Traditions are changing and the way consumers transact has seen mass migration online. Newspaper content is now uploaded onto digital versions and the weekly grocery shop can now be delivered to your door. There is a whole world of e-commerce that we have bought into and now it seems even the pawn shop has found a niche online for new lending start up Unbolted.
unbolted.com is a new online service that allows users to borrow against their luxury assets at a much more favourable rate than traditional pawnbrokers and lenders that charge higher interest rates. These assets could be vintage cars, designer handbags, paintings, grand pianos to name but a few – you can borrow on items up to a value of £100,000. Simply by uploading a picture of your asset to the website you can find out in 3 hours if your application has been successful from their experienced team of valuers.
Founded by Ashwin Parameswaran and Rito Haldar the service was set up last year just in time for the Christmas period – a time when people would need to raise extra cash. With market leading rates of between 1.5% and 3% their proposition is far more favourable than the general 5%-10% interest rates offered by many lenders.
Rito Haldar, co-founder of Unbolted, said: “We set up the company because we want to challenge the way people can access credit through the outdated pawn industry and other secured lenders. We’ll do that by being transparent, offering fairer terms, cheaper rates and a convenient, easy-to-use online service that puts consumers firmly in control of their borrowing”
What they say makes perfect sense – people do need to be able to turn somewhere for a cash injection in difficult or more expensive times like Christmas or when there is an unexpected home expense. By securing the debt against their personal assets the borrower is more in control. With lower interest rates and a secure, online system it certainly seems a viable option for a lot of people who may otherwise end up paying more under stricter (or scarier) terms.
So what does this mean for traditional pawn brokers and high interest lenders? This online option works for a number of reasons – it’s convenient, simple to use and offers lower interest rates. On top of this it allows the borrower to do so discreetly without worrying about the stigma of visiting a pawn shop. The borrower has the chance to pay back the loan and reclaim their items at any time. To add to this if the loan is defaulted on the items are simply auctioned off with any surplus proceeds being returned via bank transfer.
This service is available to anyone over the age of 18 as long as there is an asset to borrow against.