Ablrate Review – My Unbiased Lender Experiences After 5+ Years


Ablrate Review – Peer To Peer Lending

** Ablrate review updated June 4th, 2021  **

Read my comprehensive unbiased Ablrate review highlighting my experiences as a lender.

On June 2015, I made my first Ablrate deposit. The platform was of interest because of the secured aircraft loans. Honestly, what person doesn’t dream of investing in planes? Albrate is one of the few survivors in the high-risk loan sector so I’m keeping my investment amount low as my faith in these types of loans has diminished due to the failures of platforms offering high-interest returns.

Click here to listen / watch my podcast with David Bradley Ward, Ablrate CEO and founder.

Ablrate statistics: Click here
My Current Investment Amount: Click here
My annual rate of return: 9.2% (Net return after bad debt and fees but before tax)
Est. Annual Returns:Up to 15%
Recent Return Rate Trend:← →
My Risk Rating *:
Early Exit:
ISA Available:
Loan Types:Aviation, property, business, grouped assets
Loan Security:Property, airplanes, equipment, debentures
Provision Fund:
Lender Fees:None
Min Investment:£1 - £100 depending on loan
Time to Become Invested:Fast
Time Needed Managing:
FCA Regulation:Full permissions
Cashback Offer:
No current offers
Sign Up:Sign Up For A Free 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 Ablrate Review: What You Need To Know

  • Up to 15% interest returns for lenders
  • Lots of loan documents for due diligence
  • Instant interest returns / no cash drag
  • Interesting selection of secured loans
  • Secondary market with zero fees for buying and selling loan parts
  • Great staff communication
  • High risk lending
  • Limited default recovery experience
  • Smaller amount of new loan offerings
  • Types of loans make risk assessment difficult for most investors
  • Complicated secondary market for selling loans
Ablrate Review: My experiences so far….

I have been investing small amounts through Ablrate since June 2015 and have always had high hopes for the platform as I like the CEO, David Bradley Ward. In, fact when I made my first deposit, I thought Ablrate would become one of my main investment platforms. But Ablrate never became one of my go-to platforms because I have also become less inclined to invest in high return loans due to the increased risk and time needed to assess the businesses that are borrowing.

One of my Ablrate loans from 2016 defaulted after only five months and the loan and is still stuck in legal purgatory with no recovery after two three four years. Defaults should be expected in high-risk lending. Other than that my experiences have been positive although I would be hesitant to invest a large amount through Ablrate. Ablrate is consistent and transparent with their loan updates, even when the news isn’t good and the CEO presents video updates to stay connected to investors.

What Is Ablrate?

Ablrate is a UK based peer to peer lending platform where investors can lend money to borrowers who secure loans with residential, commercial, or industrial real estate.  Secondary security to a loan may include a first ranking debenture over the business or business assets, third-party corporate guarantees, and personal guarantees.

How Can I Contact Ablrate?

Email: customerservices@ablrate.com
UK Tel: 01491 410 400

When Did Ablrate Launch?

July 2014

Are they regulated?

Yes, by the UK Government’s Financial Conduct Authority under full permissions. FCA regulation is nothing like the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme). FSCS covers consumers when they deposit money in banks, the FCA does not.

The FCA does have the ability to pursue criminal action against companies that violate its standards. The FCA is not a government entity and it’s funded by the very companies it regulates.

How Do I Sign Up / Any Offers?

Get £50 cashback when you invest £1,000. Click here to open an Ablrate account. (Please read terms and conditions on the sign-up page. When you use my link, Ablrate pays me a small referral fee which enables me to continue to operate this website and provide new in-depth company reviews. Thanks in advance for your support).

Who Can Open An Account?

Anyone over the age of 18 who can pass the usual verification identity checks. Overseas residents can invest however USA residents aren’t eligible.

What’s The Signup Process Like?

Easy. They run the usual i.d. check, no additional identification needed.

How Are Deposits Made And How Quick Are They Credited?

Deposits can be made via debit card and funds are normally available immediately. You can also make deposits via bank transfer where funds usually show up within an hour or two during business hours.

What’s The Minimum Deposit / Investment?

Deposit: None
Loans: Between £0 to £100 depending on the loan

Does Ablrate Offer An Innovative Finance ISA?

Yes Ablrate offers an IFISA

How Much Annual Interest Does Collateral Pay Lenders / Investors?

6.5% – 15.5%

Does Interest Accrue Immediately On Loan Purchase Or When the Loan Begins?

This varies depending on the loan. Some loans pay instant returns while others pay once the loan has been drawn down.

When Is Interest Paid?

Interest payments are staggered throughout the month. Your account dashboard shows when your next payment is due:

ablrate review

Am I Lending To The Ablrate Platform Or To Borrowers?

Loan agreements are directly between lenders and borrowers.

What Are The Fees?

