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Best peer-to-peer lending sites

A breakdown of peer-to-peer lending and the 6 top sites to consider.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending — sometimes called social lending or crowd lending — allows borrowers to get a loan from other individuals. It’s an alternative to getting a loan from a financial institution, such as a bank.

The P2P lending pool isn’t very large, but it’s still large enough to narrow down to six best platforms.

6 best peer-to-peer lending websites

Best for new borrowers


Upstart personal loans


Finder Rating: 4.15 / 5
★★★★★

It’s not uncommon to struggle to qualify with traditional lending options if you have a limited credit history. However, Upstart considers additional data like your education, work experience and more to determine your eligibility — there are over 1,500 variables taken into account during its underwriting process. Rates can be anywhere from 6.5% to 35.99%, there’s an origination fee between 0% to 10%, and loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000. There are late fees, though.

  • Not available in: West Virginia

Best for fair credit: LendingClub personal loans


LendingClub personal loans


Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5
★★★★★

The second P2P lender to the scene, LendingClub might be the most recognizable peer lending site. It offers a wide range of different types of financing, including personal loans, business loans and car loan refinancing. It has a relatively high starting interest rates and origination fees compared to other peer-lending platforms. But you may be able to score a lower rate and fee with this platform if you have less-than-perfect credit, compared to other peer lending websites.

  • Not available in: Idaho, Iowa

Best for good or excellent credit: Prosper personal loans


Prosper personal loans


Finder Rating: 3.42 / 5
★★★★★

Prosper is the peer lender that started it all when it launched its US platform in 2005. While its rates are higher than Peerform, it offers a wider range of loan amounts and it has a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio cap of 50% make it particularly great for debt consolidation. But it might get expensive for borrowers who just meet the minimum requirements — it charges higher interest rates for lower credit scores than other P2P lending websites. It can also take up to five business days to get your funds, and its origination fee falls on the high side, even compared to other peer lending platforms.

  • Not available in: Iowa, North Dakota, West Virginia

Best for emergencies: SoLo Funds payday loan alternative


SoLo Funds payday loan alternative

SoLo Fund founder Travis Holloway created the platform as an inexpensive alternative to payday loans for people living paycheck-to-paycheck. Members of the SoLo Funds community fund small loans up to $500, in exchange for an optional tip instead of interest or fees. And you can receive your funds within one to two days of making a request. But it's best saved for situations where you can pay back the loan within a couple weeks — like paying an electric bill to avoid steep fees to restore service. Terms only last 15 days, with no option to roll over. Otherwise SoLo Funds charges a late fee of 15% of the loan, plus $5.

Best for small businesses: Funding Circle business loans


Funding Circle business loans


Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5
★★★★★

Funding Circle is one of the only peer lending platforms that specializes in business loans. Founded in 2010, Funding Circle aims to bring more financing options to growing businesses and high returns for investors. Since, investors have poured some $11.7 billion into over 81,000 small businesses. Its rates are low for a business lender, starting at 11.29%. And you can qualify with fair credit. But it doesn’t offer loans under $5,000, making this a better option for large, one-time expenses.

Best for startups: Kiva business loans


Kiva business loans


Finder Rating: 3.7 / 5
★★★★★

Kiva is a nonprofit microlender that specializes in funding entrepreneurs and startups. It offers both peer-funded and direct loans. Its direct loans are interest-free — though you’ll have to crowdfund part of it yourself through your own social network. Its peer-to-peer loans are funded with $25 investments from the public. While anyone can invest, you won’t make a profit — and might not get all of your money back. The main reward is supporting a cause that you believe in.

Best P2P sites: By the numbers

Use this table to quickly compare our top choices for peer-to-peer lending sites.

Upstart

New borrowers

6.5% to 35.99%
300
3 or 5 years

LendingClub

Fair credit

8.05% to 36%
600
3 to 5 years

Prosper

Good or excellent credit

6.99% to 35.99%
600
36 or 60 months

SoLo Funds

Emergency expenses

Not applicable

None

Up to 15 days

Funding Circle

Small business loans

11.29% to 30.12%
660
3 to 120 months

Kiva

Startups

0%
None
1 to 3 years

None of these P2P lenders seem like the right fit?

