About two years ago I was in the process of searching for money to help stabilize my companies financial situation. My bank had refused to extend my line of credit and I had spent weeks trying to line up a new bank. While I was in the process of looking for money I ran into a website called Prosper.com. What an eye opener this site was. Now at the time I wasn’t able to apply for a loan because I was in the state of Nevada which wasn’t at the time covered by Prosper but I continued to look through the site further because I was intrigued by what they were doing.
The concept itself is pretty simple. Prosper acts as a middle man connecting potential borrowers with people interested in lending money. Imagine it like borrowing money from a friend. You’re in need of a loan. You ask a buddy if he can loan you some money. But because of how much you need you can’t pay him back all at once. So you agree to pay back a certain amount each month with interest.
The system works the same as a standard bank loan. Prosper makes its money by charging a fee on the loan that it takes out before it transfers you your money. When you ask for a loan Prosper does all the necessary credit checks and issues you a credit rating.
The way it works is like this. Say you need to borrow $5000. You start by signing up at Prosper.com. You next will need to apply for your loan and state what sort of interest rate you are willing to pay. Prosper does a credit check on each potential borrower and then assigns them a credit rating. You then give prospective lenders a rundown on what you’d like to use the money for. Then you give a breakdown of your finances so lenders can see that you have the ability to repay the loan. Your loan request will then be posted online. It will then have a certain amount of time to become fully funded. If it doesn’t make the time limit it will be pulled.
Now don’t despair if your loan doesn’t become fully funded. All you have to do is list your loan again. Your loan just might need some tweeking. Maybe you need to try asking for a smaller amount of money or you need to consider paying a higher interest rate. As long as you are able to show prospective lenders that you have the ability to rapay the loan and you have a decent credit history you should have a good chance of getting what you need.
From a personal perspective I like the idea of helping people that might truly deserve the help but for one reason or another have been denied. The loan itself might be for a small business but many of them are for personal reasons. So far Prosper has loaned out over one hundred million dollars and the number grows every day. You could be one of many that benefits from such a service.