The Best Alternatives To Lending Club Personal & Business Loans
Lending Club is, hands down, one of the most popular lenders available online for personal and business loans. Founded in 2006, this company was one of the first non-bank, non-payday lenders on the market. While there are many other online lenders available now, Lending Club loans are still popular because they are competitively priced and easy to get.
If you are looking for a personal or business loan, however, you might want to take advantage of the slew of Lending Club competitors, either for comparison shopping or some other reason. Curious what your Lending Club alternatives are? Below, we list the best alternatives to Lending Club’s personal loans, business loans for startups and young businesses, and business loans for established businesses.
Read on to learn about the best Lending Club alternatives and competitors.
Table of Contents
The Best Personal Loan Alternatives
Lending Club’s personal loans can be used for most consumer purposes, including business startup purposes. While we don’t generally recommend mixing personal and business finances, if your business venture hasn’t yet gotten to the point in which you have separated the two, a personal loan can be used to grow your fledgling business.
Lending Club’s personal loans are easy to get and competitively priced, but they are not your only option. If you don’t want a personal loan from Lending Club, are unable to get one, or simply want to make some comparisons, your next best options are Prosper and Upstart.
• Must have a personal credit score of 640 or above.
• No time in business or revenue requirements.
|Visit the Prosper website
Read our Prosper review
Prosper offers personal loans that, like Lending Club’s product, can be used for most personal needs, including entrepreneurial purposes. As with Lending Club, you can borrow up to $40,000. You will need to have at least fair credit, but your business does not need to have a proven track record—or even be making money—to qualify for a personal loan from Prosper.
Prosper offers terms and fees similar to what you’d find with Lending Club’s personal loans. Currently, Prosper’s APRs range from 6.95% to 35.99%, and the term lengths are three or five years. Because both lenders have similar terms and fees, Prosper would be a good option for comparison shopping.
Check out our full Prosper review for the details, or head to the website using the link above.
• Must have a personal credit score of 620 or higher.
• No time in business or revenue requirements.
|Visit the Upstart website
Read our Upstart review
Upstart is a personal lender that takes a more holistic approach to evaluating creditworthiness. While many personal lenders exclusively look at factors such as your credit score, credit history, and finances, Upstart evaluates many factors, including your education and employment history. While you generally still need fair credit to get a loan, your score and credit history (or lack thereof) isn’t as important to Upstart as it might be to other lenders.
With a maximum loan amount of $50,000, you might be able to borrow a little more from Upstart than you would get from other personal lenders, including Lending Club. However, to borrow that much, you will have to prove that you can pay it back.
This lender has terms and fees similar to those of Lending Club—the APR ranges from 6.53% to 35.99%, and term lengths are 3 or 5 years. In other words, Upstart is a worthy Lending Club alternative, for comparison shopping or other reasons. Check out our full review for more information, or navigate to Upstart’s website using the links above.
Honorable mentions: Most online personal lenders have terms and fees competitive with Lending Club’s. In addition to Prosper and Upstart, some of our favorites are Seek Capital and Discover Personal Loans.
The Best Business Loan Alternatives For Startups & Young Businesses
If you’re in the beginning stages of your business, personal loans are not your only option. While finding funds for a relatively unproven business is not an easy task, a loan from Accion or Fundbox might be able to help you out.
• Requirements vary based on location—see full review for details.
|Read our Accion review|
Accion is one of our favorite business lenders here at Merchant Maverick, and it’s easy to see why. Accion is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), an organization that facilitates community growth by lending to businesses. Accion offers low-cost loans to businesses of many sizes. You might be able to borrow funds even if you have a startup or a newly-established business.
The application process for Accion is a little longer and more detailed than you might find elsewhere, but borrowers benefit from reasonable rates and fees. Because Accion offers business loans, you will not have to mix personal and business finances. Note: Lending Club no longer originates business loans (although their website doesn’t state this). Instead, they refer applicants to either Accion or Funding Circle. So, it might make more sense to cut out the middleman and go directly to Accion for your business loan needs.
The borrower requirements vary by location and financial product, so check out the website using the link above to see if you’re eligible for a loan in your area.
• No revenue or time in business requirements, but must use compatible accounting or invoicing software for at least 2 months, or a compatible business bank account for at least 3 months.
• Must have a personal credit score of 500 or higher.
|Visit the Fundbox website
Read our Fundbox review
To qualify for Fundbox, you’ll have to own a business that has been up and running for a few months. If you’ve met the above qualifications, you might qualify for funding from Fundbox. This service is easier to qualify for than many, because Fundbox doesn’t require that you make a certain amount of money and they accept bad-credit applicants.
Fundbox offers two financial services: business lines of credit and invoice financing. Businesses that invoice customers will find the invoice financing service useful, but everybody else will be better served by the line of credit.
While Fundbox tends to have higher rates and fees than other lines of credit, it’s a great option for businesses that don’t qualify for financing elsewhere, especially if you only need a small amount. Entrepreneurs can utilize the funds to grow their businesses and eventually graduate to a credit line with lower rates and higher borrowing amounts (max. borrowing amount for businesses with strong financials is $100,000). Check out our full review or head over to the Fundbox website for more information.
Honorable mentions: Kiva U.S. is a micro-crowdfunder that offers small business loans with 0% interest, even to aspiring entrepreneurs whose businesses are still in the “idea” stage. Learn more about this crowdfunder in our Kiva Review. In a similar vein, there are many crowdfunding platforms available that offer rewards, debt, equity, or charity crowdfunding for startup businesses. There are also some traditional business lenders that offer financing for startups, such as National Business Capital.
