1.) Post Pictures. Now, you don't have to post a picture of yourself if you don't want to, but I have heard that Lenders like to see who they are lending to. For me, I didn't want to do that. Instead, just post something that let's the borrower know a little bit more about you and why you are asking for funds.
2.) Be Specific. When you list your loan, be as specific as possible as to why you are wanting a loan and also explain how you are able to pay it back and on time. A great thing to do is include your monthly budget. If you do not have a monthly budget already established, please do so before listing. Make sure that you can afford to pay back Lenders. The more success stories from Prosper, the more likely it will flourish.
3.) Explain Bad Credit. If you have bad credit, take a few minutes to add a brief explanation in your listing. For example, if you are showing delinquencies, the Lenders will be able to see that information. You will not be able to see what the Lenders see until after your listing is posted. But, before you list you can see your credit report for free by going to annualcreditreport.com. Go through your credit report and explain the negatives that are showing. Explain why you have problems on your credit report and explain what you are doing to resolve them.
4.) Include a Profile Description. Every user on Prosper has the ability to enter a profile description. Use this area to let lenders know more about yourself or to add additional information to your listing. Within your listing, make sure you note that more information is included in your description.
5.) Don't Ask for More than You Need. It may be tempting, but limit your loan listing for asking for just what you need. The lower your loan request, the less of a risk you are perceived to be. You also have a lower monthly payment which Lenders will view as more manageable.
6.) Proofread Your Listing. Asking for a loan on Prosper is serious business. You want to present yourself in the best light possible, so that means creating a listing with correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. If possible, have someone else review your listing for errors (create it in a word processing program first).
7.) Read...Read...Read. One of the best ways to learn about the borrowing process is to look at others' experiences. Great places to start are the Prosper Message Boards and the Credit Boards Prosper Section
8.) Advertise your listing, but not Blatantly. Nothing is as annoying to Lenders than a Borrower "bugging" them for bids. A way to advertise, but not bug is to participate on the message boards listed in #7 with constructive things to add to a conversation.
9.) Answer all Questions Quickly and Thoroughly. Use your judgment to protect yourself from fraud (don't give out social security or driver's license number for example) but try to answer all questions from Lenders. They are wanting to make sure you will stay true to your word and pay back your loan.
And, what I believe is probably the best advice I can give anyone...
10.) Be Yourself. Tell in your listing why you need the loan. Let Lenders know a little bit more about who you are and how you think. If you pay everything two weeks in advance, tell them that. If you pay things on time, but right near the due date, tell them that. If you have had problems in the past with spending money or paying things on time, bring it out in the open and explain what you are doing to resolve your past "problems." Don't try to fib a little with the information you give. Just be honest and be yourself. We are all human, and we all have made mistakes in the past. Don't be ashamed of them, as long as you have learned from them.
- Alexander Pope
Index of My Borrowing Experience with Prosper