Omaraha review : great returns come at a price

in spite of its terrible interface, Omaraha used to be my #1 choice when it came to investing in loans. Unfortunately, it has become difficult to invest funds as the loans volume has decreased

GLOBAL RATING

Loans duration

1 month or less
1 month - 1 year
More than one year

Loans kind

Individual

Minimal investment

€10

Buyback

Buyback guarantee available

Secondary market

NO secondary market available

Auto-invest

Auto-invest available

Pros

  • High interests rates for partially secured loans

Cons

  • Buyback guarantee is only partial
  • Omaraha's website looks terribly dated and is very hard to use
  • Currently there aren't enough loans on the platform to meet all investor's needs
  • Lack of secondary market

Interests rate

Loans liquidity

Reporting

Buyback guarantee

Platform ergonomics

A wide range of maturities/interest rates available

It’s currently difficult to invest large sums

Like everything in Omaraha’s website, the reporting is extremely basic

As the buyback guarantee is only partial, it isn’t as generous as the competitor

It’s by far the most dated platform, with an extremely painful interface

Funding methods

SEPA transfer

Languages

English, Estonianussian

Overview of Omaraha

Omaraha is an Estonian company. It’s a real gem, but the website is really hard to use at first so you should be ready to spend some time tackling it before you can use its full potential !

It offers both secured and unsecured loans (actually, there’s a partial buyback guarantee on those) from Estonia, Slovakia and Finland.

Secured loans

I don’t invest in secured loans on Omaraha as they don’t seem as competitive as Grupeer or Mintos. Currently one can invest in 4 months loans at a rate of 8%, or longer-terms loans up to 2 years offering a meager 9%.

Partially secured loans

All the new loans I invest in are long-term (5 years) Estonian loans with the highest rating. I have some leftover loans from Slovakia and Finland but they didn’t perform as well. Indeed, Slovakia’s default rate has been extremely high in the past so I’m a bit cautious about investing there, no matter what the interest rate is.

The gross interest rate is currently around 25% in Estonia for 5-years loans

Omaraha’s commission is 20%, subtracted from this gross interest rate. That’s my first critic towards Omaraha : why don’t they display only the net interest ? It would make things much easier for investors.

I use mostly auto-invest (called “Investment terms” here) although I may also manually select a loan occasionally.

Investing process

For most websites, it’s straightforward to invest your money, either manually or automatically. But Omaraha makes this task rather hard, due to a poor user interface and weird design choices. We already saw that they choose to display the interest rate paid by the borrower (gross rate) instead of the interest rate paid to you, but there are other choices just as annoying.

Take the credit rating : most P2P lending sites rate credit a simple way, like A / B / C. Omaraha, on the other hand, uses a credit rating (called “score”) between 0 and 1000, and only accepts requests scoring above 600. (I personally focus exclusively on the top-rated loans (900+, but you may choose to take more risks, of course !)

Before you can invest, you must move your funds initially located in the virtual account to the country-specific investing account. To do so, go to Accounts -> Transfer, and select source and destination accounts. This screen also allows you to move funds from one investing account to another.

Manual investing

I use mostly auto-invest (called “Investment terms” here) although I may also manually select a loan occasionally. The ‘Loan applications’ screen, which displays the most recent applications, doesn’t support filtering; you can sort the columns, though. In any case the amount of loans here is rather limited and the auto-invest portfolios will often fill up all available loans, so I strongly advise you to mainly use auto-invest.

Auto-invest

Setting up the auto-invest is relatively easy, once you figure out what interest rate to request for each credit rating. And that’s not an easy task at first.

For each duration, you can indicate the gross interest rate (paid by the applicant) and maximum amount. The bonus allows you to speed up auto-investment : it will give part of interest back to Omaraha, in exchange for a higher priority. I always leave it at 0%, as I’m not in a hurry to invest my funds. The actual interest you’ll receive is displayed as “Loan interest”, but be warned that the bonus doesn’t seem to be taken into account !

But how do you figure out which interest rate to offer ? The “Offers” button displays the following screen.

This table shows the currently available interest rates for each duration and rating. Is has been much simplified compared to the previous version, a more than welcome change ! The previous one was basically unreadable; it’s good to see that Omaraha is finally making some efforts towards a more easily used website.

Note setting the interest rate slightly below the value displayed by the table may speed up your auto-invest speed, as there will be less competition between investors at lower rates.

Buyback

Omaraha provides a partial guarantee on loans. The warranty fund will reimburse between 60% and 80% of the loan balance when the payment is more than 3 months late. Overall, I’ve been compensated around 68% of the value of defaulted loans (as of December, 22nd 2017).

The current amount of money in the warranty fund is visible on the help page. It usually fluctuates between €60 000 and €70 000. I must confess that this low amount surprised me, as I was expected it to be much higher according to Omaraha’s large loan volumes.

Secondary market

Omaraha doesn’t provide this feature, which means you won’t be able to resell your loans

Website ergonomics : Omaraha’s major flaw

That’s my #1 concern with Omaraha.

While there’s been some improvement on the interest rates screen, there’s still a lot to do. Just to show again you how little they care about bells & whistles, here’s an e-mail sent by Omaraha , announcing the opening of a new country :

Apparently HTML emails are too cutting-edge for Omaraha. Contrast it with Mintos news :

Reporting

The statistics are rather basic, and just like the rating system, you’ll struggle a bit at first before understanding it totally.

Support

I’ve been in touch with the support twice and their answers were quick and helpful. There’s also an English forum which you can use for general questions

Account funding & funds withdrawal

Instructions regarding deposits and withdrawals are available under Accounts / Transfer.

Funding you account via a SEPA transfer usually takes 2 day. It will mostly depend on your bank as Omarama processes deposits quickly. Don’t forget to fill in your reference number !

Unlike most competitors, Omaraha charges you for withdrawals. They cost 0.50€, which of course isn’t expensive but I obviously prefer platform to have no fee for investor !

As a side note, Omaraha’s terrible website designer has struck again in the withdrawal page. You can’t withdraw money directly from an investing account. You first have to move funds from your specific country account to the virtual account, then you can withdraw them from this account. This adds a totally useless step to the withdrawal process.

When withdrawing funds, your bank account may not be displayed. This seems to happen if the name provided by your bank doesn’t exactly match Omaraha’s records. It may be caused by accents in your name, or if you omitted your second name. In this case, contact the support via the link titled “click here” under “Support” (once again, Omaraha’s color scheme doesn’t make this information very visible).

Actual performance of my Omaraha portfolio

I started investing in November 2016 so now my portfolio is much more realistic as the first defaults have happened. The XIRR I computed is 20.95%, the highest among all the P2P lending websites I reviewed.

Omaraha’s website displays a XIRR above 25%, which is very different from my own computation.

Loans in Slovakia saw more defaults than in Estonia, which compensated the higher interest rate.

Conclusion

I used to really love Omaraha and have invested around 60% of my P2P assets there. For a long time, it was totally worth investing some time (and of course money 🙂 ) there, in spite of the terrible interface. But now that the interest rates and loans volume have decreased, I don’t recommend it as warmly as I used to.

(last update : July, 20th, 2018)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.