As we get ready to bring in the new year here are what a few news organizations around the world have to say about P2P lending...
Ten things that will change your future from the Sydney Morning Herald
"PEER-TO-PEER LENDING Whether you're distributing music or books, auctioning off unwanted household items, wanting to bet on a horse race or looking for a soulmate, the internet can put you in touch with someone who is interested in what you have or are.
Kiva takes that idea and applies it to the established concept of microfinance - making small loans to the working poor to help them establish or expand businesses.
So, instead of giving a donation to an organisation such as Oxfam to distribute, peer-to-peer lending lets you invest small amounts directly in a particular entrepreneur - such as Mohamad Marah in Kabala, Sierra Leone. With his $US200 loan, Marah has been able to expand his garment business, buying three extra sewing machines. So far he has repaid half the loan. More than $US15 million has already been lent through Kiva - and the default rate is claimed to be just .23 per cent. http://www.kiva.org"
Many using Web sites to find, help entrepreneurs around the world from the North Jersey Media Group
"...Some philanthropy experts worry that the peer-to-peer lending sites could suck away money from traditional charities such as UNICEF. And microlending has its share of critics..."
Get real: People will want to connect in 2008 from the USA Today
"Eisenbeis says we should expect to see more examples of 'people banding together to help each other out,' whether it's groups picketing home loan companies or individuals starting so-called peer-to-peer lending programs to assist those experiencing foreclosure and personal bankruptcy.
'There's a 'we're all in it together' feeling out there that's only going to grow as more people get affected by issues such as housing and health care,' Eisenbeis says. 'People are going to lean on each other and push those in power to find the necessary solutions.'"
Peer-to-peer lending the 'eBay of loans' from Deleware Online
"The market for the loans is still relatively small but growing fast, according to Celent, a research firm. Celent projects that $5.8 billion in peer-to-peer loans will be made in the U.S. by 2010, an 800 percent leap from the amount this year...
The more established players -- such as Prosper and CircleLending, which sold a majority stake in the company and rebranded itself Virgin Money US this year -- dominate the business. But more rivals are entering the industry at a time when even people with good credit are finding it harder and costlier to borrow from traditional sources.
In December, Zopa opened up shop in the U.S. Also this month, Lending Club, which began as a service for Facebook members, expanded nationwide.
'It seems that the credit crunch is accelerating our growth,' says Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club."