Tag Archives: p2p lending experiences

My first P2P Lending Experience: 10 Months of Investing in Mintos with a 11.28% return (+ buyback guarantee)

After having been convinced that p2p lending is really the new undiscovered investment tool that it promises to be I decided to give it a shot at the beginning of 2016 which resulted in my first p2p lending experience…

Having done my research for some the last months of 2015 I was ready to make my first p2p lending investments and start the big p2p lending experience experiment.

The very first platform I invested money on was a relative newcomer from Latvia called Mintos. To find out all about My Mintos Investment experience read on…

Why I chose Mintos as my first p2p lending platform

Mintos was founded in january 2015 and quickly gained market traction through their transparent and novelty platform. One of the great features that made Mintos popular was (and is) that they allow you to invest in loans with a buyback guarantee greatly reducing an investor’s risk (more details about this below)

As opposed to many other platforms (who only offer unsecured personal loans) Mintos offers a great diversity of loans: from secured mortgage loans, personal unsecured loans, secured car loans to small business loans.

how-mintos-p2p-lending-marketplace-works

The minimum investment in one loan on Mintos is a mere EUR 10 making it a great starting point for new investors as you can create a nice diversified portfolio with relatively little money.

Both the buyback guarantee option and the low minimum investment of €10 were the reasons why I choose Mintos as my first p2p investment marketplace.

And I was definitely not the only one.

mintos-total-loans-funded-history

As per November 2016 Mintos has 14.870 registered investors which funded an impressive total loan volume of € 83 687 094

Lower your risks with Mintos buyback guarantees

If you are new to p2p lending and investing the buyback guarantees require a little bit more explanation.

Most p2p lending platforms and marketplaces provide unsecured personal or business loans, meaning there is no collateral to back the loan. The platforms use an extensive analysis of each person and business that applies for a loan taking into account many factors the likes of: monthly income, are they homeowners or not, debt history, credit card payment history,….etc. By analysing these factors they create a risk profile and based on that they decide if the applicant gets a loan and for which interest rate. High risk loans offer investors high interest rates but at the same time they have a high chance of defaulting (meaning the borrower doesn’t pay back the loan). As there is no collateral this can mean that an investor loses his invested/lended money. By diversifying your loans over many different loans with varying risks you can lower your risk…and this is what most investors do.

When Mintos entered the market they decided to offer secured loans. Up to that moment this had not been done on a large scale yet in the p2p lending market. And Mintos therefore created a great new addition with these loans.

Buyback guarantee loans will net you, as an investor, less interest than unsecured loans, but it will greatly reduce your risk as Mintos will buyback the loan whenever the borrower defaults on his payment obligations for 60 days or more. In such a situation Mintos will pay you 70% of the original loan contract meaning that the maximum loss you run on such a loan is only 30%. This is a great system that greatly reduces your risk as a lender.

mintos-and-mogo-buyback-guarantee
Mogo is a loan originator on Mintos that offers secured car loans with a buyback guarantee

Currently Mintos pays a maximum of 13.5% interest rates for buyback guarantee loans through Mogo, a secured car loan originator. A great return rate for loans that have very limited risk. They are one of my favourite loans to invest in on Mintos. 

My first P2P Lending experience: a review of 10 months investing on Mintos

In January 2016 I opened an account on Mintos which was a very easy process. I had to fill in my details and upload a piece of ID for identification purposes but within 3 days I had a functional account. I wired €1000 to the account and started my great p2p lending experiment.

As I was new and wanted to limit my risk I started investing in loans with a buyback guarantee in €10 portions to guarantee make my first p2p lending experience devoid of too much risk.

Mintos has an auto-investment tool that allows you to let them do the investments according to criteria you set. It takes away the manual and time consuming task of manually making offers for each and every loan you want to invest in. And it is completely free and easy to use.

I used the following criteria in their auto-investment tool:

  • Must have a buyback guarantee
  • Interest rate between 8 and 20%
  • Loan term from 1 to 120 months
    This means short term loans and long term loans up to 10 years. I did this to include some of  the mortgage loans offered on Mintos which are always long term loans.

And with these settings I hit the ‘save’ button and Mintos started doing the investment work for me.

