Nonbank mortgage lender LoanDepot is preparing to step into new consumer lending territory in early 2015 when it will start offering personal loans.
The move is part of a strategic plan to expand consumer lending operations and redefine itself with an expanded reach.
"While mortgage lending remains the heart of our business, our vision has always been to build a national consumer lending brand committed to delivering a full spectrum of loan products," Anthony Hsieh, loanDepot chief executive officer and chairman explained in a press release Wednesday. "Personal loans will be our first offering in the growing category."
Consumers will have the option to apply for fully amortized personal loans of up to $35,000; make installment payments online; receive loan approval notifications within seconds and funding within one business day, according to the release. FICO scores on approved borrowers are expected to average at 700.
Tim Li, whose expertise includes consumer and small business lending, mathematical engineering and credit risk analysis, has been named general manager of consumer lending. Prior to joining loanDepot, Li was chief risk officer for Quick Bridge Funding and also has worked at Think Finance, JP Morgan Chase and Intel.
Hsieh maintains that today "fewer consumers are looking to national banks for loans," opening the door for nonbank entrants. Since its 2010 launch, loanDepot has focused on mortgage originations. But going forward, it will expand its product offering and further integrate into the financial lifecycles of borrowers to ensure they turn to loanDepot both for "mortgage and consumer lending products," Hsieh said.
Currently, loanDepot has dual corporate headquarters in Foothill Ranch, Calif., and Plano, Texas. It runs retail, consumer direct, wholesale, affinity and servicing operations through loanDepot.com, imortgage and LDWholesale, which was launched in April. loanDepot is an approved seller and servicer for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.
LoanDepot's lending technology and consumer-direct marketing platform facilitates more than 8,000 daily interactions.