Lenders pay no fees. Secondary market transactions are also free but Ablrate reserves the right to charge a 0.25% fee in the future.

What Are The Length Of The Loans?

Most loans are one to five years. Loans can renew at the end of term or be paid off early.

What Security Does Ablrate Loan Against?

Loans are usually secured by items such as aircraft, property, or business assets and debentures. Loan To Values vary but aren’t shown on the secondary market page. If the borrower defaults, Ablrate or its loan partners can try to sell the assets to recover lenders money. If a borrower defaults, it can take months or even years for recovery. That is one of the risks of peer to peer lending.

What Are The Loan Default Rates?

Ablrate doesn’t provide default statistics but I believe their default rate is very low. So far I have only experienced one default.

What Is Default Handling Like?

My single defaulted loan is working its way through the legal system but seems troubled. There are rumors that the security wasn’t properly handled and recovery is questionable. Only time will tell if this proves true. The recovery process has taken many months but Ablrate’s communication has been consistently good throughout. Hopefully, the assets can be legally acquired and Ablrate can attempt to sell the assets to recover some of the lenders’ capital and interest. Unfortunately, four years of legal fees will drastically reduce the recovery amount.

Is There a Secondary Market?

Yes, but the market is the one feature of the platform I don’t care for. The loan-to-values aren’t shown on the secondary market table which is also annoying. See below in my Thumbs Down section for a full explanation. On a positive note, lenders can buy and sell loan pieces anytime for free.

What Are The Main Risks?

Platform failure: As with every peer to peer company, platform failure presents the greatest risk to lenders. Ablrate is a smaller platform and if it were to cease trading, there are many unknowns as to whether lenders capital and interest would be recovered.

Economic downturns: Since Ablrate pays lenders high return rates, this means borrowers are paying even higher interest rates. When economies fail, high interest loan default rates increase and asset values can fall, making recovery challenging. It will be interesting to see how Ablrate’s loan book performs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Valuations: Ablrate’s loans money against assets that can be difficult for lenders to risk assess. It’s relatively easy for an average person to approximate the value of a house or a car, but not an airplane or a business. Lenders place their trust in Ablrate’s ability to value the assets, which I believe they do well. But if assets are incorrectly valued and a default forces a sale, recovered monies could be less than the original loan amount, resulting in lenders experiencing possible losses.

Is There A Provision Fund?


What Happens if Ablrate Goes Bust?

Ablrate has set up a living will through Kingston Smith LLP, a UK accountancy firm. In the event Ablrate ceases to operate, Kingston Smith would “administer the company in an orderly wind-down process and collect interest and capital to be redistributed to loan holders.”

It appears Ablrate have taken this process seriously but as we’ve seen with Lendy, Collateral and Funding Secure, the administration is very expensive and massively cuts into loan recovery amounts.


Lenders Returns of 10-15%

Ablrate offers high return rates. Rates vary depending on the loan offering and interest has always been paid on time. I’ve never had an issue received my capital once loan terms have ended. High lender returns are always tempting but remember, with higher reward comes much higher risk.

Instant Returns / No Cash Drag

When money is pledged into a new loan, investors receive interest immediately, even if the loan doesn’t fill. This eliminates cash drag where money is pledged but doesn’t receive interest until the loan is completed.

Interesting Selection Of Secured Loans

Ablrate’s loans were originally focused on aircraft but they have since expanded into other alternative and interesting offerings. Whether you lend money secured by a car, a gold ring or a Boeing 747, the type of loan asset only matters if the loan defaults and the asset needs to be sold. Having said that, when an aircraft loan is offered, it does makes lending more interesting.

Zero Secondary Market Fees

Ablrate offers a fee-free secondary market for loans. Market liquidity varies based on demand and supply but if you need to buy or sell, it’s possible to do so, especially if you’re willing to sell at a discount and buy at a premium.

Loan Transparency

Ablrate provides lots of documentation on each loan so if you’re into due diligence and reading, you will be a happy camper. Documents provided include valuations, company financials, credit reports, planning permissions, progress and borrowing proposals.


If you need help, the Ablrate team is always very helpful and quick to respond. They send regular emails containing information about loan updates and also provide video loan book updates.


High Risk

Ablrate’s average lender interest return is 11% per year. Borrowers are paying much higher interest for their loans but Ablrate still doesn’t publish how much interest borrowers are paying so it’s hard to assess just how risky a borrower is.

Some of Ablrate’s borrowers pay interest only until the end of the loan term which makes those loans riskier since the capital balance isn’t being paid down during the loan.

Most other high interest-paying peer to peer lending companies have failed so beware when investing and be sure to diversify.

Difficult Risk Assessment

Due to the nature of Ablrate’s loans, risk assessment will be very difficult for all but the most advanced investors. Investors will have to rely heavily on the due diligence of Ablrate to underwrite quality loans, a skill some other peert to peer companies have performed poorly. Not to say Ablrate can’t accomplish this, just that my faith in underwriting quality of higher-risk lending is low to where I’m not willing to take the risks anymore.

