Lendinvest Review – My Peer To Peer Lending Experiences

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lendinvest review

Lendinvest Review

** Lendinvest review updated July 2nd 2017 **

Lendinvest offers peer to peer property bridging and development lending via loans secured by property at lower loan-to-values. Lendinvest provides competitive returns for the amount of risk needed to be taken. Lendinvest is a profitably run company which inspires confidence. I love knowing the company can sustain itself financially rather than private investors funding losses during growth. Read on for my in-depth Lendinvest review where I share my experiences as a lender.

My Aug 2017 Allocation: Unchanged
My current rate of return: 6.9% (Net return after bad debt and fees but before tax)
Est. Annual Returns:6% - 8%
My Risk Rating *:
Launched:2013
Early Exit:
X
Autoinvest:
ISA Available:
X
Loan Security:Property, debentures, personal guarantees
Provision Fund:
X
Lender Fees:None
Min Investment:£1,000 deposit, £100 per loan, £1 auto-invest
Time to Become Invested:Fast but varies on loan availability
Time Needed Managing:
Manual invest: medium, Auto-invest: none
Lending Agreements With:Lendinvest
FCA Regulation:Interim
Cashback Offer:
None
Sign Up:
Click here to open an account

* This opinion risk rating factors in types of loans offered, interest rates, platform history, default numbers and my own investing experience. My risk rating explained.

The Lendinvest Review – What You Need to Know:

Pros
  • Loans secured by property
  • High profitable company / financial stability
  • Transparent information
  • £1bn+ loan book
  • Low loan-to-values on loans / average of 56% across loan book
  • Auto-reinvest £1 minimum
Cons
  • Loan contracts are between lenders’ and Lendinvest rather than directly with borrowers
  • No secondary market to exit loans
  • Lower interest returns for bridging loans
  • No access to valuation documents / heavy reliance on Lendinvest
Equivalent Competitors

Assetz Capital, Funding Secure, Moneything, Lendy

Lendinvest Review: My experiences so far….

I’ve been investing through Lendinvest since October 2016 and my experiences have been nothing other than good. Lendinvest has a constant stream of new loans and payments have always been made on time. I particularly like the low loan-to-values however, some of the negative points have kept me from investing more heavily.

What Is A Lendinvest?

Lendinvest is a U.K. based peer to peer lending company that offers secured peer to peer property and bridging loans. Borrowers are experienced property developers with proven track records.

How Can I Contact Lendinvest?

Web
Email: support@lendinvest.com
UK Tel: 0800 130 3388

When Did Lendinvest Launch?

August 2013

Are They Regulated?

Yes, by the UK Government’s Financial Conduct Authority under interim permissions. FCA regulation is nothing like the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), which covers consumers when they deposit money in banks. The FCA does have the ability to pursue criminal action against companies that violate its standards, but the FCA is not a government entity and it’s funded by the very companies it regulates.

How Do I Open An Account?

Sign up here for a Lendinvest account. (Currently there are no cashback offers.)

Who Can Open An Account?

Any person who has a UK bank account and can pass the money laundering and identification checks.

The Dashboard

Lendinvest’s website is very clean and easy to follow. Here’s what the dashboard looks like:

lendinvest review

And the portfolio page:

lendinvest review

How Much Time Will It Take To Become Invested?

This is always depends on demand and supply. When I first signed up there weren’t many loans available but as of June 2017, there are plenty of loans available.

What’s The Minimum Deposit / Investment?

Deposit: £1,000 minimum
Loans:  £100 minimum
Auto-Reinvestment: £1

How Are Deposits Made?

Via bank transfer which takes up to three business days or via debit card instant deposit with a limit of £100,000.

What’s Their Communication / Support Like?

I sent a test email query and will report back on response time.

Does Lendinvest Offer An Innovative Finance ISA?

No

Can I Lendinvest Investments Be Used In A SIPP?

No

How Much Annual Interest Does Lendinvest Pay Lenders?

Loans pay various return rates ranging from 6% to 8%. This tends to be lower compared to other companies offering property bridging and development loans however I view Lendinvest’s loans to be less risky due to the borrower criteria and the lower loan-to-values on the securities.

Is Interest Accrued Immediately Or When the Loan Starts?

Interest accrues when your money is matched into loans.

When Is Interest Paid?

Last day of each month

Am I Lending To Lendinvest Or To The Borrower?

All loan contracts are between lenders’ and Lendinvest.

What Are The Fees?

No lender fees

Is There An Auto-Invest Option?

Lendinvest does offer both auto-invest and auto-reinvest and they both work well. Auto-invest has a minimum £100 investment and allows several lending criteria to be chosen:

Lendinvest review

Auto-reinvest works similarly and triggers on amounts as low as £1, but you can only withdraw once you have £100 in interest:

Lendinvest review

How Much Time Is Needed Managing My Account and Investments?

This depends on whether you want to use auto-invest and your level of comfort. Lendinvest doesn’t supply property valuation documents so time is needed to research the property valuations.

In a perfect world, one would fully research each loan and invest in only the loans with sensible valuations on the security. Most lenders’ don’t have the time and patience for this and either invest in each loan to diversify or use the auto-invest function.

If you use auto-invest, time management is reduced to zero.

How Long Are The Loans?

Up to three years but most loans tend to be 12 months.

Is There A Secondary Market To Buy, Sell And Exit Loans?

No

What Security Does Lendinvest Loan Against?

All loans are secured with a first ranking charge over property with reasonable loan-to-values in the 45% to 75% range. In some cases, Lendinvest also takes personal guarantees and the assets of the business (debentures). While personal guarantees are nice, first charges are the only securities you need to pay attention to.

