Lending Club’s Data Changes and Impact on NSR

Lending Club recently made a change to their data which will impact investors.

In summary:

  1. 41 Credit Elements were removed – It’s largely reverted back to what investors had in 2012 and prior
  2. Dates no longer have the day of the month, so all dates will be in the format Month-Year (Mar-1999 for example)
  3. Historical files will be updated monthly instead of daily
  4. List date was removed

Recently Lending Club also announced the removal of employment title, city, and also redacted the zip code for the borrower – leaving only the first 3 digits.

The update has already occurred on the historical listings. The API will soon follow, but the timeline isn’t know for sure as exact dates were not given.  The KB simply states, “as soon as December 10th”.

This change impacts a significant number of investors using NSR.  All affected users of NSR will be receiving automated emails  detailing which filters are affected, and what elements must be removed. You’ll likely need to re-evaluate your investment strategy because removing the credit elements will likely impact your returns.

Notable changes to NSR:

  1. All 41 filters will disappear from the back testing utility and active listings.
  2. Searches by issue date will all assume loans issue on the first of the month, i.e., a loan issued on 7/15/2014 will be treated as 7/1/2014.
  3. All intra-month charts will be removed – like the daily interest rate.
  4. Charts displaying the speed of issue, i.e., the delta between list and issue date will be removed.
  5. Prepayment data will be less accurate. There can be up to 30 days of play in the issue date in worst case scenarios

Tonight we will be rolling out the first batch of code changes to help ease the transition process. You will start to receive a warning when saving a filter with obsolete filter elements. Once we resume our historical import process, the 41 filters will permanently be removed  from the NSR website.

You can read more about this on Lending Club’s KB by clicking here


A Look At Loan Volume for February


We often see end of the month reports detailing loan volume for Lending Club and Prosper.  At NSR we monitor daily issued loan volume located under the “charts” section. These charts give great insight into the day-to-day operations of both companies and can help shed light on how money is flowing through them during the month.

February is a short month, 2nd only to November when federal holidays are factored in.  The image below shows the entire calendar year, with federal holidays in green and weekends in yellow.

Working US Days - Source: http://www.calendar-12.com/working_days
Working US Days – Source: http://www.calendar-12.com/working_days

February is 2 days shorter in duration, or about 9.5% less than January. However Prosper’s volume was ~23% less than the month prior.  Is this cause for concern?  No.  Loan originations aren’t everything P2P platforms should be measured by, although it’s important to see consistent growth over time.

What’s more essential is the platforms stay committed to providing investors with properly underwritten loans regardless of volume.

Lending Club issued a slight increase in volume over last month. But we find some interesting trends when looking at the daily originations.  The policy code 2 loans spike on the last day of the month.  On February 28th, it reached a record 20.69% of issued loan volume for the day.  Additionally, on this day, they issued a record 35.69M in loans.



While the policy 2 loans are not publicly available to invest in, it’s clear that these loans are helping Lending Club exceed the previous month’s loan issuance.  There is very little information published on these loans so it’s difficult to extrapolate any meaningful data how how they impact overall performance of Lending Club.  The softer performance could be a result of the cold weather gripping the United States, but it would appear Lending Club has more tools to ensure smoother originations.

What Does This all Mean?

Regardless of volume, there is no shortage of investors. There is however mismatch in the loans investors want and what is available. Most investor targeting returns over 12% are experiencing issues with idle cash.  The P2P finance industry is no longer a game of attracting investors, it’s finding borrowers that match investor demand.

B paper and higher continues to remain in ample supply and in lower grades, investors have become increasingly more selective.  We’re already starting to see rates on lower grade paper come down, which is part of pricing demand into yields. As time goes on rates will likely fall if the platforms fail to attract a higher number of high risk borrowers.  Even if this does happen, P2P lending will continue to be a strong alternative fixed income asset class.

More Data for Policy Code 2 & 99 Loans Redacted on Lending Club

Policy Code 2 & 99 loans, recently covered by Lend Academy, are a set of loans that are reserved for institutional investors.  The following data elements were removed recently:

  • Interest Rate
  • Grade
  • Sub Grade

The interest rate for these loans are now reported as 0.00%.  This caused some of the functions on NSR to stop working, namely back testing. This change by Lending Club has zero impact on how ROI is produced in the results. We introduced a fix, but only policy 1 loans are supported for filtering now.

Lending Club continues to publish the loan sizes for policy 2 & 99 loans, and where that data is relevant we will continue to support it.

