Recently, I came across a video titled ‘How I generate a 11.8% return with P2P lending on Mintos’. I’ve watched the video in it’s entirety and got curious about how all of it works.
To be honest, I had no idea what P2P lending (peer-to-peer lending) was, but an 11.8% return sounded very appealing – especially when you consider that today’s interest rates on term deposits are around 1%.
This means, factoring in inflation,
you are actually losing money.
There has got to be a better way to invest some of my money. Could peer-to-peer lending be the solution?
Of course, my skepticism kicked in pretty quickly and I started to dig deeper. Here are some of the questions I started asking myself (and will answer in this article).
- What is P2P (Peer-To-Peer Lending)?
- How safe is P2P lending on Mintos actually?
- Are you only getting a 11% return because it’s high risk?
- Is there anything similar to the deposit insurance scheme you have with funds held in a traditional bank account?
- Am I able to join/invest as a private person as well as set up an account for my company? Ideally, for my Estonian company?
- How To Sign Up At Mintos
In this article, I will answer all of those questions and show you an easy way to get started. In fact, you get to follow along as I set up my account.
What Is P2P / Peer-To-Peer Lending?
If you lend money to your friend, that would be considered peer-to-peer lending. That is pretty much it; end of the explanation.
Mintos and similar companies are simply platforms that facilitate that lending process; they are platforms on which you can find individuals and businesses who are searching for a loan.
Similar to you messaging all your friends, ‘Hey, does anyone need to borrow money? I have €1.000 and am will to lend it to you at 11% interest per year’.
Mintos allows you to automate much of that process.
Another benefit is that they do risk analysis. They do checks on people who request loans to make sure they are fit for it (and likely pay it back).
Mintos allows you to fully automate the P2P lending process via their auto invest features. Say you want to invest €1.000.
You can automatically split up that amount and lend €25 to 40 different individuals/businesses and thereby if one fails to pay back the loan, it’s really no big deal.
That’s another way to diversify your risk.
That’s a very brief explanation of what peer-to-peer lending is and how Mintos works. There are many Mintos alternatives – in this article, I will focus on Mintos only.
How Safe Is P2P Lending on Mintos?
In life, nothing is 100% safe.
In most cases, the return of an investment is linked to the risk of said investment. You can’t expect to get an 11% return with absolutely no risk.
That’s not how it works.
Knowing this, peer-to-peer lending and respective platforms are not alternatives for bank accounts, or term deposits. I would consider them one additional way of diversifying your investment portfolio.
How much would I invest here? Not more than 5% of my total portfolio value.
Mintos has an in-depth article covering the topic of Investor Protection.
You could spend hundreds of hours researching and trying to assess the actual risk of such an investment. Go on YouTube and you find dozens and dozens of videos showing you how to start your P2P lending journey, while others warn you of the risks.
Or, you can take the practical, common-sense approach, ask yourself how much money you are willing to lose and then invest that amount to get started.
If you watch some of the aforementioned YouTube videos covering the risks of P2P lending, you’ll realize that most of them talk exclusively about U.S. based lending platforms (many of which charge high fees and only allow loans with term lengths of several years).
Most European P2P platforms are different in that they don’t charge high fees and allow you to give short-term loans.
Does Mintos Offer Deposit Protection?
No, there is no government-backed deposit protection for peer-to-peer lending platforms, such as Mintos.
Like I’ve said before, Mintos does carefully assess each loan originator and they also have lending companies listed who offer a Buyback Guarantee.
The buyback guarantee means that if the loan is delayed by more than 60 days, the lending company will repurchase the investment for the nominal value of the principal and accrued interest. It is valid as long as the lending company is in business.
Mintos For Individuals & Companies? Can I Join Mintos?
Yes, you can open an account for both yourself and your company.
If you have an Estonian company, you can also invest your funds here. That is, if your accounting service provider allows these sorts of activities.
How To Sign Up At Mintos
The process is very easy and takes less than five minutes. That includes both registration and verification of your identity. Here’s how it works.
Start by clicking Create an account in the upper right corner.
Next, you are asked to enter a valid email address. Upon that, you need to select your account type.
As mentioned before, you can also set up an account for your company. In this example, I am signing up as an individual.
Next up, you need to verify your identity.
I recommend you do this via your smartphone. You are asked to take a selfie, a copy of your passport (or ID card) and a selfie while holding your passport (or ID card) next to your face.
Like I said, I did use my smartphone, but you’d also be able to use your computer’s webcam (if you have one).
After the verification process was done, I received this email a few minutes later.
Wow, that was quick! Verification has been successfully completed!
Now I was able to add funds to my account by clicking the following button.
Mintos offers a selection of currencies and payment methods. For most currencies, you can choose between a bank transfer and using an e-money service provider (such as TransferWise).
That’s it. The process of setting up an account, going through the verification steps and adding funds took less than 10 minutes combined!