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Personal Loans

LoanMe Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

APR

81.49%
To
184.36%

Credit Req.

Varies

Terms

36 to 180

months

Origination Fee

Up to 17%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LoanMe personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: Up to 36 to 180 months.
  • APR range: 81.49% for prime loans, higher for non-prime loans.
  • Loan amounts: $2,600 to $100,000.
  • Time to funding: Can be as soon as 3-4 hours after approval.
  • Credit pull: Prequalification will not affect your credit score. Once you formally apply, though, LoanMe may do a hard credit check.
  • Origination fee: Loan fees vary by credit score and state. In some states, LoanMe charges flat fees.
  • Prepayment fee: LoanMe does not charge fees for paying off your loan early.
  • Late payment fee: Not specified.

Taking out a loan with LoanMe can be expensive. That’s because the company may charge high interest rates and origination fees depending on your credit and other factors.

For example, say you live in Arizona and you have a FICO score of 760 or higher and you own a home. Your fee will be 17% of your loan amount and your APR will be 81.49% for a loan term of 36 to 180 months. But if you live in Arizona, your FICO score is lower than 760 and you are not a homeowner, your origination fee will be $500 and your interest rate will be 95% — for a maximum APR of 99.75%% for a loan with an 84-month term.

Fortunately, LoanMe doesn’t charge prepayment penalties. If you take out a loan with the company, it makes financial sense to pay it off as quickly as you can to save on interest.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Subprime borrowers may qualify.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

A LoanMe personal loan can be used for a variety of personal needs, but there are requirements applicants must meet in order to be approved for a loan. The lender requires loan applicants to be at least 18 years old with a checking account and valid driver’s license. When submitting documents for verification, applicants will be asked to provide a recent pay stub or proof of self-employment and a voided check.

Applying for a personal loan from LoanMe

Applying for a personal loan from LoanMe is a simple process. You can call a customer service representative at 844-704-0556 or you can apply directly online.

If you apply online, LoanMe will request your name, date of birth, address, phone number, email address and monthly income. The form will also ask if you are a homeowner and if you are currently or ever have been enrolled in a credit counseling or a debt settlement program.

With this basic information, LoanMe will prequalify you for a loan. If you agree to move forward, the company will pull your credit and verify your income to see if you can afford the monthly payments.

To qualify for a loan, you’ll need to submit a bank statement and proof of income. You must also be at least 18 years old with a valid form of identification. Once you are approved, LoanMe can fund you in three-to-four hours by making direct deposit in your checking account.

Pros and cons of a LoanMe personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Quick funding. If you’re approved, you can expect the money to be in your bank account in as few as 3-4 hours.
  • Easy to qualify. Even if your credit score is low, you can qualify for a LoanMe personal loan.
  • Fixed payments. Because LoanMe offers personal loans with fixed interest rates, you know exactly what you must pay each month.
  • High interest rates. LoanMe charges high interest rates for subprime borrowers.
  • High fees. LoanMe charges origination fees that can be as high as 20% of your loan amount.

Who is the best fit for a LoanMe personal loan?

Even those with subprime credit can qualify for a personal loan from LoanMe. However, the lower your credit, the harsher the fees. And even borrowers with solid credit may see high fees.

That said, LoanMe may not be your best first option for a loan. Borrowers who need quick access to cash and who can pay off their loan in advance may be a better fit for LoanMe. However, if you take out a personal loan with LoanMe and keep it for the entirety of its term, you will end up paying sky-high interest rates.

Be sure to research the competition before committing to LoanMe.

LoanMe consumer reviews

LoanMe has an A rating on BBB. On LendingTree, our parent company, LoanMe has 3.9 out of 5 stars and 76% of users would recommend them to people seeking an unsecured personal loan.

The lender’s interest rates and fees are a common complaint, but many customers have praised LoanMe’s customer service. Recent customers have specifically pointed out how quick the loan process was and how helpful and responsive customer service was when assistance was needed.

Cassi from Martinez, Calif., said, “They were thorough and approved me very quickly! Not only are they thorough when applying, but they are in touch to be sure if I have any questions they are available.”

LoanMe FAQ

LoanMe offers personal loans and small business loans.

