Are You an Income Investor? Consider Peer-To-Peer Lending

The idea of peer-to-peer lending has brought many new opportunities for investors who seek something different from bonds and stocks. In short, as a user of a peer-to-peer lending platform you can become a lender who lends money to individual borrowers or you are a member of “a loan pool” if you want to decrease risk and possible loss. Checking your potential borrower’s credit score helps you make a good decision.

The best quarterback

Lending Club is the biggest player in this market. Here $35,000 is a maximum amount of a loan for a person – with fixed interest rate and for a wide variety of purposes – and $300,000 can go for a business. Lending Club point out that they have strict approval conditions so as to gather the most credible borrowers. According to them, 699 FICO score is the average among their borrowers. Those who apply for a loan receive grades (A-G) which decide on their interest rates that start at 7,34% and end at 25,54% (these are more inviting compared with the average national rate).

Instead of lending all money to one borrower you can diversify the risk of a total loss. In Lending Club you have the option of investing in “notes” – pieces of loans. When you invest $2.500 buying 100 notes costing $25 you lend money to 100 borrowers, and at the same time, you limit your individual loss risk to $25. In case you suddenly need to get out of your investment, you can try to find a buyer for your notes. The problem is that Lending Club cannot guarantee finding a buyer for you, unfortunately. The maximum length of consumer loans is five years and you should be prepared for a commitment for this period of time.

How much do I pay?

When it comes to fees, investors must pay for principal and interest payments they collect. This servicing fee is 1%. The collection fee is 35% of the total collection. In case of necessary litigation, its costs and 30% of fees covering attorney remain on the investor’s side. Investors are not charged with any collection fees if they do not collect any payments. Also the collection fees cannot exceed the amount of money recovered.

More than just one option

Peer-to-peer lending has also other forms, such as professional money managers (banks, insurance companies or private pension funds). They offer partnership in Lending Club investments. Visit Lending Club’s website or contact an investment adviser if you look for some alternatives of peer-to-peer investments in Lending Club.

It is believed that the traditional lending market may be outrun by the peer-to-peer lending or its alternatives. It surely is worth considering, yet still it is not a perfect way of investing for everyone. It involves both high chances for good income and a high level of risk at the same time. It would be advisable to start with a small amount of money, just in case it turns out to be not for you. Still, the prospect of good profit can be really convincing and worth devoting time to learn more about this kind of investments.

Continue Reading

The 7 Peer-To-Peer Lending Websites you must know

Many people can admit that they have rather negative connotations with regard to traditional banks. Inflexibility and strictness make banks rather an archaic institution which loses to the innovative peer-to-peer (P2P) lending system.

To put it briefly, P2P lending uses online platforms to provide a tool which connects potential borrowers with lenders. Eventually, it costs much less time, fuss and red tape than in the case of the traditional banks.

P2P lending has become a great success. The Internet-centered world must have affiliated such a solution to the traditional system’s imperfections. It is an easier, cheaper and faster way of borrowing and lending money.

The wide variety

Along with the growing popularity of this system also the competition between platforms is increasing. The general rules are the same, but the platforms offer differently targeted products. Also interest rates, conditions of eligibility or tenures can vary. We list some of the best known websites which you should visit if you seek a reliable P2P platform.

Lending Club

The father and the biggest player of peer-to-peer lending market. The loans offered by them start at $1,000, and $15,000 when it comes to businesses. The maximum is $35,000 and for business $300,000.

Prosper Marketplace

It is the U.S. prototype of P2P lending platforms which noted a huge growth since its very beginnings. The number of its members reaches 250,000 people. The purposes of loans offered by Prosper are richly varied. You can loan from $2,000 to $35,000 for 3 or 5 years. The annual rates start at 5.99% and end at 36% for the new borrowers.

Upstart

This platform is good for the younger clients with short credit history and low FICO score which precludes receiving a loan in a traditional way. Actually, for Upstart the score is a minor factor and these are your education and work performance which count most. Here you can obtain from $3,000 to $35,000 at an annual rate of minimum 4,7%. They offer loans for a very wide range of purposes.

SoFi

SoFi is a place for the beginning professionals who need help in paying their debts. SoFi’s loans are rather big ($5,000 to $100,000). Unfortunately, to become eligible for their loan you must fulfil certain conditions.

