Lendermarket Review Summary
Lendermarket is an Estonian-based and in Ireland registered P2P marketplace controlled by Creditstar. Lendermarket aims to raise as much funds as possible to fund Creditstar's loan portfolio.
Main takeaways from our Lendermarket review:
- Unreliable buyback guarantee
- Confusing terms
- Pending payments
- No performance-oriented data
- Frequent changes in management
Due to the latest developments concerning Lendermarket, we don't encourage our readers to deposit funds on this platform. The risk and return ratio isn't correct.
What Is Lendermarket?
Lendermarket is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending marketplace that lists short-term loans between 30 days and 53 months and interest between 9% and 16% per annum. A 60-day buyback guarantee secures all loans.
The minimum deposit is only 10€, and you can diversify your investments across seven countries. Learn more about this P2P lending platform in our latest Lendermarket review.
- High cashback bonuses
- High-interest rates of up to 16% p.a.
- No secondary market
- Limited diversification
- Many delayed loans are being extended up to 6 times
- €50 minimum withdrawal amount
- Pending payments
- Unavailable funds can be reinvested
Lendermarket In Numbers
Before investing in any P2P lending platform, you should look at the platform's statistics.
Lendermarket was founded in 2019. Since then, the platform has not been able to provide performance-oriented statistical data.
Lendermarket is listing most of the loans from the Creditstar Group.
The portfolio performance of Creditstar's portfolio isn't being shared publicly. We can estimate that Creditstar's exposure to Lendermarket is around €40 million.
On Lendermarket's website, you can review outdated statistical information published as blog posts.
Be aware that Lendermarket isn't publicly sharing its loan book's performance with investors, nor does the platform provide live insights into its statistics.
The reason for this could be the poor performance of Creditstar's loans, which resulted in many loan extensions, essentially limiting investor funds' liquidity.
Lendermarket is following an aggressive bonus campaign to attract investors to join the platform and fund its loan book.
This can potentially cause unexpected high levels of risk as the leading company backing Lendermarket (Creditstar) is experiencing liquidity issues.
We do not suggest participating in Lendermarket's bonus campaign.
Risk & Return
Lendermarket follows a similar business model to P2P lending sites such as Bondster, IUVO, or Mintos.
The goal is to raise funds to fund the loan portfolio of Lendermarket's parent company Creditstar.
Like other P2P lending platforms, Lendermarket offers a buyback guarantee and a group guarantee for loans issued by its lenders.
Be aware that based on the feedback from investors and the changes in the platform's terms, we evaluate Lendermarket's buyback guarantee as unreliable.
If the borrower delays payment for more than 60 days, the loan originator will buy back your investment for the principal loan amount.
The truth is, however, that lenders on Lendermarket may extend the loans up to six times. Additionally, millions of investors' funds are likely in "pending payments" making Lendermarket's buyback guarantee essentially worthless.
Lendermarket's buyback guarantee does not come with significant benefits compared to other P2P lending platforms.
Note that most loans on Lendermarket are automatically extended up to six times.
If you have, therefore, invested in a 30-day consumer loan, chances are that your investment will be locked up to 240 days, which consists of 180 days of loan term + 60 days until the buyback is executed.
There is no secondary market on Lendermarket, meaning your liquidity is limited.
The diversification of your portfolio provides better protection than any buyback guarantee. This isn't, however, the case for investors with exposure to Lendermarket.
On Lendermarket, you can invest in the Estonian loan provider Creditstar Group, CREDORY, an Estonian lender issuing real-estate-backed business loans, and QuickCheck, a lending company from Nigeria.
If you wish to learn more about the listed lending partners, we suggest reviewing the documentation on Lendermarket's website under "Loan Originators."
Is Lendermarket Safe?
We looked at the team and read the terms and conditions of Lendermarket, and here is what we found.
Who leads the team?
Conor Gibney was announced as the new CEO in March 2023. His portrait picture is not available in the "About us" section of the platform's website.
Lendermarket announced in September 2023 that Carles Frederico Arnabat is now running the team behind Lendermarket.
The management team of Lendermarket is changing frequently, which is not a good sign for investors. Any important decision is made my Credistar, the main entity that controls Lendermarket.
Who owns the platform?
It's incredibly tough to find any information about the owners or shareholders of Lendermarket.
We had to read the entire document about platform rules to find out that Tauri Jaanson signed in as the director and Veiko Väli as a secretary.
Neither person shares information about their roles at Lendermarket on their LinkedIn profiles.
We requested further information from Lendermarket, and here is what we found out:
Who is the legal owner of Lendermarket?
SA Financial Investments OÜ owns Lendermarket Limited OÜ – an Estonian holding company that is, in turn, wholly owned by Mr. Aaro Sosaar - the CEO of Creditstar Group. He is the ultimate beneficial owner of Lendermarket Limited."
