My opinion on Lendermarket
Thanks to a great financial performance, seemingly reliable loan originators and a simple but effective website, I used to rate Lendermarket four stars. Unfortunately, the lack of a serious audit lead me to reduce this rating slightly. Once completed, the ongoing audit by KPMG is likely to make me reconsider.
After one year on the platform, the performance of my Lendermarket portfolio is now very close to its theoretical value.
Even when investing only in loans with the highest interest rates, Lendermarket’s loans portfolio is large enough to prevent any cash drag.
The reporting is very simple but effective given the simplicity of the offer.
Transparency & reliability
I appreciate the reliability and financial solidity of the loan originators – although the lack of a serious audit is concerning -. More detailed information could also be provided regarding the platform itself.
Lendermarket’s website sets the bar very high in term of ergonomics and ease of use.
Lendermarket's pros & cons
- Reliable loan originators
- High interest rates
- Extremely user-friendly interface
- No secondary market
- Very little information is disclosed about Lendermarket
- CreditStar financial reports aren't audited by a reputable firm
Short-term : less than one month
Medium-term : one month to one year
Long-term : more than one year
Buyback guarantee available
EUR – Euro
Overview of Lendermarket's loans
All loans on Lendermarket are in Euro and yield interests monthly.
Initially, the interest rate was a uniform 12% for a duration of one month or less.
However, in March 2020, the platform increased the interest rate to a very interesting 14%. This was probably a consequence of the lower demand from investors caused by the coronavirus. Later that year, they even started listing loans from Poland and Spain with 16.6% interest rates !
As of August 2021, interest rates currently range from 12% to 15.1%. It’s more than most competitors. Indeed, only Afranga currently offers higher interest rates (16.8% for Bulgarian loans).
It’s however worth noting that interest rates seem to be correlated with the duration. As a result, loans with the highest interest rates are very long-term – up to six years ! -. Short and medium-term loans still yield 14%, which is a very interesting figure. Indeed, opportunities to get such yields for payday loans are rare nowadays !
When the platform started operating, borrowers lived either in Spain – a country which is highly impacted by the Covid-19 – or in Poland. Loans from other countries were introduced in April 2020; these include Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark.
The minimal investment is €10, a very standard amount for P2P loans.
Lendermarket only provides partial data regarding the loans volume or their investors’ base. In Q3 2020, the total value of loans funded was close to thirteen million euros. In comparison, Robocash issued loans worth more than two hundred million dollars between Q1 and Q3 2020.
The delay for the buyback guarantee A buyback guarantee is a guarantee provided by the platform or a loan originator. If repayment of a loan is delayed by more than a given delay (usually 30 or 60 days), the platform or loan originator will buy back the loan. The guarantee may cover only part of the capital, or in a much more interesting case, both the capital and accrued interests. As the conditions vary from one platform to another, it’s very important to check this point. is 60 days, which is a bit longer than for most competitors. The buyback guarantee covers both principal and accrued interests.
Platform’s transparency and reliability
Overall, I appreciate the reliability of CreditStar group, which provides all loans on the platform. On the other hand, I regret the lack of information about Lendermarket.
Lendermarket’s background and team
Lendermarket was started by originator CreditStar in order to fund its loans portfolio. It’s similar to Moncera (which is backed by Placet Group), Kviku‘s P2P platform, StikCredit’s Afranga or Cream Finance’s Esketit
Although it provides a lot of information about CreditStar, Lendermarket‘s main weakness is the lack of information regarding the platform itself.
- Unlike most other crowdlending platforms, Lendermarket”s website doesn”t introduce its team. There’s a LinkedIn page for the company, though.
- The exact relationship between Lendermarket and CreditStar isn”t disclosed. However, in an interview with ExploreP2P, their business manager explained that Lendermarket and Creditstar Group are sister companies, both belonging to the same ultimate beneficial owner [founder Aaron Sosaar].
- Finally, it’s worth noting that although the platform is incorporated in Ireland, employees are actually based in Estonia – P2P Empire’s Lendermarket review indicates that the platform shares the same office as Lendermarket -. According to Lendermarket’s Investor & Affiliate Relations Specialist, the decision was based on both regulatory and practical considerations. Indeed, the platform required an English-speaking environment, which would make it easier to communicate with the regulators.
Unlike most other P2P platforms, only very basic data is provided about the borrower.
However, it’s now a big deal, as P2P loans are rather standard.
Loan originators reliability
All loan originators at Lendermarket (one per country) are subsidiaries of Creditstar Group. This large lending group also provides a group guarantee. This means that even if a loan originator defaults, the parent company will cover the liabilities.
