In Latvia p2p lending service Mintos has publicly launched. All loans are secured against residential real estate owned by the Latvian borrowers. CEO Mārtiņš Šulte told P2P-Banking.com: ‘We strongly believe that secured loans in our region and beyond offer much better risk/return matrix for investors. … We have raised 1 million Euro from a local venture capital fund. That has allowed to put together a great team and build the product. Our immediate future plans are to expand to other geographies on the borrowing side as well as test other types of secured loans. On the investing side we are already open to all European Union countries and Norway and Switzerland. We are constantly improving our product and putting daily updates as we go by taking into account investor suggestions and ideas so that we can deliver great user experience.’.
Actually Mintos started accepting borrowers and making loans in September already. Mintos prefinanced all loans and now the investors can invest into these prefunded loans. Due to regulation reasons, Mintos will continue to make all loans, before investors bid on them. CEO Mārtiņš Šulte added: ‘… we [will keep] 5% of each loan on our books to align our interests with those of investors.’.
Chart: Cumulative loan originations by Mintos
As said all loans are secured by real estate and all contracts with borrowers are signed before a notary, which eliminates the risk of identity fraud. Typcial interest rates range from 12% to 19% with loan amounts between 1,000 and 100,000 Euro (average now is about 8,000 Euro).Loan terms are from 3 months to 120 months.
Investing at Mintos – my test step by step
The minimum invest is 10 EUR per loan. Mintos charges investors a 2% annual loan servicing fee based on the outstanding principal.
Naturally I wanted to test the service myself before writing this initial review. It took only 2 minutes to register. I then transfered a small amount via SEPA transfer which – as SEPA is pretty fast – was credited 2 days later to my Mintos account.
There are currently 62 loan listings open for bidding. There are filters allowing investors to narrow the list they want to look at and the list can be sorted by clicking on the column headings. Bids can be made directly from the overview table or the investor clicks through to the loan details view. Continue reading