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P2P lending Fri, Oct 20, 2006
Prosper is a peer-to-peer (or people-to-people) lending network, meaning that an average Joe can use the website to loan money (with interest) to another average Joe.  It sounds like a pretty crazy idea at first, but when you think about it, it's actually kinda cool.  People with money can make more money by letting other people borrow it.  And people without money can borrow money from someone other than a big, stinky bank, usually at rates lower than a normal lender would charge.  The rate is actually up to the lender.  This other site, www.utopialoans.com, is a group that exists within Prosper that provides information and advice to borrowers and lenders using the Prosper service.  Plus, they currently have a group contest whose goal is to earn the highest number of points by listing new loans, closing existing loans, and referring new people to the program.  The one with the most points at the end wins cold hard cash. 

All in all, Prosper sounds like a pretty cool service.  In terms of security, their website has some good security information and looks to be legitimate (VeriSign Secured).  In terms of price, they charge different percentages for borrowing and lending, and they have a few different delinquency fees.  The service is kinda cool in that it resembles eBay's method of selling and bidding:  A borrower lists an amount, a time period, and a maximum interest rate; lenders look through these listings and "bid" a certain amount for a certain time period at a certain rate; at the end of the listing period, the bid with the lowest rate is selected, and payments are automatically deducted from the borrower's bank account (that part I don't like).  Interesting idea. 

This is a sponsored post. #money

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