Laplanche hopes the new product will come to replace credit cards.
Speaking at today’s LendItFintech USA conference, Laplanche will announce a new kind of credit product for consumer borrowers: the personal credit line. The offering will combine the ‘low cost, fixed rate and monthly amortisation’ of personal loans with the flexibility of a line of credit.
The new product will not cost consumers anything to open and no added fee will be charged for use of the lines. Customers can draw money as required, and can be approved for up to $50,000 at a time. Each transaction will have a fixed rate and term. Customers will only be charged interest on the money they use – rather than on the line as a whole. Payments terms will vary from 12 to 60 months.
At launch, Upgrade’s proposition was to offer consumer loans alongside credit monitoring and education tools, in one platform, in theory allowing customers both to borrow and to gain a better understanding of their financial health.
The new credit lines are being touted as useful for consumers planning for expenses over a period of time, such as during a home improvement project. They can be accessed in just a few minutes without the need for collateral.
“At Upgrade, we’re focused on building the next generation of credit products that will help our customers maintain or improve their good credit standing and give them affordable credit so they can build a bright future,” said Renaud Laplanche (pictured), co-founder and CEO of Upgrade. “We designed the Personal Credit Line to give consumers the two things they want most: the flexibility to access funds when they need them, and the predictability of a fixed rate and equal monthly payments.”
Upgrade arrived on the market in March 2017, in tandem to announcing a mammoth $60m series A round – then the largest series A in the history of fintech lending.