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Best Peer to Peer Lending

If you’re like many people, you might be looking for a loan, but you might not qualify for one with a bank or even an online lender. Does that mean you can’t get the financing you need? Not at all. Even if you don’t qualify for a loan through other channels, you may qualify for a P2P loan

Best Peer to Peer Lending
Susan Guillory
Written by:Susan Guillory
Intuitive Business Coach and Content Magic Maker

A peer to peer personal loan, which is offered by individual investors rather than corporate ones like banks and online lenders, may be more flexible in its requirements to qualify for, and can be used for a variety of expenses, from home remodels to vacations, weddings, and medical expenses.

There are several websites out there specializing in peer to peer (P2P) lending, and our team of financial experts has reviewed and ranked more than 30 online lenders to help you get funded.

Our Top Picks for Best Peer to Peer Personal Loan

lendingclub_logo
  • Wide range of personal loans
  • Co-signer option
  • Soft credit pull
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not Disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $1K-$40K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 36-60 Months
upstart review
  • Loans can be funded in one busines day
  • Prequalification with a soft credit check
  • Accepts borrowers with fair credit
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 600+
Loan Amounts
Loan Amounts $1K-$50K
Est. APR
Loan Repayments 36-60 months
propsper_logo
  • Lower credit score requirements
  • Quick and easy application process
  • More freedom of loan uses
  • Interest rates are fixed
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 640+
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $2K-$40K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 36-60 months

How to Choose the Best Peer to Peer Personal Loan

With so many options, it can be tough knowing which peer to peer loan is best for you. There are certain criteria that we’ve considered to rank the loan options we’ll discuss below. These include:

  • Loan Features: Different lenders offer different loan amounts, and each loan may have its unique repayment plan.
  • Interest Rates and Fees: P2P loans tend to have higher interest than banks, and some may have additional fees.
  • Application Process: We look at whether a lender does a hard or soft pull on your credit when applying for a peer to peer loan.
  • Qualification Process: Requirements for credit score may be lower with P2P loans, as lenders may look at other criteria.
  • Customer Support: We look at how easy it is to contact customer support through different channels like email, phone, and chat.
  • Online User Reviews: We also look at reviews on independent review sites like Trustpilot to see how customers like a lender.
  • Perks and Bonuses: Some lenders may offer other benefits, which we factor into our list.

Best Peer to Peer Personal Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

Ready to get to the best peer to peer personal loans? Here are the lenders we recommend if you don’t qualify for a loan elsewhere, based on the criteria listed above.

1.LendingClub - Best for Highly-Rated P2P Loans

LendingClub is one of the original lenders specializing in peer to peer loans. It’s received numerous awards from sites like Newsweek and Nerdwallet, due to its stellar reputation. In addition to offering P2P loans, LendingClub also offers personal and business banking, as well as institutional investing services.
Pros
Lower fixed rates on loans
Higher loan amount available
Quick application
Cons
Rates may vary by lender
May have origination fees
Interest may be high for low credit scores

LendingClub
Applying for $1,000 to $40,000 with LendingClub is fast: you can apply and get funded within 24 hours. Interest rates range from 7.04% to 35.89%, with an average of 15.95%. Loans must be repaid in three to five years.

To qualify for financing, you must be a U.S. citizen 18 years or older, and you must have a bank account. Those in Iowa aren’t able to apply, nor are citizens in U.S. territories.

The Bottom Line

LendingClub has mastered the art of the peer to peer loan. If you want a fast and easy application and nearly instant access to capital, LendingClub can deliver.

2.Upstart - Best for Unsecured Personal Loans

While some personal loans require collateral, Upstart offers unsecured loans, which don’t require collateral. These loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including paying off credit cards, buying a car, consolidating debt, moving, medical expenses, and more.
Pros
High loan value available
No collateral required
No prepayment penalty
Cons
Those with bad credit may pay more in interest
May have origination fees
Some lenders may place a lien on accounts

upstart
Upstart offers loans of $1,000 to $50,000, with average interest rates of 24.83% for a three- to five-year loan. The majority of loans are funded one business day after signing the loan agreement.

To qualify for a loan with Upstart, you must have a personal credit score of at least 300, and a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 50%, and 45% if you live in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, or Vermont. You must not have any bankruptcies or public records on your credit report in the last year. Additionally, you must not have any delinquent accounts, and you must have fewer than six inquiries on your credit report in the last six months.

