We’re all taught: when in polite company, don’t talk about money, sex, politics, or religion. I don’t know about the last three, but when it comes to money, people are decidedly tight-lipped. A cousin once confided in me (after a few drinks) that he’d racked up $50,000 in credit card debt. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Here’s a guy who went to college, has a good job, and seems to live a normal lifestyle. And he’s overspent enough to feed a quarter of a million children for a day.
How could I have not known this? I mean, he’s family, right? But people are very private with their money, and I would argue, without reason.
With the exception of having a mortgage, debt is looked down on in the United States. But according to CardRatings.com, 60% of Americans don’t pay off their credit card bill every month. So it’s not uncommon to carry a balance. What can set you apart from the crowd, though, is paying off your credit card balance in a smart way. That’s where Prosper comes in.
Okay, so you think Prosper is a cool idea, and you put up a listing. You’re really hoping that some of those lenders notice you with that picture of your cute dog and adorable kids. And maybe if you’ve got stellar credit, you will get some bids. But chances are you probably won’t.
There is something you can do about it. Tell someone. Seriously. Do it. It will help.
When you ask for a loan on Prosper, you’ll probably upload your picture, and you might write a long story about how much that kitchen remodel set you back. Or how you wrecked your car, but it was, like, totally not your fault.
And we Prosper lenders get that. We know you need a loan; otherwise you wouldn’t have jumped through Prosper’s hoops to ask for one. But we’re looking for a little commitment from you, too.
So tell someone, already. I did it, and I managed to get a great loan at an embarrassingly low interest rate.
Here are some other folks who are doing it right:
No, we haven’t started making loans to canines. But this borrower has a $200 bid from a neighbor and fellow church-goer. Missmanhattan says “Mike is a neighbor and personal friend of mine.”
This borrower was referred to Prosper by someone who was an existing lender, and has already placed $650 in bids on the loan. By referring the borrower, Zorg (the lender) will also enjoy $50 when the borrower’s loan gets funded.
He’s already got a $50 bid from a friend, and an endorsement from his kid (probably unverified because you have to be 18 or older to get verified). And with an estimated return of 24.61%…
So give it a try. I know it’s a little weird asking friends and family for money. But when you’re only asking them for $50, and their small bid can help you get your whole loan funded, it’s easier than you think. Heck, if you invite them to Prosper, you’ll each get $25.
So what’s stopping you? Leave a comment and let me know.
Andrew is a Product Manager at Prosper.