With over 360,000 registered investors, Mintos is the largest P2P lending marketplace in Europe. Since 2015, Mintos paid out more than €125 M in interest to investors like you. Your investments are protected by the 60-day buyback obligation. Wondering whether Mintos is for you? Learn more about our opinion in this Mintos review.
- 8/01/2021 - The lending company Moneda from Bosnia has left Mintos
- 4/12/2020 - Mintos has raised €7.2 M in the latest Mintos crowdfunding campaign
- 2/11/2020 - We have updated our suggested Mintos Auto Invest Strategy
- 28/10/2020 - Mintos releases a new feature - Mintos Risk Score
Mintos in Numbers
Before you start investing on any P2P lending platform, have a look at the statistics.
See the table below for a quick overview of Mintos’ past performance.
|Investor's earnings:||+ 125 M|
|Total loan value:||+ €5.8 B|
|Number of investors:||+352,000|
|Loss of investors' money:||€ 477,932|
|Average portfolio size:||€ 2,392|
|Latest financial report:|
Over the last four years, Mintos seen exponential growth, with their investor base growing over 352,000 from over 90 countries during this time.
Mintos lost €759,000 in 2019 and there are currently more than €87 M of investor's money at risk (in recovery).
Mintos is one of few P2P platforms where the financial reports are regularly audited by Ernst and Young.
This is a significant trust factor as it lowers the chance that Mintos is a scam .
Mintos’ investors got hit hard in 2020 as Mintos’s lenders struggle to meet their obligations towards investors.
Although Mintos' numbers are impressive, we have concluded that the risk and return ratio on Mintos isn't right for us anymore. Continue reading to find out why.
Mintos Invitation Code
If you are looking for a Mintos invitation code, you will be disappointed as Mintos currently does not offer any cashback bonuses for new investors. The company put all bonus offers on hold until further notice.
Did you know that there are plenty of other platforms that offer a cashback bonus?
Check them out here.
Prefer to learn more about Mintos?
Mintos’ User Requirements
In order to invest on Mintos you’ll need to fit with a couple of their requirements such as:
- Be over 18 years old
- Have a European bank account in your name
- Don't reside in the UK
No EUR bank account? No problem
You can transfer your money in nine different currencies but we suggest you transfer your funds in EUR to avoid any conversion fees.
Mintos allows you to invest in different currencies. Note, however, that this increases the foreign exchange exposure.
The cheapest way to transfer funds to your Mintos account is by SEPA transfer.
Risk and Return
Your goal is to earn money right? Our goal is to help you understand the risks!
Let's have a look at some factors that you should keep in mind.
While Mintos promotes various loan types, the majority of loans on Mintos are short-term, personal or car loans.
In fact, almost two thirds of loans on Mintos are short-term loans, otherwise known as micro or payday loans.
Those loans usually have a short term of max. 90 of days.
Note that short-term loans are riskier than mortgage-backed loans as the default rates can be up to 40%, depending on the country and the lending company.
Mintos also lists mortgage, business and agricultural loans as well as invoice financing. Those loan types are, however, barely available. You can invest into secured real estate loans on EstateGuru or in business loans on Debitum Network.
Mintos’ Broad Diversification Options
Mintos’ popularity stems from the variety of loan originators it offers.
In theory, you can invest in 70 loan originators from 33 countries.
In reality, the supply of loans from different loan originators varies constantly. There are currently just a few solid loan originators that you should consider investing into.
Note that on Mintos it's the quantity of loans rather the quality that helps you minimize your risks.
Mintos itself tells you that their lending companies provide finance services in many developing countries where the borrowers don't have access to banks.
In reality, Mintos didn't do a proper diligence about the financial performance of their lending companies which is why so many loan originators got suspended in 2020. This is particularly the case with lenders, that are connected to the angel investor of Mintos, Aigars Kesenfelds.
