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SoFi, short for "Social Finance", bills itself as a modern personal finance company, and its clean, crisp, easy-to-use website definitely matches that description. And, with more than $11 billion in loans funded to date and 165,000 borrowers (described as "members"), they're clearly making an impact in the lending industry. SoFi currently has a variety of products, including personal loans, mortgage loans and refinancing, student loan refinancing, and more.
SoFi's application process is straightforward: enter your personal information, such as your name and address, current employer and annual wages/salary, and post-secondary education information, and if SoFi is able to confirm your information you'll be able to see the loan and terms for which you qualify. (If they are not able to confirm your data, you will be asked to enter your Social Security Number.)
There is an easy-to-miss link at the bottom of the site called "Eligibility Criteria". We encourage potential borrowers to look through the information there, as several states are excluded from their personal loan program, and there are other state-specific details to be aware of. Also, it states that personal loan recipients must be US citizens or permanent resident aliens, be of the age of majority in their state of residence, and must be currently employed.
We love that SoFi publishes its personal loan rates and that there are no prepayment penalties or origination fees: "what you see is what you get". At the time of our review, their interest rates on personal loans were as follows:
Loan terms of 3, 5, and 7 years were available for both fixed and variable interest rate loans, in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.
SoFi also has several unique perks that we like, from referral bonuses for new members referred by current borrowers (both parties get a cash benefit), to unemployment protection that suspends payments required from borrowers - for up to 12 months over the course of the repayment term - who lose their job through no fault of their own. SoFi even provides help through its Career Strategy department to assist borrowers in their search for a new job!
If you're in the market for a personal loan, you'll definitely want to take a look at what SoFi has to offer. We give them a strong recommendation because of their low interest rates, transparency, and lack of loan fees.
Avant is one of the newest providers in the personal loans market, opening its doors in Chicago in 2012 and receiving its first accreditation with the Better Business Bureau in March 2015. It currently holds a solid A+ rating with the BBB.
Avant provides access to one of the larger ranges of consumer loans available, from $2,000 to $35,000. Loans 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.
Although Avant is relatively new to the online lending business, the Avant platform has already issued more than $1 Billion in loans to over 450,000 customers. With nearly 500 employees working to provide affordable loans to consumers in need, they bring a professionalism and dedication that is welcome to this industry.
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.
Another feature that we liked with Avant is how quickly they provide access to funds. The Avant platform can often send your money via direct deposit as soon as the next business day*.
Avant's loan application and approval process is very easy:
We're encouraged to see this 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. Combined with the ultra-fast loan application process, Avant easily earns very high marks.
To help you find the Best Personal Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of SoFi and Avant.
Are you in need of some cash? Historically, borrowers have had limited options for a personal loan. You could ask a family member, a friend, or find a personal finance company that offered fixed-rate loans, typically at exobrtantly high interest rates.
Today, however, finding a personal loan brings several more options to the table. While you can still ask a family member, or get a high-rate loan from a finance company, you can also consider using a social lending network. These networks, also called peer-to-peer loans, generally have much lower overhead and as a result can offer much lower interest rates. They're facilitated by professional companies familiar with this type of lending, to simplify things for all parties.
No matter where you borrow money from, before you get your next personal loan you should consider the following:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online personal loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you find the best loan at an affordable rate that meets your needs!
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