Maybe you’re trying to get a loan through a bank or credit union. You fill out piles of paperwork, offer up all kinds of collateral and still find out you weren’t approved for the amount you wanted or your interest rate is way too high.
Fortunately the power of the Internet means we aren’t bound to traditional financial institutions. Peer-to-peer lending sites offer borrowers a unique way to find loans at lower interest rates that don’t rely on traditional metrics like credit scores.
We’ve searched the Internet for the best peer-to-peer lending sites out there. These 10 sites are truly the best of the best when it comes to effectively and efficiently getting you the money you want.
Non-profit Kiva makes it their mission to connect people through lending. By reading through the stories on the site, you find someone you’d like to support by contributing as little as a $25 loan. You then get updates as your borrower pays you back until the loan is paid in full. Then you can do it all over again!
Social Clout: 545,820+ Twitter followers; 222,245+ Facebook likes
Twitter Handle: @kiva
As America’s first P2PL site, Prosper has definitely made itself known. They have more than 2 million members and have funded more than $1 billion in loans. Through them, you can request a loan between $2,000 and $35,000, adding credit history, loan descriptions and endorsements from friends to convince lenders to invest $25 or more in your cause.
Social Clout: 33,455+ Facebook likes; 12,710+ Twitter followers
Twitter Handle: @ProsperLoans
Lending Club opened in 2007 with the goal of creating a more efficient and customer-friendly system. They continue to bring borrowers lower interest rates and investors better returns. With privacy protection and a streamlined process, it’s no wonder they’ve earned some of the highest satisfaction ratings in the finance industry.
Social Clout: 9,645+ Twitter followers; 9,360+ Facebook likes
Twitter Handle: @lendingclub
Funding Circle is the top in the world when it comes to lending and borrowing that’s focused on small businesses. They’ve lent more than $5 million to 5,000 businesses. Investors benefit from an average of 7.2 percent return, while business owners are able to quickly and conveniently accept rates that suit them. Even the U.K. government serves as a lender!
Social Clout: 30,635+ Facebook likes; 855+ Twitter followers
Twitter Handle: @FundingCircleUS
Upstart knows you are more than your credit score. That’s why when you get a loan from them, they take into account your education and experience. You can borrow anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 on a three-year term with no penalty for repayment. You can get money for almost anything, from paying off credit cards to paying for school.
Social Clout: 18,630+ Facebook likes; 4,880+ Twitter followers
Twitter Handle: @upstart
Voted the best and most trusted loan provider, Zopa is the U.K.’s leading peer-to-peer lending site. They provide folks with low-rate loans and high-interest returns. They have more than 57,000 lenders who have contributed between £10 and £1 million to borrowers. Loans span one to five years and £1,000 and £25,000, giving both lenders and borrowers the type of loan they’re looking for.
Social Clout: 6,580+ Facebook likes; 5,940+ Twitter followers
Twitter Handle: @zopa
Mosaic is the first peer-to-peer lending site for solar power, aiming for “100 percent clean energy for and by the people.” They give borrowers the ability to obtain solar loans at an affordable cost, while lenders have the opportunity to invest in renewable power. Thousands of people have profited from this work toward a smaller carbon footprint and a better future.
Social Clout: 10,950+ Facebook likes; 6,500+ Twitter followers
Twitter Handle: @solarmosaic
Student loans should help drive your success, not hinder it. That’s why CommonBond offers borrowers – students and graduates – lower interest rates than federal student loans provide. Meanwhile, investors not only gain the interest, but they also gain the ability to fund someone’s education and change their life, thus impacting the world in a positive way.
Social Clout: 5,160+ Facebook likes; 1,475+ Twitter followers
Twitter Handle: @CommonBond
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America makes it their duty to help women living in poverty build their own small businesses to improve their lives. To do this, they offer microloans of $1500 along with training and support. All it takes from lenders is a contribution of $10 or more to make a difference.
Social Clout: 27,255+ Facebook likes; 6,195+ Twitter followers
Twitter Handle: @GrameenAmerica
Assetz Capital serves as the link between lenders who want to grow their money and borrowers who need that money for their small- and medium-sized ventures. They offer security, accessibility and fairness in their work to help everyone grow in a new and better direction.
Social Clout: 915+ Twitter followers; 220+ Facebook likes
Twitter Handle: @assetzcapital
Photo sources: facebook.com, economist.com