I’ve been following cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since Bitcoin was the only crypto on the market. It’s been enjoyable to watch the industry evolve, bringing new features to customers and offering higher levels of simplicity in finance.
One thing I’ve found challenging in the world of cryptocurrency is utility. Sure, you can sell your cryptocurrency for cash, but there are very few retailers that accept these digital currencies.
Simply put, crypto has far less liquidity than cash. But SALT Lending aims to solve that problem. You can borrow against your crypto assets, and soon, you’ll be able to do so in real-time with the SALT Card.
What Is SALT Lending?
SALT Lending offers cash loans against your crypto assets. That means when you need access to cash, you don’t have to sell your crypto to get it.
Soon, you’ll be able to charge it on your crypto-backed SALT credit card. But for now, you can take out a personal SALT loan of at least $1,000 up into the millions of dollars. As with competitors, you can borrow against any crypto assets you deposit with the company. A smart contract locks up the crypto, and you get it back once you pay it off.
You should know that SALT works a bit differently from its competitors. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
What Sets SALT Lending Apart?
SALT Lending is quickly emerging as a leader in the crypto lending industry. Leaders only claim their positions when they offer unique advantages over their competitors. Some of the most exciting aspects of working with SALT include:
- Industry-Low Interest Rates and No Other Fees. I was a bit taken aback when I saw that APRs on SALT loans start at 0.52%. That’s a lot less than the federal funds rate for non-crypto-backed loans. Of course, you may not pay the lowest rate, but the highest rate is only 5.49%, which is probably significantly lower than the interest you could get on a loan from a traditional bank.
- Customer Service. Blockchain centers around anonymity and removing a central party from finance. Unfortunately, that means the industry’s customer service isn’t always what you’re used to. But SALT Lending aims to change that. The company’s support staff is available 24/7. The team’s also well trained and delightful to chat with.
- SALT Collateral Wallet. Your SALT Lending collateral wallet is one of the most secure in the industry. It’s a cryptocurrency wallet protected by the company’s multiperson internal signing procedure designed to prevent collusion. So you can rest assured your assets are safe when you work with the company.
Key Features of SALT Lending
SALT Lending offers a robust platform with several features that could make it the preferred lending platform for many crypto investors.
Selection of Digital Currencies to Borrow Against
Although the company doesn’t accept the widest range of digital assets, it does accept a lot of popular cryptos. So, if you’re a cryptocurrency investor, there’s a strong chance you have one or more of the accepted digital currencies.
- Bitcoin Cash
- USD Coin
- Pax Dollar
- Pax Gold
- SALT Token (Salt Lending’s in-house token)
You can also combine collateral types within your portfolio, which other crypto lenders may not allow you to do.
SALT Token is an ERC-20, blockchain-based token the company developed for use specifically in the SALT Lending ecosystem.
You can’t buy SALT Token from the company anymore. But if you already have some, you can use it to make up as much as 20 percent of your collateral portfolio to secure your loan, use it to lower your loan-to-value ratio, or use it to make interest payments.
Easy Loan Terms
Borrowing is easy with SALT Lending. You get the money you need quickly and pay it back over a period of 12 to 60 months. There are no tricks or hidden fees in the terms either. You won’t pay a prepayment penalty, there’s no loan origination fee, and there’s no hassle.
When you complete the repayment of the loan, you get your crypto collateral back. It’s as simple as that.
Ridiculously Low Interest Rates
Interest rates are critical when choosing lending options.
According to the company’s website, annual percentage rates (APRs) on SALT loans start at just 0.52%.
In today’s market of increasing interest rates, it’s nearly impossible to find a lender that’s willing to fund a loan with a 0.52% APR. Though your APR may be higher, the rate you can get with SALT is likely one of the most competitive across all lending options.
As with all loans, your interest rate is tied to your loan-to-value ratio, a measure of the risk the lender faces for letting you borrow money. But in the case of crypto, you could also see it as a measure of how much risk you face borrowing against such a volatile currency. Fortunately, the SALT Lending platform lets you track your own loan-to-value ratio, or LTV, in your account.
As you can see, your LTV reflects your loan’s health based on the current value of your collateral (the cryptocurrency you have in your SALT account). If the value of that drops, you have less valuable collateral backing your loan and less ability to repay the full amount of the loan.
That influences your interest rate at the time you first get the loan. But LTVs are important on SALT loans for another reason, one unique to SALT Lending that may make this crypto-backed loan a more appealing option for many borrowers: SALT stabilization.
The crypto market is a highly volatile one, and using cryptocurrencies as collateral can be dangerous. Locking up your crypto by taking out a loan on it takes away your liquidity, meaning if prices fall, you can’t get out before too much damage is done.
SALT Lending helps alleviate that risk.
When your LTV reaches 90.91%, the platform automatically converts your digital currency into a USD stablecoin guaranteed to trade at a one-to-one rate with the U.S. dollar.
There’s a 5% fee for stabilization, but in the event of a market crash, it can buy you time to decide what to do while protecting the value of your assets in the meantime. From there, it’s all about your loan-to-value ratio.
The expected move is for you to cure your LTV to 83.33% or better, either by paying down the loan or depositing more collateral. But thanks to stabilization, you have time to figure out how to do that.
Then when you’re ready, you can convert it back to the asset mix of your choice. The first conversion is free, and subsequent conversions incur a fee of 1%. But the fees are better than losing your proverbial shorts.
