Two leading peer-to-peer lenders face off to see who wins out on the top five features you care about most.
Paying for a big purchase without financing isn’t always a reasonable option. You may need to replace your car, finance some of your upcoming wedding expenses or fuel your small business’s cash flow a little bit. Time-sensitive, large expenses like these can warrant a personal loan. Why not borrow from one of the best in the market? We compare SoFi to LendingClub to give you a clear picture of where these lenders shine and where they fall short.
First, am I eligible for a loan with SoFi and LendingClub?
To be eligible for a personal loan from SoFi, you must have good to excellent credit. You must be an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US and at least the age of majority in your state. You must also be employed, have income to support the loan from other resources or have an offer of employment that begins within 90 days.
To qualify for a personal loan through LendingClub, you must have a credit score of 660 or higher. You must be at least 18 years old and an American citizen, a permanent resident of the US or on a valid long-term visa. You must also have a valid bank account in your name. Currently Iowa and West Virginia residents are not eligible to borrow from LendingClub.
An overview of SoFi and LendingClub
Both SoFi and LendingClub are peer-to-peer lenders. LendingClub was established over a decade ago in 2006. SoFi is slightly more green, established five years later in 2011 by four business students. LendingClub offers multiple forms of financing including personal loans, small business loans, patient financing for doctors and auto refinancing.
SoFi offers a wide selection of loans as well. Originally making its mark as a provider for student loan refinancing, SoFi now offers loans for those in and out of school. These loan offers include: personal loans, parent loans, mortgages and mortgage refinancing.
Which lender offers lower interest rates?
Variable APRs start at 5.19%, and fixed rates start at 5.49%. All starting APRs reflect the 0.25% rate discount you can receive by signing up for autopay.
LendingClub personal loans come with fixed rates only and start at 5.99%. The APR reflects both the interest rate and origination fee.
SoFi wins for interest rate easily by offering both fixed and variable rate loans with lower starting APRs than LendingClub’s one offer.
Which comes with fewer fees?
Origination and prepayment fees aren’t a problem when you go through SoFi. Late fees are a possibility if you’re 15 days overdue for a payment. The fee is the lesser of $5 or 4% of the payment that’s due.
While LendingClub also doesn’t have prepayment fees, they do charge a loan origination fee. If you get the loan, you’ll pay between 1% and 6% of the loan amount. Check processing fees of $7 each for payments made by paper check are another cost to be aware of. Payments that are over 15 days late will incur a fee that is the greater of $15 or 5% of the amount due.
SoFi reigns in the win with fewer fees overall and a lower cost when it comes to late charges.
Merle’s big moveMerle’s work is taking him from his home on the Gulf Coast all the way to the Pacific Northwest. The move is one he’s planned for some time. A job transfer is finally available — but, unfortunately, it’s a costly one. Estimates for the moving truck rental, shipping, supplies and trips back and forth to close on and inspect a home total more than $7,000. Merle doesn’t exactly have that on hand, so he’s looking to take out a personal loan. While he understands the potential benefit of variable rates, he’s more interested in predictable monthly payments. Because of this, he only compares fixed rate personal loans.
|Starting APR||Fees||Ease of application|
|SoFi||5.49%||No additional fees||It takes as little as two minutes to check your rates. Doing so won’t even affect your credit score. From there you can submit a full application. The application is detailed, but straightforward.|
|LendingClub||5.99%||$50–$300 origination fee for a $5,000 loan||Allows a rate check without a hard credit pull. Once you’re ready to apply, it takes a few minutes to complete the full application.|
After further comparisons, Merle ultimately decides to go with SoFi. Its lower rates and lack of origination fee makes it a better fit for his needs.
Which has a better reputation?
SoFi’s reviews are consistently stellar across the board. More than 740 reviews on Trustpilot average 9.6 out of 10 — an excellent rating. Speed of funding, professionalism and ease of use are common praises.
Despite its seniority over SoFi, LendingClub has significantly fewer reviews. Only seven reviews are currently logged with Trustpilot, though they average a solid 8.1 out of 10.
More than 100 times the reviews paints a more solid picture of SoFi’s reputation.
How much can I borrow with each lender?
LendingClub’s personal loans range from $1,000 to $40,000. LendingClub’s small business loans, auto refinancing and patient solutions carry different maximum and minimum amounts.
SoFi offers personal loan amounts that can finance much more costly endeavors. But LendingClub allows you to potentially fund smaller projects without borrowing more than you need.
Which lender can get me money faster?
After completing a thorough application, your information is sent to SoFi’s underwriters. On approval and your acceptance, you’ll sign the loan agreement and speak with a SoFi representative before your funding is sent. You should see the funds a few business days following your acceptance of your loan’s terms.
The application is said to take only a few minutes before it goes into the underwriting process. From start to finish, it could take just a few business days to receive your funds if you’ve uploaded all of your documentation correctly.
LendingClub beats out SoFi in this category by having a quick application process and promising funding in as little as a few business days.
For smaller purchases between $1,000 and $5,000, you might find that LendingClub is the better deal. Borrowing only what you need can potentially save you from unnecessary interest payments. Overall SoFi takes the cake, with lower interest rate ranges and fewer fees. While both are excellent personal loan lenders, you may want to compare all of your options before settling with a provider. You might find an even better fit for your needs.
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