First of all, I would like everyone to know that this is a 100% impartial and unbiased review of the Mintos marketplace.
What Is Mintos?
Based in Latvia, Mintos is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, which was established in January 2015. It is a relatively young platform, and yet there are more than 136,000 registered investors with an average portfolio value of €4.750 already, with an overall investment of over EUR 3 Billion and interest paid to investors of €42.836.800 (as of June 2019). Such stellar growth can only be seen in very few other European platforms.
Mintos is more than a common P2P lending platform; it is a marketplace for pre-funded loans. Instead of accepting borrowers and listing their own loans, they are working with several loan originators and list loans to the marketplace. This model allows investors to diversify the investments between several countries, loan types, and currencies. Loan shares are listed on the Mintos marketplace, where the minimum investment is €10 per loan and annual returns as high as 16%.
My personal net return is 12,76%, which you can easily beat since rates have gone up a lot recently. Rates on Mintos have fluctuated quite a bit, but you could always get returns over 12%. Recently, rates have gone up significantly, and you can find plenty of loans yielding over 15% even. As time goes by, I am even more impressed with Mintos’s ability to keep on adding loans with such competitive returns. In the past couple of months, you can find loans from Mogo (One of the best originators) yielding 15% and even around 17% if you like a little more risk.
A great way to boost your returns is to sign up for Mintos’s campaigns when available and direct your investments accordingly.
Loans on Mintos range from short-term personal loans to long-term mortgages. You can find loans as short as one day long or 20 years long. Keep in mind that if you buy a loan with only one day remaining, you might have to keep it for an additional 60. If the borrower doesn’t make a payment, then you are going to have to wait for the BuyBack Guarantee to kick in.
A significant factor when choosing a peer to peer lending platform to invest your hard-earned money is loan liquidity. Mintos is probably the most liquid platform right now with over 400.000 existing loans on the Primary as well as 370.000 on the secondary market. On the secondary market, you can resell your loans with either a discount of a premium. Mintos used to charge a 1% commission on these transactions, but since November 2017 they removed this fee. This is a screenshot of the Primary Market, and as you can see, you can purchase loans from A-Rated originators at 16% interest.
Basically, loans that are not paid on time will be repaid to you after 60 days by the loan originator plus any interest accrued for the period you held the investment. It’s very easy to recognize these loans since they have a yellow icon indicating the fact that they come with a buyback guarantee. I always use a buyback guarantee on every loan I purchase in order to reduce risk. Most loans on Mintos come with Buyback Guarantee, but even if I were to get a higher yield without it, I do not think it’s worth the risk.
It’s easy to set up an auto investment strategy. The platform offers three strategies but, to be honest, I don’t use auto-invest often, and when I do, I opt for the manual configuration of the auto-invest parameters which are easy to set up. Also, Mintos recently started the Auto-invest feature for the secondary market as well. This is good news because it will provide extra liquidity if you wish to sell your investments fast, but it will make it more difficult to find “deals” by manually searching the secondary market. Reportedly, auto Invest is the most popular feature of the Mintos marketplace, with over 75% of the investors actively using it. After you select your investment parameters, Auto Invest will automatically invest in loans that match your profile. Keep in mind you can edit or pause any auto-invest strategy. It also allows you to buy newly listed loans in the system before investors that chose to invest manually. Please check the following screenshots to review the auto-invest interface.
What are the Risks?
Every wise investor should consider the risks of every investment before investing their money. Investing in peer-to-peer lending has a number of risks
- Borrower defaults – Most of the loans are unsecured so an investor has little recourse if the borrower decides not to pay and collection efforts are often fruitless. This is only applicable for loans not secured with a buyback guarantee.
- Loan originator bankruptcy – According to Mintos, they have put in place arrangements to ensure that investors continue to receive payments on the loans in which they have invested in through the marketplace.
- Mintos bankruptcy – This is a much smaller risk today than it was in the past because Mintos is profitable now, but the risk will always be there. In the unlikely event of a bankruptcy, there is a backup plan in place, but there would likely be some disruption and investors may lose some principal. No matter how unlikely I believe this scenario to be, I still feel obligated to report it.
- Interest rate risk – the loan terms are sometimes as long as 6+ years, so, during this time, interest rates could increase substantially. If a government secured bond yields 6%, it makes investing in a Mintos loan at 10-13%, not the best investment (risk/reward wise).
- Poor loan diversification – many new investors get caught in this trap. They do not take advantage of the €10 minimum investment. If you invest in 20 loans at €300, you are running a much higher risk than if you invest in 600 loans at €10.
- Liquidity risk – There is a secondary market on Mintos where loans can be sold, but if you need to liquidate your entire portfolio, you will likely lose some principal in the process.
