Lending Club Review for Borrowers: Is it Legit?

I applied myself and got $2,000 cash in six days.


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 23, 2014
Last modified:February 25, 2015

Summary:

Easy. Low rates. Origination fee could be stated more clearly, but overall Lending Club remains one of the best places for an online loan.

A few weeks ago I applied for a loan at Lending Club. It was a Monday morning, and I was still in my pajamas. After having some cereal and coffee for breakfast, I went to the living room and turned on my computer.

I knew Lending Club had low rates, but I wanted to see what they would give me. I loaded their site up and checked my rate. The rate was good, so I applied. After filling out some forms and verifying my identity, I got an email from them saying the loan was approved.

Loan Withdrawn as Cash

Six business days later, nearly $2,000 in cash was deposited into my bank account.

Loans up to $35,000 via Lending Club

Check your rate
Won’t affect your credit score.

How are the rates at Lending Club so low? Well, unlike a bank, Lending Club does not have local branches, so they have no vaults or tellers to pay. Since they run completely online, they can pass on the savings to us in the form of better interest rates. Most people get a rate 5% lower than their credit cards, which can mean thousands of dollars in savings. Also, the rates are fixed. They will never go up, even after a late payment.

4 Steps for a Loan through Lending Club

Getting an unsecured loan at Lending Club turns out to be really easy. There are just four things to do:

Step 1. Check your rate

Go to the Lending Club website and check the interest rate they offer you for a loan (some people use MyInstantOffer.com). This requires you to give them a little bit of information like your name, address, and date of birth.

Check-Your-Rate

One minute after clicking the big green Get Your Rate button, you will be approved (or denied) for your loan. As you can see below, I was approved for a loan with a 9% interest rate, which is an APR of 12% (APR = interest rate + fees).

Lending-Club-Loan-Approved

If you like the loan amount and interest rate they offer you, click the big green Get Loan button. If you want to increase or decrease your loan, select the amount you prefer and click the Get this loan instead button.

Step 2. Provide your personal details

Here you give Lending Club the information they need to verify your identity, including giving them your social security number. You can feel safe about doing this since Lending Club secures this page with 128-bit encryption.

Provide-Phone-Number-Social-Security-Number

After clicking Next you will arrive at the Disclosure Statement.

Lending-Club-Conditions-Terms

Agreeing to these terms is like signing your name to the loan application. Once done, your application is officially complete.

Step 3. Wait for your loan to get funded

With all that out of the way, the loan opens for funding. Lending Club loans are a kind of loan called peer to peer loans. This means Lending Club does not actually fund your loan themselves. Instead, they have lots of investors around the country combine their money to fund your loan. Note: currently every single loan is getting 100% funded at Lending Club, so don’t worry too much about this step.

Below is my B-grade loan on the Lending Club platform. At the time of this picture it was 60% funded by 11 different investors:

Lending-Club-Listing

Click to enlarge

Within an hour of my loan being open to investors, it reached 100% funding from 28 different investors from states including Texas, New York, and Virginia:

My Investors

Step 4. Verify your information

To finalize the process, you need to verify your identity with Lending Club. They will probably give you three steps to complete: submitting extra documents, confirming your email, and verifying your bank account.

Loan-In-Review

  • Submitting documents: This is probably the most complicated step. Lending Club may ask you to provide old tax returns or paystubs. Every application is different. If you have digital versions of your files, you can submit them online. If you only have physical copies, you will need to make them digital with a scanner (or fax them). For my loan, I was asked to submit three months of bank statements. My bank provides these online in PDF files, so no scanning or faxing was needed. A few clicks and the files were uploaded.
  • Confirming your email: just click the link in the email they send you. Simple.
  • Verifying your bank: Lending Club makes a small deposit in your bank account (less than $1). Once they make this deposit, you log into their website and type this number in, verifying the bank is yours. For my loan, the trial deposit was there on Tuesday, the morning after I applied.
  • Credit history: At this point in the process, Lending Club may run a hard inquiry on your credit history (also called a hard credit pull). Hard inquiries will temporarily lower your credit score, but only for a few months. They remain on your report for two years. Remember that getting a good rate on a loan (like a mortgage or car loan) is more difficult if you have a large number of recent inquiries. A decent rule of thumb is to wait 6 months between every loan you apply for.

