Mintos Review 2020 - Invest In Consumer And Business Loans With Up to 12% Annual Returns
What Is Mintos And What Are The Returns?
Mintos is a peer-to-peer investment marketplace that connects alternative lending companies with investors all over the world. It is actually not offering these loans itself, but is a “third person” connecting over 65 lending originators with over 240.000 investors. Mintos is the world leader when it comes to peer-to-peer lending. When using this market place an investor can get multiple loans, most of them with a buyback guarantee, with a return on investment varying from 6 to 20 percent on a yearly basis. You can either invest as a private individual or as a company.
Is Mintos Safe?
As an universal rule: with investing comes risk. Be aware that past performance is no guarantee for future results. With this in mind, Mintos as a platform is safe and well developed. Mintos is a fairly young business (2015), but a fast growing one and profitable according to the latest figures. Mintos has issued around EUR 5 billion in loans and has over 250.000 registered users.
Additionally, in the near future Mintos wants to offer a bank account and debit card, which would significantly expand its business model and services offered. Overall, these are impressive results in such short period of time, and there is plenty to look forward to when one wants to invest in a company.
We do have to note that it is important to make sure which loan originators you choose. There are a couple of originators we wouldn’t recommend, but this leaves plenty of loan originators you can allocate your funds to. Make sure you do extensive research on where to invest, and diversify by geography, loan type but above all loan originator. If you do so, you’ll be able to get decent returns with Mintos. You can read more on this below, where we discuss the loan originators.
Signing up at Mintos is a rather easy thing to do:
- Go to www.mintos.com and hit the blue “Create account” button;
- Fill out the first form as shown below,
- Continue to the second form and fill this form out as well;
- You have to get your identity verified before you can start investing.
Registering at Mintos:
Exploring The Mintos Marketplace
Once registered you have access to all the loans Mintos is offering. The idea is pretty simple. A borrower applies for a loan with one of the loan originators, which can be either a business, a consumer or any other loan he might want to have. Once the borrower is verified and credited, you can choose from those loans being offered on the Mintos marketplace and invest in them. To start with, Mintos has a lot of loans on offer and at first glance the primary market might look a little bit overwhelming:
Primary Market at Mintos:
There are quite a lot of parameters to choose from, which is very helpful. Here’s a brief description of the most important ones.
- Buyback guarantee: one of the most valued selling points of Mintos is the buyback guarantee. This is an assurance that if a borrower fails to make any repayments for more than 60 days, the loan originator will repurchase (buyback) the loan from the investor. This will be done automatically and only when you have bought a loan which has a buyback guarantee, marked with the yellow shield. In most cases you’ll get interest on the delayed loans as well; you can check here who do and don’t.
- Types of loans: a few categories are listed. The two most important differences are whether they are covered by a buyback guarantee, and the interest rate.
- Loan originators: all the loan orginators are listed here.
- Mintos ratings: Mintos has a rating system, ranging from A+ to D based on a set of critera which measure the performance of the loan originators. The criteria are adjusted once every year or when there is an immediate need to. You can read more here.
- Schedule extension: The borrower can choose whether he wants to extend his loan payment schedule. If the loan originator agrees (and not all of them do) the loan will be extended and updated with a new schedule, and all the due dates for all the outstanding payments will be extended by up to 31 days. You will get the same amount of interest during the extension. The maximum number of extensions is three. Late loans cannot be extended.
- Pending payments: Money that is currently in the process of being credited to your account. The borrower has made a payment, and Mintos is waiting to receive it from the loan originator. Once received, Mintos will credit the money to your account.
- Investment structure: this is twofold and can be either direct or indirect. The direct investment structure means you are buying a claim against the borrower directly. The indirect structure means you obtain exposure to a loan by investing in a loan issued by a platform company to the loan originator.
- Amortization method: means by which you get your money back, full, partial, interest-only or bullet.
- LTV: loan to value. Rule of thumb: the higher the loan to value percentage, the higher the risk.
Exploring The Loan Originators
When it comes to investing on the Mintos marketplace, it’s important to pick the right loans. For obvious reasons, you want good returns and of course you’d like to have your investment back. As a consequence, it’s at least as important to pick the right loan originators. It all relates to the buyback guarantee.
For the majority of the loans available, Mintos has a buyback guarantee but these are only as strong as their loan originator. How does this work? Mintos has around 65 loan originators on its platform, and the quality of them varies. While it might seem as if Mintos guarantees the loan, it is actually the loan originator. There are two cases of loan originators who got into financial difficulties, Eurocent and Rapido. And if loan originators get into trouble, the buyback fails to work. So if the economy takes a hit, the loan originators will be suffering first. Mintos will also be affected, but no so much when it comes to the loans. For that reason it is important to know that you not only take Mintos as a platform into consideration, but more importantly the loan originators.
