First $100 with Prosper

May 16, 2007 @ 07:58 am by EMS

After funding loans on Prosper.com for just over a year, I’ve managed to earn $100 in interest (minus fees).  I currently have about $1200 invested in prosper loans at the moment.  Although there are several sad stories in the Prosper Forums, I’ve done pretty well.  My estimated ROI (from lendingstats.com) is currently at 13.53%.  I’ve had a few cases where loans have gone late, but they have all been made current within 30 days of their late payment.  I’m finding (not surprisingly) that loans that go late once have a tendency to repeat the same behavior in the future.  For instance, I have 2 loans in particular that have had late payments at least twice.

Probably the weirdest loan that I funded was for one that only lasted 2 days.  The loan was filled (which generally takes place about 5 days after bidding is closed), and then paid off 2 days later.  I’m not sure what happened there, but maybe the borrower found a better rate elsewhere.

I’m sticking with my strategy of investing just $25 at a time.  Once I free up some more money when my emergency savings fund is completely filled I may begin investing some more into Prosper, but I’m happy where I stand right now.  I have found that Prosper has oddly filled some void in my life.  I’m not sure if it’s because I secretly long to become a loan shark or what, but I check the site and the status of my loans at least twice a day.  I’m always on the lookout for loans I would like to fill, even if I don’t have enough money in the system to make a bid!  Anyone know a good psychologist that I should talk to?

Getting and Keeping Good Credit

May 09, 2007 @ 09:37 am by EMS

We have a college age intern here at work who was talking to me about how to obtain a good credit score. I’m not an expert in such things, but my wife and I both have excellent credit scores (both just slightly below 800) so I feel somewhat qualified to give at least some rudimentary advice.

  • Be an honest and responsible consumer – this is by far the best way to keep and maintain a good credit score and it encompasses all of the other tips I’m about to share with you.
  • Don’t maintain a balance on your credit card – I still remember being in college and using my credit card for a stereo receiver that I wanted for my dorm room. Being quite new to the world of credit, I bought the stereo on my card without any idea (or even understanding) the finance charges that I would receive if I didn’t pay the balance in full the first month. I received my 2nd credit card statement and was astounded to see a $26 finance charge. Only then was I able to wrap it around in my little head that if I continue to buy things on this card and don’t have the money to pay off the bill within 30 days, I’d be paying a good bit of “extra” money for the things that I buy. This whole concept was foreign to me at the time. Realizing that $26 was about 5 hours at my then minimum wage job, I halted all extra spending until that credit card debt was paid off. Since that time, I’ve only carried a debt on my credit cards twice in my life, and both times I had formulated plans to pay off the debt within 3 months BEFORE making the purchase.
  • That being said, apply for a credit card early in life – I had my first credit card fully in my name at 18 and I’d recommend others do the same. Get the card, but don’t use it. Establishing credit early can make a big difference down the road, as long as you are responsible with it.
  • Pay your bills on time – I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve never experienced the hardships that are related with medical emergencies or large unexpected expenditures of cash, so I’ve always been able to plan ahead for the bills and expenses encountered.  I would recommend to everyone that they set up and stick to a routine for paying bills.  I use a bill basket and pay the bills as they come.  Others wait to pay them once a month.  Either way works, just choose one and stick to it.

I know I’m not writing anything earth-shattering here, but they are just a few tips I want to share with those who are looking to start building good credit.

April 2007 Net Worth Report (+3,963)

May 01, 2007 @ 08:16 am by EMS

We ended the month with a 2.41% increase. I’m pretty happy with this number considering a number of one-time expenditures occurred this month:

  • $315 to tax accountant
  • $400 for local taxes
  • About $300 to replace hot tub motor
  • $100 to replace a broken sump pump

Most of this month’s gain was seen from a good month in the stock market. I’m happy with the way that my portfolio is performing as of late. Additionally, we moved $4000 of our tax refund into our Roth IRAs, however my newest picks of Walgreens and EZA haven’t made us any money yet 🙂

When calculating the numbers this morning, I did notice one disturbing trend. Every month this year has had an increase in expenditures over the previous month. This is a trend that must stop in May. I attribute the monthly increase to a number of factors including the items listed above as well as an increase in gas prices and travel. We will be pretty much homebound this upcoming month, so hopefully I can decrease our travel expenses somewhat, but I’m going to have to find other areas to trim costs as well.

April 2007 Net Worth



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