My $2,000 Loan Was Approved in 5 Days

Just five days after applying and verifying my identity, Lending Club sent me an email saying my 3-year loan was approved:

Loan-Approved-at-Lending-Club

My application process:

  • Dec. 1, Monday: Checked my rate at 10am and accepted their offer. Loan was 100% funded that afternoon. I submitted my documents, verified my email, and waited for bank deposit.
  • Dec. 2, Tuesday: Verified my bank account (deposit was 38 cents).
  • Dec. 5, Friday: Lending Club moved from ‘Under Review’ to Issued.
  • Dec. 8, Monday: $1,920 cash was deposited in my bank account in Seattle

Why did Lending Club give me just $1,920? Why not the full $2,000?

Lending Club did not give me the full loan amount. They took $80 of my loan (4%) as a fee ($2,000 X 0.04 = $80). This is how Lending Club makes money, and this fee is called an origination fee. It is different for every borrower. If you have excellent credit you will pay just 1% in fees. Most borrowers will pay 4-5% in fees like I did:

Lending-Club-Rates-2015

It is important to include this fee in your loan request if you need to. For example, if you need exactly $20,000 and expect to pay 5% in fees, you would probably want to ask for $21,052 since $1,052 (5%) in fees would leave you with the full $20,000.

Paying Back the Loan is Easy

A month after your loan is approved, you will begin making payments. These payments will automatically be taken from the bank account you gave Lending Club when you applied. They will happen once per month until the loan is paid off.

Make extra payments: a very good idea. Any extra payments you make mean less paid interest overall, so try to do them. Lending Club allows both one-time and permanent extra payments. You can make these by calling them: 1-888-596-3157.

Pay back the loan early (no fee): also a great option, and Lending Club does not charge prepayment fees. Pay in full at any time.

Is Lending Club Safe? Is it Legit? Yes.

Many people wonder if this is a scam. After all, most have never heard of Lending Club before. But I can personally say that Lending Club is a very legitimate way to get a loan. Lots of positive press in major media prove that fact:

Secondly, applying for the loan is very safe. Every page of the application is protected with 128-bit SSL encryption, so you can feel secure knowing your information will remain private and confidential.

Review Verdict: A Great Loan at a Low Rate


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 23, 2014
Last modified:February 25, 2015

Summary:

Easy. Low rates. Origination fee could be stated more clearly, but overall Lending Club remains one of the best places for an online loan.

If you need cash or simply want to pay back credit cards, Lending Club is one of the best options around.

Pros:

  1. Lowest rates nationwide
  2. Easy and quick application
  3. Fast cash – I got a loan in six business days
  4. No prepayment penalty, pay it off for free at any time

Cons:

  1. Maximum loan is only $35,000
  2. Origination fee should be more clearly stated

Final Word

For a quick low-rate loan, Lending Club is one of the best options nationwide.

Loans up to $35,000 via Lending Club

Check your rate
Won’t affect your credit score.

Comments

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  1. Kim says

    After you get fully funded by investors and verify bank / email…. Does that mean it is definetely approved?? They haven’t ask for additional info yet (taxes, bank statements, etc).

  2. Destiny says

    Why would you wait 6 days to fund a loan when you can receive a signature loan from a credit union or bank usually in 24-48 hours with no origination fee?

    • says

      Hi Destiny,
      A few reasons. The biggest is, getting a signature loan from a credit union can be difficult for most people. Second, it requires driving somewhere, whereas you can get a Lending Club loan just by going on your home computer. That said, if you can get a better rate at a credit union then definitely consider that! Lending Club is a great option, but it isn’t necessarily perfect for everyone.

      • Brad says

        Glad you wrote this up. I just completed the application process. I’m usually skeptical of any of these type of things because so many companies (since graduating college) has tried to lock me in to some crazy loan with crazy interest rates.

        My credit is a little on the poor side… so the APR was still around 20%, but I went with a small loan that I can pay back this year to try them out first. 20% is still lower than one of the credit cards that I have (that carries a balance).

        This is an interesting idea.

