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Behind the Scenes of Prosper’s SF Headquarters

By Sarah Cain

We recently moved into our new headquarters in San Francisco’s SoMa district. Before we were able to offer a look at our new office, San Francisco Business Times beat us to the punch, naming Prosper to its annual list of the coolest offices in the Bay Area!

We still want to take a moment to show some candid shots of our new (and fast-growing!) workspace. Working with architect Gensler, our goal with the design was to create various spaces that support different work styles and encourages employees to collaborate.

The flexible workspace lets people work how they want, whether they like working with background noise or in complete silence, and each person has desks that offer the option to stand or sit.

The open space is modern, simple and clean.

Prosper has been hiring aggressively this year, with no plans to slow down on the horizon. Over the past two years, we’ve grown from just 88 employees at the beginning of 2013 to approximately 500 employees total across our San Francisco, Phoenix and Salt Lake City offices.

We encourage our employees to live healthy, active lives. The vertical bike racks offer employees who ride to work a convenient place to store their bikes or scooters.

A pool table and rooftop garden offer escapes for employees to take a break from work.

While an aesthetically-pleasing, perk-filled office does not make a great company – it’s about the culture and team and an unwavering commitment to serving customers – there’s nothing wrong with adding a bit of color once you’ve gotten a grip on those fundamentals.

 

08/17/2015 by in Featured, Prosper News

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

Prosper Reports Record First Quarter

Prosper Marketplace just closed out our first quarter and we’re very pleased to report that it was our strongest yet. In the first quarter of 2015, Prosper facilitated a record $595 million in loans through the platform, up 200% from the first quarter a year ago. We attribute this to the increasing awareness of Prosper combined with the rapid growth across the entire consumer marketplace lending industry. On the borrower side, we continue to see more people turn to us for access to three types of personal loans (debt consolidation, large purchases and business loans based on personal credit). They are attracted by the competitive rates and convenience over traditional lending. We also continue to speak with a variety of investors who want access to this asset class.

As we plan for more growth this year and beyond, our focus remains on building a business for the long term. This means focusing on quality underwriting, people and a scalable technology infrastructure. I often say that underwriting is the most important thing we do here at Prosper, and that continues to be true. Our investors have come to rely on the quality and predictability of our platform. We’re also actively working on building out our verification and customer service teams (among other parts of the business) so that we can deliver the best customer service experience in the industry.

On the borrower side, more and more Americans are turning to marketplace lending to finance their home improvement projects, elective medical procedures, special occasions (such as weddings and vacations), and to start small businesses. People are taking out personal loans not just to get their finances in order, but to make their lives happier and less stressful. One example is Cheri of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She’s a single mom who adopted two children from Haiti. After an expensive four-year adoption process, she struggled financially. With a loan through Prosper, Cheri was able to get back on track.

To help reach new types of borrowers, Prosper Marketplace announced that it acquired American Healthcare Lending in February, now Prosper Healthcare Lending. This incredible group of people, who are now Prosper Marketplace  employees, are bringing awareness of marketplace lending as a consumer-friendly financing option for medical procedures. Prosper Marketplace also partnered with a consortium of community banks through Western Independent Bankers to enable them to offer customers access to affordable consumer loans.

We are continuing to build the Prosper team and are always looking for great people. We currently have more than 30 job openings listed on our site, so if you are interested in being a part of what we are building, apply or tell a friend. We have almost 400 employees between San Francisco, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, and will continue to grow well beyond that.

We’re grateful to our loyal borrower members, investors and partners and look forward working with all of you in the future.

Aaron Vermut
CEO, Prosper Marketplace

05/21/2015 by in Borrowers, Featured, Lenders, Prosper News

Prosper Marketplace Survey Finds Cost is the Biggest Cause of Concern for Women Considering Fertility Treatments

By Cheryl Law

In February of 2015, Prosper Marketplace announced that we had acquired our first company – American Healthcare Lending (now Prosper Healthcare Lending). Since that time, we’ve learned a lot about the healthcare industry and the opportunity to bring a consumer-friendly personal loan product to people who need to finance medical procedures. As awareness of marketplace lending has grown, we’ve also heard inspiring stories from people who have used a loan through Prosper* to finance medical procedures that were either not covered by insurance or were out of reach due to high deductibles. This includes Scott, who took out a loan through Prosper to fund bariatric surgery that saved his life. He shared his emotional story with us in this video.

The stories of how our customers used a loan through Prosper to help them achieve their goals are inspiring, and we wanted to learn more about the economics of elective procedures, as well as the hurdles people are facing. We decided to start with one procedure that is becoming more commonplace than ever before: fertility treatments. More than 7.4 million women in the U.S. have had them, with 175,000 procedures in 2013 alone at an average cost of $12,400 per cycle.

Working with Market Cube, we commissioned a survey to find out more about the assisted reproduction process and what barriers women face, including how they pay for treatments and what the financial impact is given that only 15 states require coverage for infertility treatments. What we found was compelling, and underscored our belief that marketplace lending can make a positive impact on people looking to finance these types of procedures.

First and foremost, the survey told us that cost was by far the biggest cause of concern for woman considering fertility treatment. In fact, financial impact outweighed the health or emotional concerns for women when seeking treatment. Furthermore, the survey found that 84% of women have concerns about how they can finance their fertility treatment, and one-third had actually delayed treatment for financial reasons.

When it comes to insurance coverage, fewer than half of the respondents relied on health insurance to pay for treatments, and less than 30 percent used insurance as the primary payment method.

The survey also gave us insights into the types of financial burden that can come with fertility. According to the survey, more than 70 percent incurred some degree of debt from fertility treatments and nearly half of those incurred more than $10,000 in debt. Additionally, nearly 30 percent used credit cards, with close to half of those using credit cards as the primary payment method

Overwhelmingly, the survey showed us that when it comes to starting the process of fertility treatments, cost is by far the thing that concerns patients the most. We also learned that today, only 2.3 percent of those surveyed had used peer-to-peer lending as a payment method, bringing us to the conclusion that more awareness is needed about how a marketplace loan can offer an affordable way to manage the costs associated with this and other important medical procedures.

When insurance isn’t an option, loans through marketplace lenders can offer a better way to borrow money than racking up credit card bills. The process is fast and convenient, freeing up time to focus on family building instead of finances.

For a more detailed overview of the report’s findings, click here.

 

*All loans through Prosper are made by FDIC Member Banks.

05/20/2015 by in Borrowers, Featured, Prosper News, Prosper Spotlights

Improving the Investor Experience at Prosper

By Eric Thaller, VP, Investor Services

One of Prosper’s key priorities for 2015 is improving the experience for our retail investors. This group of investors has always been an important part of Prosper’s DNA, and we are committed to making changes this year that improve the products they use. This includes increasing the number of fractional loans in the pool, which is at a record number today.

The goal is to put the information investors need at their fingertips so they can easily understand the status of their Notes and more detailed information about how their portfolios are performing. Over the next several months we will be introducing a series of enhancements that focus on data analytics, account management and other investing tools.

Our first step this week was an update to the My Quick Invest Order history and Order Detail screens to improve the experience for the retail investor. The redesigned pages now give better visibility into pending orders and make it easier for investors to access and download data.

We are committed to making additional improvements for our retail investors this year. Stay tuned for more updates, and we look forward to your continued feedback and ideas.

04/03/2015 by in Featured, Lenders, Prosper News, 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.