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Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by Carl Jensen
It’s now been six years since I started investing in European peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sites in 2016. I guess it’s time for a 2022 update comparing the best platforms out there.
The crowdlending scene has changed a lot in six years. Back in 2016, only a handful of platforms existed. Now there are hundreds of platforms, and it is hard to navigate for both new and experienced investors.
Since I made the first comparison, many things have changed:
- I have discovered many new promising platforms
- I am still investing in my favourite platforms
- I have lost money on some platforms
- I am growing increasingly sceptical towards a few platforms
Honestly, I couldn’t find any good comparisons of the peer-to-peer lending platforms in Europe. Given my experience using many of these platforms, I thought I would give it a shot.
I’ll now present an overview of all the best P2P lending platforms in Europe based on my first-hand experience with them. I will rank them according to my preference but remember you might have other preferences than I do. Remember, this is not financial advice and do your own research.
Which P2P lending platform is the best in Europe in 2022?
The following list shows the best European P2P lending platforms in 2022 based on my experience. I have used a mix of credibility, size, functionality, and support as criteria for ranking these platforms – as well as the word on the street from other investors in the personal finance sphere.
Want to know more about the best P2P lending platforms in Europe?
If you are curious about why I have ranked the sites the way I have, read on. Each of the platforms has certain advantages and disadvantages. Further down the list, I have included some sites that I am avoiding. If you can’t get enough crowdlending sites, I have included a few newcomers at the very end.
Funded loans (cumulative):
Average annual return:
Personal, business, agriculture, invoice, pawnbroking, car, and mortgages
Normally, you get an exclusive 0.5% bonus on your investments made in the first 90 days by signing up using the link above. Currently, you can register to get on the waiting list to join. From February 4, 2022, Mintos is pausing all sign-up bonuses until later in 2022 due to a new regulatory certification.
Mintos is my favorite crowdlending platform. There’s simply no way of getting around Mintos when you speak about P2P lending in Europe. They are by far the biggest player, and that’s not a coincidence. The platform is excellent with a full range of advanced functionality. Mintos have thousands of available personal and business loans with +20 loan originators and keep adding new ones every month. I have kept on increasing my investment with Mintos over the past two years and have achieved a pre-tax return of 11.86% to date, which I consider good. I have also tested withdrawing some of my money from Mintos and it worked flawlessly.
I believe Mintos is the best crowdlending platform in Europe overall – especially if this is your first investment in P2P lending. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have noticed that interest rates have been slightly declining and I also hear other investors reporting that some of the other platforms offer higher returns. I guess this is expected from a big, established platform, and the same trend has been visible for American platforms such as LendingClub.
PeerBerry was one of the newest entrants when I first started investing in P2P lending. Since then, they have grown extremely fast to become one of the largest sites in Europe.
PeerBerry is part of the Aventus Group that has more than half a million customers, and it has some muscle power behind it that other platforms don’t.
PeerBerry offers consumer loans from more than 10 different loan originators (which is better than most) and has a beautiful platform fully equipped with a buyback guarantee, autoinvest, and no currency risk.
The main drawback of the site is that it mostly has a short duration on its loans. While PeerBerry offers better interest rates than Mintos, there are still alternatives with higher returns in Europe. Lastly, the platform does not offer instant withdrawals which can be a disadvantage for some despite the short loan durations.
Reinvest24 is a platform that has surprised me recently. I only have limited experience with the platform, but so far, the returns are amongst the best I have seen at nearly 15% on average.
The platform has the best TrustPilot ratings of any P2P sites I have looked at with a 4.8/5.0 average rating. The platform has a good user experience with a simple and straightforward investment process.
The difference from many other platforms on the list is that the loans are exclusively within real estate. Also, it is one of the smallest platforms on the list concerning funded loans. I have usually observed that interest rates decrease as platforms grow bigger, so maybe it’s a good time to get in.
Reinvest24 does not offer a buyback guarantee or an autoinvest function which are the only drawbacks of the platform. Is it important? I personally prefer an autoinvest function, but buyback guarantees are becoming less important for me these days.