  3. Thomas Wilson says

    I was asked to pay $200 for a verifying voucher. I was denied due to my credit score. However, received an email from Steve Hart (408-905-1835) from Lending Club.
    He stated this was common practice and my funds would be received upon my verification of $200. Please inform if this is valid

  4. Rob says

    Can I please quote from the above very useful guide for a presentation on Crowdfunding / P2P to some institutional investors? Thanks.

  5. Beverly says

    I am interested in seeing what kind of interest rate I would get but I don’t want to fill out all the information they are asking for and not be able to decline if the rate is not what I would consider a good rate. Am I able to delete and get out of it should I decide I don’t want to get the small loan??

  6. Bama says

    I received a preapproved offer from Lending Club. I applied for $15k online Sunday night and was approved. It showed my credit score from Transunion, which was 715. Next, I verified my email address. Monday morning, I was at 30% funding. Tuesday, I verified my bank account after LC deposited/debited a small amount of change. I was fully funded by the end of the day. On Wednesday, I received the bank deposit of $14,400. My interest rate is 11.99%, which is way below any of my credit cards. The process was fast and easy for me.

  7. Lindsay says

    I was approved at lending club for $10,000 (requested amount) with 685 credit score for 11.99% rate (14.24% APR), however I was declined at Prosper due to credit score. From what I’ve read, it is usually the opposite so I’m not sure what happened. I applied to lending club through the readyforzero platform so maybe that made a difference?

    I decided to reduce the loan amount by several thousand to pay off one high interest credit card from Citibank (29.99% with no late payments ever!) that recently reduced my credit limit for no reason under my control. I would have consolidated more but my other cards are not much higher than the lending club loan so thought I’d start small to try out the service.

    We recently bought a new house and my credit dropped as a result of starting a new mortgage loan with 100% financed . With my old house, I had equity so it reported more favorably.

    I am currently at the stage of waiting for money to deposit into my account and I can’t wait to pay off that CITI card!

    • Lindsay says

      Just to update, prosper also noted on my disapproval email that I had too many credit accounts that exceeded 90% utilization in the past 6 months which impacted my “prosper score” I bet that is where they differ because they reported my credit score at 695 which is slightly higher than what lending club reported. (I applied for both on the same day)

      • Itgirl AJ says

        Hi. Can you tell me what payment schedule they gave your for the $10K at 11.99% (14.24 APR)? (PS. I want to get away from CitiCards also!!! Thank you!

        • Lindsay says

          I actually decided to take only 6000 because I wanted to pay off just the one high card and be conservative since I had no experience with peer to peer lending. For 6000, I chose a three year plan with payments at 197/month. When you apply, it shows three year and five year payment options and all the loan amounts you qualify for so you can compare with the amount you requested. Hope that helps. Just to let you know, I applied on Monday and the money was in my bank account this morning so I’m officially free of Citicard!

  8. Meghan says

    I am interested in paying down credit card debt from multiple credit cards. I was sent a pre-approval letter from the Lending Club. I am just curious of the rate and amount that I would be approved for. Will checking my offer put a hard inquiry onto my credit score immediately or only if I accept the offer?

    • says

      Hi Meghan. You’ll have to check your rate using the button above to see. Everybody’s rate is different. However, checking your score is only a soft inquiry. It will not hurt your credit score.

      Also, I did not even get a hard inquiry when I accepted the loan, but others have.

  9. Mary says

    Hi I want to take out a loan for 10K. My credit is very low. what are the chances of me getting approved. And how do I know this is not a scam.

  10. Gary says

    I am interested in a LOan but do not like having automated withdrawls for my payments. I like making them myself due to getting paid at various times of the month. Somewhere I read this is available. How does someone accomplish this ?

  11. April says

    I am applying and was worried that the download part of the application was safe. I feel better about it once I read your article.

  12. sassy9289 says

    What if I apply for a loan but don’t have a personal bank account can it be deposited in someone,else’s account?

  13. Scott Medeiros says

    Lending Club will take 5% away from what ever amount you are approved for and call it a Loan Origination Fee. They say this is how they make their money, So the High interest rate is what exactly? Stay away from this company unless you are desperate or ok with having 5% stolen from you on top of a high interest rate.

