For decades, banks have been the primary source of lending for businesses and individuals. However, in recent years, a new wave of competition has emerged in the lending market, threatening to disrupt the traditional banking industry. In this article, we will explore the new competition in the lending industry and its impact on banks, borrowers, and the overall lending market.

The Rise of Alternative Lenders:

Alternative lenders, also known as non-bank lenders, are financial institutions that provide loans outside of the traditional banking system. These lenders offer a variety of loan products, including personal loans, business loans, and real estate loans.

One of the main reasons for the rise of alternative lenders is the strict lending standards that many banks have in place. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, banks tightened their lending standards in order to reduce risk and protect themselves from losses. This has made it more difficult for many borrowers to qualify for loans from traditional banks.

Alternative lenders, on the other hand, often have more relaxed lending standards, making it easier for borrowers to get the funding they need. Additionally, alternative lenders often offer faster funding and more flexible loan terms than traditional banks.

Types of Alternative Lenders:

There are several different types of alternative lenders, each with their own unique lending model and target market. Here are some of the most common types of alternative lenders:

Online Lenders: Online lenders are financial institutions that provide loans through an online platform. These lenders often use algorithms and data analytics to evaluate borrowers and determine their creditworthiness. Some popular online lenders include LendingClub, Prosper, and SoFi.

Peer-to-Peer Lenders: Peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders are platforms that connect individual investors with borrowers. These lenders often have lower overhead costs than traditional banks, allowing them to offer lower interest rates to borrowers. Some popular P2P lenders include Funding Circle and Peerform.

Microfinance Institutions: Microfinance institutions provide loans to low-income borrowers who may not have access to traditional bank loans. These lenders often operate in developing countries and provide loans for small businesses, agriculture, and other micro-enterprises.

Crowdfunding Platforms: Crowdfunding platforms allow individuals and businesses to raise funds from a large group of investors. These platforms often have lower barriers to entry than traditional banks, making it easier for entrepreneurs to get the funding they need to start a business.

Impact on Banks:

The rise of alternative lenders has had a significant impact on traditional banks, forcing them to adapt to a changing lending landscape. In order to compete with alternative lenders, many banks have started to offer online lending platforms and other digital services.

Additionally, some banks have started to partner with alternative lenders in order to offer their customers more loan options. For example, JPMorgan Chase has partnered with OnDeck, an online lender, to offer small business loans to its customers.

Despite these efforts, traditional banks still face challenges from alternative lenders. Many borrowers are attracted to the fast funding and flexible loan terms offered by alternative lenders, making it difficult for banks to compete.

Impact on Borrowers:

The rise of alternative lenders has been a positive development for many borrowers who may have had difficulty getting loans from traditional banks. Alternative lenders often offer lower interest rates and more flexible loan terms than traditional banks, making it easier for borrowers to get the funding they need.

However, borrowers should be aware that alternative lenders may also have higher fees and less regulation than traditional banks. It is important to research and compare loan options before choosing a lender to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal.


The rise of alternative lenders has brought significant changes to the lending industry, creating new opportunities and challenges for banks and borrowers alike. While traditional banks still dominate the lending market, alternative lenders are gaining ground and are likely to continue.