The rise of fintech platforms has unlocked many opportunities for Canadians.
Peer-to-peer lending is an area that saw rapid growth throughout this decade, offering a convenient, profitable, and regulated method for borrowers and lenders to connect to each other – all without working with expensive middlemen like banks.
goPeer is a platform that is gaining popularity among Canadians, being the leading P2P lending service that lets people easily secure personal loans.
Are you interested in lending money as an investment or getting an unsecured loan? My goPeer review will tell you more about the platform and what you can expect from it.
Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform
Enjoy true peer-to-peer lending and borrowing in Canada, offering convenient loans for borrowers and significant returns for lenders.
- Lenders generate recurring monthly cashflows
- Regulated platform
- Competitive interest rates for borrowers
- Convenient loan application process
- Auto-Invest tool makes investing money easier
- 1.5% service fee (annual) upon borrower repayments
- Loans available only to creditworthy borrowers
- Up to 5% origination fee for all loans
What Is goPeer?
goPeer is among the first Canadian peer-to-peer lending platforms that connect Canadian borrowers who require convenient access to loans with lenders who want to lend consumer loans as an investment.
P2P lending is a process to secure loans that makes life simpler for borrowers. Canadians who want to secure a loan can get better interest rates, more convenience in loan repayments, and access funds faster than going through traditional lenders.
Canadians who want to diversify their investment portfolio out of traditional asset classes can use P2P lending to diversify their investment portfolio and generate fixed income while assisting other Canadians in accomplishing their financial goals.
goPeer is Canada’s leading regulated consumer peer-to-peer lending platform. P2P lending has been around in various countries for several years, but it has only picked up pace in Canada with the advent of goPeer in 2020.
Marc-Antoine Caya and Joseph Buaron created the digital lending platform.
As of this writing, goPeer has received almost $200 million worth of loan applications, and it boasts 6,000 lenders (investors) on the platform.
What Is Peer-To-Peer Lending?
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you need to borrow money to get some help in figuring out your finances?
Getting a personal loan typically means going to your bank, requesting a loan, and hoping that they feel generous enough to approve your application.
If that doesn’t pan out, you can go through various loan comparison sites to find alternative lenders. With the rise of goPeer, you have another possible avenue to secure a loan.
When you take a P2P loan, you are not borrowing money from a financial institution. You are borrowing money from another consumer like yourself, but with the promise of potentially better interest rates.
You do not need to contend with the stringent process of intermediaries like banks.
The P2P platform directly connects lenders with potential borrowers, reducing the costs and minimizing any bottlenecks that can slow down the process.
Interest rates on loans can vary based on the borrower’s credit rating. Lenders can capitalize on P2P lending as an investment opportunity to generate passive income through monthly repayments, inclusive of interest earned.
goPeer is a peer-to-peer lending platform that you can join to become a borrower or an investor (lender). Depending on why you join the platform, here is a look at how goPeer works.
Canadian investors looking for a way to diversify out of traditional investments to generate monthly and recurring cashflows at interest rates higher than through savings accounts can become lenders on goPeer.
The platform is available to all possible lenders who want to invest in consumer loans to generate returns.
The advantage of using goPeer to invest in consumer loans is the peace of mind that comes through its borrower assessment.
The firm assesses all borrowers that apply for unsecured personal loans to determine their incomes, debt levels, and credit profiles. goPeer then assigns a risk grade to each borrower, ranging from A+ to E.
The higher the risk rating, the likelier the chance of delinquency from the borrower. goPeer also increases interest rates for riskier borrowers.
The chart above shows that the average interest rate paid by borrowers with an A+ risk rating was 7.8%. The average interest rate paid by B- borrowers was 13.7%. Borrowers with an E risk rating paid an average of 25% in interest rates.
Becoming a goPeer investor requires no minimum investment. goPeer has also set maximum investment limits for non-eligible, eligible, and accredited investors on the platform. Here is what the limits look like:
- Non-Eligible Investors can annually invest a maximum of $10,000.
- Eligible Investors can annually invest up to $30,000. The maximum threshold can go up to $100,000 if you get advice from a portfolio manager at goPeer.
- Accredited Investors can invest as much as they want, without limitations by goPeer.
goPeer initially considers all new lenders non-eligible investors. Suppose that your annual income is greater than $75,000, your household income is over $125,000, or you have net assets worth over $400,000.
In that case, you might become eligible to be an eligible or accredited goPeer investor.
