[Update: The article below is not true. There is no Lending Club partnership with Tesla. So, if you have just stumbled upon this story you should know that it was published on April 1st as an April Fools joke.]
In a joint press release today, Lending Club and Tesla have announced a brand new loan program. In an industry first Lending Club will be providing auto loans to buyers of new Tesla vehicles in this brand new program.
“Tesla has been a leading force for innovation and disruption in the auto industry,” said Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche in a statement today. “Lending Club is having a similar impact on financial services so it made sense for us to partner with Tesla in this new service.”
Details of this new partnership have yet to be revealed but sources tell me that these will be five year loans of up to $50,000. Interest rates will depend on the creditworthiness of the borrower but given that a Tesla Model S starts at a retail price of $69,900 these will be very much prime borrowers. So, I expect these loans will be rated A-grade and have interest rates in the mid to high single digits.
Sources have also told me that these loans will actually be secured with a lien on the vehicle. This is very significant news. Not only will this be Lending Club’s first foray into auto loans it will also mark Lending Club’s first offering of asset backed loans.