EstateGuru is another player only focused on real estate loans. The platform has been around for nearly a decade and is a much larger alternative to Reinvest24, but with lower returns at 11.3%. Looking back a few years they have managed to maintain the interest rates at fairly high levels without dropping too much. I see this as a positive sign.
EstateGuru has a very intuitive customer interface and the loan information is highly detailed. Also, it has a great hands-free autoinvest feature. However, there are no buyback guarantees nor a secondary marketplace.
Despite not boasting the highest returns, the platform has great reviews on TrustPilot and more than 100,000 investors.
Robocash is a platform that has surprised me more than any other. When I first reviewed the platform in 2019, it was at the very bottom of my list. The loan offerings were limited, customer service was unreachable and the website didn’t look too good. Fast forward to today, and Robocash has grown to become one of my favorite and one of the best-reviewed crowdlending platforms.
Robocash is focused on short-term personal loans, offers a decent 11.6% in average return, and has more than 320 EURm in funded loans. Robocash is fully automated meaning that you do not have the opportunity to invest manually. As someone who does not like to spend too much time on my investments, this is an advantage for me.
On the downside, Robocash only offers loans from one loan originator, has no secondary market, and has its headquarters in Russia, which for Europeans may carry higher risk.
ViaInvest from Latvia has grown rapidly since its start in 2016. The P2P lending platform has funded more than 280 million EUR in consumer loans.
I have heard mixed opinions about ViaInvest, but there seems to be general agreement that the platform is nice with all the bells and whistles of buyback guarantee, autoinvest, and a secondary market. However, I have also heard people complaining about a relatively complicated sign-up and withdrawal process.
ViaInvest has grown to be one of the more established players in the field with decent returns at 11.0% and a TrustPilot rating of 4/5.
When I first reviewed Debitum Network, it was a relatively new European crowdlending platform from Lithuania. It has grown to become a more significant player promising global business loans with an average interest rate of 9%.
Debitor Network offers a buyback guarantee on its loans and an autoinvest feature. I have been in touch with their support a couple of times with some general questions and their replies have been fast and precise, which I take as a good sign.
The platform has had a 0% default rate, high transparency, and a good user interface. However, it offers no secondary market. All in all, I really like this platform – if only it had a higher average interest rate.
Profitus is one of the smaller platforms in the P2P sphere. However, it has gotten fairly good reviews, a decent amount of funded loans and fair average interest rates.
The platform only focuses on real estate loans and has a user-friendly platform. However, it does not have an autoinvest feature, a secondary market or buyback guarantees. The minimum investment is at €100, which I find fairly high. I like to test platforms for smaller amounts than that initially.
If you are looking for a real estate P2P alternative to some of the larger platforms, Profitus could be the one.
NEO Finance is hands down one of my favourite platforms. The reason is the unparalleled high average interest rates at 15.7%. Now, high returns usually come with high risk. It’s not different this time around.
NEO Finance has been around for many years and I consider it a relatively safe platform with high transparency. This being said, the legal entity behind NEO Finance is not yet profitable which is always a red flag for me.
The platform is easy to use with buyback guarantees, autoinvest and all the bells and whistles. If you are in for some high risk/return, try this platform out.
For some reason, TWINO has never been part of my go-to platforms despite the fact that it is the second-largest P2P lending site out there. The platform has accumulated nearly €1 billion in total funded loans since 2009 which is impressive.
However, over the years I have watched the company’s average annual return decline from the good old days with a 14% return to closer to 10%. TWINO only provides loans from a single loan originator (the TWINO Group), which is also a turnoff for me. This being said, they have a really cool easy-to-use platform.
TWINO used to have mediocre online reviews, but this has actually increased in recent years, so they must be doing something right. It is one of the platforms that have to be tried, but it is not top of my list.
FAST INVEST used to be one of my favourite platforms – at some point, it was even in the top three.
However, even though they have maintained decent return rates at ~14% per year, I feel like the platform has not improved much over the years. Many of its competitors are further ahead when it comes to user experience and total funded amount where FAST INVEST “only” has achieved 68 EURm. In addition, the TrustPilot reviews are not too good even though my experience has been good.
Fast Invest’s platform is similar to Mintos and Grupeer in the way you sign up, invest and view your returns. The interface is beautiful and easy to understand.
