Prosper Loans Review: Peer-to-Peer Marketplace for Borrowers & Investors

Prosper Review

Prosper is a company which provides peer-to-peer lending, connecting borrowers to lenders in an online marketplace for loans.

Prosper was founded in 2005. At the time, it was the very first lending marketplace of a peer-to-peer nature within the United States. Prosper has facilitated loans for more than 890,000 people, amounting to over $14 billion. Prosper has extended over 1 million loans. At the time of writing, there were 4,428 loans extended in the last week alone.

Prosper has some core beliefs, including that accountability across all levels will drive results. The company also believes that collaboration leads to better solutions and excellence results in longevity. Prosper also feels that diversity fuels innovation, simplicity guides the user experience, and integrity defines its relationships.

Multiple leading investors support the Prosper Marketplace. These include Credit Suisse NEXT Fund, Francisco Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Institutional Venture Partners.

Prosper has two locations. In San Francisco, California, it is located at 221 Main Street, #300. The other location is in Phoenix, Arizona, at 4127 E. Van Buren St, #100. The locations share a phone number of (866) 615-6319.

Prosper for Borrowers | Prosper for Lenders

How Does Prosper Work?

Prosper makes it possible for people to invest in each other for financial and social rewards. Institutions and individuals can invest via loans to get attractive returns. Borrowers can apply online to get a loan, ranging from $2,000 to $40,000 with a fixed rate and fixed term. Prosper matches investors and borrowers and takes care of loan servicing.

Apply for a Loan

Are Prosper Loans Customized?

To ensure that all users get the best possible service from Prosper and other users, the platform customizes loans. Loans are tailored to meet your specific needs. This allows loans to be used for settling a big expense, consolidating debt, or something else.

When you choose to borrow with Prosper, you will get an attractive low rate. That rate will be fixed and never increase. This way, there are no surprises in terms of your rate in the future. You can also check the rate you would get online. This process is instant and does not affect your credit score.

Do You Need to Own Property to Get a Prosper Loan?

The loans you get with Prosper are unsecured. As such, there is no need to be a homeowner in order to get these loans. This is a highly convenient feature that can make a significant difference for those in need of a loan.

The main requirement of getting a loan from Prosper is to be a resident in a U.S. state that Prosper works in. You must also have a social security number and bank account. You must also have a stated income higher than $0 and a debt-to-income ratio under 50 percent. There must not be any bankruptcies within the past 12 months. You must have at least three open trades on your credit report. You must have less than five credit inquiries in the past six months.

Why Might Your Loan Application Be Denied?

There are several potential reasons that a loan application with Prosper will be denied. The most common will be due to your credit score or the content of your credit report. In this case, you will receive a notice of adverse action that lets you know the specific reason for denial.

There are also certain eligibility requirements, including being at least 18 years old. You also cannot apply within 120 days of a prior denial.

Prosper Loans

Can You Apply for an Additional Loan With Prosper?

Yes, you can apply for more than one loan with Prosper, but with a few caveats. You must wait at least nine months before applying for another loan. Additionally, the total loan limit is $40,000, including the new loan and the balance of the first loan.

There are also some requirements regarding your first loan if you apply for a second. The first loan must be in good standing. You cannot have late payments within the past 60 days. There must not be any payment later than 15 days late within the past year. You cannot have more than two payments returned in the past three years.

How Do You Get a Loan With Prosper?

Getting a loan with Prosper is fairly straightforward. You start by entering the amount that you want to borrow. Then, you answer some basic questions such as the purpose of the loan. There are suggestions like big purchases, special occasions, loan consolidation, medical/dental, home improvement, taxes, baby and adoption, and business. Or you can click other. Then you enter some personal information, like your name and address. You will then get the lowest rates you are eligible for instantly.

Prosper will then automatically check your loan offers. These are displayed, along with the maximum loan amount that you are approved for. For each loan, you will see the total amount, the loan period, the interest, and the APR. Prosper labels which loan offers have the lowest monthly payment as well as the lowest overall interest paid.

Choose the loan that you prefer from the offerings. The money will then go to your bank account, getting there via a direct deposit. This should take one to three business days. At this point, you are ready to put your loan to good use.

Alternatively, you can apply for a Prosper loan over the phone.

Can You Edit Your Loan Terms With Prosper?

