Mintos is one of the largest peer-to-peer lending platforms; they offer a huge volume of loans of all kinds and durations.
My opinion on Mintos
Mintos‘ success is well deserved ! They deliver an excellent and very regular performance, and the impressive loans volume means that basically any amount can be invested without fearing a cash drag. Also, thanks to the availability of investing methods other than manual or auto-invest, even beginner investors can easily invest through the platform.
However, it’s important to be aware of potential risks – especially the presence of unreliable loan originators -.
Mintos’s pros & cons
- A huge quantity of loans available
- The platform features many originators, allowing you to diversify your portfolio
- Opportunity to invest in many countries and different currencies
- Overall ergonomics is excellent
- Opportunity to invest via pre-defined strategies or use Invest & Access for easy investing
- Auto-invest can be tricky to configure for beginners
- Interest rates fluctuate a lot throughout the year
- Several risky originators are present on the platform
Overview of Mintos’s loans
Mintos offers an impressive array of loan kinds, in many countries and thus many different currencies. As usual, I’ll focus on Euro loans here.
Interest rates on the platform tend to vary a lot throughout the year. Indeed, after enjoying interest rates as high as 15% during most of Spring and Summer 2019, the highest interest rates in late August 2019 went down to 12.5%; this figure climbed to an insane 26% during the Covid-19 crisis. In early August 2020, they’re back at a more normal level – currently 15.1% for loans from Russian originator Dozarplati -.
However, as the highest rates are sometimes offered by dubious loan originators, they’re not a good indicator of the expected performance. Indeed, as we’ll soon see in detail, several loan originators on Mintos have defaulted. Investing through unreliable loan originators may thus result in a capital loss, which will in turn lead to a performance much lower than the interest rates !
In spite of the interest rates variation, the actual performance of my Mintos portfolio has been very stable throughout 2019 and 2020.
Nearly half of the available loans are personal loans, around one quarter are short-term loans and 15% are car loans. The remaining loans are spread between business loans, mortgage loans, agricultural loans and invoice financing.
With a very wide array of loans to invest in, it’s not surprising that durations vary greatly – from one month to more than six years -.
Mintos’ cashback campaigns
Mintos used to regularly run campaigns. For example, they may give 1% cashback if you invest in loans from a given originator, or in long-term loans. A great way to boost your returns is to sign up for Mintos’ campaigns, and direct your investments accordingly. Campaigns change often, so it’s something to keep an eye on !
Unlike most other platforms, it’s necessary to explicitly sign-up for a campaign in order to enjoy the bonus.
As of August 2020, the cumulative volume of loans funded through Mintos was more than five billion euro; it doubled in less than one year, as this figure was € 250,000,000 in July 2019. Needless to say that this amount is huge and liquidity isn’t a concern !
In August 2020, Mintos lists around 70 loan originators. Although this impressive number includes defaulted or suspended lending companies, it’s still a very large figure. This is both a strength and a weakness for Mintos.
The platform will send notifications as new originators are added, giving investors the opportunity to include them in their auto-invest portfolio.
Like most competitors, Mintos uses a mechanism called “skin in the game”, which means that the originators have to keep a portion of the loans (usually 10%). This ensures that the originators provides quality loans, as they will be directly impacted if the borrower defaults. Mintos FAQ has a great explanation of the skin in the game, which I incite you to read.
Also, since August 2018, they started rating their originators, from A+ (safest companies) to D (defaulted originators). It’s possible to configure the auto-invest to use only selected ratings, which is great for investors’ safety !
Unfortunately, with so many originators available, it’s hard to avoid having sub-standard firms among them. In May 2018, EuroCent went bankrupt; it was the first one of a long list. In summer 2020, there are 8 defaulted loan originators; 12 more got suspended for various reasons – most often because of delayed repayments -.
An excellent source of independent ratings for Mintos loan originators is the ratings computed by Explore P2P. While they’re rather austere and following the changes is a painful task, I consider them a great guide to reduce the risk of my portfolio.
Kristaps Mors also wrote a very critical overview of Mintos loan originators. It’s a great wrap-up of the risks involved in investing blindly in high-yield loans; however, the listed amount considered as at risk (€118 million) needs to be put into perspective. Indeed, it’s only a small fraction of the overall invested funds on Mintos (more than €5 billion since its inception !).
I also strongly encourage prospective and current Mintos investors to read our article on Mintos loan originators; it will help reduce the risk of your Mintos portfolio.
