Network announces unsecured loan offering

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Centum Financial Group announced Tuesday it has struck a deal with easyhome Ltd. that will add unsecured loans to Centum brokers’ product offering.

"We have always tailored mortgage options to each client's specific needs, to provide them with the best value," Paul Therien, vice president of operations for Centum said in an official release. "We are excited to offer a loan product that's different: a fast and flexible solution to fit each lifestyle and budget.  We believe that the loans provided by easyfinancial will assist CENTUM’s clients in achieving their financial objectives faster.”

Centum will be the first – and only – mortgage broker network to offer easyfinancial’s unsecured loans to Canadians. Consumers can use these loans to for things such as improving their credit score, home renovations, car repairs and managing bills.

Ranging from $1,000-$5,000, approved customers will have access to the funds within 24 hours of submitting an application.

The loans are repayable over terms that range from 12-36 months. However, clients can repay their loan in full without incurring a penalty.

“The breadth and depth of the Centum network and the close relationships they have developed with their clients provides us with a new and innovative way to offer our financial products and services to a new customer group,” Jason Mullins, senior vice president operations for easyfinancial said.  “We are excited to announce Centum as a partner in our indirect lending platform.”
  • Hmmm . . . on 2014-04-29 10:57:23 AM

    and what about Easyfinancial mortgages? Is Easy just scoring mortgage clients for themselves as well? And is it wise to associate with a co. that's barely a notch above payday loans and the negative connotation that comes with it, when us brokers can easily refer clients to such loan co's without the direct association? Just asking . . . .

  • Kent Farnsworth on 2014-04-29 11:19:21 AM

    I think they could have come up with a better partner. I'm guessing they have went this way so that they could brand them as Centum Loans nationally. I have 3 sources locally that our company can help our clients acquire personal loans and lines of credit. None of which would be nearly as high interest as EF. I'm a little surprised that this was their choice for financial backing.

  • A Broker on 2014-04-29 11:21:21 AM

    Easyhome APR is 46.96%. Usury to begin with. Add in a $500 broker fee and watch the rate soar. Is our industry actually getting that desperate to get into this type of business. Anyone who borrows money for only $5,000 maximum at those rates is on the extreme lower end of the financial spectrum. These borrowers already have terrible credit ratings to begin with never mind putting them in a most probable default situation. I wonder what FSCO would say about this. C'mon guys. You're making brokers look very bad here when you start scratching the gutter for business.

  • Frank on 2014-04-29 11:34:55 AM

    Unfortunately, many clients these days cannot obtain loans from the banks and credit unions. They need alternative lenders. Possibly, Centum negotiated a better rate for their clients?!? I would hope so, as at 40% +, it is not doing a lot to help clients in tough situations, unless those situations are temporary.

  • Al on 2014-04-29 12:03:02 PM

    all for the low, low rate of 47% annually. Good call Centum.

  • Dean on 2014-04-29 1:28:41 PM

    ...and correct me if I am wrong, but it is 49% on the original draw down amount, not the declining the balance. The advance is a LOC that is charged interest the same way a Cash Advance on a credit it; and it is not re-advancable until paid in full.

  • AnthonyC. on 2014-04-29 1:38:32 PM

    I don't know about any of you, but when I read the word exclusivity, I wanna punch the computer screen...all Centum did was get a guarantee referral fee paid from Easy.

    My opinion, for what its worth, is that Easy is a little sleazy...but they are quite successful at it...they started out as a home furnishings and electronics rent-to-own operation...made a killing and over the last few years has been aggressively pursuing non-collateralized consumer loans. They are also brokering mortgages.

    Their cost of funds is annualized between 10% to 12%. even with a write-down of 10% on gross sales of lets say, $20MM per year, and then subsequently selling off the defaulted receivables at an average of $0.20 on the dollar to 3rd party agencies, they are still able to churn a profit, albeit for how long is anybody's guess.

    Trans Canada Credit did it for 60 years, before and during the Wells Fargo lesser rates however, Household Financial Services ran for years before the meltdown in 2008...another good correction will most likely spell the end of this division of Easy...but hey, the senior execs will make out like bandits as they always do...

