LendingClub personal loans review
Loans up to $40,000 — if you're OK with a rocky history.
finder.com’s rating: 3.72 / 5.0
Bottom line:LendingClub’s platform might have launched investor-funded lending in the US. But you can find lower rates and fees with a direct online lender.
Max. Loan Amount
8.05% to 35.89%
Min. Credit Score
|Product Name||LendingClub personal loans|
|Min. Loan Amount||$1,000|
|Max. Loan Amount||$40,000|
|APR||8.05% to 35.89%|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Min. Credit Score||640|
|Origination Fee||1% to 6%|
|Late Fee||5% of your unpaid payment or $15, whichever is greater|
|Loan Term||3 to 5 years|
|Turnaround Time||As little as 4 days|
- May qualify with a credit score of 640
- Coapplicants welcome
- Check your rate without affecting your credit
- Available in 48 states
- Turnaround takes at least four days
- Origination fee of 1% to 6%
- Scams have used LendingClub’s name in the past
- Previous FTC complaint and scandal with former CEO
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
LendingClub personal loans can be a good option if you want a loan funded by investors, rather than a bank. The best deals generally go to borrowers with good credit, though anyone can check their rate before submitting a full application — you can prequalify by filling out a quick online form without affecting your credit score. And you can apply with a coborrower to increase your chances of approval.
But you can only borrow up to $40,000 — on the low end compared to other lenders — and it charges an origination fee of up to 6%. It’s also not the fastest lender out there: You’ll have to wait at least four days to get your funds.
Not sure LendingClub is for you? Compare your other options below.
This article was reviewed by Doug Noll, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and award-winning lawyer, mediator and author with over 40 years of experience in the legal field.
LendingClub rates, fees and terms
LendingClub is on the expensive side, even for a lender that accepts borrowers with fair credit. Its APRs range from 8.05% to 35.89% — nearly the maximum amount a lender can legally charge. Combined with an origination fee of 1% to 6%, you’ll likely find a better deal elsewhere if you have excellent credit.
There are no application, prepayment or brokerage fees. In fact, the only other fee you might pay is a late fee. LendingClub charges 5% of your missed repayment or $15 — whichever is higher.
LendingClub offers loans from $1,000 to $40,000 with terms of 3 to 5 years. Use the calculator below to estimate your monthly payments and total interest paid over the life of your loan:
Monthly repayments calculator
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|Loan terms (in years)|
How LendingClub compares to other lenders
Compare LendingClub’s rates, terms and other features to other online personal loan providers.
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How to qualify
To apply for a personal loan with LendingClub, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Minimum credit score of 640
- Verifiable bank account
- Not a resident of Utah or West Virginia
- US citizen or permanent resident
- At least 18 years old
LendingClub reviews and complaints
It depends on where you look. LendingClub receives positive reviews on Trustpilot, with borrowers complimenting its fair rates and streamlined application process. And it came in fifth place in the 2020 J.D. Power Consumer Lending Customer Satisfaction Survey, based on factors like the application process, rates and terms and how it managed loan repayments.
However, over on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), several people report that the application process is complicated, the interest rate they received was high and that they had issues managing their loan online. A few also express disappointment that they’d gotten a preapproval letter in the mail, but were ultimately rejected.
How it works
LendingClub works by connecting you to investors who fund the loan, instead of providing the money itself. Since it shares interest earnings with investors, it relies on fees for part of its profit. That’s why it can be more expensive than other types of loans.
Like other peer-to-peer platforms, it assigns borrowers a letter grade based on your risk. For example, if you just meet LendingClub’s minimum credit score of 640 you’ll likely get a lower grade.
We’ve included the average rates by LendingClub grade and loan term. The rates are from the LendingClub Loan Performance Details table, using years 2014 to 2020.
|LendingClub grade||3-year term||5-year term|
F and G
What happens after I apply?
If you’re preapproved, LendingClub will give you multiple loan offers. Select the offer that best fits your needs and follow the directions to fill out the rest of your application. You may need to submit proof of income or identity to finalize your application. At this point, LendingClub will do a hard credit check — which will cause your credit score to drop a few points.
Once you receive your finalized loan terms, you’ll typically get your loan funds directly into your account within four business days. Overall, the application and funding process can take a week from start to finish.
