Before deciding to invest in peer-to-peer loans or borrow through Lending Club, you might be interested in seeing Lending Club reviews from trusted information sources.
It's always wise to do your research before making important financial decisions.
Although peer-to-peer lending is becoming more mainstream than ever, there are still many people that have never heard of Lending Club and their peer-to-peer lending competitors.
We often get questions from our readers with concerns and questions like...
- "Is Lending Club Legit?"
- "Is investing through Lending Club safe?"
- "Is borrowing through the Lending Club safe?"
- "Is Lending Club a scam?"
Through the Lending Club reviews that we will examine below in this article you will be able to decide the answer to these questions for yourself. We'll discuss common Lending Club complaints, their borrowing process and if you're still interested after all of that we'll explain how to apply for a loan through Lending Club as well. So let's begin with their BBB rating and what we can learn from it.
Is Lending Club Legit According To Their BBB Rating?
Lending Club reviews from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) hold a lot of weight because of the BBB's trusted reputation of unbiased evaluations.
Unsurprisingly, the Better Business Bureau has done a thorough examination of Lending Club, examining how they run their business, treat their investing and borrowing customers, as well as how they respond to customer complaints.
After having completely reviewed the Lending Club's business dealings, the BBB has awarded them an A+ rating, the highest rating it can offer.
So... Is the Lending Club legit? Well, the high BBB rating as well as the various security features on the Lending Club website would strongly suggest that yes, they are legitimate.
If you read the BBB's Lending Club review report you'll find that (at the time this article was written) only 207 Lending Club complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau out of the 177,000+ loans issued, showing that 99.9% of the online loan servicer’s borrowing customers have been satisfied with their experience.
The Lending Club Reviews From Major News Outlets & Business
The Lending Club review that has the biggest impact usually comes from the biggest and most influential companies. So while virtual unknowns like myinstantoffer.com lending club reviews do exist, we'll stick to the majors for sake of credibility.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of Lending Club reviews in The New York Times, CNNmoney, USA Today, CBS news and more.
The New York Times wrote about how even Google could see the potential of the Lending Club's business model and invested heavily in the peer-to-peer lender. Google invested more than $100 million into Lending Club. Their investment in the online lender shows that, not only are they a great source for getting loans online, but that even Google is excited to be in business with them.
We mentioned CNNmoney earlier, they gave one of the more helpful Lending Club reviews for borrowers that are constantly getting turned down by banks. You can see their Lending Club review right here titled: Banks won't lend? Use these guys instead.
The article discusses how banks and big financial institutions often have exhaustive approval processes, high minimums, and steep credit requirements. But now there's a wealth of non-bank alternatives like Lending Club for people who need capital fast.
Clearly, when you have media outlets like New York Times & CNNmoney speaking glowingly of the online lender in their Lending Club reviews and corporate giants like Google putting money into them, it becomes obvious that Lending Club is legit.
So now that we have looked at these major media outlets and their Lending Club reviews, you likely know by now if you want to borrow or invest through them or not. So let's review the process of applying and getting approved for their peer-to-peer online loans.
Review of Lending Club Application Process
The Lending Club loan application process is surprisingly quick and simple, and some loans get funded in as little as 2 days. We will break their online loan application process down into 4 steps...
The Lending Club Application Process - Step #1: Check your interest rate
First, visit the Lending Club website and check the interest rate offered to you.
In order to get your interest rate you'll have to give them some quick "starter info" about yourself such as your yearly income and birthday.
A few seconds after clicking the “Get Your Rate” button, you will either prequalify or be denied for a loan. Checking your rate with Lending Club is done through a soft credit check (or soft inquiry) so your credit won't be damaged by any "hard inquiries".
The Lending Club Application Process - Step #2: Provide more detailed info
After receiving an interest rate, you’ll give them a bit more information about your financial situation. This helps the online lender verify that you are who you claim to be, an important security step. Lending Club will request basic information such as your employment info, social security number and phone number. Don't be worried about giving them this critical information, their website is thoroughly secured with SHA-256 encryption, so that your private information is sent safely and securely from your computer to the Lending Club website and nobody else.
You will then agree to their loan terms on this page by writing your name on the bottom of the online loan application. After doing this, your loan request is officially complete.
The Application Process - Step #3: Get funding from investors
Remember, ultimately these are peer-to-peer loans. Even though your loan application goes through Lending Club, the money for your loan comes from "everyday people" loan investors all throughout the U.S.
After your loan application has been submitted, Lending Club will add it to the investor side of their website. Thousands of people across the country can now add investment dollars to fund your loan online. This way, loans as large as $40,000 can be quickly funded by hundreds of peer-to-peer loan investors all pooling together. You get a cheaper interest rate, and they get a great return on their investment.
And if you're wondering what percentage of their loans get funded, as of today’s date in 2016, nearly all loans are getting funding. The biggest difference is that some loans take only a 10-15 minutes to get funded, while others may take 7 days or more. But loan funding is virtually guaranteed (although in a small number of cases it's partial funding).
The Application Process - Step #4: Finishing touches
To finish this entire loan application process, there are a few last actions you might need to take:
- Connect your bank account – This requires adding the routing and account numbers of your bank account in order to recieve your electronic loan deposit. For some applications, the online lender may also need to "verify" your bank account. To do this, they'll place 2 small deposits in your account and ask you to confirm the deposits in order to prove the bank account belongs to you.
- Confirm your email address.
- Submit documents – They may ask you to provide some documents to further prove your identity and financial situation, such as a bank statement or an old tax return. You can get these documents to the online loan provider by scanning them to an electronic file.
How To Get Approved - The Lending Club Review
When Lending Club reviews your credit report this is one of the most critical steps in your approval or denial.