When submitting an online application for a personal loan, applicants will be asked to provide verification documents, such as pay stubs, a valid form of identification and a voided check.

Although LoanMe asks applicants if they are homeowners, owning a home is not required to be approved for a loan.

LoanMe personal loans are unsecured, so borrowers do not have to put up collateral to secure a loan.

LoanMe personal loans can be used to cover various expenses, including car repairs, rent and debt consolidation.

Funds can be deposited into your checking account the same day as approval in as little as three hours; however, not all borrowers will receive their loan funds the same day.

Borrowers who pay off their LoanMe personal loans early are not penalized with any prepayment fees.

Alternative personal loan options

Upgrade

Upgrade
APR

6.98%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.50% - 6.00%

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on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

Upgrade is an online lender that offers fairly priced personal loans for a term of either 36 or 60 months.... Read More .


Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.98%-35.89%. All personal loans have a 1.5% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by WebBank, Member FDIC.

Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans for up to $50,000 with a far lower APR range of 6.98% to 35.89%. The lender does not charge prepayment penalties. If you want the lowest APR, you will have to sign up for autopay. If you do, Upgrade will automatically withdraw your monthly payment from your bank account. Upgrade can send funds to your bank account via an ACH deposit within one business day.

You can repay your Upgrade personal loan in terms that range from 36 or 60 months. The loans do come with an origination fee of 1.50% - 6.00% of the loan amount and you’ll pay a late fee of up to $10 if you fail to make your full payment within 15 calendar days of your due date.

Avant

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%*

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60**

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%**

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

Avant is an online lender that offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. ... Read More


*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30.

Based on the responses from 11,574 customers in a survey of 210,584 newly funded customers, conducted from 1 Feb 2018 - 1 Aug 2019 95.05% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

Avant offers personal loans from $2,000 to $35,000. You can apply online and sign your contract online, too. If you are approved, Avant can deposit your funds into your bank account on the next business day. Avant APRs range from 9.95% to 35.99% and loan terms range from 24 to 60 months. Avant does charge an origination fee, which ranges up to 4.75%.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
28.99%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More


Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans).Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions. For New York residents, rates range from 6.99% to 24.99% APR.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is a good alternative if you need a personal loan because the company does not charge fees for its personal loans. Its APRs are reasonable, too, ranging from 6.99% to 28.99%. The fine print, however, it spells out that only the most creditworthy borrowers qualify for the lowest rates — and that rates will usually be higher with longer-term loans. Loan terms range from 36 to 72 months and you can borrow up to $40,000.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Kristina Byas
Kristina Byas |

Kristina Byas is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kristina here

Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter |

Dan Rafter is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Dan here

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Up to $50,000

$

Won’t impact your credit score

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Mortgage

A Guide to Home Loans for Bad Credit

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Home Loans For Bad Credit

It may not come as a surprise that buying a home can be challenging for people who have bad credit, especially with the new median credit score required to qualify for a new mortgage slowly rising. Lenders like to see high credit scores because it exhibits the borrower’s ability to manage debt, make on-time payments and use their credit responsibly. Even though these things will come into question when a person with poor or bad credit applies for a home loan, they don’t have to let their score hold them back from homeownership.

See Mortgage Rate Quotes for Your Home

See RatesSee RatesTerms Apply. NMLS ID# 1136

By clicking “See Rates”, you will be directed to LendingTree. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

This guide will review how bad credit can affect your ability to get approved for a home loan, available home loan options for bad credit and tips for improving your score.

PART I: Home Loan Options For Borrowers with Bad Credit

Conventional Loans for Bad Credit

 Credit Score RequiredDown payment RequiredMortgage InsuranceFees/Fine Print
FHA loans5803.5% (10% for buyers with a credit score less than 580)
RequiredUpfront mortgage insurance
Fannie Mae HomeReady®
program

620
3%Required, but can be canceled once borrower’s home equity reaches 20%
Homeownership education: $75
USDA loansNo minimum credit score0%
Required
Origination: 1-2%; Guarantee fee: 1%; Annual fee: .35%
VA loansNo minimum credit score
0%, unless specified by lender
Not requiredFunding fee varies

FHA loans

Homebuyers turn to government-backed Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans for many reasons, particularly the low down payment and acceptance of applicants with a low credit score. There is no minimum income requirement, but lenders do want to see that the borrower can afford his or her monthly mortgage payments, if approved.

