Credit Comes to the Roboadvisory World with Wealthfront’s Loan Service

  • Grace Noto
  • April 20, 2017
  • 0

Getting a line of credit from a bank is so passe — try a wealth management service with a robo-advisor.

Wealth management company Wealthfront has just released its new Portfolio Line of Credit, an offering that will allow clients to borrow funds based off of their investment accounts.

The mobile-based service — which marks the first time one can get a loan from a smartphone, according to Wealthfront — offers lines of credit to investors with more than $100,000 in their investment accounts.

Wealthfront is equipped with a robo-advisor for the process, which knocks down the application time to 30 seconds. This marks the wealth management service’s first product offering in the world of lending.

There are three main benefits to this type of borrowing, a representative from Wealthfront told Bank Innovation:

  • More convenient: You can access through your smartphone.
  • Faster: you are already approved and there is no paperwork required.
  • Cheaper: lowest interest rates on the market.

According to Wealthfront, clients will also be able to receive their funds near-instantly — within 24 hours, says the company’s blog.

Wealthfront is able to offer lower rates of interest than traditional credit providers such as banks because the loans are secured by the user’s own investment portfolio.

Currently, users can borrow up to 30% of their investment account value (so naturally, as clients apply for this loan through their existing Wealthfront accounts, the more one has resting in this account the more one is able to borrow).

While neobanks and other fintech players  are making significant strides in providing users with more effective daily banking services, credit remains something of a tight-fisted area in the hands of incumbents.

The speed of the Wealthfront offering, combined with the well-documented perks of mobile, could make this a significant threat to the credit business of traditional providers.

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