Standard offer for short-term loans; if you qualify for the loyalty bonus, the 14% interest rate actually deserves 5 stars !
The loans volume has increased, but use of auto-invest is mandatory !
Account statement and investments list offer the usual features
The platform is easy to use and really responsive
Who can invest
To become an investor you need to be at least 18 years old, be a resident of a European Economic Area (EEA) country and have a bank account in a bank situated in an EEA country. An individual is recognized as a resident if he or she is a citizen, has a residence permit or is registered as a tax payer in an EEA country. (Swaper FAQ)
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Overview of Swaper
Swaper allows to invest in short-term loans (one month) offering a buyback guarantee. As such, it’s a direct competitor to Robocash. How do these two platforms compare ? Let’s find out !
Secured loans offer a 12% interest rate for a 1-month duration, sometimes longer. Borrowers are located in various European countries : Spain, Poland, Denmark, Georgia.
If you invest at least 5000€ in the platform, you’ll get what they call a “loyalty bonus”, meaning an interest rate of 14%. That’s very interesting if you have that amount available for investing !
For a while, Swaper had troubles handling the amount of money deposited on the portal, thus you often found yourself with a large idle account balance. That was my main concern about this company, and the reason why the sum I invested there was extra-low. Since August 2017, Swaper is supposed to have doubled the amount of monthly available loans. The situation has really improved and most of my funds are invested now.
I previously used a neat trick I discovered in Financially Free blog, which helped me to invest more funds. I created several auto-investment portfolios and it resulted in less idle funds. However, the auto-investment process had been redesigned and it’s not possible to create several portfolios anymore.
For those of you who’d be tempted to invest manually, here’s what the available loans list typically looks like :
Yes, that’s right! Only one loan is available, and a delayed one ! Juicy ! (insert crying investor emoticon). All available loans are invested in by people using the auto-invest feature, so I strongly advise you to also use it.
Swaper will refund both accrued interest and principal after 30 days (for short-term loans) or 60 days (for long-term loans). This is more or less the standard practice in P2P lending.
There’s a secondary market available, should you want to resell your loan. There’s no fee involved, which is a rare occurrence !
The website works well. Overall there are not many settings to toy with, as the range of available loans can’t compare to other P2P lending websites out there.
One minor annoyance though, actually also found in ViaInvest‘s website is the color scheme used for the auto-invest screen. Surprisingly, a red toggle actually means “on”. I really can’t figure why they don’t use more classical checkboxes instead !
Apart from that, this screen is extremely readable, as you can see in this screenshot :
I got in touch with the support regarding the secondary market. It was on a Friday evening so of course they didn’t reply immediately, but they did so first thing on the next Monday morning. The answer was precise and to the point.
Actual performance of my Swaper portfolio
My computed XIRR in January 2018 was 11.83%. It’s been increasing for several months, in spite of the sporadic idle funds. A word of caution though : I have cut my portfolio size by half in order to avoid having unused cash a few months ago and didn’t restore its full size yet. A larger portfolio size may result in a lower return rate if there are not enough loans available !
Note that Swaper displays a slightly higher XIRR (around 12%), which seems to be optimistic in regard to the past cash drags !
Loan availability has for a long time been Swaper’s main flaw. The situation has improved, making this platform worthwhile for those who want to invest in short-term loans. However, the offered interest rate is much lower than at Robocash – unless you invest €5000 or more through the platform -. In spite of this, the much better ergonomics of Swaper’s website may still draw investor to it !
(last update : July 19th, 2018)