When Christina’s friend suddenly needed help paying for her dog’s life-saving medical procedure, she wasn’t sure at first where those funds would come from. Then Christina suggested that her friend use LoanWell to crowdfund the loan through her family and network.
LoanWell: Can you tell us your full name and also what you do professionally?
My name is Christina Blair. Professionally, I'm a concept specialist with a university in Baltimore. My background is actually in landscape architecture from the University of Maryland College Park, down near D.C., and I've been in the industry for over 20 years in the construction industry roughly I've been in Baltimore for about eight years. I am thirty-three years old, and I have two kids.
LoanWell: Awesome. And you were using LoanWell as a lender, correct? Can you tell us a little about the campaign you lent to?
I remember I found LoanWell originally because this same friend was trying to consolidate some credit card bills that she has because she has a small business.
There's a lot of risk involved with that. And so she knew she was getting to a point she didn't have a lot of available credit. She was hoping to pay some things down.
So when she has this emergency show up in her life, being a small business owner it was really hard for her to get her hands on the money she needed to save her dog's life.
In this case, Maggie [Christina’s friend’s dog] had eaten something, and it had blocked her intestines. And they noticed that she wasn't eating much but she would eat every now and then. So they weren't really sure if it was going to pass on its own or what was going to happen.
And by the time they realized that she wasn't going to start eating again, this was just getting very sad. They did some x-rays, found that there was an obstruction, [and] it was going to be about three thousand dollars for a surgery to remove it. Because actually, the intestines had died past the obstruction. So it had to be removed and kind of rebuilt a little bit.
I think the average American only has like a thousand dollars in savings in the event of an emergency or none at all. I'm not sure the exact statistics on that.
And I think crowdfunding is a great opportunity, but crowdlending is a lot better because it's not asking for a handout. You're taking responsibility for your finances in a way that you might be uncomfortable just asking your straight for cash. You'll feel much more comfortable asking your friends for a loan.
So back when I was going to lend her money for the credit card, I was like, "there's gotta be some really simple contract." She's my best friend. I trust her through and through. I don't think we need a contract, but I was kind of looking for contracts online on how to handle it.
And so the fact that LoanWell had kind of a one-stop-shop, both to have this loose contract and to have an easy way to draw on the funds, just made everything so much easier.
LoanWell: So you felt more comfortable having that official contract in place?
Yeah. It's just another little safeguard. You know, I think we all trust people but it's a good idea to do our diligence even when we're loaning to friends.
LoanWell: Did anything stand out to you as being particularly useful about the system?
I really think the concept in general, of being able to do loans to friends this way, is awesome. I don't know how somebody hasn't gotten this first, before now. Maybe it took a while to get up and going, you know, but that's just amazing.
I would have used this even with my own family. But then also the auto draft -- like that seems really cool and smart. And to have the opportunity to have late fees if something doesn't happen, or for interest rates you know that's just a total game changer. I actually see this as having investment potential for some people that decide to make loans to people. I don't know if that starts to make a difficult situation for you guys? Because it's not intended as a money-making venture.
But just from my standpoint, I would much rather loan my friends ten thousand dollars than have ten thousand dollars sitting in a bank when an interest rate for my friend is going to be less than her credit card charges and more than my savings rate.
And side note, I loved that it was in Durham. That was a complete surprise, and my best friend lives in Durham.
We were like, "Yay! Durham company."