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Lending Club Review for Borrowers: 5 Steps for a Loan

Lending Club Review: My Experience Getting an Unsecured Personal Loan

For those looking for a loan, Lending Club can be a great option. They offer some of the lowest interest rates in the country (as low as 6%) on personal loans as large as $35,000. Additionally, the rate is fixed. Unlike a credit card, it will never go up. Finally, Lending Club is a peer to peer lender, so the money for these loans comes from people across the country.

I wanted to see just how easy it was to get a loan from Lending Club, so two weeks ago I applied for one myself. I went to the Lending Club website and checked my rate. After accepting their offer, I had to submit some paperwork and answer some questions.

P2P Loan Cash

Six business days later the cash was in my checking account.

5 Steps to Get Approved for an Unsecured Loan at Lending Club

For those who are new to Lending Club, the process can seem hard to grasp, so I have reviewed the entire borrower process below:

#1. Check Your Rate

Go to the Lending Club website to check the interest rate they offer you for a loan. This will require you to fill out some information about yourself, such as your name, address, and yearly income. It is important that you be honest here, because any false information will get your application denied. Once you submit this information, Lending Club will verify your identity and check your credit history (using TransUnion).

Note: checking your rate will not hurt your credit score since it is done through a “soft” credit check.

Remember, the more money you ask for, the higher your interest rate will be. In this way, it is a good idea to only ask for the amount you need. This will not only give you a lower interest rate, but your monthly payments will be more affordable.

Here is what the application looks like:

Lending Club Check Your Rate Screen

I checked my rate at Lending Club for loan of $1,950.

#2. Accept the Offer

Less than a minute after submitting your information, you will see whether or not you qualify for a loan. If you do qualify, Lending Club will offer you an interest rate as well as the option to increase or decrease your loan amount.

When I applied for $1950, I was offered a 3 year (36-month) B-grade loan with an interest rate of 12.99%. I was given an option to increase the loan amount, so I increased it to $2350 by clicking the box with that number.

Lending Club Qualified Loan Screen

If you like the interest rate and amount, you can click the Get Loan button. Lending Club will then ask you for some additional information, like your employment history and whether you rent or own your home. Also, you will be asked to give a title to your loan. For my title I simply entered the words Debt Consolidation.

Lending Club Submit Info Screen

(click to zoom)

Finally, you will have to agree to the official loan terms as well as submit your banking information, specifically your bank’s routing and account number.

Lending Club Bank Info Screen

(click to zoom)

You can find these numbers listed at the bottom of a check in your checkbook. You can also get these numbers by calling or visiting your bank.

#3. Wait for Your Loan to Get Funded

Once all this information is submitted, Lending Club will take a few days to review your loan themselves (seen in your status being “Under Review”). Lending Club will also create a listing for your loan and add it to their investor platform. People around the country will have the chance to examine your credit history and loan, funding you if everything passes their inspection.

Lending Club Listed Loan

(click to zoom)

When I applied Monday morning, the loan was listed on the platform at 2pm that same afternoon. My loan quickly reached 100% funding from 33 different investors.

Nov 18 Funders

Interestingly, most lived in California. A few had asked me to answer some questions like “What are your monthly expenses?”, but the loan hit full funding before I could give them an answer. Alas.

#4. Verify Your Identity & Bank Account

While you wait for your application to get funding and pass a final review, you will have to verify your bank account, your email address, and submit some additional paperwork. To verify your bank, Lending Club will make a small deposit in the account you gave (mine was 36 cents). You can prove that you own your bank account by looking at your recent deposits, finding Lending Club’s deposit there, and typing this amount into the box on their website.

Lending Club Borrower Account Screen

When Lending Club asks for some additional paperwork, there are a few ways to get them these documents:

  1. Digital Scanner: If you can scan your documents, this can be a quick and easy option. Many print shops like Kinkos offer to do this for you for a small fee (find your closest Kinkos).
  2. Fax Machine: You can also fax your documents directly to Lending Club.

Each application is going to have different requirements, but I was asked to submit last year’s W-2 forms as well as the first couple of pages from my last tax return. I scanned each of these documents with my home scanner to PDF files, and then uploaded them through the Lending Club website.

Lending Club Submit Required Documents

Lending Club will probably call you over the phone to verify your identity. When they called me, a San Francisco number showed up on my cell phone’s caller ID. A nice-sounding guy congratulated me on my qualified status and asked me to verify a few things like my address and yearly income. He then said I would be notified soon if I was approved for a loan.

Finally, Lending Club will run a hard inquiry on your credit history (also called a hard-pull). This inquiry will temporarily lower your overall score by a small amount, and will remain on your credit report for two years. Remember: getting a good rate on an additional loan (like a mortgage or car lease) will be more difficult if you have a recent hard inquiry. It is a good idea to wait at least six months between every credit application.

