I logged into my Lending Club account yesterday and was surprised to see quite a few new features.
New My Account Screen
The My Account screen has a great loan summary area. It's divided into about 4 main areas. On the left you have loan status informing you how current or behind your loans are. In the middle is a pie chart detailing a risk assessment of your portfolio. You'll note that I am attempting to limit my risk. On the right you get more details on the loans: weighted average of return, expected monthly payments, and the payments to date. I really like the expected monthly payments. Finally, at the bottom, you find details of where your money is.
New Way to Find Loans
Originally, I went with Lending Club's recommended LendingMatch method of making loans. The idea is that you pick your risk level and Lending Club matches you up with a basket of loans. It's perfect for a Lazy Man like myself. However, the problem is that you have to have to commit $500 at a time. If your account doesn't have $500 in cash available, you are back to finding loans individually.
In the past, Lending Club has made it very difficult to search for individual loans. If my memory serves, you would be able to search for credit grade and funding level. From there you could sort the results, but getting information like Debt-To-Income (DTI) ratio or delinquencies required clicking through each listing. Unless you clicked through every loan, you wouldn't know if you are getting the best one.
Lending Club has added a few features to the search that make it usable. It's nowhere close to how great Prosper.com's is. The biggest gain here is to be able to search by FICO score. That's something that many people can understand. In the screenshot, I selected some criteria that seemed to return some good loans for me.
Time is Running Out to Get a Free 5% Bonus
I mentioned previously that Lending Club is having a limited-time promotion. They are giving lenders of $5000 or more a free 5% Cash Back Bonus. It's extremely rare that a company will take a loss like this, so if your finances support this kind of investment, it might be worth participating in it. If you invest in low-risk loans, it seems you can make more than 8%. Add in that 5% and you get 13%. I believe you get that bonus quickly as well, so you can even invest that money as well. The promotion ends on Super Bowl Sunday, so you might have to hurry with this one to get the money lent out.
If this sounds interesting, you can get a free $25 to start by signing up from this link. In fact, if you fund it with more than $1000, you'll get $50 to start.
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