SoFi and LendingClub are two websites where borrowers can apply for personal loans.
SoFi started in 2011 as a student-focused lender, but has since expanded to offer more than just student loans. Today, it offers banking and investment services as well as a variety of loans. LendingClub was founded in 2006 as one of the first peer-to-peer lending websites. In 2020, the company acquired Radius Bank and shut down its peer-to-peer platform to become a more traditional bank and lender.
If you opt for these two lenders, comparing them will help you make your decision.
SoFi vs. LendingClub at a Glance
Both lenders offer good personal loans that can help in various financial situations. However, there are important differences between them that make it important to choose the right lender for you.
|Discount rate score||4.6||4.4|
|better for||Borrowers with strong credit
Large loan amounts
|Borrowers with fair credit|
|Loan amounts||$5,000 – $100,000||$1,000 – $40,000|
|APR||5.74% – 21.78%||7.04% – 35.89%|
|Duration of loans||2 to 7 years old||3 or 5 years|
|Costs||Nothing||Creation costs: 3% to 6%|
|Minimum credit score||680||600|
|Terms||U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or non-permanent resident alien
Employed and with sufficient income, or written offer for employment to start within 90 days
|U.S. citizen or long-term visa holder
Have a verifiable bank account
|Funding deadline||In a few days||In two days|
SoFi Personal Loans
SoFi started out as a student-focused lender, but now offers many types of loans. You can also bank and invest with SoFi. If you’re already taking advantage of SoFi’s other offerings, it can be convenient to borrow from SoFi and keep your money in one place.
One thing to consider is that despite SoFi’s higher minimum credit score requirement, the lender is known to work with borrowers who have thin credit records. If you’re new to credit, SoFi might offer you a better deal. It also keeps its loans free, which can save you money.
SoFi also gives borrowers more flexibility when it comes to loan terms. Shorter loans are more expensive on a monthly basis, but will save you money overall. Longer-term loans have lower repayments but cost more in the long run, allowing you to prioritize what’s important to you.
- Qualify with a short credit history
- No charges
- More options for the term of the loan
- High maximum loan
- Higher credit score requirement
- Must be employed or able to prove income
LendingClub Personal Loans
LendingClub started as a peer-to-peer lending platform, but has recently evolved into a more traditional bank and lender. It stands out for its lower credit score requirements, which means more borrowers will qualify for a loan.
However, site loans tend to be more expensive than SoFi loans, with higher interest rates and fees, including origination fees. This can make it difficult to sell with LendingClub if you qualify for a loan from SoFi.
- Low credit score requirement
- Employment not required
- Higher fees
- Higher interest rates
- Lower maximum loan amount
How to choose between SoFi and LendingClub
SoFi and LendingClub are both good choices if you need a personal loan, but excellent in different scenarios.
If you want to borrow a large amount, consider SoFi. SoFi offers loans up to $100,000, making it the best choice if you need to pay a large bill or finance an expensive project.
If you need a little cash boost, consider LendingClub. In contrast, LendingClub offers loans as small as $1,000, making them the best lender if you only need a small amount of money.
If you want more flexibility, consider SoFi. SoFi offers more options for the length of your loan, allowing you to take more or less time to pay it off. This makes it much easier to customize your monthly payment to suit your budget.
If you have fair but not great credit, consider LendingClub. LendingClub has a lower minimum credit score requirement, which means you might still be eligible for a loan if SoFi doesn’t approve your application.
If you want the cheapest loan, consider SoFi. SoFi does not charge set-up fees and has lower rates than LendingClub. Although it’s unsecured, there’s a good chance that SoFi’s loan will be cheaper overall.
At the end of the line
SoFi and LendingClub may be a good choice for lenders, but SoFi may be the better of the two for most people. Its loans are more flexible with fewer fees and potentially lower rates. If you qualify for a SoFi loan, chances are this is the best deal.
Nevertheless, applying for a loan from LendingClub is not a bad idea as it will allow you to compare your offers. You may also find LendingClub to be a willing lender when SoFi is not.