Friday, October 19, 2007

Here A Link, There A Link, Everywhere A Link-Link

Old McLinker had some links, E-I-E-I-O...

Visible Banking did a video interview with Chris Larsen right after his Finovate presentation. Was he careful not to talk about features that may or may not be appearing in the future? You be the judge.

Peer-to-Peer Lending Offers Solution for Strapped Consumers:

A YEAR AGO, Nicole Newberry was in a financial hole so deep that she had trouble making the minimum payments on her credit cards. Worse, the then 22-year-old had gotten tangled up in the predatory cycle of payday loans. Every two weeks, when she repaid the two loans she owed, she borrowed the money right back to pay for groceries and diapers for her two toddlers. Her predicament was cruelly simple: "Each month, I was making all these minimum payments and getting nowhere," she says.

Then a co-worker told her about, a peer-to-peer lending web site that facilitates loans between strangers. Consumers seeking a loan list the details of how much they need and why, while those with cash to spare scour the listings and make loans to the ones they choose. Generally, borrowers get lower interest rates than they would with a bank or credit card, while lenders can earn better returns than they would in a money market or savings account

CircleLending is now Virgin Money USA (also here, and here):

Ever since Virgin bought CircleLending for $50 million earlier this year (previous coverage here), I've been looking forward to its launch. We hoped they might launch at our FINOVATE conference two weeks ago, but we lost out to the Mortgage Banker's Association's 94th Annual Conference in Boston, where Sir Richard Branson delivered the opening keynote a few hours ago.

Fred93 ponders on Prosper's late borrower collection rates:

I've been charting Prosper's collections statistics ever since Prosper first made them avaiable. Prosper sends loans to a collection agency when they are 1 month late, and the outcome after the collection agency's efforts are charted below.

The big picture is that Prosper's collection results continue to be scandalously bad.

Prosper and Zopa: Looking into the World of Online Consumer-to-Consumer Lending:

When most people are short on cash and need a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, they walk down to the local bank and try to persuade the loan officer to give them a loan. If the consumer doesn’t meet the bank’s cookie-cutter standards for who can get a loan, they’re rejected and the person’s just out of luck. Those who do get loans are often stuck with unfavorable terms and the only person that wins in the situation is the bank. Now two companies are hoping to empower consumers by offering services which will allow consumers to provide loans to each other online.

Internet cuts middleman in borrowing, giving:

What if you needed to borrow a couple of thousand bucks to remodel your bathroom but didn't want to pay 26percent interest on a credit card?

What if you had $2,000 but wanted to earn more than 2 percent on your money that you would on a passbook savings account at a bank?

Such is the idea behind, a Web site designed to anonymously link borrowers and lenders. It is a new trend called "peer to peer lending." (Like the old Napster but with cash!) Of course, the best idea is not to borrow money at all (see also: Dave Ramsey). But if you have to, this is one interesting concept.

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