Disclaimer: I have recently decided to become a Mintos affiliate. This means I can offer all my readers a 1% bonus on all investments made in the first 90 days on Mintos if you sign up using this link. We both receive the bonus, and I want to stress that all opinions are my own and are not sponsored by Mintos. I started investing with Mintos long before deciding to become an affiliate.
I have been investing in the Latvia-based Mintos peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform since 2016. I have previously written about my thoughts on P2P lending and in 2017 I wrote my first review about my experience with Mintos.
The last review is already more than a year old, so I felt it was time for an updated one.
My overall opinion of the Mintos marketplace hasn’t changed. I still believe it is a solid, easy-to-use P2P lending platform that has given me great returns on my investments.
For Europeans, I believe it is one of the best options if you want to invest in peer-to-peer lending. Many of the good American alternatives are not available to European citizens who don’t have an American bank account.
However, I still consider peer-to-peer lending a high-risk investment, also on Mintos, so I never invest more than I am willing to lose.
Why I chose Mintos as my primary peer-to-peer lending platform
The selection of European crowdlending platforms is more limited and smaller compared to the American platforms.
When I decided to invest in P2P lending in 2016, I chose Mintos because it was by far the largest at the time and the one with the best reviews.
In 2018, Mintos is still one of the largest European platforms with great growth and more than 846 million EUR in loans funded to date:
… and it still has excellent reviews on Trustpilot:
I chose Mintos because it offered buyback guarantee on its loans, auto invest and a nice, intuitive interface.
Another key reason for choosing Mintos was the fact that Mintos is a platform for many different loan originators across all of Europe, which increases the number of loans and the diversification possibilities. Other platforms only include their own loans.
Mintos has aggressively been expanding with many new loan originators, countries and currencies since I started investing with them.
Today, it is possible to invest in 8 different loan types (business, personal, mortgage, agricultural, short-term, pawnbroking, car and invoice financing), in 23 countries (Albania, Armenia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Zambia) and in 12 currencies (CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, GEL, KZT, MXN, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK and USD) with the far majority of loans in EUR.
My review of the Mintos P2P lending platform
To be honest, I have been very satisfied with Mintos so far.
It has been a low-effort platform that requires very limited maintenance with amazing returns.
For the sake of this review, I also tried to withdraw money, and it worked flawlessly (more about this below).
I have invested approximately 2,800 EUR with Mintos (actually, in a few days I’m sending over an additional 1,400 EUR). It’s not a fortune, but it is enough to have lots of different loans and to test the platform throughly.
I have only accepted loans with a buyback guarantee which means that I have not lost any money on defaulted loans.
Since I started investing in 2016, I have made a net annual return of 11.96% across all my loans! I have made more than 500 EUR in interest on a relatively small investment. I am honestly very impressed with this. I know very few other investments where you consistently generate such a great return. The net annual return has been increasing since 2017 when it was at 10.92%.
I am constantly reinvesting the interest which means that I am nearly fully invested at all times.
My total account balance is 3,297 EUR with a small minimum amount available for me to invest in the secondary marketplace if anything extraordinary comes up.
I live in Denmark and have to pay taxes on the interest. I pay 34% in taxes on my interest income, which means that my return after taxes is 7.9%. I still consider this VERY good compared to the 0% interest rate I get by having cash in the bank and roughly 6% return historically on my stocks.
Apart from the great returns, I believe the whole funnel from creating an account, depositing money, (auto) investing and withdrawing money is highly user-friendly and intuitive.
To create an account you need to send some personal documentation, which can be a bit tedious, but this is more or less the standard on all financial websites these days.
Depositing money can be done in various ways (bank transfer or online services such as Transferwise) and takes a few days to show up on the account.
(Auto) investing is very easy to set up, but it does require you to understand some technical terms to get it right. I’ll go through this later.
Withdrawing money is surprisingly easy and is done in a 2-click process. The only catch is that you can only withdraw money that is not invested in a loan. If you want to withdraw money that are tied up in a loan, you’ll have to sell the loan on the secondary market first.
I have been in touch with the customer service a few times with a few questions regarding the auto invest option and the risk associated with the different loan originators. Responses have been quick and accurate, although they have been reluctant to share my review of them on their social channels 🙂
How I have invested on the Mintos marketplace
I have strict investment criteria when I invest on Mintos.
My time horizon is relatively long (+2 years). Since I am pursuing financial independence, I don’t need the money in the near future.
I try my best to be diversified across loan types, countries, loan originators and duration.