When I returned to the mintos website a couple of days later my €1000 had been neatly invested in 100 loans and I was eagerly waiting for the first principal and interest payments to roll in. And this is what happened. Slowly small payments were coming in and I was loving it.

It was very exciting to return to my online account on a daily basis and see that I had received another couple of euros.

For the first couple of months I was always hovering around a return on my investment of aournd 10%. “This is great I thought”. And it was compared to my 0.7% interest rate on my Dutch savings account at the Rabobank.

It was a great encouragement and I decided to invest in some more loans on Mintos. I added a couple of thousand or euros more and devised a couple of new auto investment settings in order to try to raise my return. The biggest change I made was that I changed my minimum required interest rate to 12% in the auto investor and left the other settings more or less unchanged.

And it worked.

Slowly my interest rate crept towards, and eventually surpassed, the 11% net annual return rate.

As I got more comfortable with Mintos I also got more comfortable with taking a bit more risk. I started investing in some higher netting loans of around 15% without a buyback guarantee. On the one hand to diversify my portfolio and on the other hand to increase my total net annual return.

And it worked again.

Now after just over 10 months of investing on Mintos my Net Annual Return is a great 11.28% and it is still slowly rising every week due to the repayments of the higher 15% interest loans.

my first p2p lending experience 11.28% after 10 months on Mintos
My personal annual return overview of 11.28% after investing 10 months on Mintos [Click to englarge]
In 10 months time I have made €303.40 interest on an average invested amount of €3228. (For some months I had €5000 invested but I have lowered this amount in order for me to be able to try out a bunch of other p2p lending platforms too). 

I am very happy about this and it has made me very enthusiastic about p2p lending as a savings and investment tool. All in all my first p2p lending experience has been a very positive and encouraging process. 

I will soon write more about some of the unique features that I like about Mintos through an in depth analysis of this great platform.

For more information about p2p lender Mintos have a look here.
For my experiences with high-netting and the 2nd platform I ever invested in called Bondora keep reading here.

 

P2P lending & investing: light in the darkness of a confusing market with p2plendingexperiences.com

When you first hear about p2p lending & investing – like myself – you think all the claims of making double digit returns seem just too good to be true. It just sounds crazy that you can make between 10-20% on your investments (loaned amount) on platforms with exotic sounding names like Bondora, Mintos, Crosslend, Omahara, FellowFinance, Zopa, Funding Circle, RateSetter, Prosper, Lending Club, Dianrong……and many many more.

Your mind really goes in overdrive and fills itself with questions the likes of:

  • Can I really make such high interest percentages? And if these 10-20% interest earnings are true how is this even possible?
    (yes it is both possible and easy if you pick the right platforms)
  • Which platforms are the best and most trustworthy to use?
    (a whole bunch of them have been around for 10 years while making double digit interest percentages for their clients all-along)
  • How long do I have to put my money away for? And if I ever need it on a whim can I get to it?
    (yes, certain platforms led you sell your loan portfolio with one-click guaranteeing a high liquidity)
  • What are the risks involved?
    (borrowers who default on their loans, platforms that go bust,…etc…There are definitely risks, but so is investing in the stock exchange. If you do it right though p2p lending has less risk and a more steady return than any other form of investing or saving money)
  • Is there a chance I will loose my money? (yes, but with buyback guarantees you can limit it greatly)
  • Do I need to actively manage my money or is there also a lazy secure way? (yes, loads of platforms offer auto-invest options)

These are just a few of the questions that hit me when I first heard about the exciting world of p2p lending. It was all highly confusing and a lot of information to take in…

So I started researching the world of p2p marketplace lending a bit. I dove into articles and blog posts and slowly learned that it is a very new but quickly developing side of FinTech (Financial Technology) with an amazing potential. The more I read, the more excited I got about it.
Couple this with the fact that my savings account interest percentages where quickly heading towards a 0% interest rate and I grew even more determined to give p2p lending a try.

What exactly is p2p lending?

p2p lending & investing is banking without banks

Let’s first start with a little explanation of what p2p lending exactly is.

