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Personal Loans

LendingClub Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

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on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More

LendingClub personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: LendingClub offers personal loans for terms of 36 or 60 months.
  • APR Range: Loan APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%.
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: You can borrow up to $40,000.
  • Time to Funding: It usually takes about seven days to have your loan funded.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Checking rates to see how much a LendingClub loan will cost you only requires a soft pull. The soft pull will not impact your credit history. However, a hard pull is required to complete the full application. The hard inquiry may appear on your credit report and can impact your credit score.
  • Origination fee: LendingClub has an origination fee of 1.00% - 6.00%. This fee is deducted from the total amount of your loan. For example, let's say LendingClub charges you a 5% origination fee on a loan of $1,000. You may apply for a loan of $1,000 but receive only $950 after that fee is subtracted.

  • Prepayment fee: LendingClub has no prepayment penalty fee.
  • Late payment fee: The LendingClub late fee is 5% of your unpaid payment or $15, whichever one is greater.

LendingClub personal loans can be used for many purposes such consolidating debt, making home improvements, or covering other major expenses.

Debt consolidation is one area specifically where borrowers using a LendingClub loan can save big. A 2017 survey of borrowers who used a LendingClub loan to consolidate debt said that the interest rate on the LendingClub loan was 24% lower on average than the interest rate on their outstanding debt or credit cards. Besides lowering your interest rate, consolidating debt with a personal loan can turn many credit card payments due on random dates into one convenient fixed payment with a set pay off date. That being said, LendingClub is just one of many lenders that allow debt consolidation, so you should definitely shop around to be sure you’re getting the best rate available to you.

However, LendingClub may not be the best option for people looking for funds in a hurry. The company says it will take about seven days to fund your loan, but this estimate depends on how long it takes you to turn in requested documentation during the application like proof of income. The faster you get in all of the information, the faster you can get access to your cash.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: You need at least a 600 credit score to qualify for LendingClub.
  • Minimum credit history: LendingClub doesn’t share what specific aspects of your credit history will make you eligible or ineligible for a loan. Exceeding the 600 minimum credit score is important to qualify. However, the very lowest interest rates advertised will go to borrowers with a high credit score, low debt-to-income ratio, and a long history of managing credit lines successfully.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: LendingClub looks for a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40%. This means your total monthly debt obligations are no more than 40% of your monthly gross income.

Besides credit requirements, LendingClub has some other basic requirements to note before applying. 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

LendingClub is not currently accepting applications from Iowa, Guam, or Puerto Rico.

Applying for a personal loan from LendingClub

The application and funding process for a LendingClub loan is different from a typical loan because of the peer-to-peer lending element. You aren’t getting funding in the traditional way from a financial institution. Instead, your loan is getting funded in portions by many different investors.

Before you apply for a LendingClub loan we encourage you to check their rates and compare them to other lenders. You can do this by heading to the LendingClub website and filling out a short online form. Checking rates will not impact your credit score because it’s a soft pull.

You’ll get several offers to choose from after doing the initial pre-application. The offers will include the loan amount, loan term, monthly payment and APR. You’ll need to complete a full application after choosing an offer. Part of the full application is providing your social security number, your income, and details about your employment. This is where the hard credit inquiry comes into play.
Here’s an excerpt from the credit authorization document:

Checking your rate and reviewing loan offers on the LendingClub website will not affect your credit; it will result in a soft credit inquiry which is only visible to you. If you receive a loan through LendingClub, then a hard inquiry that may affect your credit score will appear on your credit report after you receive that loan. Additional reporting will be made to credit reporting agencies during the application precess to confirm you continue to meet credit criteria and to prevent potential fraudulent activities.

LendingClub reviews the information you provide to determine your credit risk. If approved, your loan will be deposited into your bank account. You can expect to receive funding within a week or more depending on how long it takes to verify your financial information.

Pros and cons of a LendingClub personal loan

Let’s review the pros and cons of borrowing with LendingClub:

Pros:

Cons:

  • Long loan term options. If you need to stretch out loan payments, LendingClub may be right up your alley because there are lengthy three- and five-year loan terms available.
  • Only a soft pull is required to check rates. There’s no hard inquiry needed to check rates which is ideal when you’re comparing various loan products. This allows you to shop around to secure a loan with the best possible interest rate you can get.
  • You can qualify with a credit score of 600. Credit is just one of several factors that LendingClub reviews to approve your application. You won’t get the very best interest rates available with a low credit score. However, this loan could be a good opportunity for borrowers with fair credit who are used to getting subprime offers.
  • Slightly longer funding times than other products. Innovation in the online lending space has made getting access to money in as little as one day at some lenders. That’s not the case, unfortunately, with LendingClub — because it could take up to seven days to get your funds through LendingClub, it may not be the right product for you if you need money very quickly for an emergency.
  • The origination fee. LendingClub gives you an origination fee and interest rate after determining your credit risk. You should think about the potential cost of an origination fee when you decide how much money to borrow. The origination fee is going to take a chunk of money out of your loan. You can compare origination fees of other personal loans here.

