AutoLend is one of our most popular features at Blend. It is used by many of our investors to ensure they don’t miss the chance to lend on our loans. For those readers who are yet to take the plunge with AutoLend, this blog features an interview with Melissa Turnbull, Operations Manager at Blend, where she explains what AutoLend is and why investors decide to use it.
Question: AutoLend is one of Blend’s most popular features for investors. Tell us what it is.
Melissa: That’s absolutely right. A large number of our investors currently use AutoLend. AutoLend is a feature of the Blend platform that allows investors make automatic investments in line with their criteria, such as interest rate and loan maturity. The feature allows investors choose a fixed amount to lend, letting them spread their available cash across multiple loans.
Question: So, effectively one of the reasons investors use AutoLend is for portfolio diversification purposes?
Melissa: Yes, that’s right. If we consider that an investor has £100,000 available to invest through the Blend platform, AutoLend allows that investor to spread his or her investment across multiple loans in multiples of £1,000. So, in this example, the investor would be able to spread his or her investments across 100 loans by investing £1,000 on each loan or across 10 loans by investing £10,000 on each loan. So, AutoLend allows investors to diversify their portfolio automatically.
Question: And how does AutoLend work in practise?
Melissa: In practise, AutoLend works like a queue. AutoLend are all placed in a queue and the queue works on a first come first served basis. If a loan is oversubscribed, priority will be given to lenders who first switched on their AutoLend. The size of the AutoLend queue is constantly changing because there are investors who join and leave the queue continually.
Question: How can investors activate their AutoLend?
Melissa: The Blend platform is very user-friendly and activating AutoLend consists of a few very simple steps. Investors can activate AutoLend by following these steps:
· Log into your Blend account by using your login credentials.
· Go to your Dashboard. From there, click on AutoLend and enter the amount you wish to invest per loan, in multiples of £1,000. Select the other parameters for your investment. These are the maximum or minimum expected interest rate and loan term that you would be happy with.
· Click on ‘Turn ON’ where you will then be prompted to enter your password. This is the same as your login password.
· AutoLend will automatically lend on the next available loan.
Question: Can investors activate and deactivate their AutoLend whenever they want?
Melissa: Yes, absolutely. Investors can activate and deactivate their AutoLend at any point in time. If investors deactivate their AutoLend, they will be removed from the AutoLend queue. If they later decide to activate their AutoLend again, they will re-join at the back of the queue. However, investors need to ensure there are always sufficient funds on their account. Otherwise, their AutoLend will be automatically deactivated, and they will be removed from the AutoLend queue if the balance on their account falls below their chosen AutoLend amount.
Question: Can investors change their AutoLend parameters and criteria once initially set?
Melissa: Yes, investors can change their AutoLend parameters and criteria at any point in time, but if they change their chosen AutoLend amount, their AutoLend will be automatically deactivated. In that case, they will need to reactivate their AutoLend manually and they will re-join at the back of the queue.
Question: Is there any fee to using AutoLend?
Melissa: No, the AutoLend feature is free to use and there are no charges for investors to lend through the Blend platform. The only time when a lender may be charged a fee is if they make use of the Secondary Market in order to sell part of a loan prior to its maturity.
Question: Can investors know how long it will take for their funds to be deployed through AutoLend?
Melissa: Unfortunately, no. The reason for this is that each person in the AutoLend queue has a different set of criteria and therefore their funds will be deployed accordingly. So, it is not possible to know how long it will take for each person’s funds to be deployed. Having said that, we continue to grow our lending team by hiring the best in the industry and aim to increase our pipeline of loans to ensure all our investors are able to deploy their funds in a timely manner.
Question: Is there anything else that investors need to know about using AutoLend?
Melissa: Investing through the Blend AutoLend platform is subject to the same rules, risks, and regulations as investing manually. Therefore, investors must know that their capital is at risk and that lending through an electronic platform is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Aside from that disclaimer, I would just like to reiterate that AutoLend is a very popular feature at Blend and allows investors to diversify their investment portfolio while ensuring they don’t miss the chance to invest on our loans.
BLEND Loan Network Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reg No: 913456).
BLEND Loan Network Limited is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Evelyn House, 142 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6YF.
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