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      March 31, 2020

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Installment Loans

  1. LendingClub
  2. Upstart
  3. Avant
  4. 100 Lenders
  5. Net Credit
  6. One Main Financial
  7. Personal Loans
  8. LifeLoans
  9. 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 isn’t 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.

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Best Reviews

2020

Installment Loan Reviews

5 stars
SoFi

SOFI

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Loan:

From $1,000 to $100,000

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 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
LendingClub

LENDINGCLUB

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Loan:

From $1,000 to $40,000

For people looking to borrow anywhere between $1,000 and $40,000, LendingClub should be near 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, LendingClub 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 LendingClub 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 LendingClub? 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 LendingClub's partner lenders to consider your request.

Be aware that, as with many peer-to-peer lending companies, LendingClub 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 LendingClub 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 6.95% 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 LendingClub's reputation as an established leader. We give LendingClub a high rating for a simple application process, reasonable interest rates, and overall trustworthiness as a peer-to-peer lending company.

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4 stars
Upstart

UPSTART

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Loan:

From $1,000 to $50,000

Upstart is a peer-to-peer lending platform founded by former Googlers. At first glance, the site is neat and includes finance-related images such as pie charts and percentage signs to emphasize their purpose, which is to help people achieve their financial goals. The fonts are large, allowing easy reading, very helpful since financial information can be overwhelming. The site allows one to process information while pacing the reader through use of space and letter size.

Professional in look, the site however does not hope to impress in graphics or photos of people enjoying newfound financial freedom. Instead, the site uses facts and figures to communicate a serious, all-business tone. The only downside to this setup is that if a customer is not familiar with loans or borrowing lingo, they might be lost until they scroll to the bottom of the Home page to click on "Contact Us".

For customers who aren't sure where to begin, Upstart has a "Get Started" icon which asks them what they want to do. Upstart offers help with loan consolidation, paying off credit cards, paying medical bills, buying a car or other big purchases. Such a wide range of services is comforting to those seeking financial advice. The site also provides education to help you prepare for future financial decisions.

With respect to personal loans, Upstart is efficient. You can apply online and find out your rate within a few minutes. You're asked simple questions about your income and education history. Upstart then presents you with loan terms and options for payment. Once a customer agrees to the terms of the loan, funds are issued - sometimes, 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.

Upstart's reputation is very solid - you'll quickly see links to articles on prominent sites like Fox, Bloomberg, and other news agencies, along with testimonials from satisfied clients. Their underwriting model uses machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to underwrite borrowers based on many variables, including but not limited to credit score, income, education, and employment. Such details helped us gain more confidence in the success of this company's services.

We found the blog articles very helpful. With topics ranging from selecting health insurance to saving money on groceries, a person seeking financial security could benefit from the wisdom these articles offer. Unfortunately, this tool is found at the bottom of the Home page. The website would function more effectively if they included this option at the top of the page along with "Contact" and "Team" information because it is on these pages where we found answers to our initial questions.

While Upstart's website is good, it could use some enhancements to make it more user friendly. Still, Upstart earns high marks for their quick processing of loan applications and many helpful financial features.

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4 stars
Avant

AVANT

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Loan:

From $2,000 to $35,000

Avant opened their doors in Chicago in 2012 and received their first accreditation with the Better Business Bureau in March 2015. A relative newcomer to the online lending area, they currently hold a solid A+ rating with the BBB.

Avant provides a wide range of consumer loans, anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000. Typically loans provided through the Avant platform include terms from 2 to 5 years. As an example, a $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

While Avant is relatively new to the online lending business, their platform has already issued more than $1 Billion in loans to over 450,000 customers. Employing almost 500 employees, they work to provide affordable loans to consumers in need, and bring a professionalism and dedication that is welcome to this industry.

Avant's loan application process is very easy:

  • You provide basic information, such as your full name and address, income details, and social security number
  • Once you receive your loan offer, you digitally sign the contract they send
  • If approved, you could receive your money as soon as the very next business day‡

Worth noting, there are no extra charges for prepayment of your loan, although late fees may apply if a payment is missed. Customer service is available 7 days a week.

We're encouraged to see the Avant lending platform enter the marketplace. They've earned a high BBB rating in a very short period of time, and don't charge exorbitant or hidden fees. Along with the fast loan application process, Avant earns high marks for installment loans.

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4 stars
100 Lenders

100 LENDERS

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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 APR's 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

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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

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Loan:

Personal and Auto Loans from $1,500 - $30,000

OneMain Financial is a leading national consumer loan company that has been in business since 1912. They offer personal and auto loans at nearly 1,700 branches across the United States and has 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 the loans they offer. There is just one application asking for personal information that they ask a prospective client to fill out.

Once the application is completed and if approved, a OneMain representative will call to discuss the details of your loan. If you want to learn more about OneMain's loan product before you apply, they provide an example payment schedule on their site along with other loan information such as payment options, which can be found in their FAQ's section.

Reviewing further, we found consumers that reported a range of interest rates and a few comments about mandatory insurance. However, OneMain discloses fees to the consumer during the loan closing process and any insurance is completely optional for the consumer. Some customers reported high interest rates, while others reported various fees that added to their rate.

On the plus side, OneMain may be an option for people with lower credit ratings. You may also be able to get a loan that does not require collateral. However, you should be aware that this may come with high 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

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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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2 stars
Life Loans

LIFE LOANS

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Loan:

From $100 to $35,000

LifeLoans offers installment loans ranging from $100 to $35,000. As a service that matches borrowers with a lending network, they do not fund any loans themselves.

The LifeLoans site is disappointingly short on details. How many lenders are in their network? What are the average interest rates on installment loans? How likely is it that an individual will qualify for a loan? Those are all excellent questions that go unanswered by the site. We did see in the very small print at the bottom of the site that residents of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Washington, and Vermont are not eligible to apply for any type of loan through LifeLoans.

To use the LifeLoans site, you start by entering your desired loan amount, monthly income, credit score range, and your zip code. From there, we would have liked to see a list of potential partners and sample loan terms. Instead, we were taken to another page asking for more detailed information, including our Social Security Number. Many people will be reluctant to provide that kind of ID without assurances that LifeLoans is a reputable source of installment loans.

However, we were unable to find anything solid to establish that reputation. We did see that they are members of the Online Lenders Alliance, which establishes policies of integrity and honesty in lending. On the other hand, LifeLoans had no listing with the Better Business Bureau and seemingly no history at all with previous customers - positive or negative.

In the end, LifeLoans could do a more effective job of establishing themselves as a reputable borrower-to-lender service with more transparency and with reviews from customers who have been satisfied with the process of getting an installment loan through their service.

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1 star
MAx Lend

MAX LEND

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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 – 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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