Lending money to friends and family may be the quickest way to prove that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In many cases, you never get paid back; in some cases, you actually foster resentment; in almost all cases, it’s an unsettling process. Ledge, an app that allows peer-to-peer lending, launched Thursday (Sept. 24) to try and bridge the gap between lending and getting paid back.
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As reported by TechCrunch, the app allows for the creation of a lending campaign to satisfy a goal, such as a cross-country move. The user also specifies an interest rate and a payback term and then launches the proposal out to the preselected network of friends and family.
The process continues as the lending network members pledge amounts, up until the campaign becomes fully funded and then closes. Ledge grants a one-time approval for Venmo to go ahead and transfer money to the borrower, in the amount aggregated by the lenders. Upon the commencement of the loan period, Ledge then calculates payments by lender and makes monthly transfers away from the Venmo account and back to the accounts of the friends and family who lent the funds in the first place. The company says that because Venmo is behind the platform, Ledge does not actually handle the money, which means that it is not beholden to regulations traditionally part of the lending industry.
P2P lending has been marked in recent months by startups that have a crowdfunding bent, such as WeFinance. There are other P2P platforms that have launched in China and beyond. PayPal recently debuted a feature that lets users request money or repayments from friends and family.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Ledge Cofounder Adam Neff stated that the automatic platform provides a service in doing away with awkward interactions with friends and family around lending — all money movement, he said, comes behind the scenes.
The app is available through iOS App Store and Google Play Store.
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