Although Creditstar Group is overall regarded as financially solid, it seemed to suffer a lack of liquidity in late 2020. In addition, several issues have somehow undermined the group’s credibility among P2P investors.
Let’s start with the positive aspects. First, Creditstar is usually highly rated. This loan originator also issues loan on Mintos – although the volume there is rather reduced now that they mostly appear at Lendermarket -. Mintos risk score varies depending on the country : it’s 7 (out of 10) for Estonia, Czech Republic and Finland, and only 5 for Spain and Poland. These poorer ratings are mostly caused by the low performance of the loans portfolio in countries heavily hit by the Covid-19. CreditStar is also rated 72 out of 100 on Explore P2P’s ratings for Mintos originators.
Lendermarket does a good job at providing information about Creditstar. Indeed, both a company presentation and the latest annual report are available for download on the website.
There’s no detailed financial data for each country, as only consolidated figures for the whole group are available. However, the platform now provides a detailed overview for each loan originator – a very welcome addition -. Among other figures, it lists the loans volume and average interest rate as well as a description of the loans and relevant regulations.
CreditStar has been profitable since its inception. Even after the first Covid-19 wave, the company reported a profit of more than one million euros for the first semester of 2020.
In December 2020, the group also successfully completed a bond issuance for a total of twenty million euros. Because of the large amount required to invest in bonds, only financial institutions or high net worth individuals invest in them. The fact that these financially savvy people and firms trust Creditstar gives it a lot of credibility.
On the negative side, blogger Kristaps Mors pointed out that CreditStar’s annual financial reports were actually audited by a second-rate firm. Worse, the auditor actually lost its license in December 2019 ! Understandably, this issue has stirred a lot of controversy. Fortunately, during a much-awaited webinar hosted in May 2021, CreditStar finally confirmed that reputable auditing firm KPMG was currently preparing the financial report for 2020. It’s expected to be available in August 2021; one can only hope that the outcome will be positive !
In addition, in December 2020, Mintos investors saw a very large increase of the pending payments owed by Creditstar. Although the situation went back to normal in January 2021, this caused some legitimate worry among investors. Worse, the request for a Q&A session with Credit Star was declined by the firm. This disdain towards individual investors is obviously a bad move for the group, and several of them stopped investing in Creditstar loans, either through Lendermarket or Mintos. It’s noteworthy that pending payments didn’t affect Lendermarket investors, as their accounts get credited immediately when the loans gets reimbursed.
Overall, I still trust CreditStar. However, I’m waiting for the outcome of KPMG’s audit to resume increasing this portfolio.
Reporting & statistics availability
Data regarding Lendermarket‘s loan book is available… but it’s well hidden. Indeed, unlike most competitors, the platform doesn’t have a dedicated statistics page. Instead, they use the blog to regularly publish up-to-date figures.
The list of available loans is available even for unregistered investors.
As Lendermarket is a fairly new platform, it’s hard to evaluate its track record. However, CreditStar’s own track record is excellent, so I expect the same to hold true for Lendermarket.
Technical problems at Lendermarket
As we will soon see, Lendermarket’s website is great in terms of ergonomics and design. However, the platform sometimes suffers from severe technical problems.
Indeed, in September 2021, there was a large and unexpected wave of loans buyback. It turned out that they weren’t triggered by the originator, but caused by a bug. As a result, several disgruntled investors withdrew their suddenly available funds and left the platform. In spite of several messages from investors on Telegram, the platform took several hours to react. The website went offline for a whole weekend, and the accounts were finally restored to their previous state. While I understand that bugs can happen, the platform’s reactivity was poor and the communication was minimal. Even after the service was restored, there was no formal communication or post-mortem.
A few days later, investors were unable to login for several hours.
In both cases, Lendermarket’s communication could have been much better, both before and after the incident.
Early exit NOT AVAILABLE
As always, I recommend using the auto-invest feature rather than investing manually. However, it’s still possible and easy to invest manually at Lendermarket, through the “Loans listing” screen. For a long time, only two filters are currently available : interest rate and loan term. However, since February 2021, it’s also possible to filter by country, which was a long-standing request from investors.
Like basically everything on Lendermarket‘s website, the screen for auto-invest is very well designed. As a result, configuring it is really straightforward – especially because nearly all fields are pre-filled correctly -. Even for beginner investors, setting it up properly will be a breeze.
One minor improvement I’ve requested to the platform is to add a confirmation before deleting an auto-invest. I clicked by mistake on the “Delete” instead of “Edit” and my auto-invest was gone ! Luckily it was a trivial task to re-create it.
Another possible improvement would be to display the number of loans matching the configuration. This handy feature is actually available at most competing platforms, so it’s surprising that Lendermarket didn’t implement it.
