Lending Club has opened for business again. They come back with a partnership from FOLIOfn. This partnership, as I understand it (and I could be wrong here), seems to have sped up their process with the SEC. It also allows them to have a secondary market – a place where you can sell loans to other lenders. This provides important liquidity to the peer-to-peer marketplace.
So it appears that I was wrong when I said, Lending Club is dead. Still, any time a start-up shuts down a large part of their business and doesn’t explain why, it couldn’t be considered a good thing. I stand behind that – even if my title was a little sensationalist.
For a long time I considered Lending Club the smaller player to Prosper. It started later. It has less money in loans. The tools for finding loans lack the flexibility of Prospers. The reporting tools could be better and I’m not sure their API is nearly as advanced as Prosper. However, it seems like for the first time, Lending Club has hit Prosper where it hurts – especially as Prosper enters it’s quiet period.
On a personal level, I’m excited to see Lending Club back in gear. I have 60 loans with them and 59 of them are current or paid off. The one outlier is between 16 and 30 days late and has paid off 20% of that loan so far. It would be hard for me to call that borrower a deadbeat at this stage. Looking at the Lending Club statistics, it seems like people are as likely to pre-pay their loans as being late – though a great percentage are current as you’d hope they’d be.
Peer-to-peer lending has gotten a lot more exciting lately.