Peer-to-peer lending, often abbreviated P2P lending, is the practice of lending money to individuals or businesses through online services/platforms that match lenders directly with borrowers. Since the peer-to-peer lending platforms offering these services operate entirely online, they can run with lower overhead costs and provide the service more cheaply than traditional financial institutions. As a result, lenders earn higher returns compared to savings and investment products offered by banks, while borrowers can borrow money at lower interest rates, even after the P2P lending platform has taken a fee for providing the match-making platform and credit checking the borrower.

As you can see p2p lending is a field that emerged due to internet technology enabling the direct matching of borrowers and lenders. The beauty of modern technology allows you to become your own little bank lending out a couple of hundred or thousand of Euros or Dollars and receive a nice interest percentage on it.

P2P Lending & investing history around the world

The first company to offer peer-to-peer loans in the world was Zopa, a UK based platform that is still going strong these days. Since its founding in February 2005, it has issued over £1.5 billion in loans. In 2010 Funding Circle became the first significant peer-to-business lender launching in August 2010 and offering small businesses loans from investors via the platform. Funding Circle has lent over £1.3 billion as of March 2016.Ever since 2005 many new platforms have arisen all over the world providing alternative ways of financing for individuals and businesses.

The biggest p2p lending market in the world by far is China where it is a 60 billion dollar industry with over 4000 different p2p lending platforms serving the hundreds of million of people that are not served well by the traditional banking system. It really is a booming (and sometimes shady if you don’t do your due dilligence) over there.

The modern peer-to-peer lending industry in US started in February 2006 with the launch of Prosper, followed by Lending Club and other lending platforms soon thereafter. Both Prosper and Lending Club are located in San Francisco, California and they are currently still the largest platforms in the USA market.
Early peer-to-peer platforms had few restrictions on borrower eligibility, which resulted in adverse selection problems and high borrower default rates which resulted in many investors loosing money in the early years.

In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) required that peer-to-peer lending platforms register their offerings as securities, pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933. The registration process was an arduous one and Prosper and Lending Club had to temporarily suspend offering new loans.
The regulation proved to be very useful cause after relaunching and reinventing their p2p lending process both of the platforms have managed to make steady returns for their investors post 2010.

p2p lending in Europe has its own unique features that make it a very promising market. The fact that the EU zone comprises many different countries, each with their own financial basics and interest rates, makes that one can profit hugely by market inefficiencies across the entire continent.
Bondora was the first one to recognize this huge potential by becoming the first pan-european lending platform. Basically any European can invest in their loan offerings in different countries. After them many other platforms followed their model.

How I got into p2p marketplace lending

As you can see the p2p lending &investing market is diverse, confusing and abundant. That’s what I thought the first time I started diving into the concept.
Initially I was very skeptical and quite reluctant to give it a try. That all changed when I read an article by Marc van der Chijs, a well-know serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and (angel) investor. On his blog marc.cn (which I had been following for a while) he wrote about his personal – and highly positive – experiences of years investing in Chinese and American p2p loans on Prosper, LendingClub and Dianrong. The article was named “why p2p marketplace lending is so succesful” and it was a real eye opener by someone I regard highly.

It really was a key moment that made me realize it was about time to try out this promising new investment vehicle myself…

A p2p investment experiment by average Joe

To find out how p2p lending and investing really works in practice I decided to turn my personal p2p investment trials into a big experiment. After some initial research I invested some money in a couple of platforms to see first hand how they differ in their approaches and returns. And on this website I will describe my personal experiences with these platforms: the do’s, the don’ts and all the things I learned along the way.

I am by no means a financial expert. Just your average Joe who started looking for alternative ways to use his modest savings (several thousand euros) as the bank’s interest rates started dwindling a couple years back.

I will describe my p2p lending experiences as a very average user that is interested in making his money work for him in a relatively passive way. I don’t like having to actively watch my accounts often and prefer using auto-investment options. This stems from my lack of deep financial analysis experience (I am a finance average Joe after all) and my lack of willingness to devote too much time to money management.
Over time I have learned a lot and I especially learned that it is very possible to passively invest my saving in different p2p lending platforms while making solid returns of between 10% and 20%.

This website documents my story of how I got there…

And it all started with my investments in Mintos & Bondora at the start of 2016. Find my detailed investment experiences with those platforms.