iGrin – First p2p lending site in Australia launched

Earlier this month the first Australian p2p lending service iGrin.com.au quietly launched. Here is what Phil Hopper, iGrin's CEO told me, when I contacted him about iGrin's goals: 'We set out with the intention of being Australia's first and best P2P banking community. To date we have intentionally kept a low profile whilst we have gone about proving our business model and ensuring compliance with the Australian regulatory environment. The team behind iGrin has predominantly come from the banking industry and brings with it a wealth of product development, technology and lending experience. We have been impressed with the advances made in P2P lending overseas and are looking forward to applying these to the local Australian market and enabling everyday Australians to get great rates and great returns.'

Browsing the site, the main parameters are:

  • Borrower fees are 1% (for AA to D credit grades) or 2% (HR) or 90 AUS$ (whichever is greater) 
  • Lender fees are 0.5 to 1.5% annual loan servicing fee (depending on credit grade)
  • Loans are possible for amounts from 2000 to 25000 AUS$ (approx 22000 US$)
  • Lenders can invest from as little as 100 AUS$ to a maximum of 25000 AUS$
  • There is a bididng process, where the borrower sets the initial (maximum) interest rate he is will to pay and lenders bid down the rate (like at Prosper.com) 
  • Currently all loans are for a term of 3 years
  • The way the Australian credit rating works, simply appling (whether successful or not) for a loan may impact one's credit grade

A feature that differs from other p2p lending platforms is the 'Member direct loan' iGrin offers:

A service that iGrin provides to allow members to offer a loan direct to an individual. We will then undertake all of the transfer of funds and ongoing payments on behalf of the members. This is a great way for family or friends who wish to lend money to each other to have a third party (iGrin) manage all of the repayments and transfer of funds on their behalf. A formal contract is put in place between the two parties. It can also be a great way for someone to improve his or her credit rating. 

While a family and friends loan is possible on other p2p lending services too, it is noteworthy that iGrin charges lower fees for Member direct loans than for normal loans.

Excerpts of answers to other questions I asked Phil Hopper, CEO of iGrin.com.au:

P2P-Banking.com: Which background does the management have?

iGrin.com.au:  … The founders have over 50 years experience in Banking and Finance. The original founder and CEO is Phil Hopper who has a strong background in Banking and Technology most recently at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and prior to that at Macquarie Bank. Continue reading