Richard Branson: “Go Fund Yourself” with Virgin Money

Richard Branson, the master of promotion, launched Virgin Money in the United States with much fanfare as expected and wearing a “Go Fund Yourself” T-Shirt. CNN honored Sir Richard with a photo gallery, a news article, and a video. As the WSJ recently mentioned, Virgin Money was originally Circle Lending. I was surprised by the data provided by the Boston Globe on the size of the family loans originated through Virgin Money.

Richard Branson Virgin Money Branson promotes the site to potential family borrowers by mentioning that the default rate drops from 14% to 5% when the lender-borrower relationship i formalized through a third party such as Virgin Money. Borrowers receive money at a lower interest rate and can build credit through the loan since payment information is passed to credit agencies.

Dr. Giridhar Kamath is a Virgin Money customer who needed capital for his startup business – an emergency medical practice in Albany, N.Y. His $150,000 loan at 10% annual interest over five years (a competing bank had offered a 17% rate) doesn’t require monthly payments until the practice starts generating income.

At first the lender – his father – didn’t think an intermediary was necessary, but Dr. Kamath insisted o/n legitimizing the arrangement. “Beyond providing proper documentation, Virgin Money allows you to build a credit history by transmitting your repayment information to a credit agency.”

Virgin Money seems entirely focused on Family (or close friend) lending while Prosper.com and Lending Club allow Person to Person lending between strangers. Therefore, I do not see myself using this service in the near future, but knowing Richard Branson and his bold moves, Virgin Money will not be a P2P lending company to ignore.

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Comments

  1. Trevor (2 comments.) says:

    I’m surprised not to see a referral/affiliate program for sending consumers their way. Unless I’m missing something?

  2. As far as I know, there is not an affiliate program for sending customers to Virgin Money. Fees are fairly small for personal loans (max $300) and $9 per payment so there would not be much to share with an affiliate. The problem with Virgin for the borrower of course is that it requires knowing someone with cash who is willing to lend it to you.

  3. God says:

    God! What an awesome idea this P2P thing! I’m so sick of everyone wanting my money cause I got a wallet full of jack-squat. Everyone wants my money – even for information! We’ll tell you how to get debt-free and get a career that makes more money than you can spend just pay us the crumbs in your pocket and we’ll tell you! BUY! BUY! BUY!!!!!!!
    God! If only Richard Branson was my uncle, or neighbour or something. Bill Gates and all the other billionaires that allow me and other people like me to be jobless, penniless and hopeless while they live lavishly will go to hell – for it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven according to the bible.

  4. God stopped by to comment. I feel honored.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I think that this was the first carnival post about Virgin Money which I have mentioned a few times including blogging about the lauch “Go Fund Yourslef!“ [...]

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