CircleBack Lending

If you have a good credit history and need a lot of money visit this platform. Also here the variety of your loan’s purposes is wide. The interest rate is set between 6.63% and 36% and is dependent on the amount of money loaned and the loan’s durance. Apart from that, your credit score, credit usage or history also influence the interest rate.

Peerform

A platform which offers the annual interest rates between 7,12% to 29,99%. The minimum amount of their loans is $1,000 and the maximum $25,000. Peerform gives a chance for people with low credit scores. They utilize their own Peerform Loan Analyzer which is a substitutive tool for FICO scores. With their loan you can finance many different things like your new car, wedding, house redecorations or debt consolidation.

Funding Circle

This platform is centered on financing small firms. Its creators believe that the banking system does not support small businesses enough and they decided to look for a solution to this problem. What is interesting, the whole thing started with their own experience of trying to receive a loan for 96 times, but to no avail. For now, their result is $1 billion loaned to about 8,000 businesses. Currently, their platform has 40,000 of investors, including the British government. If you need money for your business consider Funding Circle. Their offers start at $25,000 and the maximum reaches $500,000.

Continue Reading

New Chapter Of Banking: Peer-To-Peer Lending

Nowadays, the spotless reputation of banks is in the phase of decrease. Hence, we are offered with something different – P2P (peer-to-peer) online platforms. The generation of “online people” seek an alternative to the traditional banking, aiming at better offers and conditions.

Lending platforms, by the means of online auctions match borrowers with lenders and create a much more convenient way to cooperate. The offered loans usually include a few “slices” taken from more than one lender which makes the deal they sell much more beneficial for both sides than in the case of traditional banking – for instance, the British P2P platform Zopa gives 4.9% to lenders and their personal loans are charged with 5.6%.

While interest rates are extremely low and people lose their confidence in banks, P2P is becoming more and more popular in many countries – the American leaders in the trade, Lending Club and Prosper, own 98% of the market. This phenomena appears to be the natural consequence of the growing access to e-commerce which wins in one of the most significant area – it allows to lower the costs of running the business, even three times.

The next advantage of P2P lending is the fact that it has the power to remove the mismatch present between long-term loans and short term deposit. The only obstacle is to gain trust of the new clients who are used to the traditional banking and would not be eager to invest money in something that they have never heard before.

Worries are undeniably legitimate since all investments involve some risk. What are the main dangers? First of all, it is a platform’s bankruptcy and the threat of losing all money. Apart from that, unlike traditional banks, P2P does not offer any state-backed guarantees which protect your money.

The next problem with P2P is its transnationality. A huge number of foreign investors are attracted to the American market. The fact that it collects money from foreign lenders as well, make any legal problems which occur in this “mixture” unsolvable.

New regulations are to help remove the high risk from P2P businesses through demanding such organization of the firm’s capital which will ensure the money left for remaining loans in case of closing. When it comes to the insurance, for example Zopa and other British firms offer “provision funds” which are to provide help for loans in case of problems. Meanwhile, there are some discussions going on concerning more insurance options.

The majority of money in the American platform – Lending Club – belongs to the wealthy individuals and institution, the rest comprises retail investors. For now, all savers have the same conditions and opportunities, however, some people maintain that it is the matter of time when big investors start to command the market.

Peer-to-peer lending is still developing and with the time passing, it surely will become much more popular. Certain pivotal improvements should help gain more interest and trust among customers. Whether it succeeds or not, depends on the effective marketing, good management and cooperation with the big companies.

Continue Reading

Introduction To Crowdfunding From an Entrepreneur Perspective

Anyone who has ever had the experience of running their own business from scratch, would probably confirm that the Internet is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs. The ability to contact everyone and everywhere from your home has really changed the course of business nowadays. What’s more, the appearance of the social media has opened a wide range of new possibilities. And one of them is crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding in a nutshell

In short, crowdfunding is a device for collecting money needed for your startup via the Internet –mostly the social media and special crowdfunding platforms. This method is based on the involvement of family, friends, customers or individual investors in the fundraising, using their connections to diffuse your ideas to the wider audience.

How does it work?