Keep in mind that once you accept loan terms with Prosper, these cannot be changed. If you need to change the terms, you will have to cancel the original loan. Do this before origination. Then, submit a new loan request.

About Loans

What Is the Live Loans Center?

To help users find the best loans and get an overview, Prosper has a Live Loans Center. There are figures for the all-time amount borrowed and loans in the past week. These are $14 billion and 4,428, respectively, at the time of writing. You then see a map with the location of loans. Each has an amount, a city and state, and the purpose of the loan.

Random loans on the map will pop up with details. Or you can move the map around and click on a particular loan to see more information. This lets you see the range of available loans before you get started.

What Types of Loans Does Prosper Offer?

There is a long list of loan types available via Prosper, each with their own details. These include debt consolidation, home improvement, short term and bridge, auto/vehicle, and small business loans. There are also baby and adoption, green, special occasion, and military loans plus engagement ring financing. In the very near future, Prosper will also be offering HELOCs.

Keep in mind that you cannot use loan proceeds from Prosper to pay for post-secondary educational expenses. This is because certain Prosper rules do not meet federal law requirements for educational loans.

Debt Consolidation Loans

A Prosper debt consolidation loan is a good way to consolidate high-interest loans to take advantage of a better rate. This can reduce the interest that you pay on your loan on a monthly basis, even if you do not decrease the principal amount.

Prosper suggests a debt consolidation loan as a good option for those who have credit card debt and just make minimum payments. Debt consolidation loans can also improve your credit score.

Home Improvement Loans

Prosper also offers loans and financing for home improvement. The company encourages homeowners to consider making improvements to their current residence instead of finding a new property to move into. The loan or financing can be used for repairs, remodeling, adding appliances and furniture, installing a deck, and more.

A home improvement loan and financing from Prosper is an alternative to home equity loans. Traditionally, those looking for funds for home improvement would opt for home equity loans. The problem is that those require inspections and fees the size of mortgages. That makes them inefficient and costly. It also makes your loan eligibility dependent on property value. You can also use these home improvement loans as an alternative to using your credit card for the repairs.

Loan Types

Short-term Loans

Short-term loans from Prosper are those that you will pay back within three or five years. These make more sense than long-term loans for those who are dealing with smaller loan amounts. Like other Prosper loans, there are no penalties for pre-payment. The rates available for short-term loans via Prosper are highly competitive. This is particularly true when compared to something like a payday loan.

Auto Loans

Prosper also offers both loans and financing options for autos. This is an option for those buying a new or a used vehicle. With a Prosper loan, you will not have to worry about limitations to age or type of vehicle. Other lenders may place those limitations. However, Prosper loans can cover a range of vehicles. They can even be used to refinance your current auto loan.

Small Business Loans

Prosper can also help users get a personal loan that they can use to enhance their small business. These are unlike traditional loans for small businesses. Instead of focusing on the business, these are dependent on you as the individual. The option of getting a personal loan to use for your business is ideal if your business is still new.

Adoption and Baby Loans

In addition to the traditional categories of loans, Prosper offers those for adoptions as well as new baby expenses. This is very useful as babies are incredibly costly, and the cost of raising a kid keeps increasing. In addition to normal baby costs, the process of going through adoption can be even more expensive. The ability to get a loan specifically for this can make your dream of adopting a reality.

Engagement Ring Financing

The team at Prosper wants users to be able to get loans for all of life’s major expenses, including buying an engagement ring for your significant other. Since engagement rings can be very expensive, Prosper can help you get an affordable loan. This may reduce fees by half in comparison with traditional financing options for engagement rings.

Special Occasion Loans

For true flexibility, Prosper even offers the ability to take out a loan for a special occasion or vacation. Examples of special occasions include milestone birthdays, retirements, graduation, and weddings. A special occasion loan can have much lower rates than you would get with a credit card. This lets you focus on the occasion without worrying about how long the cost will affect your finances.

Green Loans

One of the more unique loan types from Prosper is the green loan. These are loans that help you complete a sustainable project to reduce your impact on the planet. Examples would be things like installing a water preservation system or solar panels to your home. Going green typically pays off over time, but it has a high up-front cost. A loan from Prosper lets you handle that up-front cost and pay it off as you take advantage of the green savings.

