Climate First Bank launches residential solar lending platform – pv magazine USA
Solar loans, available to Florida customers, have no dealer fees. The company is seeking partnerships with residential and commercial installers across the state.
Climate First Bank, an FDIC-insured climate change-focused community bank, announced the launch of its first digital solar lending platform for Florida residents. The lending platform offers a streamlined online application process with real-time approvals. The company said eligible customers can be approved for 100% financing with no down payment in 48 business hours or less.
The loan product comes with no dealer fees, which means there are no unexpected upfront costs. Climate First Bank said brokerage fees are often imposed on solar loans to advertise low or even 0% interest rates, but these fees can often be as high as 25% of system costs.
Under the loan program, customers can repay in full at any time without penalty. Any payment made in addition to the contractual monthly payment will be applied in reduction of the principal balance of the loan. Clients can also access their 26% federal investment tax credit directly if they wish, or they can apply it to the loan.
“Now, with just a few clicks, clients can increase property value, dramatically reduce or even eliminate costs, and save the planet by investing in renewable solar energy,” said Ken LaRoe, Founder and CEO of Climate First Bank. . “I wish something so simple had existed when I was installing solar power on my house.”
The company said it wants to partner with leading residential and commercial PV installers. Those looking to become a preferred partner can apply by following this link. He said benefits for preferred partners include a dedicated personal banker, expedited approvals and processing, and 50% payout at project start, 50% payout at project completion.
“Our robust tool is the next step forward for sustainable lending, making it easier for anyone to install a solar panel on their roof,” said Lex Ford, president of Climate First Bank. “With our transparent solar financing, consumers can purchase a solar power system at no extra cost or undisclosed fees. Customers, installers, and the planet all win with this new platform.”
A 2019 study by real estate web giant Zillow found that solar power increases the property value of a home by an average of 4.1%. On a $500,000 home, that’s a $21,500 increase in value.
Solar financing is a common route to owning a photovoltaic system. SolarReviews said secured loans such as HELOC run between 3 and 8.5% APR, depending on credit score. The PACE loan rate tends to be higher, with APRs between 6.5 and 8.5%. Unsecured loans have higher APRs and usually vary widely in their APRs. Typically they range from 6-30%, and having a good credit rating helps keep rates low.
Many solar loans are no down payment, but when down payments are required, they typically range between $0 and $3,000. You can find a solar loan as short as three years or as long as 30 years, but typically they range from 10 to 20 years, SolarReviews said.
Climate First Bank is currently offering the first 100 loans generated through the new platform a special promotion of 3.99% APR for 25 years with no brokerage fees.
With currently less than 1% of all rooftops covered in PV in Florida, the Sunshine State, Climate First Bank and its competitors have a lot of work to do to finance the energy transition.
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