Flexible peer to peer lending & borrowing
Your money, your way

The answers to frequently asked questions

General

GENERAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What is this website?

This website is an "Online Peer to Peer Borrowing & Lending Marketplace for Unsecured Personal Loans".

It is where people who wish to borrow money, "borrowers", find those who wish to lend money to earn interest, "lenders". Using one or more of the credit reference agencies and national fraud databases, we carefully verify the ID, the loan proposition and the credit reference of the borrower. We analyse the available data, allocate a credit score and our credit risk decision engine decides whether the borrower is an acceptable credit risk. The lenders themselves decide what level of risk they are prepared to accept by setting a minimum credit score on which to lend. If the lending proposition is attractive to them, they make lending offers or bids for some part of the loan requirement, say £10 or £20 at a specified interest rate, say 6.8%.

"Peer to Peer" lending is sometimes called "marketplace lending", "social" or "person to person" lending, or simply abbreviated to "P2P" lending. Whether the borrower is seeking a one year loan of £1000, or needs to borrow £25,000 for 5 years, lenders who are interested in bidding, or offering money to lend, become a part of that loan to the borrower. This site is managed to effect such transactions for both lenders and borrowers, in a fair environment for the user participants.

Who owns and manages this website?

Madiston plc owns and manages this website.
Tim Simon is the Chief Executive and a brief biography of him and the management team is to be found in the "About Us" menu item .

How long has Madiston plc and this website been around?

This website launched in the first quarter of 2014.
Madiston plc was incorporated in May 2005.

What are the conditions for joining?

The general conditions for becoming a member are as follows.

A person, wishing to be a borrower, or to be a lender for investment purposes only (and NOT lending money as a business):

1. Over 18 years of age.
2. A UK resident on the Electoral Roll - this excludes residents of the Isle of Man and the Channel Isles.
3. Be the holder of a UK bank current account.

To become a borrower you will have at least three years of reasonable credit history and therefore probably need to be over 25.

For a business wishing to lend for investment purposes only (and NOT lending money as a business):

1. UK registered company.
2. UK registered office.
3. UK bank account.

For a person or a business NOT lending as an investment, but lending because they are in the money lending business:

1. As in person or business, as appropriate, in 1, 2 & 3 above.
2. Have a Consumer Credit Licence.
3. Register for Anti-Money Laundering ("AML") with Her Majesty's Customs & Excise and then delegate us to satisfy the required AML obligations for their lending.


What information do I have to give to become a member?

All Users:
Confirm UK resident
Confirm over 18

Name & address
Email address
Gender
Date of birth
Home & mobile telephone numbers
Occupation
Bank details In addition to above, for borrowers:
Marital status
Nationality
Residential status and previous address
Employment details
Specific answers to financial status questions In addition to above, for lenders
Confirm whether lending is for investment or business purposes

How is this website regulated?

We aim to operate at the highest standards for lenders and borrowers. Madiston plc, the parent company of this site, has been granted the necessary:

  • Interim Permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to run an "electronic platform in relation to lending" No. 636833/1. Like other Peer to Peer Lending companies, we are now applying for Full Permission.
  • Data Protection Registration with the Office of the Information Commissioner No. Z9599911.
  • Member of CIFAS the UK's fraud prevention service No. 653. 

The company registration number of Madiston plc is 05441652 and its VAT registration Number is 872 6970 79

Madiston plc's registered office is at 41 Ashley Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, KT12 1HG, England, UK

How do I join?

First register on the site as a Lender or a Borrower, ensuring you have read and understood the Safety & Risks information. There is no reason why you cannot be both a borrower and a lender, if you wish. Then simply follow the instructions on the screens as they take you through the lending or borrowing process.


Will my money be safe?

Our aim is to have low default rates on this site and, to achieve this, we implement stringent borrower verification checks, credit worthiness tests and affordability and stability assessments, before a loan request is approved and published.


This website is owned and managed by the team at Madiston plc who have years of business experience, particularly in financial services and technology businesses.

Any money that has been deposited, but not yet lent out, is held in our segregated Client Money Bank Account at Barclays, our bankers. Client Money Bank Account balances do not form part of the assets of Madiston plc, but belong to the individual depositors on this website. Deposits in such bank accounts are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (the "FSCS") up to the value of £75,000 per person in case the bank becomes insolvent. In the case of this website or the Madiston plc business failing, the money in the Client Money Account would simply be returned by the bank to the individual depositor lenders.  The FSCS does not cover money that has been lent out.

This website and Madiston plc are not parties to any loan contracts; this site merely enables their agreement directly between the borrower and the lenders. In the unlikely event of Madiston plc failing, the loan agreements will continue as before. In this event Madiston plc will arrange a reputable Loan Servicing Company to continue to oversee the collection and distribution of repayments as before.

Similarly, in the event of borrower default, the repayments continue to be collected by the reputable professional Debt Collections Agency ("DCA") that has been appointed by Madiston, on behalf of the lenders, to collect any default arrears. The costs of the collections activity will not vary if Madiston plc has failed. Debts assigned to the DCA, will continue to be pursued where possible and any sums recovered returned as if this website and Madiston plc still existed.

Finally, when you enter your bank details at registration, these are encrypted before filing, to provide added security and peace of mind.

Please also read our Risk Warnings, our Security Policy, and for our analysis of Risks and Mitigations, please click here.


Do Madiston employees or directors borrow or lend on this website?