Mintos’ Buyback Guarantee
Another Mintos feature worth mentioning is their buyback guarantee. If you invest in loans with a buyback guarantee, your investments will be repurchased by the lending company after it's delayed for more than 60 days.
This seems to be just a promise as lending companies don't honor this buyback guarantee.
Note, however, that lending companies might exploit this in their favor. Instead of activating the buyback guarantee, the lending company can simply extend the loan term up to 6 months.
This isn't the rule but we have seen this before.
One detail you should know is that not all Mintos lending companies pay interest for delayed loans. That's not the case with other P2P lending platforms.
Mintos Loan Originators
One of our most favorite features on Mintos is the loan originator section.
Very few P2P lending platforms give you as many details about their loan originators as Mintos does. You can learn about:
- Skin in the Game (how much of its own money the lending company is investing in its loans)
- Mintos' Risk Score (how well rated is the lending company)
- Company’s financial reports
🤔 Should You Trust Mintos Lender Ratings ?
Watch the full review about the recently introduced Mintos Risk Score here:
You can analyse every single loan originator or simply exclude countries, which will automatically eliminate loan originators that operate in high-risk locations. Head over to our Mintos Auto Invest guide to learn more about our strategy.
In terms of returns, you can expect to earn around 11% interest per year during normal market conditions (prior 2020).
This is highly dependent on the current interest for the available loans.
Note that Mintos is a huge platform with more than 352,000 investors.
The availability of high-interest loans is changing constantly.
Considering that most of the loans on Mintos are short-term loans with a buyback guarantee, the returns on Mintos are slightly lower than the average.
Risk of Losing Your Money
Are you afraid of loosing your money?
When investing on Mintos, you have a contract with the borrower instead of the lending company. That's your legal document that protects your investments.
Mintos is already planning to issue "Mintos Notes" which will replace the assignment agreements if Mintos becomes a regulated platform.
How does this document protect your rights?
If a lending company goes bust, you should write off your investments as the chance of retrieving anything is very slim, unless Mintos manages to recover some of the funds.
Mintos provides you with user agreements that you should read to fully understand your rights and the protection of your investment.We’ve outlined these rights briefly below:
- If the borrower stops paying back the loan, the loan originator will take over the debt collection.
- If the loan originator goes out of business, such as in the case of Eurocent or Aforti Finance, Mintos will take over the legal work and help investors get their money back.
- If Mintos goes bankrupt, a third party law firm will take over the management outstanding payments from the loan originators to the investors.
- You can withdraw your uninvested money anytime.
That's at least how it should work.
In the latest "Ask Mintos Anything" session, Mintos has finally released additional information about the current debt recovery process.
4 Stages of the Debt Recovery Process
- Monitoring - Mintos evaluates triggers such as breach of the law, equity to asset ratio, financial performance, unfavorable development in the market or negative changes in the management
- Limitation - Mintos limits the exposure of loans from the loan originator (placement of new loans is paused or suspended)
- Restructuring - Mintos negotiates a restructuring plan where the loan originator agrees to cover obligations towards investors
- Liquidation - Mintos takes legal action against the lender
Here is an overview of Mintos' plan to recover the debts from suspended loan originators.
Is Mintos Safe?
That's what we're going to address in this section.
Let's have a look at the safety of your investments on Mintos.
Who Runs the Company?
Mintos is run by its Co-founder and CEO Martins Sulte. Martins has been leading the company since its inception back in 2015. Sulte also worked for six years at the SEB investment bank as a financial analyst.
The platform was co-founded by Martins Valters, who is currently the COO and CFO of Mintos.
Both gentlemen gathered valuable experiences at Ernst & Young before launching their platform. Ernst & Young is also the company that audits Mintos' annual financial reports.
Who is the Company’s Legal Owner?
Mintos is funded by four angel investors, which are also shareholders of the company.