  • Jon on 2014-04-29 2:17:27 PM

    wow, how can this be a good product for anyone, 47% APR!! legalized loan sharks, way to improve broker image Centum, how can they spin this into a good thing!

  • John Smith on 2014-04-29 2:52:08 PM

    You people are all making assumptions based on what information? This press release? Do you have the facts? Have you seen the agreement between the two companies? I would bet anyone that you have not, yet here you all are slamming this partnership. It's nice to know that brokers, who CLAIM to be professional resort to these sort of comments. You all sound like a bunch of idiots. Grow up.

  • John Smiths Brother on 2014-04-29 2:59:09 PM

    @A Broker. While I "USURY" don't get involved without knowing the facts, I believe that giving consumers a second chance is obviously not something you believe in. You continue to march up the hill with your cross, while others make an attempt to assist Canadians that you choose to toss to "the gutter". Well done A Broker, I think the A must stand for something?

  • Jesse on 2014-04-29 3:00:38 PM

    Don't like the comments John Smith, don't read them. I believe the Frank guy gave Centum the benefit of the doubt but apparently he is also an immature idiot or so you would said.
    Is this John Freeland Smith from Centum or are you using an alias? By the way, even though I did not comment YET, everyone is entitled to their opinion whether or not its an informed one. Hence, why this mortgagebrokernews is a format for such. For me, regardless of the deal I do not see at all how it could be in the best interest of any clients although the idea is good. But I could be wrong. Would love to know the Butler's view on this.....Ron?

  • Paul Therien - CENTUM on 2014-04-29 3:16:11 PM

    OK I think it is time for me to make some comments as it appears that this is getting out of hand. Much the same as the comments that were made when DLC launched their credit card program.

    First of all, to address the interest rate. It is NOT 47% - have no idea where people are getting this number from, but it is not the agreed upon rate of interest. There are also NO broker fees charged - that is not how we do business at CENTUM.

    As for exclusivity, it is in fact exclusive to the CENTUM network.

    As for the usefulness of this product, I would like to clarify something. The fastest growing segment of consumer borrowing in Canada is Pay Day Loans - there is 2 BILLION in outstanding credit owing in the pay day industry. The APR in that industry is 300 - 751% - we are offering credit strapped Canadians a solution that not only makes repayment of this loan more manageable, but also rebuilds their credit.

    The loans are fully open, and the interest rate is simple interest, and considering that there are second mortgages being granted at rates as high as 18% compounded... plus as much as 5% in broker and lender fees... and these private mortgages are a huge and valid source of income for brokers across Canada.

    Under this program we offer credit solutions to Canadians with a beacon as low as 400, this program is not meant for all, but for those people that have no other options. We also provide credit education for our customers, this is a tool meant to provide solutions when the clients have no other options.

    I respect that other people have opinions, but before we jump in with what we think are factual comments, perhaps we need to actually ensure that our facts are correct.

    I am happy to engage in a rational discussion with people who are prepared to have an open minded conversation regarding this or any other topic.

  • Frank on 2014-04-29 3:54:49 PM

    Well said/written Paul. Too many assumptions being made. As I mentioned in my previous comment, many people out there that the banks and credit unions are turning away and they do need alternatives. Not that it is the business of other brokerages aside fro Centum but still nice to know you negotiated reasonable rates with your new partner. As far as the idea behind it goes, I do think it was a good one.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-04-29 6:07:00 PM

    Paul's right. The product is just a tool. Perhaps it solves a problem that will allow a mortgage to happen or help a mortgage to happen once credit has been improved. Clearly no one is going to make this program a mainstay of their practise. It's just something in the tool kit.

    There is no sense in turning every program announcement into an excuse for a partisan rip on the super brokerage or network who introduces it.

  • Brian Lambert on 2014-04-30 12:24:07 PM

    This couldn't be a better way to losing clients long term and certainly not a way to build a referral base. Brokers should be looking out for their clients , not just looking out for your bottom line. This partnership could truly backfire on them?

