Starting a Business

Peer Lending for Entrepreneurs

Person-to-person lending can score the cash your business needs.
Magazine Contributor
Writer and Author, Specializing in Business and Finance
2 min read

This story appears in the February 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If your banks aren't showing the credit love lately and you don't have a wealthy friend or uncle in the ranks, there still may be hope. Curtis Arnold, founder of and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Person-to-Person Lending, says person-to-person, sometimes called peer-to-peer, or P2P, lending, has taken off and may provide options for cash-strapped businesses.
Offers: Fully amortized 3-year unsecured personal loans
Limit<:/strong> $25,000
Other: Minimum credit score of 640 Fixed interest rates

Offers: 3-year unsecured personal loans $25,000
Limit: $25,000
Other: Minimum credit score of 660
Fixed interest rates
Allows up to two loans
Offers: Loan terms vary
Limit: $100,000
Other: No minimum credit score

A number of websites has cropped up to cater to this market, Arnold says, providing a structured environment through which you can carry out transactions. You still need to be credit-worthy and abide by the rules and regulations of the sites. (It's also a good idea to check with your tax adviser to determine whether there are any tax implications before you borrow.) However, P2P sites have a personal element that may offer hope for those with a few blemishes on their credit records.

"You can tell your story," Arnold says. "If you had years of credit, then hit a hard time during the recession, you can tell that story and people may still be willing to lend to you."

Lenders sometimes form affinity groups within the sites, too, so approaching groups of lenders from your alma mater or those who have other similarities may up your chances as well.

But take it seriously. The sites may sock you with late penalties and report late payments to credit reporting agencies, which could affect your personal or company credit score, Arnold says. And investigate the sites to get a lay of the land before diving in, he says. That way, you'll be sure to negotiate the best deal possible.

More from Entrepreneur

Elizabeth's expertise can help you scale your business, build a personal brand and focus on being a value-driven CEO.
Book Your Session

For a limited time only, get this bundle of Entrepreneur PressĀ® titles for less than $30 (60% OFF) on our bookstore when you use "LEAP" at checkout.
Buy Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.