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What Is Zopa?
Zopa is a revolutionary new banking website which enables people to lend and borrow money online with minimal hassle and minimal effort. Zopa is described as a place where people can meet to borrow and lend money, and is seen as a social lending scheme. Zopa eliminates much of the need for a bank to lend out money, and also enables its users to get excellent competitive rates of interest on their borrowing and lending.
Say for example you need to borrow some money to pay for your car repairs. You need '1000 by the end of the month. You could go to the bank and try and arrange some kind of loan, or you could simply go to Zopa and open an account in seconds, and put in your request for the money. You get to choose the amount of interest you are willing to pay (obviously you won't get the money for free), as many people will be willing to lend the money as long as they get some kind of return. The standard rate according to Zopa is around 6.5%, which is a lot more persuasive than any bank rates. So if you needed the '1000 you could simply login to Zopa, write about your situation (that you need money to pay for car repairs), set a rate of interest, and then set a length of time for repayment. Other people who are willing to lend their money can then view the Marketplace at Zopa, choosing which person they would most like to help according to their situation.
Zopa enables people to get an excellent rate of APR for their required loans, but Zopa also provides an excellent hassle-free way of making money online.
Say you have a chunk of cash available to invest, and have used up this years ISA allowance, and are a bit stuck as to what to do with your cash. If you were to go to Zopa, you could choose to lend out your money to various people, to help them out with their cash flow problems. With Zopa you get to choose a rate of interest that would suit you, enabling you complete control on the amount of money you can expect to earn.
Zopa would be a great way for people to make use of their spare cash, providing a safe and interesting way to invest their money. For example, someone might be getting a measly 4% interest from their current bank savings account. With Zopa they could open an account in seconds for free, and offer their money up for borrowing, specifying a rate of interest that you would be hoping to achieve, and setting a timescale for your money to be returned. I'm sure that you will agree that Zopa shows far greater flexibility and excitement then a normal high street bank would.
A table here showing interest rates on banks and Zopa.
If you do decide to try and make money by lending your money on the Zopa website, you can rest assured that your money will be as secure as possible. Any lenders on the website go through vigorous credit and security checks, to make sure that no-one with a dodgy history is able to borrow money on Zopa. If you are a lender, and are lending a large amount of money like '500, this amount will be shared out within 50 other borrowers. This means that you have less risk of losing all of your money because there are far more borrowers involved. The borrowers on the website are also forced to enter into legally binding contracts - so it is imperative that the borrowers pay the money back at the end of the day. Zopa also enforces the use of debt-collection agencies whenever money has not been fully paid, and enters into the same debt collection process as any standard high street bank would do.
According to their website, Zopa believes that borrowing and lending should be a more personalised and simple process, without the need for the many unethical and faceless high street banks.
Zopa earns money from their website by charging borrowers with a 0.5% fee on the value of the total loan. So if someone wanted to borrow '1000 they would have to pay a fee upfront of '5.
Lenders also get charged a fee - 0.5% on any of the money lent out, paid every month of the year. So if someone was lending out '10,000 for a year at a rate of %7, at the end of the year they would have earned '700 in interest and would be charged a '50 fee. Lenders wont get charged a fee if a borrower defaults.
Zopa also makes money from selling payment protection insurance to borrowers who request it, and they also make money from referring users to other loan providers if Zopa is unable to lend money to them.
Other Ways To Earn Money Using Zopa
In August 2006 Zopa announced that they were launching a refer-a-friend scheme, or an affiliate program, for the website. This meant that if you had a friend who required a loan, you could refer them to the site using your own personalised web link, and you could earn '30 for each new member you introduce. This money is paid when that person goes on to lend or borrow at least '500 on the Zopa website.
Obviously by using the affiliate program you could go on to earn a lot of money from getting lenders and borrowers to sign up to Zopa using your affiliate link. If you have your own finance related website or blog, you could make a lot of money by using the creatives (image banners) provided by Zopa on your site, and will then be making money whenever someone joins and uses Zopa directly from your website.
Conclusion On Making Money From Using Zopa
Overall Zopa is an excellent way for people to make money online, and should be seen as a great alternative to banking. If you are fed up with the dullness of opening up a savings account which offers a poor rate of interest, and would much rather help people with their day-to-day finances and choose the rate of interest that you would like to be paid, then you must join Zopa today and start putting your money to good use!