What Are The Loan Default Loss Rates

Lendinvest’s default loss rates have been extremely low:

2014: 0.5%
2015: 0.3%
2016: 0.0%

Lendinvest holds over 80% of its loans in property located in London and the South East so if a property crash occurs, I would expect to see default rates increase dramatically.

Default loss rates can change so please check the current rates here.

What Happens If Lendinvest Ceases Operations?

Since lenders’ have agreements with Lendinvest rather than directly with borrowers, a company failure could be a very complicated situation.

Lendinvest has a partnership operation with Pepper UK, a loan servicing company. Lendinvest states that if they ceased trading, Pepper UK would continue to service borrowers loans. In addition, a company called Capita has been appointed as the back-up servicer to manage Lendinvest’s loan book.

What Are the Different Accounts and Investment Options Lendinvest Offers?

Lendinvest only offers loans on property bridging and development projects.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT LENDINVEST:

Loans Secured By Property

Property is one the most secured loan collaterals available within peer to peer lending, provided the loan-to-values are at reasonable levels and the valuations are correct. When you lend through Lendinvest, 1st charges are in place on all loans so you can feel comfortable knowing your loan is well collateralised.

Despite loans being secured by property, the hands of the legal clock move slowly so in the event of default, it can take months or years for capital to be recovered and it’s never a guarantee.

Highly Profitable Company = Financial Stability

Lendinvest is one of the few peer to peer lending companies that is profitable level. In 2016, Lendinvest profited to the tune of £3.4m. A financially healthy company that’s turning a profit is one I’d feel more comfortable investing in. If you want to look at Lendinvest’s company accounts you can do so here.

£1bn+ Loan Book

Lendinvest’s loan book is steadily growing and has now surpassed the £1bn mark. When a peer to peer company is writing that many loans, they are generating fees. Fees are what keeps a company is business and that’s a good thing for lenders’ to pay attention to.

Low Loan-To-Values

Lendinvest lends at very sensible loan-to-values (LTV). My loans range from 45% to 60%, which is why the lender returns are lower. Lendinvest’s entire loan book has an LTV of only 56%, Provided valuations are correct, lower LTVs hopefully means that in a default event, there would be enough wiggle room to sell the property and pay all expenses plus lenders’ capital and interest.

Auto-Invest / Reinvest

For those looking for more hands-off investing, the auto-investment and reinvestment tool works well. You are able to set investment criteria including maximum amounts, maximum loan-to-values and tranches. Auto-reinvest triggers at £1 so lenders’ who receive smaller interest repayments will be happy their money isn’t sitting idle.

Transparent Information

I love Lendinvest’s philosophy towards transparency. They publish yearly company financials, loan and default statistics and even their entire loan book. This shows me Lendinvest has nothing to hide and I think some peer to peer companies could learn a thing a two here.

WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT LENDINVEST:
Loan Contracts Are Between Lenders’ and Lendinvest

This is my one major gripe about Lendinvest. When I loan money, I want to have direct agreements with the borrowers rather than with the platform, because if the platform ceases to trade, I have no control over my loan agreement. I’ve been hesitant to invest anything more than a small amount because I see Lendinvest as a risker place to invest.

No Secondary Market to Buy And Sell Loans

My second major gripe is the lack of a secondary market. Secondary markets are nothing more than a perk and should never be relied on as a reliable means of exit, but it’s always nice to have an exit option.

Lower Interest Returns For Bridging Loans

Property development bridging loans can be risky despite lower loan-to-values. I question whether the returns Lendinvest offers to lenders’ are on par with the risk. When I invest in bridging loans, I look for returns in the 10%+  range. Lendinvest offers between 6-8%.

No Access To Valuation Documents / Heavy Reliance on Lendinvest

Lenders’ who want to perform their own research on properties aren’t privy to the valuation documents that Lendinvest owns. This is unusual considering Lendinvest is very transparent with its information and most other peer to peer bridging loan companies freely offer these documents. This means lenders’ are heavily reliant on Lendinvest unless thy want to do their own valuation estimating. It’s been my experience that peer to peer property valuations can be extremely subjective so I always like to look through them before I invest. It’s a shame this isn’t possible with Lendnivest.


My Strategy

I’ve always wanted to invest more through Lendinvest however I don’t like that I’m technically lending money to Lendinvest rather than direct to borrower’s. I currently pick and choose loans based on the sensibility of property valuations. Most loans I ignore due to the lower interest returns offered. I would consider investing further once the negatives are addressed.

The Lendinvest Review Conclusion

On paper, Lendinvest has many positives. First and foremost it’s a profitably run operation, which many peer to peer companies are not. This inspires long term confidence knowing the company can sustain itself financially. The interest returns are on the low side for property bridging and development loans however I consider them safer than some other company loans so that’s the trade-off. I also don’t like the fact valuation documents aren’t available so lenders’ have to do their own research in order to identify the good loans. Despite the negatives, if you’re looking for to invest through a secure company that also offers a great auto-invest system, Lendinvest is worth consideration.


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Disclaimers: I’m not paid to write this Lendinvest review, nor am I employed by any of the companies I write about. In most cases I have invested or continue to invest my own money through these companies. The sign up links on this website are referral links. When you sign up for an account through my website, I receive a referral fee directly from the companies, at no cost to you. Your support enables me to continue to operate the Financial Thing website. You can read more about my referral links here.

** This unbiased Lendinvest review is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as investment advice. Opinions expressed in this Lendinvest review are based on my own personal experiences, investing my own money. Peer to peer lending contains risks so never invest more than you can afford to lose.**