“We’re now out of beta and accepting applications,” said Andrew Graham, chief executive of Borrowell, a 100%-online firm that aims to provide fixed term loans to Canadian retail borrowers on better terms than available through credit card companies or banks. “We believe Canadians deserve better borrowing options,” adds Graham, noting that developments in Canada lag behind what’s happening in other markets, particularly the U.S. and the U.K.
But the domestic market is huge. Based on estimates provided by Equifax, Borrowell says Canadians currently own more than $80 billion in credit card debt with a typical interest rate of 19.9 per cent or higher.
Borrowell will fund those fixed rate loans – indeed match them – through fixed rate term deposits with its team of backers that also include some prominent individuals.
Certainly the banks are aware of the potential competition that marketplace lenders offer. For instance:
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