Saturday, August 18, 2007

Prosper improves lending and borrowing experience

Prosper just announced some significant site and policy updates. Loan listings now include borrower's past activity, borrowers can make payments with their Prosper cash balance, borrower activity including all past activity will be reported to TansUnion in addition to Equifax, and the referral program has been extended through the end of the year. These changes have been well received by the Prosper community after the recent controversy.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Listings now include borrower's past Prosper activity

Borrowers taking a second (or third or fourth?) Prosper loan will now have their Prosper payment activity recorded on the listing page and on their member page. This includes total loans, principal borrowed, on time payments, total number of loan payments which brought a loan current which were made at less than and more than one month past the due date, total payments billed, credit grade history with dates, and credit grade change.

Advanced search and standing orders have also been updated to allow lenders to search and bid on loans that meet certain criteria in these departments.

Borrowers can make payments with Prosper account

Borrowers can now make payments on their Prosper loans using funds from their Prosper cash balance, if they have at least $25 available.

Borrower activity reported to TransUnion

Borrower payment activity is now reported to TransUnion, one of three major U.S. credit reporting agencies. Payment activity is already reported to Experian. We hope to start reporting to Equifax, the third major credit reporting agency, shortly.

All historical Prosper loan activity to date, including payments, delinquencies, and defaults on active and ended loans will also be reported to TransUnion.

Improved messaging on listings cancelled during review

One big point of frustration for borrowers whose listings are cancelled during review is that they don't receive a specific reason for why their listing was cancelled. This can range from the serious (name on bank account doesn't match borrower's) to the benign (hasn't yet verified bank account ownership).

From now on, when a borrower's listing is cancelled during review, the borrower will receive a message with a specific reason (or reasons) why their listing was cancelled, whether they may re-list or not, and possibly a note from customer support about what they should do before their next listing to ensure that the listnig will not be cancelled. Lenders will also receive a message with a specific reason.

Loan numbers tied to listing numbers

Borrower loans are now tied to their listings, both on the borrower's member page and in the API. On the borrower's member page, you can see each loan's balance and payment performance in a simple table.

Invite friends from Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo mail, etc...

When you invite your friends to Prosper (and earn referral awards), no more need to copy and paste their email addresses into the "Email address" field. Just click the "Add from my address book" button, and go to town.

Search help pages

Now you can search the Prosper help pages using keywords.

Referral program extended to Dec 31, 2007

The referral program has been extended until Dec 31, 2007. Invite a new borrower and earn 0.5% of his or her loan value when their loan gets funded, or invite a new lender and you both get $25 when your friend funds his or her first loan.

Over 5,000 members have successfully referred a friend since the program started in June. Everyone who refers a friend by August 31 will receive a stylish black Prosper T-shirt, and also be entered in our "Prosper in Las Vegas" sweepstakes.

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