7 Best Peer to Peer Lending Sites for Investors (2022)
Investing your money can be tricky. With so many investment apps and choices out there, it’s hard to find an investment that will give you decent returns without taking too much risk.
While crypto lending platforms are becoming more popular, they present a somewhat high level of risk when not being completely knowledgeable about what’s involved.
In addition, bank loans are another type of lending platform that you might consider.
However, that is where most people stop – without realizing that peer-to-peer loans might offer them something unique.
As an investor in these types of loans, your goal is to provide a reliable source of funds for people who are looking to borrow money, without having to go through traditional lenders and channels like banks and credit unions.
The right peer-to-peer websites also help you make a difference with your investment, helping others that need funding for their small businesses, getting an education through an online course platform, doing some home improvement, or anything else that needs accomplishing in their lives.
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In an industry that is expected to reach $558.9 Billion by 2027, most peer-to-peer lenders allow you to start off investing with as little as $25. Obviously, the more you invest, the larger the returns you can earn.
In this article, we will look at the top peer-to-peer lenders that you can invest in. Let’s get started.
The following is a list of the best peer-to-peer lending sites right now.
Upstart allows you to diversify your loans across different risk profiles. This helps you minimize the downside when borrowers stop repaying their loans.
Upstart is one of the best p2p lending platforms that allows for an easy application, quick processing and offers relatively high returns.
With up to 75% fewer defaults at the same approval rates when compared to banks, Upstart is one of the top places where you can make good returns with minimal effort when investing in small business loans.
Borrowers also love the experience they have on Upstart, rating it at 81+ in NPS. When compared to traditional banks that rank at an average of 30 or less, this has a significantly higher rating.
- People may borrow money from anywhere and at any time which means that your investment in Upstart can be put to work immediately.
- Upstart allows you to diversify your loans across different risk profiles, helping you minimize downside in case borrowers stop repaying their loans.
- Safely access creditworthiness to give money to borrowers that come with lower risk, which means that you choose can choose who to invest in on Upstart.
- You can request a demo to fully understand how Upstart works and how you can benefit from their program.
Prosper is a great peer-to-peer lending platform for those that care about investing in others and making a difference in their lives.
Create a diverse portfolio by adding alternative assets to your existing holdings which can lead to higher returns.
You can use their Auto Invest tool to construct a bespoke portfolio on their website. This automation ensures that you are putting your money to work as quickly as possible.
You’ll also be able to use their app (Prosper Invest) to track the performance of your money and at one glance, see how your investments are doing.
- With average historical returns of 5.6%, Prosper is a tried-and-true platform for excellent returns.
- Prosper loans are graded from AA (less risk, lower interest rates return) to HR (more risk, more returns). This means that you have total control over which loans you invest in.
- Apart from their automation, investors also have the option to manually select which loans they want to invest in using their tools.
- You assist genuine people when you invest in a personal loan with Prosper. Till now, Prosper has aided more than 1,165,000 customers in achieving their goals.
Lending Club caters to both the individual investor and investment institutions. Whether you are an individual investor or an institution looking to invest in others, with Lending Club you get the best of both worlds.
With this platform, you’ll benefit from the experience of working with one of the top peer-to-peer lending sites. Lending Club has a wide network of lenders which means that your money will have more opportunities to be used.
LendingClub is one of the most well-known online credit marketplaces in the United States, and the first bank to link borrowers with investors.
LendingClub has facilitated billions of dollars in loans for investors each year since its inception, offering institutional investors a track record, the most data points, sophisticated risk management, and easy-to-use tools to build and modify loan portfolios.
- LendingClub has billions of data records, where you could find all the information you need before making a final decision on investing in a particular loan over another.
- With strong customer loyalty, people that take out loans from LendingClub have positive experiences which means that defaults will be lower as compared to other peer-to-peer lending sites.
- LendingClub has great tools which allow you to embark on your investing journey with minimum effort. The simple interface of their website makes it easier for new users to get started.
- On your first $20,000 in savings, the Founder Savings account pays a market-leading 0.75 percent APY.
The Peerform marketplace platform promises attractive risk-adjusted returns as well as consistent monthly payments deposited directly into your business bank account. They offer a very transparent and straightforward process which is one of the reasons why they are so popular.
The Peerform marketplace platform allows you, the investor, to not only profit from having access to intriguing investment opportunities, but also to make a difference by funding personal loans to people that need them.
Peerform has developed a cutting-edge fraud prevention system (FPS) to address the issues caused by this ever-changing business environment.
- Peerform can minimize the fraud risk of loans offered to investors by following the most severe and rigorous industry standards, ensuring that your investment is safeguarded.
- Peerform has a steady and reliable repayment schedule allowing investors to estimate when they will be repaid on their investment.
- You may select from a variety of different investment loan options using Peerform, allowing you to diversify your portfolio beyond commonly accepted assets while also giving you the option to customize it as you see fit.
Kiva is dedicated to creating access to financial services for business owners that are in the early stages of their business.
