WATCH: Russian bank offers free cat visits to boost mortgage lending
There is a catch, you can't keep the cute creatures
America should take notes from how one Russian lender is promoting the origination of its mortgages.
As someone who knows that a cat’s cuddle can solve any bad day, this not-totally-crazy idea sounds like a perfect solution to America’s drop in mortgage lending.
According to an article in the BBC, Russia’s largest bank and mortgage lender Sberbank is now loaning cats to clients who buy one of their mortgage products as a sign of good luck. The bank's website posted video of the totally sane practice of bringing a caged cat to a new home, so that it can "bless" the purchase by crossing the threshold, and then carting the cat away... as a sign... of good luck.
Yes. Morris will help with the mortgage payments. As The Moscow Times reports: "A popular Russian superstition maintains that it is good luck if cats are first to enter a new home." If that doesn't work you can just have your toddler haul the hesitant feline in and throw it onto the floor, which happens around the 1:18 mark in the below video. Adorable!
Under the agreement, every new mortgage customer can choose the cat they want from photos listed on the bank's website. The felines are delivered just in time for their housewarming party.
The bad news for customers is that they won't be able to keep their feline. Terms of the offer say that the animal is only given so that it is the first to cross the threshold of the property - many Russians say a cat is sign of good luck to those moving into a new home - and is only available for two hours so the home-owners can take photos.
The meows will only last till the Dec. 14, and so far, there have been over 700 cats prancing across newly mortgaged homes in Russia.
If that doesn’t convince you, watch this video of the adventurous cats exploring the apartments, giving the borrowers' new homes the lucky cat stamp of approval. (It is in Russian, but the love of cat videos obviously transcends native tongues.)
On Monday, I wrote an article for National Dog Day, with a picture of HousingWire’s Senior Financial Reporter Trey Garrison's dog Rio, but for Wednesday’s bonus (and as the only cat person in HousingWire editorial), here is a picture of my spunky cat Kikko.
Go on, Kikko, go bless a few mortgages and get America's housing going again!