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Personal Loans

Best Debt Consolidation Loans by Credit Score

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

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Updated – November 15, 2018

Dealing with multiple loan payments can be a hassle. Even worse is having to pay high interest rates on one or more of your loans. A debt consolidation loan can be a great way to fix those problems by refinancing all your loans into one with a new rate and term.

Debt consolidation provides three benefits:

  1. Make payments simple: If you owe a lot of lenders and are having a tough time keeping track of all the payments, then consolidating will make your life easier. You’ll only owe one lender and have to keep track of one due date. There’s less of a chance of anything falling through the tracks.
  2. Lower your interest rate: This is where you have to run the numbers to see if debt consolidation makes sense for you. What’s the average interest rate you’re paying on your debt? If it’s quite high (which is likely if you have a lot of consumer debt), you may benefit from consolidating under better terms. Just remember to only use a personal loan if the interest rate is lower than the one you are already paying.
  3. Improve your credit score: If your credit cards are currently maxed out, your credit score will suffer. When you pay off your credit card debt with a personal loan, you will often receive a boost to your credit score, so long as you don’t start using your cards again.

But not all lenders will work with just anyone. Generally, you need to have a good credit score to qualify for the best interest rates on debt consolidation loans. Even then, some lenders offer better terms than others.

We searched through MagnifyMoney’s debt consolidation loan marketplace to identify the best lenders for you depending on whether you have excellent (700 and above), good (640-699), average (600-639) or poor (below 600) credit. To compare lenders evenly across the board, we assumed that you’re looking for a $10,000 loan and that you have a college degree. For each credit category, we picked the top two lenders who had the lowest APRs.

Here are the results from our analysis. If you’re in the market for a debt consolidation loan, it’s a good idea to customize your debt consolidation loan search so that you can find the best loan to help you get out of debt faster.

Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

Start Shopping Here – LendingTree

At LendingTree, you can make dozens of personal loan companies compete for your business with a single online form. When you fill out the form, LendingTree will do a soft pull – which means your score will not be negatively impacted. Dozens of lenders will compete and you may be matched with lenders who want your business. You may be able to compare and save in just a few minutes. We recommend starting here. You can always apply directly to other lenders – but many of the lenders we recommend already participate in the LendingTree personal loan online tool.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

Best debt consolidation loans for excellent credit

LightStream

APR

3.34%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.

What we like

If you’ve managed your credit well and have the credit score to prove it, LightStream can be a great option to consolidate your debt. It has some of the lowest interest rates out there — as low as 3.34% APR (that’s with a 0.50% auto-pay discount).

Going along with those low interest rates are low fees. LightStream doesn’t charge any fees at all, including origination fees or prepayment fees. The company offers loan terms from 24 to 144 months. While it’s generally best to pay off your debt as quickly as possible, sometimes having a longer-term loan makes sense, and many other lenders don’t offer loans for as long as 12 years.

The final thing we like about LightStream is that it’s quick to fund your loan. If you are approved for a loan on a business day before 2:30 p.m. Eastern time and provide the company with your bank account details, you can have your loan funded on the same day you are approved.

What could be better

If you’re trying to take advantage of the 0.50% auto-pay discount, you’ll need to set this up before your loan is funded. You won’t qualify for this interest rate discount if you do it after the fact.

Additionally, the company makes it a bit difficult if you’re trying to pay your loan off early. If you want any extra payments to go toward the principal (and not interest), you’ll have to schedule your extra payment to occur on the same day as your normal monthly payment. There’s no other way to specify that you want extra payments to go toward your principal balance.

Credit history required

LightStream doesn’t say what kind of credit history you need to qualify for a loan. But the company does describe those with excellent credit (and thus the best odds for approval at the lowest rates) as people with five or more years of credit history.

Fees and fine print

LightStream is a great option for folks who qualify for these loans because the company does not charge any fees at all. This means no origination fees or prepayment penalties. If you miss a payment, it’s not totally free because the company could report that to the credit bureaus, which could harm your credit score.