Non-eligible investors who want to change their status can contact goPeer with their CRA notice of assessment, or other documents proving that your net worth or income meets the criteria.
goPeer lets you start investing in consumer loans with as little as $10 per loan note and diversify your money across several loans to mitigate risk and increase your total returns.
Once you sign up, you can visit goPeer’s marketplace to review various loans and features available on the platform.
You can review the features like purpose, interest rate, term, loan grade, and other information about the investment opportunities and select one based on your risk tolerance and whether you are satisfied with the borrower.
The Auto-Invest tool on goPeer allows you to enjoy hassle-free returns by automatically investing (lending) your money based on specified criteria.
You do not need to log into your account each time you want to invest in a loan by letting the platform handle it for you.
Peer-to-peer investing with goPeer comes with several advantages that make it worth joining the platform as a lender, including:
- You can generate recurring monthly cashflows from loan repayments.
- The alternative investments through goPeer offer you another avenue to diversify your investment portfolio outside traditional securities.
- goPeer is a well-regulated and safe platform for investors.
- The platform handles vetting borrowers and approves only credit-worthy borrowers
- goPeer handles the collection process on loans from delinquent borrowers.
- Auto-Invest feature relieves you from the hassles of managing investments yourself.
- You can generate significant returns on your investments while helping others.
Not every platform is perfect, and the convenience goPeer offers to lenders comes with a few drawbacks, including:
- You have to pay a 1.5% which takes a chunk out of your overall returns.
- When committing to a loan as a goPeer investor, you have to hold the notes you bought until they mature.
- There is no secondary market that lets you sell the notes you hold to other lenders on goPeer.
- Like any investment, investing on goPeer is risky and the returns are not guaranteed.
goPeer works as a terrific lending platform for borrowers who want easier access to unsecured personal loans. goPeer lets you borrow an amount ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 for a term of 36 months or 60 months.
goPeer offers you competitive interest rates on loans you take through the P2P lending platform.
The rates on your loan can vary based on your overall credit rating. The interest rate can be as low as 8% but can go as high as 35%. As of this writing, the average loan interest rate amount for goPeer borrowers is 15.9%.
Easy access to unsecured personal loans through goPeer can be useful for several purposes, including home renovation, debt consolidation, auto financing, medical expenses, big-ticket purchases, and much more.
Debt consolidation is the most prominent reason goPeer users borrow through the platform.
It offers them the convenience of worrying about repayments to just one platform, and potentially gets them a better interest rate for easier repayments.
Getting a loan through goPeer is as simple as visiting its website in a quick and easy online application process.
goPeer sends you a response within one business day of submitting your application to inform you whether it has approved your application. Once you get the approval, you can select a loan offer.
goPeer then deposits the requested funds into your bank account.
How Do You Qualify For A goPeer Peer-To-Peer Loan?
Qualifying for a goPeer loan requires meeting a set of conditions, including:
- You must be 18 years old or older
- Your credit score must be 560 or higher
- Your annual income must be at least $15,000
- Your debt-to-income ratio must be lower than 35%
- You need to have a Canadian bank account
- You must have been a Canadian resident for at least 36 months before the date of your loan application
- You have not declared bankruptcy over the last year
- You must have three or more credit facilities on your credit profile (like a credit card, mortgage, auto loan, line of credit)
Provided that you can come up with the funds to repay your loans earlier, goPeer allows you to make early repayments without any penalties.
Using goPeer as the platform to acquire an unsecured personal loan comes with several benefits for borrowers, including:
- You can make early partial or complete repayments for your loans without incurring early repayment penalties.
- You get competitive interest rates, starting as low as 8% APR, depending on your credit rating.
- You do not need to provide any collateral to secure a loan through goPeer.
- The loan application process is completely online and straightforward. You can expect a response regarding approval for your application within one business day.
Borrowers enjoy a significant degree of flexibility when taking goPeer loans, and the platform makes it easier for you to secure a loan. However, there are a few minor drawbacks you should be aware of, including:
- The loans are only available to creditworthy applicants. You need a good credit score (over 560) to apply for a goPeer loan.
- goPeer applies an origination fee to all its loans, and it can be as high as 10%, depending on your risk profile.
- Costs of borrowing can rack up through additional fees, unsuccessful payment fees, and late payment fees.
- The interest rate can be as low as 8% APR, but the average interest rate on goPeer loans is 15.9%.