FHA loan requirements include:

  • A minimum credit score of 580
  • The property must be buyer’s primary residence
  • The property must meet standards outlined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • A down payment of 3.5%; 10% if credit score is lower than 580

If an FHA loan seems like the best option for you, the lender tool on the HUD website can help you find an FHA-approved lender.

VA loans

VA loans carry more relaxed requirements than conventional loans. Backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans are offered to active-duty service members, veterans and their spouses who wish to purchase a condominium, a single-family home, a co-op or a manufactured home. What makes this a great choice for those with bad credit is that there is no minimum credit score or down payment required, unless specified by the lender.

VA loan requirements include:

  • A certificate of Eligibility (COE) to confirm that the buyer is a veteran or an active duty service member
  • The property must be buyer’s primary residence
  • A debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of no more than 41%

Buyers can can contact lenders directly to determine if a VA loan is an available option.

USDA loans

Created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA loans can be used to purchased property in areas defined as suburban or rural areas across the country. This option is often considered by those who will likely be denied traditional financing because of their low credit score and income. When applying for the USDA loan, applicants are not required to make a down payment, can have closing costs included in the loan and may not be required to have a minimum credit score, unless specified by the lender.

USDA loan requirements include:

  • The property must be the buyer’s primary residence
  • Positive payment history on accounts
  • A very low to moderate income
  • The property must be located in a USDA-eligible area
  • A reliable, verifiable source of income for at least the last 24 months

To find a lender who offers USDA loans, borrowers can review the recent list of approved USDA lenders or contact a specific lender directly to see if it offers this type of loan.

Fannie Mae HomeReady® program

The Fannie Mae HomeReady program is an option for first-time homebuyers as well as repeat buyers. The low down payment of 3%, which can be paid for using grants, a gift, cash-on-hand and Community Seconds® (a subordinate mortgage used in connection with a first mortgage delivered to Fannie Mae), cancellable mortgage insurance and acceptance of low credit scores make this an option to consider.

Fannie Mae HomeReady requirements include:

  • A credit score of 620 or greater
  • A low to moderate income
  • Completion of homeownership education
  • The home must be located in a low-income Census tract area

Buyers can speak to specific lenders to determine if they offer the Fannie Mae HomeReady loan.

Manufactured Home Loans For Bad Credit

Manufactured homes are built in factories then transported to a site where they are permanently affixed to a chassis. Many people who are interested in purchasing this particular type of home turn to financing to cover the cost, whether it is through a bank, credit union or the manufactured-home retailer.

As with purchasing a traditional residential property, those with bad credit have a reduced chance of getting approved for a manufactured-home loan, but there are options that are available to them.

 Credit Score Required
Down payment Required
Mortgage Insurance
Fees/Fine Print
FHA Title I
No minimum credit score
5% (10% if credit score is 500 or lower)
Required
N/A
FHA Title II5803.5% (10% if credit score is 580 or lower)
Required
N/A
Chattel Loans
Varies based on lender
Varies based on lender, but 5% is common
Varies based on lender
N/A
Fannie Mae HomeReady program
6203%Required until buyer’s home equity reaches 20%
Homeownership education: $75
USDA loansNo minimum credit score
Not requiredRequiredOrigination: 1-2%; Guarantee fee: 1%; Annual fee: .35%
VA loans
No minimum credit score
Not required, unless specified by lender
Not required
Funding fee varies

FHA

FHA loans can be used not just to purchase a manufactured home, but also the lot where the manufactured home will be located. When opting for this type of financing, there is a maximum loan amount that varies based on what you are purchasing. For example, if you are only buying a manufactured home, the loan maximum is $69,678, but if you are purchasing the home and the lot, the loan maximum is $92,904. If a buyer does not wish to purchase a lot, he or she can lease, but the lender must have an initial lease term of three years.

