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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Peer to Peer Lending - Ratesetter and getting your Money Back!

This is a big issue for those of us ‘PRENDERS’ who started stashing lots of money in platforms like Ratesetter and Funding Circle but who now want to shift some of it into higher interest sites such as Saving Stream, Funding Secure or Money Thing.  The technical term for this issue is LIQUIDITY (how easy is it to cash in your investment?).

Ratesetter Sellout?

About a year ago I put around 50% of my PtPL money into the Ratesetter 5 year market at around 6.0%. I’ve now turned off further investment so my Holding Account receives a few hundred pounds a month that I can reinvest elsewhere.  In practice ‘Sellout’, the Ratesetter term for cashing all or part of your investment early, carries too heavy a penalty to make it worthwhile to cash in, except in an extreme emergency.

Secondary Markets    

However, Funding Circle has a Secondary Market so you can offer some of your loans for sale, at any time, at a premium (or discount) according how attractive the rates are.

It is really ‘Horses for Courses’.  Ratesetter is relatively safe but paying the rate for a five year loan means five years or a penalty.

With Funding Circle you bid for the rate and can then sell your loans at any time.  However your 5 year rate on Ratesetter is protected while on Funding circle the final interest rate you achieve depends on how many defaults you have and how much cash is subsequently recovered.

Liquidity in Asset-based high interest platforms

If you put money into some of the high interest platforms like Saving Stream, or Money Thing (both pay 12%), the terms are short, typically 6 – 12 months, and there is also secondary market making them relatively ‘liquid’.  Of course, these newer platforms also carry greater risk in spite of being secured against assets.  Currently it is very easy to sell loans but hard to buy.  Future events could easily change that.

‘What happens in a future financial crisis?’

Clearly you then have a much better chance of eventually getting your money back from Ratesetter than some of the other platforms.


The sensible solution appears to be a portfolio of platforms/loans with the most money in platforms like Ratesetter/Funding Circle and a smaller amount invested in a basket of high interest platforms (if you want some excitement!)

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