Kuflink review

Ratings

Overall Rating
4/5
Returns
3/5
Ease of use
5/5
Credit quality
4/5
Website features
3/5
Platform strength
4/5
Loan availability
3.5/5

Loan types available

Development loans

Bridge loans

Renovation loans

Loan characteristics

3-12 month maturities

GBP only

No buybacks

Real estate collateral

UK only

Website and investment product features

Auto-invest

Secondary market

Manual selection

What is Kuflink? How does it work?

Kuflink offers three different types of products – ‘self-select’, ‘auto-invest’, and IFISA. The auto-invest and IFISA products have the same investment profile. Investors can choose from 1 year, 3 year and 5 year products, that have fixed rates. Kuflink has been increasing the rates that they are paying on their auto-invest and IFISA products. Currently investors can earn 5% on the 1 year, 6.1% on the 3 year, and 7% on the 5 year products. Cashback promotions are also frequently available, which increases the returns that investors receive. Investments made into auto-invest and IFISA products are pooled together, and used to purchase multiple loans (currently around 30). 

IFISA products provide tax free income for UK resident taxpayers. The IFISA offered by Kuflink is one of the best we have seen in the P2P market, as it is simple, and there are no recurring fees. This makes it very attractive relative to some other IFISA products that we have seen, which often levy fees of up to 1% pa. Full details are provided on the Kuflink site. 

The self-select option allows investors to decide which loans to invest in, and how much. This has three key advantages over the auto-invest and IFISA options. Firstly, the rates available can be a little higher than for the 1 and 3 year fixed term products. Secondly, Kuflink provides some loss protection to their self-select investors. Finally, it allows investors to choose the best loans, that have the lowest risk and best rates. Kuflink makes a 5% co-investment on each self-select loan, which it subordinates below the Kuflink investors. In other words, this investment will absorb any losses from a default first, before Kuflink investors do. We do note however is a less generous structure than Kuflink offered when they launched with a (subordinated) co-investment of 20%. 

What we like

What we don't like

  • Good lending track record so far
  • All loans are secured by real estate
  • Market leading returns for a lower risk lending product
  • Customer service is very good. The Kuflink team are available on their online chat facility outside normal working hours
  • Information is presented well, with full valuation reports available for each collateral
  • Fixed term products are available
  • Tax efficient IFISA available for British tax-payers
  • 5% subordinated co-investment on the self-select loans
  • Loan availability has been improving
  • Quality of loans can vary
  • Takes time to build up a large diversified portfolio
  • Very little activity on the secondary market
  • Website is very basic (although a big update is due to arrive soon)
  • Website does not publish detailed lending data and statistics

Risk and return profile

Conclusions on Kuflink

We’ve already mentioned the interest rates available to investors on the fixed term products. We are now going to focus on the self select option. What is the risk profile, and what kinds of returns can investors expect?

All loans are secured on British real estate. Properties tend to be residential housing and small commercial premises (such as pubs, restaurants and offices). The loan to values (LTVs) tend to be in the region of 50-70%. This means that all loans have considerable equity value behind them, and if borrowers default, losses should be nil, or small. 

Kuflink says that there have been no investor losses so far. We think this is a good start, but as the portfolio is still relatively young it will take longer to demonstrate their underwriting success. One improvement we would like to see from them is to publish detailed statistics on their lending record.

Our favourite types of Kuflink loans are their bridge loans. We regularly select Kuflink’s bridge loans when we publish our regular ‘what are the best P2P loans right now?’ series. Why? Because they are so simple, and have less risk than other Kuflink loans. Our least favourite loans are development loans, as we see them as being much higher risk, without any increase in interest rates paid to investors.

Most loans have interest rates between 6% and 7.2%, which we think is reasonable and appropriate for the reduced level of risk.

We are fans of Kuflink. We have interviewed their CEO in the past (link here). Kuflink offer a range of investment products that will be suitable for a wide range of investors. Most loans are 6-12 months which we think is an ideal term for most P2P investors. Our preferred product is the self-select loan account, due to the higher rates of interest and extra protection from the 5% loss protection. However the IFISA will also be popular for many investors, as it offers tax free savings, reasonable returns, low fees, and simplicity. We would not recommend the auto-invest option as it is very simple and easy to create a similar self-select portfolio that will offer better returns, and lower risk.

For investors looking to invest in lower risk, sterling denominated secured P2P loans, and want to earn a reasonable return, Kuflink is one of the better options right now.

Cashback Bonus for New Kuflink Investors

We think Kuflink is one of the best investment sites currently available in British P2P. We can help to boost your Kuflink returns even further. If you visit Kuflink using this link, and open an account, Kuflink will credit your account with an additional 2.5% on all funds invested into loans or products within 14 days of opening an account (minimum investment of £1,000). Investments over £5,000 can qualify for higher cashback rates of up to 4%. Investments with a maturity of 1 year or longer qualify (see site for full details). It’s a great offer and is only available to new investors who register using this special link. Using the link will also help to support the work of Explore P2P.

Other sites to consider

Blend network logo

Blend Network offers the highest returns available in the UK for secured loans. It does this by finding niches where there is little competition from the major banks currently. A new site but we think it has good prospects

Capitalrise logo

Capitalrise offers investors access to loans that are secured on developments and properties in super-prime areas of the UK such as central London. The quality of the website is excellent. Rates are normally around 10%

CrowdProperty Logo

CrowdProperty provides finance to smaller British developers. The team have built a very good lending track record so far, based on having strong real estate expertise. Growing strongly

Bridgecrowd logo

Bridgecrowd offers secured bridge loans with interest rates of 10-12%. The site is designed for investors with larger sums to invest. Excellent returns for the risk

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