Lending Club Loan Review – How to Borrow Money from Lending Club
November 5, 2008
Lending Club is a company that allows you to borrow money directly from other people instead of from a bank. Lending Club has built a system that allows you to apply for a personal loan on their website and lets other consumers lend you the money.
This approach to getting a loan is known as peer to peer lending, or social lending, and the main concept is that loan rates are lower because you cut out the middle man, banks, and borrow directly from other people.
Borrowing or Lending Money
You can become either a lender, a borrower, or both with Lending Club but this post will take a look at the process of applying for a loan through the Lending Club website.
Some people may be hesitant to apply for a personal loan through a peer to peer lending site since it’s different than the traditional method of borrowing from a bank or credit union but thousands of people have collectively borrowed millions of dollars from peer lending sites and have had great experiences.
Sign Up for Lending Club
The first step of getting a personal loan through Lending Club is to signup for an account at their website. All that’s required as part of the initial signup is entering your email address, a security question, and creating a screen name for the site.
You’ll receive a verfication email containing a link asking you to confirm that you registered with Lending Club. Once you click the link to confirm, you’ll get another email welcoming you as a member and letting you know how to get started
When you’re ready to invest money or get a loan, just click on the Invest or Borrow tab or any of the “Start Investing” or “Start Borrowing” buttons
Apply for a Personal Loan
Once you’re logged in and you click on the Borrow tab at the top of the screen, if you’re taken to a screen that talks about the loan application,
interest rates, and privacy there should be a Get a Loan button at the bottom of the page that will take you to your loan application.
Lending Club has organized the process of applying for a loan into 8 steps. The first information you enter is how much you’d like to borrow and what the money will be used for.
Here you can see an example of the first screen, the description of the loan request is an important part of getting the money you’re asking for. Of course people will look at your credit rating as part of the evaluation process but they’ll also pay close attention to what you’re using the money for and how you’ll pay it back.
Here is an example of a loan application where I specify what I need the money for and how I plan on paying back the money I borrow:
I’m looking for funds to turn my eBay inventory into cash.
I’ve run an eBay business for the past several years, purchasing items at 60-70% off retail and reselling them for a profit on eBay.
I have about $3000 worth of inventory that I need to sell this Christmas season and I am going to hire an assistant to list the products on eBay, handle the sales process, and ship the products.
This loan would pay the salary of the assistant. The amount I spent on the inventory is around $3000, since I purchase items 60-70% off retail, the retail value of the inventory is $4800 – $5100.
I will pay back this loan with the cash I earn from the sale of this inventory.
People that are considering funding your loan will want to know how much of a credit risk you are so the more detail you can give them as to how you’ll use the money and pay it back the better.
Personal Loan Application
The next step is to fill in your personal information: name, address, birthday, social security number. Most personal information will not be made available to potential lenders, any data that is, such as your city and state, is highlighted so that you see feel secure about your privacy.
The same screen also asks for your income and employer information, whether you rent or own, and asks for permission to obtain consumer reports from agencies such at TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. They use this consumer information for the next step, identity verification.
Below are some sample questions that Lending Club might ask you to verify your identity:
What year was your most recent mortgage established?
# None of the above
On which of these streets have you lived previously?
* NE DIAMOND
* None of the above
Which zip code has never been a part of your address?
* None of the above
If your answers to the questions match what is on your consumer credit reports then Lending Club deems your identity as verified, that you are who you say you are.
Personal Loan Terms
The next step in the application process is to choose your loan terms. You are shown your loan APR that was determined based on your credit score, loan amount and Debt-to-Income ratio (DTI), and presented with a choice of loan amounts. Below is an example:
Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement
Once you select a loan term you’re taken to your Truth and Lending Disclosure Statement that shows you your Annual Percentage Rate, Finance Charge, Amount Financed, and Total of Payments.
After you’ve accepted the loan terms you’re then asked to setup your bank account information so that you can receive the money if your loan is funded. As you can see below, it’s the standard ACH setup where you enter the bank name, routing number, and your account number. You are also asked to agree to some terms that authorize Lending Club to verify your bank account.
You’re almost finished with the application at this point. In this step you can setup what Lending Club calls affiliations. Here is how they describe them:
“Lenders often review personal profiles and sometimes decide to fund loans based on their shared interests and backgrounds with the borrowers. The information you provide below will be displayed publicly (yet anonymously) in your loan listing.”
These affiliations include
- Education (List any colleges, universities or other accredited institutions that you have attended or are currently attending)
- Workplace (current or former places of employment)
- Geography (city, state)
- Associations (trade associations, charities, service organizations, or groups with which you are affiliated as a member, volunteer, board member, etc.
Review and Submit Loan Application
The final step in the application process is to review the information you’ve submitted and verify it’s all correct. Here you can edit your Loan Title and Loan Description and are shown your Loan Terms, for example:
Requested amount: $1,000.00
Loan length: 36 months
Here Lending Club also explains the details of your loan listing. In this example case the loan request will be listed in the loan marketplace for people to fund for either 14 days or until the loan if fully funded, whicheve is sooner.
The last thing you do is to agree to their Loan and Borrower Agreements and once you click the Submit button on that page your loan application is complete!
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All posts by Ben Edwards