Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Prosper is Now Easier To Use: Advanced Search Feature Introduced, New Loan Limits and Other Comments

Prosper has made major strides in improving its site. I discuss some of the improvements and provide recommendations on how Prosper can further improve the lending experience.

New advanced search options are now available. The advanced search includes ability/option for:

(1) Search by specific credit rating grade(s) and minimum interest rates you're willing to accept on loaned money.

(2) Setting lower and upper search values for debt-to-income ratios.

(3) Search by specific loan amounts For example, a search for loans greater than $1,000 but less than $10,001 (or other amounts) can be done.

(4) Search for only those loans that you've bid on.

(5) Setting lower and upper search boundaries for:
(a) no. of accounts now delinquent
(b) no. of delinquencies in last 7 yrs
(c) no. of public records in last 10 years
(d) no. of credit lines
(e) no. of credit inquiries in last 6 months
(f) credit history length

Don't want to fool w/ advanced search? Then you can now use the preset popular search tabs that include: loans ending soon, high-to-low interest rates, fully funded loans, high-to-low credit grades.

All of these advanced search options can also be applied to the creation of standing orders where Prosper will automatically bid for you.

Want better risk vs. reward options? Prosper has increased the interest rate caps. About 25% of the states now permit interest rates as high as 29%. Exact info can be found here.

Not sure how to manage your loan portfolio? Check out some of Prosper's webinars.

I think that has plenty of room for improvements:
(1) Add IRA account option. They already have an agreement with Wells Fargo, just extend it to include IRAs.

(2) Display lending groups current default rate on all loans sponsored. Default rate (%) = (number of loans in default/total no. loans sponsored)*100
- This way, lenders can better judge the quality of the vetting done by sponsoring groups.

(3) Display lending groups current percentage of loans that are > 15, 30, 60 days late in payment.

(4) ... More to follow... Getting back to bidding on some loans and watching some baseball.

Disclaimer: I'm not an employee of Prosper. Lending or borrowing on the Prosper site is at your own risk.


Tiredbuthappy said...

Thanks for this post. Quite useful, since I've procrastinated looking at the changes for myself. I'm especially excited that you can now jump right to loans closing soon. I hate putting in standing order bids and finding that the loans don't close for 6 days. It's waaaay too long for my money to be sitting around not earning interest.

Which brings me to the one single thing I really wish Prosper could change. I wish my money was earning even a low 1% interest rate while it was not loaned out to other people. It takes so long for funds to transfer that it really makes a dent in what kind of return you can get using the site.

Finance Junkie said...

Claire: I agree! I think prosper can afford to do this.

I might be day-dreaming though to think that they would offer paypal level interest rates.

I think they are not offering the interest because it might encourage users to quickly put their money to work.

Of course, the draw back is that some people will say no-way to letting their money sitting a week or more without collecting interest.