Lendermarket allows to invest in short-term individual loans yielding at least 14% annually; they’re secured by a buyback guarantee.
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 as well as the apparent disdain towards peer-to-peer investors lead me to reduce this rating slightly.
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
Overview of Lendermarket’s loans
All loans on Lendermarket are in Euro. 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 !
Durations have also increased a lot. Indeed, although it’s still possible to invest in short-term loans, many loans on the platform also have durations between three and five years !
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; they include Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark. All these loans yield interests monthly.
The minimal investment is € 10, a very standard amount for P2P loans.
In 2019, the total amount of funded loans at Lendermarket was slightly less than thirty million euros. It’s seven time less than their competitor Robocash, for example. However it’s more than enough given the size of the platform’s investors base.
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
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.
- The platform also doesn’t have a LinkedIn page (however, a few employees or ex-employees have profiles there).
- 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, no reason is provided for the incorporation in Ireland. Indeed, employees are actually based in Estonia. According to P2P Empire, the platform shares the same office as Lendermarket.
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, the communication towards P2P investors could be much improved.
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. That’s a slight decrease from their previous score (76).
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. However, there’s no detailed financial data for each country, as only consolidated figures for the whole group are available.
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 !
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, but without a proper audit of their 2020 result I’m likely to reconsider my views.
Reporting & statistics availability
I regret that there’s virtually no information available about Lendermarket‘s loan book. The platform doesn’t even display basic information such as the total loans volume or the number of investors.
However, even prospective investors can view the available loans on the website.
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.
Communication & support
Communication isn’t exactly Lendermarket‘s forte. Indeed, the platform is unusually quiet.
For example, Lendermarket started a blog which is hosted on Medium. Two posts were published in April. One introduced the blog, and the other was a letter from CreditStar to investors. It then became quiet until November, where a short post introduced the platform’s statistics for 2020.
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.
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.
Finally, it’s possible to reach Lendermarket’s support by phone or email. I didn’t have the opportunity to get in touch with them yet.
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 January 2020, interests on Lendermarket are usually marginally 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.
Manual investing at Lendermarket
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. Only two filters are currently available : interest rate and loan term.
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 will 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.
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.
Website’s ease of use
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.
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 !
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 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.
Actual performance of my Lendermarket portfolio
Portfolio creation date
I created my Lendermarket portfolio in November 2019.
Lendermarket's main competitors
For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.
Lendermarket's facts & figures
As of August 2020
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.