U.S. Peer-to-Peer Lending Hits Record High for Seventh Month in a Row
With the launch of Prosper in Feb. 2006, peer to peer (P2P) lending arrived in the United States with great fanfare. Borrowers no longer needed banks. Individual investors could be the banker and earn great returns.
But, there have been challenges along the way. In 2008, the SEC decided P2P lending should be regulated as a securities business and both Prosper and Lending Club, which launched in mid-2007, were shuttered for half a year as they retooled. Both companies also initially struggled with higher-than-expected default rates.
It is only now that P2P lending appears to be living up to that initial promise. Last month was the best ever as lending volumes broke the record for the seventh month in a row. The combined volume of Prosper and Lending Club amounted to $25.6 million in June compared with $12.2 million a year ago, a 110% gain. As you can see in the chart below, the growth curve has been getting steeper.