What if you got in early and are sitting on a large bag of crypto, but don't have a lot of fiat saved? And what if you also wanted to buy a house with a traditional mortgage? It turns out, you're in luck, and typically don't even meed to cash out your crypto in order to obtain a loan.
Let's first point out that many institutions currently offer crypto loans for shorter amounts of time, say up to five years, depending on the platform. If you have a Celsius, BlockFi, or Unchained Capital account, you can certainly tap into these options to use your stored crypto to get access to cash. They often have fairly low APR rates, and the process itself is very much like taking a car loan.
When you want to borrow against your crypto and take a 30-year loan, it's good to know that there are companies out there with lending options. While currently there aren't many, as crypto becomes more mainstream (and institutional banks begin to understand it better) it is destined become much more common form of lending. While many crypto mortgage lenders have waitlists (like Figure) to join, I'll focus on a couple that are up and running.
Milo is a Miami-based lender (and the first U.S. Based company) offering loans of up to $5 million USD with very competitive interest rates. They accept BTC, ETH and stablecoins as collateral, and will even take crypto as your monthly payment, should you not wish to send dollars. In taking a loan with Milo (using a loan amount of $1 million), you would put up $1 million dollars worth of BTC in order to get a $1 million loan in USD.
No longer are the days of a cash down payment, a FICO credit score checks, or providing tax returns to determine your eligibility. According to their website, any U.S. citizen or those with a visa can apply to purchase a U.S. property.
If you're wondering if your crypto will be safe as collateral...yes, your crypto is safe according to the company, insured on a cold wallet, which Milo holds with trusted partners Gemini and Coinbase. To further integrate itself in the industry, the company will be offering these loans as mortgage-backed securities to asset managers and insurance companies.
USDC.homes is serving the State of Texas currently. Lending up to $5 million at an 80% LTV, it has similar offerings to Milo, and has also partnered with Polygon, a trusted Layer-2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain.
Helio is an Australian based lender with an office in San Francisco. They also offer mortgages based on crypto collateral and have a very cool feature involving NFT's, basically enabling property/real estate NFT’s to be used as collateral for loans, similar to a cryptocurrency backed loan. Essentially you are backing your loan with your NFT:
Lenders will also ask for KYC (Know Your Customer), which is essentially providing them with your driver's license, passport, or some sort of government-issued ID. Also you will be providing your social security number, and possibly a selfie with you holding your ID. These practices are fairly straightforward, and also required by many exchanges to trade, especially as we see more regulation creep into the world of cryptocurrency.
It's important to understand that with any crypto loan, volatility can be a concern, depending on the amount of crypto collateral you put up. When cryptocurrency values decline, you could get a margin call, and run the chance of being liquidated, (force selling) your assets for a fraction of the price of the investment you have put into it. This is extremely important to remember as you weigh the risk/reward.
On the plus side, buyers can avoid capital gains tax by placing crypto as collateral for home loans, since you don't need to sell any crypto to take a loan. While crypto mortgages are just getting started, it's hard not to think that many people will take full advantage.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research (DYOR).