It's far easier to get approved for one of their loans when you don't have a high debt-to-income ratio. Lending Club reviews this meticulously, if your ratio is above 50%, excluding mortgages, you will likely get denied for a peer-to-peer loan. In order to calculate this ratio, the lender will look at the monthly payments that appear on your credit report, including car payments, credit card debt, and any other outstanding debt (for example home equity) that comes up on your credit report.
Non-bureau payments (like cell phone bills & utility bills) will not be calculated into your debt-to-income ratio. So let's look at an example...
If your total monthly bills (excluding mortgage) are $800 and your total monthly income is $2,000, you would have a 40% debt to income ratio.
Another way of improving your odds of being approved for a loan is to limit your amount of hard credit pulls. You should not have a lot of recent hard credit inquiries. Don't worry if you only have a few, you won't be punished for a few applications, but if it looks like you are constantly applying for credit, you will likely not get approved for their peer-to-peer loans. Remember: A soft pull, like the one done by Lending Club to prequalify you for a loan, does not count as a hard inquiry.
Lastly, to get approved you need to have some credit history. It doesn't have to be major, it could be a normal credit card or a store credit card. In order to have a FICO score, you need at least one active account with six months of history. There are ways to get loans without credit, but Lending Club is not one of them.
Examining The Lending Club Complaints
While peer-to-peer online loans can be a great tool for borrowers, helping them crawl out of debt faster. Some of the Lending Club complaints show that the online lender is not perfect for everyone. But we've noticed something interesting with many of the complaints about them in various Lending Club reviews. Many Lending Club complaints are not actually signs of a scam business or poorly run organization, but instead signs of a cautious and very regimented loan servicer that some people find fault with. Let's examine some of the common Lending Club complaints below...
Common Lending Club Reviews Complaint #1: Some loan applications are denied
One of the main Lending Club complaints borrowers have is the disappointment of not getting approved for a loan.
We see this a lot. Why? Because Lending Club’s application approval process can be quite strict in order to protect their peer-to-peer loan investors. Not only does the online lender prefer that you have a steady job and good salary, but your credit score has to be at least 600 to even be considered for their peer-to-peer loans.
In fact, Bloomberg recently announced that the Lending Club's interest rates have been raised and they've tightened their credit standards for the second time in a year. The online lender's decision was explained: “We have continued to observe higher delinquencies in populations characterized by high indebtedness, an increased propensity to accumulate debt, and lower credit scores… Although the trend can now be observed across grades, it is less notable in lower-risk grades and more notable in higher-risk grades."
So while some low-credit borrowers might turn to writing negative Lending Club reviews, the online lender is actually just taking steps to protect everyday Americans that invest in these peer-to-peer loans.
Common Lending Club Reviews Complaint #2: The rates are too high
Lending Club complaints about rates being "too high" are something you'll see at times. But this is very subjective, if a P2P loan borrower has good credit they are rewarded with great low rates. If a borrower has poorer credit, Lending Club offers them a higher rate that reflects the credit worthiness of the borrower. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) can start as low as 5.99%, and (depending upon your score) go up to as high as 35.89%.
Only about 32% of their borrowers get an interest rate below 12%. But considering the wide spectrum of borrowers who accept their online loans and the fact that they allow loans to some borrowers with credit scores as low as 600, that's not a bad percentage.
Common Lending Club Reviews Complaint #3: They call & email me too much
So this may comes as a surprise to some borrowers, but peer-to-peer online lenders need their loans to be paid back on time just like the banks. Surprise, surprise! So when a borrower misses a payment, the Lending Club customer service department notifies them about it, usually through email or with a telephone call.
If borrowers continue to miss payments, the online lender will send the loan into collections. At this point, people will be assigned to contact the borrower and remind them of their overdue loan payments. As a result, some of the delinquent borrowers get irritated by the phone calls and emails they receive. These types of Lending Club complaints should be taken with a grain of salt, but they do exist.
Common Lending Club Reviews Complaint #4: Max loan amount is only $40,000
Some Lending Club reviews have expressed that they'd like to be able to borrow more than $40,000.
Also, their origination fee could be explained in more detail for customers, it's an up-front fee that comes out of the loan amount which is inconvenient for some. In actuality, their APR is really just the interest rate plus the fee, but some may not understand that.
Common Lending Club Reviews Complaint #5: Loans are unavailable in my state
This is one of the Lending Club complaints that is truly out of their hands. If you live in West Virginia or Iowa, you can not get a loan from them, it's state law. Residents of the remaining 48 Lending Club states are eligible.
List of Additional Trustworthy Lending Club Reviews
- 2,138+ Lending Club Reviews from customers on LendingTree.com
- Lending Club Review Article from PersonalIncome.org
- Lending Club Reviews from Fool.com
- Lending Club Reviews from BBB.org
- Lending Club Investor Reviews from LendAcademy.com
- 14,800+ Lending Club Reviews from customers on LendingClub.com
In Conclusion, is Lending Club Legitimate? The Lending Club Reviews Say "Yes"
According to Lending Club, they are able to reduce the average customer’s credit card interest rate by 32%. And, if someone uses a Lending Club loan to pay off their credit card debt, they usually see an increase in their credit score. 75% of borrowers experienced a FICO score increase three months after obtaining their loan, with an average increase of 20 points.
You can apply and see your interest rate and the amount you'll be allowed to borrow all without hurting your credit score. They use a “soft inquiry” to determine your loan eligibility. You will only have a hard credit inquiry on your report when you decide to book the loan.
Lending Club is an excellent choice if you’re looking to borrow a lot of money without going through a bank.
However, if your credit score is low, you may have difficulty securing a loan because of their strict credit and debt-to-income ratio requirements. In that case, you may want to explore other options, like Avant Loans or Upstart.