Loanpad Review: My Peer To Peer Lending Experiences

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Loanpad Review

** Loanpad review updated September 9th, 2019**

Welcome to my unbiased Loanpad review where I highlight all the pros and cons to investing through Loanpad.

I first became interested in Loanpad after I met with CEO and founder Louis Schwartz in the summer of 2018. Loanpad’s unique daily-interest-paying peer to peer lending products offers quick access and 60-day access options (based on market conditions) via a low-risk lending model.

I met with Louis in January 2019 and he gave me an in-depth tutorial on Loanpad’s dashboard as well as a fully transparent explanation of Loanpad’s products and loan sources. After my meetings with Louis, I liked Loanpad’s approach to reduced peer to peer lending risk and I decided to invest my own money through Loanpad’s products.

Loanpad is the only peer to peer company I use that pays interest into investors’ accounts daily.

My August 2019 Investment: Unchanged
My estimated annual rate of return: 4.3% (After fees but before taxes)
Est. Annual Returns:4% - 5%
Recent Return Rate Trend:← →
My Risk Rating *:
Launched:2019
Early Exit:
Autoinvest:X
ISA Available:
Loan Security:Property
Provision Fund:
✓ (Small)
Lender Fees:Up to 0.5% Premium Account exit fee
Min Investment:£10
Time to Become Invested:Fast
Time Needed Managing:
Minimal
FCA Regulation:Full
Bonus Offer:
Up to £150 cashback
Cashback Sign Up:
Sign up for cashback

* This opinion risk factors in loan types, interest returns, company history, default numbers and my own investing experience. Risk rating explained here.

How Do I Sign Up /  Any Bonuses?

Click here to sign up for a free Loanpad account and receive up to £150 cashback

(See the terms and conditions on sign up page. When you open an account through my website, it helps me to continue to operate and offer new reviews).

Watch my Loanpad investing tutorial and product explanation video

My Loanpad Review: What You Need To Know

Thumbs Up
  • Two simple lower risk products, Classic (easy access*) and Premier (60-day access*). £10 min. ISA available
  • Interest paid into your account daily / Auto Lend reinvestment
  • Your funds are automatically diversified across all loans
  • CEO’s legal background has given him extensive experience in property development lending deals
  • Loans are sourced from a conservative lender with over 40 years experience that Loanpad’s CEO has been working with for over 12 years
  • Loanpad takes a senior tranche position over lender on every loan
  • Borrower invests between 25% – 50% of own capital into each loan
  • Loan-to-values are low
  • Loanpad is well funded and is expected to be profitable in a shorter time period

* Based on demand and supply under normal market conditions

Thumbs Down
  • Only one initial lending source until platform grows
  • Lower annual return rates
  • Some cash drag occurs due to £10 min reinvestment
  • All eggs in the property development basket
  • Auto Lend can only be paid into one account type (not good for those who use Classic and Premier at the same time)
  • New peer to peer lending company so no track record

It’s early days but I believe Loanpad is a good offering if you want a lower risk peer to peer lending product that pays daily interest.

Read more below in my exclusive Loanpad review.

Alternative Companies

Landbay, Octopus Choice

Loanpad Review: My experiences so far…

I made my first investment through Loanpad in January 2019, a few weeks after launch. My money was received quickly and was invested in about 24 hours. I invested through both the Classic and Premier accounts. I’ve been receiving interest payments daily and everything has been running smoothly.

What Is A Loanpad?

Loanpad is a peer to peer lending company that sources property development loans from its trusted lending source whom CEO Louis Schwartz has been working with for over 12 years. Loanpad offers two auto-invest products that pay interest daily. All investments are property backed with low loan-to-values with the loan borrower investing a minimum of 25% of its own funds into each loan.

Loanpad, in my opinion, is in the lowest peer to peer lending risk tier.

How Can I Contact Loanpad?

Email: support@loanpad.com
Live chat available on the website
Tel:0203 829 4541

When Did Loanpad Launch?