Kiva’s website describes itself as a non-profit organization, and it is one of the most popular peer-to-peer lending sites amongst entrepreneurs.
You may lend as little as $25 on Kiva and start to make an impact in someone’s life. Supporting causes that you believe in is painless with Kiva, and you can make a difference each time you log on.
On the plus side, Kiva borrowers have a 96% repayment record which is much higher than other peer-to-peer online lending sites.
Kiva makes it clear that even though you’ll be helping others make a difference in the world, it is still a loan and not a donation.
You also can withdraw your money at any time that you want which lives up to the transparency of this peer-to-peer lending company.
- Help entrepreneurs that are in the early stages of their business and may lack access to traditional financing.
- You get repaid your money if you decide that you no longer want to extend your loan or investment on Kiva. in fact, you may withdraw your principal at any time.
- With a community span of 77 countries and 1.9M lenders, you’ll be joining an international community of people that want to change the world.
Funding Circle gives borrowers the option to check live on their website how much money they can borrow. With loan amounts of $500,000+ and up to 10 years in repayment terms, they can get a loan that’s perfect for you.
With a quick online application process and speedy approvals, getting a loan is easy to do. Finish loan application in less than 6 minutes is possible with this platform
Best of all, applications won’t affect credit scores so even if the borrowers’ score is not in its best state right now, they can still get a loan elsewhere.
All of this means that as an investor, you’ll be able to what’s involved and what’s expected from the borrowers. All in all, this is a great way to increase the odds that you get your loan back plus interest.
There are also other types of loans available on Funding Circle, including business term loans, SBA 7(a) loans, and business lines of credit.
- Side-by-side comparisons and contrasts of their loan programs make it easy for borrowers to get a better understanding of which loan is right for their needs.
- With Funding Circle’s help, borrowers will be able to confidently apply without risking their personal credit score, making the process easier.
- Borrowers can talk with their account manager about their choices to ensure that you’re completely happy with your decision – which also means that your investment is better protected.
- Funding Circle takes care of the underwriting process so a borrower doesn’t spend extra time having to do so.
Payoff allows borrowers to get a FICO score boost as soon as they finish paying off their loan balance. In fact, credit scores can go up by 40+ points which means that borrowers will be able to get approved for other types of loans and financial products.
This is a great incentive for borrowers to finish paying any loans they have, which in turn, results in happier investors.
Giving borrowers support that is tailored towards their persona situation along the way, Payoff helps borrowers to repay their debts faster and get the credit score that they want.
With their easy-to-follow tools, online support, and live help whenever it’s needed, borrowers will be able to rest assured that they’re being taken care of at every step of the way. As an investor, the same can be said about your needs.
Their member experience team is available at any time to assist their borrowers and investors with any questions they might have.
- Committed to transparency and clarity, their website has no hidden terms or conditions.
- They have a team of specialists who will help borrowers plan the borrowers’ repayment schedule with fixed monthly payments where possible.
- Simple explanations on their website make the complicated loan process easier to understand and follow.
- Borrowers can check their rates online on their website without affecting their credit score, which makes it easier to get the loan process rolling.
A peer-to-peer lending site for investors is a web platform where borrowers and lenders meet to provide loans. In other words, it is a community of people that want to lend their money without going through banks, business credit card companies, or any form of financial institution.
The person who lends their money on this platform usually gets better interest rates compared to what they would get from traditional financial institutions. In turn, the borrower also gets access to a direct online lender who can approve loans faster than with traditional methods.
In short, it helps both sides in cutting out the middleman so they can save time and money when applying for loans, borrowing money, or investing their funds in a variety of different ways.
P2P lending sites work just like any other online platform. You can sign up, log in and search for prospective borrowers that want to borrow from investors such as yourself.
After getting all the terms set and agreed by both parties, money is exchanged and deposited directly between them so no one has to use a bank anymore for this transaction.
It’s pretty much straightforward because everything works through an online platform so there is no actual face-to-face contact needed which reduces wasted time spent on logistics.
As an investor, you sometimes have the choice to select the interest rates that you would like to earn. Much like any financial investment, investors can go for conservative or risky investments based on what they feel comfortable with.
In addition, this is a great way to diversify your portfolio with loans that carry minimal risks for bad things like defaulting, late payment, or bankruptcy.
A diverse portfolio is always better than becoming too reliant on one source.
Particularly if you’re a beginner, this is one of the best ways to start learning how to invest since the risk is much lower compared to choosing stocks or other traditional methods.
There are a few risks posed by the peer-to-peer lending sites for investors. First of all, since you’re dealing with borrowers, this means that there is a chance for them not to pay on time.
This can happen if they have bad credit scores or financial hardship, which will affect your interest rates and even the capital you initially put in.
Moreover, there are cases where lenders may not be able to retrieve their money back if the borrower defaults. This is why it’s extremely important to know your customers, and why they need a loan, before lending.
The way you set up your transactions can also affect how much money you can earn through these investments so it pays to research more about the platform providers first before trusting them 100%.
