If you’ve been looking at various forms of finance, chances are you’ve come across peer to peer lending. It’s a relatively new form of finance that helps connect consumers with one another. Instead of borrowing from a lender, you’re actually borrowing from other consumers. People are able to invest money into peer to peer lending with the hope of making a return on their money.

 

If it sounds confusing, that’s because it is. This is a financial product that has grown in popularity, but still has a lot of confusion surrounding it. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to peer to peer lending. If you want more information on this type of borrowing, this will be your best resource.

Make sure that you assess all the information in this article before you decide to work with a peer to peer lender. As with any financial decision, it’s important that you fully understand the ramifications before you make any decisions. This article is sure to provide you with answers to any question you may have about peer to peer lending.

Technologically Driven

The peer to peer lending industry is a technologically driven marketplace. Previously, it would have been impossible to track and ensure that lenders were able to get their money back. Technology has allowed for lenders to meet with borrowers through online platforms. This is another step in the finance revolution that appears to be testing the strength of the traditional financial industry.

A wave of apps and peer to peer based systems have popped up to help reduce costs and increase transparency in an assortment of different fields. These advancements have targeted a range of different fields including borrowing, stock trading, and investments.

Why Is Peer to Peer Lending So Popular?

Peer to peer lending has grown increasingly popular in recent years. A lot of this comes down to how easy it is to obtain peer to peer loans. In this section, we will outline some of the primary reasons that borrowers find peer to peer loans so great. Check out the top reasons below.

No Credit Check

Many peer to peer lenders will not require you to have a credit check, which means that you won’t have to damage your credit score to apply for a loan. In addition, if you have a poor credit history, you’ll still qualify to have your loan approved. This is great for people who are trying to get their foot on the financial ladder.

Online Application

Most peer to peer lenders are online. This means that the application happens entirely through an online portal. You won’t have to go into a bank branch and fill in a long application. This helps the entire process become less stressful. One of the worst parts about applying for finance is how long the application can take, so peer to peer lending is a good option for those who are trying to avoid this.

Instant Approval

Many peer to peer lenders provide people with instant approval. This means that you won’t have to wait days or weeks to find out if you’ve been approved for a loan. It can be extremely painful to have to wait for financing, especially if you need money quickly. That’s why this type of loan is perfect for those who have a tight schedule.

Quick Transfer

Depending on the platform, you can typically have the money transferred into your account extremely quickly. It’s a great way to get quick cash if you have the ability to do so. You should be looking to work with a peer to peer lending service that has the ability to make electronic transfers. This will mean that you can sometimes access the money within 24 hours of approval.

Who Provides Peer to Peer Loans?

Peer to peer loans are provided by other consumers. These consumers are actually investors in a platform. They want to put up money with the chance of being able to make a fairly significant return. The process is very risky, as people don’t have any way of ensuring that you will pay them back. Remember, peer to peer loans are typically unsecured.

Can I Trust Peer to Peer Platforms?

Yes, for the most part. You need to make sure that you’re working with a peer to peer platform that is well known and has a longstanding reputation. You don’t want to work with a platform that doesn’t provide you with the security that you’re looking for. The best way to make sure that you’re working with a good peer to peer lending platform is to head online to various consumer watchdog groups and check for yourself.

You can check on Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau to make sure that you’re working with a reputable company. You don’t want to work with a firm that has a poor business record. If you do find that a company has bad reviews, you’ll want to avoid them at all costs. Reputation is more important than you think. You don’t want to work with a lending platform that has hidden fees or poor customer service. It could end up impacting your financial health.

Advantages of Peer to Peer Lending

There are many advantages to peer to peer lending, but it can sometimes be hard to assess these advantages from an easy to understand viewpoint. That’s why it’s often helpful to view concise information that doesn’t take long to consume. We’ve created this section to help you better understand the benefits of peer to peer lending.

