Monday, August 29, 2011

Taking Out a Loan with Lending Club

So – we bit the bullet last Friday and signed up for a Lending Club loan.

What is Lending Club?
Lending Club is a peer to peer lending network that allows people like me who have made stupid financial decisions regarding debt (and other people who have legitimate debt, but I’m focusing on my own stupidity right now) and are working to get out of our mess.

It allows borrowers to acquire loans at lower interest rates than banks can offer because there is no middle man to be paid. Just you and some investors.

It also allows people who want to invest to get high returns on their money. In fact, I signed up a while back and got $25 free to invest just for signing up (you can too). I invested that plus another $25 into two different loans that I got to hand select. I chose one mid-range “rate” (indicating their credit rating) and one lower-range rate. I figured it was only $25 each, right? Well, both have always been on time with all payments and I am averaging a 17.91% return right now.Yippee! The average return at Lending Club is 9.61%. Compare THAT to your typical CD.

You can gauge for yourself what you are comfortable with and shop around through the loans with whatever criteria you feel is important. You can see what the loan is for and ask a myriad of questions about the borrower’s financial situation before deciding whether or not to invest.

Why Did We Need on a Loan?
We have a timeshare that we owe around $10,000 on (I talk more about that here). The interest rate is currently at 17.90% and we’re going nowhere fast on it. I applied for a 3 year loan with Lending Club at 9.99% to save us money and knock this thing out.

Why the Timeshare Rather Than Other Debts?
First of all, it has the highest interest rate, so it makes the most math sense.

Secondly, we are going to take Dave Ramsey’s advice and once we send this check to the finance company currently holding the loan, we will have the deed in hand. We will then attempt to sell it back to the vacation resort business we bought it from at a loss to ourselves and a profit for them. They will be able to resell it for far more than we could, so they’ll make money on it. We’ll be out from under it and its maintenance fees. We hope they agree to this. If they are willing to buy it back from us (even at half of what they can sell it for), we will use that money to pay down our next highest interest rate (our Chase credit card).

So we hope to both get out from under this burden and get a little bit out of it to apply to our other debts.

Why Lending Club?
Well, as a (small) investor, I’ve seen that it works.  And I would rather give my payments to people who are making responsible choices with their money by investing rather than some big banks that are more and more the bane of my existence.

And the lower interest rate doesn’t hurt either.

So, if you decide to invest, check out our loan (#548511 or under the name Kaye_T - or do a keyword search for "Timeshare") and help us out. Of course, you are not obligated to do so, but I just had to throw that in there.

The links and banners on this article and on my sidebar are paid affiliate links/banners. I am taking out a loan, and I do have an investment with them. I have seen it work and these opinions, which I am sharing with you, are purely my own.

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