BillFloat Launches 'Less is More' Responsible Consumer Lending Program
Breakthrough Service is the First to Promote Partial Amount Small Dollar Loans to Help Consumers Pay Bills
SAN FRANCISCO, May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BillFloat, Inc., the nation's only provider of small-dollar loans for consumer bill payment, announced today that it has launched its Less is More program – setting new levels of flexibility and responsibility for small-dollar consumer lending.
The Less is More program allows qualified cash-strapped consumers to access real-time help paying a critical bill to a service provider such as a cell phone company, cable provider, or insurer. Using BillFloat's proprietary decision processes, the consumer is offered a loan in real-time to cover all or part of the amount owed to their biller.
By offering a partial loan amount, BillFloat is able to provide affordable financial assistance to a wider number of consumers at lower risk than has been previously possible from other lending sources. Consumers who accept the offer of a partial loan from BillFloat pay a portion of their outstanding bill with their own funds at the time the loan is accepted. The consumer's partial payment is added to the amount paid by BillFloat to the biller, and the bill is paid in full, much like a healthcare co-payment.
"Why not guide the applicant toward a smaller loan amount and reduce the total cost for the consumer?" asked Ryan Gilbert, BillFloat CEO. "With BillFloat's Less is More program, lenders evaluate an applicant's ability to repay a loan. The payment of part of the unpaid bill by the applicant gives the lender the flexibility to provide a loan that is large enough to meet the consumer's needs, while cutting interest expenses and avoiding unnecessary credit."
Qualified applicants receive an offer from BillFloat's network of lenders to pay all or part of their outstanding bill. The loans carry a monthly interest rate of 3% (36% APR), and are payable by the consumer within 30 days, along with bill payment fees. Loans are based on the safe, affordable and feasible guidelines of the FDIC's Small-Dollar Loan Template.
The launch of Less is More stems from the results an in-depth study by BillFloat of the small-dollar borrowing trends and patterns of 13,000 consumers. The study revealed that:
- Consumers apply for more credit that they need in order to meet short-term obligations
- 72% of the larger loans are typically deemed 'unsuitable' for a borrower by the lender's underwriting processes, resulting in a denial of credit
- Once a credit application is denied the consumer may suffer a negative credit score impact, with higher costs of credit in future
BillFloat's bill payment and small dollar loan services are available to the customers of over 3,500 service providers across the United States. Leading billing organizations offer BillFloat as a payment option to their customers to help limit collections, and to prevent accounts becoming delinquent or services being terminated. BillFloat customers qualify and obtain small-dollar loans in real time through a simple to use application process online.
About BillFloat, Inc.
BillFloat operates the nation's first bill payment network offering alternative credit options to help consumers responsibly avoid late fees, overdraft charges, service termination, and high interest loans. Billers, including cell phone/cable companies, utility providers, and insurers, accelerate their cash flow through BillFloat's easy to implement and secure system. The service is available on billers' websites, leading content websites such as Credit.com, and through financial services partners including payment card issuers, payroll services, walk-in payment centers, and at www.billfloat.com. BillFloat was founded in 2009 by a team of experienced financial services entrepreneurs with investment and technology backing from PayPal, Venrock and First Round Capital. For more information, visit www.billfloat.com.
SOURCE BillFloat, Inc.
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