FHA loan requirements for the purchase of a manufactured home include:

  • The ability to cover the minimum down payment
  • The home must be used as the primary residence
  • The home’s site must meet local standards
  • Sufficient monthly income to cover cost of the mortgage
  • The home must meet the Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards.

Local manufactured-home retailers can provide borrowers with a list of lenders that offer FHA loans, or they can use the lender tool available on the HUD website.

VA

VA loans are always a great option for veterans and active duty service members who don’t have the best credit or the cash to cover a down payment. If you plan to purchase a manufactured home using a VA loan, you will encounter similar eligibility requirements as those who opt for traditional residential properties, as well as a few additional requirements.

VA loan requirements for the purchase of a manufactured home include:

  • A certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the military
  • Payment of a VA funding fee
  • The home must be affixed to a permanent foundation
  • The home must be considered real estate, rather than personal property

Conventional

Conventional loans can be used to purchase manufactured homes that will be the buyer’s primary residence or second home. The home will be used as collateral for the borrower to secure the loan, and a down payment of at least 5% is often required.

Conventional loan requirements for the purchase of a manufactured home include:

  • The buyer must own the land where the home is located
  • The home cannot have been built on or before June 15, 1976
  • The home should be at least 12 feet wide, with no fewer than 600 square feet of living space
  • The home must be connected to utilities

USDA

USDA loans can be used for the purchase of a manufactured home as well as the lot where the home will be located. Although the home is manufactured, the buyer is still expected to live in a rural area, just as those who choose to purchase a site-built home using this type of loan are.

USDA loan requirements for a manufactured home include:

  • The home must be affixed to a permanent foundation
  • Must purchase a site that is located in a rural area
  • The site must have both adequate water and sewage systems
  • If considered a single-wide, the manufactured unit must be at least 12 feet wide, with no fewer than 400 square feet of living space
  • If considered a double-wide, the manufactured unit must be at least 20 feet wide, with no fewer than 400 square feet of living space

PART II: Ways to Clean Up Bad Credit Before Applying for a Home Loan

With your credit score heavily affecting the total cost of your loan, you’ll want to clean up your bad credit before you apply for any type of home loan. By taking several steps, you won’t just boost it, you’ll save money, too. For example, if you can increase your credit score from the 620-639 range to somewhere between 640 and 659, you can lower your APR by nearly half a percentage point and save around $70 monthly on your mortgage payments.

Tips to improve your credit score

A low credit score can hold you back from getting a home loan, but you don’t have to be stuck with your current score. If you want to improve your credit score before applying for a home loan to increase your chances of approval, there a few different things you can do.

  • Pay down existing debts: Your credit score can drop or rise based on how much debt you currently have and when you make payments. As you pay down your debt, you will increase your score.
  • Pay your bills on time: Payment history is a major part of determining your credit score, so paying your bills on time can mean a score increase.
  • Avoid applying for new credit: Applying for new credit will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can cause your score to drop.
  • Keep old credit accounts open: Keep old accounts open because closing one will shorten the length of your credit history and bring down your score.
  • Address discrepancies on your credit report: It is not unheard of for people to discover inaccurate information on their credit reports, so a thorough review of your report could help you correct any discrepancies that may be bringing down your score.

Getting a mortgage after bankruptcy or foreclosure

Bankruptcy has its benefits, but when a person files, his or her credit score is likely to drop. Even after their bankruptcy has been “discharged,” releasing the debtor of his or her responsibility for the debts, the filer can expect it to remain on his or her credit report for at least seven years, and possibly up to 10.

If you have a bankruptcy filing on your credit report, before applying for a mortgage it might be better to wait until it is removed from your report and work on increasing your score in the meantime, but this not always what people decide to do.

If you choose to apply for a loan before your bankruptcy has been removed from your report, conventional loans and government-backed loans are still an option. You may have to wait a specified amount of time after the bankruptcy has been discharged, which varies based on the type of bankruptcy filed and the type of loan you plan to secure.

For example, someone who has filed a Chapter 7 liquidation will have to wait four years if he or she wants to apply for a conventional home loan. Someone who has filed for Chapter 13 will have to wait one year if he or she wants to apply for an FHA loan. If foreclosure is the cause of the bankruptcy, this can extend the waiting period. However, if the bankruptcy was due to an extenuating circumstance, such as divorce, illness or job loss, buyers may be able to get the waiting period shortened and find a lender that will work with them.

