I applied and received a loan from The Lending Tree a few years ago for desperately needed transmission rebuild. My credit wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either (just under 700), and The Lending Club was the only place that wasn't pushing ridiculous rates (>25%). Still, the %14 they offered was pretty high. I never missed a payment or paid late. They would frequently send me emails telling me I was doing so well, I should consider another loan with them, as my good history would garner a great rate.

Well, I just purchased a condo and needed new appliances. So, I thought I would take them up on their offer. Note that I now make $15k more annually than I made when I applied for the first loan, I have much less unsecured debt, and my credit rating is much higher. So what was the great new rate they offered as a reward for all my good behavior? 19%; 5 points HIGHER than the first loan! I went with an interest free for 18 months credit account instead. I have already paid off half the balance and will finish long before the interest-free period runs out.

Instead of being an institution that people in need of a loan can turn to for a reasonable rate, The Lending Club has now joined the ranks of the payday loan vultures; institutions that care more about milking their customers like cattle rather than providing a service at a reasonable price. But, hey, it's a free market. They can do what they want. But they shouldn't be surprised when good borrowers like myself find better alternatives.

I was originally a big fan of The Lending Club. I was even considering becoming a lender when I had cleared out my debt. I am no longer considering doing any business with them, and I will definitely warn my friends and family to avoid them.

As always, caveat emptor.

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