Peer-to-peer lending sites like LoanStart and Prosper have changed both the way people borrow money and invest it. Peer-to-peer lenders — sometimes called P2P lending — remove the middleman between lenders and borrowers. It involves “consumer investors” giving loans to borrowers through online platforms that connect borrowers and lenders. Investors hoping to make money from P2P loans can evaluate applicants on factors like their credit risk and loan term.
If you need to borrow money, here are the best peer-to-peer lenders to consider:
|Best Peer-to-Peer Lenders|
|Lender||Interest Rates (APR)||Terms||Loan Amounts||Minimum Credit Score Required||Time to Receive Funds||How to Apply|
|LoanStart||4.48%-35.99%||61 days to 84 months||$1,000-$40,000||600||as soon as next business day||Learn More|
|Funding Circle||4.999%-26.99%||6,12,24,36,48,60 months||$25,000-$500,000||620||as few as 5 days||Learn More|
|SoFi||5.49%-14.24%||3, 5, 7 years||$5,000-$100,000||none, but most borrowers have a high credit score||within a few days||Learn More|
|Peerform||5.99%-29.99%||3 years||$4,000-$25,000||600||14 days||Learn More|
|Lending Club||5.99%-35.89%||3 or 5 years||$1,000-$40,000||none, but take into account several factors||7 days||Learn More|
|Prosper||5.99%-35.99%||3 or 5 years||$2,000-$35,000||640||14 days||Learn More|
|Pave||7.18%-29.65%||2-3 years||$3,000-$25,000||660||3 days||Learn More|
|BorrowersFirst||7.22%-29.99%||36 or 60 months||$2,500-$35,000||excellent credit||3 to 5 business days||Learn More|
|Upstart||9.48%-29.99%||3 and 5 years||$1,000-$50,000||620||as soon as next day||Learn More|
|Rates accurate as of Oct 24, 2017.|
Top Peer-to-Peer Lenders
Now that you know what P2P loans are, read on for the details on each of these peer-to-peer lenders, listed in order of starting interest rate, from lowest to highest. Here are the best P2P lenders:
LoanStart pairs borrowers with affiliate lenders who match their needs. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000. The company’s site says only that it will accept “a wide range of credit scores,” and borrowers can be employed or self-employed as long as they can demonstrate proof of income.
Borrowers can take out loans for terms ranging between 61 days to 84 months. Interest rates can be between 4.48% APR and 35.99% APR, depending on credit history and other qualifying factors.
Find Out: How to Get the Maximum Loan Amount
Funding Circle is dedicated solely to small-business financing, and it has loaned $4 billion to more than 32,000 businesses across the world so far. Funding Circle loan applications take about 10 minutes to complete. Businesses can borrow between $25,000 and $500,000 for terms of as little as six months or as long as five years.
Interest rates start at 4.99% APR, and there is never an application fee or an early payment penalty. Be prepared to show two years of business tax returns and one year of personal tax returns.
One of the bigger LendingClub competitors is SoFi, which issues personal and mortgage loans as well as money to refinance student loans. It also provides loans to parents to help them finance their children’s educations. SoFi offers fixed rates on personal loans starting at 5.49% APR when you use autopay, and there are no origination fees or prepayment fees.
One advantage of using SoFi is its community benefits, one of which suspends your monthly SoFi loan payments and provides you with job placement assistance if you lose your job through no fault of your own.
Peerform stands out among P2P platforms because it allows customers to borrow as little as $4,000 in unsecured loans. Peerform also issues loans of up to $25,000, and its rates range from 5.99% APR to 29.99% APR, depending on the borrower’s credit history and the loan’s term.
Once a borrower registers and selects a loan, Peerform lists it for investor evaluation. The company promises there are no hidden fees, no prepayment penalties, and borrowers can repay the loan through automated monthly payments or by check.
Since 2007, LendingClub investors have financed more than $28 billion in loans to more than 1.5 million borrowers. Rates — which depend on the borrower’s credit history, loan term and other qualifying factors — start at 5.99% APR, and there’s a one-time origination fee of between 1 and 6 percent of the loan, which is charged only when the borrower receives the funds. LendingClub doesn’t charge a pre-payment penalty, and the company states that average borrowers reduce their rates by 24 percent when they use the loan to pay off or consolidate credit cards.
Prosper calls itself “America’s first marketplace lending platform.” Borrowers can pursue as little as $2,000 or as much as $35,000. All loans are unsecured so there’s never any collateral required, and loans are based on the borrower’s credit history. Loans can be used for home improvement, debt consolidation, business use or to buy a car. Since its inception, Prosper has serviced more than $10 billion in marketplace loans. The company is backed by Credit Suisse NEXT Fund, Francisco Partners, Sequoia Capital and Institutional Venture Partners.
One of the smaller companies on this list, Pave boasts $23.3 million worth of loans to 1,665 borrowers since it was founded in 2012. Pave offers loans from $3,000 to $25,000, to be repaid over the course of two or three years. APRs range from 6.50 to 19.75 percent, and there is an origination fee anywhere from 1 to 6 percent.
Pave is currently accepting loan applications for borrowers looking to take a loan out to pay for courses and living expenses incurred while in school. The company doesn’t currently allow a borrower to have a cosigner, and terms can expire if he does not complete onboarding within 30 days. A borrower is eligible to take out a second loan with Pave after he has paid down his first loan by at least 50 percent.
If you’re in a hurry, BorrowersFirst might be a good place to start looking for a loan. Applications are evaluated in seconds and, once approved, funds are wired in as little as two business days. Loans are available in amounts between $2,500 and $35,000, and fixed rates — which never increase — can be repaid during terms of between 36 and 60 months. The company boasts 4.7 out of five stars on Google Reviews.
Founded by talent from Google, Upstart offers loans between $1,000 and $50,000. Both three- and five-year terms are available, and the company claims that borrowers save an average of 25 percent when they use the service to pay off their credit cards. The company sets itself apart by looking beyond credit score. Even borrowers with shaky credit histories can be optimistic, considering Upstart weighs things like job history and education. The three-step process gives you your rates in two minutes.
Methodology: GOBankingRates.com determined the best peer-to-peer lenders based on the following factors: (1) interest rates; (2) terms, (3) loan amounts, (4) minimum credit score required and (5) time to receive funds, as of Oct. 24, 2017.