Private Money Loan Recommendations?

I had someone email me an interesting question recently:

I had a quick question about private money loans. Have their been any posts on this? I tried searching “private money”, “hard money” but nothing came up. I’m looking into rehabbing a house and conventional lending isn’t going to work for me, so I was wondering if there are any recommendations or guidelines for obtaining private money?

The closest thing I can remember is a site called Prosper (I wrote a note about it) where people can loan other people money. However, I’m almost positive they are geared toward small loans like paying off credit card debt, so I don’t think it would help for home remodeling projects. Also, when I did a bit of searching, I see Brian Bradu covered the topic of private money loans a little while ago, but his angle didn’t include any guidelines or recommendations for finding a private loan.

Is this a common thing? Is there a good source of information for private loans? My gut says that most private money loans are probably among family/friends, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there was an existing market for this kind of thing.