#5. Get Approved & Get Cash

That Friday, five days after I applied for a loan, my application status changed from Under Review to Approved and the loan was officially issued. One business day later, $2,256 was deposited into my checking account. In total, it took six business days (eight days if we include the weekend) to get a loan from Lending Club.

Even though I applied for $2350, only $2256 was deposited into my account. Why did this happen? Where did $94 go?

Lending Club took 4% of my loan in fees (they call this an ‘origination fee‘). Borrowers with great credit are charged 1-4% in fees; most borrowers are charged a 5% fee. It is important to think about including this fee in your loan amount. For example, if you need a $10,000 loan then the 5% fee would be $500, so you might want to ask for $10,500. That way, when your loan is issued, the full $10,000 would be deposited into your bank account.

Repaying the Loan

After receiving the loan, you will begin to make monthly repayments. These payments will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account each month until the loan is paid back: 3 years for my loan.

Extra Payments

If you want to do extra payments on your loan (just once or permanently), you can always call Lending Club to set this up. (888) 596-3157 was the phone number they gave me. I called Lending Club up today and asked them to increase my next payment to $100. They said it would be no problem. The reality is, I will be paying my entire loan back after one payment (heh – sorry lenders), but I wanted to see how easy it was to make an extra payment.

I Got a $2,350 Loan in 6 Business Days

Let’s look at the calendar of my loan process:

  • Nov 18 - Monday: Checked my rate, accepted the offer. Loan was added to platform at 2pm and 100% funded within 45 minutes.
  • Nov 19 - Tuesday: Lending Club called by phone to verify my information
  • Nov 22 - Friday: Lending Club approved and issued the loan
  • Nov 25 - Monday: Lending Club deposited $2,256 in my bank account

Note: your process may be different than mine – either faster or slower.

Review Verdict: A Great Loan at a Low Rate

Apply for a Loan at Lending Club

For those of you who need quick access to cash, Lending Club is one of the best options available today.

Likes

  1. Very low rates for a loan
  2. Easy to apply
  3. No hidden fees
  4. Fast! (got cash in 6 business days)
  5. Zero prepayment penalty (pay the loan off early without a fee)
  6. Funded by people like me

Dislikes

  1. Maximum loan amount is only $35,000
  2. Scanning/faxing paperwork
  3. Origination fee could be stated more clearly

Final Word

Honestly, I really enjoyed applying for and receiving a loan through Lending Club. The process was largely a quick and easy one. For those of you who are thinking of applying for a loan through them, I hope this information is useful. Personally speaking, I would have no issue recommending a Lending Club loan to my friends and family if they needed one.

Check your rate at Lending Club (won’t hurt your credit score).

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Ryan December 3, 2013, 5:45 PM

    Nice! I always was curious how it was ‘on the other side’. However, it would have been fun to do an extra experiment and come up with an interesting title and loan description to see how it would affect funding :) Perhaps a business loan to keep your peer to peer lending blog up and running. I know there have been very interesting looking notes I’ve seen in the past.

    • Simon Cunningham December 3, 2013, 5:49 PM

      Thanks Ryan. I just got your ebook. Regarding different titles, honestly they all get funded so fast that the title doesn’t really make a difference.

    • Lynne April 5, 2014, 10:00 AM

      Hi,
      Thanks for to the person who posted the extensive description of how it all works. It made it very easy to apply. I do have concerns however that the post came from lending club itself as a way to promote the organization, because it wasn’t until the end of the post that I learned there is an origination fee. Though this was clearly stated – it was at the bottom of the review, and I made the mistake of not carefully reading the process on this review, or the fine print in the loan origination document (feeling a little desperate about finances, yet confident that the org. was legit and safe based on the review). Therefore, I was surprised when I received $11,400 instead of $12,000 (a 5% origination fee). However, it was reassuring when I scrolled to the bottom of this review to find the explanation, and went back to my loan documents to see why I received so much less than I applied for and the explanation of the loan origination fee. I like this org overall and appreciate the reviewer posts. Just don’t forget to factor in this fee in your budgeting!

  • Peter Renton December 4, 2013, 10:05 AM

    Great review Simon. Good to see their underwriting speed hasn’t dropped even with the dramatic increase in volume.

    • Simon Cunningham December 4, 2013, 10:14 AM

      Thanks Peter. I’m amazed at how quickly this all went down, though Prosper was even faster (see here). I had money in my account by Thursday, four days instead of eight. Amazing.

