WeFinance FAQ

WeFinance FAQ

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    What is WeFinance?

    WeFinance is a platform that matches people with or seeking loans to people with savings, and helps them lend money to each other easily at an interest rate where both benefit. Loans come both from borrowers' immediate networks and from the WeFinance community. By lending and borrowing using real identity and borrowers' extended networks, there are fewer unknowns and less overall risk, with all of the benefit enjoyed by real people instead of a bank keeping most of the interest.

    Do I have to lend to or borrow from people I know personally?

    Not necessarily. As a borrower, there's no obligation to share your listing with any person or group of people in particular, but borrowers seek initial funding from their direct networks to get their listing going. We think that most borrowers will want to share this great financial opportunity with the people they know, but we understand that debt can be a personal matter, and how the listing is shared beyond existing WeFinance users is totally up to each individual borrower.

    Why should I lend money to my friends, or borrow money from my friends?

    You both can save a lot of money by doing so, and WeFinance can help make it easy and comfortable. For young borrowers in particular, banks' reliance on credit history can lead to very high interest rates that aren't warranted. Lenders on WeFinance know more about their borrowers than a simple credit score, and borrowers are less likely to default on loans when their reputation is at stake. Lenders earn a return and the social benefit of helping someone connected to them.

    I don't want loans to make my friendships awkward.

    We feel you. Some of the biggest problems when mixing friends and financing come from uncertainty around terms and awkward repayment conversations. We've worked really hard to minimize the potential for these situations. First, we make loan terms crystal clear up front so you never have to strong-arm your friend in a contract negotiation. Then, once the loan is live, we handle all the payments automatically, so you never have to have that awkward "you owe me money" conversation, and your friends never have to risk forgetting to pay on time.

    I don't want my friends knowing I need to refinance the debts I have.

    We understand that you might not feel comfortable revealing some debts to friends and family. We designed WeFinance to be especially great for student loans and other cases where there's nothing surprising or shameful when it comes to your debt. Of course, you are the best judge of what feels right for you. The more information you're willing to share, the more comfortable lenders will be, but ultimately you control what information you share in your listing.

    What do the terms 'listing', 'pledge', and 'loan' refer to?

    A listing is what a borrower creates to share information about how much they'd like to borrow and at what rates.

    A pledge is a promise to lend money to a borrower. There's a minimum threshold of total amounts pledged chosen by the borrower—if the borrower can't refinance at least that much, they'd rather not refinance at all. Once a listing closes with enough money pledged, those pledges become loans and the money changes hands. If a listing closes without enough being pledged, the pledge amounts are simply returned to lenders.

    In other words, each borrower creates one listing, which leads to many pledges from individual lenders, which leads to a loan for each pledge on successful listings.


    How are loans made with WeFinance paid and repaid?

    WeFinance is integrated with Dwolla, a payment provider (similar to PayPal) which combines low fees (it's completely free for WeFinance users), easy payment automation, and high security. When you use WeFinance for the first time, we walk you through a quick Dwolla account creation process. Once your account is created, WeFinance handles everything, including transferring money between Dwolla and your bank in both directions and automatic payments between borrowers and lenders. Nobody you do business with on WeFinance ever sees any of your banking information.

    Why can't I use other payment methods, such as my credit card?

    Unfortunately, most popular services are too expensive for this kind of transaction (including all credit and debit card options). WeFinance would have to pass these costs on to users if we offered these services as options, and that would eliminate most or all of the financial benefit for you. Dwolla is low-cost, allowing WeFinance to cover transaction fees. There are no fees for account creation or maintenance.

    Are there fees associated with lending or borrowing with WeFinance?

    WeFinance is completely free for both our borrowers and lenders. In the future, we may offer additional services or introduce a fee structure, but any loan made on WeFinance today will be fee-free for the life of the loan.

    How does WeFinance make money if the service is free?

    WeFinance earns a fee when our borrowers choose to work with one of our partners for an additional loan beyond what they can crowdfund or another financial service. We'll never charge any fees on loans you see on the site today, and we won't sell any of your data to anyone (or share it with partners without your permission).

    What happens if a borrower is unable to make a payment on his or her loan?

    If a borrower needs to make a change on an automatic payment, he or she can email our support team at [email protected]. However, it's important to understand not making your payments on time violates your loan contract and you should discuss special circumstances with your lenders before simply not paying your loans.


    How do lenders benefit by using WeFinance?

    Lenders benefit by earning a financial return while helping real people save money.

    Are there risks to lending using WeFinance?

    Yes. As with most options when investing your money, there are risks to making loans using WeFinance. WeFinance is a platform designed to help facilitate both the creation and fulfillment of loans, but WeFinance is not a party to the loans themselves. You should examine your options carefully when considering making loans using WeFinance and only lend money to individuals you believe pose an acceptable level of risk.

    When should I not lend on WeFinance?

    Your judgment is crucial in your lending decisions. You shouldn't lend money to someone you don't trust. Consider making several small loans, instead of a larger loan to a single individual.

