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      September 24, 2017

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Best

Installment Loans

  1. SoFi
  2. Lending Tree
  3. Upstart
  4. 100 Lenders
  5. Net Credit
  6. One Main Financial
  7. Personal Loans
  8. Max Lend

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Best Installment Loans

Medical bills, unexpected car repairs, layoffs and more - does any of this ring a bell? There are lots of reasons why many people find themselves strapped for cash. What can you do if your income just isnít enough to make ends meet and you need money?

If you have a financially-comfortable friend or relative, you could put yourself through the embarrassment of asking them for a loan - which would be better than paying the extremely high interest rates associated with most credit cards or payday loans. Another option is to consider an installment loan.

Continue reading below reviews

2017

Installment Loan Reviews

5 stars
Lending Club

LENDING CLUB Visit Site

Loan:

From $1,000 to $40,000

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award For people looking to borrow anywhere between $1,000 and $40,000, Lending Club should be at the top of their list for an installment loan. The application process is incredibly easy and can be completed online in just a few minutes.

You start by entering the amount you'd like to borrow and for what purpose (for example, paying medical bills, car repairs, and so on), and enter details like your name, address, income, and birthdate. As with any lender, Lending Club will process your information to confirm your identity and check out your credit history. Once your identity has been verified, you'll be given several loan options to choose from. After you've chosen the loan you prefer, and Lending Club verifies your banking information, you'll receive your funds. It really is that simple.

How long will it take to get your funds when receiving an installment loan from Lending Club? That depends on your credit history, as well as the size of the loan you're requesting. For larger loans, or if your creditworthiness is less-than-perfect, it may take longer for Lending Club's partner lenders to consider your request.

Be aware that, as with many peer-to-peer lending companies, Lending Club does charge a one-time fee to cover the costs of processing your loan. You can expect to pay a fee between 1-6% of your total loan amount - $50 to $300 on an installment loan of $5,000, for example.

One major advantage of working with Lending Club is their strong track record for customer satisfaction. At the time of our review, they maintained an "A" rating with the BBB, strong evidence for their attention to quality in the thousands of loans they facilitate every month.

Another plus is their competitive interest rates, currently ranging from 5.99% to 35.89% APR. The rates offered during your application process will naturally depend on your credit history.

Within the social lending market, few businesses can compete with Lending Club's reputation as an established leader. We give Lending Club our highest rating for a simple application process, reasonable interest rates, and overall trustworthiness as a peer-to-peer lending company.

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4.5 stars
SoFi

SOFI Visit Site

Loan:

From $1,000 to $100,000

Although their name may sound strange, SoFi is making a splash in the personal finance market. You may have already guessed that their name comes from the words "social finance", not just helping connect borrowers with lenders but also using all of the technological tools at their disposal to help their "members" get on solid financial footing.

While most sources of installment loans may feel cold and impersonal, SoFi strives to partner with their borrowers. Check out some of the perks that SoFi offers that their competitors generally do not:

  • Referral bonuses - when a new loan is made based on a current member's referral, both the new member and the person referring them get a cash reward
  • Unemployment protection - if a member loses their job through no fault of their own, payments can be suspended for a combined total of 12 months throughout the repayment term
  • Job-hunting assistance - SoFi's Career Strategy experts even help members to find a new job if they become unemployed during the course of their loan

SoFi is equally borrower-friendly when it comes to transparency. Unlike some lenders that seems to purposely hide their rates and fees, SoFi publishes its installment loan rates very clearly - and, better yet, they're extremely competitive: at the time of our review, variable interest rate products had an APR ranging from 5.05% to 10.85%, and fixed-rate interest products ranged from 6.20% to 12.49%. Available loan terms were 3, 5, and 7 years for both fixed and variable interest rate loans. You won't pay any fees for prepaying your loan payments, and SoFi will also save you cash by not charging any origination fees.

As you begin the application process, expect to provide your name and address, any post-secondary education details, as well as your current wages/salary and employer name. You will only need to provide your SSN if SoFi isn't able to confirm the other information you provided. You'll also need to meet their eligibility criteria; because states aren't eligible for SoFi loans, we encourage you to click on the link "Eligibility Criteria" at the bottom of the page, to make sure your state is included and to read up on any other information specific to where you live.

Across a wide range of products - not just installment loans, but also student loan refinancing, mortgage loans and refinancing, and more - SoFi does not disappoint. We highly recommend SoFi for their lack of fees, extremely low interest rates, and member-friendly perks.

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4.5 stars
Lending Tree

LENDING TREE Visit Site

Loan:

From $1,000 to $35,000

If you've ever considered getting an installment loan, chances are good that you've heard of LendingTree. Their "A+" rating as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau is well-deserved, given their nearly 20-year history of helping borrowers connect with a wide network of interested lenders.