  • Giovanni on 2014-04-30 6:16:32 PM

    I realize that the rates are high and it sounds like a bad deal for borrower, but if it could solve their problem for short term, and then they are counselled to good spending habits this is just another in with those looking to alternative short term lending.

  • Zoltan M Padar MortgagePRO Ltd. on 2014-04-30 6:47:29 PM

    Whatever it takes to serve the clients BEST interest. Can not be just a commission making opportunity and under the BEST interest under consideration, I do not see anything of bad with the Association. Untrained mortgage brokers are more danger to the industry than high rates.

  • vittorio on 2014-05-02 5:33:28 PM

    I am excited about this product and what it will bring to our clients and public in general. The great thing about this product it allows us to use this product to help client utilize the proper way of using this short term loan to help clients out. I have been part of the Centum network from the beginning and this is the reason why. Centum is always looking to improve the experience and the way they do business to help each associate in their network. This new offering allows Centum broker to attract different kinds of clients and we in turn allow us to educate and show the clients how this loan program would be bests used. As previously said, this is a another tool to keep our client our clients. And show that we are looking after their whole financials well being. I work with young clients and clients with bruised credit that this program is going to help them to achieve better credit by reestablishing and payout bad debt. In turn, this loan product will report to the credit bureau and allow clients to show that they can make their payments. Recently I was able to get a mortgage for a client and they only thing they had showing on their credit bureau for credit was easy financial loans. Why did they get approved because they were able to show that they paid their bills. Now they can purchase their home. This client got the best rate available and they were very happy to hear that we are now offering loan through easy financials.

    This is another tool that gives me advantage in a very competitive market place.

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-05 12:39:33 PM

    @Brian Lambert

    Brian, you obviously do not understand the current credit landscape if you truly believe that this will cause Centum offices to lose their clients long term.

    Today the banks will rarely allow a consumer to borrow less than 10K on a term loan. They all want people to have re-advanceable credit, and that - for literally millions of Canadians - means that they are left out in the cold.

    Think outside the box for a minute. This product means that Centum offices now have access to millions of Canadians who need credit, but can't get it. It means that when someone is in a sticky situation, like the guy that has poor credit who's truck breaks down, but needs his truck to keep his job, now has an option better than getting a payday loan where he will pay $20.00 in interest, and $20.00 in fees... to borrow $200.00. These consumers now have an option, yes at a higher rate of interest compared to the banks, but SIGNIFICANTLY lower than a pay day loan. It also means that there is an option – when there is no available credit. Or would you suggest that someone refinance their home to pay for a $5000.00 bill? Add in penalty, and it is MORE expensive to do that then get a short term loan under this program.

    Part of the problem with the comments on here are that people are so stuck in their little boxes they can’t see the forest for the trees. The world is changing and mortgage brokers continue to firmly plant their feet and push the same chain up the same hill.

    Paul Therien clearly said that this is meant to provide Centum offices with additional resources to assist the Canadian consumer with their financial needs. It might not be for all consumers, but it is a tool for his network to use. When you instantly make disparaging comments, truthfully, well – you are just jealous.

    I say congrats to Paul for once again thinking beyond the norms and looking for solutions that not only benefit his network, but most importantly the consumer. It just goes to show what happens when you have someone who is constrained by convention running a company. I for one and curious to see what he comes up with next!

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-05 12:40:44 PM

    **Correction to the 2nd last line where I said "It just goes to show what happens when you have someone who is constrained by convention running a company." it SHOULD read:

    "It just goes to show what happens when you have someone who NOT is constrained by conventional thinking running a company."

  • Keith on 2014-05-05 12:46:15 PM

    To all the nay-sayers out there... give your heads a shake! I am not sure if this program would be for my business, but then I am not Centum so unless I switch... at the end of the day though this is pretty innovative and I bet you will see more and more brokers taking a much more serious look at Centum - I know I will be.

  • Centum Agent on 2014-05-05 12:50:20 PM

    I just recently switched from DLC to Centum - mostly because I was not getting the results I was promised with the marketing fund. I had no idea just how much Centum gives their agents - if I had... I would have made the change years ago.

