LendingClub is one of the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending marketplaces in the world. Its interest rates are low, and you’ll be funded by a variety of investors rather than just one lender. But there have been problems in the past, and you’ll still have to pay a high origination fee when you borrow.
What types of loans does LendingClub offer?
LendingClub offers four types of loans:
- Personal loans. LendingClub’s investors are able to fund personal loans up to $40,000 for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvement and car financing.
- Business loans. LendingClub business loans come with fixed monthly payments, and you can borrow up to $300,000. Loan terms vary between one and five years. Just be sure your business qualifies — LendingClub isn’t the best choice if you’re a small startup.
- Auto refinancing. You could save money with LendingClub by refinancing your existing car loan to one with lower interest rates. And unlike its personal loans, you won’t pay an origination fee.
- Patient financing. LendingClub offers patient financing for medical procedures not usually covered by insurance, including dental, fertility, hair and bariatric treatments. You can choose from different plans to find the best option for your needs and budget.
Why should I consider using LendingClub?
- Available in 48 states. As long as you don’t live in Iowa or West Virginia, you can sign up for a loan through LendingClub.
- Preapproval won’t affect your credit. You can find out what rates and terms you might qualify for without taking a hit to your credit score.
- Cosigners allowed on some loans. LendingClub allows you to sign up for its personal loans and auto loan refinancing with a cosigner.
- No prepayment penalties. You can make extra payments or pay your loan off early without getting charged an extra fee.
- Variety of loan options available. Whether you’re looking to expand your small business or refinance your current car loan, LendingClub may be able to help.
Where does LendingClub fall short?
- Origination fee. LendingClub charges an origination fee of 1% to 6% on its personal loans and an even higher fee on its business loans.
- Good credit required. If your credit score is lower than 660, you won’t be eligible for a loan from LendingClub.
- Relatively slow turnaround. It can take up to seven days to get your funds through LendingClub — faster than many banks, but slower than some direct online lenders.
- Negative reviews. LendingClub doesn’t have the best reviews, with customers complaining about misleading terms, high rates and issues with their account.
How much will it cost to borrow with LendingClub?
The total cost of your loan will depend on both your interest rate and origination fee. These two factors make up your loan’s APR and are determined by your credit history, debt-to-income ratio, how much you borrow and the term you choose.
LendingClub’s origination fee can be anywhere from 1% to 6% for personal loans and 1.99% to 8.99% for business loans. This is deducted from your loan amount before you receive your funds. So if you borrow $10,000 with a 5% origination fee, you’ll only receive a loan of $9,500.
You won’t be on the hook for an application fee, brokerage fee or prepayment penalties. However, if you’re more than 15 days late on a payment, you may have to pay a fee of 5% of the amount due or $15 — whichever is greater. There’s also a check processing fee of $7 if you choose to pay by check rather than an automatic payment from your bank account.
After you find out what rates and terms you might qualify for, you can use our personal loan calculator to estimate the potential cost of your loan. Since LendingClub loans come with fixed interest rates, you won’t have to worry about your monthly payments changing over the life of your loan.
What do borrowers say about LendingClub?
LendingClub doesn’t have the best reviews as of January 2019. While it’s been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2008, it has a B rating due to government action being taken against the company. Over 280 people have left complaints about LendingClub, and it only earns 2 out of 5 stars based on nearly 150 BBB reviews.
It only has a handful of reviews on Trustpilot, with borrowers rating it either “Excellent” or “Bad” — not much in between. The only recent 5-star review complimented LendingClub for its efficiency. However, they also stated that they weren’t informed when the loan was finalized and instead had to rely on a manual check of their bank account.
Negative reviews revolve around LendingClub being misleading about what terms borrowers are eligible for, problems with account maintenance and high interest rates. One investor even stated their borrowers defaulted frequently and that the return on investment was bad.
Are LendingClub loans safe?
Wasn’t LendingClub involved in a scandal?
Yes, LendingClub has been involved in couple of incidents over the past few years. These include a complaint against the company by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the resignation of its cofounder and former CEO.
LendingClub responded by pointing out that it discloses its origination fees clearly on its website and chalking up the other two accusations to errors that affected a very small portion of the customer base and have since been corrected.
Renaud Laplanche resignation
LendingClub’s founder and former CEO Renaud Laplanche was forced to step down in 2016 after it was discovered that he’d failed to disclose he’d invested in a fund that was purchasing LendingClub loans, a conflict of interest. After leaving LendingClub, Laplanche went on to cofound online lender Upgrade. LendingClub also sold $22 million in loans to an investment bank with documents containing falsified information (the loans didn’t meet some of the bank’s specifications).
The company took care of the issue itself and has been working to improve its transparency policies.
How to apply for a loan with LendingClub
The application process varies by loan type, but here are general steps to apply:
- Click the Go to Site button on the table above for the loan you’re interest in.
- Enter the amount you want to borrow, select the purpose of your loan and click Get a quote.
- Complete the application, supplying information about yourself, your income and your business or vehicle, if necessary.
- Wait while LendingClub electronically processes your application.
If necessary, you may have to submit extra information about yourself in order to finalize your loan request. LendingClub will then work with its investors to find one or more that can fund your loan, which could take up to seven days. Once your loan is funded, you’ll be able to use it for whatever purpose you outlined in your application — and start working on paying it back.
How do I upload documents for my loan application using my cellphone?
To bring extra convenience to your loan, LendingClub allows you to take pictures of your documents from your cellphone. Start by making sure all documents are current and not expired, then follow these steps:
- Place the document on a flat surface with no background clutter.
- Once signed in, go to your personal To-Do List from the Account Summary page. You’ll see LendingClub’s requests for additional information to process your loan.
- Click on Submit requested documents.
- Click the camera icon next to the document you’d like to upload.
- Hold your phone still while you take the picture, making sure the entire document is visible.
- Tap Upload another to add another page to a document, for example a W-2. LendingClub allows up to 20 images for each document, but most won’t be that long.
- Click Submit once you’ve finished taking pictures of all your documents.
To apply for a LendingClub loan, you’ll need to meet some basic criteria:
- Have a steady source of income.
- Live anywhere in the US but Iowa or West Virginia.
- Have a credit score of 660 or higher.
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident.
- Be at least 18 years old.
For business loans and auto loan refinancing, you may be required to meet slightly different criteria — check our reviews to learn more.
More about LendingClub
LendingClub was founded in 2006 and has been in the forefront of peer-to-peer lending ever since. Despite a few bumps along the road — namely the recent resignation of its cofounder and CEO — it continues to lead the industry in P2P loans. And it’s even received multiple awards along the way:
- The Economist Innovation Awards and Summit 2014. Renaud Laplanche, founder and former CEO of LendingClub, was honored for pioneering peer-to-peer consumer lending.
- Forbes Most Promising Companies 2014. LendingClub ranked fifth in the list of America’s Most Promising Companies.
- Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2013. LendingClub made it to the third spot in the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Finance.
LendingClub is a leader in the P2P industry and may be able to help you find a business loan, personal loan or medical loan as well as refinance your current auto loan. But with some scandals in its past and a relatively slow turnaround, you may want to consider your other options before moving forward.
See how it stacks up to the competition with our guide to P2P lenders.
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