Frequently asked questions

General

What is marketplace lending?

It's an exciting new way for people to borrow money from other people. The people providing the funding are investors who would like to loan money to creditworthy borrowers.

Borrowers get the recognition for their good credit behaviour by saving with better rates. For investors, it offers an opportunity to invest in a new, attractive fixed income asset class.

How are you different from "payday" lenders?

"Payday" lenders are generally lenders of last resort. In return for access to short-term credit (about 30 days) and loans that are typically of small nominal value, payday borrowers pay extremely high fees and interest rates.

SocietyOne is not a payday lender. We look for creditworthy, quality borrowers who typically have established relationships with major banks. Our loans range up to 60 months, from $5,000 to $50,000, which does not fit with the definition of a payday loan. We think quality borrowers with good track records are not getting the best rate they deserve.

How is marketplace lending different from a bank loan?

SocietyOne is not a bank. Marketplace lending provides a different and interesting alternative for creditworthy borrowers and fixed income investors to get a better deal. Part of the attraction is that it can provide better rates and returns without the infrastructure cost and complexity that comes from being a traditional bank or deposit-taking institution.

What’s the difference between variable and fixed rate loans?

SocietyOne offers fixed rate personal loans – which means the interest rate doesn’t change during the term of your loan so your repayments will remain the same. In addition we don’t charge early repayment fees if you want to pay off your loan earlier than you originally expected. Variable rate personal loan interest rates may go up and down during the loan term.

What’s the difference between a secured and an unsecured loan?

SocietyOne offers unsecured loans. That means that you don’t need to provide a deposit or security against the loan in case of default.

Secured loans require you to deposit something of value to the lending institution and this becomes the collateral or security until the loan has been repaid. Examples of collateral include your home, a car, investments or other assets that can be sold by the bank if the loan is unpaid. If the sale doesn't cover the full amount of the loan, you will have lost your asset and still owe money! Secured loans are often lower as they provide less risk to the lender.

At SocietyOne we can offer lower unsecured rates for customers with good credit as this also lowers risk for our investors.

Borrower

Who can apply for a SocietyOne personal loan?

You are eligible for a SocietyOne personal loan if you:

  • Be at least 21 yrs old
  • Earn more than $30,000 p.a. from employment (Centrelink may be used as supplementary income)
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have good credit
  • Be using the loan mainly for personal use
What is the process? How do I apply and when I will receive my loan?

  1. Get your rate: In as little as 1 minute we'll give you a rate based on your credit history
  2. Apply online: Most people finish their application within 5 minutes (and it's easier to do if you're enjoying your morning coffee)
  3. Get paid: Once approved, we'll have the funds in your account in a few days.

Get your rate now and get started.

How much can I borrow, and for how long?

SocietyOne's unsecured personal loans range from $5,000 to $50,000 with flexible loan terms of 2, 3 or 5 years.

Are there any other fees and charges?

We charge a one-off establishment fee. This is included in your total loan amount. There are no monthly fees or early repayment fees. So you have the security of a fixed rate loan, with the flexibility to pay it off early.

What happens if I forget my username and/or password?
Forgotten password

Please contact customer service on 1300 144 221 and they will arrange for the I.T department to retrieve the answers for you.

Forgotten username

If you have forgotten your username please contact customer service on 1300 144 221 and they will be able to help you.

Can an investor view my personal information?

SocietyOne takes the privacy of its users and security of information very seriously. Investors can only view limited borrower information necessary for making an investment decision. There is no information available to investors to identify who you are. When you register with SocietyOne, you nominate a username, which provides anonymity to the investors who view your loan.

For more information read our Privacy Policy.

How do I make repayments?

Repayments can be made in either fortnightly or monthly installments, by direct debit.

If you wish to make extra payments, please contact our customer service team on 1300 144 221. There are no fees or penalties for making extra payments or paying off your loan early.

If you are experiencing financial hardship and are having difficulty repaying your loan please call customer service on 1300 144 221.

How are repayments calculated?

Repayments are calculated depending on your choice of 2,3 or 5 year loan terms, and whether you have chosen fortnightly or monthly repayments along with the interest rate you receive on approval of your loan.

Can I choose and/or change my repayment dates?