Nickel Steamroller 2.0

After months of work, we’d like to announce the beta release of NSR 2.0. This version of the platform is a joint effort between Rocco who runs Prosper Stats and myself. We decided to team up in June of 2013 after looking at our current offerings. Rocco brings a great deal of experience and talent to NSR, and for the first time Prosper is fully supported on NSR, feature for feature, thanks to his prodigious work.

New Features:

  • Advanced loan filtering and analysis including “data drill downs”
  • Loan inventory monitoring
  • Unified back testing, active and Folio filtering
  • Enhanced portfolio analyzer for both Lending Club and Prosper
  • Expanded filter inputs for back testing
  • Data aggregation from the Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • More Charts with the ability to overlay data from external sources
  • Log in with your Google or Facebook account, or just use your email
  • Prosper Expanded Credit Filters Support

Notable Changes

Email Notifications Will Go Away

This feature is used quite a bit; over 4K email alerts go out daily.  The utility of this service has declined with time as loan demand has increased.  Most notifications that go out are for loans that have already funded.  Email is no longer the preferable method for notification of new loans. We’ll gauge your response on this, but if you feel email notifications are a must, we may add them back. Our feeling though is that emails are not effective for investing in the loans you want. Additionally, most email services throttle email or enforce some quota.  We are hitting delivery rate limits when new loans are released. Switching to our own email servers may be a solution, but maintaining an email server is low on the list of enjoyable things to do.

Portfolio Analyzer Requires You to Log In

The original portfolio analyzer allowed you to upload your notes.csv file anonymously. We now require you to log in.  There’s nothing nefarious here, and signing up is simple and free.  To work with the new architecture portfolios are now stored in a database so we need to associate portfolios with an identifier to track who they belong to. Portfolios themselves contain no identifiable information, and they can be completely removed at anytime from NSR.  This is the only feature (except auto investing) that requires a log in; active listings, Folio data, charts, and all the back testing tools you can use as an anonymous user.

Estimated ROI for Active Listings

This is gone, but will be back after we discuss improvements to this.  Currently NSR only supported Lending Club. We’re going to expand this into Prosper as well. This will be top on our list of items to add after we complete our current development tasks for the final release.

ROI Calculations

NSR 1.0 used the method Lend Stats uses to calculate ROI. With NSR 2.0 we are using Prosper Stats’ approach.   The new system actually supports both ROI calculations, but the NSR 1.0 ROI is hidden from the result set. We’ll likely add an option to the “Results Options” tab on the back testing tool to allow you to select between the two.

Previously Late Loan Analysis

This is a Prosper Stats feature that is not yet ported, but will be.

Next Steps

Account Migration

NSR and ProsperStats are merging into one platform. As such, we have users on both systems. We don’t know the exact username or emails you used to sign up with the two systems to attempt to merge everything.  We’ve written migration scripts to move all of your filters from our existing system to the new system, but we will only this at your request.  We’ll have to do some digging to verify the accounts.  The easiest and fastest thing to do is simple recreate your filters on NSR 2.0 after your signup for a new account.

NSR 1.0 will remain active until we switch 2.0 from beta to release mode. The same is true for Prosper Stats. We’ll be feature complete in terms of the functionality offered by Prosper Stats and NSR 1.0, except for the changes noted above in “Notable Changes”.

The new beta site has replaced the main site located at http://www.nickelsteamroller.com/

NSR 1.0 will be available at http://v1.nickelsteamroller.com/

Links to NSR

Many websites link to NSR and Prosper Stats. We’re going to make every effort to support legacy links so that you don’t have to change a thing on your blogs/websites.  Since this is a completely new code base the URLs have changed. We’ll be watching logs for incorrect links and attempt to add support.

Be sure to follow @NSRInvesting for updates.

Lending Club Adds NSR-Like Return Model

Lending Club has recently introduced a new feature that allows investors to model their returns much like NSR’s Portfolio Analyzer and Forecasting Tool. I never thought this type of return forecasting would make it into either platform but I am very happy to see this. I believe this method of looking at returns is one of the most accurate available. Prosper uses a different method called “seasoned loans” which simply excludes loans that have not yet reached an age of 10 months. Both of these techniques are used to address the issue to that non-performing notes take up to 4 months to impact your ROI.

The key difference is the Lending Club approach will start discounting loans immediately (upon status change), smoothing out returns and providing greater insight to your ROI.

Below is a screenshot from the new feature, as you can see it allows investor to tweak their loan loss rates. According to Lending Club the loss rates are based on “the estimated charge off rate for each loan status over the next 9 months, which is based on historical loan performance.” So you may find the estimated losses to be a little optimistic.   Lending Club let’s you to enter your own loss rates which allows you to set your loss rates to anything you feel is appropriate.


