Everyone goes through rough financial times every now and then. Calling on friends, colleagues or even neighbors to help during such difficult moments is one of the easiest way to deal with the situation. Unfortunately, this is also the time when most of them choose to make themselves scarce.
That is why internet based services that help you find people around you to borrow from can be very helpful. Instead of ambushing your friends one by one, asking for help and getting disappointed along the way, a simple google search will help you not only find someone capable but also willing lend you. With the services, the problem of non-repayment which has ruined many friendships becomes the problem of a third party.
Two services, HiFrank and Socinorg, are notable in this area. They might be totally different but both capture the essence of friends helping each other without jeopardizing their relationships.
Hifrank is purely friend-lend-friend system. To start using it you join then invite friends that you trust financially. If they also trust you, they will accept your invitations. When you need money, you just send borrowing requests from requests to any of the people you have invited. You can ask the people in your group for as little as $10 to as much as $3000. You also decide when you want the first and last repayment date to be. Finally, your request will specify whether you want to repay in installments and how much you want to tip the person who lends you the money.
Sociorg follows the same basic approach allowing people to lend money to each other but introduces extra features. For instance, unlike Hifrank which requires you to deposit the money you will be lending to friends, Socin allows transactions to happen outside the platform. So you can send money to your neighbor through Mpesa or do a bank transfer and file the transaction at Socin
Socin also allows strangers to lend money to each other because they offer social insurance coverage to the lender for loans that qualify. You just need to post a loan request and people who are interested can get in touch with you even if they are located thousands of miles away.
Would you use an internet service to lend money to a neighbor?
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