    When I heard about this launch, I could instantly think of a half dozen people who had come to my office and had such poor credit that we could not help them. Now... I can call every single one of them and help get them on track so that in a couple of years... I can help them buy a home.


  • Paul Therien - CENTUM on 2014-05-05 12:53:30 PM

    You are most welcome mystery agent.

  • Evan on 2014-05-05 12:57:15 PM

    This is just dumb - $5000.00 max loan? A waste of time! No one will ever make any money on this. Just another lame network launching another lame program like Dominion's stupid credit cards.

  • vittorio on 2014-05-05 1:30:29 PM

    it amaze me that people do not see what this does for a client. $5k max, nobody makes any money on this? Even if we did not make any money on this product I would embrace it because it gives me another opportunity to help a client out. I have clients who want to buy a home, but they have collection and because of those collection, the regular bank wont help. this small loan will help client pay out bad debt and get reestablish. That is all this loan is meant to do, give client access to funds where no one else would give them the time of day. It is the associate job to turn those client with poor credit, mortgage clients in the near future.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-05-05 1:43:37 PM

    @ Evan, correct on one point: not a money maker. Dead wrong on the rest, it's just a tool to push future business, the DLC credit card might end up doing the same thing. More tools in the toolbox are a good thing, the only reason to attack that concept is partisan foolishness.

  • M. Roberston on 2014-05-05 1:52:43 PM

    ANYONE who only thinks about how much money they make on a product is simply a BAD broker. People before profits folks, that is how you grow a good business. All you care about is money? Guess what... you are missing the boat in a big way.

  • Larry on 2014-05-05 1:55:45 PM

    actually... the earning potential for this product is really good. Extra 60K + per year if you do 20 transactions a month, which is not a lot considering how easy it is to process and fund. It might not make as much as a mortgage, and it might be just an additional tool in the kit, but 60K a year is nothing to sneeze at.

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-05 2:02:46 PM

    Great point Larry!! Considering how many agents struggle in our industry, this is a great way to build your business and earn some decent money at the same time.

    Once again, kudos are deserving here.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-05-05 2:17:32 PM

    Whoa Larry, 240 small loan transactions a year. I have my doubts on that. Like I said it's a "tool" not something to build a practise on.

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-05 2:22:02 PM

    Think about it Ron... if it only takes an hour for approval and completion of the file, that is only 5 hours a week spent on this product. That is NOT a lot of time out of a work week to spend on this. Any broker worth their salt could easily do this and still function as a good producing mortgage broker. Heck, most brokers spend more than 5 hours a week messing about on Facebook!

  • Ron Butler on 2014-05-05 2:32:01 PM

    I would not fight you on the Facebook reference at all but factually there is marketing, prospecting, client interview, review, not every single one will qualify so that hour was lost. I just think it is better to spend the time building a mortgage practise. Nothing wrong with the product though.

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-05 2:42:13 PM

    I can't imagine that it would take an hour to deal with a decline. Maybe 10 min to take an application, if approved as much as an hour? If you have all you need up front - mere minutes?

    Marketing and all that would not be too bad - I would just pair it in with existing marketing. Chance are pretty good that Paul has something up his sleave for the marketing as well.

  • Brian Lambert on 2014-05-06 11:03:48 AM

    @ Larry: That's the type of thinking that worry's me. When you think that you are going to do 20 deals a month, you are probably pushing this financing on the wrong people and giving it to everyone that walks through the door. You are dizzy with dollar signs? Centum will have to have some over-site or they could have agents who do not understand the product peddling it to everyone. Then this could damage their business?

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-06 11:46:10 AM

    @Brian Lambert: Why would you be worried about it? Unless you are with Centum, and even then - it's not your business. You are, once again, making assumptions and putting words into peoples mouths.

  • Larry on 2014-05-06 12:01:04 PM

    Brian, this is not mortgages - The fact of the matter is that it should literally take minutes to process an application, it is NOT the same as mortgage financing. This is actually quick.