Lending Club’s loss rates are across all loans, so if you invest in only A-B grade notes you should be able to bias the loss rates down. Likewise if you buy notes that are north of 20% you may find you have to adjust the values up. Over all, their loss factors will give a much more accurate number for returns than what is currently promoted as your ROI.  This is a great feature to add to Lending Club on top of their recent changes to the secondary market.

NSRP Signup is Now Open



NSR Premium is now accepting new signups. During the launch we will be offering a limited number of investors accounts that have no limits on size or transaction volume for $25/month.  Once the signup process is streamlined for investors, tiered accounts will exist based on transaction volume – not assets under management. For small accounts, less than $10,000 there will be starter plan which will be $10/month.

NSRP is currently auto-investing for accounts which total size exceeds 9 million. The volume that has been automated now exceeds 1.6 million.

We are pleased to offer this service to all investors – both Lending Club and Prosper. During the signup process there may be a delay in enrolling your accounts for API access. You will not be charged until your first transaction.  Requests for access will be processed in the order their are received.

Sign up Here [Closed]


The Next Evolution In P2P Investing: NSR Premium

After months of work, the next evolution of Nickel Steamroller (NSR) is here! We are pleased to announce Nickel Steamroller Premium (NSRP). NSRP is a fully-featured automated investment and portfolio management tool designed to work with all major US P2P investing platforms.

One Login, Every Account

From your single NSRP login you can manage numerous accounts from across platforms. The system was designed to be adaptable – seamlessly allowing a new module to be created to support new P2P platforms as they come into existence. Currently both Lending Club and Prosper are supported. NSRP does not rely on “screen scraping” to control your account. Instead, every feature available from Lending Club and Prosper’s APIs have been integrated into NSRP. This delivers a level of robustness investors need to ensure idle cash is minimized, and there are not errors during transactions.

Additionally, this means NSRP does not hold your money, or has access to checking account information.  Your account stays yours, NSRP is a suite of powerful tools that interacts with your account via APIs.

NSRP has several built-in fault tolerant protection features to ensure your account never owns the same note twice. This new technology is called NoteLock. NoteLock will 1.) reference your existing portfolio 2.) place all notes you buy on the platform into an in-memory lock table 3.) record the transactions so they will never be considered in your execution plan again.

balances View all your accounts

Account Monitoring

NSRP will monitor your portfolio daily, taking snapshots of vital data. This includes ROI, percentage of notes by status (charged off, default, grace, etc.) and account totals such as idle cash, pending and total.  If you are custom to using the portfolio analysis tool on NSR, NSRP provides the same functionality and more. Additionally, you will never have to upload another CSV file, all your data is imported automatically.


Monitor cash levels

Transaction Information

Every transaction on the system is logged, giving you insight into your investing strategy speed and volume.


Detailed transaction history

Automated Investing

Automated investing is supported for both Lending Club and Prosper. The investment cycles run when both platforms publish their loans, giving investors the opportunity to reduce idle cash.


Auto invest plan configuration utility

API Integration

NSRP provides 3rd party integration for risk models. Meaning, if you have your own model and you would like to automate it, you can use NSRP’s simple API integration. NSRP will automatically query your service endpoint for the loans you would like to buy and do the rest of work.

Fast… Really Fast

Recently, many investors have had issues investing with Lending Club and Prosper given the high-demand for notes. NSRP aims to be the fastest automated P2P investment platform in the world. Instead of processing investment orders in serial, NSRP does everything in a highly scalable parallel back-end. Imagine a single lane highway and you need to move 1,000 cars through it. This would be a serial approach to processing orders. NSRP is more like a 1,000 lane wide highway. Everyone gets a fair chance to buy a note.

With NSRP it will not be difficult to keep accounts as large as $500,000 to idle cash levels sub $25 using reasonably sized notes ($100 – $250) and filters.


NSRP sign-up will be available in a week, but only a limited number of investors will initially be accepted. The first investors to sign-up will receive a promotion plan that includes unlimited investing. Prosper investors will be able to start using NSRP immediately; however, Lending Club investors will experience a delay while their accounts are provisioned for API access (their API is still in beta). We’ll work with Lending Club investors to make this process as effortless as possible. NSRP will offer phone support during limited hours for customers that need help or have questions.


Portfolio Update April 2013

Since my last update I’ve added about $12,000 to my P2P lending accounts, split 50/50 between Lending Club and Prosper.

