Frequently asked questions

Yes. As an online business, our staff can work remotely, and as a digital lender we are able to provide the same high level of support for our lenders and borrowers as we have always done.
Yes. We feel that it is important to support good creditworthy Irish businesses at this time and our credit team is giving the same careful consideration to all completed applications as it has always done.
Yes. Creditworthy and ambitious businesses continue to seek funding through the Flender platform, and we anticipate that this will offer good investment opportunities for our lenders as the market changes. New opportunities available on the Flender Marketplace should offer good returns over shorter terms. We will continue to carefully assess all loan applications and all approvals will be subject to Flender’s strict credit criteria.
We have reached out to all of our borrowers to assure them that we are available to support them at this time. We do know that there are challenging months ahead for many businesses and we have a range of procedures in place to assist borrowers that experience difficulties. Our approach has always been to help businesses complete their loans and any issues will be carefully assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The Flender management team is carefully monitoring developments that affect businesses, and as a flexible digital lender, Flender can quickly react to changes in the business environment. Borrowers with business that have been directly impacted by Covid-19 will be offered flexible and tailored solutions which may include cashflow top-ups, repayment reductions or brief moratoriums. Our goal is to assist our borrowers and provide the best possible solutions for what we hope will be short-term difficulties.
In general, investors returns should not be adversely affected by changes to a borrower’s terms. For example, where a moratorium is agreed, a balloon payment at the end of the term covering the moratorium period would also be agreed and any investors involved in that loan will be informed. We support our borrowers and help them to complete their loans which in turn supports our lenders and protects their investments.
The best way to contact us at this time is by email and we will do our best to respond to your queries within one business day. You can reach us at info@flender.ie

Below is a letter to the Flender community from Flender CEO Kris Koik which provides some further information.

Business as usual: A message from Flender CEO Kris Koik

Dear Flender Community,

We are contacting you to let you know that despite the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 situation, Flender is operating as usual.

As an online business, our staff can work remotely, and as a digital lender we are able to provide the same high level of support for our lenders and borrowers as we have always done.

Our support team is available to answer any questions you may have, and our originations and credit teams continue to assess opportunities with good businesses to ensure that our lenders continue to make good returns.

We know that many Flender investors will want to understand the impact that the Covid-19 situation may have on their portfolios and we’d like to take some time to address this with you.

Flender is not overly exposed to any single business sector and we believe that our robust credit criteria, the diversity of the businesses we lend to and the range of terms across the loans that we fund puts Flender lenders in a uniquely advantageous position over other lenders.

However, we do know that there are challenging months ahead for many businesses and we have a range of procedures in place to assist borrowers that experience difficulties. Our approach has always been to help businesses complete their loans, we will continue to help businesses, and any issues will be carefully assessed on a case-by-case basis.

As with all lenders, we are currently providing assistance for a small number of businesses that are experiencing cashflow difficulties. These are strong trading businesses and the supports we have put in place are payment moratoriums with balloon payments at the end of their terms – meaning that lender returns on these loans should not be affected.

As we assess new investment opportunities for our lenders, our credit team is applying stringent criteria to ensure that new loans available on our platform provide good opportunities and solid and safe returns for our lenders into the future.

Wishing you all the best for your health and wellbeing.