  • Martin December 12, 2013, 8:55 PM

    I applied for a loan with LC for 2k and got an interest rate little over 7%, so I took it and invested it (as my investments are making me around 16%. After about a year I tried to apply for another loan, same size, but the rate was suddenly 16% or more, so I turned it down. What I didn’t like was unlike with Prosper if you want to take another loan you need to create a new account with a new email. Prosper allows you to have one account only and two or more loans.

  • Harvey December 19, 2013, 4:39 PM

    Simon,
    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation of the borrowing experience. Since I have only been an investor I wondered what it was like to be a borrower. I really appreciate all the p2p information you provide!

  • Carri Watkins January 6, 2014, 11:53 AM

    Can you tell me if it is possible to get a joint loan through Lending Club?

  • KHarris February 11, 2014, 2:14 PM

    I applied for a $10,000 loan and had the money deposited into my account within 6 calendar days! No additional paperwork was required. Lending Club investors helped me out during a difficult time! The rate was high due to credit rating, but I am happy that the option was available. Fortunately, I will be paying it off this month, just 7 months after origination.

  • Jeff Johnson March 11, 2014, 5:18 AM

    I applied for a $12,000.00 loan on a Wednesday and was fully approved and funded by Friday by one investor. The money was in my checking account the following Tuesday. There is an upfront fee that reduced my loan to $11,520.00, but that is explained when you take the loan. My reason for applying was to pay off all my credit card debt in a 3 year period at a fixed rate, which ended up being a very reasonable 10.05% APR. They do let you know that only about 10% of their applications are approved and that their requirements are very stringent. I could not be happier with their service to this point.

  • Stacy March 11, 2014, 2:11 PM

    I had I great experience as a borrower. I requested $20,000. I was approved and funded by ONE investor right away. The funds were in my account within 4 to 5 business days!

  • Mary Roberts March 18, 2014, 10:33 AM

    I am working on gaining my history back after paying/writing off some credit cards. My scores are all over 720 for all 3 institutions, but it’s the history that is holding me back from getting credit to earn history. Do you think a loan like this would benefit me? I was looking at $15K. Your review was great, very simple and easy (no mumbo-jumbo) to understand to the common folk. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    • Simon Cunningham March 24, 2014, 12:43 PM

      If you are someone who is moving their debt from high interest credit cards to a low interest Lending Club loan, then yes, this loan could benefit you. However, I’m not a financial professional, so you may want to consult one.

      • Debra B. April 1, 2014, 1:09 AM

        Thanks so much for the information! Was a bit skeptical. Just looking to consolidate debt Simon, as well as you. You provided excellent info.

        Debra

  • Solomon April 4, 2014, 1:58 PM

    If I had trashed the pre-qualification letter that invited me to apply for a loan from this Club, I would have done myself a great harm. Less than one business week to electronically fulfil requirements and get approved is a feat. I have never come across a process as friendly, seamless and mind-blowing as Lending Club’s method of engaging potential borrowers. This is one dynamite of an institution. I understand they have Larry Summers on their team. What do you expect? Common sense approach to helping folks in real need. More grease to your elbows, Lending Club.

  • Diane April 8, 2014, 12:38 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this in depth information! I just received a letter in the mail from Lending Club, offering their services and it did look promising, but I wanted to do a little research first, before deciding to go for it. And I’m so glad I found your post about it! I have a lot of credit card debt, due to me being a not-so-wise young adult with their first couple credit cards, and now that times are rougher for the family, I really want to be able to pay off this debt and be able to help my parents with their financial issues too. I will definitely be looking into this tonight and will share with my parents, who also have high debt too. Hopefully, they can help us all out. :) Thanks again for the awesome review; I will be sharing it with my parents and see if they’re interested!

  • Kahlil April 15, 2014, 2:17 PM

    Thank for providing this process. It is very easy to follow and understand. Now as far as the repayment, do they debit your account on pay days or just random days? I would hope its the former.

    • Simon Cunningham April 15, 2014, 2:42 PM

      I seem to recall that you can *choose* the day of the month to have your checking account debited, but I could be wrong. Feel free to call Lending Club and ask them yourself.

      • Kahlil April 15, 2014, 2:45 PM

        Thanks!

  • Strother B Moore April 16, 2014, 5:46 PM

    I just went through the process and it was quite painless. I filled out the application. They verified my work, income, banking and contact information. Within 3 days my loan was funded and within 5 days the money was in my account. Easily, the fastest, hassle free experience that I have ever had. Can’t thank them enough and the terms were very well within industry standards.

  • Kahlil April 17, 2014, 6:56 PM

    It really isn’t complicated. I applied on the 14th of April and got money in my account on the 17th of April 2014. My payments have also been set as well.

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