Peer-to-peer online lending grows in tight economy

A recent article gives an update on the development of p2p lending in the US.

Chris Larsen of sees the current financial situation as a chance for p2p lenders:

Home equity used to be the cash management tool for the credit-worthy borrower, and that has really, really dried up. In many ways, Prosper's three-year, 25,000 US$ loan is a pretty good proxy for what people were using home equity for — improving their home, starting a sole proprietorship, college costs and certainly for replacing credit card debt.

Javelin Strategy & Research is quoted that credit card debt is the main reason people want to use p2p lending:

We're forecasting that P2P lending specifically for credit card balances will grow from 38 billion US$ in 2007 to 159 billion US$ by 2012

The final advice of the article is:

Prospective borrowers and lenders would do well to thoroughly research P2P companies before jumping at the chance for a lower rate on a loan or a higher return on an investment. …

New academic study estimates average Prosper ROI at 6%
Greennote - p2p student loans at a fixed low interest rate