LendingClub Is Making Personal Finance Less Scary
Reading statistics about how people manage their money is like watching a horror movie where there’s no plot and every fact is a jump scare.
Think about you, the nearest clown, and the creepy guy with a van across the street. If all three of you need your cars fixed, chances are that only one (maybe two) of you can afford it—since 44 percent of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency. Fingers crossed it’s you.
Or think about how the average American is $38,000 in debt. That’s enough for 125 chainsaws with some spare change left over for a pig carcass to try them out on. (Sorry, I’m still scarred from watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Halloween.)
These stats are the reason that LendingClub, America’s largest online credit marketplace, was founded.
“Believe it or not, more than half of American adults (approximately 138 million people) are financially unhealthy,” Steve Allocca, President of LendingClub, told me. “As a company, we’ve watched this financial health crisis unfold over more than a decade, and we’ve been laser-focused at chipping away at it by making credit more affordable and investing more rewarding.”
Mr. Allocca also explained LendingClub’s approach to the problem.
“We’re focused on helping Americans burdened with unhealthy high-interest credit card debt to consolidate their loans and break the never-ending cycle of debt. We do it with innovative loan programs, data and technology, and our partners,” he says. “Our models go beyond FICO, so LendingClub can identify good borrowers that traditional lenders might overlook or overcharge. By doing that, we’re opening up access to an asset class for the investors on our platform, who have broad risk appetites that let us provide more affordable credit to more borrowers.”
Since the ten-plus years when LendingClub set out to transform the banking industry, they’ve become the largest facilitator of personal loans in the country and have helped more than 2.5 million people take control of their finances and save more than $2.4 billion. And when 2.4 billion is “chipping away at it,” you know the problem must be huge—which is why LendingClub is growing.
On November 6, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced LendingClub’s expansion to Utah. The expansion means a new office in Lehi and the addition of up to 860 jobs, $22 million in new state revenue, and an estimated $17.85 million in capital investment over the next 10 years.
“We’re excited to welcome one of fintech’s pioneers to Utah,” said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, in the press release. “We hope that as the world’s largest peer-to-peer lending company, they’ll feel right at home—and busy—in Silicon Slopes.”
“For us, Utah had the perfect combination of everything we were looking for, including its focus on tech,” Mr. Allocca says. “We’re excited to tap into the tech talent, and the new location puts us close to the people we primarily serve and are constantly looking to provide better solutions to.”
If LendingClub’s track record is any indication of their future, you can bet that they’ll keep finding and building those solutions for their customers. Just a few weeks ago, they announced a partnership with Intuit to make it possible for LendingClub members to import TurboTax data into loan applications for a more streamlined application process. And before that, LendingClub rolled out joint borrowing applications and auto refinancing. As Mr. Allocca says, “These are just a few of the ways in which we’re helping increase the speed and access to credit for borrowers.”