Military Loans

Prosper also offers military loans. This is a convenient solution for those who are in the military and need a personal loan. There is no requirement to visit a specific location as this is extremely challenging for those in the military. Since Prosper does everything online, you can get a military loan no matter where you are stationed. You can also check the status of the loan in the same way. The military loan can be used for nearly anything, such as home improvements, PCS and family moving expenses, new appliances and furniture, gifts, and vacations.

HELOCs

HELOCs are not yet available at the time of writing. Prosper will be offering HELOCs by the end of the year. The Home Equity Line of Credit has a low rate. This is a revolving credit line that is secured by your home. It works in a similar manner to a credit card, offering financial control. At the moment, you can sign up for the loan, and Prosper will notify you when HELOCs are available in your area. You just need to submit your email address and state; there are no obligations.

Once available, Prosper HELOCs will offer a significant improvement over traditional HELOCs. The typical ones are complex, manual, and cumbersome. You typically have to wait one to three days to even see an offer. Then you must wait for another six to eight weeks until you can close the HELOC. In contrast, the Prosper HELOCs will be simple, digital, and streamlined. You get an instant offer online and then get the HELOC in just half the time.

What Is Prosper Healthcare Lending?

Prosper Healthcare Lending (PHL) is a subsidiary of Prosper. It specializes in loans for those who need to finance medical procedures. You can apply for these loans via the specific website for Prosper Healthcare Lending. The application process is essentially identical to that of any other loan with Prosper.

How Can You Check Your Prosper Loan Status?

After your loan application, you can view the status in your Account Overview. This will include information like the percentage of funds investors have committed. It will also indicate if you must submit documents for verification.

To view the current loan details, log in to your account. Then go to the navigation drop-down and choose Borrowing. You can see all the relevant information. If you click the loan title, you can view the outstanding balance.

How Can You Submit Documents to Prosper?

If you need to submit documents to Prosper, there are two options. The simplest method is to log in to your account and use the document upload tool. Alternatively, you can email the documents in an attachment. This would be sent to the approval address in the case of loan requests. For investments and payments, you should send the documents to the support address.

What Should You Know about Paying Your Loan?

The payment setup for Prosper is designed to appeal to borrowers. You will pay off the loan using fixed terms of three or five years. There is just a single monthly payment, allowing for budget-friendliness and convenience.

It is possible to change the monthly due date of your loan payment in the majority of situations. You can do this by calling Prosper.

You cannot get an extension on a monthly payment in case of an emergency.

Are There Pre-payment Penalties With Prosper?

One of the features of Prosper that sets it apart from the competition is the fact that there are no penalties if you make a pre-payment.

This is a very attractive benefit as most lending companies charge penalties for loan pre-payment. You can also make a partial pre-payment without any penalty of any sort.

Live Loans

Prosper Loans Fees

There are origination fees that are also known as prepaid finance charges. These are non-refundable and a one-time fee. This is automatically deducted from the proceeds of the loan before the money gets transferred. It pays for the processing of your loan.

Because the origination fee is automatically subtracted from the amount you receive for your loan, plan accordingly. If you need a specific amount, ask for that amount plus the origination fee. The origination fee is a percentage of your borrowed amount.

Depending on the Prosper rating, it will be between 2.4 percent and 5 percent. The APR already accounts for the origination fee.

Prosper also charges check processing fees if you pay via check. The fee is $5 or 5 percent of the payment, whichever is less. You are responsible for including this fee in the amount you send by check. If you do not include the fee in the check, that amount is subtracted from your payment.

Prosper additionally charges late fees for late payments. When paying by check, the date applied is the date of receipt. So be sure to send your check on time to avoid fees. Late fees are 5 percent of the monthly payment that was unpaid or $15, whichever is higher. The late fees apply if you did not pay 15 calendar days following the due date.

Insufficient funds fees will apply if your payment fails due to insufficient funds or an inability to access the account. The fee is $15 per failed or returned payment.

Check processing, late, and insufficient fund fees can affect your loan’s lifetime interest. The amounts in these fees do not count as payment towards your principal. That leads to a higher principal and increases to total interest paid over time.

How Do You Pay for Your Prosper Loan?

The most common method of paying for loans from Prosper is via AutoPay, which is recommended. This will automatically deduct the monthly payments from your linked bank account. This option lets you avoid late fees. You can change from AutoPay to another payment method within three business days before the due date.

You can also pay by check, but it is discouraged. There is the check fee mentioned above. Additionally, the date of payment is when Prosper receives the check, not when you send it. If you do pay by check, include your loan ID in the check’s memo section. In the case of third-party checks, you must also include the name of the loan holder.