    • says

      Thanks for your opinion Scott. But Lending Club has to pay the bills somehow, and their origination fee (included in the APR) still keeps them one of the most affordable options in the country.

      • Scott Medeiros says

        This is not my opinion Simon. Lending Club does a poor job of advertising this 5% fee. How do all the other credit card companies makes millions of dollars each year from their interest rates yet Lending Club does not make enough money and feel the need to implement this unethical fee and take advantage of their customers?

        • JB says

          Credit card companies make millions of dollars by charging the retailer a fee every time you use your card, so basically those fees are wrapped into the purchase price of every item at Target, your local grocery store, etc.

        • Chris says

          from what I understand, the interest is going to the people that funded the loan. simple logic would tell you that. the people funding the loan make money that way, otherwise there would be no point in putting up your own money to loan to someone else.

  14. tvh says

    Beware of this type of loan processing as your information may be at risk. Never send your personal information in an email as they request, as you don’t know who on the other end is receiving it or what if any safety of information contained is secure.

  15. maria says

    I would have like to get rid of two credit cards : Citi with 25.24% APR and Capitol One with19.99% APR. I checked my rate . For the 15,000 I needed to pay the cards, the Lending Club offered a 29.99% APR. Even for lower amounts, the APR was the same. Unfortunately, my hope to get rid of the cards is over. Why do I get such a high APR, when apparently everybody else is getting an APR lower that the one at the credit cards? Thank you. Maria

  16. Jeanette Silvia says

    I received one of your offers that said I was pre-approved for a loan for up to $35,000.00, but when I went online to fill out the application, there was no place to enter my personal code that I was given from the Lending Club. Why was I given a code if I cant use it or have any place to put it

  17. TC says

    I applied on Monday for a 12,000 Loan. I got an email the next morning I was funded at 60% and then 90% as of yesterday and then an email later in the day with Congrats I was approved and backed 100%. My bank account doesn’t show any small deposits within the last few days (i.e. less than a dollar). Today the lending club website (when I logged on) shows that my 1st payment is due on 3/18/15 and that the loan has been “issued”. Should I assume this will be in my bank account in the next few days? My origination fee was 480.00 (and the balance they say I will receive is 11,520. I must say – this was very quick and easy (assuming it shows up in my bank LOL). Thanks!

  18. Honey says

    Same thing for me too, Coleen. Except, I submitted my docs on Saturday, verified my email that day, verified direct deposit amount on Tuesday and today is Thursday but I haven’t received a confirmation from them other than confirming the correct dd amount I reported. I sent my paystubs again today and followed up with an email to [email protected] but still nothing. I read that it can take up to 14 days but not hearing anything from them after the dd amount was confirmed is kinda discouraging.

  19. Rebecca Triola says

    Hi, I recently applied for a $10,000 loan. This was on a Friday and over the weekend while waiting for the process I realized I needed a $12,000 loan. Fist thing Monday morning I was calling/emailing a representative that had contacted me to get the loan set up. I have never gotten a response and now my $10,000 loan has gone through and the funds are being issued to my account. If there anything I can still do to change this to a $12,000 loan? And advice is greatly appreciated!

    • says

      Hi Rebecca. I’m not sure there’s much you can do at this point. You can always apply for a $2,000 loan through Prosper, though you will need to do what is right for your particular situation.

  20. Honey says

    Hi Jovani,

    Mine was like your’s and Syvia’s before, but yesterday the look changed and the adverse action notice was added to the other list of docs. It’s also says the loan listing expires in 3 days and 4 hours, but at the point it will only be two weeks into the process and I thought it was good for 30 days. I’m just getting mad now because they haven’t even bothered to call or email me. :-(

  21. Sylvia says

    Update:

    About an hour ago, my status changed and it says “Done! Your funds will be deposited into your bank account.” So yay!!! I’m still trying not to get my hopes up because I’ve read multiple reviews where even though it has gone through the approval process, the funds still don’t get deposited and then the loan is rescinded! I don’t see why that would happen in my case, but it’s still nerve wracking. Under “Account Activity” there is nothing yet, so the deposit hasn’t been initiated. Fingers crossed this all works out. I’ll feel better once the funds are there. :-) I have never been so excited to pay off credit cards. Having one monthly payment and an end date in sight is going to be so wonderful.