    What happens when I make a pledge?

    Shortly after your pledge, the pledge amount will be taken from your bank account and moved to your Dwolla account. The money stays in your Dwolla account until the borrower's listing closes. At that time, if sufficient pledges have been made, all the pledges become loans and your money is transferred to the borrower. If sufficient pledges have not been made, no loan will occur and the money will automatically be transferred back to your bank account.

    How do I get repaid?

    Every month, we automatically transfer repayments from the borrower's bank account to each lender's bank account via Dwolla. The process is fully automated—neither borrowers nor lenders have to do anything no matter how many loans they have.


    How do borrowers benefit by using WeFinance?

    Borrowers can pay a lower rate on their debt by borrowing from their extended network and the WeFinance lender network. Their interest is paid to supporters in their community instead of a bank. Additionally, borrowing on WeFinance can be faster and easier than other methods, and the proceeds can be used at the borrower's discretion.

    When should I not borrow with WeFinance?

    WeFinance is designed to facilitate personal loans, typically where the borrower has a large one-time expense (such as a student loan, vehicle or medical expense) and concrete plans to be able to pay off their loan (usually via a job they already work at or have lined up). WeFinance is not designed for small business loans or crowdfunding to create a product or business, and is not a great fit for those considering bankruptcy.

    Can everyone see my loan listing?

    You can choose to make their listings public or private. Public listings can be seen on our website. Private listings can only be seen by those with the personalized link given to the borrower. We encourage you to share your link as broadly as possible to increase your chances of success.

    What is a lending target and what if I don’t meet it?

    The lending target is the minimum amount you want to borrow using WeFinance. You can raise up to 33% more than your target amount in a single listing. For example, if you set your minimum to be $6,000, you can receive up to a maximum of $8,000 in total pledges for that listing. If the total pledges don't reach the minimum threshold when your listing ends, we'll automatically return all the lenders' funds to their bank accounts. You won’t receive the money, those loans won't ever go into effect, and you won’t be responsible for repayment.

    What if I want to borrow more than what I crowdfund with WeFinance?

    We realize many of our borrowers would like to borrow more than they can crowdfund. We've partnered with lenders who understand that when your network supports you, you're lower risk. These partners can give WeFinance borrowers great rates on additional loans. Learn more about our partners here.

    Can I choose lenders, or reject a lender?

    You have control over who can see your listing, since you decide whether it is shown publicly on the WeFinance site, and it's only accessible through a link you share. However, you don't have any further control over your lenders.

    How do I become a WeFinance borrower?

    We are currently accepting applications for our next batch of borrowers. If you'd like to borrow, fill out our borrower application!

    I want to borrow or already borrowed money from a friend or family member and could use your help formalizing it. Is that something WeFinance can do for me?

    We'd love to help if we can! Shoot us an email at [email protected] and tell us more.


    Why do I have to provide my birthdate and other personal information?

    Our money transmitter Dwolla is required by US federal law to collect certain information from you. (You can read Dwolla's explanation for this here.) WeFinance doesn't collect or store any of this kind of information—only the Dwolla account information necessary to process your transactions. Of course, neither WeFinance nor Dwolla shares information of this kind with anyone under any circumstances.

    Is my personal information safe on WeFinance?

    Yes. We take the security of your personal information extremely seriously and use industry-strength encryption to protect it. No sensitive personal information is revealed during any WeFinance transaction and we don't sell or share your personal information with third parties, period. Our money transmitter Dwolla also takes its responsibilities with your data extremely seriously. You can read about their practices here.

    What permissions do I grant WeFinance when I log in via Facebook?

    We can view your name and email and your hometown, schools and workplaces that you've listed on Facebook. We also see mutual friends you share with other WeFinance users. We use this information to show commonalities between borrowers and potential lenders. We never share it with any other parties or post anything to Facebook on your behalf without your express permission.


    What can I do if I have a dispute over a loan or a borrower stops making payments?

    Every loan made on WeFinance is a contract between a borrower and lender. Borrowers and lenders both will have copies of an enforceable contract and can pursue conventional legal means for collections if they want. WeFinance wants the best possible outcomes for both borrowers and lenders and pledges to help mediate if difficulties arise, such as working out modified payment plans if borrowers encounter unexpected issues with repayment. WeFinance doesn't currently engage in collections or formal credit reporting and isn't a party to your contract.

    Is the information about a borrower on his or her listing verified by WeFinance?

    WeFinance verifies the identity of its borrowers and makes good-faith attempts to ensure listing information is accurate, but we don't currently run credit or background checks or take other additional steps to verify listed information. The goal of WeFinance is to use real identity and existing networks to make a good loan decision.

    Do I have to pay taxes on interest I earn as a WeFinance lender?

    The interest you earn from WeFinance loans is taxable, just like interest earned in a savings account or CD. Whether you owe tax on the interest and how much will depend on your specific circumstances. WeFinance will provide documentation tracking your interest income (similar to what banks provide) but you should consult a tax professional to determine what applies to your specific situation.