Lending Club Personal Loans Review
Need help finding a loan?
- Date Established
- San Francisco, CA
- Suited for startups
- Competitive terms and fees
- Easy application process
- Unsuited for large businesses
- Some additional fees
With over 10 years in business, Lending Club is the largest and oldest peer-to-peer (P2P) lender around. P2P lenders such as Lending Club seek to streamline and de-complicate lending by cutting banks out of the equation. Instead of going through a bank, the money is passed straight from investors to you.
Lending Club deals primarily in personal loans. Although they are ostensibly for consumers, the loans can be used for entrepreneurial and business start-up purposes.
These loans will not work for all borrowers, though; you’ll need at least fair credit and a solid debt-to-income ratio to qualify for a loan. If you’re not sure if you’re qualified, Lending Club makes it easy. You can check your eligibility and potential rates in a few minutes via the website, without taking a hit on your credit score.
Lending Club also offers business installment loans. If you have been in business for at least one year and make a minimum of $50,000 in annual revenue, you may benefit more from a business loan. Head over to our Lending Club Business Loans Review for more information on that product.
Is this the right lender for your business? Keep reading to find out!
Table of Contents
Lending Club offers the following loan products:
If you’ve been in business at least one year and make at least $50,000 annually, a Lending Club business loan may be what you’re looking for. Take a look at our review of this lender’s business service to find out!
These are the minimum requirements to qualify for a Lending Club personal loan:
|Time in business:||N/A|
|Personal credit score:||Fair credit: Min. score of 600|
Because this loan is based on your personal creditworthiness, Lending Club does not require that you’ve been running your business for a certain amount of time or make a certain amount of revenue.
In addition to having at least fair credit, you will need to have a solid debt-to-income ratio (no more than 3 tradelines open), a credit history of at least 3 years, and be at least 18 years of age.
Terms & Fees
These are the terms and fees for Lending Club’s personal loans:
|Borrowing amount:||$1,000 – $40,000|
|Term length:||3 OR 5 years|
|Interest rate:||5.32% – 30.99%|
|Origination fee:||1% – 6%|
|APR range:||6.95% – 35.89%|
Lending Club offers traditional installment loans. Borrowers receive the loan in one lump sum (less the origination fee) and repay in monthly fixed installments.
Your assigned interest rate corresponds to how creditworthy Lending Club perceives you to be, based on the information gathered from your application. More creditworthy applicants will receive a lower interest rate.
Note that in addition to interest, Lending Club charges a one-time fee called an origination fee. This is a 1% to 6% of your borrowing amount, which is deducted from your funds before you receive the loan. Lending Club might also charge a check processing fee (if you pay with checks) or late payment fees (if you pay late). This company does not charge a penalty for repaying your loan early.
Lending Club provides a thorough rundown of the application process on its FAQ page.
Potential borrowers can check their eligibility and rates without taking a credit hit via Lending Club’s online application. The application will ask you for basic information about yourself and your finances.
If you are approved, Lending Club will present a few potential borrowing options. Generally, loans with longer term lengths will have higher interest rates but lower monthly payments, and loans with shorter term lengths will have lower interest rates but higher monthly payments. If you like the offers presented to you, you’ll have to choose the one best suited for your needs to continue the process.
The next step is to confirm information and submit documents for verification purposes. Assuming Lending Club doesn’t find anything that would bar you from receiving a loan, you will get your money (less the origination fee) as soon as the loan is funded by investors.
Currently, personal loans typically take as few as 3 days to be funded, but may take longer if there are delays at some point in the process.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Between the main website and the FAQ, Lending Club’s website supplies most of the information you’ll need to know before applying for a loan, or even while you’re paying the loan off. I have seen the range of interest rates, origination fees, other possible fees, and term lengths disclosed in multiple places across the site. If you poke around a bit before applying, you shouldn’t run into any surprises.
It’s worth noting that many customers feel misled by Lending Club’s mailers, which claim the customer has been “preapproved” for a loan. As stated below, preapproval is not indicative of whether or not you’re actually qualified for a loan. Lending Club identifies potential borrowers through third party sources, but may find reasons to decline your application when they gather more detailed information about your situation.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Lending Club has a very comprehensive FAQ, which covers everything from applying for a loan, to how to navigate your account, to how to make payments.
If your question isn’t answered there, customer service is available via phone or email. Unlike Lending Club’s business loan branch, borrowers with a personal loan do not have a dedicated account manager. Regardless, most customers report positive experiences with Lending Club’s customer service, though a few customers have reported difficulty getting in touch with a person who could help solve their problem.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Lending Club is accredited on the Better Business Bureau. At the moment, it has 256 complaints and 64 negative reviews. The company also has a little over 200 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and a profile on Credit Karma. Note that, while many of these complaints are about personal loans, some are for Lending Club’s other services.
Lending Club is currently involved in a pending lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commision (FTC), which alleges that Lending Club has not complied with FTC requirements regarding hidden fees and advertising standards. Lending Club has issued a response to the FTC refuting these claims, which can be found on their blog.
Here are the most common complaints specific to personal loans, based off customer complaints:
- Origination fee: Some customers claim they were not aware of the origination fee before borrowing. However, I saw the fee disclosed in multiple places on the site, such as Lending Club’s Rates & Fees page.
- High interest rates and fees: Some customers felt that the interest rates and origination fees were more expensive than they would have liked. If you don’t like the rate you receive from Lending Club, I’d suggest getting your rates from some other personal lenders for comparison; many online lenders are able to give you a quote within minutes without affecting your credit score.
- Application delays: While most customers get their funds in a timely manner, some customers have reported delays during the process.
- Denial after preapproval: Lending Club sends out mailers claiming that you’ve been “preapproved” for a loan. Unfortunately, this is simply a marketing tactic and does not imply that you will be eligible for a loan when Lending Club learns more about you.
It’s also worth noting that, according to the BBB, Lending Club’s name has been used in an advanced fee scam. This is how the scam works:
[C]onsumers applying for a loan at online sites other than Lending Club are subsequently being contacted by representatives claiming to be from Lending Club. Loan applicants are told their loan will be approved and the money deposited into their checking account but they first must pay what they are told is a security, insurance or other fee. They are asked that the money be put on a prepaid card such as a green dot money pack or in a MoneyGram.
If in doubt, remember that Lending Club never charges application fees and that their loans are issued via WebBank.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
In addition to the previously mentioned profile on Credit Karma, Lending Club has a number of customer reviews on their website.
Here are commonly cited reasons customers like Lending Club’s service:
- Fast application and funding process
- Informative customer service
- Affordable monthly payments
- Competitive interest rates
Additionally, many customers liked that they were able to complete the process completely online without having to go somewhere or talk to somebody on the phone.
Lending Club was one of the first lenders to offer online personal loans and, while it certainly has some competition now, it remains a worthy competitor for your business. A minority of users complain about delays, misleading advertising, and difficulty getting in touch with customer service, but most customers report that Lending Club’s loans are fast, easy, and affordable.
Potential borrowers may benefit from making a few comparisons before settling on a loan from Lending Club or another online lender, though. Like Lending Club, many online lenders offer quotes instantly without affecting your credit. Head over to our start-up loans review category to learn about your other potential options.
To learn more about how we score our reviews, see our Business Loan Rating Criteria.