Raising the startup capital used to be much more complicated and much less effective. The entrepreneurs choosing a traditional way of collecting funds go from door to door with all the necessary documents and devote lots of their time and energy to gain interest of their very limited audience. Crowdfunding platforms, on the other hand, open your business door to much more options than angel investors or banks. You build up your own online campaign, create a showcase and let it be shared between any interested potential investors who, at the same time, have more varied options to help you develop your venture.

What are these varied options exactly?

You have three main crowdfunding types to choose between.
• Donation-based type – you are not supposed to return money to the investors; the examples can be: charities, non-profit initiatives or disaster relief.
• Rewards-based type – your investors are granted with a “reward” in a form of your product or service, depending on what your business provides. This form of “incentive” can be both effective and low-cost.
• Equity-based type – you offer your equity shares in order to receive financial help from the contributors. Therefore, you must share your profits with the investors.

Why is crowdfunding better than the traditional ways?

It has been already stated that crowdfunding is undeniably more convenient and useful, especially for startup businessmen, than the traditional knocking on wealthy men’s door, and here we list a few reasons to prove our point.

1. Using online resources enables you to export your ideas to masses so that they become much more reachable for the potential investors.
2. You can be much more efficient in your efforts to collect the capital. Thanks to your central online profile you can reach all interested contributors at once which saves your precious time.
3. It is an excellent way of promotion and marketing. If you are not present online, you do not exist at all.
4. When you share your idea with a wide spectrum of audience, they give clues. The more suggestions you receive, the more improvements you can make so as to jolly investors into cooperation.
5. One more advantage of using crowdfunding is the overall picture of your business concept which you gain after completing the process of creating your profile. It makes you analyse the idea step by step and helps organize the thoughts.

Concluding, it has never been so easy to make your business ideas work. Learn more about crowdfunding and start being your own boss.

Continue Reading

Fixing problems with FICO score (and enjoying a better life as a result)

Many of us create a list of resolutions for a new year.

Life brings many different types of problems and for some people it is a number on their bathroom scales which is too big and for the others it can be a number of their FICO score which is too small.

You probably are in the group of, let us call it, “financial troublemakers” if you read this article. We will try to help you analyse the problem and fulfill your financial resolution of lifting up your score.

Problems and solutions.

In general, saving money is not as easy as spending it and, unfortunately, the first and the most important solution is to start saving. The good news is that some of the problems can be solved faster. But the whole rest demand a good long term strategy.

Problem no. 1 – Using too much credit.

It concerns you if your habit is to buy too much, impulsively and not necessarily really needed goods.  The habit of spending more than you earn is even worse. Look into your credit report and find out where the problem lies. It can show that, for example, you owe too much on your account, you have too many accounts with balances/retail accounts or the balance to limit proportion is not right. As the 30 percent of the score is influenced by the amount of your debt, the situation in which you continue spending more than you earn is unacceptable and becomes a deterrent for any possible lenders.

Problem no. 2 – Too little credit history.

First of all, such an option is still better than having a bad credit history. Do not get upset if you do not have much credit. Lenders can use a non-traditional credit report, which will show the accounts that are not reported in credit bureaus. These would include for example leases,  student loans, peer to peer loans,  or some utility payments. Also thanks to a regular savings deposit you make, your financial situation will be found settled.

Moreover, you can open one or two credit cards (the limit should be low) and use it to pay while shopping. Yet, it is significant to pay it off regularly on time. Apart from that, another option is to benefit from the good credit history of your family members or friends. When you become an “authorized user” on their account, their credit card history will be also added to your account.

Problem no. 3 – Bad history.

It needs time to rebuild your credit history. If you have collected some “sins” on your account, such as foreclosure,, you must reorganize your current management of finances. The impact your “sins” have on your score lowers with time, so calm down and cool your heels. 12 months of patience and better management will help you pay off your bad actions from the past.

You can deal with it yourself or call for help.

Your finances have 5 years to recover. After this time, you may consider bankruptcy and use court solutions. But first, if you feel that you may not be able to cope with the problem yourself, you can consider professional help. A consumer credit counselor (working non-profit) can give you a lot of useful advice and help you get back on your feet faster.

In conclusion, you should remember that a good plan is crucial. Find out what the problem is, set goals and start building up your score.

Continue Reading

600 credit score – not the best, not the worst. Find out how to improve.