Employees of Madiston plc may use this site for lending or borrowing on exactly the same basis as any other user. Directors of Madiston plc may not borrow on the site, but they may lend, again, on exactly the same basis as any other user.

How do loan requests work?

Created by the borrower, the Loan Request summarises the borrowing requirement and the borrower's financial details. It describes how much he or she wishes to borrow, for how long, their preferred or target rate of interest, why they want to borrow and a summary of their financial situation - monthly income, monthly expenditure and existing loans.

The loan request is then scrutinised and checked by us. We do the various credit and other reference checking and ID verification and assign the credit star ratings to the loan request before it's made available for lenders' lending offers. Many potential borrowers and loan requests do not stand up to our scrutiny and are rejected. This is usually because of credit reference issues.

Loan requests are fulfilled (or matched) with suitable lenders.

 

The lenders' commitments are usually made in small sums, typically between £10 and £50, at a particular interest rate, for example 8.5%, a rate that they have chosen depending on their perception of the risk involved and the return that they require from that particular borrower or loan request. Or the amount and interest rate can be calculated according to the AutoLend parameters. Usually lenders make a number of different commitments at different amounts and rates of interest.

When the total commitments exceed the amount of the loan required, some lenders' bids (the ones asking for the highest interest rates) get "bumped off". In effect, lenders compete with each other, by under-bidding (with lower interest rates) others, to remain included as a lender for that loan request.

Why do I have to buy a membership if I want to do anything?

We aim to make this the fairest of peer-to-peer lending and borrowing sites and, to that end, we have decided to run this unique membership model so that:

1. all users cover their own costs of the necessary regulatory and other functions (ID verification, credit referencing, risk decision processing, anti money laundering, etc.).  This means that lenders and borrowers that successfully complete transactions on the site, do not have to cover the costs of checking the many hundreds of non-credit-worthy applicants that are ultimately turned down.

2. memberships are structured so that users only pay for the services they require.

For more information on memberships please click here.

How does a borrower's loan request get offers of lenders' money?

Loan Requests are fulfilled (or matched with lenders' money), in one of two possible manners.

BIDDING

The "Bidding" market … think of this as an eBay for loans! This is for borrowers with a Borrower membership, who make their unsecured loan request visible to lenders (rather than through the invisible “Matching” market, see below). These loans are satisfied by lenders who compete with each other to offer the lowest interest rates. 

For more information on the Bidding market click here.

MATCHING

The “Matching” market … this is where the site matches borrowers with lenders based upon the parameters they’ve set up on their profiles.  This is for borrowers with an “Advanced Borrower membership”.  These loan requests are not visible for lenders to see.Instead, in the Matching market, all lending is automated by using the AutoLend facility. With AutoLend the lender can set up parameters for automated lending from up to five lending portfolios. Borrowers' loan requests are then selected for matching with lenders' money by virtue of the way that the lending parameters have been configured. Using AutoLend, lenders can achieve much greater volume of lending whilst at the same time limiting their exposure to any one borrower. Their risk is lowered by having a much greater spread of their savings across many borrowers.

For more information on the Matching market click here.

What will I pay for using the service?

Please refer to the menu item "Fees" for all the details.

Is my personal data safe & secure?


Madiston plc is registered on the Data Protection Register with the Office of the Information Commissioner (Registration No. Z9599911) and therefore both this website and Madiston plc accordingly conform to the UK data protection laws.  

We will never disclose any personal data other than that which is required for the correct running of the site. Full details of what information we require for you to become a Lender or Borrower, how we use that information, what will be made available to other members or third parties, are all set out in the Terms & Conditions that users confirm agreement to when registering.

Our Privacy Policy is set out in the menu item - Terms.


What of my personal data can be seen by other users?

On the site there is no identifying data available to anyone. For a borrower, with a bidding market loan request, their chosen username, age, registration date, financial situation and credit score are the visible data items. As long as the users are discrete in the selection of their username, it is not possible to identify any particular person from such data. For borrowers in the matching market and all lenders, only the username is seen by others.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your chosen username does not give away your identity. Obviously, if Fred Bloggs chose a Username of "fredbloggs" or Joe Smith used his email "This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." for his Username, then both would give away their actual identity, but "cheekylender_5" or "whodunit" as usernames would be ok!

How do I view the detail of a loan request and its lending bids?

First click on the main menu item "Loan Requests". To view the detail of a particular loan request (in the Bidding market only, loan requests in the Matching market are not viewable) click on the loan request title just beneath the borrower username. All the details of the loan request are then viewable by selecting each of the tabs presented:

The first tab shows the summary of the loan request information, amount, term, target rate, purpose, followed by progress information, a progress bar and the number of lending offers so far, the average rate and listing time still to run.

The second tab shows the "Personal Profile" which is a statement of the financial situation of the borrower by the borrower, including, what the loan is for, any history with us, existing loans and the borrower's pitch as to why he can be trusted with the lenders' money.

The third tab shows details of existing loans, monthly income and expenditure, followed by the two debt affordability factors.

The first debt factor is theLoan Payment v Available Income Factor. This is the ratio of the proposed loan monthly repayments of a borrower to his or her monthly disposable income. The second is the Debt Repayments v Income Factor, which is the ratio of the amount each month that goes towards paying all the debts of a borrower to his or her monthly net income. This is sometimes referred to as the DTI (Debt to Income) Ratio.

