Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Prosper Progress

I started lending on Prosper almost two months ago, mainly for the $25 signup bonus. It turned out to be pretty fun looking through loans so I ended up loaning out $325. I thought I'd occasionally make a post on how my loans are doing. Here are the loans I've made so far:

As you can see, I'm going for fairly high interest rates. I'm interested in people who are taking out small loans to rebuild their credit. Essentially they're gaming the system by getting a small loan and having Prosper report positively when they repay it on time. Since the loans are small and will probably be paid back early they can afford exorbitant interest rates.

The other interesting one was from someone with an AA credit rating who needed capital to start up a youth home. He claimed he already had contracts with the city so it seemed like a pretty sure thing.

Here you can see a summary of my account:

If you'd like to sign up for Prosper, use the following referral link and you will get a $25 signup bonus (as will I):

Business & Personal Loans. Great Rates. Prosper.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Shocking marginal tax rate

I just got a raise of $250/month at my job. My take home pay increased by $150.37. At first I thought that must be a mistake! I'm in the 25% tax bracket, but this represents almost a 40% tax rate! Sure enough, when I added up the various taxes that are taken out:

25% Federal
6% State
6% Social Security
1% Medicare
38% Total

Holy crap! What kind of country do we live in? This is a seriously socialist level marginal tax rate, and we're not even looking at consumption taxes yet. Of course, my overall tax rate is a bit lower, but it's crazy that of every new dollar I earn, I get to keep just a little over half of it.

When I think about stuff like this, I realize that economics is the most important issue that the government should be concerned with. Lower my taxes. Reduce the deficit. Cut educational spending in half to put us more in line with other developed countries. Get out of Iraq or charge them for our expenses. Phase out Social Security over a 20+ year period... and no I don't care that I won't get any benefits.