JL Llavina is the founder of American Loans and a long-term finance expert that has worked with loans for over two decades. He was born in Argentina and immigrated to the United States by coming to Utah to attend College at Brigham Young University. This is where he started doing various jobs to make ends meet. After a while, he uncovered his entrepreneurial tendencies and slowly began operating a vehicle business where he resold cars to body shops. This turned into a long-term venture that went on for over a decade and expanded across Salt Lake City and Orem.
After a while, however, JL Llavina entered the field of lending as he began learning about the basics of finance. Now, he leads American Loans as for the operations manager who is in charge of the vast majority of the projects.
What are some of the most common inquiries that you help your clients with?
Our business model revolves around lending to people who may be in the market for a commercial loan or mortgage. So, the vast majority of the people that come to us are seeking a large lump sum of capital that will be used for an investment or a down payment.
Do people normally come to you for loans before resorting to large banks?
It depends. Some individuals do a lot of research and come to us to avoid having to deal with large financial institutions. Sometimes, however, we get people who are referred to us by those larger companies. That normally happens when they are not the most perfect candidate for a loan at that institution, and they want to outsource them to a business like us.
What are some differences between the loans that you offer and the ones given by mainstream intermediaries?
Well, our loans are based on private lending. Meaning, we may use our own funds or the capital given to us by the investors who want to realize gains. So, we will often have to increase our interest rates to match these levels of expectations. For most of the larger banks in the world, however, the process is a little different. Although they also use funds provided to them by their customers, they do not have to realize returns to keep those customers satisfied.
Instead, any interest revenue that they accumulate goes directly to them. So, they are often stricter on the terms of the loan and are not extremely flexible with people who may have low credit or short employment history. For us, those types of factors are important but not to a point where we decline people solely based on them. We also look at the plans that someone has and how they intend on spending the money in question. Then, we seek to negotiate and make the venture worthwhile for both parties.
Is it possible to say which option would be better?
It depends entirely on the person and the circumstances precipitating the loan. There are situations in which people may want to go with private lending over financial conglomerates. As mentioned, this tends to take place when someone has a low credit score and has exhausted all their lending options in the market. Then again, there are those who prefer to keep all of their banking at one institution and want to obtain a loan from a commercial intermediary. That is perfectly fine and understandable as well.
Do you have any advice for first-time borrowers?
Try to get all of your paperwork completed and know the answers to some of the common questions that a loan officer may ask. In other words, dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s before you ever head to a meeting where the faith of your lending experience will be decided. Having been in this industry for so long, I have to say that the number of people who underestimate the importance of that first impression is incredibly high. Just think about it from this angle, if you were giving your money to someone, would you want them to be extremely confident and know exactly how the funds will be allocated? Odds are, you would prefer a person that fits that description over someone who plans to make decisions as they go.