The Bottom Line

Upstart uses artificial intelligence to match borrowers like you with lenders. If you’re looking for a loan that doesn’t require collateral to secure it, Upstart may be able to help you.

3.Prosper - Best for a Variety of Financing Options

While most P2P lenders specialize in personal loans, Prosper also offers credit cards, home equity lines of credit, and investment and IRA services. If a traditional personal loan doesn’t suit your needs, you may find a better solution with Prosper.
Pros
Variety of loan options
Fast application and funding
No prepayment penalty
Cons
Credit score requirements may be high
Other fees charged

prosper
Prosper offers personal loans of $2,000 to $40,000, as well as home equity lines of credit up to $500,000. Its credit card, Prosper® Card, offers a credit limit up to $5,000. Interest rates for personal loans are 6.95-35.99%.

In addition to needing a 600 credit score to qualify for financing, applicants must be U.S. residents in a state where Prosper is available, and must have a personal bank account and a social security number.

The Bottom Line

Peer to peer lending shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, and at Prosper, it’s not. Find the right type of financing that suits your needs to cover those expenses you’ve got coming up.

4.Happy Money - Best for Improving Credit Scores

For some, having bad credit feels like a dealbreaker to getting good rates on loans. Happy Money is a peer to peer lender that can help you improve your credit scores. In fact, the site says that some customers, in paying down their debt, have improved their credit scores by as much as 40 points.
Pros
Available to those with poor credit scores
Flexible payment terms
Low interest rates
Cons
Origination fee charged
Funding may take several days

payoff
You can borrow from $5,000 to $40,000 with Happy Money, with repayment terms of two to five years. Interest rates range from 5.99% to 24.99%.

To qualify for financing with Happy Money, you need a FICO score of 550 or higher and no delinquencies on your credit report. Other factors that may be considered with your application include:

  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Age of credit history
  • Number of open accounts
  • Credit utilization

The Bottom Line

If rebuilding your credit is a priority, you can do that while getting the cash you need from Happy Money. As your credit score rises, you may qualify for lower-interest loans down the road.

5.SoFi - Best for High-Value Loans

While the other P2P lenders on this list cap out at $40,000 or $50,000, with SoFi, you can borrow up to $100,000, which can come in handy if you need the money to cover the expenses of a new baby, home remodel, wedding, vacation, or unexpected expenses. Additionally, SoFi offers investment services, student loan refinancing, home mortgages, credit cards, banking, insurance, and more.
Pros
High value loans
Low interest
Ranked highly for best personal loan
Cons
Credit requirements may be high
Doesn’t lend less than $5k

sofi
SoFi lends between $5,000 and $100,000, and its loans are unsecured. Interest rates range from 6.99% to 21.78% for personal loans.

To qualify, there is no minimum credit score, though lower scores may impact eligibility. Lenders consider credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio, among other factors. You must be a U.S. citizen in a state where SoFi operates, and be 18 or older.

The Bottom Line

For those who need more than $50,000, SoFi offers higher value loans up to $100,000. That can come in handy if you have a large amount of expenses, whether that’s to remodel a home, consolidate debt, or cover a family event like a new baby or wedding. Additionally, its rates are on the lower end of the lenders on this list.

Try SoFi

Best Peer to Peer Personal Loans - Main Features Table


Company Name

Est. APR

Min. credit score

Loan Amount

Loan term

LendingClub

7.04% - 35.89%

600

$1k - $40k

3-5 years

Upstart

5.35% - 35.99%

300

$1k - $50k

3-5 years

Prosper

6.95% –35.99%

600

$2k - $40k

3-5 years

Happy Money

5.99% - 24.99%

550

$5k - $40k

2-5 years

SoFi

6.99% to 21.78%

n/a

$5k - $100k

2-7 years

What are Peer to Peer Loans?

Traditional loans are offered by banks and online lenders, but with peer to peer loans, those loans are backed by individual investors. The advantage of applying for a P2P loan is that there may be less strict criteria to qualify than there is with a traditional loan, as individual lenders can set their parameters for approving an applicant.

How Does Peer to Peer Lending Work?

