It has been a long time since I first told you why I started investing on Viainvest. A lot has happened since then.
In this updated Viainvest review, I want to share my honest opinion about the p2p lending platform, my experience as an investor since October 2019 and my auto invest settings.
I’ll try my best to keep this review up-to-date, so that you can see my actual returns and account balance on a monthly basis.
Before we get started, please remember that none of this is financial advice, just my personal opinion as an investor. So always do your own research as well!
About Viainvest and VIA SMS
Viainvest launched its p2p lending platform in December 2016.
Its holding company, the VIA SMS Group, has been active in the lending sector since all the way back in 2009. Over the past 11 years, the group has grown to one of the leading consumer lenders in Europe.
VIA SMS currently operates in 7 countries: Latvia, Sweden, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Moldowa. That is also who is providing all of the loans that are offered on Viainvest.
At the time of writing, Viainvest has over 30.157 registered investors.
The platform offers investments into personal loans in the form of short-term loans, installment loans or credit lines from Latvia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.
It occasionally also lists business loans from the Philippines and is planning to also offer real-estate investments in Spain. I won’t be focusing too much on these though, as I have little experience with them and excluded them from my auto invest.
Licensed as an Investment Brokerage Firm
In September 2021, Viainvest announced that it received its investment brokerage firm license, issued by the Financial Capital Market Commission in Latvia. As of August 2022, the platform is transitioning its loan investment offerings from claim rights to regulated, asset backed securities.
The license and new regulation should provide investors with an extra layer of protection compared to unregulated platforms in the space, so this is definitely great news!
12% Interest and a Buyback Guarantee?
The loans on Viainvest pay 12% interest per year and come with a 30-day buyback guarantee. That means that any loan that is 30 days late is bought back by Viainvest.
The only exception are business loans, which we’ll get to later.
Viainvest also pays interest on all delayed payments, which is not always the case in the peer-to-peer lending space.
The 30-day Buyback Guarantee (The Truth)
However, as some of us had to realize in 2020, while a buyback guarantee is great to have, it’s only as good as the lending company that’s offering it.
Whenever possible, we want a financially stable loan originator, with a proven, profitable business model backing the buyback guarantee.
Luckily, that’s the case with the VIA SMS Group.
Is The VIA SMS Group Profitable?
The Via SMS Group publishes its audited financial statements every year on its website.
According to the financial statements, the group has been profitable every year since 2013.
2020 has been the only exception, in which the Via SMS Group generated a net loss: -282.953€. Considering everything that happened in 2020, I see no reason for concern. The group still managed to increase its equity ratio and the group’s balance sheet is looking very solid to my eyes. You can find the full financial statement here.
Meanwhile in 2021, the group once again generated a net profit of 2,24 million euros, according to its latest consolidated financial statement.
What all of this tells me is that they’re an experienced lending company and that they know how to navigate this business profitably. That’s why I personally feel confident in my investments on Viainvest and in them upholding the loan buyback guarantee when necessary.
Ok, let’s get back to the lending platform itself.
Viainvest Loan Types Explained
Here are the different types of loans Viainvest offers investors:
These are pretty straight-forward, as the name implies they have a short loan duration of up to 30 days.
Installment loans on Viainvest have longer loan durations, typically 3-12 months.
Credit lines on the other hand, are a combination of short-term and installment loans. Here is how they work:
- First of all, the initial loan amount is issued to a borrower for 30 days.
- Then, after 30 days, the borrower can choose to either repay the full loan amount or to extend the loan, as long as he/she is making regular monthly (interest) payments on it.
With these, the VIA SMS Group itself acts as the borrower and uses the funds to finance its lending operations in the Philippines. These are the only loans without an official buyback guarantee on Viainvest, but according to the loan details, the VIA SMS Group still guarantees principal and interest payments.
Does Viainvest Have a Secondary Market?
There is currently no secondary market on Viainvest, but you can still sell every long-term loan back to them after 120 days or more, by manually initializing a buyback.
When you do, your entire invested principal and earned interest for that loan is added back to your account.
It’s a bit of a manual process, but here is how that works:
How To Sell Loans Early On Viainvest
1. Log in to your Viainvest account and click on My investments.
2. Look for loans you invested in over 120 days (4 months) ago. You won’t be able to sell them any sooner than that.
3. Click on the Loan ID for each loan you want to sell early.
4. Now you should see an Initialize buyback button.
5. Click on it, and it should switch to Buyback in progress.
That’s it! Repeat the steps above for any other loans that you wish to sell early.
The remaining loan amount as well as all accrued interest up to that point should be added to your Viainvest account within a few days.
