Unsecure Credit Is Not A Dream With Ari Page
Episode 525: Unsecure Credit Is Not A Dream With Ari Page
Everyone worries about funding. Many businesses often hinge their success on getting funded, and unsecure credit is just a dream. Now, however, there are options. In this episode, Mitch Stephen gets into the nitty-gritty of funding with the CEO of Fund & Grow, Ari Page. Ari and Mitch discuss how to leverage credit and how his company is helping people get their businesses funded using Fund & Grow’s services. Learn more ways of getting your real estate business funded by tuning in today.
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We have Ari Page of Fund & Grow. Believe me, we’re going to have a very valuable conversation about credit cards, credit lines, credit withdrawals and cash advances from your credit cards. I started my career buying hundreds of houses with my credit cards. It was a different time and era, but there are many similarities going forward and what Ari can do for you. It’s thinking out of the box, but it’ll make perfect sense when we get done here. Ari, how are you doing?
I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me on, Mitch.
I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but I’ve been vocal about it. I started my career on about 55 credit cards because I recognized a long time ago that if you applied for all the credit cards you could get your hands on that most of them would send you the card because you had good credit. That’s changed now. They have some algorithms. A bunch of people signed up for a bunch of credit cards and then got all the cash advances and then went to Mexico.
They start worrying about how much you can get your hands on. Your credit score is tied to that, too. I bought a lot of houses on credit cards. Give me $10,000 on this card and $10,000 on that card. That’s $20,000. I buy the house, give me $10,000 on this card that would do the rehab. That was 1996 numbers when I was buying houses for a little bit of nothing down here. I did it hundreds of times. Talk to us about how Fund & Grow works and why you all exist?
In 2007 to 2008 timeframe, as the market took a dive, Fund&Grow was born out of a mortgage company. At that time, we were putting out lots of mortgages in the 2006 to 2007 timeframe. Before that, for many years, we’ve been doing mortgages. When this crash hit, what we found was that the more traditional forms of lending, such as mortgages, were on the down and out at that time. The more untraditional types of funding like business credit and unsecured business loans were a lot more readily available at the time.
The long and short of it is that our team retooled and recreated a business funding company out of our mortgage company. All of the employees were retooled and now work in getting funding. What we found was that the unsecured credit cards were readily being approved at that time. We were getting 50,000 to 75,000 on single credit lines, but suffice it to say that the markets have gone up and down since that period of time. What we’re doing is we’ve created a membership whereby we’re getting clients up to 250,000 of these types of credit cards over a one-year period of time.
One card could be $25,000, $30,000 card or $10,000 card. Without this negotiating process and our team doing this process and people at home can do this too, by calling the bank, telling them what it is that you’re doing with the funding, how you’re spending this on your business, how that’s going to enhance your revenue for that year and you’re able to get more funding. A lot of times, we’re applying for cards for customers, business cards and we’re getting a $10,000 or $15,000 card then we do our negotiation process, which is what Fund&Grow is all about.
We turn that $10,000 card into a $30,000 or $40,000 card by speaking to the bank, underwriters and assuring them about the person’s business. This process is something that anybody can do, but we specialize in doing this. By doing it, we’re able to get $50,000 to $100,000 on each batch of cards that we apply for. This credit card stacking process over a period of time builds a large aggregate amount of funding. The target amount is $250,000 for each customer.
There is a stigma attached to credit card debt like it’s bad debt. That’s not true. Debt is bad, whether it’s good or bad, depends on, does the credit brings in more than it costs? Does that card make you money? Who cares if it’s 18% annual interest if you only have it out for one month and you flip a house or wholesale and make $20,000? If you make $20,000, you can make zero if you don’t have the funding source. You can say 18% or 20% or whatever because you have some credit cards on the side. Instead of making $20,000, maybe you make $19,200, so what?
The great thing about these unsecured cards is that they carry an introductory interest rate. The minimum introductory interest rate is six months. We’ve seen them for as long as 22 months at 0%. There are wonderful services out there that allow you to take the money directly off the card, not as a cash advance, but as a purchase. It moves the money to whatever it is that you’re purchasing. If you’re buying real estate, you can fund a real estate deal directly with a wire transfer off of your credit card. There are easy ways of getting the money off the card that didn’t even used to exist.
Not only for real estate, we have clients in all different industries that want to pull the money off the card. The reality is they don’t just want the cash off the card, they want to purchase something that’s inherently difficult to purchase with a business credit card. The cool thing is there are so many ways to make that happen, to facilitate it and not as a cash advance, but as a 0% business purchase.