The Best Business Loan Alternatives For Established Businesses
Have you been in business at least a year? If so, you have a lot of alternatives to Lending Club’s business loans.
Like Lending Club, the following lenders offer installment loans: loans in which you receive a lump sum of money and repay in fixed, incremental installments. Most also offer business lines of credit. Some are easier to qualify for than Lending Club, but might have higher rates, whereas others are harder to qualify for, but offer lower rates. The following are arranged roughly by easiest to most difficult to qualify for. Read on to learn about OnDeck, StreetShares, Fundation, and SmartBiz.
• Must be in business at least 12 months with annual revenue of $100,000.
• Must have a personal credit score of 600 or above.
• Must not be in one of OnDeck’s restricted industries.
|Visit the OnDeck website
Read our OnDeck review
OnDeck is one of the most popular business lenders around, and it’s easy to see why. OnDeck’s borrower requirements are relatively low, and the application process can typically be completed in a few business days.
Founded in 2007, OnDeck initially offered short-term business loans (loan products that feature a one-time fixed fee in lieu of interest) up to $500,000. Now, OnDeck offers lines of credit (up to $100,000) in addition to loans. While rates are improving all the time, OnDeck loans can get a little expensive, so if you apply and think you might be able to get a better rate elsewhere, you might want to check your other options. Nonetheless, OnDeck is an excellent resource for business owners who need a one-time source of funds or access to a credit line for ongoing funds.
Check out our OnDeck review for more information on OnDeck’s loans or lines of credit.
• Must be in business at least 12 months with revenue of $100,000 per year (sometimes StreetShares will make exceptions for high-earning businesses at least 6 months old).
• Must have a personal credit score of 620 or above.
|Read our StreetShares review|
StreetShares offers three financial products to small businesses: installment loans, lines of credit, and contract financing. The borrower requirements above apply to the former two products; to qualify for contract financing, you simply must have eligible unpaid invoices.
With APRs between 8.75% and 39.99%, StreetShares business loan rates are competitive with those of other online lenders, including Lending Club, OnDeck, and Fundation. For installment loans and lines of credit, this lender will usually offer about 20% of your annual revenue, with a maximum borrowing amount of $100,000 for first-time borrowers. If you’ve successfully paid off a StreetShares loan, you may be eligible to borrow up to $250,000 for your second loan. Businesses looking for a larger sum of money will have to look elsewhere, but for everybody else, StreetShares is worth considering.
StreetShares has earned five stars from Merchant Maverick for their wide variety of useful financial products, competitive rates, and transparent advertising. Check out the website, or read our full StreetShares review, for more information.
• Must be in business at least 12 months and make at least $100,000 annually.
• Must have a personal credit score of 660 or above.
• Must have at least three full-time employees (yourself included).
|Visit the Fundation website
Read our Fundation review
Fundation has similar borrower requirements to the above two lenders, but it also requires that you have at least three full-time employees (including yourself).
Fundation offers lines of credit in addition to installment loans. There is a maximum borrowing amount of $500,000 for installment loans (for businesses with good credit and at least 5 years in business), so established businesses with high revenue might be able to borrow more money from Fundation than they’d be able to get with Lending Club. With APRs that range from 7.99% to 29.99% for both financial products, Fundation’s rates are similar to those of Lending Club and many other lenders on this list.
Fundation has earned five stars from Merchant Maverick for their competitive rates, transparent advertising and application process, and excellent customer support. Check out our full Fundation review or the website above for more details.
• In business at least 2 years
• Owner’s personal credit score is 650 or above; business credit is 150+
• No specific revenue requirements
|Visit the SmartBiz website
Read our SmartBiz review
If you’re looking for low rates or high borrowing amounts, you can’t do any better than SmartBiz. SmartBiz is an intermediary that works with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and banks to offer SBA 7(a) business loans. SBA 7(a) loans are long-term, low-cost loans, partially backed by the SBA, that can be used for many business purposes, including working capital, debt refinancing, and real estate.
The borrower requirements are a little difficult to meet, but if you qualify, you’ll be eligible for loans with long term lengths (of 10 or 25 years, depending on the use of funds) and low interest rates. Because the loans are partially backed by the SBA, you might qualify even if you don’t have very much collateral. Note that SmartBiz facilitates online SBA loans but it does not originate these loans; it is more of an online marketplace for SBA loans.
SBA loans have longer application processes than other forms of financing, but SmartBiz does everything they can to keep you in the loop and speed up the process. Check out the website or our full review for more information on SmartBiz, or read our guide to SBA loans for more information on 7(a) business loans or the loan programs offered by the SBA.
Honorable mentions: Lendio is a business loan comparison service/online loans marketplace that lets you search and apply for financing from their network of lenders, all in one place. With one short application, you can check your eligibility with lenders across the country, including institutions that offer low-cost business loans such as banks, credit unions, and nonprofits. BlueVine is another online business lender offering great rates on term loans and lines of credit to businesses with strong revenues and at least fair credit that have been in business 6+ months.
If you’re eligible for a Lending Club loan, it’s certainly a service worth considering. However, as you can see, many other lenders offer competitively priced, easy-to-access personal and business loans, which may offer certain advantages over Lending Club loans.
Don’t see anything you like? Check out our full list of Small Business Loan Reviews to learn about the best (and worst) online business lenders available.