The fourth tab shows the lending offers received on this loan request: lender username, amount, interest rate, date/time, followed by offer status, which may be:

✔ = offer included in loan
✗ = offer not included in loan
(✔) = offer partially included in loan

Also on this tab, if you are a logged-in lender with membership, you may place a new lending offer or bid.

Finally, the fifth tab shows any questions that lenders have asked of the borrower, and any answers given by the borrower. You are also given the opportunity to ask questions of the borrower.

How do credit score star ratings work?

When a borrower has been credit referenced he or she will be allocated a credit stars rating which rates credit reference, affordability and stability.

Click here for further information on Credit Score Star Ratings.

What is the compensation scheme?

We offer to lenders an optional membership of the Compensation Scheme (“CS”). The CS builds a fund, the Compensation Scheme Fund (“CSF”), to be used to compensate CS member lenders, if they should be so unfortunate as to suffer the problem of a borrower’s late or missed payment, arrears or even default.

The CS is not an insurance product, is not enforceable and does not guarantee that the funds available in the CSF will cover every default.

Click here for more information on the workings of the Compensation Scheme

How do I know what's going on in loan requests or lending bids?

As things progress you will receive confirming emails for all actions to do with loan requests such as lending bids, loan acceptance or rejection. You can customise which optional confirming emails that you wish to receive, on your Profile, Email Preferences tab.

Can I switch off some of the confirmation emails?

Some of the confirmation emails, for the most important events, are mandatory, but you can customise which optional confirming emails that you wish to receive, on your Profile, the Email Preferences tab.

How can I keep up-to-date with my money & accounts situation?

There are extensive facilities for managing your borrowing and/or lending here. Here is a summary of the facilities available for all users, borrowers and lenders:

User Account - Statement of money in and out, facilities for paying in and withdrawing money.

Borrowing Accounts - Actions required, active loan requests and their offers, current loans details, declined and rejected listings, all time totals, drill down to loans, loan slices, lender contracts, repayment plans, instalment history, individual loan accounts, direct debit repayments scheduled.

Lending Accounts - Lending dashboard, account summary current and historic, sources and uses of funds, principal repayments, interest repayments & other interest income, fees deducted and not yet deducted, audit trails.

Lending Bids - Active loan requests showing all bids, lending portfolio report statements showing bids/matches, amount in processing and amount lent out, active loans with drill down to loan slice details, repayment plans and individual loan slice accounts.

Loan Book - Summary of all lending on active loans, active loan details with drill down to loan slice details, repayment plans and individual loan slice accounts.

Is there a tax liability with this activity?

For borrowers there is no taxation effect but for lenders there may be depending upon your personal circumstances. 

At the end of the tax year we will make an annual interest income statement available for you to download. This will show the total gross interest you've received over the tax year.  For a lender lending as an investment activity (as opposed to a business) and because interest is paid to you without any deduction of tax, you may have to make a return of interest income to Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs ("HMRC"). There are links below to information on the GOV.UK website to help you determine the correct level of tax. For instance, from 6 April 2016, the Personal Savings Allowance was introduced which means that, if you're a basic rate tax payer, you'll be able to earn up to £1,000 in savings income tax-free and higher rate tax payers will be able to earn up to £500 tax-free. It is now also possible to offset losses suffered on unpaid peer to peer loans against interest earned on other peer to peer loans.

Information on Personal Savings Allowance on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-savings-allowance-factsheet/personal-savings-allowance Information on taxation in Peer to Peer Lending on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/peer-to-peer-lending



What additional facilities are planned for the future?

We intend to become a prime supplier of "crowd-funded" financial services.
Please read about the planned additional facilities by clicking this link

How do I view or post on the forum?

Click on the menu item at the bottom of the page "Forum". Please read the Forum Terms of Use before posting. You can post on the Forum when logged in and then a button will appear top right above the Forum messages.

How do I register a complaint?

If you wish to register a complaint you should email giving your name or username and brief details of your complaint to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our Customer Service staff will normally acknowledge your email with an email by close of business the following business day. The detailed process for handling complaints is set out in our Website Use Terms.

What are the system requirements for this website?

The current browser versions supported are:-
Mozilla Firefox 25.0.1,
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0.10 64 Bit,
Microsoft Internet Explorer Windows 7 9.1 32 Bit,

Google Chrome 31.0.1650.57,
Apple Safari Version 7
Opera 12.16.

The site may work on previous versions and other browsers but these, or their later versions, are recommended.

How do I get technical support?

There is a “Live Support” online chat facility to help you resolve any immediate issues, or you can contact us via the Contact Us page.  There is also a host of information on the tooltips, How It Works page and in the FAQs.  You may find answers on the “Problem and Bugs” thread on the Forum and we encourage you to tell us about any issues there too, but please note the Forum Rules before posting.

What should I do if I see a way of improving the website?

Post your idea or suggestion in the Forum having first read the Forum Terms of Use

How can I contact your team to get help?

There is a “Live Support” online chat facility to help you resolve any immediate issues, or you can contact us via the Contact Us page. 
We will endeavour to respond promptly, whichever method that you use to contact us, during normal UK based office hours 0900 to 1700 hours Monday - Friday. Outside normal office hours we will respond as soon as we can the next business day.

Borrowers

BORROWERS' QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

How much can I borrow?

You can borrow from £1,000 to £25,000 in £10 increments subject to credit referencing. We may restrict the larger loans initially, but any restrictions will be lifted later. Details of what is currently available are set out on the Loans & Lending - What is available.

