I think this is a great idea. I would gladly make loans to alumni of my alma matter and for that matter I would absolutely pay them off.
Person-to-person lending grows faster when a level of trust exists between borrowers and lenders. Adding in whole communities of alumni with that trust built in dramatically increases our ability to extend great opportunities to everyone on the platform.
Potential lenders feel closer to their fellow alumni than they do to the general public: they feel both a desire to help and a stronger sense of trust due to their shared connection. If you can make a 12% return (which is the current average of all lenders’ portfolios on Lending Club), and at the same time help fellow alumni, it becomes a no-brainer for lenders.
Borrowers also feel more compelled to make payments on time because they know that their lenders are fellow alumni who are counting on these payments. This keeps defaults minimal and, in turn, reinforces trust on the lenders’ side. You can expect more announcements on this blog shortly as new online communities join the Lending Club ecosystem every week.