January 2019

Are They Regulated?

Yes, by the Financial Conduct Authority #741576 under full permissions granted May 5th, 2018. Investments made through Loanpad are not covered under the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).

FCA regulation is nothing like the FSCS, which covers consumers when they deposit money in banks. The FCA reports to the UK government and has the ability to pursue criminal action against companies which violate its standards and codes of conduct.

Who Can Open An Account?

Any person 18 years or older who has a UK bank account and can pass the verification checks. If you live in a foreign country and you have a UK bank account, you can apply.

Can I Open An Account Under A Company?

Yes, Loanpad accepts company accounts.

What’s The Signup Process Like?

Loanpad runs the usual anti-money laundering checks. I was able to open my account in a few minutes. I found the verification and account opening process to be quick and simple. Overseas investors are welcome but they must have a UK bank account.

What’s The Minimum Deposit / Investment?

Minimum deposit: £10
Minimum Investment: £10 and multiples of £10

How Are Deposits Made?

Via bank transfer only. Transfers only occur on non-holiday business days.

Does Loanpad Offer An Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA)?

Loanpad offers an IFISA wrapper that can be used for both its investment products.

What Types Of Lending Products And Accounts Are Offered?

Loanpad offers two extremely simple lending products:

Classic Account: This is designed to operate like an easy access product that allows you to withdraw your money on request. It’s very important to understand this product isn’t like your high street bank. Withdrawal availability is always based on market conditions and is never guaranteed. The Classic Account pay lowers interest than the Premier Account.

Premier Account: This is a 60-day access product that pays higher interest than the Classic Account. Again, the ability to exit is based on demand and supply.

Both investing products automatically spread your money across all the property development loans on the platform.

When you have money in your Cash account, withdrawal requests are usually processed in one business day but can take up to three business days. You can now use the auto withdraw feature which occurs once per month on a date of your choosing.

How Much Gross Annual Interest Are Lenders’ Paid?

Classic Account: 4%
Premier 60 Day Access Account: 5%

Is Interest Paid Immediately Or When the Loan Starts?

Interest accrues once it is invested into the Classic or Premier accounts. Interest does not accrue on the money inside your Cash account.

When Is Interest Paid?

Interest is paid daily at 12pm.

Is There A Secondary Market

Sort of. You can request to exit from the Classic account anytime and from the Premier account with 60 days notice. Exit availability depends on demand and supply. If you want to exit, there has to be someone willing to take your loans.

Loanpad provides an exit estimation on the main investor dashboard under My Loanbook > Live Date Feed:

Loanpad review

Am I Lending To Loanpad Or The Borrower?

Loanpad is a true peer to peer lending company so you’re loaning money directly to borrowers rather than to Loanpad the company.

What Are The Fees?

Loanpad doesn’t directly charge investors fees but it does take a small margin from borrowers interest payments.

If you need to withdraw early from the 60-day Premier account, Loanpad charges up to 0.5% of the amount you’re withdrawing. They are hoping to reduce this fee to 0.2% in future.

How Much Time Will I Need To Spend Managing My Investments?

Loanpad now offers auto lend reinvestment so you won’t need to spend any time managing your investment.

How Long Are The Investment Terms?

Classic account: None
Auto-invest: 60-Day notice

Does Loanpad Offer Auto Reinvestments Or Withdraw?

Yes to both. The auto lend feature automatically reinvests your interest and capital payments. The payments are sent to your Cash account until there is £10 balance, at which point the money is reinvested into the account type of your choice. This £10 balance will soon be reduced to £1 making reinvesting faster for those with lower investment balances.

If you use both  account types you can only choose one account type for reinvestment:

Loanpad review

Loan pad also offers monthly auto withdraw where you can set which date the payment is made into your designated bank account:

Loanpad review

What Security Does Loanpad Lend Against?

Loanpad secures each loan as the senior debt holder on the property it loans money against. Loanpad’s loan-to-values (ltv’s) are much lower than other peer to peer lending companies:

If valuations are accurate, the lower the ltv’s, the lower the loan risk.

