The job market is changing. People are no longer married to the notion of a traditional workplace, and gigs are becoming a hot “job commodity.” People are attracted to the flexibility gigs and freelancing offer, which allows them to live a little more on their own terms, instead of a day-job governing their work-life balance.
But there is a trade-off. When it comes to lending and offering financial services, most institutions still think very conventionally. And gig-workers are at a disadvantage here because conventional borrower screening models still rely heavily upon monthly income or credit score and don’t account for gig-income.
That’s where Moves Financial (and this Moves Financial review) comes in.
Use: Small Loans for Gig Workers
Wealthawesome Score: 4.6/5
- Available only in Ontario, British Colombia, and Alberta.
- Small loan amount.
- Doesn’t cover the whole freelancing range.
- Not suitable for beginner gig-workers.
Summary: Moves Financial provides small loans of up to $2,500 to workers that are looking to start earning some extra cash in the gig economy.
Free to apply
Presenting Moves Financial: One-of-a-kind Financial Services Platform
Moves Financial is a one-of-a-kind lender and a financial services platform that caters specifically to the needs of self-employed, i.e., independent workers, freelancers, and gig workers. They are a consistently expanding element of the workforce. Yet, they don’t have access to the same financial products as most salaried people do, even if their income is virtually the same.
Moves Financial aims to bridge that gap and provide independent workers the support they need to prosper in their line of work. Like any other individual, independent workers need access to affordable loans and other financial products to fund/fulfill their professional and personal needs. And they shouldn’t be denied these loans and products simply because of their unconventional earning schedule and credit history.
By moving beyond the traditional model of assessing prospects and applicants based on their credit score and monthly income, Moves Financial is focused on creating financial products created specifically for independent workers. Two main products offered by the financial platform are:
- Affordable loans
- E-Bike financing
The company offers affordable loans. And they don’t just throw in the word “affordable” here for gimmicks; they actually mean it. Compared to a few other options available to independent workers (which we will get to, later), the rates are very reasonable. But what we like most about the service is its fixed Annual Interest Rate, which in turn depends upon a fixed payment schedule.
The offers a maximum of loan $2,500 for now (September 2020). You can get any amount under it in the denomination of $500 i.e. $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000 or the full $2,500. The amount may change in the future, owing to the need for gig workers and the economy in general. The interest rate is very modest and reflects the company’s commitment to actually helping independent workers (and not just exploiting an untapped market). There are two loan repayment duration options: 13 weeks or 26 weeks.
You pay a little more (in total) if you choose the lengthier repayment plan, but the weekly payments are significantly more affordable. There are no early repayment penalties, and you can lessen your interest amount by paying early.
E-bikes play an important part in the new gig-economy. An e-bike is an affordable, environment-friendly mode of transportation, and makes getting around for gigs (especially if you are in the delivery business) easier. It removes a gig worker’s dependence on public transportation, so they have more control over their work schedule. Plus, they get to exercise while working.
The financing works on the same schedule as loans. You can either choose a 13-week repayment schedule or buy it in 26 weeks.
How Moves Financial Works
You must be wondering if Moves Financial isn’t like a traditional lender, how do they assess independent workers as credible borrowers. And how do they reject or decline applicants?
First off, they don’t offer secured loans. You don’t have to put something up as collateral to secure a loan. It’s also not a guarantor loan that requires someone with a stellar credit history or strong financial standing to vouch for you. It’s a plain and simple, unsecured loan.
Moves Financial doesn’t require your credit score, but they do need to ensure the credibility of their buyer. So they have a simple eligibility checklist, and a few factors they look into for passing or declining your loan application.
- You must be a resident of Alberta, British Colombia, or Ontario (might expand in the future).
- Have a bank account with six months of active history.
- Have received payment from any one of the 12+ platforms the company works with in the last 90 days.
- Other factors are your credit card utilization, average balance, history of NSF in the account, etc.
The criteria might change in the future, but the fundamentals of assessment are likely to stay the same, as they are part of this financial service platform’s chief selling points.
Benefits And Features
It wouldn’t be remiss to say that Moves Financial is offering an invaluable service. Despite the platform’s limitation (which might be justifiable, since it’s an early bird in its particular sphere), it offers a decent selection of features and benefits.
An Alternative to Payday Loans and Credit Card Debt
Since many independent workers can’t turn to traditional lenders when they need financing, the two other options they might go for are credit cards (when they have time and good credit history) and payday loans (if they are in a hurry). Neither is a desirable option since credit card debt easily grows out of hand, and paydays loans cost an arm and a leg (and maybe a kidney).
Moves Financial offers a decent alternative (only if you need a small amount). The interest is lower than a credit card’s and significantly lower than a payday loan’s rate.
Comfortable Eligibility Requirements
Since the financial products available on Moves Financial platform are specifically geared towards gig workers, the eligibility requirements are laxer. Most gig workers that have been in the game for a while are likely to find it very easy to qualify for the financial products available on the platform. Though someone that’s just starting out as an independent worker or a freelancer might not qualify.
Fast and Easy Processing
You can apply for a loan at any time online. The process of granting or declining your application usually takes one to three business days. Once you are approved, funds are transferred to your bank account. The weekly payments are also collected from your account.
Safety And Privacy
Taking a loan from Move Financial doesn’t affect your credit score. But the prospect of connecting their bank accounts to third-party software or a non-traditional financial service provider like Moves makes some people a bit uncomfortable. But the third-party software the company uses, i.e., Plaid, has a reputation for being secure and private. Also, the platform is backed by Blockchain, which is a strong point in favor of Moves’ dedication to privacy.
Is Moves Financial Safe and Legit?
Moves Financial is a relatively new business, and not yet accredited with BBB, but we haven’t found any red flags regarding its legitimacy. It has a 4.3 rating on Trustpilot, and whatever other ratings and comments we could find are all positive. They have been vetted by a few third-party services and found to be safe and legit. Their association with Visa’s Plaid is also a point in their favor.
Also, the amount of loan they are furnishing is too modest to become a debt-trap. So our verdict is that Moves Financial is trustworthy.
If you are working in the gig economy, you might know what challenges the lack of suitable financial products poses. It’s like being punished for not staying at the traditional job route. Thanks to Moves Financial, you might be able to find the financing and assistance any salary-person can get from a conventional financial institution. It’s fast, easy, safe, and created specifically for independent workers.
Moves Financial gets the Wealthawesome recommendation and seal of “awesome” for starting something that might actually make a difference in a lot of independent workers’ lives.
If you are planning on becoming part of the gig economy, check them out here. Even if you don’t need financial assistance right now, knowing that you can get it might give you some peace of mind.