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Aug 2018

Peer To Peer ISA – 5 Ideas For Your 2018/19 ISA

Peer To Peer ISA – 5 Ideas For Your 2018/19 ISA

Savings accounts and cash ISAs are struggling to stay ahead of inflation this year. With your annual ISA investment limit raised to £20,000 last year, this may be the time you want to look at a new type of ISA which offers around double the yield of a Cash ISA (with an increased risk, naturally). 

What is peer-to-peer investment?

You may be more familiar with it as internet-based crowd-funding. At its simplest it’s a form of lending that cuts out the middleman (that is to say, banks) and connects lenders directly to small, innovative businesses that need funding, allowing borrowers to pay less interest but also giving higher returns to investors.

The UK government stepped into the peer-to-peer lending space as a lender at the end of 2012, making some direct loans to innovative SMEs. In April 2016 the government launched the Innovative Finance ISA, to encourage individual investors to get into peer-to-peer funding with the added tax-free advantage of an ISA wrapper.

Effectively, you are able to invest in a business by buying some of its debt in “crowdfunding debentures”: similar to a bond, paying fixed interest over a period of time, and you’re not charged tax on the interest you earn.

The scope of the Innovative Finance ISA covers peer-to-peer lending platforms, such as the examples we show below, but it doesn’t extend to equity-based investing.

How much can you invest?

As much as you like, but only the first £20,000 per year will be eligible to sit inside your Innovative Finance ISA.

You can split your £20,000 allowance across various different types of ISA (Cash ISA, Stocks & Shares ISA, Innovative Finance ISA, etc), but the combined amount invested during the tax year must not exceed your personal limit.

You’re only allowed to hold one Innovative Finance ISA account each tax year. But you will be able to open a new Innovative Finance ISA with a different P2P platform each tax year.

Who can invest in an IFISA?

Any UK taxpayer aged 18 or over.

Unlike with Cash ISAs, there are no immediate plans from the government to introduce a Junior Innovative Finance ISA for under-18s.

Pros and cons of an IFISA?

  • The big plus is the more attractive return.
  • But peer-to-peer lending is a more adventurous type of investment, and these kinds of loans are not without risk. You don’t want to just be comparing interest rates on a like-for-like basis against bank or building society Cash ISA accounts.
  • Unlike a UK bank or building society account, peer-to-peer lending is not currently protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • What that means is that individual P2P lending platforms have different discretionary arrangements for protecting investors’ money, but their reserve funds are not regulated and the platform’s ability to cover all defaulted loans is not guaranteed.

5 to look at

British Pearl

Their IFSA offers easy access to the UK property market: you become a mortgage lender, secured by first charge on British property.

Terms: 2-5 years

Invest from: £100

Earn: 4.4% fixed interest

Limited offer: an extra 2% on shares and 1% on loans in Year 1


Feels like crowdfunding, allowing you to choose the businesses you invest in. You can start very small, and make monthly additions to your investment.

Term: 1-5 years

Invest from: £10

Earn: estimated 8.7% APR


If you like the brand you could feel comfortable here, and the easyMoney bonus card gives you savings of up to 55% at more than 100 British retailers.

Term: no fixed term

Invest from: £10,000

Earn: target 7.28% annualised return


Automatically diversifies your funds across at least 20 loans in their Loan Market, with no more than 5% of your funds in any one loan.

Term: no fixed term

Invest from: £1,000

Earn: target 6% return

Summer offer: up to £400 cashback if you invest before 31 August 2018


The option of a Rolling, 1-year or 5-year term is useful. For the Rolling and 1-year terms capital and interest is repaid at the end of the term you’ve opted for. With the 5-year term interest is repaid when the loans are repaid.

Term: Rolling, 1 year or 5 years

Invest from: £10

Earn: up to 5.2% annualised expected return

New investor offer: £100 bonus when you invest £1,000+ for a year. 

Peer to Peer Lending ISAs

Peer to Peer Growth IFISA

from Lending Crowd

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Interest Rate 4.90% target return
  • Term: No Fixed Term
  • Invest From: £1000

Why we like it: Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISA) are the new way to invest tax-free. Just like Cash and Stocks & Shares ISAs, you can invest up to £20,000 each tax year, and you don’t need to pay any personal taxes on your earnings. Lending Crowd will automatically diversify your funds across at least 20 loans through their Loan Market, with no more than 5% of your funds invested in any one loan. All repayments will be automatically reinvested.

Important: Peer to peer lending is not covered by the FSCS. Returns are not guaranteed and your actual returns may vary. Capital is at risk

  • No income tax or capital gains tax to pay on your profits
  • No fixed term, hold for as long as you wish
  • Also accepts ISA transfers from previous year's ISA's
  • Investments are automatically diversified across multiple business loans
  • The target rate is variable, net of ongoing management fees, estimated bad debt and before the 1% withdrawal fee
  • Capital is at risk
  • Must be aged 18 or older
  • Peer to peer lending is not covered by the FSCS

Calculate your interest with this plan

Your savings:
You could gain:
£0.00 (per tax year)
Important Risk Information:

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website aims to provide information to help you make your own informed decisions. It does not provide personal advice based on your circumstances. If you are unsure of how suitable an investment is for you, please seek personal advice.

High Income ISAs

High income ISA ideas:

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Fixed Rate & Instant Access ISAs:

Cash ISAs: 

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Types of Stocks and Shares ISA include: 

Stocks and Shares ISAs

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