Over what term can I spread my repayments?

You can borrow for terms from 12 to 60 months in three months increments subject to credit referencing. We may restrict the longer terms initially, but any restrictions will be lifted later. Repayment instalments will always be made monthly. Details of what is currently available are set out on the Loans & Lending - What is available.

What interest rate will I pay?

As a borrower, the first thing to think about is what to enter as your "Target Interest Rate". Clearly the highest Target Interest Rate that you feel that you can pay will attract the most lenders to bid on your loan request.

The interest rate that you will pay, depends on what is bid by all the lenders. This, in turn, depends on the information that is available to the lenders in your loan request and your Credit Score Star Rating information (see below). From that information the lenders will form their own view of the credit risk involved and hence fix the rate at which they are prepared to lend to you.

You will finally be offered the weighted average interest rate of all the individual lending bids made, to make up the full amount of your required loan. Each individual lender transaction is executed at its own interest rate. This is a pure open market system!

You can get a feel for how this works by looking at this example Loan Request and its lending Bids . Also read the Borrowers' section in "Guidelines"  for more information on this.

Why do I have to buy a membership if I want to borrow?

We aim to make this the fairest of peer-to-peer lending and borrowing sites and, to that end, we have decided to run this unique membership model so that:

1. all users cover their own costs of the necessary regulatory and other functions (ID verification, credit referencing, risk decision processing, anti money laundering, etc.).  This means that lenders and borrowers that successfully complete transactions on the site, do not have to cover the costs of checking the many hundreds of non-credit-worthy applicants that are ultimately turned down.

2. memberships are structured so that users only pay for the services they require.

3. so we can direct benefits and incentives to specific groups of members.

For more information on memberships please click here.

How will my repayment instalment schedule be calculated?

The repayment instalment schedule is calculated on the outstanding loan principal at the instalment payment date. The intention is to have equal monthly instalments, but the first repayment is usually different because the borrower can decide when to make the first instalment. With each instalment there is a small amount of the loan principal repaid and this reduces the interest charge for the next month. Because each monthly payment is fixed, the amount of principal that is repaid will increase slightly each month and the interest will reduce.

Click here for more information on repayment instalment calculations .

What information do I have to give to become a borrower?

Confirm UK resident
Confirm over 18
Name & Address
Email Address
Gender
Date of Birth
Home & Mobile Telephone Numbers
Bank Details
Marital Status
Nationality
Residential Status & Previous Address
Occupation
Employment Details

Specific Answers to Financial Status Questions

How will you check my credit reference?

To borrow on this site, you agree the borrower terms which grant us permission to run a credit reference check at one or more of the UK's credit reference agencies (e.g. Equifax, Call Credit, Experian).

If you request a personalised quotation we run an Identity Verification search and a Credit Quotation search. The latter search will be visible to you and us on your credit records, but will not be visible by others and will therefore not affect your credit rating. 

When you create a new Loan Request, a Credit Application search is run (just as any other credit provider or bank will do) and this search is visible to other credit providers on your credit records and hence might affect your credit rating. We may require sight of some documents of physical proof, bank statements, payslips, etc.

Repaying a loan via our site and making all the repayments on time will have a positive effect on your credit rating.

How will my credit reference information be used?

We use a credit score star rating method which is designed for ease of use by lenders on this site. There are three star ratings, each from zero to five stars for: Credit reference, Affordability and Stability. These will help lenders make a decision about the lending bid interest rate. The detail of the credit score star rating system works as set out on this page. 


Can I get a loan if I have a bad credit record?

On this site, no, you probably cannot. However, there are various ways to improve your credit rating and/or remove any errors that you might have in your credit reference. For advice on this try: 

This is Money - How to Improve and Protect your Credit Rating

Money Saving Expert - How to Improve Your Credit Rating

When you're sorted, then come back. We hope to see you soon! Good luck!

Why am I asked to contribute to a compensation scheme?

Borrowers contribute to the Compensation Scheme according to their credit rating, but the contribution is returned when the loan is fully repaid, if there have not been any late or missed repayments. The ultimate objective of the Compensation Scheme is to ensure that lenders receive all the principal and interest repayments that they are expecting, even if there are late or missed repayments, arrears or even defaults by borrowers. This ensures that lenders view this site as a safe place for their savings.  This directly benefits borrowers - there will be more lenders and hence more lenders' money, available for borrowers!

The Compensation Scheme Fund is created from both borrowers' and lenders' contributions.

For more information on the Compensation Scheme click here

Is my loan request published straight away?

No, unlike many other social lending and borrowing sites, we will not waste our members time by publishing a loan request before it has passed our stringent information requirements, ID verification, credit referencing, scoring and risk decisioning for acceptance. So immediately your loan request goes live, lenders can take action and bid knowing that these checks have been completed.


What are your information requirements for a loan request?

We check that all the information about you, the borrower, and the information set out in the loan request, makes sense. We also chcek that it is comprehensive enough to fulfil our lenders' requirements to understand and assess the loan request proposition. We verify the information provided with the credit reference agencies' information and, from the credit reference information, we calculate and apply our credit scoring. If our minimum requirements are satisfied, we then publish the loan request with the credit score information.

How do you decide if my borrowing proposition is acceptable?

