Best Personal Loans
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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.
LendingClub is a recognized leader in the social lending market. They do an excellent job of bringing together lenders and those wanting a loan between $1,000 to $40,000. The benefit of choosing LendingClub is that without a bank in the mix, borrowers are able to get a lower rate on their personal loans. LendingClub currently holds a strong Better Business Bureau rating of A and helps facilitate thousands of loans for happy customers each month.
The current loan rates at LendingClub range between 6.95% and 35.89% APR. The best APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Applying for a loan is simple:
The size of your loan and your credit worthiness impacts the turnaround time of the process. At any point you can speak to a LendingClub customer service representative to assist. Your loan request will be listed on the LendingClub website for up to two weeks, or until lenders are willing to fully fund your request.
Like any peer-to-peer lending company, a fee is assessed in order to cover costs. At LendingClub you can anticipate a one-time processing fee that ranges from 1% to 6% of the loan amount, depending on your loan and loan terms. For a $1,000 loan that equates to a fee starting around $11.
If you're looking for a personal loan, LendingClub offers an excellent lending process and affordable rates, from a reputable company that you can feel confident with. LendingClub earns our highest rating.
LendingTree is one of the most recognized names in the personal loan market, connecting borrowers with a wide assortment of potential lenders that can meet their financial needs on loans from $1,000 to $35,000.
As a connection service rather than a lender, the loan products LendingTree has to offer and their terms and conditions naturally vary with each individual lender. One advantage of using LendingTree is the ability to survey multiple lenders' offerings without having to disclose one's identifying information to those lenders, only doing so when the customer has made the decision to apply for the lender that best fits their requirements. Borrowers can also use offers obtained on LendingTree to negotiate directly with lenders; LendingTree provides customers with lenders' direct contact information for that very purpose.
If you choose to research loans using LendingTree, be aware that you will need to provide your credit score, which is used by lenders to determine if they would like to compete for your business. Even if you have a low credit score, you may still receive offers as LendingTree has several providers who work with borrowers just like you.
One thing to note is that LendingTree's main website takes you to the page for entering your information to get started in the quote process, and there is very little other information on that page. We were able to determine that entering your personal information to begin the process will not impact your credit report or your credit score, though we would have liked to see that fact clearly spelled out on LendingTree's landing page.
With a solid A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, accredited since 1998, and its ability to connect borrowers with a wide range of potential lenders, we give LendingTree high marks.
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.
In the last 10 years, 100 Lenders has helped more than 300,000 people apply for a loan. Although they do not fund personal loans directly, 100 Lenders connects applicants with a network of financial partners who do, in amounts ranging from $100 to $35,000.
100 Lenders carries an impressive 4.6/5 average rating across hundreds of customer reviews, and they are part of the Online Lenders Alliance, which requires its members to uphold ethical standards in their lending practices. Despite not having a rating with the Better Business Bureau, 100 Lenders does seem to be helping connect borrowers with personal loans in ways that are reputable and effective.
To apply for a loan using 100 Lenders' network, you will need to enter your basic information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and how often you are paid by your employer. According to their site and many customer comments, this process can be accomplished in about two minutes, taking you to a list of loans offered by 100 Lenders' partners.
That is the extent of the detail that 100 Lenders provides with respect to loan fees and interest rates, because those depend entirely on the lenders themselves. We were unable to find even a range of possible APRs or sample processing fees, to determine if their partners' rates are competitive with other lenders in our review.
Looking at the fine print, we did find that residents of several states (Arkansas, Georgia, New York, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and Vermont) are not eligible to apply for personal loans using 100 Lenders. This information led us to discover that, while 100 Lenders accepts applications from people regardless of their credit score, their lending partners may offer a payday loan rather than a personal loan for those customers whose credit scores fall below a certain threshold. This may not make a difference, however, to some customers looking to meet short term cash needs.
For all these reasons, we give 100 Lenders a high rating, This could improve with a little more transparency on their partner's interest rates and application fees, which would allowing potential customers to get a better idea of their borrowing power without having to enter their personal information first.
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.
If you're looking for a personal loan, MoneyLion may have the solution you need. MoneyLion is Better Business Bureau accredited with an "A" rating and has been in business since 2014. Other products and services MoneyLion offers include credit monitoring, personal finance services and advice, points and rewards earned through being proactive about tracking your finances, and a mobile app to track your borrowing, savings, and investing activities.
To apply for a MoneyLion loan:
Joining MoneyLion via online registration is free. The cost of a loan is expressed in the loan interest rate. People having a credit score lower than 640 will expect to pay interest rates from 36% and up. People with credit scores 640 and up will pay interest rates between 7% and 36%.
Interest rates can further be reduced by up to 50% by adding "Boosts". Boosts are engagement from friends and family such as likes on photos you post to Facebook. We think this method of lowering interest rates will particularly apply to the younger set; most "traditional" lenders don't include social media engagement as a way of saving money!
The primary determination of your rate and loan amount comes from the following six criteria:
MoneyLion customer support is offered via an online search or a contact form.
Customers who like MoneyLion say that the loan process was fast and easy, the company is honest and up-front about loan terms, and that customer service is great. Of course, as with any business, there are bound to be complaints. We found that the primary complaints centered around issues with reward points, having to pay the interest in full before decreasing the principal, and "predatory" interest rates.
On the plus side, MoneyLion appears to respond regularly to negative reviews with offers to further assist dissatisfied customers. In the majority of cases where customers gave negative reviews, it appears the borrowers didn't take time to carefully read the loan's terms and understand how short-term, unsecured loans work in general.
Although they're newer to the Personal Loans marketplace, we like what MoneyLion has to offer and think they're a solid choice to consider for your lending needs.
