SoFi or Lending Club: Which is the Right Fit for You?

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Updated on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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If you’re hunting for a personal loan, there are a plethora of lenders online that have competitive rates. Two popular options are SoFi and Lending Club.

SoFi offers both student loan refinancing and personal loans with some of the lowest interest rates around. Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lender that connects borrowers with peer investors. According to Lending Club, historic return on notes with low risk range from 8.05% to 35.89%. Low interest for borrowers and high return for investors make Lending Club beneficial for both parties.

Let’s compare what each loan has to offer:

SoFi Loan Terms

SoFi has both fixed and variable interest rates. Fixed interest ranges from 5.99% to 20.69% APR if you sign up for autopay. You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000 for 24 to 84 months.

For the most part, you should choose fixed interest loans. Variable interest can increase in the future since it’s set using the market index. This means you won’t be able to predict your monthly payments in the future with certainty.

The one instance when you may want to consider a variable interest loan is if you can pay the loan off quickly. Using this strategy, you benefit from low interest at the beginning of the loan term and then pay it off before interest has a chance to increase.

SoFi has an unemployment benefit that’s a unique perk. If you lose your job, SoFi may allow you to stop making payments for a short time.

You can use a SoFi personal loan to:

  • Invest in your career
  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Take care of medical expenses
  • Cover moving costs
  • Make home improvements
  • Consolidate other debt


Credit Req.


Minimum Credit Score


24 to 84


Origination Fee

No origination fee


on LendingTree’s secure website

Lender Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 20.69% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 19, 2021 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

Lending Club Loan Terms

Lending Club loans have fixed interest of 8.05% to 35.89% APR. There’s no variable interest option here. You can borrow from $1,000 to $40,000 for 36 or 60 months.

The Lending Club process is a little different since it’s a peer-to-peer lender. After you apply for a loan, Lending Club will offer you loan terms and a credit rating. When you select a loan term it appears in the marketplace. The marketplace is where investors view borrower profiles and choose in which to notes to invest.

Lending Club offers loans for many reasons, a few of them including:

  • Credit card refinancing
  • Debt consolidation
  • Home improvement
  • Car financing
  • Medical expenses


Credit Req.

Not specified


36 or 60


Origination Fee

3.00% - 6.00%


on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates. The loan application process is done online and only takes a few minutes to complete without hurting your credit. The loan processing time can take a while and you might not get approved if you have missed payments in the past.

SoFi Eligibility Requirements

SoFi has some of the most competitive rates, but it also has strict qualifying criteria. You’ll have the best shot at getting approved by SoFi with a credit score of 680 or higher. Fortunately, prequalifying doesn’t impact your score so if you’re right on the cusp of a good to excellent credit score, you can try your luck.

The entire application process happens online. SoFi will review your income, expenses, and career experience to determine if you’re eligible.

Lending Club Eligibility Requirements

Lending Club is more lenient than SoFi when it comes to credit scores. Of course, a higher credit score will get you a better interest rate. Lending Club gives the lowest interest rates to borrowers with an excellent credit score, low credit utilization, and a long history of positive credit use. Their minimum credit requirements are not specified.

The Lending Club application happens completely online. You can shop for rates without it impacting your credit history.

Fees and Gotchas

SoFi is void of any application or originations fees. There’s also no prepayment penalties. SoFi does have fees for certain circumstances that you have control over. If you’re late, there’s a late fee of $5 or 4%, whichever one is less.

Lending Club has an origination fee, a key differentiator between these two loans. The origination fee is 3.00% - 6.00% depending on the credit rating that Lending Club assigns you at application. There’s also a late fee of $15 or 5% of the late payment installment, whichever one is greater. There’s no prepayment penalty with Lending Club either.

Pros and Cons

SoFi Pros

  • No origination fee or application fees
  • Low interest for borrowers with good to excellent credit
  • Unemployment benefits
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Quick online application

SoFi Cons

  • You’ll have a hard time qualifying for SoFi if your credit history isn’t strong

Lending Club Pros

  • Minimum credit requirements: Not specified
  • Quick application process
  • Competitive interest rates
  • No prepayment penalties

Lending Club Cons

  • An origination fee of 3.00% - 6.00%

Which Personal Loan Should You Choose?

SoFi offers a less expensive loan for borrowers with excellent credit. There’s low interest and No origination fee, so it’s the way to go if you can get approved. Plus, SoFi has the unemployment benefit, a good thing to have just in case the unexpected happens.

Lending Club is a good alternative if you’re having trouble qualifying elsewhere. The minimum credit score is reasonable although having a credit score on the lower end will likely result in a higher interest rate. But, since there are no prepayment fees, you can always pay the loan off early to save on interest.

The benefit of both loans is you can shop for rates without impacting your credit, so try both to see which one gives you better terms.