To familiarize yourself with the quality of the loan originators, Mintos introduced a rating system, ranging from A+ to D based on a set of critera which measure the performane of the loan originators. These include profitability, asset quality, management team and risk controls. The ratings are adjusted once every year or when there is an immediate need to. You can read more here.
Rating system of Mintos:
Based upon Mintos ratings you can decide for yourself if you want to invest with these particular companies. Alternatively, ExploreP2P has developed lender ratings for the loan originators operating on Mintos which will help you make even better choices.
The image copied below shows what it looks like when you choose one of the loans listed on the marketplace. Amongst others, it shows which company is listing the loan, from what country it is, the Mintos rating, how much is left for investment and whether or not it has a buyback guarantee.
Characteristics of a short term loan of Mintos:
Investment Opportunities With Mintos
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with both the marketplace and with what a loan actually looks like, there are multiple ways to start investing with Mintos, either manually or automatically:
- You can use the Invest & Access feature;
- Alternatively, you opt for the auto investment strategy;
- Or you can choose to invest manually on the primary or secondary market.
You can see here the main differences between the three. When you start investing, Mintos automatically sets Invest & Access as Priority 1. Let’s take a closer look at what Invest & Access has to offer.
Investment tools available with Mintos:
Invest & Access is the most hands-off investment tool available. If you want to use I&A, you’ll set the amount of funds, you agree to the terms and you’re good to go. The Invest & Access feature will automatically pick up loans according to parameters set by Mintos. I&A will invest exclusively in loans with a buyback guarantee with a rating of A+ to C- , in order to reach a well-balanced portfolio. All available loans from the lending companies listed on the marketplace are included.
One of the advantages of Invest & Access is that in case you need your money right away, you can get it back instantly. Mintos will sell your loans to other investors, depending on the market. This means you can only get you money back if there is sufficient demand, which is usually the case when the market is operating as it should. Late loans cannot be sold. However, we think Mintos has a better option on offer, which is the auto investment tool.
The Auto Investment Tool
When you choose to use the auto investment feature, Mintos is making life a litte bit easier for you and automatically directs you to Mintos Investment Strategies. The other option is Custom Strategy, which we will touch upon later.
Setting of an auto invest portfolio of Mintos:
There are three strategies you can choose from, all with their own characteristics. The main thing to do here is to determine your investment strategy and pick the package that suits you best. Once you have made your choice, the screen copied below will appear, and you will be asked to create a new auto invest strategy:
A standarized auto investment, short-term strategy, at Mintos:
You can either just Start Investing right away or adjust the parameters a little bit, by clicking on View Auto Invest strategy criteria. Compared to Invest & Access, this is the main difference. If you start investing right away, this has a few advantages. Firstly, when you have large sums of money to invest, auto invest saves you a lot of time. For instance, if you have 2500 EUR and you want to invest 10 EUR per loan, instead of chosing 250 loans yourself Mintos will do that for you. Secondly, all the loans are covered by a buyback guarantee automatically; and thirdly, your money is divided among loan originators, diversifying risk.
So, you’ll put your money to work and that’s it. Or not?
Although at first sight, it looks rather appealing and it might suit some investors, we think you can do better. We’ll happily explain.
How To Make The Most Of The Auto Invest Tool
In case you would use Invest & Access or one of the Mintos Strategies, Mintos would set the parameters for you. It saves you a lot of time, but on the other hand it reduces your returns as well.
- Mintos uses ratings for all its loan originators, ranging from A+ to D. When creating a new auto investment portfolio with the help of Mintos Investment Strategies, loans ranging from A to C ratings are automatically included. We would recommend checking the loan originators before investing in these loans, as their quality may vary significantly. What does this have to do with your earnings? Well, even if a loan originator has a buyback guarantee it can get into financial difficulties, which in the end might result in delayed or even no payments at all.
- When a payment is delayed by the borrower, some loan originators will pay you the interest on this delay as well. Some others don’t, so it makes sense to choose wisely here. You can check that here, under interest income in delayed payments.
- Also, when using Mintos Investment Strategies, Mintos will select loans starting at 7% or 8,5% up to 20,5% depending on the strategy you choose. If you set the parameters of the auto invest feature right, you’ll get higher returns without increasing your risk and you can still diversify.
