Peer-to-Peer Loans: The New Wave of Tuition Financing?

Still struggling to figure out how to pay next semester’s tuition fee?  Well, you may have many more options than you originally thought.

In addition to personal or family savings, as well as your traditional banks loans, there appears to be a new mode of financing that is slowly arising out of your social network. While the concept of social lending is not new, the first person-to-person lending company was created in the UK back in 2005. Since then, many companies have followed suit such as Fynanz, Prosper, Zopa, Lending Club or Qifang China.  As time has passed, this particular sector has become even more sophisticated and developed specialized services for international students.

One company we’re highlighting is Ta-Lend which exclusively serves graduate international students.  This Miami-based start-up launched its social lending platform last February and offers students the possibility to get a loan by utilizing their social networks. Borrowers can invite their family and friends to lend large or incremental amounts of money toward their tuition, which helps the student obtain a consolidated Ta-Lend tuition loan. They can also track their invitations and commitments from their social networks’ contacts and make payments via Ta-Lend’s platform.

Before beginning this type of financing, you should always consult a financial professional and perform your own due diligence before determining whether or not this mode of financing is right for you.  Even though Ta-Lend can only be used to cover the second half of overall tuition (up to $25,000), here are some of the advantages that Ta-Lend lists:

  • No co-signer required
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Reduced payments at the beginning of the loan life

While money can be a sensitive subject around your social circles, this company is certainly thinking outside the box to combine crowd-funding and education.

Readers, what do you think?  Would you look to your social networks for loans?  Have you heard of other companies that offer a similar peer-to-peer financing solution?

Leave a Reply