PeerBerry P2P Lending Platform Review
PeerBerry is a new peer to peer lending platform that has its first birthday in October 2018. They offer EUR short-term loans at a usual return between 10-12%.
Lately, they added a few loan originators that also offer real estate and car leasing loans.
There are currently over 3000 investors registered on the platform (3771 at the end of 2018) and the platform is growing steady.
- most loans have a buyback guarantee
- interest rates around 10-12%
- investing only in EUR
- mostly short-term loans (less than 1 month)
- auto-invest tool missing important features
- 30% of the loans are late
My portfolio on PeerBerry (as of January 2019)
Started investing: December 17th. 2018
Deposits: 5000 EUR
Current value: 5025 EUR
I’m still testing PeerBerry, so I’m not sure I’m going to keep this amount of funds long term on the platform.
I’ve been investing in loans with 11% to 12% interest rate. These are easier to find than on Mintos, and all of them have a buyback guarantee that also covers the interest owed.
Around 30% of the loans are usually late a few days, so this cuts a bit my profits. My portfolio doesn’t have even a month yet, so I still need some time to see if I like it or not.
Overall, I like that these short loans because I can withdraw my money as soon as I’ll need them, with just a few days delay. If I’ll need this year the funds for some reason (like a huge drop in the stock market) I can get a hold of my funds immediately. Meanwhile, they still produce good returns.
What is PeerBerry
PeerBerry is a new p2p lending platform launched by Aventus Group at the end of October 2017. Aventus Group is a payday lender with operations in most Eastern European countries.
Aventus Group used to offer their loans on Mintos, but at some point, they decided they’re big enough to open their own platform and cash in all the profits.
PeerBerry is doing well so far, and the platform grew constantly since it started. At the end of 2018, they managed to fund loans worth more than 7 million EUR on their platform.
Most of the loan originators on the platform are part of the Aventus Group (keeping the profits in the family).
Besides short-term loans, they started to add some new loan originators that offer car loans (from the same Aventus Group) and bridge loans secured by real estate.
Any person over 18 years old and living within the European Union can invest in PeerBerry.
The registration process was a bit weird because they never asked for a picture of an ID document and proof of address. These details are requested by all the other platforms I’ve used.
PeerBerry asks you for an ID only when you want to withdraw funds from your account – a scan photo of your ID or passport.
After registration, you can begin immediately to transfer money to your account. You can start to invest in any loan with as little as 10 EUR.
Investing in PeerBerry
You can either manually pick the loans you’re interested or create an auto-invest strategy and let it pick investments for you. You can also use both options.
On the Invest page, you get a list of available loans, with interest rates around 10-12%. Most of the loans available are short-term, although I’ve also seen a few that had a 12 months term.
You can also filter the available loans by interest rate, loan term, the amount available for investment, country, loan originator and if the loan has a buyback policy or not.
The buyback guaranteed policy
PeerBerry will buy back the loan for you with the full interest as well if the loan payment is more than 60 days late.
You can also sell back long term loans to PeerBerry at any time you want and they’ll offer your money back plus the accrued interest up to that point
Short-term loans don’t have this sell back at any time option.
This is a better deal than other platforms offer with a buyback guarantee. Mintos, for example, offers a similar buyback policy for loans that are 60+ days late, but you lose any interest owed for those 60 days.
Once you click on a loan you’re interested in, you get a bit more details about the borrower. The details contain their age, sex, country and how many loans the borrower already has. You can also see the loan originator details, interest rate, remaining loan term and if the loan has a buyback guarantee policy or not.
Not that these details would matter at all. You want to invest only in small shares of the loans, so you’ll only invest 10 to 50 EUR into one loan. It would be a real pain to check borrower details on every loan you invest into.
Even more, I don’t think the loan originators do too much risk assessment on their loans either. One of the loan originators, creditplus.ua, states on their website (I used google translate):
The likelihood of approval on the application is 98.2%
Anyway, let’s move on.
You can see both your current and past investments on My Investments page.
This page is consistent with the Invest page and has the same filtering options for loan amounts, loan terms, interest rates and so on.
You can view your account statistics on the Statement page. The page contains an account summary with deposits, withdrawals, investments and interest income. You can also view and download your list of transactions.
