Lenders offering loans for summer partying

BY PAUL ALLEN Business reporter allenp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 13, 2012

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PATRONS should have an easier time attending popular summer parties with loans created for just that purpose.

Sprint Financial Services, a lending company, is offering loans to would-be partygoers who may have difficulty paying their way at some of the biggest, and most expensive, parties on the island's west end, said Christopher Barrett, its founder and CEO.

Two of the most highly anticipated parties will be Appleton Temptation Isle, more popularly known as ATI, and Dream Weekend and cost about $20,000 for season tickets.

They can get loans from $10,000 to $100,000 with an interest rate of 1.85 per cent each week, Barrett said of the St Andrew-based institution. The loans are secured using appliances as collateral but these must value three times the amount asked for. However, the company isn't always hard and fast with this and may give loans with appliances valued at two-and-a-half times the amount. Salary deductions can also be used for repayment.

Regular loans are given at two per cent.

Borrowers are given three months to repay for amounts less than $60,000. Anything over that figure has up to five months, Barrett said, who was the co-founder of Global Courier Services, the second largest provider of online shopping services before it was bought by its competitor, MailPac, last year.

Also, Sprint adds value to its customers' experience, he said, as they can get discounts from companies that have partnered with them, such as hardware store, Rapid True Value.

The response has been great, Barrett said, and the almost five-month old company has given many such loans with even more enquiries. They are even more popular than loans for home improvement, he said.

Though not being able to name competitors offering such loans, the Jamaica Observer found several unofficial lenders who offer a similar service.

The business is sustainable, he said, when asked if the low rates would be a problem, adding that the company should break even by year's end, if not sooner.

Sprint wants to expand to at least two more locations within a year, eventually setting up shop in most, if not all, parishes.

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