- When setting up an auto investment portfolio, it’s best to set your minimum and maximum investment per loan just between EUR 10 and 12 EUR. Mintos puts those two automatically on EUR 10. When you deposit EUR 150 and the auto invest tool will pick up 15 loans of 10 EUR each, there is nothing to worry about. But when you get some interest back from your first investments, say 0,10 EUR, you’ll problably end up with some money lying around, because before you get to EUR 10 again this might take a while. This may be peanuts but all small amounts add up, certainly when you take the compound interest into consideration.
- Use the secondary market to your advantage. Many investors offer their loans here and you can get some good bargains as well. On the other hand, if interest rates rise, it might be profitable for you to sell your loans with a lower interest rate and buy new loans at a higher rate at the primary market.
- Lastly, monitor your investments and check whether your portfolio is fully used. The loan volume of a particular originator might have decreased or the interest rates might have dropped. In order to maximize your profits, keep an eye on your portfolio settings.
Creating an auto invest portfolio at Mintos manually:
Altogether, we prefer the auto invest tool over the Invest & Access and Mintos Strategies because your risks are lower and returns are higher once your parameters are put in place. Additionally, it saves a lot of time, considering loan volumes are good which should result in a hassle free and optimal investment result. Nevertheless, you should check in once in a while to make sure everything runs smoothly. We actually think this is an advantage, as it keeps you on top of your game.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Investments At Mintos
Additionally, there are even more ways to increase your results when investing with Mintos.
- Mintos offers cashback bonuses on a regular basis. This means that when you invest money with a certain loan originator, you’ll get an additional bonus. The terms may vary from time to time, but do make sure you keep an eye on your mailbox or the Mintos blog. One thing though: do make sure you enroll for the cashback bonus (which you can do once you’ve registered with Mintos) otherwise you won’t be cashing in on this one.
Use Of The Platform
Mintos is open for investments from almost every investor from Europe, be it companies or individuals, the most notable exception being the United Kingdom due to regulations. You can also use Mintos when you are a resident from, amongst others, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. If your country is not listed, you can check here if you qualify.
Mintos offers multiple ways to transfer funds to your account. This can either be done:
- through a direct transfer, like iDeal. The money is instantly booked to your account;
- via bank transfer, by depositing money to your Mintos account via your own bank, which might take up to three working days;
- or via an e-money service provider like Transferwise, which takes up to two working days.
The currency which is used the most is the euro, but you can also deposit other currencies when you want to use the platform. Mintos has a currency exchange available and for a small fee you can convert to another currency. Costs are relatively low and you know in advance what you will pay, which is something we really like. The minimum investment per loan is 10 EUR; there is no maximum on depositing.
You can withdraw your funds once your identity has been verified. Obviously, you can only withdraw funds not being invested which then will be transferred to your bank account or e-money account which you also used when you deposited your money. Withdrawing money is free of charge, there is no minimum amount required and we got our money back within 36 hours after putting in a withdrawal request. This might take a little bit longer if you’re not in the euro zone, depending on your bank.
Mintos is not charging any fees when registering or using the primary market. It did recently introduce a small fee of 0.85% for selling loans on the secondary market. When you deposit or withdraw funds, no fees are charged. Mintos offers the possibilty of converting currency. This is definitely a big plus, as it expands your investment possibilities at a rather low cost. You have to pay a fee here, but this is displayed upfront before conversion.
Mintos doesn’t withhold any taxes on its platform. However, the income of the investor is subsequently subjected to tax in accordance with the legislation of the investor’s country and it is the sole responsibilty of the investor to comply . Mintos has provided additional information with regard to taxes for residents from Latvia, Estonia and Germany, which can be found here.
Overall Conclusion On Mintos
Mintos is a fast growing marketplace and is by far the biggest P2P platform you’ll come across. We rate Mintos 4/5, as they are way ahead of the competition in many ways:
- The amount of loans and variety available is unrivaled at the moment;
- You can pick many loan originators from all over the world, making it easy to diversify;
- The buyback guarantee ensures you get your investment back – just make sure you pick the right loan originators;
- Returns are high and give you a stable cashflow once you’ve started to invest;
- Given ordinary market circumstances, you can opt out rather easily by selling your loans on the secondary market;
- The website is available in multiple languages and customer support is extensive.
When you pick the right loan originators and put the best investment strategy in place you’ll be able to reap the benefits, and when using auto invest it doesn’t take up a lot of your time. If you want to start investing, you can hardly get around Mintos and it is definitely a platform to consider as you diversify your investments.
Summary & Overall Rating
All the pros and cons of Mintos can be found below:
- High volume of loans available
- Very easy to use website
- Many diversification options
- Very well working secondary market
- Interest rates are very attractive
- Market leader in its field
- Quality of loan originators differs significantly
- Options for new investors might be overwhelming
- Mintos ratings can use an update
- UK residents can’t use Mintos due to regulations