What Are The Loan Default / Loss Rates?

As of July 2019, Loanpad has zero defaults and losses.

What Are The Main Risks?

Company Failure: This is a risk with every peer to peer lending company, especially ones with smaller loan books. If their business model fails, investors could lose part or all of their investments although it’s more likely they would lose some of their investment.

Economic downturn: Loanpad has yet to experience a severe downturn in the economy. If a downturn were to occur, Loanpad might experience higher borrower default rates.

Valuation issues: Some peer to peer companies have struggled to obtain accurate RICS property valuations. If the valuations are incorrect and the property defaults, there may be a shortfall in recovery amounts.

Borrower defaults: If borrowers stop making loan payments, a default process is put into motion. Property default recovery can be lengthy, sometimes running into years.

Is There A Provision Fund?

Loanpad has a small Interest Cover Fund (ICF) to help cover any interest payments that missed due to borrower late payment or default. It’s important to know that this fund only covers interest payments and not the actual money you have invested inside a loan.

The ICF is really just an added bonus. Because the loan borrower has significant skin in the game, therefore reducing the loan-to-values, provision funds such as the ICF become far less important.

What Happens If Loanpad Goes Out Of Business?

Loanpad has an agreement with a third party service provider to manage all loan agreements so interest payments are maintained. All monies in investor Cash accounts are ringfenced inside a Barclays UK account.

Though unlikely, there are many unknowns that can occur when a peer to peer company goes out of business. As with any investment, be aware you could lose part or all of your capital (part is far more likely than all).

LOANPAD THUMBS UP

Two Simple Investing Products

Loandpad is very easy to use as it offers two simple products with a £10 minimum investment. Just select the Classic or Premier account (or use them both) and off you go. You can even transfer money between the two products.

Interest Paid Daily Into Your Account

Loanpad is the only peer to peer lending company I know of that pays daily interest. This is great for people who are looking for income generation investments. 

Your Funds Are Automatically Diversified Across All Loans

When you invest money into either the Classic or Premier accounts, your money is automatically spread across all loans on the platform. The amounts are weighted versus the size of the loan.

As of May 2019, 8% of my total investment was equally placed into each of the 17 live loans.

Some new investors have told me that their funds aren’t equally invested across all loans. The longer you remain invested, the more diversified your investment will become.

CEO’s Legal Background In Property Development

Loanpad’s CEO and founder, Louis Schwartz, is a lawyer who has worked on property development deals for most of his career. This means he has a deep understanding of how loans should be structured and administered. This should bode well if any of the loans fall past due.

Loans Are Sourced From A Conservative Lender With Over 40 Years Experience

Loanpad’s primary lending source (Handf) is a family owned lending business established in the 1980’s, with hundreds of deals under their belt. Handf keeps loan to value ratio’s at a sensible level, only lends to developments located in places they understand.

Louis has worked on the legal Handf’s property deals for over 12 years.

Loanpad Has A Senior Tranche Position On Loans

This is a very big plus for investors as it reduces risk. Loanpad’s tranche position comes before the lender. This means if a loan were to fall into trouble, Loanpad would legally be in the first position to be repaid after the recovery process.

Loandpad’s Lender Invests Between 25-50% Of Its Own Money Into Each Loan

Another big plus for investors that reduces risk. Since Loanpad’s lending source invests its own money into each loan, the loan-to-value ratio is reduced considerably. Also when the lender has skin in the game, they have more to lose and will be more inclined to chose sensible development projects in order to protect the investment.

Loan To Values Are Lower (LTV’S)

Currently, the highest loan-to-value in my portfolio is 46%. These ltv’s are much lower than other development loans I have invested through other companies. When the ltv is low, the risk is lower providing the valuation are sensible which I believe they are.

Loanpad Is Well Funded And Expected To Be Profitable In A Shorter Time Period

Companies need to make a profit in order to survive long-term. Loanpad is well funded by outside investors for continued growth. Since Loanpad doesn’t underwrite their development loans, their expenses are much lower so Louis estimates running at profitable levels in a period of months rather than years.

