Solar & Home Improvement Contractor Point-Of-Sale Lender Dividend Finance Announces New Lending Platform & Broader Loan Product Suite


Dividend Finance Inc., a U.S.-based fintech that specializes in point-of-sale lending to solar and home improvement contractors, announced on Wednesday the launch of a new technology platform. Founded in 2013, Dividend claims it is a leading national provider of renewable energy and energy-efficient financing solutions to property owners.

“We give our customers the opportunity to obtain clean energy financing through a comprehensive suite of financing options. Our flagship product, the EmpowerLoan™, continues to expand its product offerings into the storage and home-energy space.”

Dividend reported that in addition to a new solar + home improvement partner portal, it is now offering its solar contractors an array of new products and enhancements including:

  • Dividend Lite: a new single-page URL application
  • New solar loan terms, including a 25-year 2.99% APR, 20-year 1.49% APR, 15-year 1.49% APR, and 10-year 0.99% APR
  • Flexible credit criteria and funding requirements
  • Same-day approvals and project funding

Skyler Hopkins, Dividend’s SVP of Solar Sales, spoke about the products by adding:

“We’ve been listening to our contractor network and wanted to deliver a comprehensive overhaul in Q4 2020 with a diverse suite of loan product options, a more flexible point-of-sale experience, enhanced credit approvals, and a streamlined funding process.”

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$800K Loan To Help Hesed House Winterize Shelter During Pandemic

The Daily Beast

Who Actually Declares the Winner of This Election?

By Amy Dacey, The ConversationWith the U.S. presidential election rapidly approaching at a time of extraordinary political and social disruption, the possibility of an unclear or contested result is coming under scrutiny.Unlike many other countries, where the president or prime minister is chosen by direct popular vote, in the U.S., a candidate may win the popular vote and still not be elected to the nation’s highest office. The U.S. also differs from most other democracies in that it has no independent electoral commission to certify the final vote count.So who actually confirms the winner? Step 1: Before Election DayAmerican democracy has many elected officials—state, local and national—and many processes for getting into office.I have been working on election campaigns since I was 8 years old, when my dad ran for school board and I went door to door asking people to vote for him. I’ve also worked on local, congressional, senate and presidential races and now direct an academic research center on politics.What’s striking is that every race is different, from deadlines and filing process to certification. Here, I’ll focus here on the presidential race.The unusual and complicated presidential election certification process in the U.S. entwines all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Senate, House of Representatives, the National Archives and the Office of the Federal Register. It also involves the Electoral College—a uniquely American institution that convenes in 51 separate locations once every four years to pick the president.This four-month process was custom designed as a compromise by the Founding Fathers, who did not believe the American people should directly choose the president and vice president but did not want to give Congress the power of selection, either.What if Trump Won’t Leave the White House?The Constitution declares that American presidential elections occur on the first Tuesday in November, every four years. But the federal election process actually begins in October, when the Archivist of the United States—a presidential appointee responsible for maintaining the government’s most important official documents—sends a letter to the governor of each state.The document outlines their responsibilities regarding the Electoral College, which is not a place but a process by which electors—people who are chosen by their party—vote for their party’s presidential candidate.The machinery of the Electoral College is complicated, but in short Americans vote for electors and the electors vote for the president. Then, the winner is  Step 2: After Election DayNot quite.Once a final tally of voters’ in-person, mail-in and provisional ballots has been concluded, all 50 governors prepare their state’s Certificate of Ascertainment, a document listing their electors for the competing candidates.Each state completes that process at its own rate. This year, because of the pandemic, finalizing the electoral vote count will likely take a lot longer. Once completed, copies of the Certificate of Ascertainment are then submitted to the U.S. Archivist.After the governor submits names to the Archivist, each state’s Electoral College electors meet in the state capital—D.C.‘s meet

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Should You Get a Personal Loan for Home Improvement or Renovation?

