This is America. We have various but predictable wants. Whatever we want, we want it more, better, and faster.
Fortunately, those adjectives are also the keys to growth and innovation. More, better, and faster perfectly encapsulates everything about housing in the last few years… and now, more, better, and faster describe the demand for home improvement.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what we mean by more, better, and faster as they relate to home improvement lending for borrowers and for credit unions alike. Then, we’ll discuss how Housetable, a fintech that offers fully-digital home equity loans based on value after renovation, meets this demand.
More: The Demand for More Loans
The demand for home improvement loans took off during the pandemic. And, despite murky projections, Home Depot is still reporting earnings beats. After all, houses still need repairs and upgrades—perhaps now more than ever, considering many people bought houses that clearly needed fixing up.
There’s a housing shortage out there. The population is still increasing, and housing isn’t keeping up as fast as the birth rate. Hurricanes and wildfires certainly aren’t helping. Consequently, more people are buying fixer-uppers.
This means there’s a demand for more loans. More consumers will apply for them, even if not at mid-pandemic levels.
Second, there may be demand for more loan, period (higher loan amounts). Fixer-uppers, renovated offices for work-from-homers, remodeled bathrooms, and even ADUs can add up quickly… especially for homeowners who want more than one renovation project at a time.
Better: A Different Lending Experience
People appreciate easy, low-effort experiences. Most loans require too many emails, phone calls, and paperwork. And yes, digital paperwork is still manual paperwork.
Better means all-digital. People can apply for and receive an Apple card in 2 minutes. Ditto an Acorns or Robinhood spend card. Sure, people will expect a bit more legwork for a larger loan, but a new precedent has been set.
“All digital” is good, but not all digital is created equal. For example, in-app is better than on a web portal. Almost everything is better than emails back and forth.
Centralized and streamlined is always better. If you want to delight your members, prioritize digital convenience over support. Everyone will use the digital convenience—only a handful will need the support. (Plus, more convenience means fewer frustration calls for support. Win-win.)
Faster: Applications, Approvals, Funding
Remember the Apple card example above? That’s not just convenience—that’s speed. Faster is more convenient, yes, but it’s its own thing, too.
Fintech lenders like QCash are crushing it by approving small loans in 60 seconds. Quilo does the same for installment loans that frequently rise above $30k. Faster loans are superior.
The application shouldn’t take days. Nor should the approval or funding. Add it up, and suddenly members are waiting a week (or more) between when they need the money and when they get it. Faster application, approval, and funding is a major difference maker!
Yes, home equity and home improvement loans are different, but the precedent and expectations have been set. The process must be faster.
Where Housetable Comes In
Housetable allows borrowers to qualify for larger home renovation loans (at the same rates). Housetable uses AI, home equity, and the house’s expected post-renovation value to make it happen. Housetable assists with the renovation planning and education, too.
But that’s just Housetable in a nutshell. The real reason we’re looking at them is because they’re built for more, better, and faster.
More in that their all-digital approach allows for more applications and approvals at scale. Better not just in the digital sense, but also in that Housetable helps members navigate their renovation projects. Faster comes from the digital, app-based approach that keeps everything on track without relying on loan officers.
Here’s how the app works:
- Housetable captures information about the borrower(s) and the house, complete with a 3D tour of the house using a mobile app.
- Housetable lets the borrower know what their home will be worth after renovations, its expected costs and timeline, as well as a curated list of improvements that are most likely to increase its value (powered by AI).
- Without affecting the borrower’s credit score, Housetable shows how much they can borrow, their projected monthly payments, and how that varies depending on which improvements they decide to do.
- Housetable then verifies income and assets by connecting with financial institutions, tax software, and more to evaluate the application.
Finally, Housetable’s mobile app keeps track of contractors’ progress reports, manages changes of scopes, and approves contractor payment releases.
The result is a bigger, fully digital home renovation loan that guides borrowers through the process from A to Z. Housetable partners with banks and credit unions across the US to provide these home equity renovation loans. Credit unions that offer these loans gain a competitive advantage. They also gain access to potential new members nearby who qualify for loans but haven’t chosen their lender.
So, Housetable’s streamlined process that can handle increased demand for renovation lending? More.
And Housetable’s all-digital, in-app approach that educates the borrower and guides them through the process? Better.
And they’re fast? Yep, they’re faster.
Other Home Improvement Lending Options
Housetable isn’t the only home improvement lender out there. Depending on the project scope, the member’s needs, and their creditworthiness/appetite for debt, there are other viable home renovation partners. To list a few:
- Housetable makes it possible for credit unions to offer fully digital, seamless home renovation financing. Their app helps borrowers decide what kind of renovations to make and how those changes will affect their overall cost and home value.
- RenoFi also offers loans based on after-renovation value, and they drive demand with direct-to-consumer marketing alongside a network of contractors and lenders, which brings qualified new members to credit unions. They typically excel with larger renovation projects.
- Hometap lets borrowers “tap” into the equity of their home to access a loan alternative. Hometap has less stringent credit requirements and more flexible uses for the “loan,” but features limited “borrowing” potential.
- LoanStar Technologies connects contractors and other home improvement vendors to your credit union for point-of-sale financing (think pools, solar, appliances, HVAC).
While all the fintechs above can partner with credit unions, Housetable and RenoFi make the strongest partners for home renovations.
RenoFi is a proven bet, and they have credit union partners in all states. We’re excited to see the startup Housetable make similar moves with their all-digital approach.
To see a full list of mortgage and home improvement lending fintechs, download our Home Lending 2.0 Guide.
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