Who’s the best fit for a LendingClub personal loan

LendingClub loans can be a good fit for a wide range of borrowers because the minimum credit score is 600. There are also highly competitive interest rates available for borrowers with stellar credit.

The funding timeline is probably the biggest thing to consider with a LendingClub loan. It may take a week or even more for you to get your money. This won’t be much of an issue for borrowers who aren’t in too much of a rush to get cash. If you’re borrowing money to consolidate debt, pay off credit cards, or fund an event like a wedding that’s a year away, the time it takes to get funding may not be such a problem.

The loan terms available at LendingClub (36 or 60 months) give borrowers a decent amount of time to pay off the debt. A LendingClub loan may be the right product for you if you want to draw out your loan payments.

The customer feedback on LendingClub is pretty positive. Customers report that LendingClub offers transparency throughout the loan process. You can check out customer reviews in detail at LendingTree, a loan comparison site which owns MagnifyMoney.

We rank LendingClub as one of the top places to obtain a personal loan, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t compare options before choosing to borrow. Shop around for loans using our roundup of other top online personal loans.

Alternative personal loan options

Here are some alternatives to the LendingClub loan:

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

5.99%
To
28.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More

The Marcus by Goldman Sachs® loan is a no-fee personal loan. Interest charges are the only costs you’ll have to worry about with this product. The interest rates here are comparable to what LendingClub has to offer, plus you can get funding within five days. You can check rates online with only a soft pull that won’t affect your credit score. Ultimately, the lack of origination fee is what gives the Marcus by Goldman Sachs® an edge over LendingClub.

Prosper

APR

6.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

2.41% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers a quick and convenient way to get personal loans with fixed and low interest rates. ... Read More


For example, a three-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of AA would have an interest rate of 5.31% and a 2.41% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 6.95% APR. You would receive $9,759 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $301.10. A five-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of A would have an interest rate of 8.39% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 10.59% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $204.64. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. APRs through Prosper range from 6.95% (AA) to 35.99% (HR) for first-time borrowers, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC.

Prosper is another peer-to-peer lender with interest rates and origination fees that are close to what LendingClub offers. Prosper also lets you check rates with just a soft inquiry so you can shop with both peer-to-peer lenders to see which one will give you the best deal. According to Prosper, borrowers on average get their money five days after accepting a loan offer.

Payoff

APR

5.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Payoff is a financial services firm that offers personal loans mainly to help consolidate credit card debt.... Read More

The Payoff loan is a product that helps you consolidate existing credit card debt with a low, fixed interest rate loan. Payoff isn’t an actual financial institution; instead, it works with lenders to originate loans. This loan product has an origination fee but no other fees (late fees, returned check fees, or repayment fees). You may be able to get funding within two to five business days so this is an example of an option that may provide faster funding. Payoff has a slightly higher minimum credit score than LendingClub.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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Personal Loans

Top 5 Personal Loan Myths of 2019

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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When it comes to personal loans, many Americans are more likely to turn to credit cards as a way to pay emergency bills, enjoy a dream vacation, or pay for items they can’t afford with cash.

According to Experian, existing personal loan debt was at $273 billion in the second quarter of 2018, while existing credit card debt was at $782 billion in the same period.

But it also shows personal loans with a greater year-to-year change in debt growth than credit cards. Whether personal loans are a viable option for expenses depends, apparently, on who you ask.

Awareness seems to be a key factor. When people are in the dark about financial solutions, they will draw their own conclusions, often leading to false perceptions.

What are some of the myths about personal loans?

5 things people say about personal loans

Myths about personal loans have developed over two centuries, making them hard to debunk.

Fortunately, the internet makes it easier than ever to not just raise awareness about personal loans and to clarify misconceptions, but to find the lowest interest rates and apply for loans.

Personal loans have a difficult and lengthy application process

Before the internet, borrowers had to apply for a personal loan by visiting their bank. During the days of the Morris Plan banks, they often evaluated borrowers based on character and income. This may have meant dressing in your Sunday best and arriving for a meeting with a loan officer with stacks of paperwork, pay stubs and tax returns.

