Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter
markgritter

Microlending

Reading this Slate article reviewing microlending sites prompted me to take a look at Prosper.

I was not surprised to see that the first page of loans was credit card debt, credit card debt, and more credit card debt.

But I did see one loan request (with several bids) that was a guy who wanted to plow the money back into Prosper loans! I was somewhat amused to see a subprime-lending model represented in miniature.

Probably not a good time to be making high-risk Prosper loans, though. His latest bidders give him 7.63% on $2000. His monthly payment is $62.56 for a 3-year loan. So he pays $252 in interest.

Let's say he turns around and finds a bundle of high-interest loans at 20%. What default rate earns him money? (Assuming he collects nothing from defaulters.) I fiddled around with this on a spreadsheet. If we make the simplifying assumption that everybody who will default does so at the end of the first year, he can break even with a default rate of 22%. Or 19% after 6 months, or 6% after 1 month.
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