Hurricane Relief Comes in Many Forms!
One of our co-founders had the pleasure of recently meeting a lovely gentlemen at a friend’s social gathering. Their discussions were mainly rooted in small talk but the conversation changed quite rapidly once the gentleman had asked our co-founder about what he did for a living. Our COO relayed the story of MiraLend and why we started the company as well as how the 2 parts of the company work.
For those unfamiliar with MiraLend, we have a two part model focused upon getting rid of predatory lending, and assisting people that have been overlooked by the traditional credit scoring and lending systems that exist today. First, we created our Community Engagement Score as an alternative to the traditional FICO Score, an outdated vestige of the 1980’s. Instead of looking at whether you paid your cable on time, our score combines community involvement and social media data to produce a qualitative score that is a much more accurate determinate of what kind of person someone really is, and how trustworthy they are in their community.
The second part to our business is our MiraLend peer to peer lending marketplace where the CES (Community Engagement Score) is used by borrowers and lenders to assess each other’s true worthiness to engage in personal loan transactions with one another. This marketplace is a social and community focused forum where you get to know the people you lend to and borrow from, and also negotiate with those people to set rates and terms for the transactions that are fair to both parties. You are also able to use collateral to engage in legally secured borrowing and lending transactions, just like the big banks do; all while the borrower is allowed to keep their collateral while they are paying down their debt!
So when our COO relayed our model to this individual and explained how we are seeking to serve people like those in Texas and Florida who have had their lives washed away from storms, the man he just met was virtually in tears. After composing himself, he explained that his most loyal employee lives in Houston, lost all of his worldly possessions in Hurricane Harvey flooding, and that he (like most people in Houston) had no flood insurance to cover the devastating loss. His family had evacuated with only what they could carry, so when they returned home to begin the cleaning and rebuilding process, the only way for them to get cash to start this process was to pawn all of his family heirloom jewelry, including his young daughter’s gold jewelry. The man telling this story to our COO welled up again and admitted that such a sacrifice is incomprehensible. He then reached out to shake the hand of our COO, and expressed how much he wished our P2P Marketplace was already functional so his friend in Houston would have had an opportunity to borrow the money that he needed, without having to give up the jewelry his family and daughter valued so much…
This is just one of the reasons we started MiraLend, and is why we push every day to get closer to our goal of having our Community Engagement Score and marketplace functional and ready for people to use. We want good and honest people who have been overlooked by the traditional financial systems, and especially those going through hardships, to have an alternative place to go solve financial need problems without having such a negative impact on their financial futures. We also want good natured people with some extra money in the bank to have a place to lend it responsibly while realizing a healthy return, all the while helping people in need. We hope to be able to help people like our new friend and so many others very soon!
And as the news shifts away from victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, let’s not forget that the clean-up has just begun!