Borrowing from Celsius

I have taken out my first loan from the Celsius Network — just to try it out.

Image source: https://aithority.com/

I applied for a loan of 500 Tether (USDT) at 4:19am and I received an email at 6:46am informing me that loan was approved. I logged into my Celsius wallet at 6:47am to see 500 USDT already there.

The loan only took 2 hours and 27 minutes to be approved and the requested funds were in my account immediately. Hopefully all Celsius loan approvals are this quick!

I borrowed 500 USDT using my Bitcoin as collateral. I only have 0.02 BTC and so I applied for a 50% LVR loan over 6 months that — as a Celsius Platinum member — will be paid in CEL tokens at a rate of 6.71% APR.

This equates to a US$3.76 interest only repayment per month. I am obligated to pay off the loan principal of 500 USDT (US$500) in full at the end of the loan period. Total interest to be paid for the loan duration = US$22.56.

Details of my recent Celsius loan

Here’s a breakdown of the loan dates:

2021
15 March — 500 USDT (US$500) borrowed
15 April — 1st repayment of US$3.76
15 May — 2nd repayment of US$3.76
15 June — 3rd repayment of US$3.76
15 July — 4th repayment of US$3.76
15 August — 5th repayment of US$3.76
15 September — 6th and final repayment of US$3.76
15 September — Loan principal of 500 USDT (US$500) repaid in full

Total loan costs= US$522.56

I took my loan in USDT in order to acquire some Polygon (MATIC) on WhiteBIT using the MATIC/USDT trading pair. I will transfer the MATIC to my Celsius Wallet where it will earn CEL tokens at a rate of 17.78% APY.

How to optimize your Celsius loan…

1. Be a Celsius Platinum member. To be this you will need to hold CEL tokens. The CEL tokens in your Celsius wallet will need to equal over a quarter (25%) of your overall Celsius wallet balance.

2. Pay your monthly loan repayments in CEL tokens.
To do this, go to your loan settings:

Loan settings > Interest payment > Change interest payment type
> Pay with CEL

3. Receive your Celsius rewards in CEL tokens. Your other holdings in your Celsius Wallet (ie. BTC, ETH, SNX) earn interest. You can earn interest ‘in-kind’ (ie. BTC for BTC) or in CEL tokens (ie. CEL for SNX).

Earnings in CEL tokens can help cover your monthly loan repayments that are being paid in CEL tokens.

An example: I earn about US$2.50/week in CEL tokens. This is about US$10 received in CEL tokens per month. The loan I just took out has me owing US$3.76 per month. My monthly repayments are more than covered by my incoming CEL token earnings. All I need to think about is how to pay back the 500 USDT that is due by 15 September 2021.

When can I withdraw my stable coin loan from the Celsius Wallet?

I do need to point out that — any new withdrawal address added by a user of the Celsius wallet will be locked for a 24 hour period!

If you have already a USDT, USDC, or other stable coin destination address linked from your Celsius wallet then this is of no concern. However, I only looked up the WhiteBIT USDT address just recently. As I only just added the WhiteBIT USDT address into Celsius around 11:00am on 16th March, I will need to wait until 11:00am on 17th March (already a pint o’ Guinness in hand) before I can withdraw the 500 USDT to WhiteBIT.

If I were to change my mind, and decide I actually want to withdraw my 500 USDT to a different destination and added that destination’s address, then I’d have to wait 24 hours from the time I did that. This is just a Celsius security feature you ought to know about. A little inconvenient to you; but if your Celsius wallet was hacked, it would be nice knowing none of your crypto was going anywhere… at least for a whole 24 hours!

Can I pay back my Celsius loan early?

Yes. You will need provide written notice to Celsius loans support at loans@celsius.network and request to close your loan early. As far as I know there are two main requirements of closing a Celsius loan early –

1. At a minimum, you will need to have paid (or agree to pay) 6 months worth of loan repayments.

2. You will also need to repay back the loan principal using the same method you used to receive the loan.

If you took out the loan in fiat currency to your bank account, you will need to finalize the loan by sending fiat currency from your bank account to Celsius. If you took out the loan in stable coins, you will need to transfer the same amount of stable coins back into your Celsius wallet for the loan to be finalized.

What are the risks?

Margin calls and liquidations are the possible risks. These can happen if the market value of your collateral falls below a certain price.

In terms of my recent loan, here are the prices Celsius has assigned for both these events.

BTC margin call at: $43,146.62
Liquidation at: $35,056.63

At the BTC price point of US$43,146.62, I’d receive a notification requesting me to provide more collateral to keep an LVR of 50%. If this happened, I’d deposit another 0.01 BTC into my Celsius wallet to get them off my back.

At the BTC price point of US$35,056.63, Celsius would liquidate (“sell”) some of my BTC collateral to make up for the loss of value in my BTC collateral.

Currently, the price of BTC is around US$55,438. To receive a margin call on this loan, the price of BTC would need to drop over 20%. It can happen, but I’m quite certain I’ll be alright.

What are the disadvantages?

The only big disadvantage of taking a loan with Celsius is that the collateral you provide — in my case 0.01783 BTC — will stop earning interest for the duration that the loan is active. Fair enough.

Also, when the loan was approved, I observed that the collateral used will disappear from your Celsius wallet overview up until the loan is finalized.

My Celsius Wallet overview had 0.02 BTC before taking out the loan. Now it has 0.00218 BTC. When I select to view my BTC transaction details I see –

-$1000.00 Locked |- 0.01783 BTC 04:19

As the collateral is locked and stops earning interest, I’d recommend using lower yielding coins or tokens as collateral when taking out Celsius loans. BTC earns about 5% APY and ETH earns about 6% APY (in CEL tokens). I would use these over both MATIC and SNX, which both yield about 17% APY (in CEL tokens).

Closing thoughts

I have yet to pay my first month’s loan repayment, but so far I am very happy with the process of taking out a Celsius loan. The process has been simple, quick and carefree.

I will provide an update when I finalize this loan. I may even close it early.

Unbanking yourself is now reality.

More Celsius Network —
Celsius is the way!
(Three things you must do as a new user.)
A basic Celsius strategy in III Acts
(There are many ways to use the Celsius Network. Here is one of them.)

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