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      September 25, 2020

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Lending Club vs Avant

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To help you find the Bad Credit Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Lending Club and Avant.

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If you have poor credit, where's the best place to get a bad credit loan? With so much economic turmoil, there's never been a time where bad credit loans have been more in demand. No matter what caused your credit score to be below 600 - the typical threshold for a "bad" credit rating - you're far from alone.

Out of approximately 230 million Americans who qualify for a credit score, almost 70 million have poor credit. Some of the most common reasons for low credit scores are expected financial hardships (like job loss or medical expenses), not using credit responsibly, or simply being unaware of the factors that contribute to having a healthy credit history.

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Best Reviews

2020

Bad Credit Loan Reviews

3.5 stars
LendingClub

LENDINGCLUB

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Loan:

From $1,000 to $40,000

LendingClub works quite differently from most sources of personal loans: instead of being funded by a bank or other institution, the money comes from investors! Because of this, you should expect your funding to take several days to become available, as investors may take a few days to decide to back your bad credit loan. But, with more than 3 million customers and over $50 billion dollars borrowed through LendingClub, it's easy to see that people are getting the money they need through this provider.

Loan requirements

This service is available to residents of the United States, with the exception of Iowa. You'll also have to be a US citizen or permanent resident (or have a "valid, long-term visa"), be at least 18 years old, and have a verifiable bank account.

No impact to credit score

Applying for a loan through LendingClub doesn't impact your credit score, because only a "soft pull" is done to verify your information. Start by choosing a loan purpose and amount (ranging from $1,000 to $40,000). From there, you'll have to specify if you are applying by yourself or if you want to add a co-applicant. (Why would you want to do the latter? With LendingClub, you're more likely to get a bad credit loan if you include a co-applicant who has a higher credit score.)

Roll the dice

That could be important - because the jury's out as far as what minimum credit score you'll need to get a loan through LendingClub. While there's no specific information given on their site, third-party sources have different information. One says you can get funding with a score as low as 600, while another says you should expect to be declined if you aren't at least at 660. The good news is that it won't affect your credit score to roll the dice and see if you qualify; you may want to play with applying alone vs. with a co-applicant, to see if you get funding at all or if you can get better rates with a cosigner.

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Origination fee

Interest on loans funded through LendingClub are all fixed-rate and range from 6.95% to 35.89% - and, as you'd expect, those higher rates are usually applied to bad credit loans. You can also expect a one-time origination fee of 1-6% of the total loan amount, and again, the higher range of the fee applies to people with lower credit ratings. That origination fee is deducted from the total amount of your loan - so if you borrow $6,000 and have an origination fee of $300, the total deposited to your account will only be $5,700. Keep that in mind as you select the loan amount you're applying for; if you have an exact dollar amount needed for a particular purpose, you'll come up short if you don't factor in the fees.

No prepayment penalties

There are no prepayment penalties with any loans obtained through LendingClub, so you can make extra payments or pay in full whenever you want without additional charges.

High customer ratings

On the whole, customers say very encouraging things about the process of borrowing through LendingClub. Over more than 55,000 independently-verified reviews on their site, the company earns a rating of nearly 5/5 stars. On the other hand, since our last evaluation of LendingClub, their rating with the BBB went from an "A" to "No Rating". This may be due to a 2018 settlement with the FTC; we encourage you to read the details on the BBB listing for LendingClub if you'd like further information.

Good resource

LendingClub could be a good resource for getting a bad credit loan, specifically because they don't rely on traditional banks and other financial institutions to get you the money you need. Just be aware that if your credit is extremely low, you may not qualify without a co-applicant, and that your funding may take longer than some of LendingClub's competitors.

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3 stars
Avant

AVANT

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Loan:

From $2,000 to $35,000

Even though Avant has only been around since 2012, they've already funded more than $6.5 billion in loans. With headquarters in Chicago, this company seeks to provide access to funding, including bad credit loans, to "middle-income borrowers". So far, that represents more than 800,000 people who have been helped by loans through Avant.

