Author Topic: Loan Descriptions Missing  (Read 14852 times)


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Re: Loan Descriptions Missing
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2013, 04:35:50 PM »

Addressing the removal of the Loan Description & Loan Details Fields
by Prosper on 09/20/13

Addressing the removal of the Loan Description & Loan Details Fields

Some of our lenders have expressed concern with the recent removal of the loan description and loan title fields on the Prosper borrower application. I want you all to know that we hear your concerns. This is something that we are currently testing. We have not made the decision to permanently remove these fields at this time.

I would like to take a moment to explain why we removed the fields and why we believe it will have a strong positive impact for our lenders long term.

■Created Confusion – In recent user testing, we found that borrowers were significantly less likely to complete a Prosper loan application when they were asked to provide a Loan Description or Loan Title. Borrowers found this question to be intrusive and, in many cases, confusing to their private loan application process. These fields proved to be the biggest drop off point for potential borrowers. We removed them to gauge response for a period of time.

■Supply and demand – We strive to have an onboarding process that is simple and easy and makes sense to users. The more simple a process can be made, the more potential borrowers we can reach. In order for Prosper to better streamline the borrower application and meet the demand that you all have expressed for new loans, we will consistently make changes to our platform that we believe will positively impact the way users interact with our product and ultimately, the way the platform performs.

Ultimately, we understand your concerns, and we are exploring the best way to meet both the lenders’ concerns and improve the borrowers’ experience at equal measure, including adding the field back in the near future. Standby for updates on this potential change and more as we begin to interpret its impact on our platform.

Aaron Vermut
President, Prosper Funding LLC


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Re: Loan Descriptions Missing
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2013, 09:11:27 PM »
Like Peter, I support this move. Here's my reasoning which I also posted as a comment on the Prosper blog.

Prosper: I very much appreciate your willingness to listen to lenders. That said, I'd like to let you know that there are those of us who don't mind the change (although we may not be as vocal as those who want the descriptions back). I've been lending for 3 years, and I've learned from experience that the loan descriptions have not actually helped me find quality borrowers. Looking back at some charge-offs, I can see that many of these borrowers described themselves as completely trustworthy -- and maybe they were and just fell on hard times. However, I've seen that other fields like delinquencies, income, debt, etc., are much more important to analyze as a lender. I think this would come as no surprise to those who study the data.

Therefore, my suggestions are two-fold:

1- Try to listen to lenders by considering easy / optional ways for borrowers to include descriptions. My idea: Give borrowers the option to add a description AFTER their application is complete. That way, the application is already done so they won't drop it, but they can still add it if they choose to.

2- Try to educate lenders about how to choose loans using the data in the Credit Profile (then they might not miss descriptions so much). I personally think some lenders (including myself) put too much weight on the description in the past because it was a narrative and made sense to them, and perhaps they weren't equipped to look at the other data. My idea: Maybe create a short animated video that describes the Credit Profile data, how to read it, and why it matters. (Many people are more likely to watch a short animation than read a report about seasoned returns or download your performance data).


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Re: Loan Descriptions Missing
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2013, 01:09:10 AM »
I think your first suggestion is excellent.  It alleviates the borrower of feeling required to write something and not pursue the loan further while still allowing the option for those borrowers so inclined.  Leaving it entirely optional after completing the loan application should satisfy both Prosper and lenders.  The borrower is locked-in and investors have the opportunity to read a borrower description.