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
While Bondster‘s interest rates are great, the actual performance doesn’t meet my expectations; I’ve been investing on the platform for 8 months and my performance barely reaches 10%.
Bondster’s pros & cons
- Well-designed and pleasant-looking website
- Low actual performance
- No secondary market
- Non-uniform buyback guarantee between originators
- Restrictive early exit terms
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.
There are always a few hundred loans available, allowing investors to get a good portfolio’s diversification.
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.
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.
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.
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 !
This aspect is a large negative for this platform; however, as I often emphasize, it’s not a good idea to invest money you may need !
Manual investing at Bondster
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.
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.
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
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
The only way to fund your account is via a SEPA transfer. The funds reached my account in 2 days. As usual, the platform provides a reference identifier which should be used as the transfer instructions.
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.
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.
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 !
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
At the end of February 2020, the XIRR for my Bondster portfolio was 10,90%.
The actual performance is unfortunately well below the expected value; it should be around 13%.
Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.
Portfolio creation date
I created my Bondster portfolio in April 2019.
Bondster's main competitors
For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.
Bondster's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of January 2020
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.
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.