Friday, October 17, 2008 - 10/15/08 late loan stats update

Here's the october 15th, 2008 update to to my late loan statistics charts.

These charts show statistics for the performance of all loans. Each curve represents the set of loans that were created in one calendar month. The vertical axis is the fraction of those loans that have "gone bad", in other words are 1 month late or worse (up to and including default). The horizontal axis is the observation date. All data comes from's performance web page.

A larger, more readable version of that chart can be found here

08/01/08 small late loan chart

Here's a chart of the same data in which each curve has been slid to the left to a common origin. The horizontal axis is now days since loan origination month.

10/15/08 slid

Explanation of methodology can be found in my prior postings in this blog.

These curves show loans that are >1 month late, however, you can read them as "default curves" because almost all loans that go 1 month late move on to default. See my discussion of Prosper's collections performance in earlier blog entries.

We continue to see horribly misleading newspaper and magazine articles saying that the default rate on Prosper loans is 3% or 4% or something like that. Investors can only make reasonable investment decisions after understanding the default behavior of loans. Prosper loans default at about 20% per year. You can clearly see this from the charts. Pick your favorite month. Look how high the curve has gone after the first year. About 20%, eh? Prosper loans default at about 20% per year, on the average, considering all Prosper loans. There is considerable variation from month to month. Look at the final chart, where the curves are slid to a common origin. Just look at the vertical line labelled 390 days. (That's 30 days after 360 days, because loan payments can't be 1 month late until you wait 30 days after.) You will see curves cross that line anywhere from 18% to 26%. (Some of the more recent months look like they will come in a little lower.) That's how many loans went bad in the first year. Pretty simple really. Journalists seem to get it wrong time after time. Somebody must be feedin' them bad info, eh? Perhaps they just copy bad data from each other .

At the time of this writing, has shut down due to some not fully specified regulatory problem. Meanwhile, the ongoing loans still evolve, and the data is still available, so I will continue to update this charts .

PS: The best discussion among lenders can be found at

No comments:

Post a Comment