It is unfortunate that you will probably never read this letter. Lending Club appropriately scrubbed your loan application of any personally identifying information, so I do not have any way to get in touch with you. I suppose I could show up at your stated place of employment in Poughkeepsie and ask around, but that would be really awkward.
I will have to be satisfied with posting this letter on LendingMemo with the slim chance you visit and notice your member number.
You have been on my mind over the past week. The other day I was reading some of the original loan descriptions of my notes, and yours caught my eye. Two weeks ago you added the following statement to your loan application,
“Borrower added on 01/14/13: We are in need of a way to manage debt more systematically and with as little extraneous effort as possible. There are simply too many different bills floating around, and the mail associated therewith is becoming incomprehensible.”
From your statement, it sounds like you are married, and that this consolidation loan is for the two of you to simplify your debt situation. I wanted to write you today and say how much of a privilege it is to lend you this money. Situations like yours are the real reason I lend money through sites like Lending Club and Prosper. To read this statement about how my extra funds are giving you a way to simplify your life means a great deal to me.
I suppose not everybody shares my perspective. Your loan was funded by a couple hundred people all taking up a small portion of your loan (on the lender side, we call these notes). A good portion of these lenders were mostly focused on the interest rate you offer them. There are discussions happening as to whether it is better to fund your loan for the way it serves us as lenders (making us money) or the way it serves you as a borrower (helping you consolidate your bills). While I do appreciate the interest you pay me on your loan, I have to admit this is not the main reason I am lending money at Lending Club. Truly, the interest I earn will help me out a great deal. I am saving for retirement through lending money online to people like you.
But I believe there is a deeper reward in giving than in receiving. The main reason I lend money online is to help people like you and your spouse simplify their bills and get out of debt. I believe that crippling credit card debt is a form of national slavery. How many families have had to forfeit joyful things like family vacations or Christmas presents because of bills to Mastercard? How many parents are in such debt that they delay sending their kids to the doctor?
It’s fair, I suppose, to lay much of the blame on the people who irresponsibly charged their credit cards to begin with, but I also feel like these folks deserve a second chance. Maybe you yourself are one of these people. Perhaps you charged your credit card with clothing or jewelry purchases that quickly lost their value, and now you are paying for it. If so, I hope you have learned from these mistakes. I am eager to help you out of it in any way I can.
I believe, however, that much of the debt in our country was taken on because people had little choice in the matter. Perhaps this is your story. Maybe you lost your job and had to charge your food and car repairs to any credit cards you could find, so that you could stay fed and your car could function normally. If this is your story, I am twice as eager to help.
I believe every person on earth deserves freedom, a life where the most important things like friends and family garner the most attention. While I am grateful for your interest payments, I am moreso rewarded with the knowledge that my extra savings are helping you consolidate your life. If I can help you get out from underneath oppressive debt and back into focusing on the relationship of your spouse or kids, then that is my true reward.
PS – Comedian Brian Regan is from your town? That’s great. He’s hilarious.
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[image credit: Guudmorning! ‘Pen and Paper‘ CC-BY 2.0]