I only invest in loans with a buyback guarantee. This minimizes my risk since I don’t lose any money on defaulted loans (not even the interest). The risk is passed on to the loan originator.
However, despite only investing in buyback guaranteed loans, I still consider it a high-risk investment, since I could lose all my money if any of the loan originators defaulted. This has already happened once with Eurocent who was a loan originator at Mintos, but I luckily didn’t have any loans with them, and I know that Mintos is doing everything they can to recover the money and protect the investors on the platform. They have been very proactive with communication on the issue.
I have 402 active loans on Mintos and they are distributed in the following way:
I have most loans in Poland, Latvia and Georgia:
I have diversified my loans across many loan originators with most in Mogo, Capital Service and Lendo (I have stopped investing in Mogo in the coming year to increase diversification):
I have loans with different times to maturity (remaining terms). They are relatively diversified over time and the longest duration of a loan is currently 25 months:
I have loans with different interest rates on Mintos, but currently with a weighted average interest rate of 13.3%:
Most of my loans are being paid on time (“current”), but approximately 25% of them are currently paid late. Luckily, it is only a minority that actually ends up defaulting. I don’t pay much attention to this because I have buyback guarantee, but it should of course not be too large a share of my loans that defaults:
That’s how I have invested my money on the Mintos marketplace.
Mintos auto invest strategies: How I invest my money automatically
I make all of my investments automatically on Mintos using the auto invest function.
There are lots of opinions about how to do this, so do your own research, but this is the method I have used to get the best loans with the highest interest rates while making sure to have all my money invested at all times. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, since we are all in competition for the good loans, but hey, consider using my link to sign up and you’ll give us both a 1% bonus on the amount invested in the first 90 days.
I have created five strategies on Mintos. The auto invest strategy first executes the priority 1 investment strategy, then the priority 2 investment strategy, and so on. My auto invest strategy overview looks like this:
As you can see, my strategies are quite similar except they have different minimum interest rates. This means that the auto invest function tries to pick out a +14% interest rate loan for me before looking for loans with a lower interest rate. The lowest interest rate I am accepting with the auto invest function is 10%.
Apart from the interest rate, my auto invest settings are similar across all the strategies. I invest in all loan originators (except Mogo since I have too many loans with them at the moment), all loan types, all countries and always only with buyback guarantee.
My auto invest settings look like this:
As you can see, I only invest $10 in each loan to increase diversification. I also reinvest all of my interest and never include loans I am already invested in.
Setting the right auto invest strategies means a lot to the return you’ll get using the Mintos platform, so make sure to spend some time on getting it right. Also, setting the wrong auto invest settings can quickly invest all of your money in undesired loans – and there’s not cancellation policy here!
Withdrawing money from Mintos
I didn’t want to write this updated review before I had actually tried withdrawing money from Mintos.
If you can’t get your money out of the platform, it is not worth anything.
Therefore, I decided to make a little test and made a withdrawal.
It was surprisingly simple and only required two clicks.
First, you navigate to the “Withdraw” page and enter the following form:
When you click the “Withdraw” button, you immediately get a confirmation:
Two working days later I had the money on my bank account.
Alternative peer-to-peer lending platforms
Now, this review was about Mintos, but Mintos is not the only P2P lending platform out there.
They are not as large as Mintos in terms of loans funded, but they still have a significant size and offer many of the same functions as Mintos.
Before investing with Mintos, I encourage you to investigate those to find out whether they suit your needs better.
As you can read in this review, I am a happy peer-to-peer lending investor with Mintos.
I like the concept of P2P lending, but I acknowledge that it comes with a very high risk. You should realize that your money is locked away for certain periods where they are illiquid and you cannot withdraw them – no matter what happens in the world economy or with your finances. You can of course try sell your loans on the secondary market, but it will most likely be at a discount.
I will never invest more in peer-to-peer lending than I am willing to lose.
What can go wrong? Many things. The investment platforms can go bankrupt. The loan originators can go bankrupt. The next financial crisis might come and many people will default on loans putting pressure on all the loan originators. If this happens, you might lose all of your money.
I’m not trying to scare you. I wouldn’t put my money on any of the platforms if I didn’t believe that it would be a good investment, I just want to make sure that you know how serious the consequences can be.
Also, I try to be as honest and transparent as possible, but I’m not an investment professional (although I spend quite a lot of time on it), so I would always encourage you to do your own research and, if necessary, speak with a professional.
I hope you’ll have as much fun and get as good returns as I do with Mintos – or another peer-to-peer lending marketplace.
If you are new to this, I know it can seem complicated. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions 🙂