Today, applying for a personal loan is easier than applying for a home equity loan or a mortgage.

You can apply easily online in just a few clicks. Many lenders will ask you to provide your Social Security number, your monthly expenses — including any outstanding debt such as mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit card debt — and your income.

Keep in mind that applying for a personal loan may require a hard credit inquiry and could lower your credit score. If you can, try to pre-qualify for a loan before you apply.

You won’t qualify for a personal loan if you don’t have excellent credit

This common misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Personal loans are available for borrowers with a FICO Score as low as 500, but you won’t get the best rates with a rock-bottom credit score.

Most lenders look for borrowers with a credit score of 670 or higher. But a score of 800 or more will net you the best terms and interest rates.

Personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards

Unlike the other myths explored, this one has some truth to it. It all depends on your creditworthiness.

Borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher get personal loans at an average APR of 7.09%, according to LendingTree data, which is lower than the current 14.73% average APR for credit cards. (Disclosure: MagnifyMoney is owned by LendingTree.)

But if your credit is between 660 and 679, the average APR for a personal loan jumps to 16.72%.

It might be smarter to open a credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers and pay down as much debt as you can during that introductory period. With on-time payments, your credit score will rise and you can continuing using the same process until your high-interest debt is paid off.

Personal loans have high interest rates

“Personal loans have high interest rates” and “personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards” might seem to be contradictory misconceptions.

In fact, they show just how much confusion there is about personal loans. Some people perceive the rates to be too high, while others assume a personal loan will offer a lower interest rate than their existing credit card debt.

There is just not enough awareness about personal loans being a good option for many people.

So what’s the truth?

If you have an excellent credit score, you could qualify for a personal loan with single-digit interest rates, which is lower than most credit cards.

Personal loans are also a better option than predatory payday loans, which can have an APR of almost 400%.

But if you own a home, a secured loan such as a home equity loan or home equity line of credit will almost certainly deliver a lower interest rate than an unsecured personal loan.

Personal loans just aren’t right for many borrowers

Many people don’t think of themselves as a good candidate for a personal loan. Maybe they feel their credit isn’t good enough or they don’t make enough money to quality.

Homeowners often consider home equity loans or HELOCs before personal loans. And, of course, the 70 million Americans carrying credit card debt month to month may not have thought about a personal loan.

But you could be a good candidate for a personal loan if you have excellent credit and need cash to consolidate credit card debt, pay medical bills or make a large purchase.

With an easy online application process, personal loans are increasingly becoming a smart choice for many borrowers.

What are your personal loan options?

In spite of the myths surrounding them, personal loans continue to grow in popularity.

In the second quarter of 2018, personal loans showed the greatest year-over-year growth than any other type of loan, according to Experian. Personal loan debt increased by 11.4%.

Borrowers looking for cash to pay off revolving credit cards or remodel their home may want to consider a personal loan. If you’re considering a personal loan, check your credit reports from all three credit bureaus and repair any errors to be sure your credit is in tip-top shape so you can qualify for a lower interest rate.

If your score isn’t where you’d like it to be, take time to pay down existing debt to improve your credit utilization ratio and raise your credit score. Avoid opening or closing accounts before applying for a personal loan since these actions could reduce your score.

As your credit score is increasing, use the MagnifyMoney personal loan marketplace to find a loan with the lowest rates and best terms for your situation. Always remember to do your research, consider all your options and make sure your finances are in order before applying for a personal loan.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Dawn Allcot
Dawn Allcot |

Dawn Allcot is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Dawn here

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Loan Origination Fees: Should I Be Paying Them?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

girl with a cup of coffee with a money bag symbol
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If you’ve applied for a personal loan or mortgage, chances are you probably came across something called an origination fee. If you’re wondering what it’s for and whether you have to pay it, here’s what you need to know.

Understanding origination fees

An origination fee is a common charge that is added to a personal loan, student loan or mortgage. It is charged by the lender and can also be referred to as an application, processing or underwriting fee. Its purpose is to cover the hard costs of preparing documents, processing and underwriting your loan, and any third party fees that might be incurred along the way, said Ashley Luethje, a York, Neb.-based sales manager at Waterstone Mortgage.

“These fees are typically a percentage of the total amount you’re borrowing,” Luethje said. “Generally, a mortgage origination fee is around one percent, but for consumer and commercial loans, the fee can be greater and is at the discretion of the lender.”

How an origination fee can come into play

If you’re deciding between lenders, one criteria you might want to take into account is the difference in their origination fees. There are some key points to consider, depending on the type of loan you’re applying for.