Your loan offer will set out your direct debit repayment schedule and if you require any changes to that schedule, please contact customer service on 1300 144 221 to discuss.

Can I repay my loan early? Can I make extra payments?

Yes, absolutely. SocietyOne encourages responsible borrowing and provides repayment flexibility. You can either pay out your loan early or make lump sum payments during the life of your loan with no extra fees or penalty. If you wish to pay off your loan completely then please gives us a call on 1300 144 221 so that we can give you an accurate settlement quote.

Are there any fees and charges that come with early exit?

At SocietyOne there are no fees or penalties for paying out your loan earlier than the scheduled period.

Can I change my bank account/direct debit details?

Yes. To do this please contact customer service on 1300 144 221.

Payment difficulties

It’s rare that our customers have issues because of our great low rates and our responsible lending policy, but sometimes there might be reasons that you can’t make repayments - ranging from short-term cash-flow issues to severe financial hardship.

What do I do if I can’t make a payment?

* If you are finding it difficult to make a payment, call us immediately. Whether you need short-term or medium-term assistance with your repayments, our customer service team can help. They can discuss options with you which may include flexibility with instalments due, an extension of time to pay or, if your circumstances warrant it, discussing hardship options.

Can I get free independent advice?

* If your debts are out of control or you are really struggling to make ends meet, it's important to act quickly. Here are some places you can go for free help and guidance. https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/...

Investing - Marketplace

Who can invest?

Currently only wholesale clients can invest through SocietyOne. Find out more about wholesale clients. Please note that wholesale clients includes individuals who meet the requirement. Over 90% of current investors on the SocietyOne platform are individuals/SMSFs.

Can a SMSF invest?

Yes if it meets the wholesale client test.

Can I invest as a trust or company?

Yes if it meets the wholesale client test.

What is the minimum investment amount?

Currently the minimum investment is $100,000.

Is there a maximum investment?

There is no maximum investment.

What will I be investing in?

SocietyOne currently facilitates two different types of loans - unsecured personal loans and secured livestock loans.

Investors are offered the opportunity to invest in a diversified portfolio of fixed rate unsecured personal loans with initial loan terms of up to 5 years. 

The Trust invests in unsecured personal Loans.  Loans are only provided to creditworthy Borrowers, who are assessed, and if appropriate, approved, in accordance with SocietyOne’s Credit Assessment Criteria. SocietyOne offers Loans of $5,000 to $50,000 (excluding Establishment Fees and Broker Fees charged to the Borrower which are capitalised  within the Loan) over original Loan terms of 2,3 or 5 years. The average Loan size is currently approximately $20,000.

How do I apply to invest?

Register your interest in investing at our registration page. After a quick identity check, we'll provide you with a link to an application form to complete and the Information Memorandum.

During the application process, we’ll ask you to upload a wholesale investor certificate from your accountant and a copy of a statement for the bank account to which you direct us to pay distributions.

On receipt of the forms, we'll provide you with direct deposit details so you can fund your investment.

Can I diversify my investment?

Further diversification can be achieved by investing in more than one class of loan. Currently SocietyOne offers two types of loans: unsecured personal loans and secured livestock loans.

What structure do I invest through?

Each class of loans (personal, livestock etc) is managed through a separate trust which is an unregistered managed investment scheme. You receive units (for personal loan investments) or interests (for livestock loan investments) in the managed investment scheme. – Initially, your investment is held in cash (which we call "cash interests").

Your interests or units become "loan interests" when your funds are deployed into loans. As loans are repaid, the interest is distributed back to your nominated bank account monthly.

Do I invest directly in loans?

For personal loans, investors own units in the Trust and the Trust invests in loans which are approved in accordance with our credit assessment criteria. Investors have no direct interest (legal or beneficial) in the individual loans.

For livestock loans you receive an equitable interest in the loan which entitles you to receive the interest and capital repayments for the proportion of the loan you have funded.

What happens if a borrower defaults?

SocietyOne adheres to strict credit control protocols and attempts to recover the losses either through our own internal collections processes or by passing loans to a collection agency when a borrower is in default beyond a certain period. If a borrower cannot repay the loan, investors will lose the outstanding principal on that loan at the time the borrower stops paying. Likewise, interest on the loan principal will not be received by the investor, unless sufficient funds are received in the recovery process.