  • Quick – The entire process is extremely quick, you won’t have to worry about doing lengthy applications or waiting weeks for money to get into your bank account. If you’re looking to get the money you need quickly, this is one of the quickest ways to do so.
  • Unsecured – You won’t have to secure your loan against the value of any of your assets, this means that the loan is extremely good for those who don’t want to risk their financial wellbeing. You don’t want to put your family home or car at risk of repossession.
  • No Credit Check – If you have bad credit, or you don’t want your credit report to take a ding when you apply for a loan, peer to peer lending is typically a good option for you. There are many peer-to-peer lenders that don’t require any credit checks.
  • Don’t Have to Use Traditional Lenders – Many people have had bad experiences with traditional lenders, and tend to want to avoid them at all costs. If this is the case for you, you’ll most likely find it pleasant to work with a peer to peer based lending system. It’s much more enjoyable for many people.
  • Access to Cash – Unlike other forms of finance, such as credit cards or credit lines, you’ll find that you have access to cash without any additional fees. Money is deposited directly into your account, which means that you won’t have to worry about paying cash advances or other fees when you want cash.

Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Lending

While there are plenty of obvious advantages to working with a peer to peer lender, there are still some major drawbacks that are worth considering. Remember, it’s important to consider both the good and the bad when you’re trying to decide on a type of finance to obtain. You don’t want to blindly follow an option because the benefits appear strong.

  • Low Lending Limits – You’ll find that peer to peer lenders don’t offer great lending limits. This is because they don’t want to expose themselves to high risk. The reality is that an unsecured loan with no credit check won’t be able to be for a very large amount – you’ll most definitely be restricted to small amounts in the beginning.
  • High Interest Rates – Because of the amount of risk involved for investors, and the short-term nature of the loan, high interest rates are typically associated with peer to peer lending. For this reason, you should make sure that you can afford the interest payment prior to making any commitments.
  • Short Terms – Another disadvantage with this form of loan is that the term times are extremely short. This means that you won’t have much time to pay back the loan. It also means that payments can be quite high.

Alternatives

As you can tell, peer to peer lending is a great fit for a lot of people, especially those who need a small amount of money quickly. But at the same time, peer to peer lending isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of people who will find the interest rates too high, or the term times to short. There will also be borrowers that are looking to borrow significantly more money. Either way, you’re probably wondering what some healthy alternatives are. We’ve outlined some of the top ones below.

Online Personal Loans

Online personal loans are similar to peer to peer loans in that the process is extremely quick. You can apply through the internet and have money in your account within 24 hours. The only major difference is that you will have to have your credit report checked – some lenders may have high requirements for borrowers. The one upside is that you will definitely be able to get higher loan amounts than with peer to peer lenders.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can also be a quick way to access capital. They tend to be easier to apply for than other types of finance. You’ll be able to complete the entire application process online, which is a great way to make sure that you get the money that you need quickly. You can typically get a credit card overnighted to you, which means you can have the card in about two days. The only downside to this method is that you don’t get access to cash without paying expensive cash advance fees.

Verdict

As you can see, peer to peer lending is a unique way to get money without having to have the qualifications you may need for a traditional loan. It also allows for you to get access to cash quickly. If you want to get a loan, but you don’t want to have your credit checked, then a peer to peer loan is one of your only options. Fortunately, there are a variety of providers to choose from – the industry is well and truly booming!

For those who want a bit of guidance on lenders, we also provide suggestions on who to work with. We enjoy giving our readers a leg up when it comes to choosing a lender for their financing. We don’t want you to be stuck working with a subpar lender. Head to our homepage to see who we recommend.

Remember, it’s important to make sure that you are borrowing money responsibly. If you don’t, you may find that you end up in a debt trap that is hard to get out of. This is especially true for peer to peer loans; their interest rates are quite high. And while the loans are mostly unsecured, you’ll find that you end up paying a heavy price when your credit score is destroyed. It will ruin your chance of obtaining finance in the future, as well as result in you being offered higher interest rates.

If you have any more questions about personal loans, or any other form of personal finance, make sure to check out the other resources on our site. We have information on any topic imaginable.