LendingClub offers a debt consolidation calculator for free. We put it through its paces in this review to see just how useful it is.
Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending company, connecting borrowers and investors with one another in the financial equivalent of a dating site. Admittedly, they have a very good platform in place to facilitate this. What’s even more amazing, though, is that they continue to improve it by adding new loan programs and features. Recently, they added a new tool to the site, which I want to share with you: the Lending Club Personal Loan Calculator.
What the Lending Club Personal Loan Calculator Can Do for You
The major benefit of Lending Club’s Personal Loan Calculator is that it lets you “run the numbers” before deciding. That is, you can compile all of your debt on the calculator, and make a determination as to whether or not a product, such as a debt consolidation loan, would be to your advantage.
This will enable you to accurately assess whether the time, effort, and impact of applying for such a loan is even worth doing. You will be able to view just how much money you could potentially save, after running different interest rate scenarios.
This is more important than it may seem at first glance. The calculator can actually show you the interest rate range at which a debt consolidation loan will be worthwhile. Considering that Lending Club’s interest rates run as high as 35.89%, you’ll need to know how high you can go on the rate before a consolidation becomes less beneficial.
Once you know your Lending Club credit grade, you can then use the calculator to run payment scenarios. It may also help you to determine which loans you’d like to include in the consolidation.
What the Lending Club Personal Loan Calculator Doesn’t Do for You
It’s important to understand that the Personal Loan Calculator won’t provide you with your Lending Club credit grade. That can only be determined by making an actual application, at which point your credit grade will be assigned.
But as noted above, the calculator will help you to know the maximum interest rate at which a debt consolidation will make financial sense. If you suspect that you might be assigned a lower credit grade — and, therefore, a higher interest rate — the calculator may help you to determine if it’s even worth your time to submit an application.
The good thing about Lending Club is that when you apply, they do a “soft” credit pull. This means an inquiry won’t show up on your credit report just for applying. Assume, though, that you already predict a low credit grade and don’t want to apply, merely confirming this. The calculator can give you a basic idea on how far into the process you want to go.
Using the Calculator – Entering Your Information
The calculator is incredibly easy to use. It uses an interactive chart that enables you to enter each loan that you want to consolidate. You can even include the type, the balance, your current interest rate, and your monthly payment.
The calculator will then tally up all of your debt, and display your effective average interest rate across all loans. It will also show your current combined monthly payment. This will provide a comparison for the debt consolidation loan that Lending Club can offer you.
Once all of your information has been entered, you simply click the green “Calculate your savings” button. Then, you’ll be taken to the results page.
Getting Your Results
The Personal Loan Calculator will provide your summary on an easy-to-interpret page. There, you will be shown a comparison between the “Lending Club snapshot” and your current debt arrangement. This involves the terms that you will be offered for debt consolidation, based on a specific interest rate for the new loan.
Near the bottom of the page is a box that shows a “Months until debt-free” calculation. Here, you’ll need to decide whether you want a three-year loan or a five-year loan. You can also adjust the expected interest rate (APR) using the slide bar to the right. This is where you can determine if a debt consolidation loan will work to your advantage, based on various APR’s.
In this example, we’re looking at a debt consolidation of $25,000, covering five different loans with an average APR of 14.55%, and a combined monthly payment of $835.
Based on a debt consolidation at a rate of 7.96%, we can save more than $3,000 in interest alone over the term of the loan. That cuts the effective interest rate on current debt by more than half.
Meanwhile, the monthly payment drops to $783, which saves us $57 out of pocket each month. Given that we’ve selected a 36 month loan, the debt will actually be paid off two months faster after consolidating.
This is just one example of how you can use the Personal Loan Calculator to help you in deciding if a debt consolidation loan will be to your advantage. You can run as many scenarios as you like – it’s even kind of fun!
If you decide that you want to go ahead with a debt consolidation loan, you can click the green “Check my rate” button at the page. That will move you onto the next step in the process. Check out Lending Club’s Personal Loan Calculator and see how it works for you.
And if you want to compare options, check out our personal loan comparison page.Topics: debt • Money Management Tools