Bondster review

Bondster review

Bondster’s overview

Bondster is a P2P marketplace; the individual Euro loans currently offer an annual interest rate up to 13.5%, for a duration between one month and one year. In addition to these, the platform also features a few real-estate and business loans, but they’re less interesting.

My opinion on Bondster

Bondster offers great interest rates through a website that’s both well designed and very pleasant-looking. I really enjoyed investing on this platform and plan to grow this portfolio in the next months.

Detailed ratings

Performance

Many loans yield 13% interest rate, which is rather good for guaranteed peer-to-peer loans; moreover, loans with higher interest rates are periodically available on the platform.

Loans liquidity

The current loans supply seems to be sufficient to prevent any cash drag.

Reporting

The reporting is rather complete.

Buyback guarantee

The buyback guarantee covers both capital and unpaid interests; while the delay varies from one originator to another, it’s usually 60 days which is a bit long.

Website ergonomics

Bondster‘s website looks great and is very user-friendly; however, a few improvements are necessary for the mobile version.

Bondster’s pros & cons

Pros

  • Great interest rates
  • Well-designed and pleasant-looking website

Cons

  • No secondary market
  • Non-uniform buyback guarantee between originators
  • Restrictive early exit terms

Loans characteristics

Loans duration

Short-term : one month or less

Medium-term : one month to one year

Loans kinds

Individual

Business

Real-estate

Minimal investment

€ 5

Buyback guarantee

Buyback guarantee available

Currencies

EUR – Euro

CZK – Czech Koruna

Overview of Bondster’s loans

Bondster offers loans in both Euro and Czech koruna (CZK); as usual, we’ll focus on Euro loans here. Note that while there’s a 1% fee for investments in CZK, investing in Euro loans is free of charge.

Most individual loans offer interest rates between 10% and 13.5%; there’s a large loans supply yielding 13% so it shouldn’t be hard to invest only in those. On late April 2019, investors also had the opportunity to invest in loans with 15% interest rate; they were an excellent way to boost already good returns !

An excerpt of Bondster's loans list
An excerpt of Bondster's loans list

Loans volume

There are always a few hundred loans available, allowing investors to get a good portfolio’s diversification.

Issuers

Bondster has a dedicated page where they introduce originators (they’re actually called loans providers on the website). I welcome this transparency effort, as many platforms display little data about these crucial entities. As I’m writing this article, there are 11 originators available; some of them such as Lime may be familiar to Mintos investors.

Introduction to BezBanky, one of Bondster's originators
Introduction to BezBanky, one of Bondster's originators

New originators are regularly added, ensuring that investors will be able to diversify their loans portfolio. In June 2019, they started adding loans from Tez Lompard; they offer a 13% interest rate and come with a buyback guarantee.

Buyback guarantee

The buyback guarantee covers both principal and interests; it’s available for all individual loans, as well as for a few real-estate loans. On the other hand, none of the current business loans provide such a guarantee. The delay depends on the originator, but is usually 60 days.

Platform’s features

Early exit

Early exit available

Investing methods

Auto-invest

Manual investing

Buyback

Unfortunately, Bondster doesn’t provide a secondary market. On many long-term loans, it’s possible to exit early, but the conditions may be draconian. Indeed, the investor may only exit at a yearly interval, and there’s a 1% associated fee !

Overall I think that this is aspect the main drawback of this platform; however, as I often emphasize, it’s not a good idea to invest money you may need !

Manual investing

It’s possible to select loans manually from Bondster‘s loans list, which provides many filtering options. As usual, I recommend to switch to auto-invest as soon as you’re comfortable with it, in order to spend less time managing your loans portfolio.

While they usually don’t make for a very interesting read, many details are provided about the borrower.

Auto-invest

The available filters are rather complete, and the screen is very convenient to use – although it could be a bit more compact -. Most fields can be safely ignored; most investors will probably only need to select the interest rate and duration, choose the installments and require a buyback guarantee.

One nice feature is that it displays the number of loans that match the settings.

Bondster's updated auto-invest screen
Bondster's updated auto-invest screen

Another great feature is the auto-diversification; it will spread your investments between all available originators. Currently, the only other platform that offers this feature is Mintos; I wish more peer-to-peer lending websites would implement this !

It’s possible to configure several auto-invest; this will mostly be useful for investors who invest in both available currencies.

Website’s ease of use

Languages

English, Czech, German

Funding methods

Bondster’s registration process

The registration process is very quick, in spite of Bondster‘s unusual requirement to upload both the copy of a proof of identity and a bank statement.