Kris Koik

Flender is open to any business who wishes to secure funding where a set of audited accounts are available. Lenders can be resident anywhere in the world. Borrowers who create Flender campaigns need to hold residence in Ireland. Anyone that meets the affordability and credit check requirements is eligible to launch a campaign on Flender. In order to create a campaign, the borrower must meet the following requirements:
  1. If you are a sole trader, you must be a permanent resident of Ireland.
  2. If your business is a partnership, it must have a permanent place of business in Ireland and at least half of its partners must be permanent residents of Ireland.
  3. If your business is a limited company, it must be registered with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). It must have filed accounts with the CRO.
  4. Your business must have been actively trading for at least the past two years.
  5. Your business must meet our minimum credit risk and fraud criteria.
  1. At Flender, we believe that traditional methods of financial borrowing are outdated, imbalanced and impersonal. We felt there was an opportunity to create an alternative method of lending that gave borrowers more control over how they borrow and an opportunity to get more than money from the transaction: loyalty and increased trust.
  2. Our goal was to develop Peer-to-Peer lending network that would allow businesses to raise funds from lenders within their own social circle and customer base, and investors willing to lend to them. Our loans are funded by a community of thousands of investors, comprised of institutions and over 5,000 people, all looking to lend to Irish businesses like yours. Our approach means that borrowers can access fast and affordable finance, and lenders can safely lend to creditworthy businesses and people they know and trust.
  3. Flender’s purpose is two-fold:
    1. Lenders can bid on which campaigns they would like to back, whilst earning more interest than a standard savings account.
    2. Borrowers can raise funds whilst sharing their story with people whom they already have a connection. While doing this we provide a layer of security and structure to the process that ensures both borrowers and lenders are protected.
  1. ID & Address Confirmation
  2. Trading accounts for the past 2 years
  3. Bank Statements (last 6 months)
  4. Tax Clearance Certificate
All borrowers go through affordability and credit checks before their campaign is eligible for participation. A successful campaign requires signed contracts by all parties before proceeding.
  1. Flender loans and activities are subject to the laws in the country of the origin of the relevant campaign.
  2. At Flender, we are committed to keeping your information secure and in protecting your privacy. You can read more about this in the privacy policy section of our Customer agreement.
Getting started on your funding journey is easy. Just click “Get a Flender loan” anywhere on the website. Once registered you can begin creating your profile.
Businesses can borrow between €15,000 and €300,000 for terms of up to three years. The amount that you wish to borrow, interest rate and the repayment period can be chosen by you. All borrowers are subject to affordability and credit checks to ensure that they are financially able to meet the loan repayments.
No, it’s free and there are no associated costs with setting up a campaign on Flender.
Flender does not charge any fees to lenders. Business borrowers pay a small fee based on a successfully funded application or campaign. Please contact us for more information if you are a business interested in raising funds through Flender. You can email us at info@flender.ie or call us on (01) 551 0716 .
Our loans are funded by a community of thousands of investors, including institutions and over 5,000 people, all looking to lend to Irish businesses like yours.
We still handle everything for you, but as well as getting the finance you need, you’ll know you’ve got a huge community of investors behind you.
Your card will be charged monthly. Should there be any issue with the repayment on the billing date, we will try again the next 2 days. Should the repayment remain outstanding, you can transfer the funds manually to our Bank account using your name as a reference.
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Digital Lending offers a fast and flexible alternative to the traditional banks.

Digital Lending matches lenders with approved borrowers in a safe environment and creates legal contracts between those parties.

Since Digital Lending companies operate online, they can run with lower overhead and provide services more efficiently than traditional financial institutions. As a result, lenders can earn higher returns, while borrowers can access funds much more quickly than they would through traditional banks.

Almost anyone can become a lender on Flender. To become a lender you need to meet the following criteria:
  1. You must be over 18 and a have valid passport or driving licence
  2. You must have a valid bank account available
  3. You must take responsibility for your own tax affairs and report to your country’s regulatory authorities as necessary.

There is no cap on the total you can lend to businesses on Flender. You can lend from €50 to €300,000 on each loan request although investors typically create a diverse portfolio to spread risk across a range of loans.
Interest rates available through Flender can vary depending on type of campaign and the rate the borrower is willing to pay.