Ever since you stepped across the threshold at the first open house, you’ve been in love with your cozy, turn-of-the-20th-century Craftsman. Your spouse loves its sheltered porch; you can’t get enough of the ageless walnut woodwork. You don’t regret buying an older house, but you have no illusions that the place is perfect. Lately, you’ve begun to realize your growing family needs a bigger, more modern space.

Your search for a larger, new construction home in your area, but the market is way too hot, and post-World War II housing stock just doesn’t have the same charm. So you settle on a compromise: finishing your current home’s cinder-block basement. At about $15,000, it won’t be cheap, but it’ll definitely be more affordable than a bigger house.

There’s just one problem. You’d have no problem dipping into your personal savings to cover the down payment on another house since you’d recoup the funds once you sold your current house. You’re aware that a finished basement will probably boost your home’s resale value in the long run, but you won’t see that boost anytime soon. After all, the whole point of this project is to keep your family in the home for years to come. And because you used a low-down-payment FHA loan to purchase the property, you lack the requisite equity to draw on a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Are you out of options? Not necessarily. If you have decent credit, you may qualify for an unsecured personal loan with few strings beyond the obligation to make monthly installment payments. For homeowners without sufficient equity, a major home improvement project is a legitimate reason to get a personal loan – one that may be more fiscally responsible than using a personal loan to pay for a vacation or wedding, for instance.

How Home Improvement Loans Work

A home improvement loan, through a company like, is a personal, usually unsecured loan that’s intended to finance expenses related to home improvement projects. In practice, a home improvement loan is identical to personal loans taken out for other permissible purposes, such as debt consolidation, medical expenses, or business startup expenses.

Personal loan rates and terms generally don’t vary by loan purpose. Instead, they depend on the borrower’s creditworthiness, non-credit factors such as the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, the lender’s underwriting standards, and prevailing benchmark interest rates.

Borrowers with excellent credit (FICO scores above 720 to 740) can expect personal loan offers with:

  • Low origination fees, if any (likely below 2%)
  • Low annual percentage rates (below 10% to 12% APR, including any origination fee)
  • Longer terms (five to seven years)
  • High borrowing limits (up to and including the lender maximum, often $35,000 to $40,000)

Borrowers with good credit (FICO scores above 660 to 680) can expect to qualify for personal loans with:

  • Moderate origination fees, if any (likely below 4%)
  • Moderate rates (below 15% APR, including any origination fee)
  • Moderate terms (three to five years)
  • Moderate borrowing limits (variable by lender)

If they

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What Is a Home Improvement Loan?

What is a Home Improvement Loan?

Homeowners can apply for home improvement loans for a variety of reasons, including remodeling, updating or making repairs to their home. Loans can be issued for anything as simple as a roof repair, an update to an energy-efficient furnace or a new addition. Repayment for this type of loan can be made in many different ways. A homeowner can take an unsecured loan or use the equity in the home as collateral. A homeowner can also take a first mortgage loan or a subordinate loan. Each scenario is unique and will require careful analysis of the type of financing that may be best suited for the situation.

If You Have Little or No Equity in the Home

  • For minor repairs or updates: Your only choice would be an unsecured loan. Since the repairs or updates to the property are minor, the value of the property would not increase enough for a lender to use the home as collateral. Since the loan is unsecured, interest will be charged at a higher rate than if secured by the property; but the loan will not come with the higher closing costs associated with mortgage loans.
  • For major repairs, updates or remodeling: You may have a couple of options. If your current first mortgage rate is low, you may wish to opt for a second mortgage to keep your low interest rate intact. If your current mortgage rate is higher than the current market rate, you may wish to refinance under a renovation loan or “as repaired” value cash-out refinance to take advantage of the lower rates. In either case, the lender will require itemized repair and remodel plans to base the property appraisal on the “after-improved value” of the home. These loans will have lower interest rates than an unsecured loan, but will have more closing costs involved. Your options will be dependent on the results of the “improved value” because lenders will have a maximum loan to value limit.

