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If you're struggling financially, you're not alone. Unemployment rates and inflation are on the rise, and many people are having trouble paying their bills from month to month. From regular expenses like rent and car insurance, to unexpected (and unwelcome!) costs like ER visits and appliance repairs, it doesn't take much to wind up needing cash.
What are the options? Aside from asking friends or family to float you a loan - which is uncomfortable for everyone all around - there are several different ways to get the money you need. However, some of them come with extremely high interest rates or payment terms that are so short you'll have a hard time repaying what you borrow. Credit cards and payday loans fall into that category, and you may wind up worse off than when you started if you rely on them for money.
Thursday, December 8th
Upstart utilizes an extensive artificial intelligence platform to improve credit access for borrowers of all types. Looking beyond your credit score makes it more likely you'll be approved for your loan. Thousands of people have used Upstart to get installment loans very quickly. For their creative approach to lending, competitive interest rates, and highly satisfied customers, Upstart earns our highest rating.
LendingTree is a loan marketplace for every type of borrowing, from installment loans to credit cards and beyond. You can use this service to easily compare offers from up to five lenders at a time, helping you access good rates and terms for your installment loan. We love the detailed information provided on each lender, with thousands of client reviews to help determine which one is the best choice for an installment loan. LendingTree has a great reputation and is a trustworthy option if you want to use a referral service to research and secure an installment loan.
SoFi has some big benefits compared with other options for installment loans. They offer the lowest average interest rates, and assistance (and forbearance) if you lose your job while repaying your loan. But an increase in the number of complaints from SoFi clients, which describe negative experiences specifically with the customer service department, gave us some cause for concern.
SuperMoney offers comparison shopping for many financial products, including installment loans. They offer funding through just over a dozen partners, and you can see detailed information and reviews about each one before filling out your application. SuperMoney hasn't been around as long as some of the other referral platforms we evaluated and so there's not as much customer feedback yet. SuperMoney is a good way to gather information about installment loans you might be eligible for, and their streamlined process makes it easy to complete your application.
Upgrade is one of the newer options in the installment loans industry, but the company has already made a strong showing. With just two lenders in their partnership, Upgrade can typically offer a one business day turnaround once you've accepted a loan offer. The BBB gives this service the highest possible rating, and most consumers won't have trouble getting a good installment loan here.
Prosper gives everyday investors (and institutions) the ability to fund installment loans for everyday individuals. This peer-to-peer lending platform offers next-day funding in many cases, but you need a credit score of at least 640 to be eligible to borrow money here. Overall, Prosper has a good reputation and is a reliable source of installment loans if you qualify - just remember, peer-to-peer lending is a different kind of experience.
If you'd like to compare rates across multiple lenders with a single application, Credible is a good resource for installment loans. While that kind of one-stop shopping saves you some time, you'll still need to research each lender and read your loan terms carefully. Overall, Credible has a strong reputation and gets high marks from customers.
LendingClub used to crowdfund all of their installment loans through investors. But, after undergoing some changes, their lending is now structured more like a regular bank. They offer fixed-rate loans with repayment terms of at least 36 months, and recent customer feedback is very positive. You should have a good experience if you choose to get an installment loan here, but we're holding back a higher recommendation while they continue proving out their new structure.
OppLoans is an option to consider if your credit history isn't so impressive. The lender offers funding in 30+ states with maximum APRs way higher than the other lenders in our review - but they're still much less than what you'll find with payday loans, which are often the only choice for consumers with low credit scores. OppLoans has a strong reputation among its clients and can fund installment loans within one business day. We recommend this lender as an alternative to payday loans, but borrowers with decent credit will find lower rates elsewhere on traditional installment loans.
With a name like Personal Loans, you'd think this referral service would be the best all-around choice for borrowing money. Not so much. You'll be asked to provide extremely detailed personal information, including your SSN and employer's contact information, only to be given a list of lenders you could choose to approach for a loan. Although Personal Loans' reputation has improved over the years, there are still much better options out there for getting the cash you need.
Leap Credit offers installment loans of up to approximately $3,500 but is only authorized to operate in 10 states. However, even if you live in one of those locations, you'll probably want to avoid this lender: with interest rates of as much as 800%, hundreds of complaints from consumers, and a customer service team that's practically nonexistent, Leap Credit is one of the last places we would turn to get help in a difficult financial situation.
Fortunately, installment loans provide a better way to access the funds to pay your bills, without sky-high interest rates or short repayment timeframes. An installment loan gives you a specific amount of money with a fixed number of payments over time, usually a year or more. Your interest rate may be fixed or variable, depending on the loan you select. These loans are similar to what you experience when buying a car or taking out a mortgage, and most lenders won't charge you any penalties if you pay them off earlier than required. Installment loans are predictable, affordable, and can help you get out of a tough financial situation in a responsible way.
As you begin your research, you'll find that there are many financial institutions willing to offer you an installment loan. It can be overwhelming trying to determine which one is right for you, but keeping these criteria in mind can help you narrow down the options and know that you've made a good choice:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best sources of installment loans available today. We're confident that this information will help you choose a lender that can get you the money that you need.
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