In short, Creditstar is making the decisions for Lendermarket. If you are unhappy with Creditstar's performance, then Lendermarket is not your platform.
A recorded interview with Mr Sosaar to address the platforms issues has not been accepted by Credistar.
Where can investors visit the offices of Lendermarket?
"Lendermarket's office is in Estonia, where the core team is located."
Again, we had to follow up to find the exact location.
"Lendermarket is sharing the office space with Creditstar on Lõõtsa 5, 11415 Tallinn."
What is the connection between Heimondo Limited and Lendermarket?
"Heimondo was the project name that the founding team of Lendermarket chose when the brand name was not decided. This team registered a company in Ireland called Heimondo Limited, which eventually was renamed Lendermarket Limited. In other words, Heimondo Limited was the legal entity's first name, and Lendermarket the new name it adopted."
Are there any suspicious terms and conditions?
According to clause 8.10, investors should do their due diligence about loan originators on Lendermarket. Also, investors accept that the Lendermarket does not question any information received from the loan originator.
This means the platform does not do much due diligence on the loan originators but accepts all data on an "as is" basis.
We reached out to Lendermarket and asked for a comment:
"As in every agreement, all parties have rights and obligations. The Rules of the Platform are no exception. All parties must conduct due diligence before entering the contract and throughout its duration. Lendermarket is committed to protecting investors' interests and carrying out due diligence in its operation; however, this is not incompatible with investors conducting the corresponding assessment of our financial service."
Like any other P2P lending site, the platform distances itself from any liability for loss in connection to investors' activities on the platform.
In case the platform presents inaccurate data, they aren't liable for it. As an investor, you invest based on information no one is responsible for.
Clause 18.3.2 is quite confusing. Here is Lendermarket's explanation:
"Clause 18.3.2 states that Lendermarket is not liable for the use the investors make with the content displayed on the website. Lendermarket is liable for the content on their website; however, it's not liable for the use users will do of it."
In 12.1, the platform explains that lenders might lose their money if the borrower does not repay the loan. This looks like it contradicts the buyback guarantee.
Do investors have access to individual loan agreements?
Verified investors do have access to loan agreements. You can view the PDF file when setting up your Auto Invest. We have reviewed the document, and here is what we found out.
Clause 3.3.4 - 3.3.5 Loan Agreement
Are you getting a headache when reading this? You are not alone. We asked Lendermarket to explain this to us.
Different clause, same response. The legal team could not find an answer to this.
Clause 6 - Loan Agreement
There is one positive aspect worth mentioning. Every investor can cancel their auto investments within 14 days of setting up their Auto Invest.
Note that you need to follow a specific process. This is one of the few aspects many P2P lending sites do not add to their loan agreements.
Other than this clause, the contract is very standardized.
Potential Red Flags
- Many investors are reporting continuous loan extensions, which is hurting investors' liquidity.
- Under the limited recourse loan agreement, section 3.3, the platform informs investors that if the loan originator does not receive loan repayments and the loan originator and borrower agree, the loan can be extended up to six times. Lendermarket is not publishing the performance of its loans under management. The platform informed us that in Q4/2022, Lendermarket started verifying balances (review of a sample) for previous periods. Several investors reported that most of their short-term loans from Creditstar are being systematically extended. This would indicate that the loan originator is categorically extending the loans without proof of actual request from the borrower. Lendermarket may be breaching its terms and conditions, severely impacting investors' liquidity. The platform promotes loans with a duration of 30 days, often extended to up to 240 days. The buyback guarantee is not being triggered as loans get automatically extended.
- It is unknown who leads the platform as the management is changing frequently.
- Creditstar is not updating investors about the performance of the loans; the lender is raising more funds via cashback campaigns.
- Lendermarket allows investors to invest "unavailable funds" into loans.
Learn more about possible red flags in our guide about how to avoid investing in P2P lending scams.
Our Opinion of Lendermarket
Lendermarket is a high-yielding platform mainly targeting investors with very high-risk appetites.
The platform doesn't provide any insight into its loan book portfolio, which makes it hard for investors to evaluate the current performance of the outstanding loan book.
Like many smaller P2P lending marketplaces, Lendermarket isn't profitable.
While the founder of Creditstar established Lendermarket, it aims to become a multi-lender platform, listing loans from other lending companies.
This seems more of a facade to act as if there is no conflict of interest. Lendermarket's due diligence of third-party lenders is questionable.
Still, investors can assume that Lendermarket is Creditstar's largest creditor.
Investors on Lendermarket don't have any insights into Lendermarket's due diligence or risk management processes, which means that you can't evaluate the platform's risk appetite.
Judging by the number of delayed loans from Creditstar, investors can quickly evaluate the risk of Lendermarket's largest loan originator, which is higher as the company struggles to repay investors' money on time.