FreedomPlus

APR

4.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

With a personalized application process that includes a phone interview, FreedomPlus gives people with below average credit a shot at getting approved for a personal loan.... Read More

What we like

FreedomPlus also offers some of the lowest personal loan rates in our marketplace. Those rates are running as low as 4.99% APR.

Another thing we like about FreedomPlus is that it offers multiple different interest rate discounts. The lender doesn’t specify the amounts, but you can get discounts for three things:

  • If you have a co-applicant for your loan
  • If you use at least half of your loan to pay off high-interest credit card debt (FreedomPlus will pay it for you)
  • If you have at least $40,000 in retirement savings

These discounts may (or may not) make your interest rate better than what you could get with other lenders. But at least the company is rewarding customers for good financial behavior, such as paying off high-interest debt and saving for retirement.

What could be better

Unfortunately, FreedomPlus doesn’t operate in all states. Even in some of the states in which it does operate, there are state-specific minimums: $6,500 in Massachusetts, $5,500 in Ohio, $10,500 in Arizona and $3,500 in Georgia.

We also don’t like that FreedomPlus has a narrower range of terms than LightStream. You can only choose from a term length between 24 and 60 months.

Further, FreedomPlus doesn’t provide a lot of information on its website. Rather, the company directs you to contact it for more details. That could be inconvenient if you’re shopping lenders. It also puts you in a high-pressure sales situation since you must speak with someone to get the relevant details unless you’re comfortable blindly applying for a loan.

Credit history required

FreedomPlus generally requires you to have about three years worth of credit history to stand a good chance of being approved for a loan.

Fees and fine print

The company has a variable origination fee — between 0.00% - 5.00% — depending on your loan’s APR. If you make a late payment, you’ll pay either a flat $15 fee, or 5% of your payment amount, depending on whichever is greater. If the company processes a personal check, that’s another $15. If your monthly payment is returned, it’s yet another $15 fee.

Best debt consolidation loans for good credit

RocketLoans

APR

5.98%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Rocketloans is a digital finance business that is part of the Quicken Loans family. ... Read More

What we like

Even if you don’t have stellar credit, the interest rate that RocketLoans charges isn’t bad (assuming you are offered a low-end rate). RocketLoans is charging between 5.98% and 29.99% APR. The high end is the same rate you may find on a high-interest credit card. If you fall into that interest rate band, it may be worth reassessing this lender.

RocketLoans is also fast at funding your loan. If everything matches up correctly among you, RocketLoans and the bank, you may be able to receive the money the same day.

What could be better

RocketLoans isn’t available in every state. If you live in Nevada, Iowa or West Virginia, you can’t use the company to consolidate your debt.

The company only offers two different term lengths — 36 or 60 months. You can pay it off sooner, of course, and there’s no penalty for doing so. But this means you’ll only get a maximum of two different options for a given loan amount, which may not fit your budget.

Credit history required

The company does not say what sort of credit history is required to get a debt consolidation loan.

Fees and fine print

RocketLoans charges three different fees:

  • Late payment fee: $15
  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00% of the loan amount
  • Returned check fee: $15

Best Egg

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

People looking for a process that is fast and straightforward can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. ... Read More


*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

What we like

BestEgg has similar interest rates to RocketLoans, ranging from up to 5.99% to 29.99% APR. You can also take out loan amounts as small as $2,000 to consolidate your debt, which is a lot less than the minimum requirement for other lenders. Also, there are no prepayment penalties for paying off the loan early.

Heads-up, though: The minimum loan amount does vary by state, so it may be different depending on where you live. Georgia residents can’t take out loans of less than $3,000, Massachusetts residents must borrow at least $6,000, and New Mexico and Ohio residents must borrow at least $5,000.

