Every month it seems we add at least one more tribal lender to the Native American loan industry. Sometimes there are several added but there is at a minimum the one new lender that pops up online.
Just a side note, remember that all tribal lenders are online companies only, there are no brick and mortar stores to go get a Native American sponsored loan.
Let's get started with our new Native American lenders to arrive in the last few months, most of them appearing in July or August of 2014.
First up we have the auspiciously named Everest Cash Advance. Their website has the number "1" thrown on the back of it, so that it's www.EverestCashAdvance1.com which just makes the name all the more ridiculous. Let's try to understand what the owners of this short-term online lender were thinking when they came up with this name, just because it's fun. Did they want to impress their clients? Did they want to drive this company to be a leader in Native American lending? I guess we can assume that the tie is to Mount Everest?
No matter what the background on this lender is the reality of what they offer is all too familiar. Once again we have the typical low dollar amount being offered, which is between $100 to $1,000 as the maximum dollar loan. This firm is interesting because they specifically list the infamous $100 loan. Who in the world would bother going through all this effort to get $100 at the end of the ordeal? Not me.
Next up we have IPL Today. Yes, that is the name of a tribal lending company. IPL Today. The IPL part of the company name stands for Integrity Payday Loans. And no this is not a joke. Evidently somewhere back in 2011 the company was operating as 'Integrity Loans' or some similar title. But they washed that away and created the acronym of IPL and slapped the "Today" label behind it. Those of you living in Chicagoland can identify this oddity by thinking of the old Empire Carpets and then the firm abruptly became Empire Carpets Today. The inclusion of the word "today" is probably a motivation to action, just like the words free, limited, now and hurry. Today is the driver.
Unfortunately for those who choose to go with IPL Today for their loans they are missing out on better options through Mobiloans and Spotloan, not to mention longer term (and cheaper) loans offered through Plain Green Loans. It's not that IPL is lacking in integrity but they are lacking in creativity, low cost, ingenuity and innovation.
Here is another winning new tribal lender that we can't miss Bottom Dollar Payday. You can bet your bottom dollar that this new lender doesn't offer the same terms and low costs that Mobiloans offers. One of the fun things about this Native American lender is that they prominently display a telephone hotline number to call if you have been a victim of financial fraud. As if this high cost operator of small loans is the consumer's resource to fighting bad financial actors.
There are a few things that are different about Bottom Dollar Payday. First, they display (pretty loudly) the Visa and MasterCard logos at the bottom of their site. Is this a strong indication that they are willing to slide away from the normal electronic banking transaction that has dominated tribal lending since the beginning?
We know that many (or most) tribal lenders have been targeted by state financial regulators via the banking system. Many banks will not work with electronic funds transfers if they become aware that the company they are dealing with is a Native American lending institution. This may have already taken place with Bottom Dollar Payday and it's hard to believe otherwise. There is no good reason for those credit card logos to be hanging around on the website.
Another odd thing about this company is the fact that they are only requiring $1,000 in gross income per month for their new customers. We have been watching the standards for tribal lenders gradually decline over the last 18 months or so, as the old requirements of $1,500 per month became $1,400 and then it was $1,200 and now we see the figure of only $1,000 per month as the baseline requirement to be qualified for their loans. That translates to only $250 in gross pay (before taxes or health benefit deductions) per week.
This is a low dollar level of income to consider the borrower to be financially healthy enough to repay a high cost loan. Bottom Dollar Payday is not too interested in the chances of their applicants (new customers) repaying though, as they are simply a loan matching company. The company operates the site and matches the applications they receive with a list of lenders in their network. The company receives a fee each time a new customer is established with one of those network lenders.
All in all we do not have much very interesting in new tribal lending companies lately. The creative companies, like Mobiloans and Spotloan, have been established and seem to be taking the appropriately large share of the available market.
There have been a few new faces in the crowd that stand apart, like Superior Funding which is a line of credit provider that arrived on the scene about a year ago. But mostly it's the same old formula operators providing small dollar loans at high interest rates for the two week time frame. That's just not going to get any interest or recommendations from these pages.