All I have to say is "SQUIRREL!!!"
fred93 posted an update on Prosper's default rates and he wasn't too keen on how they're calculated:
One problem with the 2.7% number is found in the choice of numerator. The numerator in this fraction includes only loans that have been declared "default" by Prosper. Prosper ages highly delinquent loans quite some time before declaring them "default". Loans are subject to default at 4 months late, but Prosper holds such loans until a quarterly disposal, and only declares them default once they have passed the quarterly event. Loans >4 months late would be in the default state except for the fact that they are waiting for the quarterly auction. Today Prosper shows $2,864,899 of loans in the "default" state, and $3,694,261 in the "4+ months late" state. More loans are in this suspended waiting-for-the-auction state than have so far completed the process and been declared "default"! If the quarterly auction had been held yesterday, the calculation of Larsen's ratio would have come out 6.4% instead of 2.7%.
Free Money Finance - Is Prosper.com a Good Way to Earn Money?
Either way, it doesn't look like something I'm interested in for investment purposes. Yeah, there's the "read people's stories, get involved, and help them out" angle associated with Prosper, but I'm ignoring that. I'm looking at it as an investment and whether or not it's a good option for me. And to be a good option, I needs to beat my main investment of choice: index funds. But it doesn't.
New Study Shows Person-to-Person Lending Helping Consumers Tackle Debt
According to Javelin, consumers are primarily turning to person-to-person lending because of the potential savings on an interest rate or profit on a loan. However, different consumer groups showed different motivations for engaging in person-to-person lending. Among all surveyed consumers (n=2200), helping someone who might not otherwise be able to obtain a loan and avoiding the use of credit cards were key factors. For higher income consumers, participating in an online lending community was a top reason.
RateLadder - Prosper Community:
What happened to the Prosper community? The new Prosper forums are difficult to use… Where did the community go?
Also, many (most?) of the old forum regulars are at Pro$pers.org forum. With the recent official prosper forum change it appears that more & more users are switching to Prospers.org. I personally haven’t used this forum very often, but I think there is value here, largely because the discussion is unmoderated, and a wide variety of opinions are freely expressed.