According to our research, Lendermarket's investors haven't lost any money due to the platform's ability to introduce new terms that favor Creditstar's liquidity.
Those terms include loan extensions up to six times and the possibility to reinvest pending payments, which are essentially "unavailable funds."
Remember that the platform attracts new investors mainly thanks to its high interest rate and cashback bonuses rather than improved transparency or increased protection of investors' investments.
We don't suggest our readers to invest on this platform. Lendermarket is essentially just a marketing tool to attract new funds for Creditstar, which is not ready to share any insights with investors.
Since this short clip was published, the quality of Lendermarket has further deteriorated.
You can set up an Auto Invest or invest manually.
The Auto Invest allows you to set up the total amount of your automated portfolio and the maximum amount you are willing to invest into one loan. The minimum investment is €10.
You can also activate the option to reinvest your earned interest and invest multiple times in already invested loans.
Investing in already invested loans is not recommended, as this harms your diversification.
Furthermore, you can set up the loan interest and the loan term. Don't forget to include the countries and activate the buyback guarantee.
Read the loan and buyback agreements before submitting your settings to know what you are signing up for.
Investors can download income statements and tax reports directly from their profile pages.
At this point, you probably noticed that Creditstar is listing loans on Mintos and Lendermarket, so we asked Lendermarket:
How is it different from investing on your platform in loans from Creditstar as compared to investing in Creditstar loans on Mintos?
"One of the advantages of investing in Creditstar's loans in Lendermarket is having less risk and exposure than Mintos. Currently, Lendermarket focuses only on loans from Creditstar's operating entities, while Mintos has many originators. We want to think we can provide better Investor Support and communications via Lendermarket by focusing more on a single partner. The loans have a shorter term, are highly appreciated by investors, and have higher interest."
Investors should know that there are always two sides to a coin. While Lendermarket's reasoning makes sense to a certain extent, the added diversification investors have on Mintos easily outweighs the logic.
Recently, Lendermarket introduced a new lending partner, meaning investors will have more diversification options outside the Creditstar group. As a multi-lender platform, the argument of "better Support" might not be valid anymore.
Lendermarket doesn't offer a secondary market, and some investors on Lendermarket reported that a significant part of their portfolios is often delayed.
While it is common to have delayed payments when investing in payday loans, it's not common to have 50% of the portfolio (or more) delayed consistently.
While Lendermarket isn't publicly sharing information about the performance of their portfolio, the platform informed us that the amount of delayed loans usually stands at around 20%.
In 2023, many investors report delayed loans of up to 90% from their outstanding portfolio on Lendermarket.
The liquidity on Lendermarket is terrible as it's likely you won't be able to plan your exit.
It's worth pointing out that borrowers may extend their repayment schedule occasionally. The loans can be extended up to six times and up to 30 days per extension.
These numbers are a maximum and do not mean that all loans are continually extended by that time.
This way, the lender doesn't need to initiate the buyback guarantee but extend the loan, significantly affecting the liquidity of the investor's portfolio on Lendermarket as the platform doesn't offer a secondary market. A 60-day loan can, therefore, be extended up to 240 days.
The support team of Lendermarket is limited to answers about the platform's functionality. If you are looking for more transparency, you won't find it on Lendermarket.
The response time is usually around 48 hours.
Lendermarket offers some of the highest yields in the P2P lending industry. This high return comes with higher risk as the lender can decide not to honor the terms and extend the loans to increase liquidity.
You can consider the following alternatives if you want a platform that meets investors' expectations and respects the advertised terms.
Esketit is a more transparent platform that can deliver on its promises to investors. You have access to live statistics, so you are always aware of the performance of Esketit's loan portfolio.
The platform also offers a secondary market to buy or sell your investments.
Additionally, you can automate your investments with Esketit's automated strategies, which provide an instant exit option.
While you will "only" earn 12% on Esketit, the platform offers a far better risk and return ratio than what you will find on Lendermarket. Learn more about Esketit in our Esketit review.
If you are looking for a stable platform with a decent yield, we suggest looking into PeerBerry.
This P2P lending marketplace offers loans from the Aventus Group trademark, the only financial group able to cover all war-affected loans with its group guarantee.
While the loan availability is low on PeerBerry, it's far less risky than aiming to earn high yields on Lendermarket, where you can't even withdraw your funds due to Creditstar's poor liquidity management.
Read our PeerBerry review to learn more about this platform.
If you want higher yields but aren't ready to take extreme risks, like on Lendermarket, look at our Fintown review.
Fintown is a platform raising funds to invest in further real estate development projects from the Vichorev Group in Prague.
As an investor, you can invest in development projects or rental properties with high occupancy and daily rental rates. The platform is more transparent than Lendermarket, despite being active for less than a year.
Fintown currently manages just about €1.300,000, and the interest is paid out from the yield generated by the rental properties.