Bondora Review: My P2P Investing Returns with Peer-to-Peer Lending Bondora

Bondora Review My P2P Investing Returns with Peer-to-Peer Lending Bondora
My Review on Bondora P2P Platform
  • Invested in Bondora - €1 100
  • Self-reported returns - 6.75%
  • Passive earnings per month - €6
  • Investing time on Bondora - 13 months
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My Bondora Overview:

I have already mentioned that I am super happy to diversify my portfolio with a lower-risk strategy and a liquid one such as Bondora’s Go & Grow auto investment feature.

The returns have been stable – as they state a 6.75% annual ROI, and the platform is one of the pioneers on the European P2P market. With Go & Grow, I really feel that my investments are safe (as safe an investment could be). 

For both new and experienced investors, Bondora is one of my top choices. Beginners will learn very quickly how to invest with Mintos, and for the experienced investors, Bondora will take less than 10 minutes to set up, and they will have, in my opinion, one of the most advanced P2P platforms on the market.

Update after COVID-19 2020 crisis: Read why I included Bondora in my list of the Best Peer to Peer Lending Platforms to Survive the COVID-19. Also, check out our p2p cashback offers available for new investors.

Chapter I: Introduction to P2P Lending Platform Bondora

Before proceeding with my Bondora Review, let’s explain to the beginners what Peer-to-Peer lending is.

What is Peer-to-Peer Investing?

Peer-to-peer lending, for short P2P lending, is a type of loan service, where a P2P business lends money to companies and individuals online and matches lenders with borrowers. The P2P services are often offered online as it is cheaper than the traditional financial institutions.

The result is that lenders earn higher returns compared to deposits and savings accounts, provided by banks. And at the same time, borrowers can borrow money at lower interest rates. 

Thanks to the development of the FinTech industry in the last 10 years, we are now able to earn interest rates on our cash higher than even. And we don’t even have to go to the local office to do so.

For the past 18 months, I have been actively investing in 18 platforms for P2P and Crowdlending platforms, and in this article, I will make a review on one of the most famous European Peer-to-Peer lending platform – Bondora. You may also check out our previous review on Mintos.

Let’s do this FIRE-starters!

Who is the Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform Bondora?

Bondora is a Peer-to-peer lending platform based in Estonia. The platform is one of the biggest and well-recognized in Europe. Bondora is the first platform I ever invested in. 

At this moment of writing, 81,989 people have invested with Bondora over €286 million, and the interest paid has been more than €33 million. These numbers speak!

Bondora was founded in 2008 and has nearly 12 years of experience in the market of P2P lending platforms.

Bondora is one of the leading non-bank digital consumer loan providers in Continental Europe. Bondora finances the loans it originates by selling the associated receivables to a retail investor base drawn from 40 countries around the world.

In 2014, Bondora won the “Alternative Finance Platform of the Year (EU)” and “P2P Consumer Platform of the Year (EU)” awards from AltFi, the world’s leading news site for the alternative finance space, which includes crowdfunding, P2P lending, marketplace lending, and invoice funding.

Bondora doesn’t have fees for investors on the primary market. The platform is accessible to most investors based in Europe, and they are currently serving loans in Estonia, Finland, and Spain.

Bondora Review: Short Platform Overview

Here is a short overview of the benefits which Bondora platform offers to its investors:

  • Headquarters: Estonia
  • Founded: 2009
  • Funded loans (cumulative): 286 million Euros
  • Average annual return: 9.61% – 17.61% pre-tax (self-reported)
  • Loan originators: Estonia, Spain, and Finland
  • Loan types: personal loans
  • Currencies: EUR
  • Investors from: 35+ countries
  • Minimum investment: 1 EUR
  • Buyback guarantee: No
  • Auto invest: Yes
  • Secondary market: Yes
  • Liquidity: High
  • Trustpilot TrustScore: 4.5/5

Chapter II: Getting Started on Bondora – Step by Step Process

How to Open an Account with Bondora?

Opening an account with Bondora is straightforward. You will need to provide your names, email address, and phone number. As with any other P2P and crowdfunding platform, to open an account with Bondora is entirely free.

The first thing you need to do is to open an account on their website, which is free. This process takes less than 3-5 minutes, including the step where you will be asked to verify your identity. 

Remember that as with any investing platform – no matter if it is P2P, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, stocks, or crypto, you will be asked to verify your identity in order to prove that you are a real person and you are not trying to launder money.

Once your account is created and verified, which usually happens immediately, you can then browse loans that are available on the platform to get a good sense of the platform.

To make your first investment, you will need to make a deposit first. You will be provided with four options, but I will show you how to do so in the next section.

Bondora Sign Up Bonus

Except for the high returns on your investments, another reason to start using Bondora is that it offers several ways to maximize your income, through sign-up bonuses.

For new investors, Bondora offers a €5 bonus, which will be deposited immediately on the platform, and if you invest at least €1000 through the first 30 days, your bonus will be €25 (I will receive a bonus too). 

If you sign up directly on Bondora.com, you will not get any bonus.

Open your account with Bondora and get the €5-€25 bonus.

