I haven’t mentioned peer to peer lending in a while, mainly because I haven’t been thinking much about investing. As a refresher, peer to peer lending sites allow people like you and me to lend money to other people like you and me. The borrowers sometimes can’t get loans through traditional means (like from banks), or sometimes they’re just looking for a better rate. Lenders can pick and choose who they want to lend to, taking on the risk that they’re comfortable with.
I mentioned Lending Club a while back, when they gave me some money to play with as a lender. I invested conservatively, in borrowers with the highest grades and therefore the lowest risk. So far, they’ve all paid consistently and my rate of return is over 8% – pretty awesome in this economy.
Now, Lending Club wants to give everyone money. Right now, when you sign up to be a lender, Lending Club will deposit $64.62 into your account for you to invest (because bank profits were $6.462 billion last quarter). Last time I checked, you only needed a minimum of $25 to invest in a loan (investments are pooled until they total the amount requested by the borrower), so you could invest in two loans with the bonus money and find out what peer to peer lending is like for yourself. Some restrictions apply (for instance, residents of certain states cannot become lenders). Offer expires 12/31.
Disclosure: The email I received from Lending Club instructs me to tell you to use this referral link so you can get the bonus, but as far as I can tell, I don’t benefit from it.