If you’re still unsure how stabilization can benefit you, SALT published the story of how stabilization impacted one customer twice in one week. It’s under the story about how SALT’s CEO came up with the idea after experiencing a loss first-hand. SALT also created an easy-to-follow infographic explaining it (Beginners, note that BTC means Bitcoin and ATH is all-time high).
3-Pronged Security Protocols
In addition to its unique stabilization practice, SALT Lending has additional controls meant to keep your crypto safe. It partners with Fireblocks, a custody-management firm (like virtual armored cash transport vehicles) that makes your transactions secure and fast.
Additionally, the associated security protocols at SALT and its partners require multiuser authorization. That means no single employee can influence what happens to your transactions.
Combined with the stabilization, that translates into increased security and speed. SALT says it’s had a 0% loss of customer collateral since it funded its first loan in 2017.
All the same, SALT’s third prong is its cyber-insurance, which protects it from various cybercrimes and virtual failures. And if anything happens to your money while it’s in transit, its partner Fireblocks maintains e-crime event insurance. So if the first two prongs fail, the third one has you covered the old-fashioned way.
StackWise Rewards Program
When you borrow from SALT Lending, the company automatically enrolls you in the StackWise Rewards program, which rewards you with crypto (Bitcoin, Ether, or USD Coin) directly in your wallet every time you make a monthly payment. You can hold it or apply it directly to your monthly payments.
SALT Lending App
SALT makes it easy to manage your loan on the go with a handy app rated at 4.9 out of 5 stars on the App Store and 4.3 out of 5 on Google Play. Its clean and intuitive interface makes it easy to see how much you owe, where your loan-to-value ratio stands (along with how close you are to stabilization), and all the essential details about your loan.
In fact, you never need to go to SALT’s website if you don’t want to. You can manage the full loan process from beginning to end inside the app. You can even contact and communicate with customer service from your phone or tablet.
The SALT Card (Coming Soon)
SALT plans to make it easy to borrow against your crypto assets at the point of sale with the SALT Card.
The company hasn’t announced a bank partner yet, but the card is expected to give you a credit line of up to 60% of the value of your crypto collateral and provide significantly lower interest rates than traditional credit cards. So keep your eyes peeled for this soon-to-come product offering.
How SALT Lending Stacks Up
Crypto lending is still a relatively new market with few competitors on the playing field. Nonetheless, companies like SALT Lending are quickly emerging as leaders. Another such company is YouHodler. But the companies are quite different.
|Loan-to-Value Requirements||20% – 70%||Up to 90%|
|Number of Cryptos||9||57|
|Minimum Loan Amount||$1,000||$100|
Advantages of SALT Lending
SALT Lending’s competitive interest rates, quality customer service, and highly secure crypto wallet keep consumers coming back for more, but they’re not the only advantages to working with the company. Some other exciting reasons to consider signing up include:
- You Can Borrow Against Your Cryptocurrency Holdings. As a crypto investor, you don’t want to sell your crypto to access money. You’re in it for the long haul. With SALT, you don’t have to. You can access the cash you need by borrowing against your crypto assets.
- There’s No Impact on Credit Scores. SALT uses your crypto as collateral, so the lender is typically in a win-win situation. That means you don’t have to worry about whether you have the credit you need to be approved, and neither the application nor the loan impacts your credit score, even if you fail to pay as agreed.
- Get Loans Funded Quickly. Receive money in your bank account in 48 hours or less. You can choose to have your loan funded in cash, TrueUSD, Paxos, or USDCoin.
Disadvantages of SALT Lending
There are plenty of reasons to sign up for SALT Lending, but there are also a few disadvantages. Don’t borrow without understanding the risks.
- Big Loans Mean Tying Up Lots of Crypto. The higher your loan-to-value ratio, the higher the lender’s risk. That translates to having up to double your crypto tied up as collateral on the loan. That means you need enough crypto to back the loan or it’s not a good fit.
- Crypto Is Risky Collateral. Cryptocurrency is highly volatile and has the potential to generate significant gains or losses. If your crypto is tied up in a SALT loan and the floor falls out of the market, you have no liquidity options. Moreover, if prices skyrocket and you miss a payment, you stand to lose a significant amount of money.
- Offers No Interest-Bearing Crypto Savings for Regular People. It would be nice to earn interest on crypto savings, but SALT Lending only offers it to accredited investors. Some of the company’s competitors pay you interest on any assets you don’t use for collateral.
Is SALT Lending Legit?
There’s no question SALT Lending is a legitimate service. Although the company isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau, SALT Lending has managed to earn an A+ rating. That’s a difficult task to accomplish. There are also plenty of positive customer reviews across the web.
The SALT Lending platform and its website (SALTLending.com) feature bank-level security features, including 256-bit SSL encryption. So not only is the company a legitimate one, it also takes all the necessary steps to keep your personal data safe.
Alternatives to Consider
There are a few popular crypto lending platforms to choose from. If you’re not interested in working with SALT, consider one of the following alternatives.
|YouHodler||Low loan minimums|
|Binance||Using multiple currencies|
Crypto-backed loans are an exciting new concept that has the potential to greatly reduce your borrowing cost and bring more simplicity to the process. If you need a loan and have plenty of cryptocurrency in your wallet, SALT Lending is worth checking out.
With the company’s industry-low interest rates, quality customer service, and wide range of features, you might be surprised how painless SALT makes the lending process.