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SoFi and LendingClub are online lenders that offer personal loans. SoFi began in 2011 as a student-focused lender but has since expanded to offer loans as well as other banking services. LendingClub was founded in 2006 as one of the first peer-to-peer lending websites. In 2020, the company acquired Radius Bank and shut down its peer-to-peer platform to become a more traditional bank and lender.If you are deciding on these two lenders, comparing them will help you make your decision.
SoFi vs. LendingClub at a glance
Both lenders offer solid personal loans that can help in a variety of financial situations. However, there are key differences that may impact your choice.
|Better for||• Borrowers with strong credit
• Large loan amounts
|Borrowers with fair credit|
|APRs||8.99% to 25.81% Fixed APR||9.57% to 35.99% Fixed APR|
|Loan term lengths||24-84 months||36-60 months|
|Fees||Optional fees||Origination fee: 3%-8%|
|Minimum credit score||680||600|
|Requirements||• U.S. citizen, permanent resident or nonpermanent resident alien
• Employed and with sufficient income, or written offer for employment to start within 90 days
|• U.S. citizen or long-term visa holder
• Have a verifiable bank account
|Time to funding||Within a few days||Within two days|
SoFi personal loans
SoFi got its start as a student-focused lender but offers many types of loans today. You can also bank and invest with SoFi. If you’re already taking advantage of SoFi’s other offerings, it might be convenient to borrow from SoFi and keep your money in one place.
However, despite SoFi’s minimum credit score requirement, it is known for working with borrowers who have thin credit files. If you’re new to having credit, SoFi might give you a better deal. It also keeps its fees optional, which may save you money on monthly payments.
SoFi also gives borrowers more flexibility when it comes to the term of the loan. Shorter loans are more expensive on a monthly basis but will save you money overall. Longer-term loans have lower payments but cost more in the long run, letting you prioritize what’s important to you.
- Qualify with a short credit history.
- Optional fees.
- More options for loan terms.
- High loan maximum.
- High credit score requirement.
- Must be employed or able to prove income.
- Minimum loan amount of $5,000.
LendingClub personal loans
LendingClub began as a peer-to-peer lending platform but has since transitioned to be a more traditional bank and lender. It stands out thanks to its lower credit score requirements, meaning more borrowers will be eligible for a loan.
But because of its wide range of rates, its loans tend to be more expensive than SoFi. LendingClub also charges an origination fee between 3 to 8 percent. While it may not seem like much, it will impact the total amount you can borrow — which means you may wind up spending more for less money. That can make it a hard sell to go with LendingClub if you’re eligible for a loan from SoFi.
- No set credit score requirement.
- Employment not required.
- Smaller loans less than $5,000 available.
- Higher fees, including origination fees.
- Higher interest rates.
- Lower maximum loan amount.
How to choose between SoFi and LendingClub
SoFi and LendingClub are both good choices if you need a personal loan, but excel in different scenarios.
Choose SoFi for large, flexible loans
If you need to borrow a large amount, SoFi is the better option. It offers loans up to $100,000 making it the better choice if you need to pay a large bill or fund an expensive project.
SoFi also has more flexible terms. This lets you take more or less time to repay what you borrow, which in turn makes it much easier to customize your monthly payment to fit your budget.
And unlike many online lenders, SoFi has optional fees. It has lower rates than LendingClub. While it isn’t guaranteed, the odds are good that SoFi’s loan will be less expensive overall.
Choose LendingClub for smaller expenses
Not everyone needs to borrow $100,000 to cover an expense. If you need a small boost of cash, consider LendingClub. It offers loans as small as $1,000, making it the better lender if you only need a small amount of cash.
LendingClub is also a good choice if you have fair, but not excellent credit, consider LendingClub. LendingClub usually serves consumers within the good credit range, which means you might still be eligible for a loan if SoFi won’t approve your application.
Compare more lenders before applying
Both SoFi and LendingClub can be a good choice for lenders, but SoFi may be the better option for most people. Its loans are more flexible and have fewer fees with potentially lower rates. If you’re eligible for a SoFi loan, there’s a good chance it’ll be the better deal.
Still, applying for a loan from LendingClub isn’t a bad idea because it will let you compare your offers. You may also find LendingClub to be a willing lender when SoFi isn’t. And when you submit an application, you should also compare rates from other lenders to be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.