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Helio crypto loan review

Find a low starting APR on crypto loans over $50,000, but you have to share market gains on your collateral with your lender.

Bottom line: Helio is a crypto lending service based out of Australia that allows borrowers to request a loan and get up to six quotes within minutes. You can choose from a list of terms and interest rates, but the service doesn’t reveal its partners until you apply and only allows you to apply for loans of $50,000 or more. Get our 30-second take or read the full review.

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Details

Accepted CollateralBTC, ETH, LTC, XRP
Issued CurrenciesUSD, Stablecoin, Crypto
APR4% to 9%
LTV50% to 75%
Loan AmountStarting at $50,000
Loan TermUp to 12 months
Min Margin Call ThresholdNone
Liquidation ThresholdVaries

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Pros

  • Low APR starting at 4%
  • No fees
  • Partners store collateral in cold storage wallet
  • Offers the choice between full repayment or roll over to a new loan
  • Good credit not required

Cons

  • Doesn’t list lending partners on its website
  • No margin call to prevent you from default
  • Minimum loan amount is $50,000
  • Doesn’t allow prepayment
  • If your collateral rises in value, you must share the increase with Helio
  • Contradictory information on website

Our take on Helio

The Helio Lending service is definitely designed for borrowers who want to borrow against large amounts of crypto assets for a short term. After applying with Helio, you can choose between up to six offers with lower interest rates compared to some of its competitors and no lending fees.

Helio also advertises its lack of margin calls as a benefit to its customers. This means you don’t have to add collateral to your loan if its value drops significantly. But if the value of your collateral increases to a certain level, you have to share that money with Helio.

But researching the legitimacy of the lenders sponsored by Helio can be difficult. The website doesn’t provide the names of the lenders it partners with before you prequalify. To get the information you need, you’ll either have to call the company and ask or apply first and do your research after you get offers from the lenders.

Contacting the company may not be easy. We reached out to clarify some of the inconsistent information we came across, such as the two different minimum loan amounts shown on the website, and they never responded.

Borrow up to 75% of your collateral’s value

Helio’s crypto loans start at $50,000 with no hard cap maximum loan amount. But how much you borrow depends on your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Lenders that this service partners with allow you to borrow between 50% and 75% of your collateral. So, if you have $100,000 in crypto assets to put down as collateral, you can borrow amounts from $50,000 to $75,000.

This is a higher LTV than many other lenders offer. Typically, crypto lenders don’t offer LTVs over 50%.

What happens if my crypto drops in value?

When your loan is active, your loan status is unaffected by value drops in the crypto market that might affect your collateral’s value. Helio’s lenders don’t use the margin call system that is common with other crypto lenders. With a margin call, you’re required to add more collateral to maintain the LTV of your loan if there’s a market value drop or risk liquidation of your crypto and cancellation of your loan.

Helio does something similar but waits until the end of your loan to balance the collateral and loan amount. Helio’s lenders use “Put and Call Options” to deal with any value changes to your crypto.

  • A Put Option arranges the sale of your crypto collateral if it falls at or below a “strike price” determined by you and your lender. Once the option is engaged, your lender sells your crypto to cover the loan.
  • A Call Option arranges the purchase of your crypto collateral if there is a significant rise in the value. You agree to a “strike price” with the lender, and if the value rises above that price, the lender sells your crypto, you get the amount of the strike price and the lender keeps the rest of the profit.

As an example, if your crypto coins are worth $10,000 each at the time of the loan and you put down ten coins (or $100,000) as collateral on your $70,000 loan, your agreement with your lender might include the following:

  • Put Option with a strike price of $7,000
  • Call Option with a strike price of $12,000

At the end of your loan, if your crypto coins have lost value, the following can happen, depending on the value of your crypto:

  • If your crypto coins are worth $7,000 or less, you don’t have to pay back the loan, and you don’t get your crypto collateral back.
  • If your crypto coins are worth between $7,001 and the $10,000 they were worth when you took the loan, you pay back the loan and get your crypto back, which is now worth a lower or equal price.

If your crypto coins have gained value, the following can happen, depending on the value of your crypto:

  • If your crypto coins are worth $12,000 or higher, you get $120,000 back on your collateral, and the lender keeps any excess above that value.
  • If your crypto coins are worth between $10,001 and $11,999, you pay back your loan and get your collateral back, which is now worth the higher price.

If none of those options fit your current situation, you also have the option to roll your loan over into a new loan, as long as you’re willing to pay the interest for the next term.

