I opened a Twino and Mintos account

So far my P2P investing has been limited to Estonian portals since I just didn’t need to expand into that many sites (you want to reach reasonable diversification before adding in other portals). However, since my portfolio is growing and there is only so much money I want to invest into Bondora and only so much I can invest into Omaraha (and the tiny amount that Moneyzen can provide), expanding became rather necessary. So, off to Latvia we go – Twino and Mintos.

Setting up the accounts

Honestly, the setup process for both was rather identical, just the document verification was in different order. I could make the accounts and start investing within the same day already. I created business accounts so I was happy that there wasn’t much hassle with the additional documentation. The bank transfers arrived the same day as well, so good for being very smooth. While I’m testing them I’m investing equal amounts into both, started off with 250€ each, and planning to increase at a similar rate.

Strategy

Now, this is where I’m planning to act a bit differently from my Estonian portfolios. I would rather not keep the loan terms super long, which means that for both of the portals I set the autobidders to bid for 1-3 month loans with only buyback guarantees. This means that in case of problems arising it’s reasonably easy to make an exit (hope I don’t have to regret saying this!)

Also, while I do have some concerns overall about buyback guarantees then if you look into the overall math of it, it’s somewhat reasonable on loans that are essentially payday loans. To benchmark – an Estonian payday loan company releases bonds every year for about 12% to collect investors’ money. What P2P investors are doing is essentially the same – with the process actually being cheaper for them due to less legal expenses. Of course there is always the risk of economic downturns and all other P2P related risks, but those can never be fully eliminated.

First thoughts of Mintos

mintosOverall I’d say, firstly, that the process of registration was easy enough and most of the site is rather intuitive to use. With the notable exception of the portfolio manager that I think could use some work since firstly when activating it, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but apparently the LTV value is causing some issues? Also, hiding away the additional terms of things such as buyback seems rather counter intuitive and a waste of time to make people actually look for it. However, I’m looking forward to the first loans starting to make their rounds. While the buyback guarantee is good, then it activates rather slowly so it still causes cash drag, and the buybacks don’t all function as Twino’s – you don’t get to keep the interest (I’ll have to look into that a bit more, picking between the different loan originators seems like an intriguing task since they’re all foreign companies.) At this point however, Mintos has a longer history than Twino and people have had rather positive experiences with them. (The fact that they’re doing well is evidenced by the dropping interest rates as well.)

*Correction: seems like the buyback works with interest as well:

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First thoughts of Twino

With Twino first impressions of usability are also rather good. twinologo I like the simple and logical design, the portfolio manager was very intuitive to use. However, at this point they are still very new, and despite the loan volumes they are showing it’s a typical reliability issue that new portals suffer from. Also, as with Mintos some of the countries they service might be of somewhat questionable value and economic sense, which is something that only time will probably tell. However, they are part of a large corporation (FinaBay), which would imply that if things started to go wrong, they would have to go very wrong for the mother company as well. In addition to this some people might find Twino morally objectionable due to the fact that you’re investing into payday loans, so that might be problematic for some. Overall, looking forward to how things get moving.

16 thoughts on “I opened a Twino and Mintos account

  1. I would not advertise too much Mintos since it will drive the interest rates even deeper down. 😛 (Just kidding).

    However, personally I am pretty satisfied with my 1st year in Mintos. I invest only the loans that has a collateral (a car with a buyback guarantee or an appartment or a piece of real estate).
    I do my investing manually with the minimum amount per loan (10 e). The process is smooth, you just collect all the loans you want to participate to your basket and once you are done you will verify all the investment and it takes basically a few minutes to do the whole investing when investing an amount of 200+ euros/time.
    I have some overdues in Mintos (like in every portal there are overdues). Those that have gone overdue to 60+ days have been bought back (I got 1-2 such loans in autumn). No real estate/appartment backed loan has defaulted so fortunately I do not have any experience from that procedure. With those loans I prefer LTV well below 70 % since I prefer being super safe here especially because there is so many moving parts when giving a value for something and the markets fluctuates etc. + the ethical part also (I do not want to be the guy to whom to blame a person lost of her/his home thanks to giving too high LTV loans).