    I started in the world of finance and 20 consumer loans in a month is nothing. I used that number as an example, but for some reason everyone is just assuming that means it is what I am doing. Some of you are all so quick to judge this program and slam it, I have to wonder… is it because you are jealous? It’s called diversification, and what it means is that Centum is actually looking out for its franchises by offering a larger suite of services. Mortgages are the core business, but now a Centum office can also offer… GIC’s, Personal Loans, etc. Next on the plate? Who knows. At the end of the day however the company is called Centum Financial Group, and if they choose to create a model of business that has multiple revenue streams and offers multiple products for their network – guess what? They are doing what ANY smart business in the financial sector has done. Our own sister industry in other countries started on this path years ago, the ones that refused to change with the times… got left behind.

    As for all of your assumptions about what I am or am not going to do… glad to see that so many people have the ability to read my mind and see into the future. Care to tell me what I am thinking now?

  • Brian Lambert on 2014-05-06 12:50:00 PM

    If you want true diversification in a mortgage office, you should be dual licensed. Get an insurance and Investment license. We do full Financial Planning at my office and cross market all products to our clients. We don’t have problems of clients leaving because
    they are multi-product clients. They have their Term Insurance with us. I don’t endorse MPP as it is a poor product and is twice the cost for half the insurance.
    Clients have their Investment with us and come back each RRSP season, we can them update their plans or do mortgage refinancing if they have taken on too much debt. The future of this industry is in dual licensing and that is what puts you in a position to compete with the big banks.

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-06 1:00:23 PM

    Brian... not all provinces allow for dual licenses, and the few that do are starting to look at not allowing it any further - so for many brokers that is simply not an option.

    That is pretty common knowledge for the more experienced people in our industry, or those that pay attention to what is going on in more than just their own back yard.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-05-06 1:04:48 PM

    I think dual licensing is a positive, more revenue streams are always better (just like this loan product) and for the provinces that do not allow it, there is the simple alternative of contracting with a licensed entity. So really, Mr. Lambert's comment seems quite sensible.

  • Larry on 2014-05-06 1:08:44 PM

    For those of you, like Brian, that just don't seem to get it... If you actually read the ENTIRE article:

    "Consumers can use these loans to for things such as IMPROVING THEIR CREDIT SCORE, HOME RENOVATIONS, CAR REPAIRS and MANAGING BILLS.

    Ranging from $1,000-$5,000, approved customers will have access to the funds within 24 hours of submitting an application.

    The loans are repayable over terms that range from 12-36 months. However, clients can repay their loan in full without incurring a penalty."

    Brian, you obviously do not understand the term "Credit contrained" customers - that simply put... means customers who cannot get help anywhere else. You are happy serving your customers who have lots of money for investments, etc. but the reality is that a person who has poor credit does NOT have the funds for investments - they are usually just trying to get back on their feet.

    So, while you only focus on the A people, I will be also be helping people who genuinely need help putting their lives back together. Once they have, they will come back to me for the GIC's, RRSP's, Mortgages, and insurance needs.

    You see, I have those products already - but then since you can read my mind... you already knew that yes?

  • Brian Lambert on 2014-05-06 1:44:31 PM

    “BOY” a lot of hostility going on, I must of
    hit a nerve with all you Centum agents writing
    in? I never intended to slam the EasyFinancial
    product. As I due refer clients to outside credit agencies when needed. I just don’t feel the need to have the product on my shelf. I also see a lot of B clients not just A clientele. Zig Ziglar said that those that position themselves as educators rather than purely salesmen will be the winners.
    As no one likes salesmen. Don't sell your clients, educate them.

  • Larry on 2014-05-06 2:01:48 PM

    Brian, you - once again are making assumptions - this is all about educating our clients and helping them. Why send them to a third party when you can do it in house? Isn't that the exact same thinking as you selling your ancillary products?

    As for hostility your original comment of "This couldn't be a better way to losing clients long term and certainly not a way to build a referral base. Brokers should be looking out for their clients , not just looking out for your bottom line. This partnership could truly backfire on them?", opened that door. You made assumptions - uneducated ones - and chose to publicly voice same.

