Lending Club Review: Edition 2020

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Being strapped for cash does not have to mean the end of the world. Getting a loan is sometimes the best way to get out of a pickle, and have funds quickly delivered to your account.

Lending Club, as one of the best personal loan companies on the market, provides a way to borrow money online for special needs like:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Refinancing a home
  • Paying off credit cards
  • Compare student loans
  • Car payment refinance

As Lending Club reviews show, this peer to peer borrowing platform has a lot more to offer. Read on to learn all about it.

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Editorial Rating

Strengths

  • A flexible lending option – a service that provides a variety of loan options that one can use however they see fit.
  • Joint loan application – When you start your application you can add another person to improve your credit score.
  • Low credit score – The platform requires a minimum credit score of 600 to apply so business loans for bad credit are not excluded.
  • Long loan terms – The terms to repay your loan can be stretched for up to five years.
  • Multiple loan offers – Potential borrowers get various offers from a network of lenders and view them to choose the most suitable one.

Weaknesses

  • A lot of fees – When going for installment loans, besides the interest rate the platform charges an origination fee and a late payment fee.
  • No mobile app – A platform of this magnitude should also offer a mobile version as well.
  • Competitive investing – Investors who don’t want to take risks will find this platform to be largely competitive for investors.
  • Not a good idea for bad credit – Applying for an online personal loan with a bad credit score will result in an unfavorable interest rate.

Lending Club Recap

Loan Amounts

$5,000 - $500,000

Loan Term

12 - 60 months

APR Range

9.77% - 35.98%

Min. Credit Score

620

Fees

Origination fee

Funding Time

1 - 4 weeks

Years in Business

14

BBB Rating

NR

Min. Revenue

$50,000 per year

Availability

All 50 states

What is Lending Club?

Lending Club is one of the most popular marketplace platforms for peer-to-peer lending investing in the US. It was founded in 2007 and has since facilitated more than $55 billion in loans and paid investors around $600 million in interest.

There are two ways to take advantage of Lending Club’s services — by being either a borrower or an investor. You can either borrow money or become part of the Lending Club investing platform and lend money to gain interest from it.

As a result, Lending Club is able to match borrowers in the United States with reputable partner lenders available on the platform.

Who is Lending Club best for?

Right off the bat, the LendingClub personal loans are most suited for people who are responsible for their payments and have a favorable financial history. Meaning, this platform is more suited for personal loans for good credit.

Lending Club Corporation divides their borrowers into two categories – prime and near-prime. Prime borrowers are rated by having a personal credit score of 660 or higher, while near-prime borrowers usually have a personal credit rating of between 600 and 659. The Lending Club approval odds naturally are much lower for personal loans for bad credit. To get an idea, check out the averages:

Prime Borrower Average

  • Credit score: 705
  • Income: $84,523
  • Average loan size: $15,364
  • Interest rate range: 8.46% – 20.75%
  • Common uses: large purchases, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation.

Near-Prime Borrower Average

  • Credit score: 640
  • Income: $68,086
  • Average loan size: $8,412
  • Interest rate range: 15.54% – 30.99%
  • Common uses: debt consolidation, credit card refinancing.

What this all means is that Lending Club is best suited for:

  • Consolidating debt: Combine multiple payments into one and cut your monthly payments as opposed to what you used to pay previously.
  • Forgetful bill payers: One can set up automatic payments from their active checking account.
  • Investors who want to diversify their portfolio: As all investments, this one also carries risk. That said, you can determine that with a Lending Club interest rate calculator and can minimize the risk factor by not financing an entire loan by yourself.
  • Joint applicants: Adding another applicant is one of the ways to improve your credit score. This also affects the Lending Club interest rate vs APR as it can reduce the interest for borrowers and minimize the risk for investors.

However, there are still situations where Lending Club is not suited for:

  • Novice investors: New investors who don’t have access to massive funds will not thrive on the platform. The Lending Club investor requirements are high as it is and the competition is enormous.
  • Risk-averse investors: While late payment fees exist, there is still a risk that debt will remain unpaid.
  • Low-credit borrowers: The Lending Club’s credit scoring model does not favor those with a lower credits core. Interest rates can be much higher than expected.

Getting Started with Lending Club

Lending Club Review

(Image Source: Digital Initiative)

So, how does Lending Club loan work? To get started with the platform, you need to create an account and get your Lending Club login details.

