Houses for sale in Ottawa

With rents repeatedly reaching record highs across Ontario, a new company is hoping to lessen the up-front financial burden of finding a new place to live.

Called Nesturo, the company provides Ontario residents with short-term, low-interest-rate loans they can use for rental deposits or for their first and last months’ rent.

Likening itself to a “buy-now-pay-later” solution for the rental market, Nesturo aims to “solve the problem of draining your savings account in order to change homes.”

In Toronto, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment hit $2,572 in June, a 14.1% annual increase, which leaves a tenant on the hook for over $5K if a landlord requests first and last month’s rent.

According to data from the City of Toronto, the average annual income in Toronto was $84K in 2020. After tax, that equated to roughly $5K per month.

Rather than relying on a standard credit rating system, which Nesturo believes can be “unreliable and unfair,” loans are approved based on the company’s own system, called NestScore.

The process analyzes data from several sources, including an applicant’s employment and income details, rental history, personal references, and credit history.

The score, which ranges from zero to 10, with 10 being awarded to those with the lowest risk and greatest reliability, helps Nesturo determine the interest rate on an applicant’s loan, and allows landlords and property managers to evaluate a prospective tenant.

Upon approval of a loan, the company provides payment directly to a landlord, and then works with a renter on a payment plan. Terms are flexible and tailored to an individual’s budget, the company noted.

According to their website, rental deposit loans range from $1.5K to $10K, and rates start at 6.99% APR. In the future, they plan to offer monthly rental relief in the form of micro-loans.

“It’s our mission to make it easier for Ontarians, and one day all Canadians, to get into their dream rentals in today’s tough market,” said Angela O’Leary, Executive Chairman of Nesturo.

“That means providing them with easy-to-access and stress-free solutions to secure a new rental that they really love.”

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