An Interview with Nadeem Siam, Founder of Fund Ourselves
Fund Ourselves is a UK Fintech company disrupting the sector, where borrowers can find short term loans, but with no late fees if they are struggling to repay. Siam describes the premise behind Fund Ourselves as “to be as low-cost and flexible for borrowers as possible, with no penalising structure.”
Siam is originally from Egypt, and previously worked as an engineer at NASA before setting up Fund Ourselves and challenging the highly criticised and controversial industry of high-cost lending.
The service provides low-cost and flexible loans without high-cost penalties - so if a borrower falls into financial difficulty, they can notify Fund Ourselves online and switch the loan to a longer-term plan. This allows borrowers to extend their plan without negatively impacting their credit rating or falling into a spiral of debt.
Creating win-win scenarios for borrowers and investors
Fund Ourselves seeks to create a win-win scenario both for borrowers and for investors - since the website is technically a peer to peer lender, connecting borrowers with people or investors who are looking to get a return on their investment.
Fund Ourselves acts as a middle ground for people looking for affordable short-term loans and casual investors who are looking to get a good return on investment. Investors can earn rates of 5% to 15% based on whether they lend money out to people with good or bad credit histories, which is diversified across multiple borrowers using their system known as AutoDiversify.
“It is not enough just to offer loans, because the costs of living in the UK are constantly increasing, so inevitably some people are going to struggle to repay. But if we can offer a loan and help people financially to get back on their feet, this is a win-win for everybody.”
“Borrowers cannot get a loan without passing fraud, credit, and affordability checks. But what makes us different, other than offering lower rates than other high-cost lenders, is that customers can notify us and switch to a longer plan without any additional fees or charges.”
“If you look at rail fares and energy costs, everything is going up in price, but salaries are not increasing at all. So the demand for short-term credit will increase, but we need to deliver it in a better way. Otherwise, people will get into other problems if they can’t get access to the cash they need.”
For those who are considering investing with Fund Ourselves, you can start from lending as little as £100 and earn 5% - 15% per annum.
Managing the risk of investment
It’s fairly simple: the more risk you are willing to lend to, the more you can earn. Lending to good credit customers would enable earnings at 5% per annum, and lending to higher risk customers with bad credit, at 15% per annum. The people you would lend money to are anonymous and diversified across multiple people, in order to help spread and manage the risk of your investment.
Whilst Fund Ourselves is not covered by the Financial Compensation Services scheme, the alternative lender does provide their own provisional scheme to help recover any losses as well as a customer service team dedicated to recuperating any late payments.
For more information, visit FundOurselves.com