Lending Crowd Review (UK Lender)
(4 / 5)
– Updated September 2018
Read my 100% unbiased Lending Crowd review here. Based on my own investing experience. Highlighting the positives and negatives of investing with one of the UK’s up and coming peer to peer lenders.
Landing Crowd – is a medium size Peer to Peer – Peer to Business (P2P/P2B) lender. Providing loans to businesses around the UK, they have a unique focus. Lending Crowd are the only P2P lender based in Edinburgh, Scotland, focusing on loans to Scottish businesses.
Offering higher returns (up to 8% on the Self Select Account) on business loans, many (but not all) of which are secured. Lending Crowd are growing. With great customer service and an average of around 20 new loans per month. They have a unique offering that I enjoy investing in.
Obvious Investor Easy-Info Table
|Overall Rating*:||(4 / 5)|
|Who can invest:|
|Estimated Return:||5.6% to 8.0% depending on account.|
|My Actual Return:||7.57%|
|Risk Rating*:||5/10 - Medium|
|Early Exit:||Yes. Loans can be sold.
1% fee on auto invest accounts.
0.50% on self select and ISA under normal market conditions.
|Min. Investment:||£100 minimum deposit. £20 per loan minimum investment.|
Manual select and auto bid.
|Loan Security:||Yes (not all).
Some director guaranteed, some secured on assets.
|Time to Invest:||Medium.
Around 20 new loans per month.
Loans can also be purchased on secondary market.
|Time to Mange:||None (auto-invest). Medium (self select).|
|Lender Fees:||1% all accounts|
|Amount Lent:||£40m +|
|Number of Investors:||6000+|
|Loan/Dflt Stats:||Click Here for Stats|
|Cashback**:||Yes! £50 Cashback! Click here for further information.|
|How to Sign Up**:||Sign Up Here!|
* My opinions on ratings and risk rating factors refer to my personal experiences with the lender. Plus factual data such as interest rates, loan types, security, platform history, default numbers etc.
**Please read our referral policy for more information on referrals & affiliate links.
Lending Crowd were launched in 2014 in Scotland. In the 4 or so years they have been in business, they have lent in excess of £40 million from over 6,000 active investors. Remember when investing in P2P businesses, your capital is always at risk. There is no government backed insurance such as the FDIC in the US or FCSC in the UK to protect your capital.
I have only been investing with Lending Crowed for a short while. They are one of the few lenders left that still offer a loan auction. So we can bid on loans in order to get the best rates. I actually enjoy watching how other people bid on loans. I like bidding at the last minute to get the best possible rate on a loan.
Lending Crowd provide good loan information on their website. So we can make an educated decision on how much to lend. And what interest rate we would like for the risk we are taking with the Manual Self Select Account.
You can see what levels other investors are bidding at. So you can see what rate the bulk of the loan money is sitting at, then place your own bid.
I usually find when I manual bid the loans, I can get around 1% more than the average rate achieved for the loan. Honestly it’s become as much of a game as an investment. However I do have quite a bit of capital invested, and over the last few weeks, I’ve been able to diversify in to over 270 loans, with no more than 0.50% of my capital invested in any one loan. So sticking to the “Prime Directive” with diversification is easy to achieve.
If you don’t have the time, or don’t want to manually invest, Lending Crowd do have two auto-invest accounts you can use:
The Growth Account with a target rate of 6%. And the Income Account with a target rate of 5.6%. Neither account has any fixed term, however they do charge a 1% withdrawal fee when you want to withdraw your money. I do need to point out here though that there is a 0.50% fee for early exit of loans in the Self Select Account too. If you keep the loans until maturity though there is no exit fee.
If you like the idea of higher rates, plus the lower fee, the Manual Self Select Account does have an auto-bid feature which will automatically place bids on new loans at a predetermined rate for you:
This way it’s almost like auto-investing, however you control the interest rate you want to get, and also the diversification level you want.
Overall I think Lending Crowd is a great company and I hope they keep on growing as they have done so far. I like their friendly, helpful customer service. And the stream of good loans which coming through. I really hope that they don’t take away the Manual Self Select Account (as some of the other P2P lenders have), as this enables me to get the very best interest rates, and it gives me something to do in the morning 🙂
Click here to open an account New Customers receive £50 cashback when they join Lending Crowd and invest £2000 or more. When you open an account using this link it helps me to run this website and write new reviews. Please read our referral policy for more info.
THUMBS UP POINTS FOR LENDING CROWD
- Unique Diversification – focusing on business in Scotland it can give you options outside of London, enabling you to diversify more.
- Auto-Invest –there are auto-invest accounts if you don’t want to self select.
- Auto-Bid – if you can spend a little bit of time managing your investments, then using the auto-bid feature should reap you a better return than the auto-invest accounts, plus no exit fee if you keep the loans until maturity.
- Manual Bid – you can get higher interest rates if you have time to watch the loans as they are live and place live bids.
- Website – very easy to use and understand.
- Diversification – if you use the Self Select Account, you can be sure that you adhere to the “Prime Directive” and diversify to your own comfort levels.
- Low minimum investment – £1000 to start. If your portfolio is still small, it’s still easy to invest with Lending Crowd.
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Regulated.
- IFISA available for UK investors.
THUMBS DOWN POINTS FOR LENDING CROWD
- No Provision Fund –target interest rates are based on an expected default rate. If rates exceed what is expected, returns could be less, or you could lose some or all of your capital.
- Smaller Company – with shorter track record, haven’t had to deal with a financial crisis yet, so we won’t know how they fair until the next one.
- Exit Fee – Lending Crowd charge a 1% exit fee plus any difference in interest rates for both iterations of their Auto-Invest accounts, and 0.05% for early exit from the Self Select Account.
- No Quick Access Account – depending on demand, you could have to wait a while to withdraw funds early.
RISK FACTOR – 5/10 – Medium
I consider Lending Crowd to be in the middle of the risk scale. Even taking in to consideration that some loans are secured, there is no Provision Fund. And they are still a young but growing company. I enjoy investing through Lending Crowd. I hope they continue on the road they are currently on. TrustPilot reviews give them an average rating. However it’s important to note that there are only 5 reviews, and the ones that really take the rating down is from a borrower that got turned down. For investors that’s a good thing as it shows they are being picky with who they lend our money to. On Feefo they have a much higher rating based on many more customers feedback.
WHO CAN INVEST WITH LENDING CROWD
It appears that only U.K. resident investors with a U.K. bank account and a U.K. address and phone number can invest with Lending Crowd. Contact Lending Crowd for further information.