Using the platform, you have the same bells and whistles in terms of buyback guarantee (they call it default guarantee) and autoinvest as on the other platforms. However, you don’t get a secondary marketplace. Instead, they offer you to liquidate your investments in one day, but you do it at the cost of your accrued interest. The loans are never longer than 12 months, so with a bit of planning, this should not be a problem.
The interest rates are slightly higher than Mintos and at the same level as Grupeer with loans ranging from 9-16% interest rates. My average interest rate on the platform has been +14% so far.
Lendermarket is one of the smaller platforms with 130 EURm in total funded loans. It offers decent interest rates at around 12-15% yearly and has OK TrustPilot ratings (although the number of reviews is fairly low).
Lendermarket is somewhat transparent and has decent annual reports that are informative if you want to do make your own due diligence. However, other publicly available information about the company is limited.
Lendermarket should be chosen for its amazing user interface and its high returns. In addition, you can get all types of loan durations combined with a buyback guarantee. On the negative side, it doesn’t have a secondary market.
Raizers is focused on P2P lending loans for real estate in France, Belgium and Switzerland.
Raizers is very different from other platforms since it focuses exclusively on lending to real estate professionals with an average 21 months investment duration. I love the information available about each investment and the pictures of the projects you can invest in – it makes it a lot more tangible than on other platforms.
There is a minimum investment of 1,000 EUR which can scare away some investors. However, I believe it makes the pool of investors at Raizers more serious than other platforms which can be a strength.
On the downside, the platform does not offer a secondary market nor a buyback guarantee, and the average interest rates at 9.9% could be higher. However, all deals are audited by a team of experts in an AMF accredited structure. Raizers might be a good way to diversify investments away from the traditional P2P loans often provided.
Bondora, Bondora, Bondora. One of the oldest platforms available, but I have to be honest. I have never invested with them. I really like the user interface and the setup in general, and they are experts in marketing. However, the interest rates averaging around 7-8% are simply not worth the risk for me. I would rather invest in index funds then.
Bondora has excellent reviews on Trustpilot with a 4.6 average rating from thousands of customers. In addition, they have one of the largest total funded loans amounts in the industry. They must be doing something right.
I won’t spend much more time on the platform, but now you know it is there. If you want a platform that has stood up against the test of time and you are fine with 7.5% in annual interest, you can give it a shot.
Swaper is yet another platform from Estonia that has been on the market since 2016. According to Swaper, they have now funded more than 267 EURm worth of consumer loans at an average 12% average annual return, which is quite impressive. When I first covered the platform that number stood at 55 EURm.
The concept of Swaper is quite simple as all loans come at a 14% interest rate, but if you invest more than 5,000 EUR, you get an interest rate of 16%, which I consider a really good average annual return. Swaper also provides a buyback guarantee and an autoinvest function. If you decide to use the latter, make sure to set as many autoinvest strategies as possible, as you increase your chances of getting the loans when they become available.
The only drawback of the platform is that all loans originate from the same loan originator, Wandoo Finance Group, who is also the owner of Swaper. While I don’t know the financial condition of Wandoo Finance Group, I always like it when platforms have more loan originators to spread the risk of one of them defaulting. Lastly, the TrustPilot ratings are not excellent (but there are too few reviews to make a fair judgment based on this).
Funded loans (cumulative):
Average annual return:
Personal, business, real estate
You will receive a 1% bonus from the increase of the volume of investments held within the first 90 days after registration if you sign up using my link above. The bonus for the investor will be calculated and paid out after 30, 60 and 90 days.
The last platform on the list is Bondster which was founded in 2017 in the Czech Republic. Bondster is a very promising platform, so don’t be scared that I put it last on the list.
The average annual interest at 13.9% is great, and they have more than 14,000 investors. The buyback guarantees, the investment strategies (with autoinvest) and the secondary market are all nice.
I have a few observations that have made me wait with investing until the platform has more traction. First of all, the total funded amount is still low. You get the feeling that it is a Czechia-first platform, which might put some non-Czech investors off. Also, the TrustPilot ratings are not many, but they are mediocre. Lastly, there’s a fee if you exit early, and the buyback guarantee changes from loan to loan.
How does the P2P lending market in Europe look and what should you look for when investing?
