Best P2P Lending Platforms in Europe (2021)
Want to invest in P2P loans? Here are the best P2P lending platforms in Europe to invest with:
Find the best P2P lending platforms for investors
So you want to find the best Peer-to-Peer lending sites for investors? Then you’ve arrived at the right place. At the top of this page, we have collected the industry’s very best P2P lending platforms for investors from around the world.
This means that you can easily compare Peer-to-Peer lending sites, which allows you to quickly find your best choice and get started with P2P investing as soon as today.
The list of P2P lending platforms on this site mainly consists of the best P2P platforms from Europe. The reason for the focus on Europe is mainly due to the fact that you can find a lot of international Peer-to-Peer lending sites in Europe that are available for investors from around the world.
So whether you are looking for the best P2P lending platforms in Europe, the United States, or maybe even South Africa, you will be able to find an opportunity that suits your needs. This would not be the case with platforms from the UK or the US, where international foreign investors are often prohibited from joining the online investment platforms and investing in P2P loans.
At the same time, compared to Asia and the Americas, the top equity crowdfunding platforms in Europe far outperforms in terms of investment returns.
Do you have some questions you want to be answered before you try out a platform? Then take a look below, where you can find a lot of information about the crowdfunding market, what you should be aware of before investing, how you find the best Peer-to-Peer investing site for your needs, and much more.
Learn more about P2P investing:
- Ranking the best European P2P lending platforms
- What is a P2P lending platform?
- What is the best P2P lending site?
- Who can invest via European P2P lending sites?
- Is P2P lending a good investment?
- What return can you get from Peer-to-Peer investing?
- How much money do you need for Peer-to-Peer lending?
- Can you get rich from Peer-to-Peer lending?
- Which P2P lending platform(s) to choose?
- Is P2P lending safe and what are the risks?
- How do P2P platforms make money?
- Should banks offer P2P lending platforms themselves?
- How do I start a P2P lending platform?
- Is P2P lending legal?
- Is P2P lending ethical?
- How you can use this website
- Frequently asked questions
Ranking the best European P2P lending platforms
The rankings of the best P2P lending platforms in Europe are made by looking at the risk/reward ratio and the different features available on the platform. Among others, the following factors have influenced how the P2P platforms are ranked:
- Protection: As a P2P investor you would want to invest via a safe reliable platform. Therefore, the protection scheme of the platform is a factor that is assessed in order to determine where the least amount of risk is present.
- Average interest rate: By looking at the average interest rate on the platform, you can learn how much you can earn on the platform. This factor is determined together with the protection in order to determine the risk/reward level.
- Transparency of the platform: As the P2P lending market is very new and without much regulation, it is important that nothing is hidden from investors. For this reason, in the list of the best P2P crowdlending platforms in Europe, the most transparent platforms are prioritized the most.
- Skin in the game: If a loan originator has a high amount of skin in the game, it shows confidence in the loans. In general, more skin in the game is preferred.
- Years on the market: An older platform with a long and clean track record is generally more trustworthy than the platform that launched last month.
- Number of investors: In general the best Peer-to-Peer lending sites provide the most value to investors, and are able to attract a lot of investors.
- Auto invest: Having an auto investment feature makes it possible for P2P investors to create a passive income stream.
- Exit opportunities: With any change of circumstance, P2P lenders should have the option to leave the platform with the help of a secondary market or similar.
To find the best Peer-to-Peer lending sites in Europe, all the above factors have been analyzed and taken into careful consideration, which has lead to the following ranking of the top 10 P2P lending platforms in Europe:
Top 10 P2P lending platforms in Europe
|P2P Platform||Average Interest||Investment Type||Protection|
Remember that though the companies mentioned above are from Europe, many of them are available for investors from all over the world. You can learn more about the platforms in the P2P website list at the top of this page.
