For those who can't get bank loans, the new business of peer-to-peer lending can be a lifesaver. Internet companies connect people who need to borrow with individuals willing to lend to them directly -- for a fair profit, of course. Here's how it all works.
Peer-to-peer lending site Prosper.com has stopped letting high-risk borrowers use its site because too many of them failed to repay their loans. The site's problem, says columnist and one-time lender Alex Salkever, is that Prosper got in the way of letting a social bond form between microborrower and microlender.