As you begin the application process with LendingTree, one requirement not often found with their competitors is the need to provide your credit score. Entering your personal information on the LendingTree website will not affect your credit score or credit report, however.

After entering your information, LendingTree will give you a list of lenders who are willing to fund your loan, ranging from $1,000 to $35,000. LendingTree itself doesn't fund loans; rather, they work as a connection service that matches you with their lending partners. Fortunately, none of your personal information is given directly to any of those lenders until you've had a chance to look through the terms, rates, and fees of each company that is willing to give you the funds and to choose one that best fits your needs.

And, if you like to negotiate, feel free to reach out directly to any of the matched lenders you receive from LendingTree - you'll find each lender's direct contact information on your results page, so that you can request a lower rate or other differences in terms. LendingTree doesn't publish any rates or fees, specifically because they depend so heavily on the terms offered by each individual lending partner.

Especially because they work with a wide network of lending partners, including those who will work with borrowers that have lower credit scores, we think most people will have a positive experience with the LendingTree process. As one of the most recognized sources for obtaining installment loans, we give LendingTree a very high rating.

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4 stars
Upstart

UPSTART Visit Site

Loan:

From $1,000 to $50,000

Using a statistical approach to figure how how likely you will be to make repayments - not how likely you were in the past - Upstart takes into account your GPA, what you studied if you went to college, even your SAT scores to compare you with your peers and determine if you qualify for a loan.

That being said, Upstart does have certain eligibility requirements. These include:

  • U.S. Citizenship or permanent residency and living in the U.S.
  • Residency of any state except West Virginia
  • Valid email account
  • Verifiable name, Social Security Number, and date of birth
  • Personal banking account at a U.S. financial institution
  • A full-time job, a regular part-time job, or a full-time job offer starting within 6 months

Upstart also has several minimum credit requirements, such as fewer than 6 inquiries on the applicant's credit report in the last six months (not counting those related to mortgages, student or vehicle loans), no bankruptcies, and a reasonable ratio of debt-to-income.

One novel component to Upstart's lending philosophy is their willingness to make loans for those without a 4-year degree or a job - provided that the loan is for the purpose of attending a coding bootcamp. You'll have to select one of their eligible programs - Coder Camps, Dev League, Hackbright Academy, and RefactorU are just a few of the qualified providers - but if learning to code is what you need to get a job or advance in your career, Upstart might be able to help.

We love Upstart's transparency with respect to their rates and fees. Right from their main page, you can visit the Rates and Fees page, where they disclose the following information:

  • Interest rates range from 4.16% to 25.07%
  • APRs range from 4.82% to 29.99%
  • Origination fees range from 1% to 6%
  • The average 3-year loan has an APR of 17%, with 36 monthly payments of $31 for every $1,000 borrowed
  • The only other fees are for late payments, ACH return or check refunds, and paper copies of any documents that were previously eSigned

For a relatively new company - Upstart was created in 2012 by two former Google employees - they've already made a significant impact on the installment loans market, with more than 45,000 loans funded in their first four years. Their mission is to help improve "financial fitness for all", particularly by helping younger borrowers avoid predatory lending and get on track towards achieving budgeting, saving, and investment goals.

All indicators show that Upstart is succeeding. In addition to an "A+" rating with the BBB at the time of our review, borrowers praise Upstart's easy-to-use website, straightforward application process, and reasonable rates/terms. And, more recently, Upstart was nominated as a finalist in the LendIt Industry Awards for the Best Consumer Lending Platform.

The only slight drawback to getting an installment loan through Upstart is the inability to compare rates among competing lenders. All of Upstart's installment loans are funded through Cross River Bank, so what you see is what you get in terms of interest rates and fees.

However, the overall picture of Upstart is excellent: complete transparency, fair interest rates, and a real chance of getting a loan for Millennials who may not yet have an established credit history.

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4 stars
100 Lenders

100 LENDERS Visit Site

Loan:

From $100 to $35,000

As a connection service, 100 Lenders helps to bring borrowers and lenders together for loans ranging from $100 to $35,000. Applying for a loan with 100 Lenders is simple: provide your basic information (name, address, Social Security number, and frequency of your paychecks), and in a matter of minutes, you will get a list of loans offered by their lender network.

Because 100 Lenders does not fund loans themselves, you should be aware that interest rates, fees, and other terms depend completely on their partner lenders. That's one disadvantage of working with a partner service - not being able to determine in advance what the possible costs may be when taking out an installment loan. However, 100 Lenders has a very solid reputation, with hundreds of reviews from satisfied borrowers.

100 Lenders also participate in the Online Lenders Alliance, which requires all members to abide by accepted ethical standards while participating in the loan industry. So, while we would have liked to see even a possible range of APRs and fees from a sample of 100 Lenders' partners, we feel reasonably confident that the loans they facilitate aren't coming with extremely high fees or interest rates (otherwise, their customer satisfaction scores and reviews would tell a much different story).

There are a few factors that may make 100 Lenders a less-than-suitable choice for your installment loan, though. First, if you are a resident of Vermont, Washington, New York, Arkansas, Georgia, West Virginia or Oregon, you aren't eligible to apply for a loan through 100 Lenders' network. Also, even though 100 Lenders does accept applicants no matter their credit score, many of their lenders will only extend a higher interest rate payday loan to borrowers whose credit scores are below a particular level. In other words, if you've got bad credit and you're looking for a long-term installment loan, you might not get it through a 100 Lenders partner.

In general, 100 Lenders' track record of helping over 300,000 people with the loan application process in the last decade is solid, and their network of lending partners can meet many people's needs. Unfortunately, they aren't able to work in several large states, and don't seem to offer installment loans to customers with low credit scores.

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3.5 stars
Net Credit

NET CREDIT Visit Site

Loan:

From $1,000 to $10,000

As one of the newer sources of installment loans in our review, NetCredit has done an impressive job of making a name for themselves. Regardless of credit score, they offer unsecured installment loans from $1,000 to $10,000 and have an "A-" rating with the BBB. Based in Chicago since 2012, NetCredit is one of only a few lenders we looked into that actually funds the loans they offer; many others serve just as a connection service between borrowers and lending institutions.

We did find two drawbacks to what NetCredit has to offer. First, at this time, they only fund loans in 13 states; you'll need to check out their site to determine if your state of residence is included. Second, NetCredit doesn't publish information regarding typical interest rates on their installment loans. We definitely would like to see some facts and figures, to get an idea of what the average loan's terms are, or a minimum and maximum interest rate that prospective customers could expect.

However, given their solid reputation with the Better Business Bureau, we think it's safe to conclude that the loans they're funding don't come with any astronomically high interest rates. And, NetCredit doesn't charge any additional fees for the loan itself, saving their customers money no matter what.

If you apply for an installment loan with NetCredit, you can anticipate that the process will be quick and painless. You'll first indicate the total amount you'd like to borrow and what you intend to use it for, such as car repairs or an emergency medical bill. You'll then provide further details such as your contact information, work history, and so forth.

Once your application is complete, you should get an offer right away that will tell you the terms of the maximum loan amount that NetCredit can extend to you. If you accept the terms of the agreement, you should receive your funds as a direct deposit within one business day, assuming no further documentation is requested to finalize the loan.

We do hope to see NetCredit expand the number of states in which they offer loans, because their easy application process and immediate decision-making will probably appeal to a wide range of borrowers. If you live in a state that is served by NetCredit, we recommend that you see if they can meet your need for an installment loan.

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3 stars
One Main Financial

ONE MAIN FINANCIAL Visit Site

Loan:

From $1,500 to $25,000+

OneMain Financial is a leading national consumer loan company that has been business since 1920 under various names. They offer personal loans and mortgages at over 1,800 branches across the United States and has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Stability and a high rating from the Better Business Bureau may be the two greatest strengths of OneMain when it comes to personal loans. However, their website does not provide an easy way to find pricing structures. There is just one application asking for personal information that they ask a prospective client to fill out.

Once completed, a OneMain representative will call to discuss the details of your personal loan. No information is given along the way about what kind of loan is being applied for, what the rate may be, or what the payment options are. Without contacting a representative there is no way to see what rates OneMain has to offer, and how those rates and terms may compare to other personal loan services.

Reviewing further, we found consumers that reported a range of interest rates, and a few comments about hidden fees and mandatory loan insurance. Some customers reported high interest rates, while others reported various fees that added to their rate. OneMain will personalize the loan offer they make to your particular situation, so it's important you pay attention to the details.

On the plus side, OneMain will lend money to people with lower credit ratings and no collateral. However, you should be aware that this may come with high interest rates. When the OneMain representative contacts you with your loan offer, be sure you're comfortable with the details. The company has a long, successful history, and appears strong and solvent, so it should be considered a legitimate lending source for your financial needs.

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3 stars
Personal Loans

PERSONAL LOANS Visit Site

Loan:

From $1,000 to $35,000

Another entry in the borrower-to-lender matching service market is Personal Loans. In case you're not yet familiar with this method for obtaining an installment loan, here's what you need to know. When you visit the Personal Loans website, you'll be asked to enter the amount you hope to borrow - from $1,000 to $35,000 - along with your personal information, such as your name, income, driver's license number and banking information.

After Personal Loans verifies the details you provided, they will pass your loan request along to a network of lending partners. If a lender is interested in funding your loan, you'll be shown the terms and given the opportunity to accept or refuse the offer. Should you accept the offer, you could have the funds deposited within one business day, though some loans may take up to five days to fund.

As a lending connection service, Personal Loans doesn't charge you any fees for the application process. On the other hand, because they don't fund any loans directly, Personal Loans also doesn't provide any information as to the fees, terms, and interest rates you can expect from their partner lenders. We were able to find a few reviews written by satisfied borrowers, leading us to believe that Personal Loans is doing a good job of matching customers with lenders that offer loans with reasonable terms. But, we would have liked to see a rating with the Better Business Bureau as well, as most of the lenders in our review maintain ratings of an "A" or better.

You should also be aware that Personal Loans has additional criteria that you'll need to meet in order to be eligible for a loan from one of their lenders. Those include:

  • Reside in a state other than Maine or North Dakota
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a Social Security number
  • Be employed full-time or self-employed, on disability, or receiving Social Security benefits
  • Be a legal U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Additionally, you're more likely to be approved for an installment loan if your credit score is at least 580 and your payment history is average or better.

While we like the range of loans provided through Personal Loans' network of lenders, we definitely would like to see a more established track record of happy customers, particularly with a rating at the BBB. On the other hand, the speed with which their partners fund approved loans could be a real perk for people who need an installment loan in a hurry.

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1 star
MAx Lend

MAX LEND Visit Site

Loan:

From $150 to $1,250

At first glance, MaxLend looks like a good source for small loan amounts - up to $1,250. On the main page, prospective borrowers are asked to enter their name, email address, and desired loan amount before clicking on the "Apply Now" button. From there, they are taken to a page that asks for much more detailed information, including Social Security Number, employer name and work number, and exact banking information (routing/account numbers).

Ordinarily, we wouldn't be fazed by these requests for standard details needed to determine a borrower's creditworthiness. But, as we read the fine print at the bottom of that second page, we noticed several things that gave us cause for concern. First, we discovered that MaxLend is governed by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, which means that all terms of the loan are governed by that federally-recognized American Indian Tribe. Why could that be an issue?

Continuing on, we found this disclaimer: "MaxLend is not subject to suit or service of process. If you do business with MaxLend, your potential forums for dispute resolution will be limited to those available under Tribal law and your loan agreement." In other words, don't expect to be protected by any US or Canadian laws if you take out a loan through MaxLend.

As it turns out, customers have plenty to say about MaxLend that indicates that these legal terms are not going to help you as a borrower. There are more than 100 complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau, where MaxLend had an "F" rating at the time of our review. Common criticisms include extremely high interest rates, bait-and-switch terms on the loans, and constant pressure to take out more loans once the original has been fulfilled.

In fact, there was very little transparency to help borrowers clearly understand what MaxLend's interest rates actually are. They do have a chart in the FAQ section, under the heading "What will my loan cost?", but it doesn't spell out the interest rate(s) used to make the calculations in the chart or how much a borrower should expect to pay over the total length of a loan. Given what other borrowers quoted - $1,000 paid in total for a loan of $1,000, $2,400 paid in total for a loan of $650 - it sounds like MaxLend's rates are extremely high and terms are purposely vague.

We strongly suggest that you consider other more highly-rated lenders in our review when considering an installment loan.

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Continued from above

Repaid over time with a predetermined number of set payments, these loans can help bridge the gap between what you have and what you need while allowing you to comfortably accommodate the repayment schedule. Many installment loans today are funded using a system known as a social lending network, matching borrowers with lenders through a peer-to-peer structure. Compared with other loans available, these installment loans usually have lower interest rates, mostly because of the lower overhead costs associated with this type of borrowing.

While you may feel a little apprehensive when trying to choose a lender for your installment loan, there are several factors you can use to make sure your loan is on solid footing. When looking at any potential lender, here are three things to check out:

  • Loan application process. What do you need to provide in terms of documentation to complete the application? Can all or most of the process be done online?
  • Loan rates, terms, and amounts. Will the lender provide an installment loan that covers the amount you need? Do the available repayment terms Ė such as the interest rate, and length of the loan - seem reasonable?
  • Reputation. Does the lender have a good track record for providing quality customer service? Is the lending company accredited with the Better Business Bureau?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Installment Loans available today. We hope this information helps you find the loan you need with the best possible rate and terms!

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