See alternatives

How we picked the best providers

We determined the list of best P2P lending sites on interest rates offered, origination fees, range of loan amounts and average turnaround time. We also considered factors like the types of loans available, eligibility requirements, customer reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings.

What changed in 2022?

We removed the once-popular P2P lending site Peerform — as of July 2022, it’s no longer accepting new applications for loans. 

We added Upstart to our list of best peer-to-peer lending sites. Upstart allows borrowers to upload alternative information to their application for consideration for financing, such as education. This unique lender may be a decent option for younger borrowers who have yet to start building a credit score or borrowing history.

What is peer-to-peer lending?

P2P lending involves borrowing from individual investors instead of banks or financial institutions — like a two-party agreement between you and the investor.

It's pretty simple: You send in an application and an investor decides if they want to fund the loan. If you move forward and get the funds, the investor makes money by collecting the interest.

While banks and credit unions tend to have higher credit score requirements, P2P sites tend to offer decent rates for borrowers with fair to poor credit, often accepting borrowers with scores as low as 600. This is possible since they cut down on operating costs. P2P sites use algorithms to underwrite loans, have few physical offices, and rely on investors to provide funds.

How does peer-to-peer lending work?

Here’s how most peer-to-peer lending platforms tend to work:

  1. Site sets details. The peer lending site sets the range of loan amounts, terms, rates and fees available for borrowers.
  2. Check your rates. You can check your available rates by filling out a quick application. Typically this takes a few minutes and is based on a soft credit pull that doesn't affect your credit score.
  3. Fully apply. If you decide to fully apply, the site uses an algorithm to underwrite each application.
  4. Approval. Once approved, you'll receive a letter grade that determines your rates and fees.
  5. Investor funding. Investors select loans to fund based on the letter grade. Lower letter grades have a higher risk but higher returns.
  6. Get your funds. Once an investor funds your loan, the platform transfers the funds to your bank account. Typically, this takes one to five business days.

After receiving the funds, you'll repay the loan in monthly installments and the investor collects on interest.

What kinds of loans do P2P platforms offer?

P2P lending sites may offer the following types of financing:

  • Unsecured personal loans for debt consolidation, a home improvement project or other large, one-time expenses — without collateral.
  • Unsecured business loans for one-time business expenses without collateral. These are typically geared toward small businesses.
  • Medical loans to pay for dental and healthcare procedures that your insurance doesn't cover. These are sometimes available directly through your healthcare provider.
  • Mortgages or mortgage refinancing may also be offered, but mainly for primary or secondary residences.
  • Student loan refinancing is another popular financing type with P2P sites, and can be well-suited for students looking to consolidate or get lower rates.

Other types of loans, such as car loans, aren't as commonplace.

Alternatives to peer-to-peer lending

P2P lending can have its advantages, but it’s not your only option.

  • Direct online lenders offer traditional personal loans with a wider range of loan amounts, often lower APRs and no origination fee. However, you may need a high credit score (above 670) or long-standing credit history to qualify.
  • Cryptocurrency lenders also offer personal loans with fewer requirements and fees, compared to your typical peer-to-peer lender. Crypto loans use your cryptocurrency as collateral, allowing you to access the value of that asset you already own without paying a capital gains tax for converting it to fiat. But because the value of crypto is so volatile, there's a higher risk of defaulting than you would face on a P2P loan.

If P2P lending doesn’t sound like the right fit for you, compare other personal loans here to explore all your options.