That’s important because sometimes the cash advance fees are 3%. If you’re talking about a lot of money, it could be a lot. Back in the day, it was a pain in the butt. I could have gotten $450,000 on my kitchen table, but it probably would have taken me at least a week because the process was very cumbersome.
That’s where we jump in because we help organize this card stacking process. When you’re using 6, 8, 10 of these cards, you want to make sure that you understand where the 0% is on each one of these cards at any given time and that you know how to use these cards and what bank they’re from. It makes a big difference. We want to only work with unsecured funding that doesn’t show up in your credit report because it’s not only good enough to get access to the funding.
Just like with a hard money loan, which is going to be very dangerous for you and have high interest rates. Are there times to use that? There could be times to use that. I personally used hard money before, but I would prefer to use super low interest funding that is unsecured. Not that we’re advocating for it, but if the worst should happen, it doesn’t come back on you personally and it’s not going to hurt you.
A lot of people think that’s a mythical place to be in order to have non-recourse loans that you have to be a big company and had a long history, how true is that?
It is true that you do need to establish your business credit in order to create corporate credit. One of the things that Fund & Grow excels at doing is getting people access to business credit cards and then getting them access to non-recourse loans. The building I’m sitting in here where we have 65 Fund & Grow employees that come in every day was bought completely non-recourse. Not on me or on any other person and this is the type of funding that we want to help all of our clients get to.
As I’ve stated before, I made a lot of money using credit card money. I have a private lending business and I teach. People are coming to me to borrow money for the acquisition and rehab. It helps me be into the property less. The acquisition and rehab is $70,000. I’ve taught them, “You need $50,000 for the acquisition. You need $20,000 for the rehab.”
“Why don’t you get that on a 0% credit card and make it easier for me to make the loan because we’re not pushing any LTV limits and you pay 0% interest on $20,000 of what you need.” It makes perfect sense. There are a lot of ways to use this card. It’s not just real estate. All kinds of businesses have cashflow problems between the time their products are shipped and they get paid.
A big one is pay-per-click. A lot of people are paying for marketing. They could be paying $50,000 to $100,000 a month for their pay-per-click marketing with YouTube, Google, Facebook and a lot of businesses that we’re working with. They don’t know how to spend and pay for that. $50,000, $100,000 upfront seems like a big deal. If you’re putting that in and then you’re getting five times that return easily, this is a no-brainer. We have clients that are coming to us that are trying to fund their ad spend. That’s one thing that the credit cards work well for.
Fund&Grow has been around a long time and you’re doing better than you’ve ever done because this is not some cockamamie idea. It’s been in the works for how long?Banks do want to look at your personal credit, but this credit does not report to your personal credit. It reports to the EIN number of your business. Click To Tweet
We’ve been doing this since 2006, 2007. Before then, we were doing it hourly. We were charging hourly to do it.
You’re breaking records in your company. You’re loaning out $18 million in November 2021 and now you’re on your path to $21 million in December 2021.
In September 2021, we had $18 million and in October and November 2021, we have had over $21 million in both of those months. What we’re talking about here is the amount of loans that we’re setting up that are 0% unsecured loans for our clients. That’s not the revenue we’re making. I’m not trying to be braggadocious. Although we are essentially applying for a job, we do want your students to hire us to do this job for them.
We do want to talk about this credit, though because this is a lot of funding. Before the pandemic, we had hit levels like $15 million to $16 million a month. Here we are after where a lot of people believe that the pandemic is winding down and now we’re reaching $21 million plus a month and we’re on track to do more than that in December 2021. We’re hoping to hit $22 million in December 2021.
What credit score is expected before you can help a person?
We like it when a client comes to us with 720s, but because we live in the real world, not everybody has a 720 credit score. If someone has credit blemishes, we can help and work with them, but they’re not going to get credit within the first 30 to 60 days like an average client that doesn’t have a credit problem would. If someone has credit blemishes or issues, those items can be deleted. They can be expunged. They can be removed from the credit report. We’ve seen it so often. There is a credit repair company that we work with. The reason why we refer to them specifically is because we want to see the client.
If the client’s working with us, we want to see them come back to us fast. If they have a negative item on their credit report and it takes two months to get it off, that’s two months that we weren’t able to move them forward and get them funding. When we’re referring to this credit repair company that we work with knowing that this client’s going to come back to us quickly.