Other crowdlending platforms in Europe
The list of crowdlending platforms in Europe is long, and a lot more great P2P platforms are launching each year. In the following you can see some more decent P2P lending marketplaces:
- Debitum Network
- FAST INVEST
- Iuvo Group
- Iban Wallet
- Fellow Finance
- Žltý melón
- Funding Circles
While the platforms listed above didn’t make it into the top 10 list of the best European P2P lending platforms, they are also worth considering – especially if you want to use more than one platform.
What is a P2P lending platform?
A P2P lending platform is an online service within the alternative finance space, where investors can invest in loans to other people or businesses, that seek capital outside of the traditional banking system.
Here, investors usually invest a small amount of money into a large number of different loans. This means that each investor contributes only a little bit to each P2P loan. Therefore, It is not unusual for a P2P loan to be backed by 10’s or 100’s of investors.
The concept of P2P investing is very similar to other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, where a lot of people go together to back interesting projects. But instead of backing cool projects and maybe getting a product at the same time, P2P investors are lending out money with an expectation to earn a return on their invested capital. The returns can vary greatly, but it has actually been possible to earn a +10% annual return over the past few years, by using some of the best Peer-to-Peer lending platforms in Europe.
So instead of getting financing from banks, the P2P investing platforms make it possible for individuals and businesses to raise money in an alternative way.
What is the best P2P lending site?
According to AltFi’s People Choice Award, the best P2P lending site is Mintos. Over the past few years, Mintos has consistently won this award, where investors are encouraged to pick and vote for their favorite Peer-to-Peer lending companies. With hundreds of thousands of investors on its platform, Mintos is indeed one of the most popular P2P platforms for investing in P2P lending.
However, depending on your investment goals and other factors, you will maybe be able to find an even better platform to invest with.
Mintos is a European P2P lending platform that is only available outside of the United States. If you live in the US you should instead take a look at some other great platforms like LendingClub and Prosper.
Who can invest via European P2P lending sites?
The P2P companies featured on this website are primarily targeting European investors. However, if you are an investor from outside of Europe, a large number of P2P lending platforms in Europe are actually available to you as well.
In order to invest via most of the platforms, you will generally have to comply with the following:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a bank account within the European Economic Area (EAA)
If you are an international investor from outside of Europe, you can start your platform research by looking at the P2P lending list at the top of this page. Here you can simply sort out all the P2P websites that are only available in Europe.
From here, you can either contact the companies of your interest to hear if the platform is available in your country, and how you can start to invest. Alternatively, you can also check out each Peer-to-Peer lending platforms review, where it is sometimes stated which countries can actually invest.
Top countries for P2P lending and crowdlending in Europe
According to data from Google Trends, P2P lending and crowdlending is most popular in Western Europe. The following 15 countries are where people search the most for P2P lending and crowdlending related topics:
- The United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
All the aforementioned countries are listed in no particular order and investors from these countries are typically all allowed to invest via the European P2P platforms listed on this website.
Is P2P lending a good investment?
Investing in P2P lending is a great way to diversify and increase the overall returns on investments of your portfolio. And in today’s low-interest-rate environment, P2P lending is a great alternative asset class that offers very attractive returns.
However, if you want to start investing in loans via either national or international P2P lending sites, you should also be aware that this form of investment comes with substantial risks that are worth some consideration.
Some of the main risks include:
- The borrowers can default on their loans. A high default rate can be very costly.
- The loan originator can go bankrupt with you being unable to recover the funds.
- The peer to peer lending platform can go bankrupt with you being unable to recover the funds.
Other unforeseeable events can also occur and make you lose a substantial amount of your invested money.
Fortunately, you can do a lot to minimize the risks. But it is very important to understand that even though P2P lending can be a great addition to your overall portfolio, there are some major risks involved when investing in loans of some of the European P2P lending platforms.
What return can you get from Peer-to-Peer investing?
With most investments, the return you get corresponds with the risk you are taking. So if you are only willing to take a small bit of risk, the return you can expect from your investments will also be small – and vice versa.