Credit score and income

Avant doesn't specify a minimum credit score necessary to qualify for one of their loans, but they state that the majority of their clients have scores between 600-700, and we found several third-party sites that said you'll need a minimum score of 580 to be eligible. (For reference, Avant considers anything less than 580 as "poor".) To find out what loan options you have, you'll have to allow them to do a soft pull by entering your information, including your full Social Security number, monthly net income, and your current credit score. Expect to need at least $20,000 in gross annual income to qualify for a bad credit loan with Avant.

Administrative fee

What does Avant charge in fees? Most customers pay an administrative fee of up to 4.75%. APR's range from 9.95% to 35.99%, with loan terms from 24 to 60 months. You can borrow anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000, depending on your overall situation (for example, your income, whether you own or rent, and so on).

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Postpone payment rule

At first, we found only positive things to say about Avant. Over 10,000 independently-verified customer reviews, the company received nearly 9,500 4- or 5-star reviews. Borrowers said that they got their money very quickly, the process was simple, and that even with bad credit they were still able to get a loan. And, although we didn't find it referenced on the Avant site, we found customers referring to a "postpone payment rule" that's allowed once a year (which we encourage you to ask about if you decide to use this lender).

FTC settlement

But, since the time of our last review, the company's rating with the BBB dropped from an "A+" to an "A-" (while still maintaining accreditation). Unfortunately, in April 2019 Avant agreed to settle on charges made by the Federal Trade Commission regarding "deceptive and unfair loan servicing practices". Those charges included failing to credit loan repayments in a timely way, giving consumers incorrect information with respect to payoff amounts, and charging borrower's accounts multiple times in a month. (One customer had his monthly amount debited more than 10 times in one day!)

Mixed bag

For all of those reasons, Avant winds up in the middle of our rankings. We're glad to see so many customers who have had great experiences with this lender, especially those who might not qualify for a bad credit loan elsewhere. However, having charges brought by the FTC is no laughing matter. We hope that Avant continues to shore up their reputation moving forward.

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Continued from above

Unfortunately, getting a loan when you have bad credit can be a paradox: in order to qualify for the best loans, you need a good credit history. But, to establish a good credit history, you often need to have demonstrated that you are responsible with credit - by making on-time payments, not overutilizing the credit you've been extended, and so on. On the other hand, without a loan to pay off debts and handle current financial demands, you could find yourself even deeper in the hole as calls from collection agencies start coming in and the pressure mounts.

Does this sound familiar? If so, take a deep breath and recognize that there's hope - because there are providers out there who offer loans to people with bad credit. And no, you won't have to sign away your life to qualify, though you should be aware that the terms will probably not be as favorable as those offered to people with high credit scores. That's only fair, as the lenders are taking on more risk when they give money to people with a less-than-sterling track record.

How can you tell which lender to use for your bad credit loan? That's an excellent question to ask. After all, you want to be sure that any loan you accept is going to help you get back on your feet financially, with terms you can actually meet. Here are several criteria that can help you choose the right lending partner for your situation:

  • Reputation. With something as major as a loan, you want a provider that has already established itself as being trustworthy, reliable, and fair. What do other people say about their experiences borrowing from this lender? Has the company been rated by the BBB?
  • Transparency. Shady lenders hide everything in the fine print, like high interest rates and penalties for early repayment. You want to choose a lender that makes their terms as clear as possible before you sign on the dotted line. While the terms of your particular bad credit loan will probably be determined during your application process, the most transparent lenders will provide estimates of their fees and average APR, to give you an idea before you start providing your personal details.
  • Usability. Applying for a bad credit loan could be a little nerve-wracking, and a hard-to-use website doesn't make things easier. Choose a lender that makes it as simple and fast as possible to complete your application and receive your funds.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best bad credit loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you to quickly get the money you need, with terms that are fair and affordable, so that you can get back on your feet financially!

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