CircleBack Lending CircleBack Lending
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3.5 5stars

CircleBack Lending Review

CircleBack Lending
Rating:
Bottom Line:
Peer-to-peer loan service with an emphasis on institutional lenders and competitive rates; however, customer service and website are lacking

Full Review:
Launched in 2013, CircleBack Lending seeks to compete with peer-to-peer lending giants Prosper and Lending Club, offering unsecured loans to eligible borrowers without a lot of hoops to jump through. It offers borrowers a range of fixed-rate APRs and a website that is easy to navigate, but feels somewhat unfinished.


Types of Loans Available

CircleBack Lending offers personal loans to cover just about any need, from debt consolidation and credit card financing to small business and engagement rings. There are no limitations on what the money can be used for once it is in your bank account. You can borrow between $3,001 and $35,000 with APRs ranging from 6.63% to 35.18%, depending on your qualifications. The loans are all fixed-rate, which means all of your monthly payments will be determined based on the APR you are given when you qualify, and your rate will not change. Additionally, CircleBack Lending offers unsecured loans — so you won't need to put up any kind of collateral to take out a loan.


Qualifying

To qualify as a borrower from CircleBack Lending, you must be 18 years of age or older and have good or excellent credit (the website specifies good credit as 660 or higher). If you have fair or poor credit, you will be directed to the Springleaf Financial Services website. CircleBack Lending uses your FICO score, credit reports and other third-party attributes to assign what it calls a "CircleBack credit grade" to you. This proprietary score determines the amount of money you are eligible to request, as well as the range of APR you can be expected to receive.


As with most personal loan services, the better your credit, the better the APR you will be offered. Few people will probably qualify for the lowest APR of 6.63%, but if you have very good credit, you can reasonably expect to receive a decent rate.

Keep in mind, CircleBack Lending can only give loans to people living in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Armed Forces Americas, Armed Forces Europe and Armed Forces Pacific at this time.



Application Process

The application process is simple and similar to CircleBack Lending's competitors. First, you need to fill out a brief online form to request a rate. This form asks for basic personal information, including your social security number, home address and annual income, as well as an indication of how much you want to borrow and what length of repayment term you'd like. You will also need to select your credit score — ranging from poor to excellent. "Not sure" is also an option, but it is a good idea to know your credit score ahead of applying for any sort of loan. Prior to submitting your loan request, you will have to check a box allowing CircleBack Lending to obtain one or more credit reports for you, through TransUnion. You can easily find out what your credit looks like on your own by requesting a free copy of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Once your application is submitted, it will be analyzed along with your credit reports and FICO score. If accepted, you will receive your CircleBack credit grade and a loan analyst who will work with you to create your listing. Then, you simply wait until your loan is funded by one of the private investors that buy loans from CircleBack Lending. Who are these private investors? According to the section of the site advertising for people to buy loans, it can be anything from an individual person to a corporate entity, such as a community bank, insurance company or family office.

When your loan has been funded, the money will be deposited immediately into your bank account. CircleBack Lending notes that it is possible to receive funds by the next business day if all documentation regarding your identity, bank information and income is received and verified by 10 a.m. ET.


Repayment and Fees

CircleBack Lending offers borrowers 36 and 60-month repayment periods. You can make payments by ACH debit (also known as an electronic fund transfer) or by a process known as Remote Check Creation, where the company creates a physical bank draft check on your behalf and deposits it into the necessary bank by your monthly due date. It's important to note that opting for RCC will cost you $15 each time, while ACH debit payments are free of charge.

Before your loan proceeds are distributed to your bank account, CircleBack Lending will take a one-time origination fee, which is a percentage of your total loan amount. This fee is determined based on your CircleBack credit grade, ranging from 0.99% for Grade A borrowers to 4.99% for Grade E-H borrowers.


When it comes to fees, CircleBack Lending has fairly standard policies. A failed payment (when your payment is rejected by the bank due to insufficient funds or another reason) is $15 for each occurrence. There is a 15-day grace period for late payments. Any payment made on the 16th day past your due date or later are subject to an additional fee of $15 or 5% of your total payment, whichever is higher.


Trustworthiness

CircleBack Lending is a relatively new service, but it is accredited with the BBB and has an A rating with the organization. The service has yet to receive any complaints on the BBB, which is probably due to being relatively new, but still encouraging. Its loans are made by County Bank of Delaware, which has an A+ rating on the BBB website.



A lack of general information about CircleBack Lending and its process was disappointing, compared to the robust FAQ and Help sections offered by its competitors Lending Club and Prosper. When it comes to borrowing money and giving out personal information, it is better to have as much information about a service's processes at your fingertips as possible.


Customer Support

Clicking "Help" on the CircleBack Lending website leads you to a page that says the Help Desk is coming soon. An email address is provided, and a toll-free phone number can be found on the "About Us" page, but there are no customer service hours listed on the website that we could find. A call placed to the toll free number was at first a frustrating experience — when we chose the option to ask a question about a loan application from the voice menu, it directed us to a voicemail box. The second time around, we stayed on the line rather than selecting any numbered options and were connected with a pleasant representative who was more or less able to answer our questions.

Through this phone call, we also learned that CircleBack Lending's business hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.


Conclusion

CircleBack Lending presents itself comparative to other peer-to-peer lending services, but its website leaves much to be desired — especially when it comes to customer service and information overall. The CircleBack credit grade system is a good way for borrowers to understand why they qualified for their given APR, and the prospect of loans that are funded by private and institutional investors will be ideal for those with good to excellent credit who wish to take out a loan without the hassle of dealing with a traditional bank.

Compare to other Personal Loan Services

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Service Details

Minimum/Maximum Loan Amount:$3,001 - $35,000
APR:6.63% - 35.18%
Terms Available:36 or 60 months
Required Credit Rating:660+
Secured/Unsecured:Unsecured
Local Branches:No

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