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Prosper System Upgrade This Weekend

by Prosper on 09/8/13

In my previous updates, I have mentioned that we are working on some exciting things here at Prosper this summer. This weekend, the Prosper team worked very hard to implement some much needed improvements and updates to the borrower onboarding experience. We are happy to announce these changes are complete and live on our site. We will resume our normal loan-posting schedule Monday at 9 AM.  With this upgrade complete, we will be in a better position to bring more borrowers on to the platform and provide our lenders with a larger volume of loans to choose from.  The key changes we made are:

  • Transition to FICO 08® Scoring Model: As we mentioned in our blog on this topic that a large portion of the technical upgrade this weekend was the transition to the FICO 08® Scoring model.   Using FICO 08® in conjunction with our Prosper Rating will strengthen our credit policy by more directly aligning us with industry standards and will enable us to better meet borrower expectations with our rates and offers.
  • Improved borrower experience: We’ve recently released an optimized borrower experience on our website which will provide a smoother onboarding process for new borrowers. These changes include increased access points to customer service assistance (added an 800 number for live customer service), fewer field requirements, and a streamlined application process.

Our focus this year has been on building a foundation from which we can provide better service to borrowers and lenders along with scaling the activity on the platform in a more cost effective manner. This update was a critical part of achieving these goals. The Prosper platform will continue to evolve and grow as we understand the needs of our increasing member base.

Thank you for your patience this weekend while we worked on what turned out to be a very large implementation.  Feel free to leave any questions, comments, feedback, etc. below.

Aaron Vermut
President, Prosper Funding LLC

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15 Responses

Michael Williams | September 10th, 2013 at 7:54 am

It looks like you have eliminated the loan description field wherein the potential borrower introduces him/herself and explains how the borrowed money will be used and why she/he is a good risk. Is this gone for good? If so I may soon follow as this was always the key factor in my lending decisions.

John Parker | September 12th, 2013 at 5:39 am

I agree; I noticed this today while looking at the listings. I always avoided listings with no description of the loan purpose; I want to see why the person wants the loan and if they can put together a coherent sentence.

jjoberhaus | September 12th, 2013 at 6:35 am

Nightmare website! What a business model. The website won’t let me re-set my password, as it is in a circular cycle that won’t let me email for help without logging in and since I can’t re-set password, can’t get help! Really crappy that all emails from them are no-reply accounts and you can’t find a number or email without being logged in. Thanks for wasting my time and driving my batty for two days. I will take my biz elsewhere.

Ryan Sullivan | September 12th, 2013 at 7:44 am

I agree with Michael Williams. The “loan description” field appears to be gone on loans originating after September 10th. This was a great way to get a “feel” for the person behind the loan, and really helped the personal connection between lender and borrower that made Prosper, and micro-lending, so great.

It seems as though Prosper is transitioning to becoming a institutional-first marketplace. I would be careful about this sort of business strategy.

ProsperLoans | September 12th, 2013 at 10:04 am

Hello- We are sorry for any inconvenience. Prosper customer service contact information can be found here: http://www.prosper.com/about/contact-us/. Please call 1-866-615-6319 at your earliest convenience and one of our customer service representatives would be able to help you.

Don M | September 12th, 2013 at 11:43 am

I agree, in fact, I ended my relationship with another P2P lending platform (no new investments, let existing notes pay out) because of exactly this reason. If Prosper turns their platform into nothing more than a game of numbers, I might as well put my money into a mutual fund.

Not to mention that some of the categories are insufficient or are filled out incorrectly by the lendee. For example, if someone wants a loan for their business, how can “business loan” possibly be a sufficient description?!? Their business plan might be to purchase large amounts of beanie babies from Ebay and then resell them on Ebay. I have also seen loans categorized as “home improvement” but then the applicant goes on to describe how they will be paying off $20,000 worth of credit cards.

Bring the loan description field back or I’m outta here.

Order23 | September 12th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I too rely on the borrower description to decide whether to invest or not. I sincerely hope this is not going away. It was the best indication to me that the borrower was sincere.