Generally, a credit score lesser than 650 is considered poor, but there is always room for improvement.

With a credit score of 600 and odd, lenders may think that you have defaulted in the past and more likely to do so in future and your application for credit card and loans may be denied.

Many people do not even know about credit scores until they apply for a loan and got rejected for having a bad score.

People just live their lives and making transactions at will never knowing how it is affecting their score. Some think that their credit score is in good shape as they don’t miss any payments, but there more than just payment history alone, event hough it is a significant portion of your score.

Along with your payment history, your credit utilization, types of credit card you hold, how much time your accounts are open etc.

According to a recent report from credit Bureau Experian, more than 10% of people fall in the range of 600-650 and 12% fall between 500-600.

But people with a credit score can qualify for some loans but at the cost getting the loan at huge interest rates. Let’s see some of the credit score range and how they qualify with the lenders:

Credit Score Quality How Lenders view Your Score
300-500 Very Poor Lenders will straight away reject your application. Better start to rebuild your score by making on time payments
500-600 Poor You are still not in the qualifying range, but you are in the edge and within 3-6 months of regular payments, your score will improve considerably
600 – 650 Bad You can qualify for some loan but at the cost of heavy interest rates
650 – 750 Good Loans are available easy and you are also eligible for valuable benefits in the form of low interest rates and wide ranging perks
750 – 850 Very Good You are on top of the list and you’ll be flooded with offers for loans at very low interest rates and terms favourable to you.

Understand why you have such low score

If you don’t know why you have such a low credit score, then better check your credit reports. From each of the credit reporting agencies, you can get a free credit report every year. See if there is any mistake in your report like payment done on the due date being marked as late payments or any issues, which can be fixed easily with the credit bureau. If your low score is attributed to many delinquencies or high utilization of credit, then you should really look into rebuilding your score by making on-time payments and maintaining your credit utilization limits etc.

If your credit score is rising?

In  case you are building your profile score and finally made it to 600 till now, lenders may notice that and would allow you to qualify for some products that were once deemed ineligible for you before, but you might need to pay higher interest rates. But if you are badly need of money, then you can very well take these.

RELATED: Have a 600 credit score? Check how to get a peer to peer loan.

People less than a credit score of 630 might qualify for some secured cards or retail cards which might require lower scores than that of the banks. If you are going for car loans, chances are that might your foot on some wheels as auto loans are different than personal loans, as the vehicle is the collateral here and you may qualify if you have the required income levels to repay the loan, irrespective of the lower credit score.

If your credit score is on the decline?

If your score is at 600, but you are on the decline, it’s a different story altogether. It means you had made some late payments or defaulted on some recently and your account is unstable as of now. So lenders will definitely think twice to give you loans even at higher interest rates at this time.So better clear all your debts and pay the pending balances on your credit card bills and hope for the best in the next 2 or 3 months.

Continue Reading

Introduction to Student Loans: Whare are Pros and Cons?

student-loans-pros-cons

Being a US student will require you a lot of investment and many times you won’t be able to afford to study without getting a loan. That’s why you should always consider getting a student loan as it can indeed help you relieve the financial pressure.

But what are the pros and cons of student loans?

Let’s find that out!

Student loan pros

Student loans are very helpful for most students mainly because they offer immediate financial aid and they can help you get past any financial trouble. There are many reasons why student loans are a great option, as you can see below:

  • With a student loan, you will be able to afford any type of college, even if your parents might not have the money to pay for it.
  • You can eliminate other financial obligations a lot faster. With their help, you can focus on repaying your college debt without having to worry about any other debts.
  • If you do have a poor credit score, the student loans will allow you to improve it. Most of these loans are handed even to the students with a poor credit and if you use them properly you can indeed get away from poor credit situations.
  • A student loan will help you get the education you want even if you have no income of your own. They can be repaid by your parents or tutor and you can still get the education you want without any restrictions.
  • You can repay the loan on a monthly basis. You don’t have to worry about giving all that money back at once, basically, you have less pressure to deal with so you can focus on your studies.

