In this post, you will find our list of the best Peer-to-Peer lending platforms in the UK in 2019, featuring pros and cons of each crowd investing platform.
Are you considering peer to peer lending and crowd investing in the UK? Below we have a list of the best peer to peer lending platforms in the UK, with options for investors living in the UK, but also for non-residents.
What is P2P lending?
Peer to peer lending is simply the practice of lending money to businesses or individuals through an online platform that matches the lender to a borrower. P2p platforms are basically the sites that connect the investor to the borrower and facilitates the transaction. In the UK, many people now prefer to use this method of raising funds as it cuts off intermediaries.
P2p platforms in the UK provide flexibility and convenience for the borrower and higher interest rates for the investor than the traditional finance institution would. Today, there are many peer-to-peer lending platforms in the UK providing all types of loans including personal loans, car loans, and even real estate loans.
How safe is Peer-to-peer Lending?
The safety of p2p lending varies across platforms. The immediate risk is the borrower is failing to pay back your money, also known as defaulting. However, this is not always an issue. Many p2p platforms provide different levels of guarantees; you just have to ensure your investment is covered.
Best peer to peer lending sites in the UK
This is our list of the best p2p lending sites in the UK available in 2019:
The House Crowd
The House Crowd is a p2p and crowd investing platform based in Manchester, UK. It has been in operation since 2011. It offers both equity-based (joint venture profit share model) and debt-based investments. The platform has an average return of 9.2%.
The House Crowd Pros
- Competitive rates of interest
- Multiple investment types
- Easy to use Auto Invest functionality.
The House Crowd Cons
- Minimum £1000 investment.
Property Partner is a real estate crowdfunding platform based in London, UK. It started operations in 2015 and it deals with property all around the UK, usually in close proximity to large cities. The platform offers investment opportunities in both commercial and residential property making it easy to diversify your portfolio.
The platform has an average of 7.3% annual return since inception. It also has a resale market where investors can sell their holdings at a discount or a premium.
Property Partner Pros
- It is open to international investors
- Large real estate portfolio to diversify your investment
Property Partner Cons
- The platform only offers investments in real estate around the UK only.
Zopa is the oldest and one of the largest p2p lending platform in the UK as it has been operating since 2005. It can be described as the creator of peer to peer lending as we know it today. In 2017, Zopa became the first UK based to lend more than £2 billion worth of loans.
The platform has an easy registration process and easy to use platform. Currently, they are offering three products with 3.5%, 4.5% to 6.5% p/a returns. Zopa is expecting to open a bank later this year.
- Long history of successful lending – Zopa has been in operation for more than 14 years and they are therefore more experienced than other platforms.
- Diversity – the platform has a huge loan book to diversify your portfolio
- Lower returns than most competitors
RateSetter is one of the leading p2p lending platforms in the UK. It was founded in 2009 and it is headquartered in London. The platform is also known for introducing the ‘Provision Fund’ (An internal fund that protects lenders from defaulting loans) to p2p lending.
Currently, the platform offers three products: the rolling market offering up to 2.8% annualized rate, the 1-year market providing up to 3.7% return and the 5-year market with up to 5.1% annualized rate. Since its inception, the platform has facilitated over £2 billion worth of loans.
- Large amount of loans- this makes faster investment of your money possible
- Provision fund – the coverage has performed well in the past years. The platform provides open data on current coverage and expected performance in future
- Returns are below market average.
- High early sellout fees for longer investment products
Funding Circle is one of the largest peer-to-peer lending platforms in the UK having lent over £5billion to 49,000 plus UK businesses. Currently it also operates in the US, Germany and the Netherlands. It was launched in August 2010, and like Zopa and Ratesetter, it is trusted due to its established track record.
As an investor, you can manually choose the businesses that you want to invest in or use the Autobid feature to spread the money across 100 businesses. The platform promises a 5.5% – 6.5% annual return. However, the investment is not covered, hence greater risk.
Funding Circle Pros
- Easy to diversify across many loans
- Loans are secured by business assets
Funding Circle Cons
- No provision fund to shield investors from the risk of defaulting loans
How much can you earn on peer to peer investing platforms in the UK?
The amount you can earn on peer-to-peer lending platforms varies due to a wide range of factors. In some cases, the returns are subject to taxation, unless it is an IFISA (Innovative Finance ISA) investment that lets you use your tax-free allowance in p2p lending.
The platform may also charge a transaction fee or maintenance fees. It is also important to factor in the withdrawal and depositing charges usually charged by your bank. Returns also depend on the type of loan, the risk involved, the issuer among other factors.
Other Crowd Investing Resources
For those looking for other similar peer to peer platforms to invest, you may want to read some of our other reviews. There are many peer to peer lending and investing platforms currently available, and you can diversify your interest income by using several of them simultaneously.
You can consider some other peer to peer companies checking our Property Partner review and our The House Crowd Review.
For those considering investing outside of the UK, we also offer great content. Check our post on the best peer 2 peer lending platforms in Europe, and the best real estate crowdfunding platforms in Europe.
Are you already investing in UK peer to peer lending or in any other crowd investing platform? Leave your thoughts and questions about this list of the best peer to peer lending platforms in the UK below.