- Market-wide event or recession – In the event of an economic downturn, default rates will increase, and that will result in a decrease in investor returns.
- Lowering of underwriting quality – If Mintos reduces its requirements for the loan originators it is onboarding, then the quality of loans on the platform will decrease, resulting in higher default risk. (Honestly, I do not believe that to be likely since Mintos has booted originators from the platform after their financials deteriorated and purchased the loans back. This is actually very impressive from Mintos as it demonstrates a tight grip on the originators they are working with.)
Risk ratings for loan originators
Since August 2018, they started rating their originators, from A+ (safest companies) to D (Only Eurocent is rated a D). Mintos Rating measures the loan originators’ ability to service and originate loans. It is also possible to configure the auto-invest settings to use only selected ratings, which is excellent for investors’ safety.
How does Mintos mitigate Risk?
There is a risk with any investment, and Mintos makes it clear on its website. For that reason, several layers of risk mitigation are in place to make investments in their marketplace as secure as possible. This includes the buyback guarantee as we went over earlier. In addition, each loan originator is required to keep a certain percentage of each loan they place on Mintos on their balance sheets or its “skin in the game” as Mintos calls it. Before a loan originator joins Mintos, they perform thorough due diligence before onboarding them. This is done in order for Mintos to be confident in their ability to originate quality loans and service them thereafter. Once a loan originator has boarded the platform, they continue monitoring their financial performance and the quality of the loans they place on Mintos.
The only fee Mintos is charging is the foreign exchange fee if you wish to exchange currency for investing in loans that are in a different currency than the one that your account is set up with and even that is pretty low compared to traditional banks. I have no personal experience with it since I only invest in Euro denominated notes, but I have seen them on the platform. Those fees range from 0.50% to 2%. It used to also charge a 1% service fee for Secondary Market transactions, but that was waived back in 2017.
What distinguishes Mintos from other platforms?
Mintos is a huge platform, and one of the most preferred P2P investing sites, as it brings loans to the marketplace through loan originators from multiple countries around the world. It also provides other types of loans, such as mortgage and business loans. In addition, most loans from Mintos are secured with a buyback guarantee in case of loan defaults.
I don’t recommend that you only invest through one platform. However, if you should disregard this suggestion or if you are starting with just one, consider Mintos as your go-to P2P lending platform.
Mintos By Numbers
Is Mintos a Scam?
This is a question I am asked pretty often. The answer, in short, absolutely f*ing not! (That’s a bad Wold Of Wall Street reference if you’ve seen the movie)
Mintos’ website is straightforward to use and easy on the eyes with nice colors. It used to be a bit glitchy at times, but it seems that it was fixed now.
Mintos Sign Up Process
The sign-up process is pretty simple. You can click here (by doing that you will also earn 1% additional cashback) and go through the steps as they are on the screenshots below. On the final step, you will need to verify your identity by taking a picture of your ID card, front, and back. The entire process is pretty simple, and it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.
Mintos is the biggest p2p lending platform in Europe but not the only one. Before investing with Mintos, I encourage you to investigate all available p2p lending platforms to find the one that best suits your investor profile. You might also want to check platforms like Grupeer, Lenndy, PeerBerry, ViaInvest, Viventor, FastInvest, Robo.Cash, Iuvo, and DoFinance. Also, if you’re going to try something riskier, you can try Bondora. I will be reviewing them separately as I invest in some of them. You can click here to check platform reviews.
Mintos Review – Conclusion
I found that if you are looking for a reliable peer to peer lending platform that will scale with demand with no liquidity issues to cause cash drag, there is no way around Mintos. The platform offers high return investments that due to buyback guarantees are reasonably secure. In my opinion, Mintos is the best platform in Europe, hands down, and that’s why it is No.1 on my list of the best p2p lending platforms in Europe.
As you could probably imagine, I am an extremely happy Mintos investor.
Mintos Sign Up Bonus:
As I said earlier, this is a 100% impartial and unbiased review of the Mintos marketplace. However, if you would like to dip your toes in the water, I would appreciate it if you could use my referral link which gives you an exclusive 1% bonus on all investments you make within the first 90 days from your registration. You will not get this bonus if you sign up directly on Mintos.
You will get 1% of your average daily balance (bonus payout) will be paid in 3 installments for the first 90 days. The Investment Reward shall be calculated after 30, 60, and 90 days from your registration date based on the average daily balance. The first installment is calculated from the average daily balance during the first 30 days. After 60 and 90 days, the Investment Reward is calculated from the increase of the average daily balance for the current calculation period compared to the average daily balance calculated, during the previous calculation period.
If you would like to add something about Mintos, please leave your comments below.
Until Next Time,