Nadeem Siam, Co-Founder at Fintech Startup Fund Ourselves

Nadeem Siam is the founder of new innovative peer-to-peer lending platform Fund Ourselves.

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Previously known as Welendus, the alternative lender allows borrowers to access short term loans that are affordable, and investors can potentially receive a return on investment of up to 15%.

Fund Ourselves is currently in the process of scaling up and has just moved into new offices located in Waterloo, the heart of London.

A little background on Fund Ourselves

Siam, who was born in Egypt, previously designed computer systems for space satellites for NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) before founding this company.

With Fund Ourselves, Siam set out to change the short-term lending sector which has developed a poor reputation for its unscrupulous lending practices.

The short-term lending sector was dominated by lenders such as QuickQuid and Wonga, both have since fallen into administration following regulatory shakeups. The former lending giants collapsed due to a wave of compensation claims and payouts from customers.

Siam is looking to provide a strong alternative to high cost lending, that ultimately does not put borrowers into further financial difficulty, as was often the case with Wonga and QuickQuid customers.

Fund Ourselves provides low-cost and flexible loans without high-cost penalties. For example, if a borrower falls into financial difficulty, they can notify Fund Ourselves online and switch the loan to a longer-term plan. This can be done without it impacting on the borrower’s credit rating or additional charges, unlike other short-term loan products.

Siam explains: “If you look at rail fares and energy costs, everything is going up in price, but salaries are not increasing at all. So the demand for short-term credit will increase, but we need to deliver it in a better way. Otherwise, people will get into other problems if they can’t get access to the cash they need.”

If you look at rail fares and energy costs, everything is going up in price, but salaries are not increasing at all. So the demand for short-term credit will increase, but we need to deliver it in a better way.

“The premise behind Fund Ourselves is to be as low-cost and flexible for borrowers as possible, with no penalising structure.”

“Borrowers can’t get a loan without passing fraud, credit, and affordability checks. If they think they are going to struggle to pay the loan in time, they can notify Fund Ourselves using their online account and switch the loan to a longer-term plan – making the payment more manageable, without leaving a black mark against the borrower’s credit rating.”

Meanwhile, investors have the possibility of earning between 5% and 15% interest on the portal when lending to others. The amount earnt is based on the level of risk they are willing to take on, with the option to lend to good credit customers (at 5%) or higher risk customers with bad credit (at 15%).

Fund Ourselves is not covered by the Financial Compensation Services scheme, but the alternative lender does provide their own version of the scheme. They also have a customer service team dedicated to recuperating debt should this action need to be taken.

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