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How we look after your money

Looking after your money is our number one priority. It's our intention that no Investor will lose even a single cent when investing through Squirrel. Whilst past performance is no guarantee of future performance, we're delighted to say we've delivered on that since we started in 2015.

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Don't let our cutesy name or youthful looks fool you - we're no spring chickens.

Squirrel has been arranging mortgages since 2008. Our team has earned their stripes having survived plenty of crises including the GFC and of course the latest pandemic. Our leadership team has a whopping 150 years of financial services experience stretching back as far as 1990, so we've been there and seen that.

No investor has lost a cent with Squirrel. Here's how we plan to keep it that way.

You're investing in loans, so our top priority is making sure we only lend to good quality borrowers.

Our experienced credit team puts any potential borrower and their security under the microscope, and our comprehensive credit bureau reporting leaves nothing hidden.

We also put a bit of each borrower's repayment aside as reserves for a rainy day

If a borrower misses a payment, or their loan defaults, the reserves are used to cover the amounts owing to you, the investor. We're the only peer-to-peer lender in New Zealand to offer this kind of protection and over time we've built up over $2.1 million in total reserves1. You can read more about how our reserve funds work at the bottom of this page.

We're transparent about our reserves

Currently available to the Personal Loans Reserve Fund

1,054,710

Currently available to the Home Loans Reserve Fund1

262,868

Currently available to the Construction Loans Reserve Fund

1,752,696

Find out how the Reserve Funds work here.

When you invest with Squirrel, you've got the benefit of a diversified pool of loans.

Say what? Any missed payments on your investment are covered by reserves.

What if the reserves run dry?

Before anyone loses any money, the next step would be to shave some of the interest paid to investors to cover any losses, with the aim to preserve their initial investment.

Of course, before any of that happens we would have sold any security held against a loan to help recover the amount owed. So the reserve funds ultimately cover any shortfall between what the security can be sold for and the outstanding loan balance when a loan defaults.

Our aim is to lend to quality, creditworthy borrowers

We do our due diligence on every borrower that applies for a loan to ensure they're creditworthy, have the capacity to service ongoing loan repayments and that it is responsible to lend them money. We have a credit scorecard that determines their credit risk grade and as a result the amount of reserve levy they pay into the Reserve Fund.

Identity Verification

We take an image of the borrower’s NZ driver’s licence or NZ Passport and check its validity. We also verify email addresses and mobile phone numbers.

Credit Checks

We check the borrower’s credit history with Equifax and Centrix to make sure they don’t have outstanding debts or credit card bills from doing something silly like Uber-ing a helicopter.

Reserve Levy

A portion of every borrower payment gets put to the side, into the relevant reserve fund. Their interest rate is based on their individual risk profile and those with a higher risk profile pay a higher interest rate, allowing us to put more into the reserves.

Affordability

We check a borrower’s ability to service the loan by looking at their disposable income and expenses. This is to ensure they can afford the loan and won’t miss repayments if something goes wrong.

We jump through hoops so you don't have to

Squirrel is licensed and regulated as a peer-to-peer lender and a financial advice provider by the FMA (Financial Markets Authority).

Our Board of Directors packs a punch, and each year we're financially audited by KPMG who also do a custodial review of the internal processes we use to manage your money. So you can be sure no stone is left unturned.

Our team of IT whiz kids has built a world-class platform with tons of cyber-security in place

We make no compromises when it comes to security and technology. We operate on the Microsoft Cloud with best-practice IT security and monitoring, plus we get audited by world-leading tech-geeks.

Meet some of the nutters behind our investment platform

Gemma, Colin, Dave - Squirrel team

Got questions? Book a chat

Have a yarn with us, we're happy to answer your questions. Take a look at the diary and book yourself in for when suits.

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Watch an overview of how the Squirrel Platform works

How the reserve funds work - digging into the detail

With each borrower loan repayment received, a portion of the interest paid by the borrower is deposited into the Reserve Fund - this is known as the Reserve Levy. The reserve funds are held in trust to help protect investors when borrowers miss payments or default on their loan. The reserve fund money sits in a bank account with one of NZ's major banks, and earns interest which is capitalised back into the reserve fund.

If a borrower misses a scheduled loan repayment, the Reserve Fund is immediately activated to fulfil the expected loan repayment (of both (if any) principal and interest) to the applicable investor(s) whose investment has been used to fund that loan. Provided there are sufficient funds available in the Reserve Fund, investors can expect to receive the scheduled loan repayment amounts regardless of whether the borrower is in arrears.

If a borrower defaults on their loan and it is written off, again provided there are sufficient funds available in the Reserve Fund, the Reserve Fund will immediately repay the principal and any interest owing on that loan to the applicable investor(s). Squirrel will manage the collection efforts to recover that debt from the borrower with any money collected refunded back into the reserve fund.

We're totally transparent when it comes to how our reserve funds are performing. We show how much money is in each reserve fund (further up on this page), the amount of credit risk each portfolio is taking, the amount we're reserving across portfolio, and the coverage ratio which you can view here.

Watch Dave, head of saving and investments, answer our most frequently asked questions

Still unsure? We could talk about this stuff all day. Book a call and we'll be happy to answer any questions.

1. Funds available to the reserve funds for the benefit of investors:

  • The Home Loan Investment Class Reserve Fund includes cash on hand and an overdraft facility of $100,000 provided by Squirrel Money Limited supported by a bank guarantee.

While we've never lost a cent of investor money, past performance is no guarantee of the future.