WITH her bubbly personality and ever-present smile, it is little surprise that Kelly Capps describes herself as a people person.
And it was this love of spending time with people which first propelled her from an administrative role into the world of sales and finance.
‘I’d worked in the motor trade nearly all of my life but always on the office side,’ explained the founder and managing director of The Loan Hub.
‘It was when I was working at Jacksons that I had the opportunity to get involved in the sales side, and I loved both the fast pace of that environment and seeing people’s dreams come true.’
After five years as a business manager at the prestige car dealership, Kelly joined Smart Money as a business development manager.
‘I loved my time at Jacksons but I realised that there was a bigger finance market to explore,’ she explained.
‘Moving away from purely motor finance gave me experience of other areas such as personal loans, debt consolidation, wedding finance, funding for property developments, business loans and private mortgages.’
After more than ten years as a finance broker, Kelly admits that the natural – albeit somewhat terrifying – next step was to branch out on her own.
‘I’d been thinking about launching my own brand for a few years but the timing was never quite right,’ she reflected.
‘When I took the plunge last September, it was terrifying. I felt like I was stepping off the edge of a cliff but the support of my husband, Darrell, and my own conviction that it was the right thing to do, kept me going.
‘My son, Chester, is now two years old, so I was very conscious of my responsibilities but, equally, he encouraged me to be brave and ambitious, and to show him just what you can achieve if you are passionate about something.’
Another factor behind Kelly’s decision to launch The Loan Hub was the positive feedback that she had received from clients over the past decade.
‘When you work in this area, you deliver a very personal service and build strong relationships with both your clients and the local lenders,’ she explained.
‘I’m known for being honest, reliable and approachable and, above all, I am motivated by seeing people’s dreams come true.
‘At Jacksons, the joy came from finding a solution which worked for the client and enabled them to drive away with the biggest smile on their face.
‘That ethos is very much at the heart of The Loan Hub but now I can support clients in so many areas of their lives, whether they are looking for a new car, are planning a dream honeymoon or want to expand their business.’
One of the areas which Kelly finds particularly rewarding – and which she says is especially pertinent in the current economic climate – is debt consolidation.
‘This is a really good time to focus on that because, as interest rates are rising, people with overdrafts or paying off credit cards may be facing huge monthly repayments,’ she said.
‘Taking out one fixed-rate loan to clear all credit cards and overdrafts can significantly reduce their repayments, often by up to £500 a month.’
While keen to support clients to achieve their aspirations, though, responsible lending is of the utmost importance to Kelly.
‘Assessing affordability is critical,’ she said. ‘I don’t want to see a client get into financial difficulty, so if I can see that a loan wouldn’t be affordable, I won’t take the application any further. I will, though, give them some advice, so that, if they want to apply again in the future, they can be in a stronger position.’
Acknowledging that applying for a loan can be ‘something of a minefield’, Kelly says that The Loan Hub strives to ‘take the hard work away from the client’.
‘Finding the right loan can involve a huge amount of time and work,’ she said.
‘My goal is to make the process easy for the client and, as a broker, one of the great advantages is that I have access to a wide range of lenders offering an extensive variety of finance products, so I can find the right solution for each person’s needs.’