P2P lending as an investment

If you want to get in on some P2P lending action as an investor, here are some things to note:

  • Investors often paid monthly. Investors can be paid each month as the borrowers make their monthly payments.
  • You choose what you fund. With P2P lending, you get to choose what loans you fund. Many P2P lending sites assign letter grades for borrowers, helping you with the process.
  • Income requirements. Being a millionaire isn't usually a requirement. Depending on the P2P platform, an annual gross salary of at least $70,000 may be sufficient, or you must have a specific net worth.
  • Investment caps. Some platforms restrict how much you can invest, such as LendingClub, which caps investments at 10% of your net worth.
  • Not FDIC protected. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulates and insures credit unions. With P2P lending, investors won't be reimbursed if the P2P lending site you're using goes out of business or fails.

Compare more personal loan providers

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Filter Values APR Minimum credit score Loan amount
Best Egg personal loans
8.99% to 35.99%
600
$2,000 to $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
Upstart personal loans
6.5% to 35.99%
300
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
Bankrate
Bankrate
4.98% to 35.99%
Poor to excellent credit
$1,500 to $100,000
Achieve personal loans
7.99% to 29.99%
600
$1,000 to $50,000
Consolidate debt and more with these low-interest loans. Cosigners welcome.
Upgrade personal loans
7.96% to 35.97%
620
$1,000 to $50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
LightStream personal loans
5.99% to 23.99%
Good to excellent credit
$5,000 to $100,000
Borrow up to $100,000 with low rates and no fees.
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10 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AmySeptember 10, 2018

    I am in desperate need of a loan up to 5,000 for debit consolidation. I have tried every where my credit score isn’t the best and I know that’s what is hurting me. I just need someone to look past that an give me a chance. So I can get back on my feet.

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloSeptember 11, 2018

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for leaving a question on Finder.

      Sorry to hear you are going through difficult times. Debt consolidation is one way to manage repayments and reduce debt if you have more than one account on which you pay interest. By moving all the separate balances into one account, you can start to reduce your liability by paying one monthly repayment instead of several. While many lenders require you to have a positive credit history to take out these loans, there are some who approve debt consolidation loans for those with bad credit.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    CandiceJanuary 23, 2018

    I’m in desperate need of $4000 to buy a car.. I had a credit score of around 630 6 months ago but it’s 454 now because I have lived with a man for 4 years that WILL NOT work.. I’m on Disability.. I am sick..they think I have celiac disease..my mom got a loan for me but as always she never follows through..my husband is abusive.. I just need a break.. Is there someone who can help me??

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloJanuary 23, 2018

      Hi Candice,
      Thanks for leaving a comment on finder.com. You may still be eligible for a loan while on a disability pension. Please note that laws that apply to loans may vary from state to state so make sure you choose your state from the dropdown.

      If you need further help, please send us a message anytime.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    kdogDecember 19, 2017

    Hello! I would like to start rebuilding my credit..my score is right at 590 to 600. Exp even had me at a 623. So, I did get a capital one journey card, 300.00 limit. Can I get a personal loan anywhere with this score? Or should I give up until I have established better history with this new card?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchDecember 20, 2017Staff

      Hi,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      An Experian credit score that falls within the range 580 to 669, it is considered Fair.

      Applicants with a Fair credit score are usually seen by lenders as having unfavorable credit and may decline their credit applications. However, there are lenders that offer bad credit personal loans that may be suitable for you.

      If you do not need to have an urgent need for a loan, you can improve your credit score first so you will have access to loans with flexible options and better interest rates and terms.

      Best regards,
      Rench

    Default Gravatar
    BenitaAugust 16, 2017

    I have low credit score defaults and I’m on fixed income monthly I would like to and need to take a loan however these facts of plow credit score and defaults have not been approved and I do not have a bank account so how can I or will I qualify for a loan

      Default Gravatar
      AshAugust 16, 2017

      Hi Benita,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      You can refer to these pages to compare your options for bad credit personal loans and cash loans.

      Before applying, kindly make sure that you have met the eligibility requirements of the Lender and have reviewed the details of the loan.

      I hope this information helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

    Default Gravatar
    ChydikeMarch 24, 2017

    How can I borrow a loan for a small business?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldJuly 12, 2017Staff

      Hi Chydike,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Thankfully, we do have a list of business loans you may consider. Please see that list to learn more about your options and how to go about applying for a loan.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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