How to Deposit Money on Bondora?

Bondora offers four ways to deposit funds, all of them are free from fees (note that your local bank may charge you for the transfer, but Bondora doesn’t charge anything for receiving the transfer).

You can deposit money via SEPA transfer, Mastercard/Visa, Trustly, and TransferWise. I use SEPA transfer from my Revolut account. The transfer is usually rapid. I also use Paysera. They offer one of the best and fastest services for SEPA transfers. They don’t charge any fees for SEPA transfers.

How to add money to Bondora

Once, my deposit to Bondora was received in 9 seconds! 9 seconds! That’s why I suggest you use alternative banking services such as Revolut, TransferWise, or Paysera. 

Not only are they faster, but the transfers also free. 

Chapter III: How to Set-up Your Investing Portfolio with Bondora – Step by Step Process

Primary Market: Types of Loans

Bondora offers two different types of products with different risk profiles. On the primary market, Bondora focuses on unsecured consumer loans with principal amounts of €500 to €10,000 and repayment terms ranging from three to 60 months. 

The primary market is using the direct investment structure, which means that investors are lending directly to the borrower. These are Bondora’s Portfolio Manager and Portfolio Pro strategies.

The ‘Go & Grow’ portfolio is using the indirect investment structure, which means that you are giving money to Bondora, and they then lend it to borrowers.

Bondora Go & Grow Strategy

As I have already mentioned, in Bondora, I invest through their “Go & Grow” strategy. Go & Grow is a strategy that gives 6.75% on the money you invest. Automatically. 

You don’t have to create portfolios or anything else. You just have to activate that strategy within your account. To do so, click on my account, select the change view field, and then toggle on the Go & Grow portfolio. 

Bondora Grow and Go Portfolio

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You can create three different Go & Grow accounts for various purposes. This is very cool as you can rename them. For example, you can have one portfolio for your kids’ education, one for travel, and another one for retirement. 

Then, you just need to make a deposit and them to your preferred Go & Grow account. You can also toggle on the Auto-transfer option so that all the money deposited to your account will automatically be transferred to your Go & Grow account, including the interest rate.

That’s it. It’s pretty simple. I use only the Go & Grow strategy for two reasons:

  • I have liquid cash, which I can withdraw anytime I want, without losing the interest I’ve gained.
  • This is a low-risk investment, which diversifies the risk through my whole portfolio of FinTech investments.

Secondary Market

Bondora has a relatively high liquid secondary market where investors can buy and sell loans to each other. Investors can choose to trade either whole portfolios or single loans. Before using the secondary market, investors must agree to the Secondary Market Settings.

When selecting loans part of whole portfolios, make sure you check to see the status of all loans in the portfolio. Investing in these can be one way to lose money. If you have the time, the secondary market can be a good place to find some good deals.

Loans with Buyback Guarantee

Unfortunately, the loans on Bondora’s platform don’t come with a buyback guarantee. The lack of a buyback guarantee is one of the reasons I’ve decided to invest only through their Go & Grow strategy as a safe bet.

However, I know many FIRE bloggers who use Bondora’s Portfolio Manager and Portfolio Pro features, and so far, they haven’t experienced any defaults. Remember, you just need to have a diversified portfolio. Invest 5-10 euros in as many loans as you can to lower the risk in case of a default.

How Does Bondora Auto Invest Work?

Portfolio Manager or Portfolio Pro are two very similar strategies that will automatically match your desired investment with borrowers. Through Bondora, there is no manual selection of loans.

Bondora Portfolio Pro and Portfolio Manager

Portfolio Manager is a quick way for investors to build a portfolio based on risk appetite. Investors can choose between ultra-conservative to opportunistic strategies. Based on the risk, the proposed amount to be invested, and the recommended number of years of investment, Bondora provides an expected distribution of loans and an expected return for the period selected.

Portfolio Pro provides more options and flexibility than the Portfolio Manager; however, you have to access your own risk. Investors can choose loans from certain countries, with particular ratings, for specific periods and at varying interest rates. Here, Bondora matches the settings up with the number of loans currently in the system, and also with an expected rate of return. 

Be cautious with these two strategies, as Bondora doesn’t offer a buyback guarantee.

How to Withdraw Money From Bondora 

As with any investing platform, before committing a large amount of money to invest, I will always test how the withdrawing function works.

On Bondora, it is as smooth, as depositing funds. In my experience, it takes up to 2 days for the money to arrive in my Revolut account.

Here is a screenshot of the withdrawing function:

How to Withdraw money from Bondora

Chapter IV: My Investment Portfolio and My Current Results with Bondora

Okay, so finally, let’s take a look at my portfolio. How much money I have invested so far, and what are my returns.

I started investing on Bondora in September 2018. Now, have in mind that I didn’t start with 1100 euros from the start. I have invested small sums during the past 1 year.

Bondora Go and Grow Account Value

Conclusion on my Bondora Investments in September:

Currently, Bondora.com contributes regularly to my dividend income, with nearly 11 euros per month in passive income. It’s not a lot, as I have invested very little into my Go & Grow portfolio. The plan with Bondora’s Go & Grow strategy is to invest the cash I will need in the near future for various reasons.

