LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, the company's lending platform connects borrowers with people looking to invest. It funds business loans, auto refinancing loans, medical loans, and personal loans for many purposes, including debt consolidation and credit card refinancing.
Consumers can pre-qualify online, either individually or with a cosigner. This means that you can check which rates you will likely be offered, and whether you qualify to borrow, all without impacting your credit score.
Once you select a loan offer, you fill out the real application. Only once your loan application is approved, a hard pull is done on your credit report, with the traditional credit bureaus. Your funding will be available in about four days.
LendingClub provides fixed-rate loans to applicants with good to great credit. Loan amounts vary from Most borrowers use the company's loans to as debt consolidation loans, to refinance higher-interest loans or credit card debt. After having a personal loan for three months, some borrowers have been able to raise their FICO score by 21 points.
Approved loans are fully funded by lending partner WebBank, member FDIC. Since January of 2018, all loans issued through the LendingClub platform have been issued with 100% investment backing for the full amount approved (as of March 2019). Most loans are fully invested in and issued within three days of approval. LendingClub is the largest online personal loan lender in the world, having provided over $50 billion in loans since 2008.
Keep reading for pros and cons, plus LendingClub reviews from consumers like you.
A huge money-saving feature of a LendingClub personal loan is the lack of a prepayment penalty — common in the personal industry, but not a feature adopted by everyone.
For example, if you take out a $10,000 personal loan to consolidate multiple high-interest debts with a maximum loan term of 36 months (three years) and are able to pay it off in only a year and a half, you will not have to pay as much interest as you would have otherwise and you will not be assessed a fee for paying the loan off early (a common loan personal loan fee with traditional lenders).
The opportunity to make early principal payments, without a fee, can be worth thousands of dollars in savings over the lifetime of the loan.
In additon, you'll never have to pay an application or broker fee.
While LendingClub doesn't have excessive fees, it does charge an origination fee ranging between one and six percent of the total loan, depending on what loan grade a borrower has been given. This fee is included in your quoted APR.
Applying for a personal loan from LendingClub takes very little time and energy. You can even check your rates without affecting your credit score.
To apply, first, you will be required to provide basic information (loan amount, purpose of loan, and your credit score). Next, you will be required to provide basic personal information (name, address, date of birth, yearly individual income).
After providing this information, you will be presented with a number of different personal loan options. These will likely vary in both total dollar amount and maximum term limit. These quotes are provided to you through a soft credit pull that won't affect your credit score.
The process for getting your rates can take as little as five minutes. After doing careful research, you will be able to choose the LendingClub loan that best meets your needs. From there, your loan will be listed and made available to the network of peer-to-peer lenders that LendingClub uses. These lenders review your profile and can choose to fund part or all of your loan.
Consumers can open a LendingClub account and invest in the marketplace, to earn returns by helping to fund peer-to-peer loans. Historical returns for investing range from 5 to 8 percent.
It's not common practice for a lender to provide easily accessible information about loans issued, and repayment, as well as late and default statuses. LendingClub even provides a full page of statistics about recent loans, payments, and investment returns. Shadier lending sites omit this type of transparent information.
The most consistent complaint among LendingClub applicants is the company's potentially challenging approval process.
The company requires higher than average scores for its minimum credit approval, compared to other traditional and online lenders. While some lenders have a minimum credit score listing of 620 or 640, only applicants with good to excellent credit history are approved for a LendingClub In fact, the average LendingClub borrower has a 699 credit score and roughly 16 years of credit history.
Further, LendingClub does not approve applicants who have had any late payments on their report in the last 12 months. Because of these reasons, it can be a huge challenge for applicants with bad credit to get approved.
Similarly, the debt-to-income ratio required for approval is much lower than some other competing personal loan companies, making it more difficult for applicants to qualify. According to LendingClub, the average debt-to-income ratio of its borrowers is 18.32% (not including a mortgage). This means that an applicant with an income of $40,000 a year and has over $10,000 in debts (a 25% debt-to-income ratio) is going to have a difficult time being approved.
Many individuals looking to consolidate debt will have a much higher debt-to-income ratio than what is required by LendingClub for approval.
LendingClub personal loans have APR rates that are slightly higher compared to others in the industry. The lending site advertises fixed rates ranging from 10.68% to 35.89%* (as of June 2020), which is on the higher side of the personal loan APR range, however those with great credit score should be able to secure a fair interest rate.
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