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Loanpal Rockets to Second-Largest Solar Loan Provider in the US

Rooftop solar enjoys strong public support across the United States. So why aren’t solar panels blanketing communities across the country?  The reason there aren’t millions more homes with rooftop solar isn’t due to a lack of demand; it’s because a lot of American homes aren’t solar-ready, according to Hayes Barnard, CEO of Loanpal, which recently became the fastest-growing solar lender in America.

Getting solar-ready may require installing a new roof or upgrading the home’s electrical panel. And these things are not cheap, with a price tag anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. That’s typically a deal-breaker for a customer trying to go solar for zero money down.  Roughly 2 percent of homes in the United States have gone solar, and people don’t really understand why that number isn’t higher, said Barnard, who previously served as chief revenue officer at SolarCity. “They just assume it’s demand, and that the customers don’t call. But that’s not the case.”

The idea behind Loanpal was to find a way to finance home upgrades for prospective solar customers. For that reason, Loanpal is focused specifically on the financial piece of the solar purchase and does not actually build any rooftop solar systems. The company’s secret sauce is its proprietary fintech platform that serves as connective tissue between banks, clean energy system installers and homeowners.

For homeowners, Loanpal offers zero-down financing and virtually instant loan approvals for solar, batteries and other home upgrades, like a “Square or PayPal” for clean energy purchases, said Barnard. For installers, the benefit is Loanpal’s technology directly integrates into their point of sale and operational systems, creating a seamless sales and back-office experience. Banks, meanwhile, benefit from an efficient way to deploy capital without the traditional costs associated with a consumer-lending platform.

Loanpal has announced that it is now responsible for financing 21 percent of all new residential solar loans in the U.S., after just 15 months in the market.

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