Student loan cons

Obviously, acquiring a student loan does come with its own set of downsides. While you can get them fast, you do need to be very consistent with your payments otherwise you can easily get into financial trouble. Here are some of the student loan downsides:

  • These loans will never go away even if you file for bankruptcy. Not only that but while you can defer loan you can’t just ignore them as you will end up reaching court and repay a much larger amount.
  • The student loans come with a high-interest rate that only gets higher if you have a low credit score. Sure, they seem appealing at first but these high-interest rates can be a huge downside for many students.
  • Once you get a student loan, you will have to repay it in the designated amount of time. If you don’t do that, this loan will keep you away from accomplishing financial milestones and goals. it can increase your mortgage rate; it will haunt even your retirement if you don’t get rid of it properly.
  • While there is a student loan forgiveness program, not everyone qualifies. In fact, it can be really hard to qualify for that type of program which only manages to make everything a lot more difficult.
  • These loans come with a high risk because even if you contract such a loan you can’t be certain that the education you get can be a very good one. That’s because some of the private educational institutions won’t offer you the ultimate value for your money.

If you do want to get a student loan, it’s a very good idea to put both the pros and cons in the balance.

READ NOW: Guide To Peer To Peer Lending For Bad Credit

This is a major financial commitment so you have to think about it as much as you can. Take your time, study all opportunities and the results can be very well worth it!

Continue Reading

8 Tips To Help You Avoid Foreclosure

foreclosure-for-sale

If you can’t keep up with your mortgage payments, then you’re at risk for foreclosure and a lender may send you paperwork to contact them. Here’s how you can avoid foreclosure.

You Can’t Ignore the Problem

You have to address this issue as you can’t get further behind in your payments. It will be harder to reinstate your loan and more than likely, you’ll lose your home. If you have a problem, contact your lender right away to work through your issues with them. The lender wants you to keep your home and have option to help you with difficult financial matters, but you have to contact them to discuss your individual issues.

Respond to Lender Mail

The first letters you get will provide options about foreclosure prevention. You need to heed these options as they can help you get out of a hard financial situation. Later letters may point to pending legal action, so you have to address the issues right away. If you fail to open the mail, this is not going to be an excuse you can use in foreclosure court.

Understand Your Mortgage Rights

Have a look at your loan documents. Tis will tell you what the lender may do if payments aren’t made. You need to understand foreclosure laws and the timeframe in your individual state as each one of the states is different. You can do this by contacting the State Government Housing Office. There’s foreclosure prevention which is also called loss mitigation that you can read about online as this will show you valuable options.

Contact a Housing Counsellor That’s HUD-Approved

HUD or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds low cost or free housing counselling across the nation. These counsellors can help you understand the options you have and how the law works. They can organize your finances and will represent you in negotiations you have with your lender. To get assistance call (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339 to speak with one of these counsellors.

Get Your Spending Prioritized

You want to keep your home as this is a top priority. Make sure you review your finances and see where cuts to your spending can be made. You want to make your mortgage payments. You should cut down on optional expanses like television, entertainment, memberships and so on. Delay other payments until you’re able to make your mortgage payment and then work on the other bills.

Use Assets

If you have assets like a car, while life insurance policy, or jewelry that you may be able to sell for cash. This can help you reinstate your loan. You might be able to get a second job so you have more income to put towards the payments. If you can demonstrate to the lender that you’re making sacrifices, you may still be able to keep your home.

Don’t Work with Foreclosure Companies

Foreclosure companies charge you fees and you don’t need to do this. You will get companies looking to work with you, but this all costs money that you can’t afford.

READ NOW: How To Avoid Collections?

Put this cash down on your payment instead as these companies will charge you high fees, even as high as several months of your mortgage. Talk with a HUD counsellor as this is free.

Avoid Scams

There are companies which claim they can stop the foreclosure right away. If you sign paperwork that appoints them to act for you, then you just might be signing away the title to your property and become a renter in your own residence. Make sure you never sign documents until an attorney or a real estate professional has looked it over and that all the terms are understood. You should also discuss this with a HUD counsellor.

Continue Reading

Peer-to-Peer Lending: Ideal Solution For Those With Bad Credit?

p2p-lending

In the personal loan industry, new start-up companies have disrupted lending practices. There’s now more option for peer-to-peer lending.

To get one of these loans, you don’t actually have to meet or even know those you’re getting the loan from.

These lenders will connect individuals that need a loan with others that are looking for investments.

Here’s how all of this works.