The percentage that we show as potential return is the annual interest rate that is charged on a decreasing balance loan.
For example if you lend a Borrower €10,000 at a 10.30% interest rate over 36 months, the monthly repayments to you will be €324.08.
So you will get back €11,666.96 in total (i.e. a return of €1,666.96, or 16.7% of the loaned amount). Dividing that 16.7% by three years gets to 5.7%, but that 5.7% is not the available rate of return, because it's not compounded.
In order to achieve an annual rate of return of 10.3%, you'd simply reinvest the monthly repayments from this loan into other loans to receive the benefits of compound interest.
With Flender, you can lend to limited companies, sole traders and partnerships seeking loan facilities.
We carefully review all potential borrowers and only approve their applications if they have successfully completed affordability and credit checks. All business loans are secured with directors’ personal guarantees and a security deposit.
The credit team at Flender evaluates each borrower in detail for affordability and creditworthiness, as with traditional lending institutions. We also analyse credit information obtained from Credit Safe and Stubbs Gazette, along with a detailed cash flow and VAT return analysis.
We carefully review all potential borrowers and only approve their applications if they have successfully completed affordability and credit checks. All business loans are secured with directors’ personal guarantees.
First, register as an investor on Flender and choose the campaign(s) that you would like to lend to from the Flender Marketplace. You can then transfer your funds to those campaigns. You can also invest quickly and automatically in companies that meet your criteria using our AutoFlend feature.
AutoFlend allows you to automatically bid on live campaigns in the Flender Marketplace. Registered users can see AutoFlend by logging into their accounts.
AutoFlend is designed to help investors quickly lend to companies that meet certain criteria. Investors can set loan grades and terms themselves and then use AutoFlend to spread their funds across a range of business loans that meet these criteria. AutoFlend also helps investors create a diverse portfolio and spread risk across a range of loans.
AutoFlend automatically place bids for you when a loan meeting your criteria appears on the Flender Marketplace without you having to check for new campaigns. You can opt in and opt out of AutoFlend whenever you wish.
Flender does not charge any fees to lenders.
We understand that this is your money, not ours. The available cash that you have is held in a segregated Lenders funds account. Flender manages these accounts in line with best practice. The account does not form part of Flender’s assets. Where you lodge funds to your Flender account, we will ensure the safety of your money by putting in place structures and controls consistent with Client Monies regulations.
It is important to remember that with all lending there is an element of risk. Some borrowers may not be able to fully repay their loan. If this happens, the loan becomes known as a bad debt.
All of our borrowers undergo a rigorous credit evaluation process before they post a loan request on Flender.
This process includes the following checks:
  1. Credit Checks by Credit Safe – the borrower must have a good record of managing their finances.
  2. Affordability – the borrower must clearly show that it can comfortably afford the repayments.
  3. Creditworthiness – we check each borrower’s identity and creditworthiness in detail, using the same business information that all the best financial institutions use. We also validate their bank statements and audited financial accounts.

Our experienced underwriters review every application in full before it can be posted on Flender.
We advise all lenders to spread their money across multiple campaigns to reduce their risk. By lending only a small proportion of each business loan, you reduce your exposure.
Flender does everything necessary to ensure that each borrower is who they say they are and does what they say they’ll do.
We also carry out comprehensive identity and credit checks on company directors who wish to borrow through Flender.
The first repayment you get from a borrower will usually arrive within a month of you lending to them.
You will see your funds in your Flender account and you can withdraw them once a month or reinvest and earn compound interest.
Yes, any money you receive from borrower repayments is automatically added to your available cash fund which you can then use to lend to other borrowers and take advantage of the power of compound interest to maximise your returns. You can use AutoFlend to automatically reinvest money you receive from borrower repayments.
You can withdraw any money in your lender account that you have not currently lent out. For your first withdrawal, we require proof of identification before we can release your funds. The following items are accepted:
  1. Proof of Identity: Copy of Passport/Drivers Licence/EU Card.
  2. Proof of Address: Financial statement which must be dated within the last 6 months.
Flender’s comprehensive affordability and creditworthiness checks have meant that Flender maintains an extremely low default rate. We also have a debt recovery program with a third party collections agency to manage defaults should they occur. Borrowers who do default will be pursued where possible and any money recovered will be forwarded to the lenders. The borrower will also have to meet the costs of recovery which is a condition of their loan. If there is a shortfall, all the lenders to that borrower will share the cost of it on a pro-rata basis.
If a borrower chooses not to accept the offer of a loan, we will return the amount to your account as soon as we process the transaction.
Tax is not deducted from your lending returns on Flender. Therefore, you will need to file a self-assessment tax return showing the interest you have received from your borrowers. For most people, lending on Flender will be considered an investment activity and will qualify as unearned income for taxation purposes. You will be able to access your lending return information from your Flender account.
It is your responsibility to register or report to your country’s relevant authorities as necessary. Lenders should familiarise themselves with the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 in Ireland, which requires some lenders to register with the regulator in Ireland. This is an assessment for each individual lender to make.
Flender has partnered with a market leading loan book management firm to ensure the loan book continues to be managed in an efficient manner in the very unlikely event that the Flender platform can no longer service the loan book.
With Flender you can withdraw your investment returns once per calendar month to ensure you have regular access to your funds.
Flender stringently reviews all credit applications and assigns a credit grade between A+ and V. The main criteria of the grading system encompasses Affordability, Liquidity, Equity base, Business age, Directors experience and Credit history.