What could be better

If you live in Iowa, Vermont or West Virginia, you’re out of luck when it comes to getting a BestEgg loan. That’s because the company doesn’t operate in those states.

You can take out a loan of up to $35,000 to consolidate your debt through BestEgg. That may sound like a good thing at first, but consider this: The company only offers you the choice of a three- or five-year term. If you take out a large amount of money, you’ll also need an equally high income to make those whopping payments. Instead, if you’re facing a large amount of debt, it’s worthwhile to also consider a lender that offers more options.

We also don’t like that BestEgg charges a $7 monthly payment fee unless you’re signed up for automatic payments. Signing up for auto-pay simplifies things for both you and the lender, but you shouldn’t be penalized if you’re not able to do that for some reason.

Credit history required

Unfortunately, BestEgg does not disclose this information.

Fees and fine print

Here’s a quick summary of the fees that BestEgg charges:

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%
  • Late payment fee: $15
  • Returned payment fee: $15
  • Payment processing fee for people not enrolled in auto-pay: $7

Best debt consolidation loans for average credit

OneMain Financial

APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

What we like

If you like working with bankers in person, this might be a better option for you since you’ll be required to visit a OneMain Financial branch to get your money. This means that if you are approved by noon and can make it to a branch, you could get your money that day.

What could be better

On the flip side, visiting a local branch to complete the loan application process could be inconvenient if you live in a suburban or rural area and there aren’t any locations close to you. These loans are also very expensive.

We also don’t like that the company’s loan policies vary across the country depending on your state of residence. This makes it difficult to easily compare lenders without contacting OneMain Financial to get the most accurate information for your situation.

Credit history required

Your credit history is important to OneMain Financial. But the company itself doesn’t have any listed requirements. Rather, your credit history is taken into account along with your debt-to-income ratio and your ability to make the loan payments on time.

Fees and fine print

There are no prepayment penalties with a OneMain Financial loan. The cost of origination or late fees varies depending on the state in which you live. You’ll need to contact OneMain Financial to get this information.

Peerform

Peerform
APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Even with a credit score of 600, you still might be able to secure a loan through Peerform. ... Read More

What we like

These loans come with low rates, starting at 5.99% APR. Peerform is also open with its pricing scheme, listing in detail the APR and origination fees that come along with each credit grade, which you can see here.

What could be better

Peerform is a peer-to-peer lender, which means that the company relies on regular everyday investors to fund your loan. You could view this as a good thing since it’s not some mega-corporation that’s getting rich off funding personal loans, but it also means that it could take a while (up to two weeks) for your loan to be fully funded by investors. It’s even possible that your loan listing could end without enough investors to fund your loan, which means you may be offered less money than what you sought — or you may not even receive a loan at all.

These loans are also a bit on the fee-heavy side. For example, the company is trying to push you toward digital payments, because it will charge you a $15 fee per payment if you choose to send in a check.

Credit history required

Like many lenders, Peerform does not detail exactly what type of credit history is required to get a loan. Rather, the company takes into account other factors — such as whether your credit score is above 600 — when deciding whether to create a listing for your loan.

Fees and fine print

Here is a summary of fees that Peerform charges on its personal loans:

  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 5.00%
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15
  • Late payment fee: $15 or 5% of the amount due, whichever is more
  • Check payment fee: $15 per check payment

Best debt consolidation loans for bad credit

Avant

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

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

What we like

Avant does offer smaller loans than many other lenders. You can take out a loan starting at $2,000, ranging up to $35,000, depending on the state in which you live. That’s helpful if you’re trying to work your way out of just a few thousand dollars of debt.

You can also get your money relatively quickly if you are approved for a debt consolidation loan with Avant. If you finish the application process and are approved for a loan before 4:30 p.m. Central time on a weekday, you could have your money the next day.

What could be better

Avant’s rates, fees, loan amounts and loan terms are dependent upon the state in which you live, so you’ll need to check for yourself on its website. But for Illinois (where Avant is headquartered), we noticed that these loans do come with higher fees than normal. They also come with high interest rates, starting at 9.95% APR.

