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Sunday, March 3rd
LendingClub has experienced some big changes over the last few years. Originally created as a peer-to-peer platform, where individual and business investors could choose to fund consumer loans (hence the name LendingClub), this source of loans now operates like a traditional financial institution. All funding is provided by LendingClub's own bank by the same name, making the loan application extremely streamlined when compared with platforms that refer you to multiple lenders at once.
No surprises in the application process
To get a debt relief loan through LendingClub, start by entering your desired loan amount (between $1,000 and $40,000) and selecting the loan's purpose in the dropdown box, then click on "Check Your Rate" . Indicate whether you're applying alone or with a co-applicant, your date of birth, and your total annual income. Finally, enter your first and last name, plus your address, and LendingClub will try to verify your credit report. If it can't do so based on the information provided, you'll be asked for your Social Security Number.
Expect origination fees and just-average interest rates
What can you anticipate if you are matched with a loan? That largely depends on your details: how much you're trying to borrow, your credit history, your income, and so forth. All loans funded through LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of at least three years, giving you ample time to repay it. Interest rates here are fairly average, but vary widely. You should also expect origination fees ranging from 3% to 6%, which may or may not be rolled into the total cost of the loan or deducted from the payout deposited to your bank account. LendingClub's fine print at the bottom of the personal loans page said that their average loan has an origination fee of 5% and an APR of 15.95%.
Still being re-evaluated by the BBB
How about LendingClub's reputation? It's not really an apples-to-apples comparison, given how drastically their business model has changed since our last evaluation. However, a few items stand out and are worth keeping in mind. The company used to have an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but their listing during our most recent check with the BBB was simply "Not Rated" . That indicates that LendingClub's new structure is still under consideration. More reassuringly, their sole lender WebBank received both accreditation and an "A+" from the BBB: you shouldn't encounter any issues with fraud or other problems if you pursue a consolidation loan through the LendingClub website.
Plenty of recent, positive customer comments
We also followed the link on the LendingClub site to see some of the more than 57,000 independently-verified reviews posted there, so that we could see what their most recent comments indicated about the new-and-theoretically-improved service. Most of the clients gave LendingClub a rating of 4 or 5 stars, and we were happy to see that a decent number of those came from repeat customers.
Wait and see
LendingClub appears to be on the right track, having made quite a few changes to their service that have gotten lots of positive feedback from borrowers. But, until the company has an actual rating from the BBB, we hesitate to give LendingClub a rating higher than average. Reputation matters, and while LendingClub seems to have fixed some of the issues that they had in the past, we'd like to see confirmation from the Better Business Bureau too. You should be fine if you choose a debt relief loan here, but we encourage you to consider other options first.
If you're facing an ever-increasing pile of "past due" notices, threatening letters from the IRS, and credit card statements where you're barely paying the interest, you're not alone. With unemployment rates reaching record highs, more people are struggling to make ends meet. The average American carries over $90,000 in debt, from student loans to mortgages, and it's easy to get in over your head.
Debt relief is the solution you need. It may sound like a gimmick or a scam, but rest assured that there are many reputable services that can help you reduce the amount of money you owe and help you get back on track financially. These programs typically work by negotiating on your behalf with credit card companies and other debtors, through strategies like debt settlement and repayment plans. Some of the best debt relief services work closely with you to create a solid plan for moving forward too, helping you to make sound financial decisions and hopefully avoid needing such measures in the future!
Are you eligible for debt relief? The criteria vary by provider, but you probably need to have at least $5,000 in total debt owed across all categories (taxes, credit cards, auto payments, and so on). Also, be aware that some "debt relief" is structured as a personal loan: you use the proceeds to pay off multiple accounts and consolidate what you owe into a single monthly payment. In that case, the ball is in your court and you won't necessarily get any financial coaching or have professionals working to renegotiate what you owe.
Which debt relief program is best for you? That depends on several factors, such as the type of debt you owe and how much, as well as your credit history and ability to qualify for a loan. Here are several features to keep in mind as you evaluate your options for debt relief:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular debt relief programs available today. We hope this information helps you get out from under your mountain of debt and gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're on the right track financially.
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