Please note that Flender’s Grade V product has a higher rate as there is a higher risk attached. These deals will be bespoke in nature (eg. project finance) and may be exceptions to our standard credit criteria.

Please note that Flender will always complete the necessary due diligence and credit risk assessment to ensure that we are satisfied that the clients have demonstrated affordability for the loan facility.

Credit rating
Lender Interest Rate
Term (months)
 
6 & 12
18 & 24
30 & 36
48 & 60
A+
6.25%
6.35%
6.45%
6.55%
A
6.75%
6.85%
6.95%
7.05%
B+
8%
8.1%
8.2%
8.3%
B
8.75%
8.85%
8.95%
9.05%
C+
11.5%
11.6%
11.7%
11.8%
C
12%
12.1%
12.2%
12.3%
D
13.5%
13.6%
13.7%
13.8%
V
16%
16.1%
16.2%
16.3%

The loans you make on Flender are what are known as fully amortising loans with fixed repayments. In this type of loan, each repayment from the borrower is made up of both capital and interest. Because capital repayments are being made each month, the amount of capital outstanding is reduced each month.

Interest is charged monthly on the outstanding capital. And because the outstanding capital is less each month, so is the amount of interest charged each month.

For example, if you lend €1,000 to a business at a 10% interest rate for 36 months, that 10% is charged each month on a reducing amount of capital. Therefore in this example you would receive approximately €162 in interest payments. This amount is shown as “potential return” on our loan calculator.

Flender collects funds from borrowers monthly by direct debit. To allow time for funds to clear, your returns may be credited to your investor account up to ten days after collection from borrowers.

Anyone with one of the following self-managed pension arrangements already in place:
  1. Small Self-Administered Pension Scheme (SSAS)
  2. Personal Retirement Bond (PRB)
  3. Approved Retirement Fund (ARF)
  4. Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AmRF)
Your pension product will need to be held with one of our participating trustee companies and you will need to confirm that you have received investment advice from a qualified financial advisor who is willing to act as investment manager.
To access the considerable tax benefits associated with lending through a self-managed pension arrangement, there are certain requirements that need to be met. Flender Pension Accounts have been created to satisfy those requirements and to make lending on Flender an acceptable form of investment from your trustee’s perspective.

Flender Pension Accounts differ from standard Flender accounts in a number of important ways:

  1. A minimum first transfer of €20,000 is required
  2. Minimum bids of €500 apply to pension accounts
  3. Agents of your trustee company can access & view activity 24/7
  4. Agents of your trustee company can access real time reports on your investment activity 24/7
  1. Check to see if your trustee company is working with Flender. Currently The Independent Trustee Company (ITC) is working with Flender.
  2. Complete the Pension Account online application. Select Account Type as 'Pension Account'.
  3. Download and complete the Pension Account authorisation document.
  4. Have the document signed by your QFA, who agrees to act as investment manager, and return it directly to your trustees.
  5. Your trustees will approve your Flender pension account and facilitate the first transfer.
If you are interested in creating a Flender Pension Account, consider the following before getting in touch:
  1. Do you already have one of these self-administered pension arrangements in place; SSAS, PRB, AmRF or ARF?
  2. Is your self-administered pension arrangement administered by our participating trustee company? Currently The Independent Trustee Company(ITC) is working with Flender.
  3. An initial deposit of €20,000 is required to open a Flender Pension Account and there is a 2.5% initial set up fee.
  4. Flender Pension Accounts have a minimum bid requirement of €500.
You can apply for Flender Pension Account here.
In this scenario, you have two options. You can speak to your trustee company about working with Flender and ask them to contact us on 01 5510716
Alternatively, you can speak to your financial advisor about switching your existing arrangement to one of our participating trustee companies.
If you would like a Flender Pension Account but don't have one of the necessary pension arrangements in place, you will need to set one up through your financial advisor and it will need to be with our participating trustee company.
When you have an SSAS, PRB, ARF or AmRF set up with one of our participating trustees, you will be able to apply for a Flender Pension Account.
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