Peer-to-peer lending site Prosper recently received another round of VC money and it appears that they are offering a new iPad 2 promotion to attract enough lenders to match their borrower demand. If you open a new lender account by June 30, 2011 and have a certain amount of funded notes by July 21, 2011, you can earn one of the following bonuses:
- $5,000 minimum (to $9,999) for an iPod Nano, 8 GB ($149 value)
- $10,000 minimum (to $19,999) for a set of Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise-Cancelling Headphones ($299 value)
- $20,000+ for an iPad 2 32 GB WiFi model ($599 value)
These are all pretty high investment amounts, and unless you have a lot of money you’re looking to deploy, I’d recommend wading in gradually and spreading your investments across as many different borrowers as possible. P2P lending has a longer track record now, but you are still basically lending money to people who are looking for a cheaper alternative to credit cards. I’m not surprised there are more borrowers than lenders; rates start at 7.4%. You can see overall performance data at LendStats.com.
If you do become a lender, be on the lookout for their “featured listings”, which currently offer a 4% upfront rebate on investments. Rebates are paid within 60 days of the date that your bid is placed. On $5,000 of investments, that would be $200. The fine print specifically states that you can double dip in this way:
Invested funds may also be used to qualify for Featured Listings promotions, but otherwise such funds cannot be applied to other promotional offers.