There’s no secondary market on Lendermarket. It wasn’t a concern initially as most loans were short-term. However, now that much longer maturities are available, it can be problematic to be stuck with a loan for such a long time.
Lendermarket versus Mintos
Currently, one can still find CreditStar loans on Mintos. This situation may not last for long, as Creditstar now seems to focus mostly on Lendermarket.
As of August 2021, interests on Lendermarket are usually higher than at Mintos. However, loans from several countries are available exclusively at Lendermarket.
Another difference with Mintos is that there’s no grace period. On Mintos, loans from CreditStar have a 3-days grace period (excepted in Estonia); interests during this time won’t be paid if the borrower is late.
Also, there’s no pending payment at Lendermarket. Indeed, reimbursements are immediately credited back to your investment account.
One advantage of Mintos is the presence of a secondary market, which isn’t available at Lendermarket. Investing in CreditStar loans through Mintos will thus allow them to to sell their loans – although it will incur a fee -.
Overall, it seems more interesting to invest directly through Lendermarket, rather than on Mintos – especially in the current economic climate, where many reimbursements may be delayed ! -. However, because of the lack of a secondary market, investors who may need their money at some point are probably better off investing through Mintos.
Website’s ease of use
English, German, Spanish
Available languages & translations quality
Lendermarket’s website was initially only available in English. Things have now improved with the availability of two more translations : German and Spanish.
Lendermarket's registration process
The registration process took very little time. Even the KYC KYC (Know Your Customer) checks are procedures used by financial businesses in order to verify the identity of their clients. Most Crowdlending platforms will require a copy of an identification document (identity card, passport, driving licence); an utility bill or bank statement may be necessary as well. process which sometimes drives me crazy was painless, as it uses Veriff. The platform validated my document in one day.
Account funding and funds withdrawal
Currently, it’s only possible to fund your investor’s account via a SEPA transfer. Funds as credited as soon as they’re received, which takes one day for me.
Withdrawing money from the platform is free. According to Lendermarket‘s FAQ, they need 3 days to be processed. In addition, starting on May 27th, the will be a €50 minimum amount for withdrawals.
Website’s design and ergonomics
I really appreciate the design and ergonomics of Lendermarket’s website. It’s very readable, easy to navigate, and all features are extremely easy to use. It’s without a doubt one of the most user-friendly P2P lending website I’ve ever reviewed !
Lendermarket‘s dashboard is simple and readable; it shows basic statistics about the loans portfolio. I however regret that it displays the average interest rate of the portfolio instead of the actual performance.
In addition, the website also offers the usual reporting features, such as the investments list and account statement. For some reason, although the investments list can be downloaded, it’s not the case for the account statement.
The description of the investing process is clear although not extremely detailed. On the other hand, the FAQ A FAQ is simply a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions is very complete.
Communication & support
Communication isn’t exactly Lendermarket‘s forte. Indeed, for a long time, the platform was extremely quiet.
The platform’s blog – which was initially hosted on Medium – saw very few posts in 2020. However, it’s now hosted on the platform’s website and gets regular updates. As previously pointed out, public statistics are available as blog posts.
E-mail communication from the platform is also very limited. It mostly consists of marketing offers, and actual information is very limited.
On a positive note, Lendermarket’s business manager is usually rather active on Lendermarket’s unofficial Telegram group. She’s obviously doing her best to answer investors’ questions, but seems to be limited by the amount of information that the platform and Creditstar are willing to give away.
Finally, notifications from the platform are configurable : it’s possible to choose the frequency of the summaries, be notified of deposits, and choose whether to receive marketing offers.
Official Lendermarket pages on social networks
It’s possible to reach Lendermarket’s support via a chat box or by email. I didn’t have the opportunity to get in touch with them yet.
Actual performance of my Lendermarket portfolio
At the end of September 2021, the XIRR for my Lendermarket portfolio was 14,29%.
The performance of this portfolio is among the highest in my peer-to-peer loans portfolio.
Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.
For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.
Portfolio creation date
I created my Lendermarket portfolio in November 2019
Lendermarket's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of September 2021
Who can invest at Lendermarket
We invite both individuals and companies to invest through Lendermarket platform. Individual investors are required to:
- be at least 18 years old
- have a personal bank account in the European Economic Area or Switzerland
- and have their identity successfully verified by the Lendermarket team.
Family trusts, partnerships, limited liability companies, and other organizations must have a bank account in the EEA or Switzerland.
Lendermarket seems to me like an excellent way to invest in CreditStar loans directly, instead of using Mintos. Even beginner investors will be able to invest in quality loans, as part of a diversified portfolio. I only wish Creditstar would get a proper audit of their financial results as well as show more consideration towards individual investors !
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.