Most loans on Mintos are covered by a buyback guarantee. The delay necessary to trigger it is rather long (60 days); it’s the same for all originators.
Once more, please realize that as the buyback guarantee is provided by the loan originator, it’s only meaningful if it comes from a reliable company.
Impact of Covid-19 outbreak on Mintos
On very visible effect of the coronavirus crisis was panic selling on the secondary market. There was basically no demand for loans, while many investors tried to liquidate their portfolios. It lead to slowdowns and very large cashout times; fortunately, the situation quickly got back to normal. As previously noted, the platform also re-introduced a secondary market fee.
The crisis also forced Mintos to improve its communication. For example, as many loan originators defaulted or became suspended, they created dedicated pages in order to show the progress of funds recovery, as well as the amount of funds in transit.
Like most other platforms, there was a temporary increase of interest rates and a decrease of loans volume. Although interest rates are roughly back to their previous levels, the growth of the loans volume has clearly been reduced.
There’s a secondary market available, should you ever want to resell your loans. A secondary market fee was reinstantiated in Spring 2020, which used to be free for a long time. It’s currently 0.85% of the amount.
Thanks to the large demand from Invest & Access investors, selling loans through the secondary market is usually rather fast – especially when applying a discount -. However, at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, it basically took forever to sell any loan, even with a large discount; there was nearly no demand for loans, while at the same time many concerned investors were trying to decrease their portfolio’s size.
Mintos’ various investing methods
Mintos actually offers 4 different ways to invest in loans. In addition to the classical manual and automatic investing, it’s possible to choose pre-defined strategies for auto-invest, as well as the greatly popular “Invest & access”. The latter is used by as much as 52% of new investors, and will evolve in late August 2020 in order to provide more flexibility.
For investors who don’t want to bother with configuring auto-invest, Mintos offers predefined strategies.
There are three of them, named Short-term strategy, Diversification strategy and Secured loan strategy. It’s currently not clear whether they will still exist when Invest & Access evolves, or if the new version of Invest & Access will replace them.
The indicative returns currently vary between 7% and 8.5%, which is lower than what you could get using custom auto-invest settings. When the pre-defined strategies were launched, the indicative returns were as high as 12.5%; they have since dropped significantly !
Once again, investors interested in easy ways to invest can refer to my article on one-click investing; it compares Mintos’ predefined strategies, Ekassa, DoFinance, Bondora’s Go & Grow and Mintos Invest & Access.
Mintos’ “Invest & Access”
In Spring 2019, Mintos launched Invest & Access. Although this investing method is extremely easy to use, it also has several drawback investors should be aware of.
Let’s start with the positive aspects : first, the only configuration needed to use Invest & Access is the size of the target portfolio. That’s all ! This amount will be automatically allocated through available loans. This simplicity makes it very easy for beginner investors to use Mintos. In addition, liquidating all or part of your portfolio is as simple as clicking a button; however, it will only sell current loans. Indeed, late loans will have to be sold manually on the secondary market – although it’s probably better to wait for buyback -.
Unfortunately, returns will usually be lower than when using auto-invest – it’s the price to pay for a passive investment style -. As I’m updating this article in early August 2020, the average return for Invest & Access is 10.88%, which is at least 1.5% less than my portfolio’s performance. Also, the way loans are allocated are rather opaque, and several investors complained of a poor portfolio’s diversification. It will especially be the case for smaller portfolios; however, the upcoming “Conservative” strategy will help mitigate the risks, as it won’t invest in low-rated loan originators.
Another concern (shared by other investment methods) is the potentially long time needed to sell loans. Mintos claims that cashouts complete in 5:44 hours in average; however, it greatly depends on market conditions. During the coronavirus crisis, the delay was much, much longer.
The minimal amount for Invest & Access used to be € 500, but Mintos has since decreased it to € 10.
A detailed comparison between Mintos Invest & Access with their main competitors can be found on our comparison of one-click investing methods.
Mintos is expected to replace Invest & Access by three more configurable strategies :
- Diversified, which is similar to Invest & Access’ current settings.
- Conservative, which will only invest in the most reliable loan originators; it will use different metrics, such as Mintos rating, loan statuses for the originator, or volume of pending payments.
- High-yield, which will be more risky as it will include “C” rated loan originators.
I will update this article once they become available.