Account funding and funds withdrawal

Website’s design and ergonomics

On a laptop or desktop, I really appreciate the overall design and the color scheme of Bondster‘s website; the only criticism I’d emit is that the fonts are be a bit small. Unfortunately, the website isn’t very adapted for mobile browsing.

The platform seems to listen to its users when it comes to the website design; the loans filters were recently improved to enhance their usability. Regarding the usability issues on mobile phone, they’re apparently working on it and it should be ready next quarter.

Available languages & translations quality

Bondster‘s website is available in English, Czech and German. The English translation is very good and I didn’t spot any obvious typo or awkward phrasing.

Reporting

Bondster‘s reporting is rather complete. Apart from the dashboard listing the expected returns and loans status, you can list your current and past investments, or request account statements.

Documentation

In addition to a slightly succinct Getting Started guide, there’s an extensive FAQ available. It’s probably the most complete one I’ve seen for a P2P lending platform !

I also appreciate that we get extremely detailed updates when features are added; for example, the recent auto-invest improvements were explained in a very extensive post that spanned several pages !

Support

It’s possible to contact the Bondster by phone, via e-mail or using a contact form on the website.

Communication from the platform​

By default, Bondster will send a weekly activity summary for your account; like all notifications from the platform, it’s possible to disable it. Investors also receive messages regarding important changes, such as new loans originators or new features.

Actual performance of my Bondster portfolio

8,40%

At the end of August 2019, the XIRR for my Bondster portfolio was 8,40%.

As this portfolio is quite recent, the performance is still building up. I expect it to reach its theoretical value of 13.5% in a few months.

Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.

Bondster's main competitors

For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.

Bondster's facts & figures

Location

Praha, Czech Republic

Founded in

2013

Number of investors

6,999

Loans amount financed

€ 21,718,500

Historical return

12.42%

As of September 2019

Who can invest at Bondster

Any citizens of any country as well as legal entities can invest. The prerequisite is a bank account, which is one of the important aspects for authentication and compliance with the AML (Czech Act No. 253/2008 Coll., On the Legalization of Crime and Terrorist Financing). The bank account must be established at a bank within the European Union. In other cases, Bondster user needs to proof his identity and the origin of the founds according to Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Bondster FAQ

Disclosure

Please note that this review may contain affiliate links. It means that I will earn a commission if you decide to invest after clicking through the link – at no additional cost to you, of course -. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions I make if you decide to invest through my links.

4 thoughts on “Bondster review”

  1. hello.hello but the buy back guarantee means that if the recipient of the loan fails I am still reimbursed? if it is not so in case of bankruptcy of who receives the loan what happens. I lose money ?? thanks ciao.è a general question that applies to all platforms

    • Hi Luca,

      You’re right about the buyback guarantee; for Bondster loans, the loan originator will reimburse you the capital (and even accrued interests). Just be aware of 2 pitfalls : first, the conditions of buyback guarantee vary from one platform to another. Sometimes interests aren’t guaranteed (like Iuvo), or only part of the capital is (like Omaraha). Also, if the loan originator gets bankrupt, the situation gets really complicated – as always when legal matters have to be settled -. I encourage you to read my article on borrower’s default for more details; it gets updated whenever I can get more details.

  2. Hello.
    I invested some money in Bondster. I am supposed to have aprox 14% interest rate. In reality I’m getting about half of that. The platform has very good issues but until now I find its performance is far away from expected.
    I would like to see that people who write reviews about platforms have used it for a good period of time so the reviews can give a real feeling of how the platform performs, for example if payments are made on time, if expected interests are what you are really obtaining, if withdrawing money is easy, etc. I think it would have been a good idea if you had waited to see your portfolio performance an then give us a good review about the platform and not the way around 🙂
    At this moment for example I have more delayed payments than ” payed on time” loans. Am I the only one in this situation? I will give them an extra month to see if they improve. If not I will start taking my money away.
    At this moment, given my personal results I wouldn’t recommend this platform.

    Anyways. Your website is cool. Good work!

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for your compliment and fair criticism; both are equally welcome 🙂

      The delay between opening an account and publishing the review varies greatly, based on the (very subjective) trust I have towards the platform’s expected performance. Basically, when there’s a solid buyback guarantee (like for Bondster), I tend to review platforms quickly; in other cases, I’m much more careful, like for Debitum Network.

      How old is your portfolio ? Building performance takes time, especially with a buyback guarantee that triggers after 60 days. However, as it covers both principal and interests, I don’t see any reason why your actual performance wouldn’t increase towards the expected one.

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