Social Media Go Into Online Loans
Person-to-person lending is gaining ground on the Web, according to Jane Bryant Quinn in the Vancouver Sun today:
Social lending, person-to-person, is getting more attention as other sources of small loans dry up. Borrowers are looking for angels willing to make small business and personal loans. Angels gamble that they can find dependable people, make some money and have some fun.
She lists some interesting websites that a student or anyone else looking for an online loan may find worth checking out:
- Zopa is the world’s first social finance company. In 2005 it pioneered a way for people to lend and borrow directly with each other online. Since then, it has expanded across the world. In each country Zopa is a little different, but it’s always the same big idea.
- At Prosper.com, borrowers post the loan they want, the maximum interest rate they are willing to pay and, in most cases, their monthly income and expenses. Lenders bid on the loan, offering lower rates.
- Lendingclub.com specializes in loans within affinity groups such as alumni associations and Facebook friends. You can bet on individuals or buy into a portfolio of loans.
- Fynanz.com bestows ratings on its student borrowers, with the best rates going to seniors and full-time students. You don’t get credit reports, but there may be co-signers, which helps.
- Here students don’t even have co-signers.
There are many more details in the original article. This certainly brings a whole new dimension to the notion of social media.
[Update as of October 9] Apparently Zopa US has now closed its doors. It was supported by credit unions, which have terminated this arrangement in these troubled economic times.