If You Have a Large Amount of Equity in the Home

  • For minor repairs or updates: The amount of the loan is probably small enough to justify getting an unsecured loan or line of credit. When the loan amount is small, it’s better to use a loan with low or no closing costs. The unsecured loan would have a higher interest rate than the home equity line of credit (HELOC) and the credit line can be reused if needed.
  • For major repairs, updates or remodeling: If your equity in the home is adequate, the lender would be willing to loan you the cash needed in a number of ways. You would be eligible for a HELOC, installment second mortgage and a cash-out refinance. Ultimately, your particular financial situation or desired outcome would determine which product is preferable. If you want to preserve your current interest rate, you may opt for the HELOC or second mortgage installment loan. These options will have higher interest
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Home Improvement Loan Alternatives | NerdWallet

If you financed your home a few years ago and your interest rate is higher than current market rates, a mortgage refinance could lower your rate — and your monthly payments. And that could free up cash for your dream renovation.

You might also consider a cash-out refinance to tap some of your home’s equity. Lenders will generally let you borrow enough to pay off your current mortgage and take out more cash, usually up to 80% of your home’s value.

Think carefully before you embark on this type of refinance, though: You’ll be using your home as collateral for a bigger loan, and you’ll be financing short-term costs with long-term debt, which adds interest and other fees to the price of the renovations. In most cases, a cash-out refinance is appropriate only if you’re improving your home in ways that will increase its value.

>> MORE: Refinance your mortgage and increase your home improvement budget

A HELOC is another way to borrow against the the value of your home, but unlike a refinance, it doesn’t pay off the original mortgage. Instead, you get a line of credit — usually up to 80% of your home’s value, minus the amount of your home loan.

HELOCs come with a draw period and repayment period. During the draw period, which often lasts about 10 years, you can spend the money in your credit line. Your monthly payments would cover mostly the interest and a little bit of the principal on any outstanding balance. During the repayment period, which typically lasts around 15 years, your monthly payments would probably be higher because they’d include more principal.

>> MORE: Best HELOC lenders

Personal loans are an alternative to using your home’s equity for financing and putting your home up as collateral. In fact, you may not have to put up any assets for collateral, but you’ll generally need good or excellent credit to qualify for the best rates.

Interest rates are usually higher with personal loans than with home equity financing. There’s also a shorter time frame to repay the money, about five to seven years. The shorter window could mean your monthly payments are larger than they’d be with other loan options.

If you have good credit but not much equity in your home, or you’d prefer a shorter repayment period, a personal loan could be a good choice.

>> MORE: Best personal loan lenders

Plastic allows you to make purchases if you don’t have the cash up front, and certain credit cards give rewards for every dollar you spend. But you’ll want to make sure you can pay off your balance over a short period of time, because credit cards generally come with higher interest rates than other types of financing.

>> MORE: Best 0% interest cards

It may require time and patience, but saving your money until you’re able to pay outright for a renovation eliminates finance charges. Paying with cash can also make it easier to stay within your budget.

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Best Bad Credit Home Improvement Loans | Find the Best Loan for You

If you think you’re ready to tackle a major home improvement project, your first question may be how to pay for it. Whether you need to get a new roof or renovate your whole house, a home improvement loan can help you access the money to make it happen.

But qualifying for home improvement loans with bad credit can be a challenge. That doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck, though. Here’s what you need to know.

The Best Bad Credit Home Improvement Loans of 2020

Bad Credit Home Equity Loans for Home Improvement

  • Bank of America: Best lender with no minimum loan amount.

  • loanDepot: Best lender for borrowers with FICO scores as low as 500.

  • Guild Mortgage: Best lender for financing up to 97% of your home’s appraised value.

  • SunTrust Bank: Best lender for online loan comparison, application and documentation.

Methodology: The best bad credit home improvement lenders are selected based on consumer ratings, minimum FICO credit scores and product availability.

Best lender with no minimum loan amount.