    Side Note: I still am unable to see the investors backing my loan or anything like that. Not sure why some have that info and others don’t. Also, I have not received any emails from Lending Club since the intial “verify email” and “verify bank” emails. No email letting me know the status changed to “Done”. So my advice for those waiting is to keep checking your account online and don’t just wait for an email.

    Here’s how my process has been so far:

    1) 3/18/15 Wed. (approx. 11 P.M.) – applied for a loan because I had received a pre-approval in the mail. Verified my email that night.
    2) 3/19/15 Thurs. (approx. 9 A.M.) – submitted my year end pay stub and two most recent pay stubs.
    3) 3/20/15 Fri. – Submitted my w2s.
    4) 3/20/15 Fri. – the trial deposit was in my bank account so I was able to verify my bank account.
    5) 3/20/15 late afternoon – Called Lending Club to ensure they received my documents because the Account Summary said “received” but it wasn’t showing as completed. Lending Club said they received the docs and it was in review.
    6) 3/24/15 Tues. – Sent Lending Club an email to check on the status because my loan expires on 4/1/15. I asked them in there was anything further they needed from me.
    7) 3/25/15 Wed. 1 PM – Status changed from “Final Review” to “Done! Your funds will be deposited into your bank account.”

  22. Sylvia says

    Update:

    3/25/15 1 PMish: My status changed from “Final Review” to “Done! Your funds will be deposited into your bank account”.

    I am happy and excited, but also trying to be patient. I’ll feel good about it once the funds are deposited. Lol. I’m so excited to pay off my credit card, have just one monthly payment, and have an debt free end date in sight. Fingers crossed this all goes through.

    On a side note, I have not received any emails from Lending Club since the initial “verify your email” and “verify your bank account” emails. I have not received an email letting me know my loan status has changed or anything. Also, I’m still unable to see the investors backing my loan like some other people are. Not sure why that is.

  23. Robin says

    Hello I recently applied for loan almost two weeks ago and i keep getting emails that its 60% approve 80% approved and 90% approved. Its still pending but have heard or got an email since the 90% approval. I like to know if that is normal or it there something that may happened?

    • Ana says

      Hi Robin,
      This happened to me too. My loan is at 100% funded but still waiting review. I haven’t received any emails after the 90%. Today is 7 days since I applied.

  24. Alan says

    If a loan is paid back early do you avoid paying additional interest or is all interest front loaded onto the loan?

  25. jen says

    I applied on Monday the 30th and have not been asked to send any documents. My accounts have all been verified and I am 100% funded, however I am still in final review process. Any thoughts?

    • Ana says

      Hi Jen, It takes a few days after 100% funding for LC to send you an email requesting w2 & 2 most recent stubs. Hope this helps.

      • Ana says

        I applied on 3/24. I submitted my w2 & stubs last week. My loan expired 4/7. Today, I spoke with a representative & was told my info was recvd but they are back logged. Someone is assigned to review my items. I should get a response no later than next week.

        • Katie says

          Thank you for this info! Maybe this is why mine is being held up as well. I’ll call if mine is not funded on Monday (expiration date).

          • ANA says

            I’ve been checking at today @ 4pm, I looked up my account and the final review and done have a green check mark. I haven’t received an approval email as of yet. I don’t know how long it takes for the money to be deposited into my account.

  26. jen says

    Robin did you ever get funded? Tomorrow is day seven for me. I have been in final review for about 4 days now with no further communications.

  27. ardi says

    I applied for $20k to pay off credit card and was fully approved in 24 hours. Does this impact my credit in a negative way because I put “Credit Card Refinancing” instead of personal reasons?

    • says

      No. It won’t say Credit Card Refinancing on your credit report. Just that it’s a non revolving loan from Lending Club, the amount issued/paid, and if you’ve been paying on time.

  28. Chris says

    After accepting the loan terms, how long do you have to wait in order to see the funding status like Simon posted? All I see is “Investors are backing your loan” on the Account page.
    Thanks

    • Kate says

      I have a feeling they changed their interface or this is only available to some users and not others. I can’t see that screen either and in other forums it looks like others are unable to see details as well.