  • Brian Lambert on 2014-05-06 2:21:16 PM

    @ Larry: Take a pill little man? You don't need to justify to me that you feel it is a good product for your business. You need to justify it to you clients. I rarely have the need to refer a client to a company like EasyFinancial. With B clients, I work with them on their credit issues and budgeting first. And yes sometimes it will take a few years before they get on track. Their the ones who put themselves in that position, but at least they get the advise of how to correct their situation. Throwing more bad debt at them won't always work or help?

  • M. Robertson on 2014-05-06 4:03:00 PM

    Brian, you keep making the assumption that this is just a situation of throwing more debt at them. If you actually read the comments made about this product is is a tool to assist the consumer in repairing their credit and offering them solutions when no one else will help them. At no point has anyone who supports this program in this forum stated that it is just about throwing more debt at them.

    I think, from your comments you are missing the point.

    The short of it is simple. Centum network members now have a tool in their kit that no other network has. Good for them for having the creativity and the foresight to recognize a need in the consumer marketplace.

    I did a little research, and this is the most underserved segment in consumer lending in Canada today. A segment that has been filled by pay day loans to the tune of over 2 billion dollars. Those payday loan users most likely includes some of your own customers.

    The banks will not lend term loans for less than 10k and even then they are ridiculasly difficult to get. Throw in someone who has had some credit issues in the past... and they are left out in the cold. We have ALL seen in when dealing with customers.

    That the broker channel now has a company that is positioned to fill this gap is great news. not just for consumers, but also for our industry because it shows that mortgage brokers are truly on the forefront of innovation.

    We should all be thankful that there are people at the top with this sort of progressive thought.

    I am not a member of the Centum network, but I have watched them closely over the past three years. The changes that they have made, and the innovation that they have brought to the table are simply amazing. This is just another example of them stepping up to the plate to say "we can do that".

    Posting negative comments, well it really is only accomplishing two things. (1) it makes the person posting it look bad. (2) it is keeping this forum as the most active this week and last - a good thing for Centum, I am sure that Paul is reading all of this with a smile on his face.

  • Paul Therien - CENTUM on 2014-05-06 4:05:28 PM


  • Giovanni Prete on 2014-05-08 6:24:49 PM

    Please do not send any more ne comment added. Thanks

  • Happy Centum Agent on 2014-05-15 6:01:11 PM

    First I want to THANK our leader Paul Therien for his foresight in launching this program.

    I get there are a lot of people who think that this program is not good, but you want to know something... I think you are wrong.

    My office signed up for this program right away, and you know... we have already had an amazing response from not just our existing customers, but also from our community.

    We now offer a solution when nobody else will, and that means a lot. Not just to our customers, but to their families and friends.

    It does have a higher rate of interest, but you know something... we have had several people that are trapped in a pay day loan cycle come to talk to us since we announced this. Several of them are customers of ours - people that you would never suspect would use a pay day loan. You know what we learned?

    Only someone who is arrogrant would think that they know every little detail about their customers. I know I was one of them. I was not going to support this program, but I am sure glad I listened to Paul when he challenged me on it. You know some of my customers told me that they did not come to me because they were embarassed - and they thought... how can I be helped by them? I don't need a mortgage, I just need a short term loan...

    Never been happier to be a part of this brand, it was the best change I ever made. Sure a lot of you will find negatives about the program and find ways to try to bring it down, but at the end of the day... I am helping people and creating long lasting bonds with my customers.

  • Keith on 2014-05-15 6:21:47 PM

    @Happy Centum Agent - Congrats! Glad to see that someone gets the value of this program and that not everyone is all about putting stuff down. Well done.

    Question... Why don't you share your name?

  • Happy Centum Agent on 2014-05-15 6:25:00 PM

    Thanks Keith!

    You know... Last time I put my name on here with a success story about something... I got inundated with calls from people to try to convert me to their brand - so thanks, but I would rather not deal with the harassment.

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