Personal loan

As personal loans are typically unsecured and not backed by any collateral, you may find the highest origination fees in this category. Because these types of loans carry more risk for lenders, they may charge you anywhere between 1% to 6% of the total amount you are borrowing. Those higher fees also offset the lower amount of interest lenders like banks and credit unions will receive during the life of a personal loan. These loans tend to be extended for a shorter term and in smaller amounts than other kind of loans.

If you’re not getting charged an origination fee with your personal loan, be aware that the lender may make up for it some other way, such as charging higher interest rates, said Jacob Dayan, the Chicago, Ill.-based CEO and co-founder of Community Tax and Finance Pal.

“It’s important to note that having a good credit history will yield you a much lower origination fee,” Dayan said. “Those fees are negotiable for larger loans, but will commonly require you to put up something, such as accepting a higher Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on your loan.”

Mortgage

Mortgage origination fees — also called mortgage points — can vary drastically as they are determined by the lender, said Jason Larkins, a Scarborough, Maine-based branch manager at United Fidelity Funding. These fees are charged to cover the labor involved in the processing, underwriting and funding of a mortgage, as well as third party fees incurred in tasks such as verifying your employment.

Many lenders, such as banks, credit unions and brokerages, charge a flat origination fee. This means the fee is not based on the amount you borrow. Others could charge a 0.5% to 1% origination fee; the VA home loan program sets a cap at 1%. “However, if a borrower is paying a 1% origination fee, they are likely paying too much and can shop for a better deal,” Larkins said.

At the beginning of the mortgage application process, lenders must disclose the exact origination fee being charged in an official Loan Estimate form. Lenders may not increase the stated fee except under special circumstances, such as if you decrease your down payment or change your type of loan. However, you could negotiate it downwards depending on your credit score, and the size and duration of your requested loan.

As long as you meet certain criteria outlined in IRS Publication 530, your mortgage origination fees may also be tax deductible.

Student loans

Origination fees for federal student loans are set by the government and may vary depending on whether you have a direct subsidized, direct unsubsidized or direct plus-type loan. Those fees could range from 1.062% to 4.264%  and are deducted from the loan amount — meaning you get a smaller loan in the end but will still pay back the full amount. For example, if you were to take out a $10,000 loan with a 4% origination fee, you would only receive $9,600 but would have to pay back the entire $10,000.

The only federal student loans that didn’t charge an origination fee were the Perkins Loans for undergraduate and graduate students in financial need, but this program recently ended. While most student loans provided by private lenders such as credit unions and banks might not come with origination fees, they could cost you more in the long run by charging higher interest rates. Private student loans also don’t come with the federal protections that are standard with federal loans.

Keep in mind that loans with lower interest rates but higher fees can cost more than loans with a higher interest rate and no fees. An easy way to calculate whether your lender is giving you a good deal is to remember that 3% to 4% in fees is equivalent to a 1% higher interest rate.

Is my origination fee too high?

Origination fees are not required, so it’s at the lender’s discretion to waive or negotiate the fee, said Kris Alban, the San Diego-based executive vice president of iGrad.

“It’s always smart to ask for a discount, especially if you have a high credit score and it’s a large loan,” Alban said. “When negotiating, the lender may agree to lower or waive the origination fees if you’ll pay a higher interest rate — meaning they will still make a profit, and you can pay the fees over the length of the loan rather than up front.”

To get the best big picture outlook of whether you’re getting a good deal on your loan, make sure you’re not just comparing the origination fees but also factoring in the interest rate. For example:

  • A $10,000 loan at a 4.99% APR for five years with a 3% origination fee will cost you $11,620 over the life of the loan.
  • The same loan at 5.65% APR with a 1.5% origination fee will cost you $11,652 over the life of the loan.

“Pay attention to both the interest rate and APR,” Alban said. “If they are different, the lender is most likely factoring additional fees into the APR; any origination fee over 4% of the total loan amount is excessive.”

The bottom line

Origination fees are charged by lenders to cover the costs of processing your loan, whether you’re looking for a mortgage, personal loan or student loan. Even though lenders are subject to regulations, be cautious of anything that sounds too good to be true and remember that the absence of origination fees can translate into higher interest rates. “Take the time to read the fine print and completely understand the terms of the loan,” Luethje said.

While you should exercise your ability to price origination fees with different lenders to get you the best deal possible, remember there is no one-size-fits-all scenario. “Make the choice that best fits your needs. If an upfront origination fee hinders your ability to receive a loan but a higher interest rate is a better option, then that might be the best scenario for you as a consumer,” Luethje said.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Barbara Balfour
Barbara Balfour |

Barbara Balfour is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Barbara here

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