    1. Well, good things don’t stay hidden :)
      I have heard a lot of people have good experiences with Mintos, and if they worked on the autobidding system a bit as well, it’d be much happier with them. Don’t have enough time to manually sort loans at the moment.

      1. Indeed. The only disadvantage I see is the threath of lowering interest rates. To me Martin Sultanis seems to be a reliable guy that will not try to expand the business at the cost of investors unlike Bondora did.
        They seem to take care of the investors at least in this early stage. That’s why the site is also growing ~ 100 keuros/day during the past few days.
        The buy back guarantee indeed works in way that an investor get also the accured interests when the buy back is actualized. So basically the risk should be pretty low when it comes to the defaults (close to 0 if not 0). That alone will bring the rates probably to the levels of 7-8 % pa. I doubt it will go lower than that since lower rates they might find it difficult to get the attention of investor funds.

  2. In my experience, you also get interest for the period when the loan is overdue in Mintos. So I consider them as a 3 months loans because lot’s of them are going overdue.

    1. Yes, seems like the FAQ says that you get interest as well. I could have sworn this wasn’t the case at the beginning, but it’s nice that it’s so at least now!

  3. Hi, Kristi!

    Thanks for giving TWINO a try! Feel free to reach out to me on jevgenijs [at]twino.eu if you have any questions.

    Sincerely,
    Jevgenijs

  4. I have also invested in Mintos with a very simple strategy – invest in every single loan there is regardless of the loan originator. One year return – 12.9% without a single default.

  5. Hi Kristi!

    How do you operate the business account? As far as I know lending can’t be your main income unless you have financial inspection license? Maybe I got it wrong.

    It’s just that I’d like to move my P2P lending to the business account too :)

    1. Hey!
      Investing is not the main activity for my business. My business does IT (my husband works as a freelancer) + all of my English tutoring + real estate. So no risk of investing becoming my main income any time soon.

  6. I have been using Twino for about 2-3 months and so far no problems. Started off with investing only into 14.9% intrest loans and the first 1k euros went out nicely.(Past week has been slow so I lowered my autoinvest to 12.9%) Buyback works good aswell. I have always recived my principal and intrests once the date drops.

    Good Luck!

  7. I just discovered Twino due to a comment on my own blog, and landed here when looking for information. I am quite shocked that these two companies are willing to buyback those loans which go bad. I assume that, supposing that they can get those payments eventually, the extra interest is good enough to offer this feature. But overall, it just sounds too good to be true: 13% investments without risk? Dunno…

    Any bad experience at all? How long have these bussinesses been running for?

    1. Hey, Roman!

      No bad experiences so far, all loans that have defaulted, have been bought back. Both of the sites have been working for about a year this point, showing rather big growth.
      While the interest rates have come down a bit (for Twino to 12%, for Mintos averaging downwards as well), the whole model works based off the idea that they give out loans at a much higher rate – some close to payday loan rates. Also, in the Baltics and other Eastern Europe (for Twino, countries such as Georgia and Poland) interest rates in general are higher than in Western Europe, which correlates to higher risk assumed here on the loan market as well.
      Big non-bank lenders when releasing bonds also provide 10-12% interest on those, so paying the same money out to retail investors is actually cheaper – less legal expenses, and you only take as much money as you need at that point.

  8. Kristi,
    Sorry if this question seems stupid but can you tell me how the interest is calculated on these loans. For example if a 3 month loan at 12% has been running for 1 month so far before I buy in, then at the end of the loan term 2 months later will I only get 2 months interest or 3 months?

    1. Hey!
      You get interest for the amount of time that you hold the loan piece. In your example that would be 2 months worth of interest.

  9. I found out about p2p lending from a friend a few weeks ago and I set up an autoinvest similar to what you proposed. The concept of p2p lending is very new in my country, I am surprised to see how many articles I can find about it. Thank you for the informations!

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