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Are you trying to keep your small business afloat but can’t get a bank loan? You’re certainly not alone — funding is one of the most stressful parts of owning and building your own business. But you don’t have to give up hope.
Online small business loans can be a viable option if you’ve come up dry with other funding sources. LendingClub loans are a popular choice for tons of small businesses. But how suitable are they to your business? Our comprehensive review digs deep to help you find out.
Note: Your chances are better for getting approved with online small business loan services compared to more traditional lenders, but these services will cost you — their interest rates are extremely high. However, if you’ve run out of options, or need funding immediately (and plan to pay it off quickly), an online loan is worthy of consideration.
- Review Overview, Pros & Cons
- Key Features
- How Do Borrowers Rate LendingClub?
- Pending FTC Actions And Loan Scam Alert
- What’s Our Final Verdict?
- How Does LendingClub Stack Up With Its Competition?
- Business must have at least $50,000 in annual revenue (lower than many)
- Can borrow up to $300,000 if qualified
- Much lower APR average at 9%-35% (includes a 2%-7% origination fee)
- Flexible terms, from 1-5 years
- Dedicated U.S.-based client advisor
- BBB accredited: A+ rating
- Several days to find out what loans are available to you
- Must be in business at least 1 year
- Collateral required for loans over $100,000
- Personal guarantee required
- No website resources for small business owners
- No weekend customer support hours
- BBB accredited with A Rating
- There are some pending FTC actions against the company
- More than $11 billion loaned to small businesses
- Peer-to-peer lending site, backed by a secure base of everyday investors (not large financial institutions)
- LendingClub rates: they have the lowest APR compared to other services we reviewed
- Offers small business loans from $5,000 up to $300,000
Check out what customers have to say about their experiences getting LendingClub business and personal loans.
We own a small business and needed some capital. We chose LendingClub. We were funded $100k with little delay. On their website, you have the freedom to move your due date, which was helpful so that I could schedule it on a week I didn’t have to do payroll. When we need to, we are able to call in and have them move our payment out for more time if something unforeseen pops up. They’ve been nice and helpful over the phone. I’ve had no trouble. – Renea J., BBB 5/11/2017
The process was seamless and very easy. My loan was approved within 7 days and deposited into my checking account. Because of this loan, I was able to rid myself of some very high interest credit card accounts. As a result, my FICO score increased by 31 points. This was the way to go for me. – Cheryl G., Trustpilot 2/25/2016
Like others, I applied and was quickly “approved” but three weeks later I learned there had not been any funding of my loan. I have my doubts there are many backers for these loans as mine should have been fairly simple. With a credit score of 785+, I was offered a good rate. Perhaps the lenders are looking for more risk/earning potential. – wss1, CreditKarma 5/24/2016
Please don’t be taken in by the ads this company sends out, You are not really pre-approved even tho that’s what the solicitations say. Unless you have a pay stub instead of income from multiple sources (such as annuities and pensions and LLC income) they can’t handle it. After well over a month of sending in the same 1099s, 4 bank statements and income tax statements 3 or 4 times they finally got around to saying they couldn’t process a loan. – Daryl P., BBB 1/20/2016
FTC Government Actions vs LendingClub And Loan Scam Alert1
You have have noticed that we provided a con above of “pending FTC actions.” In some not so sweet news, here are the accusations against LendingClub filed by the FTC in 2018.
FTC vs Lending Club
On April 25, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against LendingClub Corporation, dba LendingClub. Case #: 3:18-cv-02454.
The FTC alleges that LendingClub promised consumers “no hidden fees”, but when the loan funds arrived in consumers’ bank accounts, hundreds to thousands of dollars were found short of expectations due to a hidden up-front fee that Defendant deducts from the consumers’ loan. The complaint also alleges that the company mislead consumers into thinking their loan had been approved, when Defendant knew many consumers would never receive a loan. Consumers then believed that funds were forthcoming and did not apply for credit with Defendant’s competitors. Other allegations include: continuing to charge consumers who cancelled their automatic payments or had paid off their loans entirely; and withdrawing double payments from accounts, as well as failing to provide consumers with privacy notices.
The case is currently pending.
Lending Club Lending Practices Settlement
On September 27, 2018, Lending Club agreed to pay $2 million in civil penalties to resolve allegations that it violated the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1969 (FIRREA).
The settlement, with the Department of Justice stems from finding that between January 2009 to September 2010, Lending Club made misrepresentations to its FDIC-insured loan originator, WebBank. It is also alleged that due to the misrepresentations, WebBank originated over 200 loans to borrowers who did not satisfy WebBank’s credit requirements.
If you want the speediest turnaround on getting your loan funded, the LendingClub may not be your best bet since you have to wait for an investor to get on board with your loan request. However, if you don’t need funding immediately, LendingClub could be a good option for you, and could save you money in the long run compared to similar services.
See how LendingClub stacks up against other online lenders in our online small business loan comparison, where we’ve reviewed 11 of the top companies.
What difficulties have you encountered on your quest for a business loan?
Sources:  BBB
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