Setting up your account will require checking your credit score. The initial, soft check does not have a potential impact to credit score. At this step, you will need to provide information including your name and date of birth, along with data about your income. So besides your earnings, you may use different methods of repayment and they may include child support, alimony, income from secondary jobs, or maintenance income.

From there you will be able to choose the type of loan you are applying for.

What types of loans does the lender offer?

Types of Personal Loans available on Lending Club:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Credit card refinancing
  • Major purchase
  • Home improvement
  • Car financing
  • Home buying
  • Business
  • Green loan
  • Moving and relocation
  • Vacation
  • Medical expenses

Keep in mind that getting loan approval involves a hard check which will impact your credit score.

The next part of your Lending Club application includes you choosing a loan. The platform has an extensive network of lenders who are willing to invest and lend you the amount you need. However, a single lender is not going to fund your entire loan so you can’t really choose the best lender. Instead, a number of them will fund small amounts. Once you choose the loan amount, it will be distributed among them and as you pay back the sum each month they will receive a portion with the predetermined interest.

Lending Club reviews for investors confirm that this is probably the safest way of lending money. Lenders are not risking a lot as they are investing small portions of money to fund a loan ($25 for instance). The return may not be as high as you wish it to be but the risk is low.

Terms & Requirements

Loan eligibility is determined by stating the reason for your loan and also reviewing your bank transactions, credit score, DTI rating, and income before coming to a loan agreement.

Loan requirements for personal loans to borrowers include:

  • A minimum credit score of 600.
  • A debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower for single applications and 35% or lower for joint applications.
  • The latest credit history of three years.
  • Borrowing terms include:
  • A loan amount term of 36 months or 60 months for repayment.
  • A broad loan range of $1,000 minimum loan amount and $40,000 maximum loan amount.

The final terms will be determined after you fill out a free application and the offer from the best available lenders arrives.

User Reviews

In order to make our analysis of the platform complete, we also checked out a bunch of Lending Club reviews. We’ve looked through the users’ lending experience and came up with a general idea about what they liked.

So, what do lending club’s customers say about them?

Most of the users praised Lending Club’s professionalism. There are a lot of 5-star Lending Club reviews that deem their service as reliable. What they like about it is the ability to acquire quick loans. But besides having ready access to working capital, users were happy to learn about their creditworthiness in advance so they know if they can qualify for emergency funding.

However, not all Lending Club reviews were as positive. Some users had problems obtaining approval. Many of them were approved by Lending Club but were denied loans by lenders in the next step. Some didn’t like the rates they were given. Also, a lot of users feel that the fees are too high. Some of them do not like paying an origination fee on top of paying the interest for the loan.

But all in all, the majority of users feel that Lending Club is one of the best places to get a personal loan and a lot of them have used it more than once to obtain funds.

Features

Lending Club Review

(Image source: Seeking Aplha)

After you make your Lending Club login you will get access to a lot of features that are not available elsewhere. Some of those are:

  • Grades to borrowers: Lending Club assigns grades to all borrowers based on the credit and income data gathered. Borrowers with a steady stream of income naturally have a higher grade than others. Investors will be able to see the grade and that way decide whether to fund the borrowers on not. Grades are also only visible to investors and not to the borrowers themselves.
  • Joint loan option: Platforms like AmOne do offer similar loan application services like Lending Club, but most of them don’t have a joint loan option. This allows applicants to improve their score by applying together to get to their quick money loans. In this case, the debt-to-income ratio must be lower than 35%.
  • Soft credit pull: Before getting approved loans, Lending Club allows you to do a soft pull on your credit score. You can view your Lending Club application status and see what it is. But once a loan is issued a hard pull will be made.
  • Member center: Due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lending Club launched a tool to help customers better manage their credit and money. That way they can view information like credit score, credit utilization, and debt-to-income ratio.
  • Debt consolidation: The platform features a balance transfer loan to enable consolidating a debt with a business loan.

Rates & Fees

The Lending Club loan rates and fees are similar to other lending platforms. The vendor is comparable to Upgrade in terms of fees.

The platform does not charge a professional service fee and you won’t have to pay a flat fee on the amount funded. Instead, you will be charged an origination fee of 2% to 6%. A late fee is going to be charged after a 15-day grace period and will amount to either greater than $15 or 5% of the payment.