Our only decision is whether your loan request information and credit score are both above our minimum level for acceptance. Following our running of the credit risk decision engine, we will advise you immediately if your loan request information and/or your credit score is not sufficient for publication. It may be that we request some more information or confirmations from you. If it is acceptable we will go ahead and publish the loan request immediately. It is then up to the lenders to decide whether they will make lending offers, bids, matches, or not.

If my credit score is not sufficient can I have my borrower membership refunded?

Unfortunately, the borrower membership is not refundable as it covers the cost of the various checks, verifications and references taken up. It is your decision, as a potential borrower, to assess whether your credit record is sufficient to pass the basic level of credit worthiness necessary for a loan. From the outset, we recommend that borrowers who know they are unlikely to meet the level required, do not apply for borrower membership.


What will I pay for using the service?

Please refer to the menu item "Fees"  for the detail

How do I sign up as a borrower?

To sign up as a borrower, first register on the site and follow the instructions on the screen that will take you step by step through the process. 

How do I confirm the cost, monthly repayments & APR of my loan?

We have provided Loan Calculators, a Quick Loan Calculator and a detailed Calculator facility to give an estimate of such information for you.

This Quick Loan Calculator will require you to enter loan amount, loan term and target interest rate, and it will then display the amount that you will receive, the costs associated, the monthly repayment, the total amount repayable and the calculated APR.

The detailed Loan Calculator also provides an "Affordability Calculator" which requires the input of details of existing loans, income and expenses.

You can then save the information entered here so it can be used for your loan request, without having to re-enter the information.

How do I ascertain that I can get a loan?

We provide a facility for obtaining an initial personalised Loan Quotation where we run an Identity Verification search and a Credit Quotation search. The latter search will be visible to you and us on your credit records, but will not be visible by others and will therefore not affect your credit rating. The output will provide an indication of whether you will be eligible for a loan, and if so, all the estimated details of that loan.

If you then choose to submit a loan request, full credit referencing (which will be visible on your credit record) and other verification checks will be made so that your request can be presented to our lenders.


How do I post a loan request?

1) Decide whether to place your loan request in the Bidding or the Matching market. 

BIDDING
The "Bidding" market, is available to "Borrower" and "Advanced Borrower" members. It is an online "open reverse auction" for borrowers' unsecured loan requirements. "Open" in the sense that the loan request and its bids are visible. "Reverse" because the lower interest rate bids that make up the loan amount will win the auction. It is an auction because the lending is offered to prospective lenders on which they may make lending offers (bid an amount and rate they wish to lend). Think of it as an eBay for loans!

For more information on the Bidding market click here.

MATCHING
The "Matching" market is available to "Advanced Borrower" members. This is also a reverse auction but it is not "open". The loan requests are not visible for lenders to see. Instead, in the Matching market, all lending is automated by using the AutoLend facility. With AutoLend the lender can set up parameters for automated lending from up to five lending portfolios. Advanced borrowers' loan requests are then selected for matching with lenders' money by virtue of the way that the lending parameters have been configured. Using AutoLend, lenders can achieve much greater volume of lending whilst at the same time limiting their exposure to any one borrower. Their risk is lowered by having a much greater spread of their savings across many borrowers.

For more information on the Matching market click here.

2) Click on "New Bidding Loan Request" or "New Matching Loan Request" to begin the borrowing process. Please read the borrowers' section in "Guidelines" before posting a loan request. Also this article "Post a Loan Request so Lenders Bid"
For detailed instructions in completing a loan request click here.

Will my loan request be viewable outside this website?

Loan requests in the Bidding market are visible to users (Matching market loan requests are matched automatically and not visible to anyone).

The bidding market loan requests on this site are posted with a public URL and accessible to search engine crawlers such as Google. However, remember that your username is used throughout the site and not your real name. Other than username, your age is the only other personal data shown on loan requests, and that is not sufficient to be able to directly identify you. It is very important to choose a username that does not identify you.

Can I edit my Bidding market loan request?

You can edit a Bidding market loan request by using the main menu item View Loan Requests and clicking EDIT LOAN REQUEST showing just beneath the loan request title. You may only edit as follows:
1. the text in the Personal Profile section;
2. the detail numbers, but not the overall totals for income and expenses;
3. upload a new photo;
4. upload a new video.

What do I do if the lender asks a question on my bidding loan request?

Always answer promptly, truthfully, clearly and concisely but only provide information that is necessary and relevant to answer the Lender's question. This assumes that the Lender's question was itself necessary and relevant!

Can I cancel a loan request?

No, once it is approved and published it has to run its course.

However there is no obligation for you to accept any resulting loan if you have decided not to go ahead with it. 

How can I keep up to date with my borrowing, repayments and accounts situation?

There are extensive facilities for managing your borrowing. Here is a summary of the facilities available for borrowers:

User Account - Statement of money in and out, facilities for in payments and withdrawals

Borrowing Account - Actions required, active loan requests and their offers, current loans details, declined and rejected listings, all time totals, drill down to loans, loan slices, lender contracts, repayment plans, instalment history, individual loan accounts, direct debit repayments scheduled.

My loan request is fully funded. What happens now?

You may accept a loan that IS fully funded but NOT yet time expired. You do not have to wait for the expiry of the loan request listing, there is a judgement call for you here. This is because it is likely that lenders may underbid each other in the remaining time of the loan request listing, thus reducing the interest rate you have to pay. So you can accept it straight away, or wait in the hope that the interest will reduce as lenders outbid each other.

My loan request has expired. What happens now?