Improve your shot at approval even if you have bad credit

If your credit score is poor and you still wish to apply for a loan, there are things you can do to improve your shot at approval.

  • Put down a bigger down payment: A bigger down payment means you’ll have to borrow less money for the purchase of your home, and with a smaller loan amount, you might get approved.
  • Explain your low credit score: Certain information that appears on your credit report that drags down your score, such as a missed payment that your creditor reported, can be explained or disputed by adding a statement to your report that lenders can see when they pull your credit report.
  • Get your rent payments reported to credit bureaus: Your rent is a monthly bill that can be reported to the credit bureaus and increase your credit score, but this can only help if you have a positive payment history.
  • Decrease the loan amount: Someone with bad credit may have trouble getting approved for a $200,000 loan because it may appear to a lender that he or she can’t afford the monthly mortgage payments due to heavy debt, but if the borrower finds a less expensive home and applies for a loan for $100,000, he or she will be seen as less of a risk to the lender.

PART III: Additional resources

Renting vs. Buying

People often question whether renting or buying is the better option. When making this decision, you’ll want to look at things like your credit score, annual income and monthly expenses to determine which option is the most affordable for you at the current time. Although there are many factors to consider when deciding if you should rent or buy, if you have poor credit, continuing to rent may be the smartest move because it will give you more time to increase your score as well as your chances of getting approved for a home loan.

Watch out for scams that target low-credit homebuyers

When people are desperate to become homeowners, they can easily fall victim to scams, specifically email phishing. For many years, homebuyers have been targeted by fraudsters pretending to be their real estate or settlement agent in order to get the buyer to pay them money that was meant for their closing costs. Buyers receive an email informing them of a change that affects their closing process and how they must pay closing costs. It states that the buyer must wire the funds rather than pay closing costs using a check, but if the money is sent, the fraudster receives the cash, not the correct party.

To avoid this scam, potential homebuyers should not send any personal information or money. They should ensure they have a clear understanding of their lender’s closing process, call their real estate or settlement agent after they receive an email regarding any changes to the closing process, and request the assistance of their bank with confirming ownership of the account where they have been instructed to wire the funds.

Email phishing is not the only scam homebuyers may encounter. Some people opt for a lease-to-own homebuying experience, but this is known to lead to trouble. Often used to take advantage of low-income buyers, a lease-to-own agreement is a way for property owners to profit from the buyer’s inability to cover the cost of repairs for the home. This particular type of agreement leaves buyers unprotected, so instead of being able to get current with payments after they have fallen behind, like a buyer who has a home loan, one missed payment can result in foreclosure. Ultimately, when the home is foreclosed on, the seller is able to collect the rent and any deposits the buyer made while they lived in the home.

To avoid this scam, homebuyers should consider screening the property owner, speaking to an attorney about the agreement and getting a home inspection to reveal any repairs and their extent, which can help them to determine if they can cover the cost of repairs as well as their monthly rent.

FAQs

Yes, but buyers cannot apply for a home loan until the waiting period has lapsed.

Yes, but when refinancing, lenders will review your credit score, so if it has improved since you first applied for your bad credit home loan, you may get a better interest rate and lower monthly payment.

Yes, when applying for a home loan, borrowers can choose to have a cosigner who will be responsible for their debt should they be unable to make their monthly mortgage payments.

No, checking your credit will not cause your score to drop because it is not considered a hard inquiry, which is what can lead to a drop in score.

When one lender has denied your loan application because of a poor credit score, you can apply for a home loan with a different lender, but this can bring down your score because each application will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report. That being said, FICO considers all credit inquiries made within a 45-day period to be only one inquiry, so it may be worth it to shop around and then make a decision based on who you think is most likely to approve your application.

Because credit scores range between 300 and 850, lenders often consider a score of 580 or lower poor or bad.