Here is the list of the main shareholders of Mintos:
- Maris Keiss (co-founder of 4finance and Mogo)
- Aigars Kesenfelds (co-founder of 4finance and Mogo and owner of several loan originators)
- Kristaps Ozos (co-founder of 4finance and Mogo)
- Alberts Pole (co-founder of 4finance and Mogo)
- Martins Sulte - CEO Mintos (decision maker)
- Martins Valters - CFO / COO
- Employees through stock options
Are There Any Suspicious Terms and Conditions?
We have read through Mintos’s 13 page long terms and conditions, and we have not spotted any suspicious or unclear clauses.
If you aren’t entirely familiar with how Mintos works, there are a few clauses which we have pointed out for you:
Clause 4.4 - Safety of Your Funds
Your funds on Mintos are stored in Mintos’s accounts, which are segregated from the platform’s operational accounts.
The main point here is that Mintos does not use your funds to pay for its own expenses.
Clause 4.10 - Withdrawals in Two Days
If you request to withdraw funds, Mintos needs to transfer your money within two business days.
Most platforms reserve up to five business days. Mintos is one of the fastest paying P2P lending sites.
We regularly test this feature and our money is on our bank account within a few hours.
Clause 6.2 - Read the T&C Before Using Mintos' Tools
You should know that if you decide to use any of Mintos’ investment tools such as Auto Invest or Invest & Access (Investment Strategies), you accept all the terms and responsibilities that come with it.
Both mentioned tools invest in loans with certain characteristics.
We suggest getting familiar with the tools before using them. You will find more info about those tools in our next section about the platform's usability.
If you automate your investments on Mintos you are accepting all the terms and conditions of the lending companies.
Have a look at individual lending companies before you invest your money on Mintos.
Clause 6.8 - Amendments
Mintos can amend terms and conditions of an assignment agreement without your approval.
Those amendments shall not affect already concluded agreements and they should not put the user in disadvantageous position compared to the earlier version of the agreement.
According to our understanding of the terms, Mintos does not honor this clause as the P2P marketplace introduced loan extensions for already concluded agreements that put the users in a disadvantageous position.
It’s hard to imagine that any regulator would allow those practices in a regulated market.
Clause 6.11 - Risk of Default
P2P lending is risky, and even though Mintos is one of most popular platforms out there, there is no guarantee that you won’t lose any of your money.
In section 6.11, Mintos particularly mentions that the platform isn’t liable for any losses caused by your automated investment strategies.
Clause 7.4 - Pending Payments
In section 7.4, Mintos describes the flow of money between the borrower, loan originator, Mintos, and the investor.
Mintos only adds money to your account when the platform has received the repayments from the lending company.
The repayments are transferred in bulk twice a week.
If you happen to see pending payments in your investor account, it means that the loan originator will send the money within the next few days. Afterward, the money will be added to your account.
Clause 7.6 - Liability of Loan Originators
You should know that the loan originator isn’t obliged to repay the defaulted loan.
This is one of the risk factors that you should be aware of before investing in loans.
Most of the loans aren’t backed by any collateral, and the buyback guarantee will only kick in if the loan originator has enough money to cover it.
In certain cases, the loan originator doesn't respect it's obligations towards the investors and refuses to repay the money while still operating in the lending market.
Clause 12.4 - Mintos' Due Diligence
Mintos is monitoring the performance of their loan originators. However, there is no guarantee that the information Mintos has access to is reliable and accurate.
Mintos is listing loan originators in 33 different countries.
The reporting standards in those countries vary, which means that Mintos won’t be able to track every loan originator with the same quality.
You should be aware of this risk, as most of the issues with Mintos are caused by lending companies losing their license or going out of business.
Clause 12.7 - Risk & Suspensions
In section 12.7, Mintos states that neither the platform nor the loan originator has to compensate you for the claim.
You carry the default risk, not the loan originator or the platform.
Mintos is certainly not the best P2P marketplace when it comes to monitoring the performance of their loan orginators.
Find above an overview of the suspended loan originators on Mintos in the recent months.
Clause 12.5 - Liability
Mintos is also informing its users that they aren’t liable for any loss that occurs from your investment activities on the platform.