Manual investing at Mintos
While I encourage investors to take advantage of the auto-invest feature to save time, starting by investing manually can be less intimidating for beginner investors. While there are many available filters, the screen layout for manual investing looks much simpler than the auto-invest screen pictures below.
The filters include :
- Interest rate
- loan duration
- Loan type
- Borrower’s country
- Originator and originator rating
- Presence of a buyback guarantee
- Amortization method
- Initial and current LTV (loan-to-value ratio)
Mintos‘ auto-invest screen can be rather intimidating, as it’s possible to configure it extensively for each originator. Unfortunately, as the number of originators grew, the screen became less and less user-friendly.
While there’s a very large number of checkboxes on the screen, it’s actually not necessary to manage them by hand. Most investors will prefer using the selectors at the top. These allow to choose :
- The ratings for the originator
- The loans types
- The borrower’s country
- The presence or absence of a buyback guarantee
At the bottom of the screen, two sliders allow to select the interest rates interval, as well as the loans duration. Finally, investors have to choose the portfolio size, whether to reinvest or not, and the minimal/maximal loan size.
A handy feature is the neat option to diversify the loans portfolio across the selected loans originators. This will help mitigate the risks in case things go wrong with one of them; I strongly encourage investors to check this box.
It’s important to note that the the diversification settings will be reset when making changes to auto-invest settings; by default, it will use the respective loans volume for each originator in order to determine the target allocation. Investors who want to switch to equal-weight distribution will have to specify it every time they change their auto-invest configuration !
The often overlooked “Show matching loans” button allows investors to see how many loans match the selected criteria, as well as their distribution by loan purpose, country and loan originator.
Similarly, the very discrete “Available loan report” button will download a PDF which sums up the overall Mintos loans distribution. For each currency, it shows the total volume of loan based on Mintos rating and interest rate.
Website’s ease of use
Mintos’s registration process
Registering as an investor at Mintos is quick and easy. In addition to providing basic information about themselves, prospective investors need to upload a copy of an identification document.
Account funding and funds withdrawal
It’s possible to fund your Mintos account either by SEPA transfer, Trustly or TransferWise.
Website’s design and ergonomics
Mintos‘ website is well designed and looks great. It’s easy to navigate and use most features; as I already mentioned, the only exception is probably the auto-invest screen.
Available languages & translations quality
Mintos‘ website is available in many languages; the English translation is excellent.
All standard reporting features are available at Mintos; both account statement and current investments can be exported as an Excel file.
In addition, I greatly appreciate being able to evaluate the diversification of my portfolio through a pie chart showing the originators; it’s also very easy to see the overall interest rates or durations. I only wish the fonts were slightly larger !
A long-standing complaint about Mintos reporting – which became more and more acute as new loan originators defaulted – was that the dashboard didn’t differentiate between funds in transit and funds in recovery. This has been fixed in summer 2020, and both figures are now properly displayed.
There’s a lot of documentation available ! If the How it works sections is too generic to my taste, the Getting started guide is informative, albeit slightly too concise. The FAQ is really complete and will answer most investors’ questions; in addition, the blog makes for a good read as it serves to announce noteworthy changes.
It’s possible to get in touch by e-mail, live chat or phone.
Communication from the platform
Notifications are configurable. It’s possible to choose to receive a daily summary e-mail, as well as notifications for deposits, withdrawals and bonus payments. In addition, opting-in to Mintos’ informative newsletter is highly recommended !
Actual performance of my Mintos portfolio
At the end of July 2020, the XIRR for my Mintos portfolio was 12,96%.
The performance for this portfolio is rather stable, in spite of the sometimes sudden changes of interest rates. I expect it to decrease slightly as I got rid of my loans from risky originators in order to focus only on reliable ones.
Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.
Portfolio creation date
I created my Mintos portfolio in November 2016.
Mintos's main competitors
For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.
Mintos's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of May 2020
Who can invest at Mintos
Both individuals and entities can invest through Mintos. Individual investors must be at least 18 years old, have a bank account in the European Union or third countries currently considered to have AML/CFT systems equivalent to the EU, and have their identity successfully verified by Mintos.
Family trusts, partnerships, limited liability companies and other organizations must have a bank account and be registered in the EU or third countries currently considered to have AML/CFT systems equivalent to the EU.
Please note that this review may contain affiliate links. It means that I will earn a commission if you decide to invest after clicking through the link – at no additional cost to you, of course -. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions I make if you decide to invest through my links.