If your loan request is fully funded you now have 48 hours to decide to Accept or Decline the loan. If the interest rate is acceptable and you are able to accept then open the Loan Request and click the "Accept" button. If you do not want to accept the loan then click the "Decline" button and enter your reason for declining.
If your loan request is 80% or more funded you may modify the loan request in minor ways and re-list it for up to 4 days in the hope that you can reach full funding.
If your loan request is less than 80% funded it has really expired without a result. Perhaps you can try another loan request at a higher target rate to attract more lenders.

If I accept, how long does it take to get the loan?

It should take between 1 and 3 working days, depending on the method for loan disbursal requested.

The alternative methods are Direct Credit (recommended and free), Bank Transfer (a small fee) or PayPal (a small fee).

Can I set my repayment instalment dates?

Yes you can. When you "Accept" the loan, you can set the date of the first repayment instalment, from 15 days and up to 42 days, ahead. You can also choose the day of the month (from 1st up to 28th) on which you wish the second and subsequent repayments to be made (within constraints of not earlier than 10 days, nor later than 33 days, after the first repayment).

Once these dates are set they can only be changed via a CIP membership - see below.

Can I change my mind after accepting a loan?

The Distance Marketing Directive gives a borrower the right to change his/her mind within a 14 day period from accepting the loan. In this case please contact us by email or via the Contact Us menu item, bottom right.

Can I change my instalments or repay the loan early?

Yes, the Change in Instalment Plan ("CIP") facility exists for you to change your instalments or repay the loan early, but clearly, in this peer-to-peer environment, this has repercussions for your lenders. To make this equitable, borrowers access this facility by purchasing a Change in Instalment Planmembership (go to your Profile, Memberships tab) and there are some small fees which cover the lost interest to your lenders for re-scheduling repayments, or possibly re-lending their money.
To qualify for CIP your loan must have received at least one successful repayment according to the original repayment plan.
With CIP, you may pay a lump sum to reduce your monthly repayments, or reduce the term of the repayments.  In this case your loan repayment schedule is recalculated appropriately. Or indeed, you may repay the loan in full, at your choice. For more information about Change in Instalment Plan click here.

I've already got a loan via your site, can I take out another?

We will review the situation based on the credit referencing and other details and inform you as to whether a second or subsequent loan is possible.

What happens if I miss an instalment and/or cannot repay my loan?

If you miss an instalment because your Direct Debit fails you should contact us as soon as you become aware this has happened. You should make the payment directly to the account as soon as you can. There is a fee for a Direct Debit failure, please refer to the Fees menu item for the details .

It is important that you avoid late or missed payments because they automatically trigger the retention of the contribution that you made to the Compensation Scheme Fund (CSF).  

The CSF is there to support lenders in the event of late or missed payments, arrears or default, so borrowers who complete all their repayment instalments on time and according to the terms agreed, are rewarded by the return of their original contribution to the fund.  Those who have made late, or missed, payments, lose their right to that refund.

If you cannot repay the loan it will go into "default" status - please click here for details about default on loans

I've made the last repayment on my loan, what happens now?

If all your repayments have been made on time then the Compensation Scheme contribution will be returned to you, a welcome bonus!

You can now take out another loan if you wish!


Lenders

LENDERS' QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

How much can I lend?

You can lend from £10 to whatever you want, unlimited, in £10 increments. Details of the loan products currently available are set out on the Product Details page. If you are "lending as a business" you need to hold a Consumer Credit Licence and register for Anti-Money Laundering ("AML") with Her Majesty's Customs & Excise and delegate us to satisfy your AML obligations.

Please read the lenders' section in "Guidelines"  before making lending bids on a loan request.

Over what term can I spread my lending?

You can lend on loans which have terms or durations from 12 to 60 months in three month increments. We may restrict the longer terms of loans initially, but this restriction will be lifted later. Repayment instalments including interest are paid monthly. Choose loan requests that match the term over which you wish to invest. Details of the loan products currently available are set out on the main menu item Home > Loans & Lending - What is Available.

What interest rate will I get?

The interest rate that you receive depends on the loan requests available and the lending bids that you choose to make on them. The loan request will have a Target Interest Rate that the borrower has specified. Of course, other lenders' bids may under-bid yours, and this may lead to your lending bid being "bumped off" and no longer part of the loan. This is why many lenders put in multiple bids at differing interest rates on one loan request.

We carefully check the completion and accuracy of the loan request information, apply the credit reference data and then calculate the credit score star rating. From the credit score star rating (see below) and the other information that is published in the loan request you will need to form your own view of the credit risk involved and hence fix the rate at which you are prepared to lend.

Each individual lending/borrowing transaction is executed at its own interest rate.

You can get a feel for how this works by looking at thisexample Loan Request and its Lending Bids .

Please read the lenders' section in "Guidelines"  for more information on this.

Why do I have to buy a membership if I want to lend?

We aim to make this the fairest of peer-to-peer lending and borrowing sites and, to that end, we have decided to run this unique membership model so that:

1. all users cover their own costs of the necessary regulatory and other functions (ID verification, credit referencing, risk decision processing, anti money laundering, etc.). This means that lenders and borrowers who successfully complete transactions on the site, do not have to cover the costs of checking the many hundreds of non-credit-worthy applicants that are ultimately turned down.

2. memberships are structures so users only pay for the service they require.

3. we can direct benefits and incentives to specific groups of members.

For more information on memberships please click here.

