Peer-to-peer investing platforms
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is increasingly popular in Europe. Funding loans for businesses or other individuals can be quite lucrative. P2P investing is made easy on online peer-to-peer investment platforms. On those P2P websites the return on investment can be as much as 10%.
Please note: investing in peer-to-peer loans involves risks, you can (partially) lose your investment.
Peer-to-peer investment platforms in Europe
There are many online platforms where you can invest in P2P lending. Particularly in Europe, there are large brokers that have already funded billions of euros in peer-to-peer loans. These websites offer a wide range of P2P investment opportunities. Below, you will find a selection of the most popular P2P platforms in Europe.
Mintos is a peer-to-peer platform for individual loans from Latvia. The broker is the European market leader for p2p loans, but also active in 62 countries worldwide. Between 2015 and 2022, a total of 8 billion euros was funded. The average interest rate is approximately 10 percent.
Irish p2p platform Esketit has been around since 2020. Investments are automatically spread across loans from individuals. By its own admission, the platform provides an average annual return of 12 percent. Investing is possible from as little as 10 euros.
Lendermarket is a platform for P2P consumer lending located in Dublin. The service has over 17 thousand users that have invested around 377 million euros to date. The average interest rate is 12 to 15 percent for loans that last between 1 and 53 months. Annual returns are up to 15,5 percent.
Hive5 is a p2p platform from Croatia where investors can invest in small- and medium-sized businesses. The platform is active across Europe and connects investors and loan originators. Most loans have an interest rate of 15 percent. Investing is possible from 10 euros and up.
Viainvest is an online investment platform from Latvia. On the website you can invest in both consumer and business loans. To date, over 315 million euros has been invested. Viainvest has an average interest rate of 10 percent.
Robocash is a p2p lending platform from Croatia. Investing on the website is fully automated according to your preferences. In 2021, Robocash had funded over 300 million euros in loans. The average annual interest is around 11 percent. Most loans are very short-term, lasting up to 60 days.
Bondster is a peer-to-peer lending platform from Czech Republic that is active in 20 countries. The broker offers individual and business loans that last up to 120 months. Since 2017, over 100 million euros has been funded by more than 15 thousand investors. The interest is 5 to 16 percent.
Debitum is a Latvian P2P lending platform. The company focuses on financing small businesses. The loans last up to 48 months. Investing is possible from €50. The annual return is just under 10 percent.
Fintown is a p2p platform where you can invest in private real estate developments in Europe, with an average interest rate of 12%. The owners of the platform also invest in the available projects themselves. Investing is possible from €50.
International platform Monefit automatically spreads your investment across p2p loans, with an average annual return of 7 percent. According to the platform, it has already paid out 83 million euros in interest to investors.
TWINO was founded in 2009 in Latvia. Currently, it is active in 6 countries. It has over 58 thousand registered users, who have invested around 1 billion euros. According to the platform, investors are earning a total of 12 million euros in interest.
IUVO is based in Estonia and offers individual loans. In 2022, over 265 million euros was invested to date. The platform has more than 30 thousand registered users from 166 countries worldwide. The majority of loans last 6 to 24 months, with an average interest between 5 and 15 percent.
Bondora is a P2P lending service based in Estonia, where the majority of its business also takes place. Between 2007 and 2022, over 580 million euros has been invested on the platform. The average interest is around 27 percent, with average returns landing around 7 percent.
PeerBerry is a marketplace for P2P loans located in Croatia. Between 2017 and 2022, over 1 billion euros was invested on the peer-to-peer lending platform. The broker has over 50 thousand investors from more than 70 countries, with an average annual return of 10,9 percent.
The European platform Lonvest offers p2p loans in cryptocurrency. This involves buying crypto coins and lending them to other users. The average return is 13 percent.
Ireland's Limedot is a peer-to-peer platform where investors say they can earn 15 percent annual returns. Through the platform, investors buy existing loans from credit providers. Investing can start as low as 10 euros.
What is P2P lending?
Peer-to-peer lending is a popular alternative investment. It means you fund (part of) a loan for a business or other individual. Borrowers may be looking to invest in their company, finance their education or buy a house, for example. Banks are usually not interested in funding smaller consumer or business loans. However, funding personal loans can be very profitable.
Peer-to-peer lending means you fund a loan for a business or individual.
Crowdlending is very popular, firstly because both borrowers and investors get better conditions than at a financial institution. The interest rates with peer to peer investments are often much higher than a regular savings account. In addition, the application process for borrowers is much easier and often cheaper than to borrow money through a bank.
In Europe especially, investing in peer-to-peer loans is very popular. This is because bank rates in European countries are relatively high. The overhead costs of peer-to-peer platforms, however, are much lower.
How do peer-to-peer platforms work?
To invest in P2P loans, you need to register with an online broker. These investment platforms connect borrowers directly to investors. You can sign up on the website and place money in your account. It is possible to invest with only small amounts too, like for example a few euros.
On these platforms, you will have access to several loans with different risk categories and interest rates. A broker will base these on the creditworthiness of the peer-to-peer lender. Loan applicants will need to provide income and expenses, age and minimal spending margin, for example. In addition to due diligence by the platform, an independent third party may also perform a credit check. This way, you know what you are getting into as a lender.
To invest in P2P loans, you need to register with an online broker.
Because you have access to different loans, you can easily diversify your p2p lending investments. Most platforms provide access to a wide range of lending opportunities. But there are also brokers that focus on one type of loan, such as loans for small to medium businesses. You can do the research yourself, but some brokers also offer automated investing (auto-invest) to create a passive stream of income.
Fees of P2P platforms
When choosing a peer-to-peer lending platform, it is important to look at the costs. First of all, most platforms have free registration for lenders. If there is a registration fee, however, it is often no more than 10 euros. There can also be currency exchange fees in place. Typically, the exchange fee does not exceed 2 percent.
Furthermore, if you agree to put your money away for a certain amount of time, you may be charged a fee for withdrawing funds early. Some platforms also ask for secondary market fees. These apply if you want to sell your loan before repayments are finished.
How to choose a peer-to-peer lending platform
There are many P2P investment platforms to choose from. Perhaps the most important factor to consider is the default rate of a platform. This is the percentage of outstanding loans that is unpaid after an extended period of failed payments. According to the Financial Times, default rates of p2p platforms in 2018 were around 5 percent.
The most important factor to consider is the percentage of unpaid loans.
Protection for investors and a secondary market
In addition, take a look at the average interest. This will give you an idea of the returns you can expect. Also consider how much protection investors are granted. There is always a possibility borrowers can not pay back their loan. Luckily, certain brokers provide a buyback guarantee: after multiple failed payments, the platform buys back your credit in full. Future interest is not included, though.
Lastly, check if the peer-to-peer loan provider has a secondary market. If it does, you can buy and sell already funded loans after repayments have started. This improves the liquidity of your investment, as you can exit the loan early. The secondary market fee is usually between 0 and 2 percent.