Sunday, April 01, 2007
I Got Mad Cash. Who Needs Some Money?
Every now and then, I come across a big crapload of money. Whenever that happens, I just take what I need and I give away the rest. Over the years, I've learned that money is like food. It's perishable, so you gotta give away what you can't spend. When you need more, it'll just come to you. Don't ask me how this works. It just does...
Recently, I came across another crapload of cash. After taking what I needed, I started looking around for people who could use the rest of it. Needless to say, I hit a few charities, including the SoulSnax Diversity in Media Challenge cuz these kids need it the most.
Then I found Prosper.com. It's like the eBay of "people-to-people lending." From my experience so far, it looks like a great alternative to my 3-year ING Direct CDs (Current APY: a measly 5%). On Prosper, I'm earning an average of 16.5% on a diverse array of person-to-person loans. I've spread out my risk by contributing $50 here and there to a variety of folks at varying interest rates, based upon their individual credit ratings. The typical borrower will pay about a 17% interest rate to consolidate credit card debt of 25% or more. It's a win-win for lenders as well as borrowers.
What does this have to do with giving money away? Well, I was in a good mood one day, so I set out to find me a Rice Daddy on the Prosper site who could use some cash. Preferably a high-risk borrower, cuz those are the folks who need it most. The interest rates they get rarely fall below 25%. Ouch. That's pretty steep.
I eventually found this one Filipino-American guy who was an army veteran looking to borrow $5000. He needed it to cover the hospital bills of his new preemie baby. He had been laid off, but recently found employment at a lower salary. I offered as much as I could, at 1% interest. If he paid me back, great. If not, no biggie. Unfortunately, not enough lenders pitched in before the proposal expired, so the deal didn't go through. I was bummed, and if I could, I'd track him down and throw him a few bucks. Oh well...
Luckily for my philanthropic ego, I discovered a new feature on the site called "Community Payment" which allows you to contribute $25 or more to any folks in danger of defaulting on their loans. I picked a couple of these "deadbeats" and donated some money to cover their late payments. I entered a short inspirational message, and hit SEND. Then I paused to savor that warm fuzzy feeling inside. :)
Then today I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if enough of us RiceDaddies could get together and pitch in the next time one of our brothas needed a helping hand? What do y'all think? Post your thoughts in the comments.