Omaraha review : great returns come at a price

Omaraha review : great returns come at a price

Omaraha’s overview

Omaraha offers mostly personal loans. They are partially secured; at least 60% of the capital is covered by the buyback guarantee. Current interest rates are slightly above 19% for the best-rated loans.

My opinion on Omaraha

I used to really love Omaraha and have invested up to 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, it’s harder to recommend it as much as I used to; I’ve also reduced my portfolio’s size. In spite of this, for investors who want to focus solely on individual loans, Omaraha still offers the best returns; those who want to diversify their portfolio should have a look at Grupeer, CrowdEstate or Envestio.

Detailed ratings

Interest rates

There is a wide range of maturities/interest rates available.

Loans liquidity

It’s currently difficult to invest large sums.

Reporting

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

Buyback guarantee

As Omaraha‘s buyback guarantee is only partial, it isn’t as generous as their competitors.

Website ergonomics

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

Omaraha’s pros & cons

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

Loans characteristics

Loans duration

Less than 1 month

1 month to 1 year

More than 1 year

Loans kind

Individual

Minimal investment

€10

Buyback guarantee

Buyback guarantee available

Currencies

Euro

Fully secured loans

I don’t invest in fully secured loans with Omaraha as they don’t seem as competitive as with Grupeer, Swaper or Mintos. Currently one can invest in 4 months loans at a rate of 6%.

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.

Omaraha provides a partial guarantee on these 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.

Platforms features

Secondary market

NO secondary market

Auto-invest

Auto-invest available

Secondary market

Omaraha doesn’t provide this feature, which means you won’t be able to resell your loans before the maturity date.

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 feature

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 a chunk of interests 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 that 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.

Website’s ease of use

Languages

English, Estonian, Russian

Funding methods

Account funding

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 Omaraha processes deposits quickly. Don’t forget to fill in your reference number !

Funds withdrawal

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).

Website’s design and ergonomics

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.

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 !)

Also, 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.

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

Finally one positive aspect ! 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.

Actual performance of my Omaraha portfolio

As of August 2018, XIRR for my Omaraha portfolio has finally dropped below 20%, at 19.53%. It’s obviously still an excellent result; however, newer portfolios would get lower interest rates that I had when I started investing, resulting in lower returns.

Omaraha’s competitors

Omaraha’s facts and figures

Location

Haapsalu, Estonia

Loans amount financed

€ 50 183 960
As of November 2018

Who can invest

A person at least 18 years of age, permanent resident in Estonia or in Estonia or in any other European Union country, who holds valid identity document (passport or ID card) from above mentioned countries and who has signed the investment terms and conditions on the Portals’s investment account. Investor can be also a legal person, who grants credit not in the course of its trade, business or profession and this credit to a physical person does not form a consumer credit contract under the laws of the residency of the borrower. (Omaraha Terms Of Service)

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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