I have written a lot recently about my strong belief in the concept of social lending—including my own experiences as a borrower with Prosper.
Now that my Prosper loan is almost paid off, I decided to get some experience on the other side of the social lending coin as a lender. Since Prosper is temporarily not accepting new accounts as it awaits SEC registration, I decided to open a lender account with another big player: Lending Club. For those considering doing the same, here’s a step-by-step look at what it takes to open a Lending Club lender account.
Starting a Lending Club Application
Beginning the Lending Club application process is easy. Simply visit Lending Club and enter your basic information including your name, e-mail, security question, and password.
After confirming your email address by clicking on a link in an email, you can choose to proceed with either a lender or a borrower application.
When you continue with the lender application, Lending Club asks you to verify some basic information about your identity and agree to certain terms.
There are four steps to the Lending Club lender application:
- Verifying your identity
- Agreeing to terms
- Linking your bank account
- Searching for loans to fund
During the first step, verifying your identity, you simply provide your name, address, and social security number. In the second step, you’ll review three different notices that explain how lending club works for investors (lenders). You’ll then have to click “I agree” for each clause in order to continue.
The third step is to link your bank account to Lending Club so that you can make deposits to your lending account (and withdraw earnings down the road). Lending Club asks for the name on your bank account, your financial institution, and your routing and account numbers. Lending Club takes the additional step of verifying your bank account by depositing a small amount (less than $1) into your account. You’ll then need to report back to Lending Club what that amount was in order to activate the linked account.
After you have completed all these steps, you’ll need to wait for your bank account to be verified to start investing in Lending Club loans unless you want to make a deposit via other available methods like PayPal.
Finally, you’ll have a chance to search for borrowers in the Lending Club network that are related to you, either by location, employer, or educational institution…a great way to start lending is to start lending to people in your own networks!
That’s all there is to opening a Lending Club lender account. In a future post, we’ll look at how to select a portfolio of social lending notes to meet your investment/saving goals.