So instead of keeping my liquid cash in my local bank, I plan to store them in my Bondora account. This way, I will be able to earn a nice 6.75% interest rate, fighting inflation, making money, and withdrawing them with a single click, whenever I need them.

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What I Think are the Main Advantages and Disadvantages of Investing with Bondora Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform

Okay, so let’s highlight the advantages and disadvantages of Bondora I’ve found from my experience.

The advantages of investing with Bondora are:

  • One of the highest yielding P2P lending platforms across the peer-to-peer lending market;
  • Bondora offers advanced analytics about how investments work;
  • No fees for investing through Bondora;
  • Available secondary market – Bondora provides a secondary market where people can buy and sell loans at either a discount or premium;
  • Investors can use four ways to deposit money at no cost;
  • Bondora’s P2P platform has easy-to-use automatic investing tools;
  • Go & Grow portfolio for liquid cash.

The disadvantages of investing with Bondora are:

For me, there is only one disadvantage:

  • No buyback guarantees on investments.

Chapter V: Questions and Risk Management with Bondora P2P Platform

What Returns Can I Expect From Bondora?

Bondora uses the XIRR function (extended internal rate of return) to calculate the net return. What I like about Bondora is that they share lots of statistics with their investors. 

As of this moment, their average net return is 10.8%. With low/high net returns in the range of 9.61% – 17.61%, depending on your investing strategy.

Bondora Go and Grow’s net return is fixed at 6.75%.

Is It Safe to Invest in Bondora? Is Bondora Legit?

Bondora has been on the peer-to-peer lending market for the last 12 years, so yes, it is a legit P2P platform.

As for risk, every type of investment comes at a chance, even your bank deposit, and savings account. Even, investing your money in real estate (the most risk-free asset) is put under risk.

However, Bondora gives its investors some solid reasons to believe that their business is quite stable – most of the loans on the Bondora marketplace are secured by property, car, etc. They also have a 3-step collection and recovery process in a case when a borrower refuses/can’t pay its loan.

Always remember to invest a sum, you are willing to lose in case the economy goes down a bit. I am not trying to scare you away, just to outline the benefits and the risks of any investment.

Who Can Invest in Bondora? Is Bondora Available for International Investors?

To invest in Bondora’s platform, you must be over the age of 18 and living in the EU, Switzerland, or Norway.

If you are an investor from outside of the EU, then you must be an accredited investor. Bondora accepts accredited investors from Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, USA.

Bondora Fees

Bondora doesn’t apply fees for investing in the primary and secondary markets. They don’t charge for depositing money. However, there is one euro fee for withdrawing money, no matter how much you are withdrawing.

Bondora Support

I’ve used Bondora’s support via email, and I have been answered and supported within the reasonable 24-hour-time frame.

For me, an online service must have an excellent and empathetic support team. And Bondora meets this requirement.

Should You Invest on Bondora’s P2P Platform?

After a year of investing in the Bondora platform, my experience with their investment process and support is great.

However, you should always remember that all investments are risky, and you should never invest more than you are willing to lose. I am not saying that you will lose your money, but nothing in this world is absolute, investments too. 

The rule with P2P investments is to invest around 10% of your net worth across multiple platforms. I am a big fan of diversification. That’s why I invest in multiples P2P and crowdfunding platforms.

So to answer the question, should you invest in Bondora – yes, if you have chosen to include peer-to-peer lending in your investment portfolio, Bondora is one of the best to invest. As I use their low-risk strategy, I suggest you consider one such platform with low risk. I believe it’s good to have a diversified portfolio by risk. 

I am so far pleased with Bondora’s overall performance on the market and as a part of my FinTech investment portfolio.

Should I Pay Taxes?

Yes, you should pay taxes on your net income received from Bondora. Usually, the tax is paid once a year, but as the legislation in each country is different, please do research or advise yourself with an accountant.

Also, the tax percentage you would have to pay on your income is different for each country. You should check how much it is for your country of residence.

To make the reporting more accessible for investors, Bondora has prepared a Tax Report with the necessary information included. The report can be found on the Reports page on your Bondora account.

Which Are the Best Bondora Alternatives

Bondora is a great platform, providing a very stable interest rate. Some of the best alternatives to Bondora are Klearlending, Peerberry, Robocash.

Bondora Review Conclusion

I have already mentioned that I am super happy to diversify my portfolio with a lower-risk strategy and a liquid one such as Bondora’s Go & Grow auto investment feature.

The returns have been stable – as they state a 6.75% annual ROI, and the platform is one of the pioneers on the European P2P market. With Go & Grow, I really feel that my investments are safe (as safe an investment could be). 

For both new and experienced investors, Bondora is one of my top choices. Beginners will learn very quickly how to invest with Mintos, and for the experienced investors, Bondora will take less than 10 minutes to set up, and they will have, in my opinion, one of the most advanced P2P platforms on the market.

So go ahead, open your account with Bondora and get the €5-€25 bonus.


Some links on this page may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a commission if you register through them. None of the posts on this blog have been sponsored. Opinions are mine.

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