  29. Stacy says

    I see that “Hard inquiries will temporarily lower your credit score, but only for a few months.” How much will it be lowered? Does your credit score automatically go back up once the loan is paid off?

    • says

      Typically hard inquires lower a score by 5-25 points depending on the person. These points will come back after 2-6 months or so, though I say this as my opinion and not as n expert on credit risk.

  30. Tommy says

    Dealing with Lending club as far as getting a loan goes has been the best experience i’ve had applying for any loan. It was so simple. I got the pre-approved offer in the mail (usually I throw those out) and decided to just give it a try. I’m really impressed with how fast everything went. I applied Tuesday, it’s now Friday and I woke up to have the loan already in bank account. (Over $10k) I thought it was gonna be too good to be true and I’d get some kind of email saying the loan wouldn’t be approved, but LendingClub really came through. Thank you

  31. chelsea says

    Does it make a difference what you put the amount borrowed is for? I.e. medical bills, debt consolidation, etc.

  32. Shannon Gutwein says

    I received an email with a direct phone number to call. It was a 415 number and the sender on email was Tami Doe. This seemed odd? Thoughts?

  33. April says

    Received a preapproved letter and thinking of applying but when I have to send check stubs could I include my husband’s workman’s comp checks?

  34. Mitchell says

    It’s been four days in final review, if they are going to deny would they do so right away? My credit karma still does not show a credit inquiry from them so it seems that nothing is progressing.

    I tried a tradition home equity just before this but was denied because my mortgage company isn’t reporting my online payments, due to a bankruptcy in 2012 they can’t report even though I exempted my mortgage from the filing. I fear that this will affect this attempt as well and i desperately need a roof on the house.

  35. Mitchell says

    Minutes after writing the above inquiry I received an email from LC requesting utility bill. I guess that shows some movement but still no credit inquiry alerts. So now I guess another three days to review the newly requested document.

    • Mitchell says

      Update: I received a verification call yesterday Eve and was told all would be approved and funds transferred today and to allow a few days for bank processing. However, still no credit pull.
      This confuses me, is it actually really done with no hard credit inquiry?
      Just wondering if it could still be rescinded..

      Not going to count on it til I see it in my account.

  36. Shannon says

    I found the application process very simple. However, the waiting afterwards is horrible. I understand things take time, but the not knowing is agonizing. Especially when you are anxious to pay off debt! I am still in the “review” stage, hopefully I will get an answer soon.

  37. Amberly says

    Can u still get funded if u don’t have a traditional bank account? I have a credit card that offers direct deposit, could that be used?

  38. Albin Raety says

    I got a mailer from the Lending Club in the mail. Suspicious? A little but I applied online. The process was so smooth I could not believe it. Calls to customer service were handled in an extremely professional manner. I can’t believe HOW EASY this loan was. Seven days from submission of application to money being deposited into my bank account. I would highly recommend the Lending Club to anyone. I am still in amazement of how easy the whole process was and the professional and courteous manner in which any and all of my questions were answered.

  39. Michael says

    I got a pre-approved offer in the mail last week and decided to give it a try to consolidate all of my credit cards and get rid of those high rates. I applied for a $14000 loan Sunday night and was approved for 11.99% rate with a TU score of 681. I got emails stating 60% and 90% completed. It was completely funded on Tuesday. Which is also when I verified my bank account with the small deposit. They have not asked for anything other than me to confirm email and bank account. Is that normal? Are they going to ask for more documentation eventually?
    I am just super excited about the possibility that I am going to be out from under credit card debt, with a much lower interest rate.

    Also, I got an email from a person claiming to be my personal loan assistant. They haven’t asked for money or anything, but I received 2 emails from this person saying to contact them if I needed anything.
    Sorry for the long windiness. Just nervous that something will happen last second and take this opportunity to lower my bills away from me.

    • Michael says

      so, now my loan page has a green check next to final review and done. Says funds will be deposited in my account. Still have not received an email, so who knows. Is it safe to assume it isn’t a done deal yet, until the money is actually in my account.
      Also they did not ask for any other verifications from me. Just had to verify my email and bank account.

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