The Prosper Community is a dynamic group of borrowers, lenders, and group leaders, all brought together for the common purpose of exchanging money. Over the past year and a half that I have been a part of it I have seen friendships form, enemies get created, and romances take place. Prosper touches a spot in all of our lives, and whether we love it or wonder just why we are here, very few can remain ambivalent.
Prosper itself is a lesson in life, and it’s a lesson that is difficult for some of us to handle. Many of us came to Prosper truly believing in our fellow humans, listening to the sob stories of borrowers and hoping to make the difference that will turn their lives around. Through the difficult trials of watching our first late payment, followed by more, and our first default, also followed by more, all accompanied by a fall in our expected ROI, some of us have learned about a side of human nature that we never knew before. We lose some of our trust and become hardened to the stories being shared by the new borrowers that come along.
There is a huge diversity among the community, from lenders looking for a place to stick some extra money down to the borrowers that are living paycheck to paycheck, and everyone in between. This frequently leads to misunderstandings between community members. People handle misunderstandings differently, and some people leave the community angry, while others use it as an opportunity to learn something and improve themselves.
One of my favorite aspects of the community is watching borrowers that are barely making it come here requesting a loan, and ending up not only getting their finances under control, but becoming an active member of the community and offering advice to others that are in the position they started out in. Making a difference in people’s lives is what I see Prosper as really being about.
While the community has gone through its ups and downs, being a part of it is an experience I would never give up. I have grown in many ways.
Shenandoah is a lender and group leader on Prosper.