Las Vegas, Nevada businessman Charles Brennan, whose career includes the music and financial industries, talks about his most successful business venture to date, Dollar Loan Center, in the following interview with Zrylw.
Zrylw: Thanks for joining us. Please tell readers a little bit about yourself.
Charles Brennan: From a young age, all I can remember is being an entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to create a strong financial future for myself. I started my first business in grade school and was working nights at Citibank while I was still in High School. Music played a big part in my teenage life, as it does for most kids. While I didn’t master an instrument, I found I had a knack for band management and concert promoting.
Zrylw: How did Dollar Loan Center start?
Charles Brennan: From my financial background, I knew there was a huge gap in lending between the typical Payday Loan Company and a traditional bank. Short term lending was broken in my opinion. In fact when I started Dollar Loan Center in 1998 I used my promotions expertise to build our brand. I promoted Dollar Loan Center as I would a rock concert and built our customer base on Rock Radio. Our original location was in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Zrylw: Where are Dollar Loan Centers located? Have you expanded beyond Las Vegas, Nevada?
Charles Brennan: Since 1998 we have grown to 80 locations. While the majority of them are still in Nevada, we also have several in Utah, South Dakota and most recently, California.
Zrylw: What services does Dollar Loan Center provide?
Charles Brennan: Dollar Loan Center offers short-term, installment, signature loans, which means that we provide help to the people that really need it and they chose the term length.
Zrylw: Who is eligible to receive a short-term loan from Dollar Loan Center?
Charles Brennan: Anyone can apply, either in person or online at dontbebroke.com. Dollar Loan Center conducts credit checks and employment verification for each applicant. It does not benefit us or the applicant to lend someone money that can’t pay it back.
Zrylw: How is Dollar Loan Center different than typical payday loan centers in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Charles Brennan: The biggest difference is that our customers can keep the loan out as long as they need it and are only charged interest for how long they need the loan.
Zrylw: How is this helpful to customers?
Charles Brennan: The product is less expensive than the loans offered through the traditional payday model. We have no application, origination or pre-payment fees. If someone only needs the loan for 2 days, they will just pay 2 days interest.
Zrylw: Are there other differences?
Charles Brennan: 2 very big ones. Dollar Loan Center does not require recipients to have a checking account and our loans are true signature loans with no collateral required at all.
Zrylw: Is this new/alternative model popular with customers?
Charles Brennan: Last year in Las Vegas, Nevada alone, Dollar Loan Center had nearly 100,000 repeat customers. They were so pleased with Dollar Loan Center loan services that they came back for other loans, referred friends and stayed loyal to our product.
Zrylw: Do loans alone keep customers coming back?
Charles Brennan: We strive to have the best customer service in the industry. Our locations are nicer than most banks with no bullet proof glass or plastic furniture. But one of the big key’s to our success is pricing. We are roughly half the price of the average competition!
Zrylw: Tell readers about these additional supports.
Charles Brennan: On the Dollar Loan Center web site, readers can find information about financial education and can ask financial questions at any time. Dollar Loan Center supports local communities wherever we do business as well and has sponsored sports teams and youth programming.
Charles Brennan is the majority owner and CEO of Dollar Loan Center and co-founder and owner of Clark County Collection Services. Charles Brennan is actively involved in the Las Vegas, Nevada community, playing a major role in impacting the Sioux Falls community where he was raised. Along with his wife and children, Charles Brennan currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.