What is LendingClub?
Founded in 2005, LendingClub is one of the first peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in the country. Instead of funding the loan itself, it connects borrowers with investors.
It sets the rates, terms and loan amounts, assigns borrowers a letter grade based on creditworthiness and provides a space for borrowers to make repayments and investors to fund the loans and collect returns.
So while it earns money from interest, fees can be its big source of revenue. That’s why you’ll find higher origination fees with LendingClub and other P2P lenders than with other types of online lenders.
Is LendingClub legit?
Was LendingClub involved in a scam?
Not exactly, but LendingClub hasn’t always followed all the rules. There have been two major controversies surrounding LendingClub in the past few years.
In April 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against LendingClub over its “no hidden fee” promise, claiming that it had charged hidden upfront fees on several of its loans. LendingClub responded by pointing out that it clearly states that its loans come with origination fees in several places on its website and when borrowers apply for a loan.
In May 2016, LendingClub’s founder and former CEO Renaud Laplanche stepped down after internal reports found that there had been about $22 million in loans sold to a single investor and failure to disclose possible conflicts of interest.
Although this had a major impact on LendingClub’s credibility, the company itself took appropriate measures to prevent fraud and account for false revenue. Because LendingClub resolved the issue internally and continues to work at increasing the transparency of its policies, this was not a scam. Rather, it was a problem with a single individual that the company handled quickly.
What are risks of using LendingClub?
The main risk of using LendingClub is that there’s a chance investors won’t fund your loan. Even after approval. And this applies to all borrowers — even if you score the highest loan rating.
That’s because investors typically diversify the types of loans they invest in. Lower letter ratings might be higher risk for the investor, but they come with higher returns. Investing in a highly-rated loan, on the other hand, is a near-guaranteed return. But the returns are lower.
Aside from that, the only other risk to look out for is information security. While LendingClub takes industry-standard steps to protect your information, there’s no way to guarantee anything you submit over the internet will be protected.
Is LendingClub right for me?
LendingClub could be a good choice if you’ve struggled to qualify with a bank and want to avoid borrowing from traditional financial institutions.
As a borrower, it’s not very different from applying to a direct online lender. But it has a much higher starting rate than most direct lenders offer. If you don’t mind borrowing from a different kind of nontraditional lender, consider applying with a direct online lender instead.
But LendingClub could be a great opportunity to dip your toes in investments. You only need to be over 18 with a valid Social Security number and $1,000 to invest to get started. Unlike many P2P lenders, it offers the option of turning your investments into a retirement account. Returns average at around 5%.
4 alternatives to LendingClub
Think LendingClub might not be the right choice? Consider one of these alternatives.
- APR: Starting at 5.99%
- Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
- Terms: Varies based on lender
This online connection service doesn’t fund loans itself, but helps you prequalify with multiple lenders. Its partners offer rates starting as low as 5.99% and loan amounts go higher than LendingClub offers. But watch out: LendingTree blasts your contact information out to its partners. Be prepared for lots of phone calls and emails if you use this service.
- APR: 7.95% to 35.99%
- Loan amounts: $2,000–$40,000
- Terms: 36 or 60 months
Established just before LendingClub in 2005, Prosper is actually the first P2P lender in the US. Its personal loans are very similar to LendingClub. But its rates start lower and it doesn’t charge more than 5% for its origination fee. However, it gets slightly more negative customer reviews than LendingClub as of July 2020.
- APR: 5.99% to 18.85%
- Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
- Terms: 24 to 84 months
SoFi started out as a P2P platform but is now a direct online lender with the goal of helping borrowers reach financial independence. It’s known for its competitive rates and member perks, which range from free, tailored financial advice to networking opportunities.
Its starting rates are nearly half of what you’ll find with LendingClub and it offers a wider range of loan amounts and terms. But you need a credit score of 680 to qualify.
- APR: 7.68% to 35.99%
- Loan amounts: $1,000–$50,000
- Terms: 3 or 5 years
Just finished a graduate degree? Upstart could be a better choice than LendingClub. This P2P platform puts weight on your career and education when determining your rates and fees. You might be able to qualify with Upstart even if your credit score is as low as 580 or 600 depending on state of residence. And did we mention its starting rates are lower than LendingClub’s?
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