For some, as it becomes clear that a recession is clearly on its way (if it is not already here, as Paul Volcker asserts), it is time to start thinking seriously about getting out of debt and getting one’s personal financial situation in order. Yesterday, I spoke with Jason Russell, a representative of Prosper.
No, not THAT Prosper. You’re thinking of Prosper Lending. THIS Prosper offers coaching to individuals who want to learn more about how to better manage their money.
“Right now,” Russell says, “people are looking for ways to get out of debt. Our personal finance coaching is really popular.”
Russell says that one of the mentors Prosper offers coaching from is David Bach, the famous personal finance guru and the guy who came up with the “Latte Factor.” He says that this is one of the most popular — and successful — coaching programs:
“David Bach offers mentoring for twelve weeks. You work one and one over the phone, and you get a curriculum to work through. Having a coach makes you accountable.”
Prosper offers more than personal finance help and mentoring for getting out of debt. Russell says that there are programs on investing, entrepreneurship, real estate and more. “Many people find that once they get through the personal finance program, they want to take another course and move on to the next stage of managing and growing their money.”
While a coaching program can be very helpful for many people who need direction, encouragement and help when it comes to getting their financial lives put together, Prosper doesn’t come cheap. There are non-coaching programs that start at $1,750, and the mentor programs run from between $4,500 and $15,000. “Our range of programs and price points makes it easier to help students choose a program that is right for them,” Russell points out.
If you have the motivation to educate yourself and learn through trial and error, such coaching isn’t necessary. There are plenty of books and Web sites that can help you — and you can put the money you would have spent on a program fee to use in other ways. But if you need outside motivation (and perhaps view the fee as an investment in yourself), Prosper might work for you.