Lending Club


lc_term_april_2013 lc_grade_april_2013


My portfolio continues to move towards my goal of a 50/50 split for loan term. Back in September of 2012 my portfolio was about 76% 60 month notes.  My ROI has been pretty stable around 12%, and according to the NSR Portfolio Analyzer it’s 11.08%.

Right now you can get a 5 year CD  (considered risk free up to 250K) at 1.3%. Perhaps a poor comparison but illustrates that P2P lending is capable of out performing bank offerings handily. Even if you look at Junk Bonds which are paying about 7%, we’re seeing solid, stable returns with very little volatility with a higher ROI.


My ROI on Prosper has come down a bit from the 19% I saw last year, but it has come more inline with my realistic expectations. As you can see, even my seasoned ROI (excludes the last 10 months of issued note) is over 14%. Keep in mind though Prosper allows you access to interest rates over 25%, the current Lending Club cap.  These loans are considered higher risk, so of course there is the potential for higher default loss.   My current weighted average return for Prosper is 22.23% verse 17.58% on Lending Club.







My focus for now is opening IRAs with Lending Club and Prosper. I won’t be adding anymore cash to my taxable P2P accounts this year. By the end of the year my goal is to have my notes exceed $50,000.

Updates to NSR Alerts – Now With Prosper Support


Many people use Nickel Steamroller to receive alerts for Lending Club loans as they come on the Primary Market. In the past these alert results have been limited to 25 loans per email. This restriction has been removed. If you wish to monitor the platform for all new loans, you now can.

The new alert system on NSR monitors loans every hour instead of the the 4 times a day Lending Club releases new loans.  I’ve done this for two reasons. 1.) To keep the percent funded more accurate and remove loans that are funded 2.) in the event Lending Club was to move to rolling release for loans, the alert system would require no changes.

Additionally, NSR now supports the Prosper Primary Market. The loans here are also processed every hour for the same reasons mentioned above.

In the past, NSR saved search alerts were all or nothing. Meaning if you had alerts enabled, you received alerts for all of your saved searches. This is no longer the case, you can turns alerts on and off individually for each saved search.


This should help cut down on unwanted email. In addition, you can directly unsubscribe a email notification for a saved search right from the email that was sent to you. Below is an example of the new email alert.


I’ve added the listing date and time for the loan and the funding information. This should help you see the “freshness” of the loan and hopefully improve your ability to buy the target note.

There are a lot of new filter options. For Lending Club there are over 90 and for Prosper, over 500. I have not exposed every filter, but if you find one you need beyond the core set of filters, let me know and I’ll add it.

Primary Market Tool Links:


Prosper’s new RESTful API

Prosper recently re-released their API, completely rewritten from the SOAP/WSDL service to a REST compliant service.  This is an exciting change for three reasons:

1.) More open. The move to REST will allow greater access to Prosper’s API.  Not only can you access data directly from your web browser but I believe developers will find the API much easier to work with too.  When you make a request to their API can you specify your content type as XML (default) or JSON which gives developers greater flexibility to consume the data in a format of their choice. There is a lot of freedom in terms of how you process the service results.

2.) Richness in data. Prosper has included endpoint access to your account balances and notes.  These are wonderful additions, but it doesn’t stop there. They have a new endpoint called DataDictionary which states every data element, the description, and SQL type for the specified endpoint. One of the biggest pains when handling a large amounts of data with no definition of the types is guessing what is most reasonable to use for your SQL schema. Not only is this  solved, but with the SQL types returned by the service.  You can create scripts to automatically generate and maintain your schema for Prosper data. This will translate to saved time and ease when maintaining your local copy of Prosper data.

3.) Security. Prosper requires a separate set of credentials to access the API. This means applications will use a set of credentials that can only access API functions, and not your main account which you log into from Prosper.

API Endpoints

Below is a brief descriptions of the new Endpoints:

Listings: GET https://api.prosper.com/api/Listings/

Listings contain 541 data elements per loan as of writing this. A bulk of these are part of the credit pull they receive from their expanded underwriting process.

ListingsHistorical: GET https://api.prosper.com/api/ListingsHistorical/

This is the same data contained in Listings, but for all listings that have ever existed. It’s a very large data set, and we’ll discus later how to “chunk” the data into smaller downloads. But the best way to get this data will likely still be direct from Prosper’s data download page.

Invest: POST https://api.prosper.com/Invest

The Invest endpoint will allow you to place an order for a note. Typically POSTs aren’t something you can do in a web browser manually but plugins like REST Console (covered later) would allow you to do so.  For developers its important to set your Content-Type to application/x-www-form-urlencoded for the investment to work correctly.