As you can see, there is a way to manually exit installment loans and credit lines with longer durations early as well, basically after 4 months. Not only that, in contrast to other lending platforms, you don’t even have to sell them at a discount.
My Viainvest Experience
Let’s have a look at my experience as a Viainvest investor, my auto invest settings and some things you need to be aware of when choosing what to invest in.
My investment journey on Viainvest began on October 15th, 2019.
I started with 1.500€ and increased my total deposits to 2.737€ since then, as I was very pleased with the platform.
My Viainvest Returns So Far
As of August 1st, 2022, I received a total of 863,19€ in interest payments on Viainvest.
Not only that, but according to my dashboard, I currently have an additional 22€ in accumulated interest, which hasn’t been paid out yet. I really like this feature, I wish all platforms would offer the same (Robocash does!).
According to Portfolio Performance, this is my internal rate of return so far: 12,41% p.a.
My Viainvest Auto Invest Settings
Let’s get to my Viainvest auto invest settings and some details that you need to know about.
Don’t worry if you don’t see available loans when you visit the website. They add new loans several times per day. Just set up your auto invest, give it some time and it should pick them up for you.
Portfolio size: Set a portfolio size that is larger than your account balance if you want to reinvest the interest payments you receive over time. I currently set mine to 4.000€.
Maximum Investments in one loan: The minimum is 10€. Depending on the number of loans you want your money to be split into you can set it higher. If you set it higher (I have mine at 100€ right now), then you’ll be fully invested faster, but you’re diversified over a smaller number of loans. So it’s a tradeoff.
Interest rate: Since June 1st, 2022, all consumer loans on Viainvest come with a 12% interest rate, which is why I entered 12% as minimum.
Loan status: Current
Loan type: I chose short-term loans, installment loans and credit lines. I don’t want business loans (no buyback).
Loan originator: There are some things you need to know about the different countries you can choose to buy loans from.
- Czech loans (viasms.cz) have a withholding tax on the interest you receive, unless you send Viainvest some tax documents. That is too much effort for me personally, so I simply exclude these.
- I only invest into loans from these 4 countries: Sweden, Romania, Latvia and Poland.
Buyback Guarantee: Yes (should be selected by default)
Do you want to reinvest?: Yes, if you want the principal and interest payments to be reinvested into new loans.
Now just give the Auto Invest a few days and your money should be fully invested. At least that has been my own experience.
The Auto Invest Can Be Slow
Yes, the auto invest can be a bit slow at times. If you want your money invested faster in return for less diversification, you can always increase the maximum amount you’re willing to invest per loan.
You can also buy loans manually when you see available ones (the fastest way is via the Viainvest mobile app), if you want your money invested right away.
But really, I wouldn’t stress too much about it and just let the auto invest do its thing. You probably have better things to do.
Viainvest Review Conclusion
Alright, so here’s my opinion after almost 3 years as an investor on Viainvest.
Long story short, Viainvest is currently one of my favorite P2P lending platforms. Here is why:
- I like the consistent interest rates of 12% per year
- the choice of countries to invest in – Sweden for example is hard to find on other platforms, especially at a 12% interest rate
- the reliable auto invest, which usually keeps my money fully invested
- the transparency, financial stability and track record of the VIA SMS Group so far, which is important for the 30-day buyback guarantee
- the ability to exit any loan after a maximum of 120 days
- and last but not least, Viainvest now officially being licensed as an investment brokerage firm.
The two things that should be improved in my opinion are:
- The Auto Invest should be updated to buy loans right away when they become available. It should never be possible for investors to be faster buying loans manually instead.
- There should be a filter to quickly find all the loans that you’ve been invested in for 120 days or more and which can be exited.
Ok, that pretty much sums up everything for my Viainvest review!
10€ Viainvest Bonus
If you found my review helpful, you’d like to support me and you’re interested in checking out the platform for yourself, you can…
- Use this link to get an exclusive 10€ bonus added to your Viainvest account after signing up.
How has your experience been with Viainvest? Is there anything you agree or disagree with from my review? Let’s have an open discussion in the comments!
Viainvest Review Videos
- My Investment Tools
A list containing all my investments in P2P Lending, the brokerage accounts I use to buy ETFs, my speculative investments in Bitcoin and my free bank accounts. It even includes the tools I use for blogging and YouTube.
- P2P Bonus Offers
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Disclaimer: Investing involves risks of losses. You should always do your own research before investing into anything. Also, some of the links are affiliate links, which help support me, the website & YouTube channel. I only link to services I use myself, none of them are sponsored.