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      September 21, 2020

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Lending Club vs Personal Loans

Best Personal Loans

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

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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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1.5 stars
Personal Loans

PERSONAL LOANS

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Loan:

From $500 to $35,000

Personal Loans is one of several services in our review that acts as a third-party connection between borrowers and lenders. In order to qualify for a bad credit loan, you'll need to meet certain minimum criteria, like being at least 18 years old and having some form of reliable income.

Not many specifics

While Personal Loans does have a Rates and Fees page, they don't offer many specifics. When it comes to your APR, costs or loan terms, you'll only find those out when you complete the application process and get matched with a lender. Example loans on that page show interest rates from 12-24%, but our research shows that you can expect a range that's actually between 5.99% (fantastic!) to 35.99% (not as fantastic). Repayment timeframes stretch between 3 and 72 months, depending on the size of your bad credit loan.

Short online form

To get started in your search for a lender willing to give you a bad credit loan, start with the short online form. Enter the amount you're requesting, your credit score range (this site uses "Below 500" as their criteria for poor credit, for what it's worth), and why you need a loan (emergency situation, pay down debt, and so on). On the second page, you'll have to get much more personal, including your driver's license number and full SSN. That always makes us pause a minute, especially if we're not sure of a provider's reputation.

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Inconsistencies

So, how does this company's reputation stack up against the rest? Personal Loans had a "C+" rating from the BBB at the time of our most recent visit. The explanation was that the company had failed to respond to one customer complaint in the past 3 years. That doesn't seem like it would result in such a low grade, but it's worth keeping in mind. We found a few inconsistencies on the site (one page saying we should see their coverage map to see if our state is one they service, but not finding any maps on the page we were told to visit), but nothing too bad.

website questions

On the other hand, we noticed that Personal Loans used the exact same online form as our lowest-ranked source of bad credit loans. That did cause some concern, because that service is known for doing little more than giving away people's information to telemarketers. Plus, clicking on the "Positive Reviews" link on the page that says the service has been trusted by over 500,000 people in the last 15 years... only took us back to Personal Loan's "About Us" page. There was nothing else on the site to connect us with feedback from actual customers.

Not worth it

At the end of the day, Personal Loans comes across as a repackaging of a service with very negative reviews, just with a different name. The only reason we gave the newer site a slightly higher score is because of their slightly higher rating from the BBB. But, when it comes to a provider you can believe in, Personal Loans is not a trustworthy option for bad credit loans.

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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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