There is also the option of paying by phone. If you go this route, you must do so during business hours. You will need to have your routing and bank account number ready. Or you can pay online via a one-time payment. Both the phone and one-time online payments occur via the clearinghouse network.

Do Prosper Loans Impact Your Credit Score?

Prosper reports every loan payment to TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax every month. As such, your payment history will appear and affect your credit report.

Click to View Prosper for Borrowers


Investing With Prosper

When you choose to invest with Prosper, you have another way to diversify your portfolio. You do this by investing in personal loans in addition to traditional bonds and stocks. The average historical returns with Prosper have been 5.3 percent, a rate appealing to more investors.

You will find it easy to create a diverse portfolio of Prosper investments. There is just a minimum investment of $25 per loan, making this diversification easy. It is also possible to invest with Prosper using your IRA. Account types include Institutional, Taxable, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Traditional IRA, 401k Rollover, and Trust.

Invest with Prosper

For those who are concerned about the returns with Prosper investments, consider a few key figures from Prosper. 83.55 of the active investors have received returns meeting or exceeding their expectations.

The average FICO score of borrowers on Prosper is 710, compared to an average of 695 across the country. This indicates that borrowers tend to be credit-worthy, increasing the chances of timely payments. Additionally, Prosper borrowers have average annual incomes of $108,514.

By comparison, the U.S. average is $72,641. This further indicates an ability to pay loans.

Click to View Prosper for Lenders

How Do You Invest With Prosper?

If you decide to invest with Prosper, you will get returns by investing in the personal loans that borrowers apply for. Start by browsing loans of borrowers who are credit-worthy. You can browse by factors like rating, term, and FICO score. This lets you minimize the risk associated with your lending.

Once you find a loan that you want to invest in, you can go ahead and do so. You can have as much control as you want by choosing individual loans to invest in. If you do not have the time for that, you can also use the Auto Invest tool. This tool asks you to select your criteria. Based on that, the tool will create a target portfolio with minimal effort on your part.

Once you set up the loan, you will receive your monthly returns as direct deposits right into your account. This is a great way to earn extra income with no effort past the initial set-up.

There is no maximum quantity of a loan that you can buy. That being said, you can only invest up to 10 percent of your net worth. Additionally, you can only invest up to 10 percent of the loan within the first 24 hours following its listing.

How it Works

What Fees Do Investors Pay Prosper?

At the moment, Prosper charges investors an annual loan servicing fee. This is currently 1 percent and applies to the outstanding principal balance of the borrower loan. That is before applying the current payment. This fee accrues daily.

If a borrower’s loan is past due, Prosper may assist with the collection. This can be done by Prosper or a third-party. In either situation, you pay the collection agency a portion of the payments they collect. This will be based on the predetermined fee schedule and only applies to recovered funds.

What Else Should You Know About Auto Invest?

As mentioned, Auto Invest will automatically invest your available funds. It completes the investments based on your chosen parameters. You can choose criteria like the target allocation.

At any point, you can review, pause, restart, or adjust your Auto Invest. However, you cannot cancel an order made by Auto Invest. There are no additional fees with using Auto Invest, nor is there is an account minimum. It is possible to place manual orders even if Auto Invest is active.

Auto Invest may invest your funds slowly or quickly. The rate of investment depends on demand from Prosper investors, availability of listings meeting your requirements, and your cash balance.

Auto Invest will prioritize the accounts that have higher cash percentages, placing those orders first. Customization and account size do not impact prioritization.

What You Should Know

What Types of Historical Returns Does Prosper Have for Investors?

Prosper divides loans into categories based on risk. AA loans have lower risk levels along with lower returns. HR loans have a higher risk with corresponding higher returns.

The historical returns from Prosper’s AA to B loans are between 3.7 percent and 6.2 percent. The historical returns for C to HR loans are between 3.3 percent and 9 percent. The historical returns for all ratings on the platform are 3.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

Can You Browse Loans on Prosper Without Registering?

If you are still unsure whether you want to be an investor on Prosper, you can check out its loans. There is no registration required to browse the listings. You can browse all of the loan listings or use filters. Filters include rating and term if you are not logged in, with more available.

You can also create your own custom filter, so you do not have to waste time doing so again in the future. There is also the ability to choose as many as 10 individual listings that you make a one-time investment order on. Or you can set up a recurring investment order that will automatically invest for you based on your loan criteria.