A major financial institution serving homeowners nationwide, Bank of America has good customer satisfaction ratings. The bank has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a J.D. Power rating of four, which is better than most.


  • Mortgage types offered: Conventional, VA, FHA, refinance, home equity
  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 100%
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 55%
  • Loan amounts: Up to $5,000,000
  • Total closing costs: Varies
  • J.D. Power overall satisfaction rating: Four out of five

Best Features

  • Bank of America has a wide variety of mortgage products.

  • The lender offers annual percentage rate or closing cost discounts for qualifying Bank of America and Merrill Lynch clients.

  • Home equity lines of credit have no annual, balance transfer or cash advance fees or closing costs.

See full profile

Best lender for borrowers with FICO scores as low as 500.

LoanDepot was established in 2010 and since then has financed more than $70 billion in mortgages. It offers FHA, conventional and other mortgage options. Borrowers may qualify for a loan with a FICO credit score as low as 580.


  • Mortgage types offered: Conventional, FHA, VA, ARM, Refinancing (conventional), Refinancing (FHA), Refinancing (VA), Home equity loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 500 with conditions
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 43% for FHA
  • Maximum combined loan-to-value ratio: 90%
  • J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Four out of five

Best Features

  • LoanDepot mortgages have a lifetime guarantee, which means if you ever decide to refinance an existing loanDepot loan, the company will waive the lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees.

See full profile

Best lender for financing up to 97% of your home’s appraised value.

Guild Mortgage, founded in 1960, specializes in home loans and serves borrowers nationwide. The lender’s full suite of products includes conventional and government-backed mortgages and home equity loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: ARMs, conventional, FHA, jumbo, manufactured home, refinance, reverse, USDA and VA
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Maximum loan amount: varies
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Receives

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Home Improvement Loan or Personal Loan

Personal Loan or Home Improvement Loan? That is the question.

We love decorating our houses.

And there are phases in our lives when maybe we've spent too much time watching Food Food or TLC and thus have built castles in the air of visions of turning our kitchen into a chef's paradise. Or perhaps our master bath is just one shower away from a disaster. For we really do love Italian tiles on our bathrooms.

And if so, then cheers, you're not alone. Recently, the Joint Center of Housing Studies for Harvard University has investigated and reported that the home improvement industry should continue post record-level spending in 2016. For many people, this means borrowing money to pay for the well planned home improvements and home decorating schemes .

Now, one is ought to face a tough and difficult and perhaps hypothetical question.

So, which home improvement loan is right for you?

Many homeowners and homemakers look to tap the equity in their homes. But home equity loans or home equity lines of credit may not be possible or very practical for some borrowers. In that case, one should consider using a personal loan.

While it is known that one can use a personal loan for a variety of reasons, there are a few reasons why a personal loan can have advantages over home equity loans when it comes to a renovation loan, to be specific.

The application process for a personal loan is usually quite simple and quite straightforward. Your own financial situation-for example, your credit history and earning power; This is often the main deciding factor for whether or not you will be able to get a loan, for how much, and if so, at what interest rate. Some personal loans even boast of having no origination fees.

However, home equity loans or home improvement loans on the other hand, are akin to applying for a mortgage (in fact, home equity loans are sometimes called second mortgages). How much you can borrow depends on several factors, including the value of your home. Because you can only borrow against the equity you already have (ie the difference between your home's value and your mortgage), you may have to arrange – and pay for – a home appraisal.

Let's now see this case in the case of a home improvement loan. With a home equity loan or a home improvement loan, you can only borrow against the equity you have – which, as a new homeowner, is probably not much. You maybe have not had enough time to chip away at your mortgage and the market has not yet elevated your home's price. A personal loan lets you start home improvements regardless of how much equity you have. So, that is one benefit of availing a Home Improvement Loan.

With a home equity loan, you use your home as collateral, which means an inability to repay could result in your home going into foreclosure. While failing to pay your personal …

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