To the Editors:
Re article entitled, “How Lending Club’s Biggest Fanboy Uncovered Shady Loans” (Aug. 18):
We were disappointed to read your article entitled “How Lending Club’s Biggest Fanboy Uncovered Shady Loans” in which you mischaracterize several attributes of the Lending Club platform.
Your reporter Max Chafkin opens his story by citing “critics” who claim Lending Club is a “credit crisis waiting to happen.” He cites neither evidence nor critics beyond a single disgruntled investor. Far from precipitating a crisis, Lending Club has helped consumers to save $1.4 billion in lower interest payments and enabled investors to earn an average of 5 percent to 9 percent, which compares very favorably with alternatives.
As to the claim that by not identifying borrowers who have two loans, investors are “leaving money on the table,” this reveals a misunderstanding of how our platform works. Loans are priced according to the borrower’s credit profile at the time the loan is taken out, so a borrower may have two loans with different rates. As an example, if a borrower uses their loan to pay off existing credit card debt, their FICO score would likely improve. If they take out a second loan -- we allow maximum of two concurrent loans with a maximum exposure of $50,000 -- they may reasonably get a lower rate. Our approach ensures interest rates are fair to both parties.
We acknowledge the criticism stemming from recent events and view this as an opportunity to make Lending Club a stronger company. It’s unfortunate that your article focused on the unsubstantiated opinions of a single investor, rehashing issues we have already disclosed, when in fact Lending Club has enabled significant financial benefits for millions of people.
Chief Executive Officer of Lending Club