Prosper launched in 2006 and, as of late, has had over $300 million loans funded from private investors. This California based company currently holds a decent Better Business Bureau rating of B+.
Prosper is also a social lending network that brings together those that need a loan and those willing to lend money. The loan size must be between $2,000 and $25,000.
The current loan rates at Prosper range from 5.99 to 36%. The website is easy to navigate through the application process. The loan application process consists of the following steps:
Most loans are funded within an average of 8 business days. Prosper does charge a fee to facilitate the lending process. A fee between .5 and 4.95% is taken from the loan upfront before you receive payment.
Prosper provides a simple lending process and a website that's easy to navigate. Loan rates can range a little higher at Prosper but the associated loan fees, to cover credit checks and administrative costs, are slightly lower. If you are in the market for a loan from $2,000 to $25,000, Prosper is worth your consideration.
NetCredit is new to the personal loan business. This Chicago based company opened doors in 2012 and currently hold a strong A- Better Business Bureau rating. NetCredit offers unsecured personal loans between $1,000 and $10,000 to customers of all credit scores. The process of applying and obtaining a loan is completely online. There's no need to make an appointment and take time away from work just to fill out a loan application.
NetCredit provides the funds for all of the personal loans issued from this company. The process is very simple:
Interest rates are dependent on the loan size and your credit worthiness. Because of this, NetCredit does not publish their loan interest rates online. Loan payments back to NetCredit can be drawn automatically from your bank account and occur over time, based on the terms of the loan. Outside of interest, there are no associated fees with obtaining a loan at NetCredit. For those attempting to build back their credit, NetCredit does report payment history and activity to both Experian and TransUnion.
The only downside to working with NetCredit, at this time, is that they currently provide loans in only 13 states. While we believe they will be adding to the list over time, customers in states not supported by NetCredit will not be able to work with them until further expansion. However, if you are in a state that NetCredit does operate in, they offer a fast loan application and quick approval process. NetCredit is worth your consideration.
Upstart is a peer-to-peer lending company 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. According to the site, "[the] average 3-year loan on Upstart will have an APR of 17% and 36 monthly payment of $31 per $1000 borrowed."
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. 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.
The website is adequate, but could definitely use changes to make it more user friendly. Overall, the site does not score high for looks but makes up for it with good intentions and success stories.
Personal Loans works to connect their customers with a reputable, qualified lender that can help with their personal loan needs. Personal Loans provides access to peer to peer loans, personal installment loans, and personal bank loans for customers located in all U.S. States except North Dakota and Maine. For those seeking a loan between $1,000 and $35,000 this company provides a lot of flexibility to suit the needs of many. Unfortunately we were unable to verify the current Better Business Bureau score of Personal Loans.
Personal Loans does require all customers be at least 18 years old, have a social security number, and be a legal U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Additional requirements include full time employment, self-employment or the receipt of Social Security benefits and/or disability. Customers are more likely to be accepted for a personal loan if they have a credit score of at least 580 or greater and a decent payment history.
The current loan rates through Personal Loans are not publicized due to the varying types of loans and number of lenders that are utilized. Requesting a loan at Personal Loans is rather straightforward:
Personal Loans does not charge you, the customer, for the lender connecting process. Any related fees are accessed directly to their lender partners. The website is informative and easy to navigate with the option to email or call if questions occur.
The benefits of working with Personal Loans is the variety of loan options, the quick approval process and the payment turnaround. Despite finding several positive customer reviews online we would have liked to have validated their BBB rating and found more history on the company to feel more confident. However, if you're looking for a personal loan, Personal Loans may be worth looking into when flexibility and speed are important.
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 options for payment, which can be found in their FAQs 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.
Offering personal loans ranging from $100 to $35,000, LifeLoans says they can "get the cash you need fast". To get started, the site asks you to enter your desired loan amount, your monthly income, your credit score, and your zip code. From there, you are taken to a page that asks for much more specific personal information, including your address and zip code. From there, the site says they will pass along your details to up to 6 lending partners in their network, who will contact you directly. And, if you don't qualify for a traditional personal loan, the disclaimer also explains that you may be referred to lenders offering "payday loans", which typically have much higher interest rates than personal loans.
Of course, in this age of identity theft, it's important to confirm that your information will be safe before entrusting it to a website. Is LifeLoans a trustworthy source of personal loans?
LifeLoans is a member of the Online Lenders Alliance, which expects its members to uphold standards of integrity and honesty in the lending process. But, unlike most of the other personal loan services in our review, LifeLoans maintains no reputation with the Better Business Bureau.
In fact, we were unable to find a single review from a LifeLoans customer - positive or negative. We also couldn't find a phone number to call with questions, or an email address to contact them with. Residents of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Washington, and Vermont are not eligible to submit a request for a loan through this site.
Overall, we weren't impressed with what LifeLoans offers with respect to personal loans. If you're looking for transparency and an established track record of helping customers get the money they need, we suggest you consider one of the higher-ranked lenders in our review first.
Better Loans Mutual does not make personal loans directly. Rather, they connect borrowers with providers of auto loans. Most of the lenders who partner with Better Loans Mutual require that you:
The total amount of your loan can be no higher than $5,000, the smallest amount of any of the sources of personal loans in our review.
When we tried calling the provided toll-free number, the message said, "Thank you for calling the Cash Request Center", not Better Loans Mutual. After entering our zip code, we were asked to enter a four-digit number representing our year. No matter what we entered, with or without the pound sign, it would not accept our information and terminated the call.
We similarly found no customer reviews of Better Loans Mutual, and no evidence that the referral service they provide is useful or even trustworthy. You'll be more likely to get the cash you need through another personal loan service, so we suggest you consider one of the more reputable, established lenders in our review.
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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