This is a standard clause, used by all P2P lending sites.
Mintos’s primary business isn’t providing loans; it’s simply connecting investors with loan companies.
This means that in case the loan originator goes out of business, it might have reputational damage on Mintos. However, it won’t directly put the platform at risk.
Potential Red Flags
- Mintos expanded the number of possible loan extensions to six. The changes also apply to already concluded agreements. This update has been rolled out without prior notice to the investors. This puts the investors in a disadvantageous position. According to our understanding, Mintos has breached clause 6.8. (old T&Cs) of Mintos' Terms and Conditions.
- Mintos fails to monitor the performance of their lending companies.
- Mintos confirmed that the offered group guarantee isn't able to cover for the defaults.
- Mintos suspended several lenders in 2020
Recent Changes to Mintos' Terms and Conditions
From 12/08/2020 Mintos is reducing its already very little “Skin in the Game” by charging the legal fees for possible loan recoveries directly to the investors. This rule may be enforced regardless of the outcomes from those legal actions.
In section 10.5. Mintos also clearly states the order in which the money from lenders will be allocated. The income from lenders will first be used to cover all commission fees to Mintos and the reimbursement of the legal cost before it will be used to repay the investors.
Those changes will be applied to already existing assignment agreements!
What's Our Opinion About Mintos?
Mintos's terms and conditions are clear, however, Mintos isn't obeying them. The introduced loan extensions are the perfect example for this.
This fact makes us realize that any P2P lending site can impose new terms without any direct legal consequences. While Mintos' amendments aren't as tremendous, they certainly don't increase our trust in the platform.
To be fair, Mintos improved their communication, however, the P2P marketplace suspended several lending companies which put investor's money at risk.
According to the latest information, Mintos anticipates to recover at least half of the funds calculated from €99M (current exposure).
As of December 2020 there are more than €87 M of investor's money at risk.
We started decreasing our stake on Mintos since February 2020 as we are also testing other Mintos alternatives that act in the interest of the investors rather than their partners.
In June 2020 we have sold most of our investments on Mintos as our trust in this company has diminished. We liquidated three portfolios within 14 days. The cost ranged from 1% to 1.5%.
If you are interested in investing in some of the lenders on Mintos, we suggest having also a look into their bonds. Bigger loan originators issue bonds on European stock exchanges. Investing in them increases the safety of your investments as bonds are placed higher in the capital structure of a company. This means that in case that the lender cannot meet its financial obligation, you will be the first to get paid, which is not the case if you invest in the loans through Mintos.
If you want to avoid the hassle, invest in some of the Mintos alternatives instead:
Usability of Mintos
P2P lending sites tend to get very complex as new features are being developed and you want to invest on a easy-to-use platform right?
Mintos has plenty of features that will help you to automate your investments such as the Mintos Auto Invest, Invest and Access or Mintos Investment Strategies.
Let's have a look at some of Mintos' features.
Mintos Invest and Access
The new Mintos Invest and Access comes with three different strategies. The diversified strategy, conservative strategy and high-yield strategy.
Find out what this is really about in the video below:
After we have published our video, Mintos has adjusted the "Conservative Strategy" to invest only in lenders with risk score between 10 and 7.
Mintos Auto Invest
This feature is really great. If you know how to use it.
The functionality of the Mintos Auto Invest is relying on the current market conditions, which is why you shouldn’t just set up once, but monitor the supply and demands for investment opportunities and adjust your settings regularly.
Setting up your Mintos Auto Invest is a more advanced topic, which is why we have created a dedicated guide where you will learn all there is to know to create your own Mintos Auto Invest strategy.
Watch our suggested Mintos Auto Invest Strategy here:
Mintos' mobile app allows you to view information about your investments without loging in with your browser.
At the moment you can’t control your Mintos Auto Invest nor invest manually via the app. The latest version of the Mintos apps does, however, support the Mintos Invest and Access tool which is rather useless at the moment anyway.
