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Updated on Sunday, August 9, 2020
Both SoFi and LendingClub are nontraditional lending companies. Where SoFi is an online-only lender, LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace. This means you’ll encounter slightly different application processes. But the two also vary between personal loan terms and qualification requirements.
SoFi personal loans have a higher credit requirement but come with lower APRs, higher loan amounts and longer terms compared to LendingClub. If you have a fair to good credit score, or you’re only seeking to borrow a small amount, however, you may find LendingClub personal loans to be a better fit. Keep reading to learn about how these two loan products compare.
Comparing SoFi vs. LendingClub personal loans
- SoFi: 5.99% to 20.69% (with AutoPay)
- LendingClub: 8.05% to 35.89%
SoFi personal loans offer a dramatically lower range of APRs. They also don’t charge additional fees and offer a 0.25% interest rate reduction if they sign up for AutoPay. While the APR range offered by LendingClub is higher, it includes an origination fee of 3.00% - 6.00% of the total loan amount.
The cost of taking out a personal loan could add up quickly over time depending on your APR. If you took out a $30,000 personal loan from SoFi at the minimum 5.99% APR over a 24-month period, your minimum monthly payments would be $1,329.48. The total amount you’d have to pay back would be $31,907.60, which includes $1,907.60 in interest.
In comparison, borrowing the same amount from LendingClub would require a minimum term of 36 months and a minimum APR of 8.05%. You would end up paying $5,194.38 in interest over the life of the $30,000 loan, although your monthly payments would be lower at $977.62.
- SoFi: $5,000 to $100,000
- LendingClub: $1,000 to $40,000
Personal loans through LendingClub start with a low minimum amount, allowing you to potentially borrow for smaller expenses. Although SoFi has a much higher minimum borrowing amount, their high maximum borrowing limit could be handy for larger home renovation projects, wedding costs and other similarly pricey expenses.
- SoFi: 24 to 84 months
- LendingClub: 36 or 60 month terms
Flexibility in loan terms can be an important factor for borrowers to consider. While a shorter loan term comes with higher monthly payments, it’ll save you money on interest compared to a longer term. The reverse is true for a long term: You’ll see lower monthly payments but a higher overall interest cost. Take this, as well as your personal loan needs, into consideration when comparing loan terms.
Minimum credit scores
- SoFi: 680
- LendingClub: Not specified
Though SoFi offers a lower minimum APR and more flexible repayment terms, they can be harder to qualify for, requiring good or better credit. LendingClub is open to fair credit borrowers.
- SoFi: No origination fee
- LendingClub: 3.00% - 6.00% origination fee
Some lending companies charge an origination fee to process your loan. This fee is either deducted from your loan funds or added on top of your balance. SoFi doesn’t charge any fees. LendingClub comes with an origination fee, plus a late payment fee equal to $15 or 5% of the unpaid payment, whichever is greater.
- SoFi: Soft Pull
- LendingClub: Soft Pull
Both SoFi and LendingClub do a soft credit pull during the prequalification process. This does not affect your credit score. But if you choose to submit a formal application, you’ll need to approve a hard credit inquiry, which will lower your credit score slightly.
Prequalification allows you to see whether you’re liable to be approved for a loan and for what kinds of terms. During this process, you’ll submit basic information about yourself, such as your Social Security number and income information, and your desired loan.
To be eligible for a loan with either lender, you must be at least the age of majority in the state where you live. You should also be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder and be able to provide requested paperwork. For both lenders, your eligibility will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Your credit score
- Financial history
- Monthly income
- Expenses including other debts (known as your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.
To get a personal loan from SoFi, you should demonstrate sufficient income (from either yourself or a cosigner) and either steady employment or an offer to start employment within the next 90 days. If you already have one or more loans with SoFi, you must have made your last three payments on time. Residents of Mississippi are not eligible, while Michigan residents may only have one loan from SoFi at a time.
Borrowers who apply for a loan through LendingClub must have a verifiable bank account. If you live in Iowa or the US territories, you are not eligible to apply. Certain applicants may be eligible for a joint application loan.
Application and time to funding
The application processes for both companies are completed entirely online.
With LendingClub, the application process includes verifying your income through bank statements, tax forms or pay stubs, as well as your employment by providing your work email. You may also be asked to confirm your identity and current address through providing government-issued photo ID and utility bills. LendingClub loan processing times are fairly quick; once approved through LendingClub, your loan will need to be funded by investors. For most borrowers, you could get the funds deposited directly into your bank account within four business days.
After completing a loan application and being approved with SoFi, you will be sent an official agreement requesting your electronic signature and receive a phone call to confirm your address. You can expect to receive the funds of your SoFi personal loan within a few days of approval. (Unfortunately, SoFi doesn’t provide more specific details on their website.)
Flexibility and perks
- SoFi: Unemployment protection; no-cost financial planning; exclusive discounts and deals; networking opportunities
- LendingClub: Ability to change payment due date; grace period on late payments; natural disaster protection
If you lose your job, SoFi could temporarily pause your monthly payments and provide you no-cost career coaching to help you get back on your feet. Other perks offered by this lender include no-cost financial and estate planning, exclusive deals and discounts and invitations to networking experiences.
LendingClub offers the option of changing or permanently moving your payment due date.There is also a 15-day grace period to make payments without penalty. If you’ve been affected by a natural disaster, LendingClub will not charge late fees or make payment calls for at least 30 days. They’ll also inform credit bureaus of your special circumstances.
Is SoFi or LendingClub better for you?
When SoFi might be a better option
- Your credit score is high enough to benefit from lower APR rates.
- You need to borrow more money (over $40,000).
- You don’t want to pay origination or late payment fees.
- You will need a longer period of time to pay back the loan.
- Your line of work is unstable and you could benefit from added unemployment protection.
- You are interested in added perks like no-cost career coaching.
- You could benefit financially from the loan referral program.
When LendingClub might be a better option
- You only need to borrow a smaller amount.
- Your credit score is not high enough to qualify for lower APR’s.
- You are a resident of Mississippi.