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      January 18, 2019

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SoFi vs Personal Loans

Best Installment Loans

To help you find the Best Installment Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of SoFi and Personal Loans.

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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

Best Reviews

2019

Installment Loan Reviews

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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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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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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