Peer-to-peer lending is an exciting option to have that didn’t exist online until relatively recently. It’s grown into a multibillion dollar industry over the last few years, and it’s a great way to borrow money when traditional lenders aren’t interested in making loans.
What are your financial goals? Are you trying to start your own company? Are you trying to build your own website online? You need money to fund these exciting projects. But a regular bank might not be willing to provide financing.
Peer-to-peer lending, on the other hand, is the perfect place to go to get a loan from your peers. You’ll get a loan from people willing to share their wealth in order to help you create your vision and finally bring it to life.
On the other hand, you may be looking to invest your hard earned money into worthwhile areas. Peer-to-peer lending is a wonderful option because it provides an opportunity to fund small businesses, exciting services, and more on a micro level. Instead of investing thousands of dollars into a single company, you can invest $50 into hundreds of companies if that’s what you desire.
As you can imagine, some peer-to-peer lending sites are better than others. We’ll share the best P2P sites online with you below. So keep reading to discover the best of the bunch.
Our Top Picks
First off, we’d like to mention Lending Club, because as of this writing they are considered the top P2P lending site operating online.
Why? Well, they’ve loaned more than $35 billion at this point, which means they are effectively reaching the people that need their services the most. This is a good thing from both perspectives whether you’re a buyer or an investor. It means you can lend money to the right people for the right causes, or you can borrow money from the right people to create your vision and get it up and running in off the ground.
The other interesting thing about Lending Club is it’s now publicly traded. In fact, it is the first publicly traded P2P lending company ever. So they have the unique distinction of providing investors another way to fund the company. If you choose to invest in their stock, you can purchase shares of the company and watch your money grow along with Lending Club itself.
For those looking for personal loans, they can borrow as much as $40,000. Business loans, on the other hand, are even much greater. They are willing to loan as much as $300,000 to your business as long as you qualify. The terms of the loans last from 1 to 5 years and they are available at fixed interest rates.
As an investor, you can get started with as little as $1000 on their website. You can pick and choose loans individually or automate the process. It’s up to you and your particular investing style.
The interesting thing about Upstart is they focus much more on other key factors to determine your credit worthiness when you join the site in an effort to borrow money. Sure, they will look at your credit score and that is one factor in their evaluation. But they take other things into account like your job history, your education, the area of study you focused on in school, and more before making their final decision.
If you do intend to borrow money from this website, they are willing to lend you up to $50,000. And if you qualify, depending on where you fit according to their credit worthiness standards, you could pay as little as 4.73% interest and as much as 35.99% interest. It all depends on their evaluation and how you fit in.
They provide loans by offering 3 to 5 year terms. But if you pay it off faster, you will not have to suffer any type of penalty.
As an investor, your options are ideal because they even provide you with a chance to set up an IRA on their website. Very few peer-to-peer lending sites offer this perk, so it’s definitely an added bonus.
On average, an individual attempting to borrow money on their site typically makes $83,000 a year. Obviously this is a very good salary so your chances of getting paid back are tremendous. This makes lending on Upstart a great potential way to earn a positive ROI on your investments.
This website is the originator of the entire P2P lending genre. Yes, they first opened up their virtual doors in 2005 and created what ultimately turned out to be a multibillion dollar industry. In the course of doing business, this website has loaned more than $13 billion to thousands of people in need of a loan.
For borrowers, Prosper is excellent because you can learn the interest rate you’d have to pay on a loan very easily. Plus, it’s not going to have a negative impact on your credit score whatsoever. So you’ll find out exactly how much you’ll need to pay without hurting your credit even further.
If you do take out a loan from Prosper, the length of the loan typically lasts between 3 to 5 years. All of their loans are fixed rate loans, so you’ll know your interest rate for the duration of the loan and it is never going to change or fluctuate. Also, if you decide to prepay the loan faster than your 3 to 5 year term, you can successfully do so without suffering any type of penalty whatsoever.
Borrowers have to pay origination fees for small business loans. These fees vary depending on the length of the loan, but run in the neighborhood of 2.41% to 5%.
Finally, investors will like this site because they categorize each lender according to seven different risk categories. So an AA borrower receives the highest grade. And an HR borrower is at the highest risk level.
On average, Prosper states that an AA investment returns 4.99%. An E grade investment returns as much as 13.48%. You can get started investing with as little as $25.
Are Peer To Peer Lending Sites Safe?
As you can see, peer-to-peer lending is a thriving industry that will only continue to grow bigger as time goes by. Whether you are a borrower or lender, just know that this industry provides excellent opportunities for those looking to earn money as an investor and those looking to borrow money to take their life or business venture to the next level.