Hello Milo – A Digital Bank to Drive Global Inclusion
By Josip Rupena
October 29, 2020 • 6 min read
Like all innovations, we were born to address a gap. In our case, a gap that was not only a missed opportunity, but was unfair. The truth is, financially sound international consumers were not able to access the same financial solutions as their US counterparts. And, it’s all because they lacked a US social security number (SSN). Without those nine magical numbers, many viable consumers were unable to borrow, invest, and bank when and where they wanted to.
For instance, when someone in Argentina or Colombia, wants to purchase a home in the states, it’s challenging – to say the least. And, it’s not because they don’t have the money or financial stability to do so. It’s because traditional banks aren’t set up to accommodate them.
They don’t speak the language, they don’t have a process and quite frankly, they’re caught up in doing things the way they’ve always been done. Unfortunately, the way it’s always been done is a disservice to international investors and a missed opportunity to US lending and banking institutions.
Milo Credit is on a mission to drive more financial inclusion and make the world just a little more connected in the process.
We are excited to officially introduce Milo’s first financial solution, home lending. Our innovative digital approach has the opportunity to benefit millions of global consumers.
Where we started
Before launching Milo, I worked in financial services for 12 years. During my time at investment banks and financial institutions, I developed a deep understanding of asset management and how high-net-worth clients like to invest and bank. Many of them were global consumers, and they wanted access to the American market.
Unfortunately, their access was often denied. And it wasn’t because they were unbankable. It was because the process wasn’t set up for them.
Only 30% of international loan seekers actually get approved for US loans. If they do get approved, they often suffer from high-interest rates and a cumbersome customer experience.
Over time, many global consumers have come to accept the complex system as it is, limited options and all. I knew it shouldn’t be that way.
The challenge facing international consumers
My lightbulb moment came while working as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley. My high-net-worth client had a great opportunity to invest. Naturally, he came to me seeking guidance. Morgan Stanley is the largest player for international private banking clients, so I did some digging internally for the right product. In this client’s case it was home lending.
We assembled the appropriate and available documentation (since he wasn’t a US citizen, he didn’t have a social security card and other typically sought-after documentation) and I worked with the internal mortgage team to qualify his loan. Because of the way our systems in the US are set up, he didn’t qualify.
That’s when I had a realization.
If I couldn’t help a seven-figure net worth client secure a home loan, something was really broken.
In November of 2018, I launched Milo with a mission to reimagine how global consumers access financial solutions in the US – in a way that actually caters to them. That means offering a simple, streamlined lending approach while offering a deep understanding of US investing.
There are millions of qualified consumers in the international space. They hold dreams of one day investing in the US market, which offers a sense of stability that cannot be accessed in many other economies.
These hopeful and deserving overseas individuals long for an in. Milo is here to give them a chance. We’ve built something that works for the unique situation of global consumers, and we know firsthand that it can make a difference.
At the same time that we’re serving the global investing community, we’re working to open doors for healthy economic activity – and that’s something that benefits us all.
Milo’s solution for global banking consumers.
Milo’s home loan solution radically changes how non-US consumers invest and leverage their US real estate.
What makes us different? We lend directly, and at very low US interest rates in days and not in months.
How do we do it? Well, we have built amazing technology and we lend our own capital. This allows us to move throughout the process quicker and with greater ease. Additionally, we’re a digital lender, which means we don’t need to invest in expensive physical branches and clients can close their loans all online and fully remotely. As a result, we can pass those savings off to our customers.
Our cash-out refinance solution allows non-US owners to borrow against their US residential properties, which means they don’t have to sell at fire sale prices. You could pay 15% interest overseas, or you could access mid-single digits here in the US.
When you think about it this way, it just makes sense, doesn’t it?
At Milo, we strive to be in the solutions business for global consumers. We want to be the company that helps them when they need it – wherever they may be.
Where we are and where we’re going
In the two years since our founding, we’ve processed more than $100 million in loan requests, have grown to 16 team members and have offices in Miami and Colombia. We were the first lender to offer a fully digital closing for a client overseas, saving them thousands of dollars in travel cost.
While we are currently focusing on the lending side of our digital banking solutions, we plan to offer additional financial solutions for our international clients in the future. Stay tuned for many more exciting updates.
This is Milo’s history, mission, and forecast in a nutshell. To our existing clientele, thank you for the opportunity to serve you. And to the global consumers who are ready to take advantage of that gleaming opportunity on the horizon, we look forward to the day when we can provide you with financial solutions that finally work in your favor.
– Josip Rupena, CEO and Founder of Milo Credit
The opinions expressed in the Blog are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product.
CEO / Founder at Milo
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