For investors looking for the highest return possible, we have on some of the best Peer-to-Peer lending platforms for investors in Europe been able to consistently earn +10% returns for a number of years in a row. However, the returns are not necessarily going to stay the same over the coming years.
The returns can also vary a lot depending on where you chose to invest. However, most of the largest P2P lending platforms have a statistics page where you can see what the average return among investors has been. This can give you a very good indication of what kind of return you can get.
The return from using some of the best P2P investment platforms is definitely higher than what a “risk-free” investment in AAA-rated bonds from ECB yields. But you just have to keep in mind that Peer-to-Peer investing is nowhere as safe as investing in government-issued bonds.
How much money do you need for Peer-to-Peer lending?
Most P2P lending platforms require very little cash for investors to use their platform. If you want to invest in Peer-to-Peer lending, you don’t need more than around €5-10 to get started.
But be aware that if start investing with just a few Euro, your return will very likely quickly be diminished by various transaction fees to and from your account. Preferably, you should first start investing via Peer-to-Peer lending platforms when you have some more cash to invest.
You could for example aim at a minimum of €100 per transaction. Generally, the larger the transactions the better it is in terms of not wasting your money on various bank fees.
When you send money to a European P2P lending site, it is often a good idea to send the money in the currency you intend to invest with on the platform. Otherwise, you will often have to pay even higher currency exchange fees on the platform than those you will have to pay to your bank.
Can you get rich from Peer-to-Peer lending?
Investing in P2P loans typically come with higher interest rates than what you will get from your bank. However, the high reward comes with an increased risk of losing your capital as well.
While the yields from investments in P2P loans historically have been higher than the interest rates in the bank, you probably won’t become rich by just investing via one of the many P2P lending platforms out there.
However, if you each month put aside a substantial amount of your income for investments, you can substantially increase your odds of becoming rich. Here you must keep in mind that it is rarely a clever idea to put all your capital into one type of investment.
Instead, it is often a good idea to diversify your investment between multiple types of investments such as stocks, bonds, gold, etc. From here you can further diversify your portfolio by using a European Peer-to-Peer lending platform to invest money in loans – but only if it suits your investment goals.
For most people, it would probably be a good idea to start out investing in more traditional assets that have stood the testing of time and then maybe invest a small.
At the end of the day, you just have to remember, that the higher reward that is possible to get from investment opportunities in this industry, does also involve a higher risk of losing your money. Your capital is at risk, so never put your entire nest egg in P2P lending in the pursuit of becoming rich.
Which P2P lending platform(s) to choose?
But what is the best Peer-to-Peer lending site, you might consider? If so, it’s your lucky day. In the following, we are going to explain everything about just that.
When choosing between even some of the best Peer-to-Peer investment platforms, there are a number of things to consider. Which platform you should use depends a lot on your situation and the goals you have with your investments.
But other factors such as where you are from, also play a role in which platform you should choose. Let’s look at some of the important factors to consider in the search of the best crowdlending platforms for you.
Which P2P lending firms you should look at is largely based on where in the world you live. This is due to the fact that a number of platforms only can be used in a limited geographical area.
For example, many Peer-to-Peer lending platforms in the US, such as LendingClub and Prosper, are only available to investors from the United States. Conversely, investors from the US may not always be allowed to invest through European P2P lending sites.
So when you are looking to find the best platform for you, it’s important to be aware of where it is available and whether you can use it or not. You can read more about this in our platform reviews.
There is an increasing tendency for P2P lending websites to offer Peer-to-Peer lending for international investors. This means that almost no matter where you are from, it is possible to find a great platform.
Another thing you should be aware of is that P2P lending companies in some cases only provide loans in a particular currency. For example, it can be USD, EUR, or even PLN.
Many investors tend to invest exclusively through their own currency. It is perceived as the safest. However, for a European investor, it may be a good idea to invest both in USD, EUR, and perhaps even a third national currency. This can help to minimize currency risk.