To do the invest all you need to do is POST two parameters:

  1. listingId: the listing number of note you wish to buy
  2. amount: The amount you wish to buy

If you are trying to buy $100 of a loan that only has $50 left, the service will automatically round down and tell you in the response how much of the investment amount was actually invested.

Investments: GET https://api.prosper.com/api/Investments/

Investments is an interesting endpoint because is allows you to see a detailed audit trail of all investment history for your account, not just notes that have been issued. It would be very easy to reconstruct your “issue rate” to see how many of your loans are actually getting issued.  This is a great metric, and one I personally monitor for my investments.

Notes: GET https://api.prosper.com/api/Notes/

Notes will be critical for those who in the past relied on LendStats or ProsperStats to gain insight into their portfolio. This is essentially the Lending Club equivalent to notes.csv.  In addition to showing you all the notes you own, Prosper gives you some nice additional data such as:

  1. Has the note been sold on FolioFN
  2. A complete breakdown of fees
  3. Recovery amounts
  4. Days past due

Later in the blog post I will show you how to get your Notes from your web browser in CSV format.

Loans: GET https://api.prosper.com/api/Loans/

The Loans endpoint provides a high level overview of loan performance. It won’t contain expanded underwriting, but will contain vital information related to balances. In many ways it shares a lot of same data elements as the Notes endpoint, but include all loan, not just ones you’ve invested in.

MarketPlace: GET https://api.prosper.com/api/MarketPlace/

MarketPlace is not yet implemented yet, but will contain data on the overall platform performance. Such as total issued,  interest rates, and other aggregate data points.

Account: GET https://api.prosper.com/api/Account/

Account is not yet implemented.   There is no public documentation on this endpoint, but from what I have been told it will allow you to access information such as idle cash, and total investment in terms of outstanding principle and pending notes.

oData Filtering

oData is not an Endpoint, but is method for filtering data. This allows you to specify subsets of data from the API. For instance you may want to look at only A grade loans for Listings, or find loans in a specific interest rate range. Theoretically, developers could rewrite their filters using oData, make an API call to Listings and simply buy the loans returned. No need for client side filtering or even storing data!

A good example would be using oData to filter ListingsHistory for all issued loans. Since ListingsHistory also contains loans that were not issued, we will have to filter these out.

GET https://api.prosper.com/api/ListingsHistorical/?$filter=LoanOriginationDate ne null

We are searching for all loans where the origination date is not NULL – NULL indicates the loan was not issued.

Keep in mind, this is a huge set of data. I would recommend using oData to break this request into smaller ones using $skip and $top to implement paging.

  • Request 1: https://api.prosper.com/api/ListingsHistorical/?$filter=LoanOriginationDate ne null&$top=50&$skip=0
  • Request 2: https://api.prosper.com/api/ListingsHistorical/?$filter=LoanOriginationDate ne null&$top=50&$skip=50
  • Request n: 50(n-1): https://api.prosper.com/api/ListingsHistorical/?$filter=LoanOriginationDate ne null&$top=50&$skip=50(n-1)

You would do requests until you result set is a size of 0.  At that point you would have a complete data set for all issued loans.

How to Access the API (Even if you’ve never written a single line of code in your life!)

One of the advantages of a REST based service is the simplicity. REST uses the same protocol the world wide web uses, HTTP, which means your browser can act as a client for the API. You can you can start accessing data with ease and speed.  For all of the service endpoints that support GET, you can go directly to the endpoint in your browser and retrieve data in XML format. However, the API supports CSV and JSON if you specify this in your Content-Type.  A quick summary of the support contents type are:

  • text/csv
  • application/json
  • text/xml

Please remember, in order to access the API you must contact Prosper’s Investment Services.

Using Chrome’s Rest Console to Access Your Notes

Chrome has a plugin called REST Console which allows you to interact with REST services using a graphical interface. By setting a few parameters you can start accessing the data without having to write a single line of code.

1. Install & start REST Console from inside Chrome

2. Configure the Target


3. Set your credentials for the API


4. Click Send

You will see your currently owned notes returned in the console output. You can get the exact same data without using REST Console but it will be in XML format.


The new API offering for Prosper is a game changer. The DataDictionary endpoint is probably the least interesting in terms functionality but will provide developers with the ability to create applications in less time and with more robustness.  The DataDictionary also contains the description for all of the expanded underwriting elements so you will know what the data means and how it may impact your investing. As more developers decide to automate their own investing, it will prove and invaluable resource.

As for the other Endpoints, Prosper has literally exposed virtually all data they have for their loans through their new API.  There is no doubt this will be impactful on investors and open all sorts of new discussion on how we use data to invest.