Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nuwire's Cost-Cutting Tips for Businesses: #1 Peer to peer lending

NuWire Investor just published an article titled Ten Cost-Cutters for Businesses. Here is their first tip:

Capital: Free money almost always comes with strings attached. But if you really need capital, here are some ways to get cash, for a limited time or a small fee:
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a way to find private lenders who will lend money in exchange for equity or some other security. Prosper.com is one source.
  • Microlending groups offer business loans at very low rates. These are not exactly free, but they come close.
I agree that peer to peer lending is an attractive source of capital for some small businesses. I am not, however, aware of any peer to peer platform which requires an exchange of equity or some other security. Prosper, Pertuity Direct, and Lending Club only provide unsecured loans.

Although the article does not mention it, Prosper is actually closed right now while they register with the SEC.

Microlending typically refers to very small loans. With Grameen America, for example, the average loan size is $2,000. These are generally targeted to poor entrepreneurs, typically women, who do not have access to traditional credit markets. The upper limit on loans through most peer to peer lending site like Lending Club is $25,000.

While I'm pleased to see NuWire mention peer to peer lending, the information presented is a little inaccurate.

2 comments:

mohnkern said...

I'm a little concerned about Prosper. While their web site says that they are closed for registration (and have been for 5 months), I ran across this:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sec.gov%2Flitigation%2Fadmin%2F2008%2F33-8984.pdf&ei=nsyuSaLUDOH8tgfLm_mKBg&usg=AFQjCNFfqEDlDGbwnh6w3W0nSjk5B4kP_A&sig2=oNWcaue8xmnQ9FkTqcjjWQ

(apologies for the long URL).

This seems to indicate that this isn't about prosper registering, but they are actually under a cease-and-desist order.

I realize that if Prosper IS in fact, in registration, they can't say anything, but I'm wondering if anyone actually has talked to them about this ruling.

Tom said...

Yes, they are working through the regulatory process now. You can read more about it and the cease and desist here, here and here.

For now, the best thing to do is just sign up for Lending Club.