I've been poking around your site and thought you might be interested in checking out a company that I've been doing some consulting for… Prosper (www.prosper.com), which is a people-to-people lending marketplace.
Prosper is kind of like an eBay for money except transactions aren't necessarily one-on-one. Lenders can diversify by bidding in $50+ increments across many loans with different quantitative characteristics (e.g., credit score based grades, debt to income ratios, etc.) as well as qualitative ones (e.g., personal stories and/or "group" affiliations). Here are some listing examples.
While many people are lending on Prosper because they see it as a whole new asset class… you have your stocks, bonds, savings, and now a "Prosper portfolio"… others are really into the idea of helping out others while making a solid return. In case you're curious, this link shows average funded borrowing rates, which roughly translate into corresponding rates of return for people who lend on Prosper.
If you have questions about Prosper or want to talk to talk to someone there, please let me know, I'd be happy to help connect you.
To which one reader says after viewing...
This loan site is interesting. It's similar to a concept that has long intrigued me - micro-lending (which works incredibly well in the third world). I have never thought it would work in the developed world where there are so many alternatives. The key question: Who are the borrowers and why would they borrow from there?This is an interesting concept. But will it gain traction? Is it the right time? Is there a need for this market-place? What do you think?
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist