Amex and Discover rank highest in a tie among US personal loan lenders for customer satisfaction according to JD Power.

Citi ranks third ahead of US Bank, Lending Club and Wells Fargo.

The respected JD Power US Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study measures overall customer satisfaction based on performance in three factors. Specifically, it measures offerings and terms, loan management; and application and approval.

The annual survey finds that the consumer lending space was severely disrupted during the pandemic. For example, a combination of stimulus funding, record high mortgage refinancing and a tenuous economy crimped the consumer loan market.

“The consumer lending landscape shifted dramatically over the past year. Consumers need to understand this will be permanent,” says Jim Houston, MD consumer lending and automotive finance intelligence, JD Power.

“To attract and retain customers, personal lenders need to deliver easy-to-use technology and adapt communication channels to market demands.”

JD Power US Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study: key findings

Customer satisfaction is flat for the Personal Loan industry.  FinTech lenders see their overall satisfaction scores decline 5 points (on a 1,000-point scale) this year. This is due to slower application approval times and tighter credit criteria.  By contrast, traditional bank and credit card-branded lenders see overall customer satisfaction scores rise 4 points this year.

At the same time, trust in lending partners is up year over year. While the pandemic forced lenders to change how they do business overall industry trust improves. Traditional lenders significantly outperformed fintechs in a number of areas. These include: putting the customer first; providing guidance; is aligned with my social views; provides honest communication. Other factors include: treats people fairly and provides more reliable technology.

Easy-to-use websites and mobile apps gain even more importance. Lenders were forced to rely on digital means during the pandemic, especially traditional lenders. Fintech customers were more likely to use their personal computer to engage, while traditional lenders relied on mobile applications.

On the JD Power 1,000 scale, Discover and Amex each score 874 ahead of Citi with 864. US Bank scores 848 ahead of Lending Club (844) and Wells Fargo (838).