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Prosper’s Top-Tips for Borrower Success

by Prosper on 09/16/11

Attention borrowers!  There’s a lot you can do to attract investors in the way you create, manage and promote your loan listing.  Through our six-year history and over 42,000 loans originated through its marketplace, Prosper has developed a list of guidelines to help you achieve your funding goal as quickly as possible. 

Submit information promptly.

One of the first things investors want to know is that you are a serious and conscientious borrower.  You can convey this by submitting required documents promptly in order to rapidly improve your loan listing’s Verification Stage.  The Verification Stage indicates the progress on your Prosper loan application, based on Prosper’s verification of information and documents you’ve submitted.  Verification Stage icons on your loan listing tell prospective investors how far along Prosper is in verifying your information. The higher the Verification Stage, the more attractive your listing is to investors. So by submitting required documents promptly, you can help improve the Verification Stage to get your loan application completed sooner-and your money faster.

Recruit family and friends to invest in your loan.

Investors look favorably on a loan listing that family and friends have invested in. Even if it’s just a small amount ($25 minimum), the fact that the people who know you best have helped fund your loan shows that they have confidence in you and that you have a strong social network behind you. It’s not like you’re asking family and friends for a favor. They’ll earn a tidy return on their investment as you pay your loan off.  You can also ask them to post a recommendation on Prosper.com.

Write a thorough loan purpose and description.

Include the kinds of facts and details you’d like to know about someone before lending them money.  Let investors know you’ve thought it through and have a solid plan for how you’re going to use the money and pay back the loan.  Also include any pertinent information that shows you have a good credit history and have consistently kept credit payments current. Look at other loan listings for ideas. It will help to volunteer some of the key information you’d expect on a credit application, such as a list of current debts and their interest rates, sources of income, monthly expenses, length of employment, and so forth.  You should also explain the reasons for any defaults you might have had. Remember that we work hard to protect your nonpublic personal information. You should do the same thing as you write your description (see below).

Remain anonymous: Don’t volunteer personal identity information

Do not divulge your name, phone number, email address, or home address.  Investors should know you only by your Prosper screen name. Also, don’t include information about your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, military status, source of income, immigration/residency status or plans for having a family as this type of information cannot  be considered in a credit transaction.

Avoid misteaks: Proofread what you’ve written carefully. 

Errors in grammar and spelling (like the one in the subhead above) can be a sign of carelessness and diminish investor confidence in your listing.  Your listing should be professional and businesslike. Run spell check, and look for grammatical errors. Read your listing over carefully before submission to make sure no errors have slipped through.     

If you’ve paid off a previous Prosper loan, let investors know.

Repeat Prosper borrowers are more likely to get investor funding faster.  Be sure to include in your description how many previous Prosper loans you’ve completed. 

Use social media to advertise your loan.

Prosper is, after all, “social lending.”  Promote your listing on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites.  You’ll be amazed at how your friends will rally to support you. 

Don’t request more money than you actually need.

Resist the temptation to “pad” your loan amount to generate extra cash. Your total monthly debt, including your Prosper loan payment, should not be greater than 36% of your monthly income, the generally accepted debt-to-income ratio for good borrowers.

For more tips, see How To Create A Successful Borrower Listing.  

Ready to get started? Apply for your loan now!

Prosper borrowers: Share your experience.

Do you have any tips for prospective Prosper borrowers? Please post them in the comments form below.

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