Peer to peer lending websites: Zopa review

  

Zopa brand image

Customer score

2nd out of 3 peer-to-peer lending websites

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Zopa peer-to-peer lender overview

Zopa was the UK’s first peer-to-peer lending website. In 2013, it introduced a central compensation fund that aims to pay out to lenders whenever a borrower fails to make a repayment. Like other sites, this fund is limited, so it could run out if lots of borrowers fail to repay. However, in common with RateSetter, Zopa has a 100% track record of covering defaults so far.

Zopa peer-to-peer lender details

Lending terms

  • Minimum lend: £10
  • Maximum lend: No maximum
  • Lending term: Choice of three years or five years, although from mid-March 2016 lenders will no longer be able to choose term of loan. Instead they will be assigned a term of anywhere from one to five years based on available borrowers.
  • Can I withdraw funds early? Yes, but you will have to pay 1% of total amount withdrawn on most products (0% with Zopa Access, launching mid March 2016)
  • Average rate of return for lenders: 3.8% (three-year loan; after fees but before tax) or 5% (five-year loan; after fees but before tax. Rates checked 18 February 2016)

Borrowing terms

  • Minimum amount you can borrow: £1,000
  • Maximum amount you can borrow: £25,000
  • Borrowing term: One to five years
  • Can loans be paid off early? Yes, and without any penalty fees
Zopa peer-to-peer lending satisfaction
Overall experience4 stars out of 5 
Savings rates3 stars out of 5 
Explanation of the risks4 stars out of 5 
Default rates4 stars out of 5 
Variety of products available3 stars out of 5 
Ease of use of the website4 stars out of 5 
Customer service4 stars out of 5 
Clarity of information on the website4 stars out of 5 
Online community4 stars out of 5 

Table notes:

  • Star ratings out of five show levels of satisfaction for each category.

What Zopa's customers say about them?

‘Easy-to-use website, easy to withdraw and invest, and good email reminders'
‘Straightforward, and better rates than a building society. I have no cause to mistrust the sytem.’
‘Good interest rate paid, but absence of FSCS coverage as on other savings remains a concern.’

Alternatives to peer-to-peer websites

If you're looking for a loan, it's worth checking out Which? Best Rate personal loans too.

In almost all cases you'll want to build up cash savings (in Isas or savings accounts) before considering putting your money into a more risky investment such as peer-to-peer lending.

If you are looking for higher returns you might want to consider other investments.

More on this...

Last updated:

June 2016

Updated by:

Michael Trudeau

 

Which? Limited (registered in England and Wales number 00677665) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited (registered in England and Wales number 07239342). Which? Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Registered office: 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF.