Debt consolidation can make a lot of sense for people with a high level of debt or paying a lot of bills. In these tough economic times many Americans are faced with significant credit card debt and are looking for help reducing their monthly payments. Debt consolidation is a method often used in this situation and helps consumers simplify their budget.
After consolidating their debt, many people report a reduced sense of stress. This is especially true when debt consolidation allows the consumer to better meet their obligations and get back on their feet financially. It's important to remember that after debt consolidation, consumers should closely monitor their finances and avoid taking on any new debt.
Wednesday, May 18th
National Debt Relief offers debt consolidation along with other customized financial solutions for customers with $7,500 or more in unsecured debt. They are successful as a result of their proactive efforts to identify the best options for each individual customer's financial needs. They have helped over 100,000 customers get back on their feet since opening their doors in 2009.
Friendly, professional experience
Debt consolidation shoppers can expect a professional experience when doing business with National Debt Relief. This starts with an informative and customer-friendly website that helps you understand the financial solutions available at National Debt Relief before speaking with a consultant.
The process is easy to get started with National Debt Relief. You simply complete an online form or call their dedicated debt help line at (800) 300-9550 for assistance. You'll discuss your financial situation with one of their certified debt counselors, who will walk you through a free debt analysis to determine if debt consolidation or another route with help you best reach your financial goals faster. The staff at National Debt Relief are both knowledgeable and friendly, and we appreciate the level of professionalism and care they provide.
If the consultants recommend that debt settlement or debt negotiation are better routes than debt consolidation, you'll know you have other options to consider. The amount of savings available varies by the solution identified, as well as a number of factors that the debt consultant explains before you two make a final decision.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
National Debt Relief has earned an impressive "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau. This clearly indicates their dedication to the customer. They also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which means if you're not happy with their service, you can cancel at any time without penalties or fees.
If you're looking to consolidate your creditor payments, you'll find that National Debt Relief is a reliable option. They employ friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you reduce your monthly payments and simplify your life. National Debt Relief (800-300-9550) earns our highest rating and is a great place to start.
Credit.org has a stellar reputation spanning more than 45 years in operation. Also known as Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, this service offers non-profit financial coaching for a wide range of credit and debt concerns, including housing (foreclosure, reverse mortgage, pre-purchase), bankruptcy, student loans, and debt relief. The BBB rates credit.org as an "A+" accredited business across all of the services provided. Additionally, credit.org is accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
Many services are free
One of the most compelling reasons for considering credit.org is that many of their services are free of charge. For example, here's what you get when you choose to use their Debt and Credit Coaching:
Funded by donations and grants
Yes, you understood that correctly: you'll pay absolutely nothing to use credit.org's phone coaching for these services. Because this service is funded by donations and government grants, you are able to access a wealth of support at no cost to you.
Monthly fees for traditional services
Now, that's not to say that everything is free when you use credit.org for debt relief coaching. For example, if you're looking for a more traditional debt management plan - to help you pay off your debt faster, reduce your interest rates, create a realistic budget, consolidate payments, and/or stop collection calls - you may pay a small enrollment fee along with monthly service costs.
Actual costs depend on your personal factors
What are those fees? They vary according to a number of factors. After our investigation, we can tell you to anticipate an enrollment cost of around $35 and monthly fees up to $20. Your exact costs will depend on the state where you live, your personal situation, and whether you qualify for a reduction or waiver of your fees due to hardship. Unfortunately, we couldn't find specifics from credit.org about their eligibility requirements for those reductions/waivers.
We really appreciate that credit.org has so much to offer at no charge. And, for many consumers, some knowledgeable, friendly coaching may be all they need for debt relief - to identify the best steps to take next and the ideal resources to get them there. Plus, credit.org's fantastic reputation over nearly 5 decades is a huge advantage in an industry where it seems like some new financial or debt service is always popping up. For their wide range of services, including free coaching for consumers, credit.org earns very high marks and is worth your consideration.
Upstart is a company founded by former Google employees that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to help everyday people unlock mobility and opportunity through affordable credit. They can offer higher approval rates from their bank partners, which translates into a greater chance you'll be accepted for a loan.
More than just your credit history
The application process with Upstart starts out fairly standard: you select the purpose of your loan, the amount you'd like to borrow, your contact information, and your birthdate. From there, the questions get a little more unique compared with other personal loan providers. What's your highest level of education? Where did you go to school, what did you study and when did (or will) you graduate? How much money do you currently have in bank accounts and investments?
Upstart asks these types of questions because they calculate risk differently from most lenders, taking your educational background and earning potential into account when determining your eligibility for a loan. Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart's rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan. As their About Us page says, "four in five Americans have never defaulted on a credit product, yet less than half have access to prime credit. With a smarter credit model, lenders could approve almost twice as many borrowers, with fewer defaults." In other words, Upstart is trying to make consolidation loans - and credit in general - accessible to more people and at a lower risk to the financial institutions that provide it.
There are some eligibility requirements here than you might not find elsewhere. For example, you should have a minimum credit score of 580 - however, if you don't have sufficient credit history to produce a score, you can still qualify for a personal loan through Upstart. You also can't have any bankruptcies or accounts currently in collections, past due or delinquent, or that have been wholly charged-off in the last three years. You'll be found ineligible for a loan if you have more than 6 inquiries on your credit report in the last 6 months - but that doesn't count any that are related to mortgages, vehicle loans, or student loans. Again, this is part of how Upstart measures risk, so that they can make consolidation loans available to more people.
Loans up to $50,000
Depending on your state of residence, you could receive a loan anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
Competitive interest rates and loan terms
What rates and terms can you expect when taking out a personal loan through Upstart? All loans funded through this service have a repayment term of either 3 or 5 years. While they advertise a range of interest rates, we found them to be very competitive with other lenders in the industry. Upstart's origination fee ranges from 0-8% of the loan amount, and is deducted from the proceeds of your loan. In other words, if you request a $10,000 personal loan and you're charged an origination fee of 3%, you'll get $9,700 deposited to your bank account.
Get your money fast
If your application is approved and you accept your loan terms, you could have your loan money deposited by the next business day. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.
Very high customer satisfaction
Upstart seems to be doing quite well with customer satisfaction. The company has an "A" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but even more impressive is the fact that with over 8,500 client reviews, 99% of them gave Upstart a rating of 4 or 5 stars. Consumers said that their experience was simple, easy, and straightforward, and many people expressed their delight at having loan funds deposited within a day.
There's a lot to like about Upstart. It's refreshing to see a lender that looks at your big picture as a borrower, including your education and employment potential when determining if you're a good candidate for a personal loan. And, there's no arguing with Upstart's loyal fanbase of happy clients. We're very impressed with what we see here, and we're sure you will be too.
Liberty Lending, founded in 2015, is relatively new to the lending industry - but they're making a positive splash. Based in New York, this company aims to simplify the debt consolidation loan process. They offer an easy-to-complete online application, loans with fixed rates and no prepayment penalties, and the ability to access funding in as little as one business day once a loan is approved by them and accepted by the borrower.
Focus on getting out of debt
Right out of the gate, the process of getting a loan through Liberty Lending is a little different than their competitors. When you start by clicking on the "Get my offer" button, the first question you're asked is how much debt you have, ranging from $3,500 to $40,000. Most lenders ask how much you'd like to borrow first. This is one sign that shows their focus is on helping customers get out of a debt problem they already have.
Soft pull of credit history required
From there, you're asked to provide your name, email address and phone number; the following screen requires your street address, date of birth, and Social Security number. You'll also have to specify your primary source of income and net amount, as well as your monthly housing payments. Finally, you choose a password and authorize Liberty to run your credit report. When you submit your application, Liberty Lending says that your credit score will not be impacted by getting a consolidation loan quote.
We were a little disappointed that Liberty Lending provides no detailed information about their loans until after you complete their quote process. For example - what are their lending limits? What are their typical interest rates and repayment terms? While they do state that all their loans are fixed-rate and don't have prepayment penalties, we wish they shared more information upfront so we would know what to expect.
More digging gets more information
Since we didn't have much information to go on from the Liberty Lending website, we rolled up our sleeves and went to work on other avenues. We were able to confirm that Liberty Lending provides loans up to $40,000, and their payback range terms anywhere from 2 years to 5 years out. On average, their interest rates may be a little higher than some other lenders - but their rates will vary according to your personal circumstance, and you're guaranteed they won't increase.
Solid reputation with customers
We were impressed with the reputation that Liberty Lending has garnered. The company maintains an "A+" grade and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, and we found only three registered complaints within the last 3 years. There were numerous 4- and 5-star reviews on the BBB listing for Liberty Lending: customers said that their representatives were courteous and knowledgeable, that the loan process was smooth, and that they had no trouble getting help whenever they needed it.
