Is RateSetter safe? Is RateSetter a good investment? Read my unbiased RateSetter review to find out! Based on my own ongoing Peer to Peer investing experience with one of the UK’s largest & safest Peer to Peer Lenders. Offering both taxable standard accounts, and the tax efficient RateSetter ISA. I think they should be part of any Peer to Peer investment portfolio.
– RateSetter Review Updated February 2019
RateSetter is one of the largest and (what I consider to be) best and safest P2P platforms out there. They offer a hands-off investment experience with reasonable return for the risk. You simply set the rate you are willing to accept and wait until the market rate gets there. Or you accept the market rate and get a very quick investment. I really like RateSetter. One reason is because it’s possible to invest a significant amount of capital quite quickly. RateSetter’s loan book is huge!
My Actual RateSetter Returns, Account Growth & Income
See consolidated returns for all lenders here
The Obvious Investor – Easy-Info Table – RateSetter Review
Overall Rating*: (4.4 / 5) Who can invest: Estimated Return: 3.4% to 6.2%
Varies daily depending on account and market demand.
RateSetter Advertised Average Rates for March:
1 Year: 4.9%
5 Year: 6.0%
(Correct as of 1st March 2019)
My Actual Return (Per Lender): 5.50% My Calculated XIRR 4.76% Risk Rating*: 2/10 - Medium Early Exit: Yes.
No fee on Rolling Market Account.
0.3% on 1 year.
1.0% on 3 year.
1.5% on 5 year.
Min. Investment: £10 Deposit Funds: UK bank account 1-24 hours.
Debit card - usually same day.
Auto Invest: Yes Manual Invest: No.
However you can set your own rate as opposed to market rate.
Lending To: Borrowers Loan Types: Various types of consumer, business & property Loans. Default Rates: Bad debt at 2.32%, against an estimated rate of 3.41%. Loans Amortize: Yes Loan Security: Both secured and unsecured. Provision Fund: Yes Time to Invest: Fast: huge loan book. Time to Mange: None (auto-invest) Lender Fees: Only on early exit. Payments Received: Monthly. Various times. Amount Lent: £2.7 billion+ Number of Investors: 67,000+ Loan/Dflt Stats: Click Here for Stats Regulated: Yes: FCA Location: London, UK Launched: 2010 Website: https://www.ratesetter.com Email: [email protected]tesetter.com Telephone: 0203 1426226 (UK) IFISA/IRA: Yes: IFISA Click here for more information Cashback**: Yes! New investor offer: £50 bonus when you invest £500+
or £150 bonus when you invest £10,000+ for a year.
Ts & Cs apply. Click here for more info.
How to Sign Up**: Sign Up Here!
RateSetter’s holding company, Retail Money Market Ltd, was founded in October 2009 in London. In the 10 or so years they have been in business, RateSetter has lent upward of £2.7 billion to almost 500,000 borrowers. Their active investors total over 67,000. They have originated almost 600,000 loans with an average loan term of 26 months.
In November 2014, RateSetter opened in Sydney, Australia as the first peer-to-peer lending platform in the country open to retail customers.
By December 2017, RateSetter announced that over AU$200m had been lent via the platform.
RateSetter (AKA Retail Money Market Ltd.) is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with full permissions under FCA number 722768. They gained FCA permissions in October, 2017. It’s important to note that the FCA is not the same as the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), so capital is not protected as it would be in a bank.
Opening an account with RateSetter is fairly simple. Just the usual ID & anti money-laundering checks. If they can verify you though one of the UK’s credit agencies, you will be approved immediately. If not, you may need to send them a copy of your passport or driving license, and a utility bill or bank statement. Residents of any European country can signup with RateSetter, however you will need UK bank account details. If you don’t have a UK bank account, see my TransferWise Borderless Account review for more information on how it may be possible to get UK banking details if you’re not a UK resident.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Deposits and withdrawals are made by bank transfer from a UK bank, or a UK debit card. From a bank account, deposits usually show up in your account the same or next working day, depending on what time of day you make the deposit. Debit card deposits are typically the same day also. Withdrawals are only to a verified bank account and typically take 1 – 3- business days.