Homebuyers interested in lowering their interest rate may be offered the opportunity to purchase discount points at closing. This prepaid interest allows people to make a payment — one point is 1% of their loan amount — in exchange for the lender lowering their interest rate by a set percentage amount for every point purchased.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Kristina Byas
Kristina Byas |

Kristina Byas is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kristina here

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Mortgage

How to Host a Successful Garage Sale

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

iStock

Whether you’re prepping for a move or finally cleaning out the basement, decluttering your home can bring you peace of mind — and extra cash. Hosting a garage sale is a great way to get rid of old or unused items. Here are a few tips to help you make your sale as profitable as possible.

When is the right time for a garage sale?

Garage sales go by many names — yard sale, moving sale, tag sale, estate sale or rummage sale — but some portion of the event will likely take place outside. If you’re hosting your sale to get rid of stuff before a move, you’ll likely be stuck to a certain date, but if you have some flexibility, consider mild seasons like spring or fall. No one likes rummaging through old items in the blazing August sun, even for good deals.

How to prepare for a yard sale

While the concept of a garage sale is fairly simple, it’s easy to mess up. Many people who host a sale see little success — often because they failed to prepare. Sure, you can just set your unwanted items out on the lawn and have passersby stop and quickly sift through everything. But when you put in a little work ahead of time, the success of your sale is much greater.

“The more preparation that you can do, the more you’ll probably make,” said Ava Seavey, New York-based garage sale expert and author of Ava’s Guide to Garage Sale Gold.

Schedule wisely. First, you’ll want to pick a day for your sale, ideally a Friday or Saturday.  Then you’ll want to take the time to sort through your belongings and carefully select the items you want to sell, choosing items that people will actually find appealing and will want to buy.

Be strategic about prices. Seavey advised that costume jewelry, furniture and collectibles have the potential to make sellers the most money. However, how you price the items is key to ensuring you will earn what these items are worth.

“A good percentage of people who go to garage sales will pay what you have written down,” Seavey said. While some people will negotiate, if your stuff is priced correctly, people will pay it, she said.

Get the word out. You will also want to focus on advertising your sale in your local newspaper and online using garage sale-specific websites and social media channels. Go ahead and describe the types of items you’ll have for sale to attract the right customers.

Be prepared. You’ll want to make sure you have all the supplies you need, including:

  1. Tables
  2. Tablecloths
  3. Pricing labels
  4. Money apron (to hold cash)
  5. Bags
  6. Paper/newspaper (to wrap fragile items)
  7. Signs (to advertise the sale throughout the neighborhood)
  8. Notebook/ledger (to keep track of items sold and money collected)

This may seem like a lot to do in order to sell a few necklaces, purses or electronics. But this preparation can make your sale more appealing and profitable. If having your own sale sounds too time consuming to prepare, you and a friend, family member or neighbor could have the sale together.

What to expect during your garage sale

On the day of the garage sale, you’ll get a variety of customers depending on what you have available for purchase. If you have advertised correctly and have the right things for sale, you could draw in a large crowd.

“I would have plenty of things for everyone. Those are the best sales, when you have a variety,” Seavey said.

Try to keep the sale going from the morning to the late afternoon. Having a sale that lasts a few hours may hinder your ability to make money because you are limiting how many people will be able to come. If your sale starts in the morning and goes until later in afternoon, you can maximize the profits from the sale because those who could not make it during the morning hours can shop in the afternoon before the sale ends.

“There is no magic time to end, but you will do most of your selling in the morning,” Seavey said. “I like to go as long as I can.”

With the money you make from your sale, you can add to or start an emergency fund, pay past-due bills, or even purchase updated items for your new home if you are moving.

What to do after the yard sale

A successful yard sale will leave a lot of money in your pocket and very few unsold items on your lawn. Consider storing your newly acquired cash in an online savings account that earns you interest. If you’re stuck with leftover items, you can always hold another sale, or you can donate them to a charity, church or secondhand store. You won’t make any money when you go this route, but there are benefits to donating.

“You have unloaded everything, you’ve made some money and you have a tax write-off,” Seavey said. “It’s a win-win-win for everybody.”

A garage sale can be the answer when you want to rid yourself of unwanted items — and even make a little money in the process.

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Kristina Byas
Kristina Byas |

Kristina Byas is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kristina here

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