*The return shown is before tax, assumes you re-invest throughout the term and there is sufficient funds in the reserve fund in the event of a default. Your capital is at risk and you money is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Peer to peer lending is a relatively new way to invest your cash, and one which is growing in scope and popularity. Some of the best rates out there at the moment are from the peer to peer lending market, and many people are taking advantage of these improved returns.
While for many, Peer to Peer lending works well, returns and (your capital) aren’t guaranteed or protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
What is Peer to Peer lending in the UK?
Peer to peer lending in the UK has been around for a number of years but has only recently entered the ‘mainstream’. In 2014, UK peer to peer lending was officially regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is great news for those wishing to use the services they offer.
The FCA have implemented rules which ensure information is easy for customers to find and which force peer to peer lenders to be honest about any risk involved. These rules also require peer to peer lenders to have a plan in place should something go wrong, and by April 2017 every p2p money lender will need at least £50,000 worth of capital in reserve in order to help them overcome ‘financial shocks’. This will be implemented to protect customers from losing out financially, through no fault of their own.
How does Peer to Peer lending work?
Peer to peer lending cuts out the ‘middle man’ and instead matches investors and borrowers up to ensure favourable rates for each. Investing in peer to peer means your actual money is lent out to those who want a peer to peer loan. They pay their loan back in instalments, and at the end of the term you’ll have accrued the interest they’ve paid on their loan.
Of course, your money is not lent out to just one person – instead, it’s divided up to reduce the risk of non-payment by one borrower. You may have the impression that peer to peer lending and bad credit go hand in hand, when in fact peer to peer lenders check borrowers’ credentials when they apply. You can invest from £10 up to an unlimited amount in peer to peer loans, so the returns can potentially be very good. Of course, you may not get back all of your p2p money – you can read about this in more detail in the ‘What are the risks of Peer to Peer lending?’ section below.
How can I invest in Peer to Peer loans?
There are a number of peer to peer UK lenders out there with a range of investment options available:
Amount you’re able to invest: £10 - Unlimited
Fee to use service: 1%
Fee to use service: 0%
· Funding Circle
Amount you’re able to invest: £20 - Unlimited
Fee to use service: 1% (plus 0.25% if you want your money early)
· The Innovative Finance ISA
This brand new (launched April 2016 and still not fully rolled out) ISA allows customers to invest into a peer-to-peer ISA, so that any p2p money interest made is not tax deductible. The ISA allowance of £15,240 per year can be wholly put into this new ISA or into a combination of different ISA accounts.
What are the risks of Peer to Peer lending?
While for many, Peer to Peer lending works well, returns and (your capital) aren’t guaranteed.
Peer to peer lenders are not bound under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which promises to pay the first £75,000 of savings (per person) if the bank/building society goes out of business and cannot give investors their money. Of course, peer to peer lenders do have some safeguards in place, and the fact they are now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority does help. If a borrower does not pay their loan properly, you may not get all of your money back.
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GuarantorMy Loan is a Peer to Peer lending platform that matches those wanting to lend with those wanting to borrow.
We specialise in arranging Guarantor Loans for customers and have been lending since August 2014.
You can visit our Lender FAQs to find out more about lending on our platform and how to become a lender. If you have any further questions please call us 01603 561110.
You can visit our Borrow FAQs (/borrower-faq) to find out more about borrowing on our platform and to start the application process visit our apply page. If you have any further questions please call us 01603 561110.
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