LOANPAD THUMBS DOWN:

Only One Initial Lending Source

Since Loanpad is a newer company, they are using one loan source until the platform grows. Whilst understandable, if something happens to Loanpad’s lender, this presents investment risk. I fully expect Loanpad to continue growing and source loans from its other lenders.

Lower Annual Returns

Since Loanpad offers a low risk peer to peer lending product, lower returns are to be expected. Loanpad’s returns are on par with Assetz Captial’s QAA and 60 Day accounts, Landbay and Octopus Choice.

Many readers have asked me if I think Loanpad is safer than Landbay. I believe Loanpad is on par with Landbay except Landbay has been in operation for several years giviging it the slight safety edge over Loanpad. However, you cannot achieve the same interest rates on Landbay as you can Loanpad so with some extra risk comes extra reward.

All Eggs In Property Development And Bridging Loan Basket

Due to Brexit, there is a level of uncertainty regarding UK property investing. Since Loanpads’s products are tied only to property developments and bridging loans, this can be seen as a downside. You can lessen some risk by investing through other non-property based peer to peer companies.

Auto Lend Options

Loanpad launched its auto lend feature in July 2019 which is great. There are a few quirks with the feature but I have a feeling these will be fixed as time passes.

One such quirk is there is a £10 minimum reinvestment so until you have £10 in your cash account, your funds won’t be invested. This £10 minimum will be soon be reduced to £1 which is great news.

Secondly, if like me you use both account types, you can’t have payments from those accounts go back into those two accounts. For example, if you want your Classic Account repayments to go back into the Classic Account and your Premier Account repayments to go into your Premier Account, you can’t. Loanpad only allows you to choose one account type for reinvestment. Not a big deal but worth mentioning.

Cash Drag

Since there’s a £10 minimum for reinvestment, some cash drag occurs. Cash drag is where money sits idly by earning no interest. The £1 minimum investment amount will fix this issue soon.

New Peer To Peer Lending Company

There’s always some extra risk when investing in a new peer to peer investing company. One of the biggest issues with peer to peer lending is defaults and there’s no default recovery history within Loanpad. One would hope Loanpad will remain default free but if defaults occur, Louis’s legal background should help soften the blow.


My Strategy

Loanpad is so simple it doesn’t require a strategy. I mixed my investments between the Classic and Premium accounts. I’ve received my daily interest payments as promised. So far so good.

Loanpad Review Conclusion

Loanpad offers two lower risk peer to peer lending products that anyone can use as part of a diversified lending portfolio. After meeting with CEO Lous Schwartz several times, I’m comfortable with Loanpad’s business model. I love the fact that Louis has extensive legal knowledge and experience in real estate lending.

I also like that Louis has a long-term relationship with Loanpad’s lending source Handf and other lending sources.

I’m very happy the auto lend feature has been introduced and I’ll be even happier when the minimum reinvestment amount is reduced from £10 to £1 to reduce cash drag for those with smaller account balances.

Loanpad’s low loan to values and conservative approach to peer to peer lending make it place I’m happy to park my money.

 


Click here to sign up for a free Loanpad account and receive up to £150 cashback. (See the terms and conditions on sign up page. When you open an account through my website, it helps me to continue to operate and offer new reviews).

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Disclaimers: This Loanpad review is completely unbiased and I am 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. 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 Loanpad review is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as investment advice. Opinions expressed in this Loanpad review are only opinions based on my own personal experiences. As with any financial investment, peer to peer lending involves risks and it’s possible to lose money so never invest more than you can afford to lose. If you are unsure about investing, it is advisable to consult a financial professional **

 

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Overall Rating:
73 %
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Laurence
I'm the author of Financial Thing and a regular peer to peer lender who was begrudgingly forced to figure out his financial life. Now I have a passion for helping others figure out what took me years to learn.