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Be your own Banker

15. February 2006 | Category Interests, Money

Having enjoyed the many ventures I’ve set out on with online banking, I’ve always been interested in the next new direction internet based banking has been going.

It seems that now personal, bankless loans are starting to become all the rage. After hearing about Zopa, a leading British-only online lending site, I heard that someone else has begun business here in the U.S. under the guise of Prosper.

Basically, both sites get people together that want to borrow money and those willing to lend it to them. Sounds easy enough. Pretty much just like borrowing someone a buck for a pop or candy, although a tad bigger scale. It might be of note that you don’t personally know these people, unlike your local bankers might. The only problem seems to be when those borrowing default partially or totatlly on the loan. Seems that Zopa counters this by spreading lenders money between numerous accounts and verification by a ‘risk managers’.
With Prosper one could borrow directly to a sole person or spread the ‘risk’ among numerous people. Also poor reports to the credit agencies and debt collectors will enter the fray upon defaults of loans. Both sites don’t guarantee your won’t lose money, but banks work the same way I guess.

And if you are borrowing money and aren’t happy with the rates the banks are forcing you to swallow, this may be a suitable backup plan.

Seems like an interesting field on finance to be invovled in, as well as keeping an eye on. It seems Zopa itself is entering the US market in late 2006 which should keep Prosper and others like it on their collective toes.

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