Fund Ourselves is the alternative peer-to-peer lender founded by Nadeem Siam. Formerly known as WeLendUs, the startup re-launched and is gaining traction as a viable alternative for high-cost loans and delivering attractive returns of up to 15% per annum for investors.
Through Fund Ourselves, borrowers and investors are connected via their peer-to-peer platform. Those looking for short term loans for up to 4 months can access better rates than traditional high street lenders, with customers for bad credit also considered. One of the main USPs is the no penalty system that will not charge any fees for missed repayment, whilst also giving an extension of up to 12 months, free of charge, to help customers to get back on their feet.
For those looking to invest through the portal, you can earn between 5% to 15% per annum depending on the level of risk that you are willing to take on. Lending to customers with more adverse credit histories will yield higher returns (12% to 15%) and lending to good credit customers will return a lower, but more stable return (starting from 5%).
With investments starting from just £1, Fund Ourselves uses a variety of data-driven tools including AutoDiversify, to ensure that your investments are spread across multiple borrowers and not over-capitalised on just one individual. There is also a provision fund in place to help recover any potential losses if your borrowers struggle to repay on time, with the added help of a customer service team to follow up on missed repayments.
Siam previously worked for NASA and the European Space Agency before taking one large leap in to the controversial industry of consumer finance.
For years, the market had been dominated by high-cost lenders such as Wonga, The Money Shop and QuickQuid. However, ongoing compensation claims have recently seen these companies go into administration and Siam is looking to serve the 3 million Britons who are looking for loans of £50 to £500 – something he has coined as ‘the lost Wonga generation.’
“If you look at rail fares and energy costs, everything is going up in price,” explains Siam. “But salaries are not increasing at all. So the demand for short-term credit will increase, but we need to deliver it in a better way. Otherwise, people will get into other financial problems if they can’t get access to the cash they need.”
“The premise behind Fund Ourselves is to be as low-cost and flexible for borrowers as possible, with no penalising structure.”
“Borrowers can’t get a loan without passing fraud, credit, and affordability checks. If they think they are going to struggle to pay the loan in time, they can notify Fund Ourselves using their online account and switch the loan to a longer-term plan – making the payment more manageable, without leaving a black mark against the borrower’s credit rating.”