It is more important than ever for consumers to be savvy and protect themselves. Lending Club offers the following tips to help avoid scams.
At Lending Club, we pride ourselves on providing a safe, transparent online lending experience. Lending Club will never ask you in advance to remit payment for any type of insurance, application fee or fee to obtain a loan. You can apply for a loan for free at https://www.lendingclub.com/public/personal-loans.action.
Unfortunately, there are scam artists seeking to take advantage of people who are looking for a loan. As a prospective borrower, it’s important for you to know how to identify signs that you may not be working with a legitimate lender:
- Remember that it is very uncommon for a lender to guarantee that you will receive a loan before you apply, or before they have checked out your credit status, especially if you have bad credit or no credit history at all.
- Don't pay money for the “promise” of a loan. Ignore any advertisement or hang up on any cold caller who “guarantees” a loan in exchange for a fee paid in advance.
- Beware of anyone who pressures you to “act immediately” by sending money or personal information.
- Never send money, whether by pre-paid debit card, wire or money orders prior to receiving the actual proceeds of the loan. Most lenders won’t ask you to send funds in advance, and you will have little to no recourse through these methods.
- If you are not absolutely sure who you are dealing with, get the company's contact information in the phone book or from directory assistance, and call them to make sure you're dealing with the company you think you’re dealing with. And if they have an online presence, check there too. In the past, some scam artists have pretended to be the Better Business Bureau or another legitimate organization; on- or offline, you should always make sure you are dealing with a reputable party before you give out sensitive financial information.
- Protect yourself by making sure the website where you apply is secure – look for the “s” in https://www.websitename.com
Other “red flags” that may signal a scam include:
- The advertisement or email response to you contains multiple misspellings and grammatical errors
- The email addresses you as Dear Sir/Madam
- The “lender” uses a free email service such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail
- Receiving payment is the lender’s first priority – via Cashier’s Check, FEDEX, Western Union, etc. Unscrupulous companies will often ask for money up front, or attempt commit identity theft by requesting personal information under the guise of providing a loan; legitimate lenders won’t.
Remember, if it seems too good to be true – it probably is.
If you do encounter fraud involving an offer of a Lending Club loan, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federal Trade Commission offers helpful tips to help you protect yourself from the Advanced-Fee Loan Swindle.
Fraud can also be reported to your local law enforcement authority, to the Federal Trade Commission, and to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or www.ftc.gov
Internet Crime Complaint Center www.ic3.gov
At Lending Club, we believe in providing our investors with as much information as possible so they can make informed investing decisions.
We recently added two new sections in the Performance section of the Lending Club Statistics pages. These sections provide detailed information about how actual Lending Club accounts perform.
The first section includes an interactive chart that illustrates how Lending Club accounts with 100+ Notes might perform over the life of the investment. Using the controls on the charts, investors can explore how different factors, such as the number of Notes in the portfolio or the Weighted Average Interest Rate of the investment, may influence returns and how performance may change over time.
The second section illustrates how diversification—spreading an investment evenly across hundreds of Notes—can help drive more stable returns and reduce risk in returns. As an example, we show how historically, owning 100+ Notes reduces the risk of negative returns.
We hope existing and potential investors alike will use these charts to understand how different factors, including diversification, can impact the returns on their investments.
I became a U.S. citizen earlier this month.
When I first moved to America 14 years ago it took me a few weeks to realize that "How are you?" wasn't really a question about my health, and I learned not to get offended if my interlocutor had already moved on and was 50 feet down the hall before I finished answering the question. Since that time I have never stopped learning and never ceased to be amazed at this country and its people.
I found in America a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ideas that would have seemed too disruptive and too ambitious almost anywhere else. I also found visionary investors who believed in these ideas. As a result, today I’m proud to lead a team of 400 people who live and breathe our goal to transform the banking industry to make it more consumer friendly, more transparent and more efficient.
This country was built on principles of freedom and responsibility that empower individuals to pursue their dreams and contribute to the greater good; these are a source of inspiration for people all over the world. I’m proud to call it home.
"What's next for two-time French sailing
champion Renaud Laplanche - a U.S. title?"
Lending Club has won the #5 spot on Forbes’ 2014 list of America’s Most Promising Companies, a ranking of high-growth, privately-held companies with under $250 million in annual revenue.
This is the third year in a row Lending Club’s been featured – we debuted at #20 and last year placed #12. We’re elated to move into the top 5 for 2014, as the only financial services company in the top 10 – and we could not have done it without each and every one of the borrowers and investors who have trusted us to help them meet their financial goals. Thank you!
Watch Founder & CEO Renaud Laplanche with Real Money's Ali Velshi
Tax season is coming. To help our investors prepare, Lending Club created a downloadable 2013 Tax Form Guide. You can also check out our online tax form FAQs.
Here are some important dates to keep in mind:
- Lending Club will post a Consolidated 1099 Package in the “Statements” section of your account by January 31, 2014. This package will include all applicable 1099 forms in a single place. It will also include supplementary information about charged-off loans that may be helpful as you prepare your tax return.
- Don’t forget to file your taxes with the IRS by April 15, 2014.
If you have questions about the data that is reported on the IRS 1099 forms, please email email@example.com. All other tax questions should be directed to your financial or tax advisor. Lending Club does not provide tax advice.