The estimated annual percentage rate of the loan (APR) meanwhile stands between 5.99% and 35.89%. The percentage of your interest rate will depend on your qualifications to apply. So, for example, the interest rate average for prime borrowers is between 8.46% and 20.74%, while near-prime borrowers have an average interest rate between 15.54% and 30.99%

Privacy & Security

Lending Club takes security rather seriously. Small business owners, personal borrowers, lenders, and investors who use the platform can rest assured that their info is protected. All of the vendor’s security measures comply with federal laws. They aim to exceed or at least meet the industry standards.

Since they store a lot of information about both borrowers and lenders, even info about their business checking account, both computer, and physical safeguards are employed.

Customer Support

In order to learn about how to get the most from your money or find out more about the business loan requirements, you can contact the Lending Club’s support team which is available through email or phone. The website further features a vast FAQ section so it’s a good idea to browse through it first.

Alternatives to Lending Club

Lending Club Review

(Image source: Seeking Alpha)

Now, let’s compare Lending Club with some rival platforms on the market.

Lending Club vs Upgrade

Lending Club and Upgrade are similar as they both provide services to people with good credit. While technically both platforms can be used for unsecured loans for bad credit, they are not the best choice because of the high interest rate.

Lending Club has a bigger maximum loan amount than Upgrade. Lending Club also requires a lower credit score to qualify. The interest rates are rather similar except that Lending Club offers APR of 5.99% as opposed to 7.99% at Upgrade.

One thing where Upgrade has the advantage is that it offers users tips on how to improve their credit score. They have a whole section dedicated to educating users.

If you want to consider Upgrade as a lender, be sure to check out our Upgrade review.

Lending Club vs BlueVine

Similar to Lending Club, BlueVine is also able to offer various types of loans. However, they have a more specialized loan set as they provide business lines of credit, invoice factoring, and term loans. Additionally, BlueVine is able to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans. Depending on the average monthly payroll cost, lenders can take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program and receive funds during the COVID-19 crisis.

While capable of offering all types of loans and having viable collection practices, Lending Club does not provide PPP loan options.

For more information about this, you can read our BlueVine review.

Lending Club vs Personal Loans

Lending Club and Personal Loans are rather similar. Personal Loans is a large market place platform with a variety of lenders. It does not offer the same opportunity to lenders like Lending Club though. It is more favorable for people who want to borrow money.

In terms of rates and fees, they are completely the same, with Personal Loans having longer loan period terms. One major difference is that Personal Loans doesn’t require a credit check as part of the qualification process. This makes it favorable for people with bad credit which is not the case with Lending Club.

If you want to learn more about this platform, you can take a look at our Personal Loans review.

Final Verdict

Lending Club is definitely one of the top loan connection companies. As one of the originators of the peer-to-peer lending system, they are constantly on the top of their game. It is able to attract both borrowers and lenders who are in need of either additional funds or ways of investing.

They cite may favor users that have better credit or investors that are willing to risk more, but it is still a reliable option for both uses. One of the best aspects of it is being able to help with various types of loan needs. Whether you want a startup business loan, an economic injury disaster loan, or need equipment financing, Lending Club is there for you.

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Editorial Rating

FAQ

How does Lending Club affect your credit?

Lending Club will initially perform a soft pull which is not going to affect your credit score. However, once you are approved and decide to go with a certain lender, a hard, more thorough check will be made which will show up on your credit score.

Is Lending Club legitimate?

Lending Club is one of the oldest platforms that provide peer-to-peer loans. They have a long reputation and history and are as legitimate as it gets. They comply with federal laws to improve their security and have a Better Business Bureau rating to their name.

How fast are LendingClub loans approved?

Loans are approved really fast with Lending Club. In fact, you can expect the funds to arrive in your account in two to five business days. This is much faster as opposed to traditional loans and very similar to what the other similar platforms provide.

What are LendingClubs requirements for borrowers?

The main requirement for borrowers is that they reside in one of the states where Lending Club offers their services. Borrowers need to provide evidence of their income, which is $70,000 minimum per year. The income requirement will not apply if the borrower has a net worth of at least $250,000. The minimum lending account is $1,000 while the minimum investment stands at $25.

Can I get a loan from Lending Club if I have a bad credit score?

The short answer is yes. The minimum credit score is 600. However, borrowers with a really low score will also receive a high interest rate (APR) and may not find the service useful for them.

How much can Lending Club lend?

The loan amount that Lending Club is able to lend starts at $1,000 minimum and ends with $40,000 maximum.