There are many cases where we are able to move forward, even if there is a blemish on one of the three bureaus or we are able to move forward for cards that will only look at one of the other bureaus. I want to preface that by saying that the banks do want to look at your personal credit, but this credit does not report to your personal credit. It reports to the EIN number of your business.
That’s important when you’re talking about do you want a commercial line of credit or something where it’s unsecured. How do you move from always doing secured loans to unsecured? Did we already discuss that?
There are two different types of loans that we do. We do non-recourse loans and unsecured loans. We don’t do any type of secured loan. The two types we do are non-recourse, which is also unsecured, but has no recourse against the individual. We do unsecured business credit lines, which is the average of what most clients are getting right away. Usually, when clients get started with us, they’re getting a cash infusion of $50,000 to $100,000 of the business credit cards, which are unsecured and do not report your personal credit.
As they are working with us, we help them establish their non-recourse credit, which is with Dun & Bradstreet, so that they can purchase buildings such as we have. We purchased multiple buildings that are completely non-recourse and nothing to do with anybody’s personal credit. They have nothing to do with even business credit.
It has to do with our non-recourse corporate credit, which is 100% squarely on top of the business and on the EIN and has nothing to do with anybody’s personal report. It’s good that we clarify those two different types of funding because it’s good to start by using business credit cards that are tied to your personal report, but they don’t appear on your personal report.
What’s good about that is that you could leverage the entire account without pulling your scores down. The only time it would hurt your personal scores is if you default on the business credit card. The non-recourse loans for real estate have nothing to do with your personal credit. That’s not even based on your personal credit. It’s based off of your Dun & Bradstreet.
Eventually, every business can get to that and it takes having real legitimate use and need for the loan and real revenue. It’s something that a startup business is going to use more of the business credit cards. As they get more established, they have cashflow coming in, then they can work their way into non-recourse loans.
Does everyone have a Dun & Bradstreet rating or do you have to apply for it?
You have to apply and set it up.
I know my students have done millions of dollars’ worth of loans with you over the years. We’ve known each other for years and I’ve been referring you for a long time. It’s around $50 million that my students have gotten from you over time. The last time we talked, it was $32 million, so it’s been quite a while.
That’s a number we can pull up.
I’m going to take it back to real estate because that’s what I specialize in. If there is a chance to buy a wholesale property for $50,000 that’s worth $100,000 and you have to go get a money partner that wants half of your deal, you’re giving up $25,000 of this $50,000 profit because you didn’t have the money when you could keep all the $50,000 and not split it with a money partner. If you just had some credit cards to go to, to fund the deal because you’re not going to have this property for over 30 days.
You’re going to bring it in. You’re going to send it back out and you get to keep all the money and the profit because you had access to some funds that don’t charge very much. A little interest rate, in some cases, zero because if you’re going to go borrow a little bit of money, make sure you get the 0% introductory offer credit cards.The overall point of what Fund & Grow does is put people back into the driver's seat of their business and not equity partners or other institutions being in charge of their business. Click To Tweet
It always surprises me how people will go onto Shark Tank, and they’ll give up 50% equity within their company for $100,000 or for very small amounts of money when people can come and not give up any equity within their company. They can use a business credit card, get access to $100,000, $150,000 to $200,000 of this type of funding, and even more. The overall point of what Fund & Grow does is put people back into the driver’s seat of their business and not equity partners or other institutions being in charge of their business, but them. You know how to do your business. We know how to get you the funding, you know how to make your business grow.
Why don’t you go to 1000Houses.com/FundMe and that’ll take you over to a free webinar. You can learn a whole lot more about Fund & Grow and what it’s all about and doing for people around the country. All different kinds of businesses that you can use this money for, virtually any business. It’s not related to any business. Does your business need a cash influx, acquisition money or holding money? Anything else you might want to say to the new folks out there that might be afraid to borrow off a credit card?
We touched on that point earlier. I don’t think we talked very long about it, but the idea of good debt versus bad debt. When you’re getting funding, especially that’s unsecured. It’s not going to be harmful funding. It’s not going to hurt you. They can’t take your assets away, when you have unsecured funding that’s at a very low interest rate. When you have a business purpose in mind and an ROI that you’re going to be generating from getting funding, then you know that is good debt. The people that we’re talking to, Mitch, these are business owners.
