It has been a long time since I shared my reasons for why I started investing on Viainvest. A lot has happened since then, especially in the crazy year that just ended.
In this updated Viainvest review I want to share my honest opinion about the p2p lending platform, my experience and returns as an investor since October 2019 and my auto invest settings.
I’ll also give you my opinion on whether or not I think this platform is still worth checking out in 2021!
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!
Let’s start with a bit of background about Viainvest. After all, we want to know who we are trusting with our hard earned money.
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 20.054 registered investors with an average deposit of 3.851€, earning 12% interest per year on average.
The platform offers investments into personal loans in the form of short-term loans, installment loans or credit lines from Latvia, Sweden, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.
It also listed business loans from Vietnam from time to time, which I will be skipping for the rest of my review, as I have no experience with them and excluded them from my auto invest. More on that later.
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 platform 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, which is great to see.
To me that shows 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.
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 then increased my investment to 2.500€ in June last year, as I was very pleased with the platform.
My Viainvest Returns So Far
I received a total of 314,16€ in interest so far.
Not only that, but according to my dashboard, I currently have an additional 15,21€ in accumulated interest, which hasn’t been paid out yet. I really like this feature, I wish all platforms would offer the same!
Here is my internal rate of return so far on my investments on the platform, according to Portfolio Performance:
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 3.000€.
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 75€ 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: All loans on Viainvest come with a 12% interest rate, so 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.
- Spanish loans (viaconto.es) and 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 those two countries.
- 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.
Is Viainvest Worth It In 2021?
Alright, so here’s my opinion after 15 months on Viainvest.
Once again, please remember that this is not financial advice, just my personal opinion as an investor.
Long story short, Viainvest has become 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, I appreciate that Viainvest is actively working towards more regulation in the sector and better investor protection by applying for an investment brokerage firm license.
The two things that should be improved in my opinion are:
- the withholding tax on Spanish and Czech loans (if you don’t submit tax documents), which is why I excluded these two countries
- 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.
And 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 a 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? I would love to have an open discussion in the comments!
Viainvest Review Video
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