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Courtesy of LendingClub

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer company that acts as a broker to match investors with would-be borrowers. You can take out personal loans, business loans and lines of credit, auto refinancing and medical financing.

LendingClub’s unsecured personal loans range from $1,000 to $40,000 with relatively affordable annual percentage rates (APRs). LendingClub charges origination fees and requires fair to excellent credit to qualify. If you have bad credit and are approved for a loan with a high interest rate along with a steep origination fee, you may be better off with a different type of loan.

LendingClub snapshot

Loan amount $1,000 – $40,000
APR 6.95% – 35.89%
Minimum credit score 600
Time to receive funds As soon as 4 days

Pros and cons of LendingClub personal loans

Here’s a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of LendingClub personal loans.

Pros:

  • Low fees: LendingClub loans don’t carry a ton of fees outside of the origination fee.
  • Accessible to most borrowers: LendingClub requires a minimum credit score of 600 to qualify. However, the best loan terms will go to borrowers with a high income and excellent credit score.
  • Offers joint applications: If you won’t qualify for a loan on your own, you may be able to apply with a co-borrower. Your combined DTI may be 35 percent.

Cons:

  • Origination fee: LendingClub charges an origination fee of 1 to 6 percent of the loan amount. Most lenders don’t charge this fee.

Lending terms

LendingClub offers personal loans of $1,000 to $40,000, with fixed annual percentage rates ranging from 6.95 to 35.89 percent. The company, which partners with banks on lending decisions, considers multiple factors:

  • Credit score and history.
  • Debt-to-income ratio.
  • Loan amount.
  • Repayment term (36 or 60 months).
  • Any amount owed to other creditors.

LendingClub requires 36 months of credit history for consumers to be eligible for a loan. But generally, having a high credit score, low debt-to-income ratio and a long history of managing debt will mean getting the lowest interest rates.

Your DTI must be 40 percent or lower, which means your total monthly debt obligations add up to no more than 40 percent of your monthly gross income. LendingClub has a few other basic requirements. To qualify, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or long-term visa holder.
  • Have a bank account.
  • Live where LendingClub operates (LendingClub doesn’t accept applications from Iowa or the U.S. territories).

Fees and penalties

LendingClub connects investors with potential borrowers and charges an origination fee of 1 percent to 6 percent for the service. The fee is taken out of the loan proceeds upfront. For example, if you borrow $10,000 with a 3.5 percent origination fee, you’ll only receive $9,650. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll be making payments on the entire $10,000. You should factor in the origination fee when calculating the total amount you’re looking to borrow.

LendingClub doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, but it does charge these other fees:

  • A fee of $15 if you don’t have enough money in your bank account to cover your monthly installment.
  • A late-payment fee of either 5 percent of the unpaid installment amount or $15, whichever is greater.

How to apply for a loan with LendingClub

Because LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender, the application and funding process differs from other lenders.

To apply for a loan, click “Check my rate” on LendingClub’s personal loans page. The lender won’t check your credit at this point but will ask for some information to see if you qualify:

  • The purpose of the loan.
  • Loan amount.
  • Whether you’re applying with someone else.
  • Information about your co-borrower, if you have one.
  • Your birthdate.
  • Total annual income.
  • Name, home address and email address.

Based on these details, LendingClub will provide a breakdown of the amount you can borrow, the APR, monthly payment, origination fee and loan term. Compare this offer to other lenders. You may be able to avoid the origination fee or get a much lower interest rate elsewhere.

If you decide to continue with the LendingClub offer, you’ll need to provide a few more details for an official application:

  • Whether you rent or own your home.
  • Phone number.
  • Employment situation.
  • Employer name and address.
  • Social Security number.

LendingClub will then perform a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit. A pool of investors will review your loan and decide whether they want to fund it. Before finalizing your loan, LendingClub, like all lenders, will do a hard credit check, which can adversely impact your credit score.

You typically will receive the funds in as little as four days. Once your loan is approved by investors, LendingClub will deposit the funds into your account, and interest will start accruing.

If you’ve had a change of heart, you can back out of your loan within five days after accepting the loan funds. You’ll need to contact the lender as soon as possible to cancel the loan application or disbursement. LendingClub will withdraw the funds from your account, although it won’t be able to recover money that’s already been paid to another source. You’ll be on the hook for repaying that portion of the loan. If you’ve missed the five-day window to return the loan, call the lender. Ask whether you can simply log in to your account and use the loan funds to pay off the loan balance.

But if you keep the loan and make consistent payments, you may be able to borrow again from LendingClub down the road. Eligible borrowers can have up to two loans outstanding from the lender for up to $50,000 total.

Customers can call LendingClub customer service at (888) 596-3157. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How Bankrate rates LendingClub

Overall score 4.5
Availability 4.3
Affordability 4.5
Customer experience 4.7

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.