Peer to peer lending works similar to how other loans work: you apply online, compare your options, then choose what works for you.

Once your application is submitted, you will be matched with the lenders whose criteria you meet. You can choose from among several loan offers to get the loan with the most favorable terms and interest rate for your needs.

Typically, applying for a P2P loan results in a soft pull on your credit score, though once you sign the loan agreement, that will become a hard pull.

Reasons to Get a Peer to Peer Personal Loan

So why consider a peer to peer loan over a traditional loan? There are several reasons.

  • You don’t qualify for a loan elsewhere. You might have bad credit or a derogatory mark on your credit report that keeps you from qualifying for a traditional loan, though that may not be an issue with P2P lending.
  • You can choose the terms that work for you. Most P2P sites provide you with multiple loan options so you can compare rates and terms.
  • They can be used for a variety of purposes. P2P loans can be used for home remodels, debt consolidation, refinancing loans, weddings, vacations, cars, new babies…you name it. Typically there are few restrictions for how you can use a P2P loan.
  • Paying on time may improve your credit. When you make your monthly payment on time and reduce your overall debt, you may see an increase in your credit score, which can help you qualify for lower rates on loans in the future.
  • You can get your money fast. Most P2P lenders work online and their applications are short and sweet. Additionally, they’re more likely to approve your application within a day or so, and fund the loan just as fast.

How to Get a Peer to Peer Personal Loan

Though the application process varies by lender, these are the general steps you can expect when applying for a peer to peer personal loan.

  • Step 1: Research Requirements: Each P2P lender will have different requirements to qualify for a loan. Some may require a certain credit score or annual income. Narrow down your search to those that you qualify for financing with.
  • Step 2: Gather Required Documents and Info: Each lender will ask for certain things, such as a copy of your driver’s license, your credit score, your social security number, and personal details. You may also be asked to provide paystubs or bank statements.
  • Step 3: Apply for the Loan: Once you have everything you need, start your application. Most P2P lenders have very brief applications, and if you’ve already gathered the required documents, you should be done within minutes.
  • Step 4: Wait for a Decision: The lender will review your application and provide you with a decision within a few business days.
  • Step 5: Review Loan Offer: This is your opportunity to review the amount you are approved to borrow, as well as the interest rate you will pay and the loan repayment period. If you agree with all, sign the loan agreement and return to the lender.
  • Step 6: Get Paid: Many lenders will fund your loan in as little as one business day. It will be deposited into your bank account.

Alternatives to Peer to Peer Loans

You’re wise to explore all your funding options before applying for a loan. In addition to peer to peer loans, you have other options for financing.

  • Traditional Loans: If you have good credit, you may qualify for a loan with low interest through a bank or traditional lender.
  • Alternative Loans: Online lenders may also offer flexible criteria to qualify for personal loans.
  • Line of Credit: For those who want some money now and more later, a line of credit can provide access to funds over time. Only pay back what you borrow.
  • Credit Card: While it doesn’t provide cash, a credit card can allow you to purchase what you need, then pay off the balance.

Conclusion

Peer to peer loans offer financing solutions to those who might not otherwise qualify for loans through banks and online lenders. With flexibility around requirements like credit score, you may find more options to get the cash you need to remodel your home, consolidate debt, pay off credit cards, take a vacation, get married, or even buy a car. No matter what your credit score, you may be able to find a peer to peer lender who is willing to loan you money at an affordable interest rate. Paying that loan off on time each month may also help you build your credit score so that you qualify for lower interest rates on financing down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you get a peer to peer loan with bad credit?
One of the perks of peer to peer lending is that lenders often have more flexible requirements ot qualify for financing. Even those with bad credit may find P2P loans they qualify for, and paying that loan off over time may help them rebuild their credit.
Is peer to peer lending safe?
Peer to peer lending is safe. The companies that specialize in P2P financing carefully vet their investors and provide guarantees to borrowers. They also keep your personal and financial information safe.
Which peer to peer lending is best for investors?
Investors looking to get started with peer to peer lending have several options when it comes to P2P lending platforms, including LendingClub, Upstart, Prosper, Happy Money, and SoFi.

Related Loan Picks

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory

Intuitive Business Coach and Content Magic Maker

Susan Guillory is an intuitive business coach and content magic maker. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi.

More about me