feel that way when you’re on the other side of that desk? No. It can sometimes feel like you’re George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life sitting across from Mr. Potter.
Now, just for yucks, imagine the view from the banker’s side of the desk. Applicants (that would be you and I) usually dress up fancy, including recruiting the facial muscles that produce an “Applicant” smile. You probably look more relaxed in your passport photo. We applicants are easily spotted since we’re nervously clutching a fistful of soggy documents that attest to our eligibility for a loan. This is not a selfie moment. But no worries about posterity, closed circuit cameras are capturing your performance for the ages.
Time for a change?
Applying for a personal loan should not require a blood pressure cuff, a Tic Tac and a last-minute text to a loved one saying “Going in. Will let U know how it goes.” Time to do away with the desk, the branch and the Sunday best outfit. And the nerves.
Applying for a personal loan should feel like you’re making an inquiry. It should be a simple, clear, honest exchange of information. You share your information and the lender shares what they are prepared to lend. Done. That’s why online lenders, a new breed, are changing the face of lending in North America.
A friend of mine recently applied online for a personal loan from Borrowell. Here’s how she described what the application process felt like “It was easy. No stage fright, no risk and I know the personal data I shared remains 100% private.” How did it turn out? She heard back within minutes of applying. And after verification, they funded her loan.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the future of personal loans is one where every loan gets approved, I’m saying that thanks to new lenders like Borrowell the stress and lengthy process of applying for a personal loan is now a thing of the past.
P.S. If you’re lucky enough to borrow from the bank of Mom and Dad you should probably start there. There won’t be a desk. But there will be a kitchen table.
Philippe Garneau writes about new ways for people to save, borrow and invest. He thinks people’s relationship with their money should be that of a partner’s, working together to achieve a common goal