Lendermarket review

Table of contents

Lendermarket's overview

Lendermarket allows to invest in consumer loans yielding from 12% to 15.1% annually; they’re secured by a buyback guarantee.

My opinion on Lendermarket

As I’m updating this review in January 2022, granting Lendermarket a rating turns out to be kind of a headache. On one hand, most aspects of the platform are very positive, from the excellent performance to the great ergonomics. On the other hand, the controversy surrounding their main loan originator’s reliability cannot be ignored.

At the end of the day, as investors we must always keep the risk/reward ratio in mind. 14% (or even 15%) interest rates are unfortunately a rare occurrence nowadays. Indeed, most competitors with a similar risk profile such as ViaInvest, Kviku or Twino offer 12% interest rates at best. The only exception is Esketit, where loans from Jordan yield 14% annually. I thus personally view Lendermarket’s loans as a great investment opportunity, especially considering that they are issued by a loan originator which as been profitable since its inception.

More conservative investors will probably feel more comfortable at Robocash, which is extremely solid and offers interest rates up to 12%. Moncera is another great choice, but investing there implies kissing double-digit interest rates good-bye.

Detailed ratings

Actual performance

After more than one year on the platform, the performance of my Lendermarket portfolio is now very close to its theoretical value.

Loans liquidity

Even when investing only in loans with the highest interest rates, Lendermarket’s loans portfolio is large enough to prevent any cash drag.

Reporting

The reporting is very simple but effective given the simplicity of the offer.

Transparency & reliability

I appreciate financial solidity of the loan originators – although doubts exist regarding the sincerity of the financial reports -. More detailed information could also be provided regarding the platform itself.

Website ergonomics

Lendermarket’s website sets the bar very high in term of ergonomics and ease of use. However, severe bugs have caused much disruption and worries for investors.

Lendermarket's pros & cons

Pros

  • High interest rates
  • Extremely user-friendly interface

Cons

  • No secondary market
  • Very little information is disclosed about Lendermarket
  • CreditStar financial reports are criticized for their lack of reliability

Loans characteristics

Loans durations

Short-term : less than one month

Medium-term : one month to one year

Long-term : more than one year

Loans kinds

Individual

Minimal investment

€10

Buyback guarantee

Buyback guarantee available

Currencies

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 early January 2022, interest rates range from 12% to 15.1%. It’s more than most competitors. Indeed, only Esketit currently offers the same level of interest rates.

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 ! -. On the other hand, very short-term loans (one month or less) only yield 12% annually. However, many short and medium-term loans still yield 14%, which is a very interesting figure. Indeed, opportunities to get such yields for consumer 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.

Cashback campaigns

The platform regularly initiates cashback campaigns. They are a very effective way to boost returns. Indeed, the most recent one offered a 2% bonus for investments larger than €1,000, which is obviously extremely interesting !

Loans volume

Lendermarket only provides partial data regarding the loans volume or their investors’ base. The latest available figure is a funded amount above twelve million euros in December 2021. This is much smaller than Robocash’s fifty million euros for the same month, but larger than most competitors.

Buyback guarantee

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 has become the de-facto delay in the industry. The buyback guarantee covers both principal and accrued interests.

Platform’s transparency and reliability

When investing in consumer loans, it’s essential to assess the reliability of the loan originator – that is, CreditStar Group -. In this regard, although this large lending group is profitable, recurring concerns regarding the reliability of their financial reports have damaged its reputation.

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

It looks like large originators now start their own platforms instead of using marketplaces such Mintos or Bondster.

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.

Looking on the bright side, Lendermarket provides an audited report. It was audited by GrantThornton, and shows a loss of more than €400,000. Please keep in mind that this is the financial report for the platform itself, not the loan originators !

Loans descriptions

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.

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 Group used to be regarded as a solid loan originator. For a long time, it was rated 72/100 on Explore P2P’s ratings for Mintos originators. It stood among the highest rated lending groups, right after Robocash and Moncera‘s Placet Group. However, it has since dropped to 61/100, a level equivalent to ViaInvest, Twino or Kviku.

Let’s start with the positive aspects :

  • CreditStar has been profitable since its inception. In spite of the first Covid-19 wave, the company’s profit for 2020 stood around 6 million euros. Even better, unaudited net profit for Q3 2021 alone is close to three million euros !
  • In June 2021, the group also successfully completed a bond issuance for a total of more than 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, CreditStar’s reputation suffered from controversies regarding their financial reports – a seemingly never-ending saga which lead several investors to leave the platform -. Let’s try summarize to it :

  • It all started when blogger Kristaps Mors pointed out that CreditStar’s annual financial reports for 2019 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.
  • 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. Unfortunately, it basically took forever to be completed and was only released in December 2021.
  • Although the figures contained in the report aren’t bad, it contains a qualified audit opinion by the auditor. It’s basically a statement that there’s an issue with part of the report. Indeed, CreditStar reevaluated the value of assets in 2019 and 2020. This isn’t permitted by accounting standard, which casts a doubt regarding the reliability of the report.

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.

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.

Platform's features

Early exit

Early exit NOT AVAILABLE

Investing methods

Auto-invest

Manual investing

Manual investing

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.

Auto-invest

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.

Secondary market

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 January 2022, interests on Lendermarket are usually higher than at Mintos. Indeed, the latter stand at 11% for Estonian loans, and 9.5% for Finnish loans. Moreover, loans from several countries are available exclusively at Lendermarket.

Another difference between Lendermarket and 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

Languages

English, German, Spanish

Funding methods

Available languages & translations quality

Lendermarket’s website was initially only available in English. Things have now improved with the availability of two additional 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 !

The platform changed the color scheme of their website in early 2022, from red tints to purple ones. I regret the previous colors but it’s obviously a matter of personal taste.

Reporting

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.

Documentation

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

Support

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

14,25%

At the end of December 2021, the XIRR for my Lendermarket portfolio was 14,25%.

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 main competitors

Lendermarket's facts & figures

Location

Dublin, Ireland

Founding year

2019

Number of investors

3,600

Loans amount financed

€180,000,000

As of January 2022

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's 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.

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