Investing - Personal Loans

What are the loans used for?

Loans can be used for any personal purpose including: consolidation of debt, weddings, home improvement, motor vehicles etc.

How much are the loans for?

Loans may be between $5,000 and $50,000 plus the establishment fee. Our average loan size is currently around $20,000.

What are the loan terms?

Our loan terms are 2, 3 and 5 years.

Who are the borrowers?

Borrowers are creditworthy individuals that meet SocietyOne's stringent credit criteria. They must have a good credit history, be over 21 and satisfy several other behavioural and loan servicing criteria.

How are personal loans evaluated?

SocietyOne assesses borrowers' creditworthiness using best practice credit assessment techniques. Only borrowers who meet SocietyOne's stringent requirements are listed on the platform and made available to investors.

What percentage of applications are listed for funding?

Currently less than 17% of loan applications are listed for funding by investors.

What determines the interest rate?

Borrowers are assigned a credit grade (Tier 1, 2, 3,or 4) based on several credit criteria. The credit grade determines the interest rate that will be applied to that loan. Interest rates change depending on market conditions. Find more info on investing in personal loans.

How do I invest?

As an investor in personal loans, units will be allotted in the Trust and the Trust invests in a diversified portfolio of personal loans that meet our credit assessment criteria across different credit grades and loan terms.

What returns will I receive?

The personal loans Trust targets a pre-tax return of 6.0% p.a. after investment fees, costs and losses.

Is the interest rate fixed or variable?

The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan.

When is interest paid?

Personal loan repayments by borrowers include both interest and capital. Repayments are made fortnightly or monthly. Borrowers can repay capital early without penalty. Investors receive interest distributions in the first five business days each month. Capital will be reinvested.

What credit grades are most common?

Currently the distribution of loans amongst credit bands is as follows:

  • Tier 1 – 17%
  • Tier 2 – 23%
  • Tier 3 – 34%
  • Tier 4 – 22%
What happens when loans are repaid?

The principal component will be reinvested and the interest will be distributed on a monthly basis.

What are SocietyOne's fees?

Borrowers pay an establishment fee of 3% to 6% (depending on their credit grade) if the loan application is successful and fully funded. This fee is capitalised onto the loan and funded by investors.

SocietyOne charges investors a Service Fee of up to 2.25% of the amount of the loan for originating and managing the loan through to repayment. The Service Fee is deducted from borrowers' repayments by the trustee and paid to SocietyOne before returns are paid to investors.

Is the investment liquid?

The loans are not a liquid investment as there is currently no secondary market to sell loans. Loan investments are held for the term of the loan unless the borrower repays early (which they may do without penalty). However, loans pay a regular fortnightly or monthly income stream, which provides a steady cash flow.

What are the risks?

Our Information Memorandum outlines the risks associated with investing in personal loans. Investors do take on the credit risk associated with each loan and any loan default may result in a partial or full loss of the capital investment in that loan.

What happens if a borrower defaults?

SocietyOne adheres to strict credit control protocols and attempts to recover the losses either through our own internal collections processes or by passing loans to a collection agency when a borrower is in default beyond a certain period. If a borrower cannot repay the loan, investors will lose the outstanding principal on that loan at the time the borrower stops paying. Likewise, interest on the loan principal will not be received by the investor, unless sufficient funds are received in the recovery process.

Investing - SocietyOne AgriLending

What is a livestock loan?

Traditionally, livestock agents, who buy and sell cattle and other livestock on behalf of farmers, have provided working capital to their farmer clients from their own capital or overdraft facilities. SocietyOne AgriLending provides an alternative for agents to fund these transactions by offering lending facilities to livestock agents to help them fund farmers' livestock purchases.

What are the loans used for?

Livestock agents may only use the loan to fund the purchase of traded livestock (cattle, sheep and lambs) for fattening within the loan term.

Where are loans provided?

Currently NSW, WA, QLD, VIC, SA and ACT.

What are the loan terms?

The maximum term is 12 months. There are no prescribed weight targets that have to be met and no sell by dates.

How are loans evaluated?