The page also contains a Generate tax statement button that might come in handy when you’ll declare your taxes.
Auto-investing in PeerBerry
The auto-invest feature is nice, simple and modern. It lets you set details like portfolio size, the maximum amount per investment, interest rates, loan terms, buyback guarantee. You have a reinvest check if you want to continue to reinvest your interest payments into the portfolio.
The only thing that it doesn’t let you do, and it would really help improve your returns from the platform, is setting the loan originators you’re interested in.
Most of the loans in my portfolio that are late with their payments come from 3 loan originators: CreditStar, CreditPlus and Smartpozyczka (from Russia, Ukraine and Poland).
Smartpozyczka has 60 of their 200 loans available on the platform late with their payments. That’s a loan originator I would definitely exclude from my portfolio,
Niewielkapozyczka, another loan originator from Poland, has only 9 of their 110 available loans late with their payments. Considering the alternative, I would invest a lot more in their loans than in the ones from Smartpozyczka.
I could remove these countries from my auto-invest portfolio, but that would limit my investment options to Lithuania, Czech Republic, Denmark and Kazakhstan. Less than 10% of the loans come from these countries.
Why not invest in PeerBerry
PeerBerry offers good interest rates and a buyback guarantee that includes also the missed interest payments. And they have a decent platform to use.
These are all the good news.
30% of the loans are late with their payments
Using the auto-invest tool, you also have around 30% of your loans late with their payments. If those loans default, this would mean that for 30% of your loans you only get paid after 60 more days.
Given that the loan terms are at around 30 days, with an annual rate of 12%, you’ll get a 1% interest rate in 30+60 days. That’s just 4% annual rate for the late loans.
Hopefully, most of the loans won’t default and will be late only 15-30 days, but that’s still only a 6-9% actual interest rate on your investments.
Unethical loan originators
10 out of 12 loan originators I could find info about offer loans to their clients with an APR (annual percentage rate) between 500% and 5000%.
The loans are issued for up to 45 days, so people don’t actually pay 5+ more than they received, but they still pay around 50% more.
And I don’t know the exact conditions that would lead to a 5000% annual interest rate. It depends on the borrowed sum, loan term and maybe a few other things.
The example below from pujcka7.cz, one of the loan originators, asks clients for an amazing174.000% APR on a 7 days loan. (The dog in the picture looks cute though)
6 of these loan originators belong to the same Aventus Group that PeerBerry is part of.
We’re in the p2p investing business for the money, but some things feel like they’re not worth it.
Conclusions on PeerBerry
They offer a buyback guarantee policy for loans that are over 60 days late. This also includes the interest payments for that period, so you don’t lose any money. You can also sell your loans at any point back to PeerBerry, even if the borrower is not late with their payment. You will still get the accrued interest up to that point. This comes in handy when you want to free your money fast.
The platform has an auto-invest option that is clean and simple to use. You can also invest manually and filter through the loans with ease in order to find the ones you’re interested in. There’s also always a decent number of loans available, so there are better chances to find what fits your needs.
It definitely needs a filter by loan originators in order to make the auto-invest actually usable.
Good interest rates
The interest rates are good, ranging between 10% and 12%. They’re not the best on the market, but they’re risk-free as long as PeerBerry doesn’t go bankrupt or the entire P2P lending system crashes.
Nice user interface
The website also gets extra points for its design. It is fast and easy to use, with a clean and modern interface.
I find the loans on the platform unethical
The loan originators that offer short-term loans on PeerBerry charge their clients an APR (annual percentage rate) between 500% and 5000%.
Leaving aside the fact that investors only get an 11% rate on those loans, that APR is astronomical.
I’m sure it doesn’t help the people who need those loans and for sure it doesn’t make me feel good for taking part in this.
The rate of late loans is huge
PeerBerry has an unacceptable rate of late loans.
Most of the loans have a less than a month term. If 30% of them are always late by at least a month, then the returns for the investors are not between 10% and 12%, they’re between 6% and 8%.
Mintos also has a big late loans rate of around 20%, but they offer better interest rates and you can also filter out loan originators that you don’t like.
Even more, Mintos adds ratings to their loan originators, so you know beforehand what you invest in. You can read my review on Mintos here.