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When Americans need money, they often turn first to banks for a loan, but their options there are only as good as their credit.

If their credit score—a figure that can be calculated incorrectly and yet is often taken as the sole indicator of a prospective borrower’s reliability—is low, they often turn to loans with much higher interest rates.

cover story noted, nearly half of all respondents to a 2014 Federal Reserve study said that they wouldn’t have enough cash on hand. Most told the Fed they would try for a bank loan, use a credit card, or make a potentially embarrassing request to family and friends.

Two percent of respondents said they would take out a payday loan.

“You don’t have to walk back to dad with your tail between your legs and ask for help,” he said.

Now, he turns to Reddit when surprise expenses arise.

Kevin said that he’s mostly in it for the money, but his longstanding interest in Internet communities has shaped his participation as well.

“As a teenager in the 2000s, I grew up participating in tight-knit internet forums and made lifelong relationships with strangers I only knew as a nickname online,” he said in an email.

Kevin, a San Francisco software engineer who asked to be identified by first name only, says he has made around 400 loans totaling 0,000—he says he earns about ,000 a month from r/borrow.On r/borrow, loans are being granted to the tune of ,000 per week, according to user-collected data, and part of the platform’s success lies in its anti-establishment appeal.Lenders and borrowers alike are fond of the way that r/borrow takes lending out of a cold, institutional paradigm.According to a moderator of the subreddit, r/borrow users, like Redditors at large, skew young, white, and male.Loans tend to range from 0 to a few thousand dollars, and cover the gamut of emergency financial needs, including car repairs, debt consolidation, medical bills, or unexpected travel costs.

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