How will I receive my interest & principal repayment instalments?

When the borrower accepts the loan, uniquely to this site, the borrower can choose the date of the first repayment AND the date in the month for the regular monthly repayments. The first repayment instalment can be set, from 15 days and up to 42 days, from acceptance of the loan. The day of the month (from 1st up to 28th) on which the second and subsequent repayments can be made will be not earlier than 10 days, nor later than 33 days, after the first repayment).

Other than the first repayment, which might take up to 45 days to reach your account, you will receive monthly payments. The instalment repayment schedule is calculated on the outstanding loan principal at the instalment payment date. With each instalment there is a small amount of the loan principal repaid and this reduces the interest charge for the next month. Because each monthly payment remains the same, the amount of principal that is repaid will increase slightly each month and the interest will reduce. You can also view the detailed repayment schedule for each loan that you make.

For details on how the instalment repayments are calculated then click here

What information do I have to give to become a lender?

Confirm UK resident
Confirm over 18
Name & Address
Email Address
Gender
Date of Birth
Home & Mobile Telephone Numbers
Occupation
Bank Details
Confirm whether Lending is for Investment or Business

Do you perform any checking on me before I can become a lender?

No, but once lending, subject to certain limits, we are obliged to perform all the normal verification checks as well as those required under the Anti-Money Laundering regulations

How does the site check the borrower's credit reference?

When a borrower creates a new loan request an ID verification and a credit application search is run, which is the same as any other credit provider or bank will do. We then assess the credit risk under our three headings of Credit Reference, Affordability and Stability. We only allow lending to credit worthy borrowers.

How is the borrower's credit reference information used?

We have implemented a credit score star rating system designed for ease of use by lenders. There are three star ratings: Credit Reference, Affordability, Stability. These will help lenders make a decision about the lending bid interest rate. For details of how the credit score star rating system works click here

What borrower information do you require for a loan request?

We check that all the information set out in the loan request makes sense, and is enough to fulfil your requirements as a lender, to understand and assess the loan request. We verify information provided with the credit reference agencies' information. From the credit reference information we calculate and apply our credit scoring, and, if acceptable, we then publish the loan request

Can a borrower post a loan request if he or she has a bad credit record?

No, on this site, they cannot!
We will only publish a loan request if the borrower's credit worthiness and our other measures, such as affordability, are above our minimum acceptable level requirement.

How do I get my savings lent out and earning interest?

First you need to decide whether to place your savings in the Bidding or the Matching markets, or possibly both! 

BIDDING
The first, for lenders with a Lender membership, we call the "Bidding" market, which is an online "open reverse auction" for borrowers' unsecured loan requirements. "Open" in the sense that the loan request and its bids are visible. "Reverse" because the lower interest rate bids from lenders that make up the loan amount will win the auction. It is an auction because the lending is offered to prospective lenders on which you may make lending offers (bid an amount and rate you wish to lend). Think of it as an eBay for loans!

For more information on the Bidding market click here.

MATCHING
The second, for holders of the Advanced Lender membership, we call the "Matching" market. This is also a reverse auction but it is not "open". The loan requests are not visible for lenders to see. Instead, in the Matching market, all lending is automated by using the AutoLend facility. With AutoLend you can set up parameters for automated lending from up to five lending portfolios. Borrowers' loan requests will be selected for matching with lenders' money by virtue of the way that the lending parameters have been configured. Using AutoLend, you can achieve much greater volume of lending whilst at the same time limiting your exposure to any one borrower. Your risk is lowered by having a much greater spread of your savings across many borrowers.

For more information on the Matching market click here.

Please read the lenders' section in "Guidelines"  before bidding or setting up AutoLend and/or ARBU.

Are my lending bids viewable outside of this website?

Bidding loan requests showing lending bids posted on this site are available with a public URL and accessible to search engine crawlers such as Google. However, remember that your Username is used throughout the site and not your real name. It is your responsibility to choose a Username that does not identify you.

What will I pay for using the service?

Please refer to the menu item "Fees"  for the detail.

How do I sign up as a lender?

To sign up as a Lender, first register on the site and follow the instructions on the screens that will take you step by step through the process.

How can I find out the return I'm likely to get on lending my savings?

We have provided a Lending Calculator facility to calculate the likely return for you. Select the menu item Lending CalculatorThis facility will display the monthly income, the final amount that you will receive after all costs and the calculated annualised rate based on the amount that you wish to lend in total and the term or duration of the lending.

How does the optional compensation scheme work for lenders?

The Compensation Scheme ("CS"), which is an optional membership for lenders, endeavours to protect participating lenders from late and missed payments, arrears and defaults by borrowers. The objective of the CS is to ensure that lenders receive all the principal and interest repayments that they are expecting.

For more information about the Compensation Scheme click here

How do I make a lending bid on a bidding loan request?

You must be logged in. Then open the loan request and select the tab Lending Offers. Below the box showing existing bids, there is an area for entering your bid.  Enter amount and interest rate and then click on the "Make Bid" button. You have to Accept the Bid Terms Agreement to submit your bid. 

Please read the lenders' section in Guidelinesbefore making bids

Can I ask the borrower a question about a loan request?

Please only ask borrowers questions that are necessary and relevant to the loan request and your risk assessment of the borrower's credit worthiness and ability to repay the loan

How do I deposit and/or withdraw money?