But before investing all your money in some small national currency, you should take a look at how stable the currency is in relation to your own. Because, if the currency constantly falls in value compared to your own currency, then it is perhaps best to keep your Peer-to-Peer investments in your own currency.
3. Time horizon
Before you throw your money into the first and best P2P investment, it is also important that you consider your time horizon. It is not all Peer-to-Peer lending websites that give you the opportunity to withdraw your money ahead of time. And if you need to do so, it can sometimes cost a large fee.
Fortunately, the vast majority of the top lending sites allow you to withdraw your money ahead of time. So whether you are in it for the long-term or prefer short-term Peer-to-Peer investing, you have the confidence of being able to withdraw your money ahead of time, if necessary.
If you are in doubt about your time horizon, look for a P2P marketplace that has a secondary market. You can check if a platform has a secondary market in our Peer-to-Peer lending sites list at the top of the page.
4. Loan types
Before you lend through P2P lending platforms, you should also consider what type of loans you want to invest in. There are a number of different P2P loan types to consider:
Some different loan types include:
- Personal loans
- Business loans
- Car loans
- Small loans
- Short-term loans
- Pawnbroking loans
- Bridge loans
- Home loans
- Invoice financing
- Student loans
- Mortgage loans
- Agricultural loans
- Micro loans
Consider whether some of the loan types are better suited to your portfolio than others. For example, if you want to invest mortgage loans or real estate development projects, it may be a good idea to use one of the specialized real estate Peer-to-Peer lending platforms. Would you rather have personal loans in the portfolio? Then use one of the many Peer-to-Peer payday loan providers. You get the point.
Like most, you might just want to diversify your portfolio in order to minimize your risk. You do this best by choosing at least 2-3 different specialized Peer-to-Peer investing sites. Alternatively, you can also find a platform that offers many different types of loans.
5. Buyback guarantee
Many Peer-to-Peer loan platforms have started offering a buyback guarantee. That means either the P2P loan sites or the loan originators must repurchase the loans if a borrower is unable to repay. In our opinion, some of the best P2P lending sites for investors are those offering a buyback guarantee.
However, you must always be aware that a buyback guarantee is only as valid as the company behind. Therefore, it is always a good idea to use some of the top Peer-to-Peer lending sites in the industry.
6. One or multiple P2P platforms
Having both some P2P payday loans and a bit of Peer-to-Peer investment property in your portfolio can be a really good idea. The first can be achieved with the platforms you can find in the overview at the top of this page, while the latter can be achieved by using real estate crowdfunding platforms.
As previously mentioned, good diversification can best be achieved by investing via several P2P platforms. However, there are also platforms like Mintos, where you can find almost all loan types.
If you are serious in starting lending out your money, we recommend that you in our P2P lending comparison section, at the top of the page, choose 2-3 platforms that specialize in different things, and invest through those. It is probably the best way to achieve a good P2P investment diversification.
But if you just want to try your hand at P2P lending, then it might also be a good idea to simply choose a good all-round platform like Mintos.
Is P2P lending safe and what are the risks?
No investment is without any risk, and even if you only invest your money on the safest P2P lending platforms, you can still end up losing some or all of your capital.
However, you can significantly minimize the overall risks by doing a bit of due diligence and finding the best Peer-to-Peer lending website for investors in your country to invest with.
Most common P2P lending platforms risks to look out for:
There are a number of common P2P lending platforms risks to look out for when selecting where to invest your money. The following are some of the most common risks:
- The company behind the P2P lending website can go bankrupt.
- The lending companies that have loans on the platform can go bankrupt.
- The borrowers can default on their loans and be unable to repay you.
Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of P2P lending platforms where one or more of the things mentioned above have gone wrong and investors have lost money. It is therefore crucial that you actually take the time to identify the best sites to ensure that you get the best conditions to invest with.
What are the safest P2P lending platforms?
