May 22nd, 2006

bswing

The virtual moneylender

Via Boing Boing

http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2006/05/22/prosper/print.html

The virtual moneylender
A new Web site allows you to borrow money from strangers in cyberspace. It may even free you from credit card debt and the usurers at the local payday loan center.

By Farhad Manjoo

May. 22, 2006 | The middle-aged woman in Janesville, Wis., who recently posted a request for $5,000 on Prosper.com, an online marketplace for personal loans, chose a screen name that elegantly distills her station in life. BusyLady52 is indeed a busy lady. By day, she works for the county in an office job; at night, she's a dispatcher for the city bus line. In addition, she cares for her aging and ailing parents and a younger sister who suffered a debilitating brain injury in 1987. Yet all this work has brought neither security nor much satisfaction, and BusyLady52 now strives to crawl out from under a lifetime of debt.

Collapse )