They are the people that are making money. They know what they’re doing. They could make more money, if they had more access to OPM or Other People’s Money. A lot of people are in real estate, but it doesn’t even matter if you’re in drop shipping or doing marketing. If you can amplify what you’re doing, we all know you’re going to make more. Using Fund & Grow loans can help you do that. One of the cool things about that is that when you’re purchasing, we’re using cash. You’re not ever getting any of that money back.
What I mean by that is when you use these business credit cards, you can get up to 1.5% cash back. Imagine if you’re spending $50,000 to $100,000 a month like we are on advertising on pay-per-click, you’re getting 1.5% of $100,000 back a month that you’re running through your cards. This is indicative of many businesses. They’re spending what they’re doing every single month. In 2020, I flew to Barcelona, Spain, in business class. It didn’t cost me anything. We’re lying down with a TV. They are bringing you food and everything and the nicest part of the plane, completely free.
All off of these airline miles, they keep throwing them at me because I’m buying regular stuff that my business has to buy anyway. Many other people are spending out of their checking accounts. They’re spending it with cash instead of putting it onto a credit card. You get cash back and it’s safer because, as you know, there is also chargeback. If anyone ever tries to screw you, you can call your credit card company and they remove the charge.
It gives you a level of safety. We had a customer that was purchasing a roof. They were putting a roof on one of their rehabs and they used their credit card. It turns out the company that is doing the roofing was a scam company. They were able to call and get the charge reversed. It’s a level of asset protection that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t use it.
Please check out Fund & Grow. Go to 1000Houses.com/FundMe. You’ll get a $500 discount by using the link there and watching the webinar. This whole thing, the cost to get through Fund & Grow, what is it normally and what is it with the $500 discount?
If you go directly to our website, it’s going to be a $4,000 cost. There is a $500 discount by going through Mitch’s link, as well as a buy one, get one offer so that you can add your partner for free. Instead of it costing $8,000, it’s going to cost you $3,500. You and your partner can get started with no additional costs and also with a $500 discount. It’s important that everyone watch it. Go to 1000Houses.com/FundMe because if you don’t go to that link, you’re not going to get the bonuses and discount.
It only takes one deal that you could do with this access to money that you couldn’t do if you didn’t have it, and it makes $3,500 look like a chump change, plus you could do it over and over again. This is one of those deals where if you’re an active deal finder and you know how to find deals and you’re not able to fund them all or you’re having to give away half of your profit to someone who has the money, then this should be screaming at you.
Go to 1000Houses.com/FundMe. You’ll make back your $3,500 and way more if you’re the right person, a doer and you get out there and you get after it.
I wouldn’t wait because what’s going to happen is you’re going to procrastinate a little bit, not go over there to 1000Houses.com/FundMe and get started. You’re going to find a deal and lose it because you can’t get the funding in time. You’re going to know how cheap $3,500 is that you should have had the access. My point is, don’t wait until you find the deal to get set up. Get in position, so when the deal shows up, you can move like lightning. If you wait until you find the deal, it’s too late. How many times have you heard people say, “I wish I had this a week ago?”
All the time, but yet they will spend more than $3,500 on the closing of one mortgage for one property, instead of spending it on the program where they can use those lines of credit over and over.
Don’t delay. I’d also like to take this time to thank LiveComm for providing the sponsorship for this show. Please go to LiveComm.com and check it out. There is a reason why I only had four days on the market and why I’m averaging 15% down on my seller financed properties, it’s all about killing the expense of selling and that’s what LiveComm does. Check out the homepage and videos. Find out how I’m able to sell my houses without even putting one sign out. I sold my houses within four days, I don’t even use signs anymore. Check out LiveComm.com.
I’d like to thank you, Ari, for stopping by. I appreciate you. As always, you are making a big difference in the investor world out there. I know that you’re making a difference in other businesses, too. Please keep doing what you’re doing because you’re how the little guy gets a leg up and can get his foot in the door to do great things. Long before people have a reputation and a lot of opportunities, this is how you get in the door, by using little hairline cracks in the system, little tricks, trades and tips. This is one of the biggest ones ever, credit cards, buying houses and helping your business. Thanks a lot, Ari.
Thank you so much for having me on, Mitch. It’s always a pleasure.
- Webinar 1000Houses.com/FundMe
- Qualification form 1000Houses.com/Qualify
About Ari Page
Ari Page is the Founder and CEO of Fund & Grow, a company that specializes in helping Real Estate investors and small business owners rapidly acquire up to $250,000 in 0% interest Business Credit
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