My sibling and I think alike. We both like photography. We started writing as a side hustle almost at the same time. (That partly explain why I’m passionate/obsess with blogging.)
The Paramore band enchanted my sibling and I succeeded in stuttering as I tried to sing their songs. Heck, I’ll stick to Sixpence None The Richer instead. (Remember the song Kiss Me. No? Pretend you do then search it on YouTube.)
Our similarities ended in music but continues in investing. FundKo caught our attention. We are probably snooping around in the same forum or personal finance blog.
Disclaimer: My sibling invested in FundKo while I write about it. Let’s just say I don’t like to test the water but I’ll gladly report what is going on from a not so distant shore trying to look like a Baywatch lifeguard.
What is FundKo
You may be a risk taker like my sibling and probably thinking of investing on FundKo. But before you do, let’s find out the details and risks that comes with it.
FundKo is an online peer-to-peer lending (crowdlending) which connects the borrower that applies for a loan which will be funded by a lender like you.
It is registered at Securities and Exchange Commission in the Philippines as Fintechnology, Inc.
Curiosity didn’t get me into trouble but I was definitely in for a surprise when I found out the reason why Filipinos borrow on FundKo.
Common purpose of borrowing: house repair, additional business capital, tuition fee, and medical fee.
Here are the unusual reasons I don’t approve of: television, downpayment for a condo, and travel.
How can you have fun knowing that you’ll pay interest for a vacation. And is it necessary to buy a huge TV? Buying a condo without equity (cash downpayment) means that it is not yet time or the property’s value is beyond the budget.
I’m not discouraging borrowers (OK, just a bit); the truth is, I’m with you in having a debt for the right reason. (As an OFW, I applied for a housing loan in the Philippines.)
For lenders who are risk taker and would like to invest in P2P lending, find out how much risk are you willing to take for the return on investment (ROI).
Tip: In Canada, Lending Loop is the counterpart of FundKo. I didn’t invest (yet) to any of these crowdlending.
How Can You Invest and Earn as a Lender
Before investing find out what you are up against to so you could earn moola.
What to Consider #1: Lender’s money is not insured. That’s why investing in P2P lending should only be an alternative to the stocks, bonds, and treasury. (For Filipinos in Canada here’s an investing guide for exchange-traded fund or ETF.)
You should be fine with the idea of investing or losing Php 15,000.00 which is the minimum investment.
It’s unlikely that you’ll lose all of the funds . . . at the same time because you are only allowed to invest 20% (maximum) of your money in a single borrower. Invest less if that would give security and peace of mind, though not guaranteed.
Each loan application is graded based on the different factors affecting the borrower’s ability to pay.
To lessen the risk, choose the type of loan you want to invest in. Personal loan has high investment yield; it is recommended by the members on FemaleNetwork.com and quite happy with the return.
Lenders can monitor the monthly payments in the ledger. At the end of the term of the loan, you’ll get all of your money back including the interest.
What to Consider #2: Monthly interest is low. If you are chasing an astounding high return in short term, then consider the stock market which has a different type of risk and return.
Dashboard of Confusion: I am having a hard time finding out the monthly and total yield for each loan. The monthly revenue is the sum of principal and interest.
Once you are ready to cash in the principal with interest, it will take 2 banking days to transfer it to your bank account.
Remember: Invest only in alternative investing that you are willing to loose. (Did I hear Bitcoin?)
After the revelation of possibilities and you are even more excited to invest in FundKo then the next thing to do is take that cash off your bank account.
How to Add Funds to FundKo Wallet
You can add funds to your FundKo Wallet in two ways.
#1: Pay through Dragonpay partners.
Minimum Fund for each transfer: Php1,000.00
Processing Fee: Php50.00
Processing Time: 2 banking days
#2: Deposit directly to FundKo’s bank accounts.
- Bank of the Philippine Islands
- Banco De Oro (BDO)
You have to upload online the deposit slip. The FundKo Wallet will be credited by 10:00 am next banking day and you can start choosing the right loans to fund in the Marketplace.
That’s how easy it is . . . in the Philippine setting. What about for OFWs?
When I discover an opportunity to invest, I would often ask if it is possible to fund the account through online money transfer:
- PayPal (started charging a minimum of C$4.00 ish)
- Transferwise (my alternative to PayPal)
- Other online money transfer companies
I always wonder why the businesses in the Philippines cannot accept PayPal except the e-commerce websites.
If it is possible to transfer money online to a business like FundKo, I’m sure OFWs will invest more for their future and reassess the budget for the remittance in the Philippines. (Maging masinop at wais. Hindi lang puro padala.)
As of now, Cropital informed me months ago that they’ll use PayPal and I’m still waiting. I’ll write about if it happens or I find other investment opportunities that are easy to fund especially for OFWs.
Should You Invest in FundKo?
Do you have an emergency fund, term life insurance, and investment like ETFs, mutual funds, bonds or stocks?
If the answer is YES, then I’ll give you a green light; otherwise, build on the other assets first or pay off credit card debts.
Why am I saying this? I’ve mentioned earlier that there is a risk of a borrower defaulting on a loan. This is what will FundKo do in case it happens.
When a borrower defaults after 3 consecutive non-payments, FundKo will exert all its effort to collect from the borrower, which include engaging the services of a lawyer and foreclosure of collateral, then remitting recovered assets back to the lender’s accounts.
It seems like a long, gruelling pursuit to recover a financial loss. One of the loans my sibling funded has defaulted. (Refer to the photo above for the proof.)
So far there’s is no notice or update of what is being done to get the money back. I hate the thought of losing it even though it’s not my money because if would result to a negative return in investment.
This could happen to any lender. Are you willing to take this risk? If not then why not educate yourself more about p2p lending and crowdfunding.
- Center for Financial Inclusion (learn the trend in digital finance services for small businesses, retail investor, migrant etc.)
- Grameen Foundation (FundKo partner)
- Millionaireacts (Tyrone Solee’s personal finance blog)
Huwag magmadali. Maghanap ng panahon para pag-aralan ng maigi ang bawat investment.
Other Ways to Invest Online
FundKo is a way to help our kababayan and earn through crowdlending if you have extra cash and willing to take a risk.
You can invest in FundKo or have a look at my list of crowdfunding options available in the Philippines:
- Invest in farms and livestock through FarmOn or Cropital
- Help our kababayan in their business through Kiva (be a good samaritan by lending without ROI)
I’ll update the list whenever I found more investment opportunities. Share your investing venture in the comment. Any kind of feedback will help us make an informed decision and avoid scam.
Have you invested in crowdfunding or consider adding it to your investment portfolio? For FundKo lender, how was the return on investment?
Photo Credit: fundko.com