Prosper Tightens Credit and Introduces HELOCs

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Prosper MarketplaceToday, Prosper announced its third quarter financial results, showing that originations were $640 million for the quarter, down from $822 million last year. And net loss was $19.8 million, an improvement of $7.2 million from the previous year. The lending platform also announced today that it will launch a new digital Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) product in 2019.

“As Prosper continues to focus on meeting investors’ return expectations, we have tightened credit and increased borrower rates this year in a rising interest rate environment,” said David Kimball, CEO of Prosper.We have also focused our efforts and resources on expanding our business beyond personal loans with the development of a new home equity line of credit product.”

Prosper’s new HELOC product will be offered in conjunction with banks and the company is currently working with bank partners and welcoming new ones, according to a company spokesperson. She could not give the names of any of the bank partners, although she said that Prosper’s role will be to deliver cost estimates for the product in a matter of seconds, as opposed to weeks that it might take a bank to make a decision about eligibility and terms for a HELOC. As for the underwriting process, the bank will dictate the underwriting criteria and Prosper will execute on them.

“We are taking advantage of our expertise in consumer credit and personal loans to build a product that removes the complexity and time-consuming barriers in applying for a HELOC,” Kimball said. “For many of our customers, a HELOC could be a better choice for their financial needs and we’re thrilled to be working with our bank partners to render the traditional process obsolete with a new digital HELOC process that is simple, fast and painless.”

How will Prosper make money from these HELOCs? Prosper will charge the banks a fee for every deal that originates through Prosper’s platform, according to the company spokesperson. Founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, Prosper makes personal loans from $2,000 to $40,000 to prime customers, with loan terms up to five years. At the Money 20/20 Conference in October, Kimball spoke about his openness and his approach to working with banks.

“You don’t go in the thinking [the bankers] are stupid,” Kimball said. “Assume that you have a really good partner.”

To date, over $13 billion in personal loans have been originated through the Prosper platform for debt consolidation and large purchases such as home improvement projects, medical expenses and special occasions.

Last modified: November 14, 2018

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