A loan from Lending Club might be the way to pay off credit card debts, make critical repairs to your home or even finance a wedding or adoption.
You can borrow up to $25,000, and repay the loan in 36 equal monthly payments, with a fixed interest rate as low as 7.89% APR.
If you apply before Feb. 1, you’ll even receive a $100 credit to your account within 30 days of receiving the loan.
Just click here to qualify for this exclusive offer to Bankaholic readers. (Sorry, time’s expired on the bonus but you can still go to Lending Club’s home page to apply for a loan.)
Peer-to-peer, or social lending, allows investors to provide money directly to worthy borrowers.
By cutting out banks — the traditional and rather costly middle-man for most loans — investors can earn a greater return on their savings while borrowers pay less for the privilege of using that money.
Lending Club says its net annualized return for its investors has been over 9.5% since 2007 (including losses from defaults), and borrowers pay up to 30% less than they would for similar loans at traditional financial institutions.
The Web site charges a processing fee that runs from 1.25% to 4.25% of the amount you’re borrowing, which is subtracted from the loan proceeds prior to disbursement.
But there’s no application fee. So if you don’t get your money, you don’t pay a thing.
The online application process is fast — Lending Club claims it takes just 3 minutes — but you’ll need a minimum FICO score of 660 and maximum debt-to-income ratio of 25% (not including a mortgage) to qualify.
Applications are assigned one of 35 grades from creditworthiness (from A1 for the best credit to G5 for the worst) with the grade determining the interest rate.
Information about your loan (without your name, of course) is then posted for investors to review and fund.
Even if you have great credit, investors will only provide a portion of your loan — as little as $25 in some cases — to limit their losses if you default.
Don’t be surprised if it takes scores of investors to fully fund your loan.
That’s how the system works.