IFISAs: What Are The Risks?
This page was last updated on 27 June, 2019
- Psychological risk: your own greed and fear.
- Concentration risk: you don't spread your money across lots of loans and P2P lending sites.
- Credit risk: borrowers don't repay you.
- Platform risk: the P2P lending site (the “platform”) goes bust and its wind-down is not perfectly managed.
- Risk of fraud or negligence.
- Liquidity risk: the risk that you are unable to get your money back swiftly, even if there is an easy-access feature
Those are the big six.
Most people who useto lend their money in are taking part in . The difference is simply that the lending is wrapped up in a completely tax-free type of lending account.
Yet there are two extra risks applicable to P2P– higher costs and “inertia risk”. And, there is also one extra feature that reduces the risk. These three items are not covered in the P2P lending key risks pages. So let's go through these one at a time:
risks from higher costs
Where you are charged extra to lend through an, it will always mean higher risks.
Here's an example. Let's say that the borrowers pay interest rates of 10%. Let's say that aprovider takes a cut from the middle so that the lenders receive 6.5% before bad debts.
If you want to wrap your lending up in an, let's say the provider charges you an additional one percentage point, even though you're lending in exactly the same loans. So that means you'll earn 5.5% before bad debts.
The more that costs eat into your returns, the closer you will be to making a loss in a bad year. So you need to watch out for any extra layer of charges when your lending is wrapped in an.
The good news is that the vast majority ofproviders do not charge any more for you to lend through an than they do for their ordinary accounts.
You might have to pay a small additional fee for some administrative items. For example, you might pay a fee to transfer your money out to another ISA. This normally shouldn't have much of an impact on you though.
You still need to watch out for regular ongoing additional fees with someproviders, which can sometimes be one percentage point or more. The impact of 1% fees every year for 20 years could cost you £3,000 or more in winnings on a £5,000 initial lending pot. That's £3,000 less interest to cover potential bad debts.
The risk of being tied into
Lenders have the freedom to choose whether they want to stick with their currentafter their loans have been repaid or sold, or whether they want to move on.
However, busy people with jobs, families, hobbies and stresses to deal with tend to put off decisions when it is a bit of a chore. This is sometimes called “inertia risk”. In other words, through your own inactivity, you are tying yourself to the sameproviders.
Switchingis a bit more of a chore than switching accounts. After selling your loans or waiting for them to be repaid, you often then need to complete a paper form and wait several weeks for your money to transfer to other .
This can be off-putting, so it's up to you to ensure your own busy-ness – or laziness – doesn't lead to you doing nothing, when it's time for you to do something.
What's worse aboutis that some lenders could too easily end up putting too much money into just one, due to the apparent difficulty in opening several accounts in a short space of time.
There are restrictions on the number of ISAs you can put new money into in one year. This reduces the number of loans and P2P lending sites that you lend across, which increases your risks if you don't stagger your money or save and invest some of it elsewhere.
In an attempt to combat that, there are some aggregators offeringthat combine loans from different sites. But all of those come with the aforementioned higher fees.
There are better solutions, however. If you want to spread your money around lots of How To Lend Across Multiple In One Year!more quickly, read
One waylower the risks
There's one way thatcan lower the risks for lenders.
This applies to additional-rate tax payers. It could also apply to basic-rate and higher-rate payers, if the amount of interest you are earning through both lending and savings accounts is higher than your Personal Savings Allowance. (£1,000 for basic-rate payers and £500 for higher-rate payers. Read more on those limits in How Is ) Taxed?
Since you are not taxed on your profits in, this gives you an additional buffer of winnings for future years when your returns might be closer to zero, e.g. during a severe recession and property crash. Potentially, especially if you like to lend in higher-risk loans, the extra winnings you keep by dodging taxes through an might ensure that you don't make a loss.
Not allare P2P lending
4thWay focuses exclusively on, including that do P2P lending – which is most of them. Anything that isn't direct lending between you and the end borrower has nothing to do with us.
But someare not P2P lending and therefore they contain at least one additional risk that we don't usually cover on 4thWay, being outside our jurisdiction.
But you are probably curious so, just for your info, that additional risk comes about because you are lending to theprovider, and not directly to each of the individual borrowers.
Therefore, the risk is that, if theprovider collapses, you won't get all your money back because borrower repayments will not all be owed to you.
Instead, other businesses that were owed money by theprovider will also get a slice of the repayments. So the provider's bank gets some of it to cover part of the provider's outstanding overdraft and loans. And the provider's suppliers, who haven't been paid yet, will get a cut as well. And probably others owed money by the business will also have a claim.
For more, read our 10-page guide.
Articles linked to above:
How To Lend Across Multiple In One Year!
How Is Taxed?
Independent opinion: the opinions expressed are those of the author and not held by 4thWay. 4thWay is not regulated by the ESMA or the FCA, and does not provide personalised advice. The material is for general information and education purposes only and not intended to incite you to lend.
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