SocietyOne's credit team and loan origination system assesses the creditworthiness of livestock agents using best practice credit assessment techniques. Credit facilities are only given to livestock agents who meet SocietyOne's credit requirements. Once a credit limit is approved the livestock agent may draw down against this facility to purchase livestock. Each draw down is an individual loan on our system.

What returns will I receive?

The target pre-tax return for the loan portfolio is 6.5%-7.5% p.a. (on a blended basis, taking into account lower earnings on investor's cash interests that are awaiting deployment or distribution) based on an investor rate on loans of 7.75% p.a. after fees but before taxes and losses.

How do I invest?

Please register your interest in becoming an investor in livestock loans online under the "Invest" tab.

Can I choose the loans I invest in?

No. Investors are allocated interest in livestock loans on a fractionalised basis. You are unable to choose which specific livestock loans (e.g. cattle or sheep) you invest in.

What is the security for the Livestock loans?

For all livestock loans, SocietyOne requires the following security:

  • A Purchase Money Security Interest (PMSI)is taken over the livestock. This is registered on the Personal Property Security Register.
  • The first 10% of each loan is funded by the borrowing livestock agent, which is the first portion of the loan to be applied to any losses. There is a a "super priority" security that cover the livestock and/or the proceeds of the sale of the livestock.

In some circumstances, after undertaking a credit assessment of the livestock agent, SocietyOne may require additional security, including:

  • A General Security Agreement over the livestock agent's business, which is also registered on the Personal Property Security Register.
  • Personal guarantees from the director of the livestock agent's business.
How are the cattle tracked?

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags are placed in the cattle's ears. These use electromagnetic fields to wirelessly transfer identification and tracking data from the tags to the National Livestock Identification System database (NLIS) operated by Meat and Livestock Australia. The tags are scanned at the saleyard and linked to the farmer's property identification code (PIC). If cattle are moved from a farmer's property or sold, by law, the changes must be registered on the NLIS. 

How are the livestock loans settled?

All livestock buying and selling transactions as well as all monitoring and administrations functions are managed through a centralised settlement office. This also includes all invoice payments when livestock are purchased and loan settlements when livestock are sold.

The settlement office uses its expertise to arrange for completion of documentation, advances funds on receipt of purchase invoices from the sales yards, maintains the required interface with the NLIS and provide signed documentation to SocietyOne.

Is the interest rate fixed or variable?

The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan. It calculates daily and accrues during the life of the loan.

How often do investors receive payments?

This investment does not provide a regular or consistent income stream. Interest and capital are repaid upon full or partial (pro rata repayment) sale of the funded livestock. Individual loans have a term of 12 months but may be repaid earlier without penalty.

What happens when the loan is repaid?

Your principal will be returned, and interest earnings credited to you upon repayment (in part or in full) of the loan. You may elect to reinvest the principal component in further loans.

What are SocietyOne AgriLending's fees?

From investors, SocietyOne AgriLending receives a Servicer Fee of up to 3.25% p.a. of the amount of the loan for originating and managing the loan through to repayment. The Servicer Fee is deducted from borrowers' repayments before returns are paid to investors.

Borrowers pay an establishment fee of 1% if the loan application is successful and fully funded. This fee is capitalised into the loan and funded by investors.

Is the investment liquid?

Livestock loans are not a liquid investment as there is currently no secondary market to sell loans. Loan investments are held for the term of the loan unless the borrower repays early (which they may do without penalty). Each loan has a maximum term of 12 months. On average loans are repaid within 6 to 9 months.

What are the risks?

Major risks include a shortfall upon sale of the secured livestock due to lower market prices, which are not adequately offset by the weight gain of the funded herd or loss of livestock through natural causes. Where there are any shortfalls there is recourse back to the livestock agent as borrower on record and the investor is at this point exposed to the credit risk of the borrower. Investors are advised to read and understand the investment Memorandum in detail and in particular the section on risks.

What happens if a borrower defaults?

SocietyOne adheres to strict credit control protocols and may pass loans to a collection agency when a borrower is in default. If a borrower does not repay the loan, you may lose your investment in that particular loan.

Due to the Easter long weekend, our customer team will be taking a short break and will return Tuesday 9am AEST. We wish all of our customers a safe and happy break.