If you are looking to find the safest P2P lending platforms to invest with, there are a number of indicators to look at before investing. Ask yourself at least some of the following questions before you invest:
- How many years has the platform been on the market?
- Does the platform have a long and great track record?
- Is the platform transparent with its activities?
- Who is behind the platform?
- How are the contracts between investors, lending companies, and the platform?
- How well are your funds protected on the platform?
There are a number of crowdlending platforms that are quite safe to invest with. You can find the most suitable option for you in the Peer-to-Peer lending sites comparison at the top of this page.
How do P2P platforms make money?
Generally speaking, most P2P platforms make money by either charging an upfront fee for investors and/or by charging the borrower a fee.
The investors on European P2P platforms are often charged fees such as:
- Investment fees
- Secondary market fees
- Currency exchange fees
The borrowers/loan originators on the P2P platforms are often charged fees such as:
- Administration fees
- Origination fees
- Overdue payment fees
- Platform fees
On some of the best crowdlending platforms in Europe, investing is completely free, and all the rates and fees are charged to the borrower or loan originator. This means that it is easy for you as an investor to actually know how much you can potentially earn on each investment.
Should banks offer P2P lending platforms themselves?
Whether or not banks should offer P2P lending platforms themselves is a tough question to answer as the business models of the P2P industry and the banking industry is both very similar and yet very different.
Banks are for example heavily regulated, which can make it difficult for them to enter this newer and more unregulated P2P market. At the same time, the banking industry is very huge compared to the P2P lending market, so from a bank’s perspective, the P2P industry might not seem that attractive after all.
Before the P2P industry gets bigger and more regulated it wouldn’t make much sense for most banks to offer P2P lending platforms themselves.
However, as the P2P industry evolves and gets more regulated, banks could very well enter the market.
How do I start a P2P lending platform?
P2P lending platforms can generate a lot of revenue from fees. But the P2P industry is also a very competitive industry which means that people who would like to get into this sort of business should expect to do a lot of marketing efforts to actually succeed.
If you are attracted to the P2P lending business model or just wondering how some of the crowdlending companies have actually made their platforms, there are a few options to get into the industry:
Find a P2P lending platform for sale
For business people wanting to run their own P2P lending company, the easiest and fastest way to get to market quickly would be to find an existing P2P lending platform for sale.
It will of course require a lot of effort to find platforms available for sale, but it could be an easy way to get started with some clients from the get-go. Finding a Peer-to-Peer lending platform for sale is also the method that requires the most capital initially.
Use a white label solution
A decent amount of P2P lending platforms on the market use white label solutions from P2P Force and other providers that makes it easy to set up a P2P lending marketplace using a template. Using a white label solution can be a highly cost-effective way of making a P2P lending platform as it does not require as much software development to getting started.
European P2P lending companies like EstateGuru are for example using some of the P2P lending software from Fintechlabs.
Make a crowdlending platform from scratch
A lot of the best P2P lending platforms in Europe are made from scratch. This requires a huge investment in development but does also provide more flexibility to the business itself. But with a lot of white-label software out there, it is definitely worth considering whether or not it is worth actually building a crowdlending platform from scratch.
Invest in P2P companies
If you are not a business person but would like to have a stake in some of the P2P lending companies out there, you can invest in some of the stock listed companies or some of the companies that have run a crowdfunding campaign on their own company.
Some of the P2P lending stocks across the world include:
- NEO Finance
Mintos, which is one of the biggest P2P lending platforms in Europe, actually also created a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube in 2020 to attract investors to its platform. Similar opportunities may also arise in the future.
Is P2P lending legal?
In most places P2P lending is legal. However, the regulation of the industry widely depends on a number of factors such as where the crowdlending platform is located, who can invest in it, securities law considerations, and more.
In Europe, there are only very few regulations of the industry compared to other places like the United States where the SEC regulates the industry.
Is P2P lending ethical?
