This section will take you through the major steps of how to approach peer-to-peer lending, and gives you some more detailed tips and pointers. Please note, that these suggested steps are offered as guidelines only. You might find each step more or less complicated, depending on your project, the size of your team, and the amount of time you are able to commit.
The early days of your crowdfunding campaign should be dedicated to looking into the world of peer-to-peer lending and preparing your offer. You should
- Research potential platforms and the features they offer.
- Ensure you understand the rules and legal requirements of the platform.
- Read as many guides, blogs and ongoing campaigns as you can find for inspiration and learn from the experience of others.
- Contact platforms that closely fit your needs.
- Carefully prepare and check any financial documents that are required by the platform.
Tip: If you can afford to, try lending a small amount of your own money (say €100) in small sums to other businesses. You will get a very good insight into what your crowd-lenders will look for.
The credit assessment team from your chosen crowdfunding platform will look at all of the information you have supplied. If your application is successful, they might tell you which risk category you are to be listed under. If your business is approved, it will be listed on the platform for lenders to bid on. Each lender will bid their selected amount and interest rate. Once your target is reached, lenders can keep bidding, lowering the interest rates, so the more popular your campaign, the better your terms could be.
Don’t forget: Often you will need to provide financial accounts and your credit history. If you don’t already have it, ask a professional for help. Financial accounts take time to complete and can add costs.
Once the auction is finished, the platform will be in touch to confirm the final average interest rate. The platform will then send the funds to your bank account within an agreed timeframe.
You then have to pay back the loan and the interest on instalments that you agreed with the platform. This is usually done by direct debit to the platform, which then manages the repayments back to the investors’ accounts.
Once the loan is repaid in full, the platform will confirm the end and the operation is over.
Download an example peer-to-peer lending case study: Isabella’s pastry shop
Tip: Be available during the entire process as additional questions both from the platform as well as investors can come in, needing a very quick response.