LendingClub vs. LightStream: Which Personal Loan Is Right for You?

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Edited byMorgan Hull

Updated: July 25, 2023

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Whether you need a LendingClub personal loan or a LightStream personal loan depends on your individual circumstances. LendingClub may be a solid option if you have a fair credit score, while LightStream may be ideal if you’re looking for a larger loan.

MoneyGeek’s guide provides detailed and up-to-date information on LendingClub and LightStream to help the average borrower decide the best option between the two personal loan lenders.

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LendingClub or LightStream: Overview

MoneyGeek broke down the differences between LendingClub and LightStream, focusing on their APR ranges, credit score requirements, loan amounts, repayment terms and funding times.

Our analysis identified LightStream as the best option for individuals who want longer repayment terms. LendingClub, meanwhile, is ideal for borrowers with a credit score of 600, provided they need loans less than $40,000.

LendingClub

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LightStream

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APR Range

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Depending on a borrower’s creditworthiness, LendingClub offers APRs ranging from 7.04% to 35.89%, while LightStream has APRs between 4.49% and 20.49%.

The APR or annual percentage rate represents the percentage of interest that you must pay annually on your personal loan. Securing a low rate means you will spend less on interest and other fees over the life of your personal loan. While the rate you receive will be primarily based on your credit score, your loan type, loan amount, repayment terms and lender of choice’s underwriting process also affect the rate you’ll receive.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

When it comes to APR range, LightStream has lower starting and maximum APRs than LendingClub. Because only those with the highest credit scores qualify for the lowest advertised APRs, borrowers will likely receive a more reasonable interest rate with LightStream.

Although a low APR range is advantageous, it’s just one factor among many that you need to consider when choosing a personal loan lender. It’s vital to also research a company’s loan amounts, repayment terms and credit score requirements.

Minimum Credit Score

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Because your credit score shows how responsible you are at paying debts, it’s an important factor that lenders consider when evaluating your loan application. Most lenders prefer borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores, but some accept those with bad credit scores.

LendingClub has a fair credit score requirement, meaning those with a credit score of at least 600 are welcome to apply for a personal loan. Meanwhile, LightStream has a slightly higher credit score requirement at 660.

Having a good credit score can make it easier for you to qualify for a personal loan. It can also help you obtain a favorable interest rate. You can maintain or improve your credit score by avoiding late payments and establishing successful lines of credit.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Although both lenders accept borrowers with fair credit scores, LendingClub has a slight advantage over LightStream for having a lower credit score requirement. If you’re applying for a personal loan with a low credit score, expect to get higher interest rates. Check your preferred lender’s APR range to determine if it's the best option for your particular needs and situation.

Loan Amount Range

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The amount you can borrow from a personal loan lender is the loan amount range. LendingClub’s personal loans start at $1,000 and are capped at $40,000, ideal for financing small expenses. Meanwhile, LightStream offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000, making its loan amount range more favorable and preferable for large purchases.

It’s best to choose a personal loan lender with a favorable loan amount range. This way, you can ensure that your particular needs and situation will be met.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

LightStream has higher personal loan amount limits, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, making it ideal for individuals looking to finance major purchases or expensive projects. If you only need a loan below $5,000, LendingClub is an option worth considering.

Before applying for a personal loan, make sure you know how much money you need. It’s best to avoid borrowing more money than necessary to avoid paying interest.

Repayment Terms

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Your personal loan’s repayment term indicates how long you’ll have to pay it off. LendingClub personal loans can be repaid in three to five years, whereas LightStream personal loans can be repaid in two to seven years. This makes LightStream the better option for borrowers who want more flexible repayment terms.

It’s important to remember that the repayment term you choose can affect your monthly payment and interest rate. A longer repayment term results in lower monthly payments, but the tradeoff is higher interest rates in the long run. Additionally, it will take you longer to become debt-free. Thus, it’s in your best interest to look for a personal loan with a short repayment term and affordable monthly payment.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Between LendingClub and LightStream, the latter has more flexible repayment terms for its personal loans. You can pay off your LightStream personal loan within two to seven years, and if you want to repay it earlier than scheduled, you won’t be charged a prepayment penalty.

Before submitting a loan application, you need to consider your repayment ability. A shorter repayment term is ideal if you can afford higher monthly payments.

Time to Receive Funds

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There’s no significant difference between LendingClub and LightStream regarding funds disbursement. In fact, they both release funds faster than most lending companies. LendingClub processes loans as early as the next day, while LightStream provides funds on the same day of loan approval.

Note that your personal loan application plays a role in how fast you receive your funds. Providing a complete and accurate application will expedite your loan approval time, resulting in faster funding time. Also, you’re likely to receive your funds faster if you apply online.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Knowing how fast a lender processes and releases funds can be beneficial for those in urgent need of funds. LightStream has a slight edge over LendingClub with its same-day funding, but the latter’s funding time isn’t that far off. Since the difference is negligible, it’s best to look into other factors when choosing between the two lenders.

Final Thoughts

MoneyGeek’s analysis concluded that LightStream is the best option for personal loans. Although they have similar funding times, LightStream has higher loan amount limits, lower APR ranges and more flexible repayment terms than LendingClub.

With LightStream, you can borrow up to $100,000 and repay it in two to seven years. Depending on your credit score and other factors, you can secure an APR as low as 4.49%. Meanwhile, LendingClub may be more preferable for those with fair credit scores who want loans under $5,000. This lender allows borrowers to pay off their loans in three to five years.

Keep in mind that your particular needs will determine the best personal loan for you. Before settling on a personal loan lender, take the time to evaluate your unique circumstance and determine if your credit score meets eligibility requirements or if you need a larger loan.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loan Lenders

MoneyGeek answered some frequently asked questions below to help you choose the best personal loan lender for your needs and situation.

Lenders often require different documents to evaluate loan applications. These include a completed loan application form, proof of identity, proof of income and address verification.

You can pull your credit score from TransUnion, Equifax or Experian.

Yes, lenders usually perform hard credit checks after you submit your loan application.

Interest rates vary depending on the lender. Shop around and compare rates to find the best possible option for your needs.

Some lenders charge fees, while others don't. It’s best to read the fine print to learn all the fees associated with your personal loan.

Applying online offers convenience and saves time. It can also speed up the process of loan approval, resulting in faster fund disbursement.

Yes, you can prepay your personal loan. However, some lenders may charge you a fee for doing so.

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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.