Marina Peer | September 18th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

PLEASE PLEASE REVIEW AND FIX YOUR COMPUTER GLITCH FOR CHANGING PASSWORDS. I just opened my account, I was told it was fully funded but I cannot access my account. I am very, very nervous about what information you have but I cannot see what is going on. The customer service representatives are very nice, but have no idea how to fix the problem either. Just a heads up, if my loan is fully funded and I cannot access my account, I will just send the money back and close the account.

Leon | September 18th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Can your company change the time for new notes listing? At 9:00AM and 5PM pacific, it is very hard for west coast investors to buy new notes. If we work, then we can’t buy it at 9AM or 5PM pacific time. These two time are favorable for East Coast but not West Coast. Please change one of the listing either from 9AM to 8Am or 5PM to 6 PM.

Thank you.

Redog | September 19th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Can you guys at Prosper please answer if the loan descriptions are coming back, or gone forever?
I find them very helpful as well. It seems more and more data is being removed from the lender side…and that’s not a good thing.

ProsperLoans | September 20th, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Hello everyone – We greatly appreciate your feedback and will take all your recommendations into consideration. This change is something we are measuring for now and we are exploring all options. Read more on why we made this change here: http://blog.prosper.com/2013/09/20/addressing-the-removal-of-the-loan-description-loan-details-fields/

Rob | September 24th, 2013 at 10:04 am

Great System Upgrade Prosper! I have been trying to create a listing for two weeks with no success. Customer service keeps telling me they will escalate my issue with the IT department but still no solution as of today. Lots of other folks are creating listings every day so why can’t somebody look at my account and figure out what is stopping the listing from going thru? It can’t be that complicated! I came to Prosper because the banks are so slow…

Matthew Smith | September 26th, 2013 at 10:11 am

I agree on keeping the description field, just my two cents. Not only should it still be allowed, but to show respect to (retail) lenders I think it should be required. If filling out an online personals ad requires a 100 character description, why shouldn’t requesting $35,000 for “Other”?

Obviously the institutional investors (or should I say their API robots) don’t have time to read it, but us individual investors do. As one lender put it – it simply shows us whether or not the borrower can put together a coherent sentence. I understand P2P is flush with institutional investors right now so it’s easy to discount our needs, but tread carefully… all these new institutional investors have yet to see what the true risk/return is over time, and may abandon things just as quickly, requiring you to depend more heavily on us retail investors once again to fund all this demand your working on driving in.

Matthew Smith | September 26th, 2013 at 10:24 am

Brad, as a fellow retail investor like yourself who invests heavily at both the two major players, I’d suggest exercising caution with the other. It is very disappointing to see respect being lost for the smaller investors, but I feel LC is especially disrespectful and more interested in finding ways to collect fees for themselves or increase loan volume than they are in their investors’ returns. Prosper seems much more investor friendly in that regard, and my overall return is a few percentage points higher here using a similar investing style, despite a much higher default rate.

Yes, LC has the description field (for now), but almost no one uses it. They don’t require it, and practically discourage it by automatically filtering any loan requests with “sensitive” words in the description. Many borrowers comment about this when they re-list a loan.

I imagine there are a ton of compliance concerns with what kinds of information a borrower can provide a lender (and technically, the platform is the lender who is liable… you’re just an investor in a note issued on the faith of the platform).

Anyhow, business is business, and let’s face it – Prosper has to watch their backs before they watch ours. Let’s hope they find ways to stay investor friendly… to me, that’s their competitive advantage over LC from “this side” of the business model.

David Ramirez | September 30th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I’ve been inquiring about the Folio trading platform some time now and I would like to know when the platform will finally be back up and running. This has been an ongoing issue for me since I opened my account…in JANUARY. Please provide some feedback as to what the exact issues are and how you will be resolving them.

posted in Borrowers,Featured,Lenders,Prosper News 15 comments »

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Notice: Blogs and other materials posted on or linked from this page that use the name "Prosper" generally use that name to refer to Prosper Marketplace, Inc. if published before January 31, 2013 and to refer to Prosper Funding LLC if published on or after February 1, 2013.