Multiple Loans To Same Borrower

When a single borrower has multiple loans on a platform, if that borrower defaults on one loan, they tend to default on all their loans. This increases investment risk. Ablrate has borrowers with multiple loans. For example, as of October 2020, one single borrower has six development loans totalling £2.5 million with all of these loans being interest only.

Sporadic New Loan Offerings

I have a rule where I try not to invest more than 2% to 5% of my platform allocation into any individual loan. Ablrate’s inconsistent new loan offerings make this allocation difficult to follow so I’m forced to allocate larger single loan amounts than I normally would. If a new investor didn’t have time to research loans individually and were to deposit £1000 into Ablrate, they would ideally invest in 20 loans minimum using the 5% allocation rule.

Ablrate’s loan originations for 2019 and 2020 were lower than its other years in business. This suggests that Ablrate has experienced difficulties originating new loans.

The Secondary Market

While Ablrate’s secondary market makes sense to some, other lenders I’ve spoken to find it difficult to understand and use. The market works on Bids and Offers using percentages:

Ablrate review

Bids are what lenders are willing to pay when they buy and Offers are what lenders are willing to sell loan parts for. The popular loans are usually priced at a small premium.

When you click on a loan you want to buy or sell, you will see the various Bids and Offers:

Ablrate review

The percentage price is the amount someone is willing to pay or sell their remaining loan capital for. In the above example, the buyer is willing to pay 86.1% (yielding 32.034% per year) meaning 86.1p for every £1 of remaining capital representing a large discount. The buyer is asking for a large because this loan might be considered risky. The loan seller, on the other hand, is offering to sell at 98% (yielding 17.1%), or 98.36p for £1p of available loan piecesm.

When you click on the Amount to Sell or Buy boxes, the calculation button presents the specifics of the transaction:

Ablrate review

You can also set your own Bid and Offer prices:

ablrate review

When you click on this option, you set the amount you wish to buy the dicount you want to achieve:

ablrate review

Unfortunately, this screen doesn’t show you transaction specifics or how much loan yield you would receive if your bid were accepted by a seller.

It’s definitely the most complicated secondary market system I’ve ever used. Personally, I like markets that are really simple and have no buyers premiums or difficult to understand calculation methods. The most liquid peer to peer secondary markets offer no premium options.

My Strategy

Since my Ablrate investment has always been small due to the high risk, I’ve invested small amounts into various loans. I have successfully bought and sold small amounts on the secondary market. Out of the few loans I’ve held, one defaulted in September 2016 and still hasn’t come to a recovery conclusion. Remember defaults are a part of peer to peer lending and should be expected, especially in high-risk lending.

I think Ablrate has some good loans but I’ve found the research needed to choose favorable loans is too time-consuming so I am drawing down my interest and capital as loans are repaid.

The Ablrate Review Conclusion

After more than 5 years of lending, my Ablrate investment amount continues to remain small as I await the recovery results of a defaulted loan I’m invested in. If you do invest through Ablrate, Ablrate advertises gross returns up to 15% with the average being in the 11% range depending on which loans you invest in.

Risk assessment of Ablrate’s loans will very difficult for all but the very advanced investor.

If you are good at assessing business and have time to research, you might find Ablrate’s loans attractive due to the large amounts of loan information provided. The secondary market to buy and sell loan part isn’t easy to use but it works, once you understand how to use it. I look forward to Ablrate’s continued growth but my desire for high risk investing has diminished so my balance will likely remain small.

I hope this Ablrate review helps make your investment decision easier.

Get £50 cashback when you invest £1,000. Click here to open an Ablrate account. (Please read terms and conditions on the sign-up page. When you use my link, Ablrate pays me a small referral fee which enables me to continue to operate this website and provide new in-depth company reviews. Thanks in advance for your support).

If you enjoyed my Ablrate review and want to learn more about peer to peer lending, click here and receive my complimentary Top 5 Peer to Peer Lending Sites Report.

I love feedback, so if you find any errors or omissions or have any improvement suggestions, I invite you to contact me and be a part of contributing to this website.

Disclaimers: I have not paid to write my reviews and I’m not 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. In order to keep the website financially viable, the sign-up links on this website are referral links and I do accept advertising in the form of banner ads. This advertising in no way influences my reviews and opinions. When you sign up for an account through my website, in some cases 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 and banner advertising here.

** This Ablrate review is for information purposes only. This information is not financial advice and has been prepared without taking your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. You should consider its appropriateness for your circumstances. All investing carries risks. Opinions expressed in this review are opinions based on my own personal experiences. The FSCS does not cover peer to peer lending and your capital is at risk. Please don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. **



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