For each of the loan listings, you see the most important information. These include the rating, listing ID, loan category, amount, yield, percent funded, and time left.

Loan Listings

Click on any loans listed to get more details. This will show you the state of the borrower, the borrower’s rate, the monthly payment, and the initial status. It will also include the verification stage and investor serving fee. All of that information is on the left of the screen.

In the center of the screen, you will see the amount, years, and yield. Below, there is the percent funded and the dollar amount left. Immediately below this, you can see the listing start and expiration dates. There is also a note about loans funding at a certain level.

On the right, you will see the amount that you can invest, between $25 and the remaining amount. Above this, you will see the historical return. Below it, you see your available balance. Scrolling down will show you the credit profile of the borrower if you are logged in.

Does Prosper Have a Help Center?

Prosper offers a detailed help center where current and potential clients can find answers to the most common questions. There are a total of 64 articles for borrowers and 119 articles for investors. Those articles answer the most commonly asked questions for each group. Instead of browsing the topics, you can also use the search function on the help page. The help center also has the relevant information for contacting Prosper. This is useful for when you cannot find the answer to your question.

How Do You Contact Prosper?

You can find information for contacting Prosper at the bottom of the Help Center page. Or you can find a link to the Contact Us page at the bottom of the website.

There are specific, separate phone numbers for borrower and investor services. Borrower services are available by phone on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. Investor services are available via phone weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Or you can email Prosper. There is also the option to enter a survey to provide feedback.

You will also notice the office location for Prosper Funding LLC. This is the San Francisco address at 221 Main Street, Suite 300. You will find the address to send loan payments to. This is a P.O. Box in San Francisco. If you are sending a loan payment to the address, ensure you include your loan number.

The Contact Us page also has a specific email for reporting any security concerns. This can be used for reporting cybersecurity incidents and security vulnerabilities.

The Prosper Platform

Does Prosper Have Tools for Developers?

Prosper offers Investor APIs for third-party agents and individual and institutional investors. The Investor APIs allow for quick locating, searching for, filtering through, and bidding on loan investments. There are also Prosper Borrower Services that let approved partners give personalized loan offers on their mobile apps or website. In this case, you will host the flow of loan applications and collect the data before passing it to Prosper. Prosper then delivers real-time decisions.

You can find a range of developer documentation, including API reference materials and materials for security and introductions. There is also developer support available.

Conclusion

Prosper is a website that facilitates peer-to-peer loans. It has been around since 2005 and facilitated loans totaling over $14 billion.

Borrowers can get loans of up to $40,000 in a range of categories. Lenders can enjoy excellent returns, the ability to filter potential loans, and convenience.

The website is easy to use and has helpful customer service.

Prosper is in competition with other loan marketplaces, like Lending Club, which at the moment has over twice the amount of loans available to invest in. However, Prosper has created a very good platform which is growing rapidly.

It’s easy to use for both investors and lenders and the rates for each side of the equation are fair. As an investor you will get better returns here than other options like savings accounts and fixed rate bonds.

We would recommend dipping your toes in as part of a diversification plan for the fixed income part of your portfolio.

Prosper for Borrowers | Prosper for Lenders

Prosper

8.8

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Fees

8.0/10

Reputation

9.0/10

Customer Support

9.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Lower Fees Than Banks for Borrowers
  • Good Returns for Lenders
  • Detailed Borrower Profiles
  • No Payoff Early Penalties

Cons

  • Loan Terms Set Length
  • Smaller Pool of Loans Available
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Oliver Dale is Editor-in-Chief of MoneyCheck and founder of Kooc Media Ltd, A UK-Based Online Publishing company. A Technology Entrepreneur with over 15 years of professional experience in Investing and UK Business. He built Money Check to bring the highest level of education about personal finance to the general public with clear and unbiased reporting.


oliver@moneycheck.com
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Content on Moneycheck.com is provided for general informational purposes, and shouldn't be seen as an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The opinions expressed on this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. All our articles fact-checked by a relevant professional with expertise in that area of finance and we regularly update guides as necessary.

1 comment

  1. Prosper has changed their protocol when lending funds. I have very good credit with credit score above 700 but was denied that I had competitor loans with Lending Club. Prosper has yet to reply to my letters and phone calls seeking an answer.

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