Time to Become Invested
Time to invest with RateSetter depends on the rate you are willing to accept. If you take the current market rate, investment can be almost instantaneous. If you want to set your own rate, then it depends on what rate you set, and when/if rates get to that rate. You can also set up an “auto-invest” instruction that tells RateSetter to debit your bank account and invest a set amount each month which is great for hands-off investing.
Who are we lending to?
RateSetter is a true Peer to Peer Platform. Lenders are lending directly to borrowers. The lender just acts as a middle man, managing loans, payments and debt collection etc. RateSetter provides loans to consumers for personal loans, debt consolidation, car finance, home improvement, wedding loans, secured and unsecured property loans and holiday loans among others. RateSetter also provides secured and unsecured business loans.
Borrowers can apply for a loan for between 6 and 60 months. RateSetter has strict lending criteria, accepting between 12 and 15 per cent of borrower applications.
RateSetter loans are mostly unsecured personal loans to credit-worthy borrowers. There are a few business and property loans that have asset security.
RateSetter provides a large amount of statistic data here. Current lifetime loss rates currently stand at 2.32%, against an estimated rate of 3.41%.
Generally RateSetter loans all amortize. Amortization is the paying off of debt with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over time. Amortization reduces the risk of the loan compared to a non-amortizing loan in which nothing is received until the end of the loan period, or only interest is received monthly, and then the capital repaid at the end of the loan period.
If you list the loans that your capital is invested in on the RateSetter website, you can see that both capital and interest are being repaid.
Selling Loans and Withdrawing Capital
RateSetter charges fees for early exit on their loans from 1 to 5 years. Rolling market loans can be exited at no cost. The fees are as follows: Rolling Market no fee, 0.3% on 1 year, 1.0% on 3 year and 1.5% on 5 year.
RateSetter does not split your loans across multiple Borrowers. Their Provision Fund is there to mitigate the risk of individual Borrowers defaulting – if a Borrower fails to pay, then the Provision Fund steps in to compensate the Lender. Every Borrower on RateSetter has contributed to the Fund: this means that there should be no reason to diversify your loans, because the risk of default is already diversified across all the Borrowers and has accumulated in the Provision Fund. You will often find that you do have multiple loans or contracts as your money is matched in the normal course of things, but there is no reason to actively manage your savings to seek out multiple Borrowers.
How reliable is RateSetter’s Provision Fund? RateSetter’s Provision Fund is well capitalised. As you would expect, the size of their largest potential single loan is in direct proportion to the capitalisation of the Fund: RateSetter states that they wouldn’t allow the Fund to become overly reliant on any single Borrower. The most important thing is that they are finding the right kind of people, who are creditworthy, reliable and can afford their monthly repayments. RateSetter currently declines over 85% of the applications made for this reason. An unfortunate fact is that RateSetter will have the occasional default as circumstances change: at this point the Provision Fund will be there to protect the Lender.
RateSetter was the first company to introduce the concept of a “Provision Fund” to reimburse lenders in the event of a late payment or default. This is a capital sum (over £29,000,000 as of October 2018), generated by borrowers’ payment of a fee based on their credit profile. As of October 2018, RateSetter claims that none of its individual investors have ever lost any money.
RateSetter offers an Innovative Finance ISA (RateSetter ISA) which was launched in Febuary 2018 for UK residents.
RateSetter is based on the principle of an exchange. Price is determined by the supply of money from lenders, and demand for money from borrowers. With both sides of the market specifying the rate they will accept.
They have 3 different account options. The “Rolling Market” which is a lower rate option, however (under normal market conditions) offers almost instant access to your capital with no penalty for withdrawal. Their “1 Year Market” offers a reasonable “mid rate return” for loan terms of up to 1 year with a small 0.3% penalty for withdrawal . The “5 Year Market” portfolio offers the best interest rates for loans of up to 5 years duration but there is a larger penalty of 1.5% for withdrawing your money before the 5 years is up.
RateSetter’s website is extremely easy to use. Once you log in to your account, the initial screen gives you a breakdown of your investments and where money is sitting.