P2P lending is not unethical in itself as both borrowers and lenders can benefit from using it. However, some aspects of the industry could and would by many be considered unethical.
For example, a lot of the loans funded via the European P2P lending platforms are personal loans or short term loans where the borrowers have bad credit scores and pay large interest rates. The APR range can sometimes be as high as 100-400% for the borrower.
By some religions, using P2P lending platforms can also be considered unethical. In Islam, for example, some of the parts of P2P lending could be considered halal. Therefore, some companies have made shariah-compliant and Islamic P2P platforms. So if you are a Muslim you would probably want to take a look at these.
If you are generally looking for the most ethical P2P lending platforms, you should probably go with the business and real estate platforms as investors here are primarily earning money by lending money out to business people that are developing the world.
How you can use this website
It is our mission to help investors compare and find the best P2P sites to their needs. In order to find the best possible platform, you can benefit from using the following process:
1. Compare Peer-to-Peer lending sites
The focal point of our website is to make it easy to compare P2P lending platforms. At the top of this page, you can, therefore, find a huge list of firms in the industry. This allows you to easily find your best match.
As part of your platform research, we also recommend that you look at what other P2P investing websites, such as this one, write about the various P2P platforms featured on our site. If you compare information from several places, you will probably have a better foundation for choosing the right platform for your needs.
On our website, in the section for P2P investing comparison, you can compare the different platforms based on these relevant points:
Compare the following points:
- Average return
- Where the platform is available
- Minimum investment
- Year the platform has launched
- If there is a secondary market
- Whether auto-invest is possible
- Whether a buyback guarantee is possible
- If an investment bonus is available
Note: The contents of the items in our list of Peer-to-Peer lending sites are indicative. For example, a bonus might be mentioned. But if you want to know the circumstances under which it applies, you can read more about this in our P2P lending platform reviews. You can get to the review of the individual provider directly from the overview at the top of this page.
2. Read P2P lending platform reviews
If you have found a crowdinvesting platform that immediately meets your requirements, we actually recommend you to do more in-depth research.
You can do this by reading a Peer-to-Peer lending sites review. A link to a review of an individual platform can be found just below the descriptive points about the platform at the top of the page.
In the reviews you can see our ratings of the following points:
- Investor protection
In addition, you can find pros and cons about the platform, a brief summary, what the platform really specializes in, and much more.
We also typically include some tips and tricks. These will help you avoid common pitfalls, and get started crowdinvesting in the best possible way.
3. Choose your desired P2P lending platform
Once you’ve made a comparison of P2P lending platforms and read some reviews, it’s time for you to choose.
We recommend choosing at least 2-3 different platforms. It will help you minimize your platform risk. But if you just want to dip your toes a bit in the crowdlending world, then you can of course also just try it out with a good all-around platform like Mintos.
Frequently asked questions
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is a type of financing that makes it possible for borrowers to lend money and investors to loan out money without the need of a bank. P2P lending is facilitated on Peer-to-Peer lending platforms, where borrowers and investors meet.
If you want to invest in P2P loans, you can do so via one of the platforms featured on our website here.
Via the many P2P platforms, you invest in real estate loans, business loans, consumer loans, and more.
Mintos is a very popular P2P lending site with hundreds of thousands of users. It is by many even considered the best company in the industry. The platform has consistently been able to provide +10% annual returns for investors over the past 5 years. You can check it out here.
Over the past few years, it has not been unusual for investors to be able to achieve annual returns of +10% by investing in some of the highest returning and best European P2P lending platforms.
Let’s say that you invest €10,000, the amount of money you would be able to make with a 10% annual return would be €1,000.
Find a platform to get started with P2P lending here.
No investment is without any risk, and even if you only invest your money on the best P2P lending platforms, your capital is still at risk.
Are you ready to go to our Peer-to-Peer lending comparison section? Press the button below to get to the top of the page. Here you can find some of the very best crowdlending sites, read reviews about them, and maybe even get started with P2P investing today: