Online direct lender Dealstruck and online loan marketplace LendingTree have partnered to offer customized commercial loan products to LendingTree customers.
“LendingTree has a reputation in the consumer mortgage vertical as the best place for consumer mortgage financing,” Dealstruck CEO Ethan Senturia said.
“They realized many of their consumers, 20 percent, were small business owners with a need for financing for their company too.”
Mr. Senturia said Dealstruck was an early lender with LendingTree and was one of the top performers on the marketplace. Those reasons, combined with Dealstruck’s unique product line made them a natural fit when lending tree sought to expand their small business financing arm.
Mr. Senturia explained there is a gap in the mid-prime space left by banks and options like merchant cash advances that Dealstruck has effectively filled. Banks have issues with expediency while merchant cash advances and similar products can be costly.
A key to Dealstruck’s success is being able to customize loan options to meet the unique needs of the many different small business types looking for financing, Mr. Senturia said. In an sector dominated by technology, he explained it is a combination of old and new methods that is behind Dealstruck’s unique approach.
“Our methodologies on the back end rely on accessing standardized data to assist with the decision making process, but the applications also receive a human review in most cases to ensure the business is getting what it needs.”
Mr. Senturia added that most Dealstruck customers, while wanting faster decisions than they would get from a bank, often do not need the money “yesterday” but want fair terms that allow them to position their companies for strong growth.
While Mr. Senturia would not make a firm prediction as to when the inevitable market downturn would occur, he said if recent history is any indication it will not take 10 or 15 years.
When it does come, there are a couple of factors which could separate the winners and losers, he said.
“In a downturn you have to be able to take extra care of your current portfolio and access your servicing experience with collections in order to take steps in advance.”
“Proactively work with your client base.”
Companies relying solely on loan originations could also suffer as companies reduce their borrowing, he added.
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