Helio rates, fees and terms

Helio interest rates vary between 4% and 9% based on the LTV ratio of your loan, meaning how much crypto you put down as collateral to how much you are borrowing. Helio doesn’t specify your rate based on your LTV, only saying that a high ratio will mean a higher interest rate, or the less you put down as collateral, the higher the interest you’ll pay on the loan.

The loan term can be between 3 and 12 months, depending on your need. And instead of making monthly payments, Helio takes a one-time interest payment out of your loan funds up front. So, if you borrow $100,000 and you have a 4% interest rate, you receive $96,000 in loan funds. You also have the option to pay cash for your interest.

Helio doesn’t charge any lending or end-of-loan fees, including a prepayment penalty. But that’s because the company doesn’t allow you to pay off your loan early.

What crypto can I use?

You can back your Helio loan with:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTE)
  • Ripple (XRP)

The loan pays out in either US Dollars (USD) or stable coin, but Helio doesn’t state which stable coins its lenders use. This information should be included in the offers you get through Helio’s service.

How fast can I get my money?

Helio claims the lenders it works with will fund loans within 24 hours. But the speed with which you get your money depends on the lender whose offer you choose.

You should also consider the transfer time between your crypto account and your bank account, which can take three to five business days, depending on your bank’s transfer policy.

How does Helio protect my collateral?

Helio Lending claims that you still own your crypto during the loan’s term. Its partner lenders store your collateral in your name in a cold storage wallet, meaning a hardware wallet that isn’t connected to the internet.

But Helio doesn’t specify which custodian controls the wallet during the loan’s term, and it’s likely the custodians differ depending on the lender you choose. While in the cold storage wallet, your collateral cannot be traded or used as stake for another loan.

While crypto loans are not FDIC-insured, Helio claims that your collateral is insured, though doesn’t specify the insurer or the policy used. Because insurance policies in the crypto industry can vary widely, make sure you understand the details of the policy before you finalize the loan.

How to apply

Helio’s application process is pretty standard for the crypto lending industry. You fill out an online form with a few personal details, answer questions about the loan you want and submit the form.

Helio runs a Know Your Customer (KYC) check and gets back to you with offers from its lenders.

How repayments work

Unlike a traditional personal loan or even some other crypto loans, Helio’s lenders don’t accept monthly payments. You pay the interest up front before the loan is funded, either by paying cash or by having the interest amount subtracted from the loan amount, and you pay back the loan in full at the end of the term.

If you can’t repay the loan when the term is over, you can either roll the loan over into a new loan and pay a new interest payment or allow Helio to sell your crypto to cover the loan amount.

Helio reviews are limited

There are no customer reviews available for Helio Lending either on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Trustpilot. A few crypto review sites have some information about the company, and Reddit has a few posts, but we couldn’t find any customer feedback on what it’s like to get a loan through Helio.

This isn’t uncommon in the crypto space, but it means you may not know what to watch for as you go through the lending process with this service.

Alternatives to Helio

Shopping around is the best way to find the right lender for you. This is especially true in crypto lending, where there is very little regulation and a lot of risk.

Helio doesn’t have a lot of competition yet as a crypto lending service. But you can definitely do the research yourself to find a lender with a lower minimum amount and that provides more details about its lending partners and insurance offerings.

To get started, you can learn more about crypto loans or select More info in the table to read our reviews of additional providers.

Compare more crypto loans

Here’s how Helio’s crypto loans stack up to other crypto lenders. Select More info to read our review or Go to site to start an application.

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product APR LTV Accepted Collateral Issued Currencies
Nexo crypto credit lines
0% to 13.9%
Starting at 30%
BTC, ETH, USDT, NEXO, DOT, AVAX, MATIC, SOL, ADA, XRP, BCH, LTC, BNB, EOS, XLM, LINK, TRX, PAXG, LUNA, UNI, DOGE, USDC, PAXG, TUSD, DAI
USD, EUR, AED, ARS, AUD, BGN, CAD, CLP, CNY, CZK, DKK, EGP, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, MAD, MXN, MYR, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, UAH, VND
Get approved in seconds for a credit line that uses single or multiple cryptocurrencies as collateral.
BlockFi Cryptocurrency Loans
9.75% to 4.50%
20% to 50%
BTC, ETH, LTC, PAXG
USD
Access the value of your crypto assets without cashing them in.
Helio crypto loan
4% to 9%
50% to 75%
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP
USD, Stablecoin, Crypto
Borrow up to $3 million on the value of your cryptocurrency.
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