Brief History

In the past, if you needed a loan, you simply went to the bank and asked for one. You filled out the paperwork and waited for the underwriting to go through the process. It could sometimes take a lot of time and you were never guaranteed anything. With peer to peer lending you can be approved for a loan within a few hours or a few days.

How Peer-to-Peer Loans Work

All you need to do to get a peer-to-peer loan is to find a site that does this sort of lending. You’ll enter some personal details which will include your name and the amount of loan that you’re looking for.

You will have to share your savings levels and the amount of income that you make. In some cases, you’ll need to go through a credit check and share your Social Security number, but this will vary depending upon the lender you’re working with. The lending company won’t share your personal information with the “peer” who will take on your loan.

On some sites you’ll need to explain the nature of the loan that you’re looking for. The sites are looking for personal stories and what the individual will do with the money given to them. If you need a loan for a new course you want to take or for a small business, you should mention this as it may help you.

If you’re looking to pay off some credit card debt, you should try a peer-to-peer site that’s not looking for you to pitch why you need the loan to them.

Advantages of Peer-to-Peer Loans

There are a couple of advantages with this type of loan. The most obvious advantage is that a peer-to-peer loan is much easier to get than a regular bank loan is. T

he second advantage is that there are low interest rates for customer that have credit risk which is comparable.

If you’re a college grad for example, a peer-to-peer site is going to make it easier to get a loan than a bank would make it for you even though you probably have a thin credit history.

The interest rate will still be lower than what the bank would offer. If you have good credit history, you’ll end up with low interest rates which will be better than the rates you can get with your regular bank.

These peer-to-peer lenders also have a lot less overhead to deal with. They can take risks on applicants with poor or lower than normal credit. These sites can serve customers that find it impossible to get a loan at a bank

Your Credit and Peer-to Peer Loans

Some of the peer-to-peer sites specialize in loans for those that have average or above average credit. Some of them provide loans for those will poor or nonexistent credit, but the interest rate in higher to work with them.

For those will poor credit or credit problems, these peer-to-peer sites may be the only way that you can get the loan.

READ NOW: How To Fix My Credit? Simple Way To Improve Your Bad Credit Score

These loans are still better than a very expensive payday loan or installment loan. You’ll be able to rebuild your credit this way; just don’t apply for a loan you can’t afford to pay back or you’re going to be back at square one.

Some of the peer-to-peer sites don’t report your loan payments to the credit agencies so you need to shop around to find a site that will do this if you need to rebuild credit.

This will help rebuild your credit rating so you can actually work with banks if you need to in the future. The peer-to-peer sites may do a credit check, but it won’t be one that will harm your credit rating.

Fees and What to Keep in Mind

There can be fees with these loans so you have to compare. It more than just the interest rate you have to be aware of.

There may be flat percentage fees that come with your loan. These may be called closing fees or origination fees. They can range about 1-5% of the amount of your loan.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Peer-to peer lending sites are still quite new, but they have a lot of options. Some of the well-known ones are Upstart, Prosper,and Lending Club.

lending-club

Some of them work like a charity does. They will form lending circles and help people out that need a personal loans so you don’t have to resort to payday loans or expensive installment loans.

The groups don’t charge much or even anything for the loans that they offer you. Some sites may charge more than the non-profit lenders, but it’s still less than the rates you get with your bank.

Some of the sites may ask you more questions such as where you went to school or what your high school GPA was. You need to answer all the questions honestly in your application

Peer-to-Peer is Big Business

It has become big business in the peer-to-peer work of lending so this can work in your favor. Investors such as big hedge fund companies will build up a portfolio of loans and they offer loans with lower rates and risk for you. Those that have bad credit can work with these lenders to get the money that they seek.

Conclusion

If you’re in the market for a loan and don’t want to work with the bank or have a poor credit rating which prevents you from getting a loan, then peer-to-peer lending can work for you.

One thing you must do is to shop around to get a good rate and know exactly what you’re getting with the loan. Watch for hidden fees or prepayment penalties.

Make sure you have a budget and can actually pay back the loan that you get. The loan should help you and not hinder you so don’t put it before expenses that are more important than the loan like rent, food, or other necessities.

Once you get the loan, spend it in wise manner and make your payments on time which is just smart financial advice to keep in mind.

Continue Reading