Lending Club expands online loan service to businesses

Moving beyond personal lending services with a $35,000 limit, peer-to-peer loan site Lending Club has expanded to small-business customers looking to borrow between $15,000 and $100,000.

Chief Executive Renaud Laplanche promised Lending Club's business-loan move in December. It's a major move for the company but likely not the last, since Laplanche also plans to expand into home mortgages, student loans, and other areas.

"Bigger businesses can get large loans from banks, but smaller businesses are not well served by existing banking products from traditional banks," Laplanche said in a statement Thursday. "We … Read more

The 404 1422: Where we quit the pick-up tip (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- No more swipe and sign credit cards starting October 2015.

- Related: Bank of America mails credit card offer to "Lisa Is a Slut McIntire."

- Agree It app: now you can be a payday lender to Facebook friends!… Read more

Tesla repays government loan early, a boost for electric cars

In what could be viewed as a shot in the arm for U.S.-made electric cars, Tesla Motors has repaid a government loan nine years early.

"Today, Tesla Automotive repaid the entire remaining balance on a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy nine years earlier than originally required," the U.S. Department of Energy said in a statement Wednesday.

That clean-energy loan was made in 2010.

And the U.S. energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, seemed to address critics of clean energy loans while trumpeting the success of Tesla.

"When you're talking about cutting-edge … Read more

The 404 1270: Where it's like comparing apples and googles (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- CNET's full coverage of today's Google I/O 2013 event.

- Get out of the sun!

- Follow Jill on Twitter.

- Check out Jill's new site.… Read more

Sharp to take out $313 million in loans for ailing business -- report

Sharp, the ailing electronics maker that's in desperate need of cash, has decided to take out a major loan from three banks, according to a new report.

Sometime this week, Sharp will sign deals with three financial institutions for loans that equate to 30 billion yen ($313 million), Bloomberg is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the company's plans. Sharp hasn't publicly confirmed that it's getting loans, but a representative said that the company is hoping that many more banks will come to its aid.

Sharp has watched its business hemorrhage cash over … Read more

The 404 1,195: Where what the ETF? (podcast)

Listeners of The 404 Show have plenty of financial questions, so we look to our resident expert Jill Schlesinger from "CBS MoneyWatch" to make sense of it all. From ETFs to IRAs and everything in between, Jill and Jeff navigate the choppy waters of personal finance. They'll also talk about Apple in great detail, and whether the company's sinking stock price is a sign of things to come.

Jill hits up The 404 Show every three weeks, so if you've got a question you want answered on the show, be sure to send a tweet or e-mail us! … Read more

Perform and save loan calculations and payment schedules with Loan Plan

Loan Plan for iPhone is a budgeting app that lets you crunch the numbers on a proposed loan to see if it is good or not. Loan Plan for iPhone installs easily and costs $3.99 through the App Store.

Loan Plan for iPhone lets you enter basic loan information (term, principal, interest rate) and displays your loan payments and amortization schedule. It also shows you the credit capacity you have, based on your income and expenses, letting you know if you can really afford the loan. You can save the results in a file so you can compare loan … Read more

Handy loan calculator for Excel

Loan Amortization Schedule for Excel is, no surprise, an XLS file that has loan amortization formulas embedded in it. Distributed as a ZIP file with the XLS sheet and a couple of text files (release notes and license agreement), there's no installation process to follow. Just open the XLS file with Excel (or compatible program) and you're good to go.

The layout of the first sheet is simple: space at the top for loan mount, interest rate, term, and a few other details like payment frequency and compounding period. You just enter your information to see the monthly … Read more

Curt Schilling's video game company cuts entire staff

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's 38 Studios gaming company is crumbling around him.

As news spread over the past week that the company was hurting for cash, spending $49 million of a $75 million state loan, the Boston Globe reports that the young video game publishing house laid off all of its nearly 400 employees as of today.

"I'm stunned, and I'm heartbroken," Leominster fantasy author and consultant to 38 Studios R.A. Salvatore, told the Boston Globe. "This is one of the best teams I've ever seen assembled. They were doing … Read more

DOE nails down loans for giant solar projects

The U.S. Department of Energy today finalized financing for four utility-scale solar projects, capping a week of intense activity amid heightened political scrutiny on the loan guarantee program.

The solar projects are: Project Amp, for the installation of 752 megawatts' worth of solar power on about 750 commercial rooftops; a partial loan guarantee for the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project in California; the 230-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 Project in California; and the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch project.

Among the four projects, the Department of Energy will guarantee financing worth more than $4.7 billion. Earlier this week, … Read more