If you choose the “invest” option from the left hand column, you’ll get a screen which gives you the available options of which account you would like to invest in, and the current rates.
Choose which account your would like to invest in, then how much and at what rate and your done. It’s as simple as that! Of course you’ll need to add funds to your account first.
The last thing is to tell RateSetter if you would like to reinvest loan repayments, and if so at what rate, and you’re done. Kick back and watch your money grow!
RateSetter continues to be one of my favorite Peer to Peer lenders. I have a good chunk of my diversified portfolio with them. Reasonable rates (as of October 2018 I’ve seen the 5 year rates reaching about 6.5%) and a good Provision Fund from one of the larger, safer P2P companies. I have no hesitation recommending RateSetter as part of a diversified portfolio.
Thumbs Up Points for RateSetter
Safety – Is RateSetter Safe? They are thought to be one of the safest P2P lenders in the U.K. To date, no P2P lender has lost any of their capital, and the RateSetter provision fund always seems to cover a good percentage of possible losses.
Auto-Invest – means virtually no time managing investments. Just send your money over, decide what rate you would like (or accept the market rate). Then sit back and watch the interest come in.
Rolling Market – should you need to access your money quickly, the rolling market is a great way to achieve more than double what the best savings account will give you. However you still have almost instant access to your cash under normal market conditions.
Good Rates – from a company that has lent over £2.5 billion with zero lender capital loss. The ability to get almost 6% (as of 15/09) is not too bad at all.
Website – RateSetter’s website is very easy to use and understand.
Fast Invest – depending on the rate you choose, investing in RateSetter can be very fast indeed (few minutes).
Large Investments – because RateSetter’s loan book is so big, it can easily gobble up large amounts of capital very quickly. Again reducing cash drag for larger investors.
£10 minimum investment – if your portfolio is still small, it’s still easy to invest with RateSetter.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Regulated.
IFISA available for UK investors – The RateSetter peer to peer isa is available to UK Peer to Peer Investors.
Thumbs Down Points for RateSetter
Exit Fees in Longer Term Portfolios – this can be seen as a bit of a negative, but where else can you get almost 6% and still be able to get out in an emergency?
Unsecured Loans – many (but not all) of the RateSetter loans are unsecured loans given to individuals or businesses, so if things were to go bad, you don’t have any collateral. In theory the Provision Fund should take care of defaults, so this shouldn’t matter. In practice though, no one will no how this works until we go though another financial crisis.
Risk Factor – 2/10 – Low
Are RateSetter loans safe? How Safe is RateSetter? I consider RateSetter to be on the lower end of the risk scale. You can also see by the TrustPilot reviews above that so do many other people. RateSetter could get a higher rating except for the fact that many of RateSetter loans are unsecured. In most market conditions this is irrelevant because of their provision fund, but in a severe recession it could come in to play as it is much more difficult to collect on unsecured loans if the provision fund were to become depleted. Either way, I have no worries about investing a significant portion of my income portfolio with RateSetter.
Who Can Invest with RateSetter?
Residents of any European country can signup with RateSetter, however you will need UK bank account details. If you don’t have a UK bank account, see my TransferWise Borderless Account review for more information on how it may be possible to get UK banking details if you’re not a UK resident.
Offers & Signup Links**
New Customers receive £100 RateSetter cashback when they join RateSetter and invest £1000 or more for 1 year using links here on obviousinvestor.com
** I may be an investor with any company on this site (I only review companies I invest with so I can provide an honest evaluation based on my own experience & actual returns). If you click on an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission, at absolutely no cost to you. It helps me to run this website and continue to offer new reviews and updates. Please read my Disclaimer before making investment decisions.
* My opinions on ratings and risk rating factors refer to my personal experiences with a company or account. Including factual data such as interest rates, loan types, security, platform history, default numbers etc.
** I may be an investor with any company on this site (I only review companies I invest with so I can provide an honest evaluation based on my own experience & actual returns). If you click on an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission, at absolutely no cost to you. It helps me to run this website and continue to offer new reviews and updates.
Please read my Disclaimer before making investment decisions.