The type of lending site that you choose to invest with plays a huge part in how you get to earn (or lose) money.
The following are the criteria that you should always consider before joining any peer-to-peer lending site as an investor.
The fees imposed by the platform provider can affect your earnings; these costs vary between P2P lenders. You must find out what they are and compare them based on how much savings they can give you in return.
It helps if the company has been around for more than 5 years and has a solid track record behind it.
This is to ensure that you get to diversify your investments without having to worry about the company you choose running out of business anytime soon.
Security measures taken by the platform provider are crucial in safeguarding your data and money when on the site. Make sure they have several levels of protection in place so any malicious attacks can be immediately prevented without compromising user privacy.
This way, you won’t risk having your account hacked or compromised which could mean losing everything that you invested in.
Having a reliable customer support team is critical for resolving issues that may come up from time to time. Technical difficulties and glitches are unavoidable so it’s best to have a trusted contact you can reach out to when needed.
A peer-to-peer loan site is generally best for investors looking to invest in small amounts.
Your initial investment should have a minimum of $25 so you can get started right away without being required to spend too much capital at once.
Larger loan amount requests are not advised for beginners since there are platforms that require substantial investments on their part before allowing you to start lending out your money.
The term length of each borrower’s loan varies from one peer-to-peer lending service provider to another. Usually, the longer the term the higher the interest rate – and vice versa.
It helps if you’re familiar with how long it takes to get a return on your money considering certain interest rates.
It benefits everyone if your investments are protected by a clear policy that shows how the site handles fraudulent transactions and identity theft to avoid any issues with other users on the site. This also ensures that you have a reliable platform provider to work with before lending out your money.
Having an auto-investing function on your account is great for those who aren’t too keen on doing all the work themselves. With this program, you can set up your criteria and let it do its thing without having to manually approve every borrower and their loan amounts.
The more tedious parts of lending out money can be assigned to a trusted bot or computer so you don’t have to spend time monitoring P2P loans as well as sending reminders to borrowers.
You should stick with companies that offer this feature since they’re already serious about their services and typically stand by their word. With some of the best AI investing software taking over this industry, this is a great feature to have.
Some peer-to-peer lending sites allow you to invest in student loans, helping to fund education-related expenses. Other unsecured personal loans might be used for those who want to start their own business.
These loans can be used for any other purpose as long as it’s legal and doesn’t go against the terms and conditions of the provider. This is usually stated clearly on the website so you know what kind of borrowers you’re dealing with beforehand.
Sometimes, understanding factors such as someone’s credit history through a credit report, will allow you to assess the borrower better.
Not all peer-to-peer lending sites will allow you access to such information, however, some would – as long as it isn’t confidential and doesn’t violate client privacy policies. With that said, it never hurts to ask as you are doing your research.
Knowing someone’s debt to income ratio will also help you better understand how much you should invest in their loan.
A borrower with a high ratio may be too risky for your standards which means you should adjust them accordingly to avoid any issues later on.
Be sure to take into account all of these additional features when you’re looking out for the best company to work with.
Your capital is an investment that can either reap great rewards or bring nothing but headaches, so it’s best not to leave things up to chance.
Knowing what origination fees are involved and how much the site will take from your loan before distributing it to borrowers can help you better manage your money.
The origination fee amount varies depending on each provider you work with and should be stated in their rules.
If you plan to keep this up for a long time, then working with companies that charge lower fees is advantageous since they’re returning more of your investment over time.
Some websites give origination fee ranges for different types of loans. Knowing such an origination fees range will allow you to plan your investments better and avoid any surprises later on down the line.
A personal loan given through a peer-to-peer lender is just like any other personal finance credit given to borrowers. It follows the same protocol as what banks and government institutions follow when processing these loan requests, meaning that everything is legal and above board.
As long as you play by the rules, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to the legalities of becoming a peer-to-peer lender on your chosen site. These sites usually have specific terms of service that outline what is considered acceptable behavior between users and what is not. Going through these rules and regulations before putting out any money is very important.
With all these tips in mind, finding a reliable peer-to-peer lending site can be a breeze if you take your time and do a little bit of research beforehand.
To summarize the best peer to peer lending sites for investors are:
- Upstart: Best for growing your consumer loan portfolio as an investor.
- Prosper: Best for understanding the risk with each loan that you invest in.
- LendingClub: Best for both the individual investor and institutions.
- Peerform: Best for offering attractive, steady returns on your investments.
- Kiva: Best for investors that want to change entrepreneurial lives.
- Funding Circle: Best for giving borrowers a clear idea of how much money they can get.
- Payoff: Best for allowing borrowers to improve their FICO score quickly.
The above sites will offer you the best and safest ways to invest in peer-to-peer lending, help others and grow your money at the same time.
Have you ever invested using peer-to-peer lending sites? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: Want to learn more about investing? Check out my post on the best precious metals IRA companies and gold IRA companies to invest in right now as well as the best real estate loans and rates that you can take advantage of at the moment.
In addition, if you want to expand your business, here’s a list of the best small business loans available in the market right now.