This site currently offers the Direct Debit/Credit BACS system, Bank Transfer and PayPal for money Deposits and Withdrawals.
You can transfer money directly into our segregated Client Money Account at Barclays Bank.Your Username must be in the reference field so that we can correctly identify your deposit.
Alternatively you can use PayPal, which is a very popular, safe and secure online payment system.
For safe Client Money transfers you should use the PayPal method "Send Money" - "Pay Anyone", select the Personal Tab and then enter our PayPal email address -  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In answer to the question "This money is being sent as a ?" select the radio button "Personal Payment Owed". This way there will be no charge for the transaction as you are merely transferring the money to your own holding account at our site.

What are AutoLend and ARBU?

The AutoLend facility is designed to enable lending on a larger scale and with more sophistication than is feasible by bidding manually

AutoLend enables automatic bidding through automated lending portfolios where Lenders can choose their lending criteria.

ARBU is the Automated Response to Bumped-off Underbid facility.

It is designed to automatically replace a bid that has been bumped-off by another lender's lower interest rate bid. The lender has the facility to specify a number of parameters controlling how the replacement bid/s will be placed.

For more information on the AutoLend and ARBU click here.

How can I keep up to date with my lending and financial accounts situation?

There are extensive facilities for managing your lending here. Here is a summary of the facilities available for lenders:

User Account - Statement of money in and out, facilities for deposits and withdrawals Lending Accounts - Lending dashboard, account summary current and historic, sources and uses of funds, principal repayments, interest repayments & other interest income, fees deducted and not yet deducted, audit trails. Lending Bids - Active loan requests showing all bids, lending portfolio report statements showing bids/matches, amount in processing and amount lent out, active loans with drill down to loan slice details, repayment plans and individual loan slice accounts. Loan Book - Summary of all lending on active loans, active loan details with drill down to loan slice details, repayment plans and individual loan slice accounts.

Can I retract a lending bid?

No, once you have made your bid it is irrevocable. However, the borrower might decline the loan and your lending bid, in this case, would be released

When will I know whether my lending bid is successful?

When the loan request's duration is finished and the request is "Expired", assuming that the loan request is fully funded, the borrower has 48 hours to either accept or decline the loan. If he or she declines the loan then, you, as a lender will receive an email informing you that the loan has been declined and your lending bid/s will not be taken up. Your bid money is released back into your "available for lending" funds.

If, however, the loan is accepted by the borrower, then again, you, as a lender, will receive an email informing you of that.

After my lending bid is successful, what happens next?

Receipt of the email  informing you that your Lending Bid has been successful confirms that the borrower has accepted the loan, which then goes into "Processing". When the loan is disbursed to the borrower, its details will then appear in your Loan Book. You are then able to view the detail of the loan including its repayment plan schedule.

It's more than a month and I haven't received a repayment from the borrower yet?

The first repayment may take up to 45 days to reach your account after the acceptance of the loan by the borrower. 

When the borrower accepts the loan, uniquely to this site, the borrower can choose the date of the first repayment AND the date in the month for the regular monthly repayments. The first repayment instalment can be set, from 15 days and up to 42 days, from acceptance of the loan. The day of the month (from 1st up to 28th) on which the second and subsequent repayments can be made will be not earlier than 10 days, nor later than 33 days, after the first repayment). 
Subsequent repayments will always be monthly on or near the same day of the month.

The borrower seems to have paid more than I was expecting?

If this is the case then it is possible that your borrower has used the Change in Instalment Plan ("CIP") facility.
CIP exists for the borrower to change instalments or repay the loan early, but clearly this has repercussions for lenders. To make this equitable, borrowers access this facility by purchasing a CIP  membership and paying some fees which cover 
the lost interest to lenders for re-scheduling repayments, or possibly re-lending, their money.
To qualify for CIP, a loan must have received at least one successful repayment, according to the original repayment plan.
With CIP, a borrower may choose to repay the loan in full, pay a lump sum to reduce the monthly repayments or to reduce the term of the repayments.  In these latter cases your loan repayment schedule is recalculated appropriately and you will receive some fees in addition to principal and interest payments.

How should I communicate with my borrower?

Other than any initial questions that you may want to ask the borrower on a loan request before making your decision to lend, you should not need to communicate with your borrower once the loan is running, as everything necessary is handled efficiently by us.

What happens if the borrower doesn't pay an instalment?

If a borrower misses a repayment, in other words, a direct debit has failed, we will make contact with that borrower to find out why. We will endeavour to procure that a replacement payment is made as soon as possible.
To help prevent any issues arising from this situation we provide the lenders' optional Compensation Scheme which will replace the missed repayment after a set period of time (currently set to 21 days). Please click here for more information on the Compensation Scheme.
In the unlikely event that the borrower is unable to make further repayments, please refer to the
next question.

What happens if the borrower defaults on the loan?

We will apply a structured process to the situation as set out on our page "Late & Missed Payments, Arrears and Default on a Loan"

Can I cancel or terminate a loan?

No, a loan is a contract and once it is running neither a lender nor a borrower can cancel or terminate the loan, it must run its course

Can I sell my participation in a loan to someone else?

Yes, you can do this on the Secondary Market where, subject to certain conditions, you may list your loans for sale.

How should I manage my loan book?

To help ensure a successful loan bookdiversify, small investments widely spread. For more details on how to have a successful loan book, refer to "Guidelines"

Got a question that isn't answered here? Please post it on the Forum, first read the Forum Terms of Use.