In recent years many new platforms have emerged, and it can be hard to separate the good, the OK and the scam sites.
In my list of the best European platforms, I have included 16 sites I believe to be good options for investors, but some are better than others.
First of all, the sites vary a lot in size. Below I have compared the platforms by their size of loans funded (cumulative) at the time of writing:
European P2P lending platforms by the size of loans funded (November 2021)
As you will see, Mintos is by far the biggest European P2P lending platform with more than seven billion euros in loans funded (if you are interested, check out my in-depth review of Mintos here).
When you invest in crowdlending in Europe, it is not only important to look after size – there are a few other things to check up on before you get started:
- How old is the platform?
- Who is the management team?
- How do their financial reports look?
- Is it a single- or multi-loan originator platform? How many loan originators do they have?
- Do they offer a buyback guarantee on your loans?
- What is the minimum investment in loans?
- Which loan types do they offer?
- Do they have autoinvest functionality?
- Do they accept investors from your country?
What is peer-to-peer lending and how does it work?
Peer-to-peer lending or crowdlending is the concept of people/businesses lending money to other people/businesses through online platforms. The platform matches lenders with borrowers but without the involvement of a traditional financial institution such as a bank. This allows lenders to get higher interest rates than lending money to the bank, and it also allows borrowers to get different terms than with a traditional bank.
The investor (or lender) typically transfers money to a crowdlending platform, indicating the risk level that he/she is willing to accept along with other investment preferences (time horizon, loan types, interest rate interval, auto- and re-invest, diversification, etc.).
The platform then matches the lender with borrowers and the loans are funded automatically within seconds. From here on, the lender can sit back and relax while interest payments come in as the loan is being paid off by the borrower.
Usually, the P2P lending sites are free to use for lenders/investors, and the sites make money on fees charged to the borrower that can be either one-time, yearly or a share of the loan amount.
In the list above of the best P2P lending platforms in Europe, I only include European crowdlending platforms that provide loans to people/businesses by people/businesses. For example, I do not include platforms that are not available to European investors or real estate crowdfunding sites in the list below.
What are the risks of investing in crowdlending in Europe?
When investing your money in any asset class there’s always the risk you might lose everything.
This is also the case for peer-to-peer lending on all platforms in Europe. I consider crowdlending very high risk and I don’t invest more than 5% of my net worth in it. I cannot stress enough that you should never invest anything in peer-to-peer lending unless you can live with losing everything.
When you invest in peer-to-peer lending, the three biggest risks are the following – and all of them are likely scenarios:
- The borrower of your loan cannot repay the loan and defaults
- The loan originator goes bankrupt
- The peer-to-peer lending platform goes bankrupt
The first risk is that your borrower defaults. On many platforms, this is mitigated by buyback guarantees, but on some platforms, it is not. If your platform does not offer buyback guarantees, make sure to diversify your loans and choose loans meeting your risk preference.
The second risk is that the loan originator goes bankrupt. This has happened more than once on Mintos, and I still have some investments in recovery. For example, when Eurocent went bankrupt. Mintos has +20 loan originators and there’s a risk one of them goes bankrupt. When this happens, you might lose all your money, although normal bankruptcy procedures kick in and Mintos tries to recover as much money as possible for its investors. However, since then Mintos has become good at clearly indicating which loan originators have good ratings.
The third risk is that the peer-to-peer lending platform goes bankrupt. If the loan originator is the same as the peer-to-peer platform, this is essentially the same as the second risk. Now, this can be quite bad, and this is the one I fear the most. We haven’t seen how these platforms perform during a financial crisis (when all the borrowers start defaulting), but that will be the big test of crowdlending. If it happens, normal bankruptcy procedures will kick in and you might and might not get your money back.
Lastly, there is a risk of being scammed. Lately, the Envestio platform (which I invested in myself) disappeared overnight in what seems like a case of fraud even though I cannot conclude anything yet.
Do you see? Investing in crowdlending comes with risks (and there might be more than the three I mention above), but it also comes with very generous average annual returns, so for now, I’m taking my chances and enjoying the returns, but no one knows what will happen tomorrow!
Remember that everything written above is based on my experience and opinions – and you should always do your research 🙂