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Prosper Increases Allocation to Fractional Pool

Posted by Eric Thaller

To improve the investing experience for Prosper’s community, Prosper recently made a change to its platform. Prosper started increasing the allocation of loans to the fractional pool over the last week, so that retail investors can invest more in the fractional pool faster and easier.

Prosper’s CEO, Aaron Vermut, alluded to this change earlier this year, and Prosper is pleased to say that by the end of 2015 the retail investor experience should improve even further. Prosper’s goal is to ultimately have an equal allocation of loans between the fractional and whole loan pool. Prosper plans to continue increasing the allocation of loans to the fractional pool in the future, assuming there continues to be demand from retail investors for investing in the categories of loans available on Prosper’s platform.

Prosper is excited to roll out this change to its community, and Prosper is confident it will further build upon the investing experience with Prosper.

07/30/2015 by in Featured, Lenders

Couple’s Dream of Parenthood Comes Within Reach

Posted by Sarah Cain

Houston couple Carolina and Alex struggled with getting pregnant. Like one in eight couples in the U.S. that deal with infertility, they learned that their best chance of starting a family would be through in vitro fertilization treatment. The news improved their spirits, until they saw the price tag.

The average cost for an IVF cycle is $12,400, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, an amount that was beyond their means. Carolina and Alex decided to look into affordable options to pay for the procedure, a process that led them to Prosper. After taking out a loan through Prosper, they were able to pay for the complex and costly procedure, as well as for the necessary medications and diet supplements. “As of now, we don’t know if we will have a baby, but we’d like to say, ‘Thank you, Prosper, for giving us hope,’” Alex says.

A recent study by Prosper Marketplace found that cost is by far the most significant concern for women undergoing infertility treatments, even outweighing the health or emotional aspects. In fact, nearly half of respondents have incurred more than $10,000 in debt, and in the majority of cases insurance covered less than 50 percent of the total cost of fertility treatments. With three and five year loans that are fixed term, fixed rate and competitively priced, Prosper offers many people access to a smart and affordable option for financing fertility treatments or other medical expenses.

Note: This post is based on a video submitted to Prosper’s $2 Billion Strong Contest. To see more videos, visit Prosper’s Facebook page.

All loans through Prosper are made by FDIC-member banks.

07/24/2015 by in Borrowers, Featured

Prosper Introduces Debt Sale Program

By Eric Thaller

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the investor experience on the Prosper platform, we are making changes to the way we deal with charged-off loans.  On July 17th, Prosper introduced a debt sale recovery strategy aimed at delivering an increased level of return for investors in a more timely manner. Under the new debt sale program, which is common practice in our industry, charged-off loans during the month will be packaged together for a debt sale the following month.

This new debt sale strategy offers significant benefits to our investors. First, charged-off loans will be lumped together and sold to a single debt buyer on a monthly basis, delivering a return to investors on a significantly reduced timeline.  Second, the current market for debt sales is at historically high levels – we have negotiated a debt sale rate that will deliver a meaningfully higher net recovery amount than is currently being realized by the collections agency.

Previously, charged-off loans were placed at a recovery agency that conducted third party collection efforts on behalf of Prosper.  Post charge-off recovery efforts are highly reliant on lump sum settlements (settlement for a lesser balance), long-term repayment arrangements (reduced low monthly payments) and other long-term settlement strategies, which can extend beyond a 12-18 month period.

Notes corresponding to loans that have been sold will have “sold” listed next to them in investors’ accounts. Investors will be able to see proceeds related to a debt sale on their monthly statement, as well as in the “account transactions” section, which is located in the history section of the online account.

We are committed to making ongoing changes that improve the experience for our customers. If you are a Prosper investor, and have any questions about this change, you can contact us at investorteam@prosper.com or by phone at 877-611-8797.

07/21/2015 by in Featured, Lenders, Prosper News

Oregon Woman Brings Small Town Together with Cafe-Flower Shop

Posted by Bill Walker

Last year Cynthia Hickman wanted to open a cafe and a flower shop in the small town of Silverton in northwest Oregon. The town is famous for a dog named “Bobbie, the Wonder Dog” that reportedly walked 2,550 miles back to its home after being lost on a family car trip in Indiana in 1923. Silverton has a population of about 9,000, with romantic views of Silver Creek — a perfect place for Cynthia to create a community around good food and beauty.

In order to realize her dream and move forward with her business, Cynthia needed funding. She heard about Prosper from a friend on Facebook and decided to apply for a loan. Within a few days, Cynthia had the $7,500 she needed to open Main St. Bistro & Coffee and Branches and Bloom. Since opening, they are “quickly becoming the heart of this community,” she says. Customers, some of whom come by daily, say the employees and other regulars are like family.

In the cafe, visitors find a place to order hearty breakfasts, enjoy a warm cup of coffee or play chess. Thursdays at noon, members of church groups hold their weekly meetings there. With brick walls, couches and communal tables, the cafe has a warm, inviting atmosphere that’s comfortable and feels like home. The adjacent flower shop is filled with lush flowers and plants, sweet floral smells mingling with the aroma of coffee.

Cynthia is grateful that Prosper enabled her to fulfill her ambitious dream of simultaneously opening two businesses, and thankful to friends who helped her build and open them. “There’s no way I could do that [start two businesses] without the loan, says Cynthia. “And then the community came together to help me!”

A year and a half after opening, Cynthia has six employees and business is booming. For Cynthia and many small business owners, marketplace lending is an easy and quick way to get access to a personal loan to start and grow a business, and in Cynthia’s case, create a place where customers want to come to every day. Even Bobbie the Wonder Dog would approve.

Note: This post is based on a video submitted to our $2 Billion Strong Contest. To see more videos, visit our Facebook page.

07/15/2015 by in Borrowers, Featured

Prosper Opens for Business to Investors in Indiana

Posted By Eric Thaller

Today we announced that the Prosper platform is now available to investors in Indiana. With the addition of Indiana, Prosper is now open to investors in 32 states and the District of Columbia. We appreciate the work of the state regulators to bring this investment opportunity to its residents.

As one of the only platforms open to unaccredited individual investors in the U.S., Prosper offers a great way for individuals to diversify an investment portfolio with an asset class that provides attractive returns.

Indiana residents can open a traditional investment account or a Prosper retirement account, which offers certain tax advantages. We suggest a minimum investment of $2,500 in order to properly diversify across at least 100 notes.

For borrowers, marketplace lending offers access to competitively priced loans that have fixed terms, transparent fees and no prepayment penalty. Borrowers come to Prosper to consolidate high-interest debt or fund large purchases such as home improvement projects, medical expenses, or weddings and other special occasions.

The news about Indiana follows our announcement last week of another record quarter that has pushed us above $4 billion in loan originations through the platform since it launched in 2006. We just closed out our largest quarter ever — $912 million in loans originations through the platform, a staggering increase of 1166% in two years.

We’re thrilled to welcome Indiana investors to the platform and to be able to offer more people a better way to borrow and invest. We look forward to working with more states in the future.

07/13/2015 by in Featured, Lenders, Prosper Spotlights


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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.