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LendingClub Personal Loans: 2018 Review

Good For: Good Credit

If you’re contemplating applying for a loan from this lender, here’s what you’ll need to ensure Lending Club pre-approval:

  • A good minimum credit score
  • A relatively long credit history
  • A high level of income
  • A low debt-to-income ratio

If you’ve been shopping around for a personal loan for any length of time, you’ve likely seen the name LendingClub plastered all across the internet. Indeed, LendingClub is among the leading online institutions in this space — and for good reason, as you’re about to find out.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in San Francisco, LendingClub is, in large part, responsible for putting peer-to-peer, marketplace lending on the map. Before LendingClub, borrowers were forced to work with inflexible banks offering unfavorable repayment terms. LendingClub helped revolution the lending industry by making it possible for borrowers access funds from everyday folks. And, today, LendingClub remains the world’s largest, most well-known peer-to-peer lender.

LendingClub Loan Rates & Terms

APR range 6.95-35.89%
Available loan terms 36 to 60 months
Loan amounts Up to $40,000
Time to fund Varies
Fees Origination fee: 1% to 6%
Unsuccessful payment fee: $15
Processing Fee For Personal Checks: $7
Credit needed 600+
Income needed n/a
Soft Credit Check? Yes
Best for Borrowers with good credit

Click “Check Rates” to apply to LendingClub

» MORE: Good credit personal loans

What Is LendingClub?

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender, which differs from the bank-based model of lending by allowing people who need money to borrow it from those who have it — without the involvement of a traditional financial institution.

Many people who haven’t keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of personal finance might wonder is LendingClub legit and safe? Rest assured, it is. Not only that but borrowing from a peer-to-peer lender such as LendingClub can bring a bevy of benefits to the individuals on both sides of a transaction.

How Does LendingClub Work?

If you’re curious as to how LendingClub works, it all starts with your application. LendingClub evaluates it and assigns it a grade based on your creditworthiness. That grade remains hidden to you, but it’s shared with investors (the lenders), and it determines the terms you qualify for. Based on your grade and how much you’re interested in borrowing, investors can choose to provide the funds you seek.

Personal loans range from $1,000 to $40,000 with repayment terms from two to five years and transfer times taking up to seven days. LendingClub interest rates range from 6.16% to 35.89% and are based on a number of factors. This rate includes an origination fee that can be anywhere from 1% to 6%. It’s also important to note that LendingClub charges a late fee on payments more than 15 days late.

LendingClub Personal Loan Review

How good is LendingClub? We found that, for qualified applicants, there’s a lot to like about this peer-to-peer lender. In fact, depending upon your needs, it might just be the perfect fit for you. Here are a few areas where LendingClub shines:

  • Easy to Qualify: LendingClub prefers borrowers with good credit, but you don’t necessarily need to have an amazing credit score to qualify. In fact, on Lending Club, credit scores above 600 are likely to get approved, and you only need three years of established credit history and a debt-to-income ratio below 40%.
  • Cosigners Are OK: Unlike many other lenders, LendingClub permits joint loan applications. To qualify for one, only one of the signers needs to satisfy the minimum credit score requirement, and the applicants together must have less than 35% debt compared to their combined income.
  • Freedom and Flexibility: LendingClub also distinguishes itself from most other institutions in this space by allowing for temporary, interest-only payments if a borrower’s employment situation suddenly takes a turn for the worse or if another emergency arises.

How LendingClub Compares

Wondering how LendingClub compares to some of the other big names in peer-to-peer lending? Here’s an overview of how this lender stacks up against the competition.

LendingClub vs SoFi

Both LendingClub and SoFi offer many of the same features, but here are some aspects of SoFi loans that differ from LendingClub:

  • SoFi provides valuable career services on top of competitive rates.
  • SoFi offers lower APRs than LendingClub for borrowers with superior credit.
  • SoFi doesn’t charge fees of any kind and offers greater repayment flexibility.
  • SoFi offers loans up to $100,000 for tuition, mortgages and financial planning.
  • SoFi requires a credit score of 680 or above for approval.

» MORE: SoFi Personal Loan Review

Lending Club vs Prosper

Here’s a look at how LendingClub compares to another leading competitor, the peer-to-peer platform Prosper.

  • Prosper accepts applicants with higher debt-to-income ratios.
  • Prosper is better for individuals with high incomes and high credit scores.
  • Prosper’s lowest APRs are higher than LendingClub’s.
  • Prosper requires a credit score of 640 or above.

» MORE: Prosper Personal Loan Review

LendingClub Pros and Cons

To recap, here’s a quick look at the upsides and downsides of taking out a loan with LendingClub:

  • Pros
    • You don’t need an amazing credit score or immaculate credit report to get approved.
    • If you’re not deemed creditworthy enough on your own, you can enlist a cosigner.
    • In case you lose or job or can’t work for some reason, you can only pay interest.

  • Cons
    • Only the most qualified borrowers will get the best rates on LendingClub loans.
    • LendingClub charges many fees other lenders don’t.
    • Loans from LendingClub aren’t offered in amounts above $40,000.

LendingClub for Debt Consolidation

Among the most popular uses for LendingClub loans is debt consolidation. If you have a number of credit card bills each accruing interest, you can use a LendingClub loan pay off all of your outstanding amounts so you only have one payment to make each month. Plus, for qualified debt-consolidation borrowers, LendingClub even offers the ability to repay creditors directly using up to 80% of the original amount borrowed.

» MORE: Loans for debt consolidation

Conclusion

If you’re searching for an online lender you can trust, LendingClub is definitely worth a look. This peer-to-peer platform makes it easy to borrow funds for any number of purposes, and almost anyone can qualify for a loan. It’s important to note, however, that if you have excellent credit, you could likely find a more attractive APR with a different financial institution. Plus, the fact that this lender charges several fees that other lenders don’t is also disappointing. But for applicants who haven’t always been the most responsible borrowers, and for those who have a high amount of debt, LendingClub might just be your best bet.

See LendingClub Offers

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