Strong choice, with room to improve
Liberty Lending has built a very good reputation in a short period of time. In the lending industry, that's pretty impressive. We wish there was more transparency with regards to their loans and process, but still this is a solid company with a strong customer focus. If you're in search of a loan to help consolidate your debt, Liberty Lending is worth your consideration.
LendingTree is part of a large financial brand family that also includes Ovation Credit Services, Student Loan Hero, and QuoteWizard. Each brand focuses on specific financial services, and LendingTree gives you access to borrowing options for mortgages, auto loans, and, of course, consolidation loans.
Broad database of lenders
One nice thing about LendingTree is their extensive lender database. This site makes it extremely easy to learn about any lenders who make you a loan offer, from company history to hundreds (if not thousands) of client reviews. That's important, because LendingTree has financial partners you've probably never heard of - and reading through their detailed reviews can give you a good picture of who might be financing your loan.
Basic application process
How do you get started with finding a personal loan through LendingTree? That's easy: first choose the purpose of your loan, such as debt consolidation or major purchase, in the dropdown box, move the slider to the amount you're requesting, and indicate how quickly you need the money (anywhere from "within 48 hours" to "unsure, just browsing rates" ). From there, you'll be asked for your address, your credit score range, your birthdate (to verify your identity), pre-tax income, and several other basic questions.
MyLendingTree account benefits optional
Pay attention to the last step of the account-creation process: you'll be asked if you want to include a free My LendingTree account, which comes with complimentary credit monitoring and monthly score reports, dark web monitoring, and more. You'll automatically be enrolled into this service if you don't uncheck the box.
See up to five lender offers
The next screen will provide you with any loans offered by LendingTree partners, assuming your information was able to be verified. Click on the loan offer that best meets your needs, complete any lender requirements, and you're on your way to getting your funds. If you aren't matched with any personal loans, you can expect to get recommendations for budgeting tools and debt consolidation services.
Thousands of 5-star reviews from borrowers
LendingTree has a strong positive reputation over more than two decades in operation, including accreditation and an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Out of nearly 10,000 independently-verified reviews, the company received over 7,600 perfect five-star ratings from customers.
It's not all princes and fairy tales
Be aware that this platform has its share of complaints, too. Many customers have reported a spam-like volume of calls, emails, and texts throughout the day. Some report still getting calls for weeks or months after applying for a loan through LendingTree. We think they can do a better job setting limits with their funding partners with regards to customer contact.
Strong choice for getting multiple loan offers
If you're looking for a easy way to compare loan offers from multiple financial institutions, LendingTree is a strong choice. The service is simple to use and with their lending network they have a good chance to offer you a loan that fits your needs.
SoFi wants you to get your money right, reaching financial independence so you can make your ambitions a reality. And, with over two million members and $50 billion in funded loans, this service is absolutely helping people like you accomplish that. While you can definitely use SoFi just for a consolidation loan and nothing else, you may want to take advantage of their additional products and tools that can give you guidance for attacking your debt with a plan, building and maintaining a safety net, putting your money to work, and even saving for retirement or other goals.
A few unique questions in application process
To apply for a consolidation loan from SoFi, enter your name, state of residence and email address to create an account on their site. Next, you put in the desired loan amount (from $5,000 to $100,000) and click on the category that matches your intended use of the funds. We like the next question: "What monthly payment amount works with your budget?" You can enter any number between $150 and $500, or skip it altogether. The remaining questions help SoFi to verify your identity; otherwise, you'll be asked for your Social Security Number if they can't match your credit history to the details you provided.
Big perks you won't find elsewhere
SoFi has some huge perks compared with many financial institutions offering consolidation loans. Their interest rates are generally lower than what you'll find elsewhere, with an added deduction if you set your repayments to automatically come out of your bank account each month. Better yet, the APRs on SoFi personal loans have zero origination fees - good luck finding that with other lenders!
Look for sign-up bonus promotions
There was even a promotion in place at the time of our most recent visit to SoFi: a $10 credit for simply checking our offered rate on a loan, and a $300 cash bonus if our loan was funded. Hey, if credit cards can offer sign-up bonuses, why not providers of loans too?
Unemployment protection benefit
Our favorite SoFi benefit, though, is their Unemployment Protection program. If you lose your job through no fault of your own and your loan is in good standing at that time, you can apply to have your loan repayments suspended for three months at a time, for a total of 12 months over the life of the loan. SoFi's Career Advisory Group will even help you look for a new job.
Disappointing downturn in overall customer satisfaction
However, we were disappointed to find out that in the time that has passed since our last evaluation, several of SoFi's rivals have done a better job of keeping clients happy. In fact, even though the BBB gives them an "A+" rating, Sofi's listing there says "this business receives a high volume of complaints" . That's not good. Looking at nearly 2,500 independently-verified reviews elsewhere, SoFi comes in with a disappointing 3.2 out of 5-star average, and less than 80% of their reviewers would give the service a perfect score. Ouch!
Customer service needs improvement
The biggest complaints we found described frustrating challenges getting ahold of anyone in SoFi's customer service department - and the resulting long timeframes for resolving issues. If you need funds quickly, or if you have any problems with your personal loan, you want to know you'll get a prompt, professional response. Unfortunately, SoFi has some work to do in that regard.
Still worth considering
SoFi has a lot to offer: you'll find low interest rates on your loan, and no other lender we found works with you so supportively if you lose your job. But, there's more to the story, and customer complaints tell a tale that leaves us feeling more than a little disappointed. We really hope to see an upswing in customer satisfaction in the near future, because SoFi has previously been a great option for loans.
SuperMoney provides a comparison platform across a wide variety of financial services, from consolidation loans to banking. In business since 2013, this company has helped people make smart decisions with their money by providing objective and transparent information. SuperMoney has been featured by Huffpost, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider, and many other publications.
Your information is kept private
One aspect of SuperMoney that we absolutely love is their promise not to sell applicants' data off to the highest bidder. If you've applied for a loan through a referral platform before, you're already familiar with the endless number of solicitations that followed: phone, text, email, even regular mail. The way SuperMoney avoids all of that is by integrating their site directly with their lending partners, letting you compare your options with full transparency and zero pressure.
Just over a dozen network lenders
Another big plus is that there's no guessing who SuperMoney includes in their financial network: most of the lenders are listed right on their main page. The full list of lending partners is available on SuperMoney's Personal Loans-specific page, and you can read client reviews without even applying. They don't have as much borrower feedback as some of their rival referral services, but it's still a good resource.
Simple, standard application questions
Your process begins when you click on "Get Competing Offers" and choose the category that best fits the intended purpose of your loan, from everyday expenses to major life events and debt consolidation. Move the slider to indicate the amount you owe or would like to borrow (depending on the loan category you selected), then use the next slider to enter your credit score. The next questions ask you about your employment status, whether you own or rent, name/address/birthdate, and finally your Social Security Number (all to verify your identity and do a soft pull of your credit history). Before you're taken to your offers page, you'll need to create an account with SuperMoney.
Will still have to complete application with chosen lender
Once you've reached your loan offers, you're given the option to finalize the application process on the lender's website. That could mean you have to take a few extra steps to complete your loan application, as opposed to going directly to one of those partners' sites, but the additional legwork might be worth it if it lets you compare your options first.
Limited - but positive overall - client feedback
We're not sure why SuperMoney couldn't be found in the listings at the Better Business Bureau, given how long the company has been around. We were able to find just over 200 reviews elsewhere, and an impressive 96% of those gave the service a perfect five-star rating. Granted, not all of those reviews were specific to consolidation loans, but it's a great sign that SuperMoney delivers what it promises.
Good for doing research, better options out there
Should you use SuperMoney to do research before choosing a personal loan? Sure, why not! You'll get valuable information that might help you pick a loan and a lender that's right for you. But, compared with many sources of loans, SuperMoney doesn't have a reputation that's as well-established. Plus, many of their lending partners are also referral platforms, which could have you jumping through all of the same hoops a second time. SuperMoney is good - but not quite great. We anticipate seeing continued progress from them in the loans marketplace in the future.
(1) Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
(3) The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 22.00% and 60 monthly payments of $25.03 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $15,018 including a $600 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no downpayment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
(4) If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.
Finding the right debt consolidation program can be confusing for many individuals. Thankfully a number of reputable financial companies allow consumers to search and apply for debt consolidation online, from the convenience of their home. This increases the chances of finding the right debt consolidation program that meets their needs.
Before applying for a debt consolidation program, you should consider these important points:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Debt Consolidation programs available today. We hope you find these reviews helpful in finding a debt consolidation program that meets your financial needs!