How they describe themselves: Prosper was created to make consumer lending more financially and socially rewarding for everyone. Prosper users list and bid on loans using Prosper’s online auction platform. Borrowers create loan listings and set the maximum rate they are willing to pay a lender. Prosper lenders set the minimum interest rate they are willing to earn and bid on loan listings they select. They can consider borrowers’ personal stories, endorsements from friends, and group affiliations. Then the auction begins as lenders can bid down the interest rate. Once the auction ends, Prosper combines the bids with the lowest rates into one loan to the borrower and handles all on-going loan administration tasks. Prosper generates revenue by collecting a one-time 2% to 3% fee on funded loans from borrowers, and assessing a 1% annualized loan servicing fee to lenders. Prosper’s marketplace platform is patent pending.
What they think makes them better: Prosper is the only auction-based people-to-people lending marketplace where borrowers and lenders – not the company – decide who gets funded and at what rate. Prosper is uniquely transparent. All Prosper marketplace data is made publicly available via a real time API, data downloads and robust performance tools.