Record loan volume in May, June for FreedomRoad Financial

Retail lender sees volume up 50 percent in first half

Retail lender FreedomRoad Financial, which opened for business in 2006, experienced record loan volumes in May and June of this year.

“Volumes are up 50 percent year-to-date,” Tom Collins, executive vice president and managing director, told Powersports Business in July.

Collins expected that by the end of the July, the company would surpass its 2011 volume.

“Through the first six months of this year, we’ve surpassed all the loan volume we did in 2010,” Collins said. “So we’ve done more loan volume in the first half of 2012 than we did the entire year of 2010.”

FreedomRoad has been on a growth path that matches that of their OEM partners Ducati and Triumph.

“All of us have come a long way in a short period of time,” Collins said. “Their products are hot right now.”

FreedomRoad Financial’s portfolio performance is holding steady, with low delinquencies and losses among its 450 dealer partners.

Tom Collins

“Because of that, it’s given us a lot of confidence to buy deeper,” he said. “It’s allowed us to increase our loan-to-value ratios. All the things that lenders look to as it relates to risk, we’ve been able to loosen up. Part of that loan growth is from OEMs that we support, and our dealers, and the fact that we’ve felt comfortable and confident in taking on more risk and buying further down the credit spectrum, and/or advancing more dollars to well-qualified applicants because of the performance of the portfolio.”

FreedomRoad originated its first consumer lending programs in 2007, when the powersports market had few ills.

“Things went from gangbusters to very unprofitable,” said Collins, who previously spent a decade at Harley-Davidson Financial Services. “But we were committed to this business. This is what we do and why we started the company. We had confidence in our business model and that things would turn around. Sure enough, things have turned around even to a greater extent than I could have imagined.”

FreedomRoad posted a record volume month in May, and followed with another in June.

“We’re adding capacity. We think 2013 is going to be even better,” Collins said.

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