The app is also full of bugs which makes it not very user-friendly.
Mintos Loan Extensions
Mintos increased the number of possible loan extensions to six. This means that the loan originator can keep increasing the loan term up to 6 months.
That's NO good!
As you might need to sell your investments on the secondary market in case they get extended and you want to withdraw your cash earlier than in six months.
Every loan originator on Mintos can buy back your loans at any time and re-list them on the platform for a lower interest.
This is how it works:
- Loan originator lists loans for a higher interest when the demand from you is low
- As soon as your demand for investments increases, the loan originator buys back your claims and re-lists it on Mintos for a lower interest rate
Quite shady right? We don't like this either as it lowers our returns.
How Fast Can You Withdraw Your Money?
It depends on the market conditions and the tools you use.
Selling on The Secondary Market
If you invest on Mintos manually or have invested in long-term loans via the Mintos Auto Invest, you can sell your investments on the secondary market.
This is recommended if you want to withdraw your funds before the end of the loan period.
Note that Mintos has reintroduced a 0.85% fee for investors who wants to sell their investments on the secondary market.
Although we don’t typically trade on the secondary market, it’s certainly a benefit that will help with your liquidity on Mintos, if you manage to find buyers.
We have liquidated most of our Mintos portfolio in June 2020 within 14 days. The total price for the secondary market fee and discount was between 1% and 1.5%.
Cash Out with Invest and Access
If you use the Invest and Access tool, you can click on "cash out" within the "diversified strategy" to cash out your money. Note that this is highly dependent on the market situation.
If none of the investors have this tool enabled, you won't be able to cash out as no one will buy your investments. Note that you can still sell them on the secondary market.
A reduction of our portfolios on Mintos by 50% took us two months by just pausing the Auto Invest tools. PeerBerry allows you to cash out 100% of your investments within the same time.
If you’re new to P2P lending, you should start off with a P2P platform that will answer all of your questions and educate you about P2P investments.
Some Mintos’ functionalities might need further explanation, and this platform has a customer support centre that will help you every step of the way.
If you send an email to Mintos’ customer support centre, you can expect an answer within 24 hours.
From our personal experience we recommend using the Live Chat function as this is much faster.
Mintos Review Summary
Mintos is the market leader when it comes to P2P investing in Europe. Nevertheless the P2P lending site isn’t able to protect investor’s interest. The risk of losing your money on Mintos is currently higher than the potential return. There’s only a handful of loan originators that are profitable and well capitalized.
Key takeaways from our Mintos review:
- Poor monitoring of lending companies
- Unrealistic promises and guarantees
- Negative changes to the terms and conditions
- Only a handful of solid lending companies
If you are thinking about joining Mintos, you should do an in-depth due diligence about their lending companies before you invest your money.
If you don't, the risk of loosing is higher as the potential return.
Not conviced by Mintos? Check out these Mintos alternatives.
Is Mintos safe?
While Mintos offers a buyback obligation (former: "guarantee"), this isn't a security that you should rely on. Learn more about the protection of your investment on Mintos in our Mintos review.
What are "pending payments"?
Pending payments period is the time it takes to the loan originator to transfer funds for already repaid loans back to Mintos, so Mintos can distribute it to the borrowers. There is no interest being paid out for “pending payments”.
Is my money on Mintos safe?
Your uninvested funds are always at your disposal. Your investments are exposed to various risks that you cannot completely eliminate. Learn more about it here.
Is Mintos a scam?
Our research indicates that Mintos is not a scam. The marketplaces does openly communicate the latest developments to investors. Several loan originators that got suspended are owned by Aigars Kesenfelds, who is also the shareholder at Mintos. This indicates a conflict of interest between Mintos and listed loan originators.
|Company:||AS Mintos Marketplace|
|Address:||Skanstes 50, Riga, LV-1013, Latvia|
|Phone:||+351 308 808 418|
|Opening Hours:||Weekdays from 9AM to 5PM|
|Social Media:||, , ,|