Creating an Account with Gopeer
To get started with GoPeer, you need to create an account on their website. The process is simple and straightforward. Here’s what you need to know:
To create an account with GoPeer, you need to be a Canadian resident with a Canadian bank account. You’ll also need to provide some personal information, including your full name, email address, and phone number.
Account Creation Process
To create an account, simply go to the GoPeer website and click on the “Sign Up” button. You’ll be asked to provide some basic information, including your name, email address, and phone number. You’ll also need to create a password for your account.
Once you’ve provided all the necessary information, you’ll receive an email from GoPeer asking you to verify your email address. Click on the link in the email to verify your account.
To complete the account creation process, you’ll need to provide some additional information. This includes your date of birth, address, and Canadian bank account information. You’ll also need to provide some information about your education and work experience.
Understanding the Risks and Returns
When investing with goPeer, it’s important to understand the risks and potential returns associated with your investment.
As with any investment, there is always a risk of losing your money. goPeer assesses borrowers based on their incomes, debt levels, and credit profiles, and assigns them a risk grade (A+ to E). The interest rate increases as the risk of delinquency rises. While goPeer does have a default rate of less than 1%, it’s important to keep in mind that there is always a risk of borrowers defaulting on their loans.
goPeer offers investors the potential to earn returns of up to 14% on their investments. However, it’s important to note that past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. It’s also important to keep in mind that returns are not guaranteed and can fluctuate based on a number of factors, including borrower defaults and changes in the economy.
Interest rates on goPeer loans can vary depending on the borrower’s risk grade. As of July 2023, interest rates range from 7.8% for A+ loans to 25% for E loans.
Notes and Bonds
goPeer loans are structured as promissory notes, which are legally binding agreements between the borrower and the investor. These notes are not publicly traded and cannot be sold on a secondary market.
goPeer offers investors an alternative to traditional investments like stocks and bonds. While goPeer loans can offer higher potential returns than these traditional investments, they also come with a higher level of risk.
Gopeer was founded in 2020 by Marc-Antoine Caya and Joseph Buaron. Both founders have strong backgrounds in finance and technology, which has helped them create a unique and innovative peer-to-peer lending platform for Canadians.
Marc-Antoine Caya is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in finance and technology. He has previously founded and sold two successful startups in the fintech space. Caya is responsible for the strategic direction of goPeer and oversees the company’s operations.
Joseph Buaron is an experienced software developer with a passion for creating innovative solutions to complex problems. He has worked for several tech companies, including IBM and Shopify, before co-founding goPeer. Buaron is responsible for goPeer’s technology and product development.
Gopeer is the first and only platform to be approved by regulators to operate a consumer peer-to-peer lending platform within Canada, which allows everyday Canadians to invest in consumer loans.
Yes, peer-to-peer lending is perfectly legal in Canada. Make sure that you go through a regulated peer-to-peer lending service to enjoy the peace of mind that you are lending money to borrowers with the promise of getting decent returns on your investment.
Peer-to-peer lending through a regulated platform comes with the benefit of securing loans for potentially better interest rates and getting the funds faster than with traditional lenders.
There is always the risk of delinquencies when lending directly to someone without an intermediary protecting your investment.
Fortunately, goPeer offers loan collection for delinquent accounts, collecting the repayments on the investor’s behalf.
Is goPeer Legit?
Headquartered in Toronto, goPeer is a regulated consumer P2P lending platform, and it is registered in all Canadian provinces and territories.
All its lending operations are subject to the rules defined by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC).
Peer Securities Corporation is one of its subsidiaries, and it is regulated as an exempt market dealer in various regions throughout Canada, including Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Alberta, and British Columbia, Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.
goPeer employs high-level encryption to protect your personal information stored and used by the platform.
Whether you are a borrower looking to secure a personal loan or a lender interested in diversifying their investment portfolio by delving into the consumer loan industry, goPeer presents itself as the ideal platform for both.
If you have a good credit score and need a loan, you can get competitive rates through a straightforward process by using goPeer.
As an investor, goPeer offers you a hassle-free opportunity to invest in consumer loans and ensures that you can get good returns on your investment.
If you are a business owner who wants to secure a loan but have a bad credit rating, goPeer might not approve your loan application.
However, there are alternatives that you can consider. Check out my Loanconnect review to learn more.
Disclaimer: Investing through goPeer is considered risky. Investors may speak to a goPeer registered dealing representative to find out if they are suitable to invest through goPeer. Investors should also seek professional advice (including tax, legal, accounting and financial) before investing through goPeer.