This isn’t unusual since Avant is willing to work with people with less-than-stellar credit scores. It does make it inconvenient for you because you’ll need to assess whether it’s cheaper to consolidate your debt with a personal loan rather than paying it off as is.

Once you add on the upfront administrative fee to the high interest rate, you may find that this loan isn’t a deal at all in the long run compared to what you’re currently paying. The only way to know is to do the math.

Credit history required

Again, Avant doesn’t disclose how long your credit history needs to be to get a loan with the company.

Fees and fine print

In Illinois, where Avant is based, you can expect to pay the following fees if you take out a debt consolidation loan:

  • Administrative fee: Up to 4.75% of the loan amount
  • Late fee: $25
  • Returned payment fee: $15

Tower Federal Credit Union

Tower Federal Credit Union
APR

8.74%
To
11.74%

Credit Req.

580

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on Tower Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Tower Federal Credit Union offers both personal lines of credit and more common signature loans that feature a fixed term. ... Read More

What we like

We like that there is a wide range of options for term lengths at Tower Federal Credit Union. You can choose from six different term lengths, ranging from one to six years. Having a wide range of options is good for you as a consumer because this effectively offers you up to six different monthly payment amounts that you can choose from to fit into your budget.

Rates for these loans are also relatively low. For example, if you opt for a one-year loan, rates start at 8.74% APR. Be warned: The longer your term length, the higher the minimum APR. If you instead opt for a six-year loan, rates instead start at 11.74% APR. At some point, you may need to reassess whether the interest rate you’re receiving is really lower than your current debts’ interest rate.

What could be better

Since this is a credit union, you’ll have a different working relationship. It’s not as simple as applying with any old online lender, getting the money, paying it back and having everything be all right.

First, you’ll need to join Tower Federal Credit Union. There are pretty strict membership requirements, but you can always join by making a minimum $35 donation to the TowerCares Foundation. You’ll need to deposit at least $15 in a savings account to establish your membership. Then, after you’ve applied and established your membership, you can apply for this loan.

You’ll also need to maintain your bank account if you’re older than 22. If more than a year passes without any activity in the account and if your balance is less than $100, you’ll pay a $3 quarterly inactivity fee. So, you can see, going with a credit union may boost your odds of approval if you have a low credit score, but it’s certainly not without a great deal of work compared to a regular online lender.

Another downside of getting a personal loan with Tower Federal Credit Union is that there’s no way to know how much money you can take out without applying for the loan first. That’s because the credit union will offer you a range of borrowing limits based on your credit score and ability to pay, which it determines after you apply for a loan. This could be inconvenient if you go through all the hassle of applying for a loan only to find out the loan amount won’t work for you.

Credit history required

Tower Federal Credit Union will look at your credit when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. But it doesn’t detail what sort of credit history is required to be approved for a loan. Besides your credit history, it’ll also look at your ability to repay the loan.

Fees and fine print

If you make a late payment, you’ll pay a $20 fee. That’s just a touch higher than with other lenders. Additionally, you can make your monthly payment over the phone, but if you do so, there’ll be another $9 processing fee.
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3 reasons to use a personal loan to pay off debt

 

How to choose the right debt consolidation loan

To help ensure you select the best debt consolidation loan for your financial situation, consider these four tips:

  1. Do the math: See what a debt consolidation loan will cost you in the long run compared to your current debts. A debt consolidation loan may give you a lower payment or a lower interest rate, but if you choose a long-term loan, you may end up paying more in interest charges by the time your term ends. LendingTree, MagnifyMoney’s parent company, has a debt consolidation calculator so that you can run the numbers.
  2. Consider which types of debt you want to consolidate: Generally speaking, student loan debt is consolidated separately from your other types of debt, such as credit card debt, medical debt and auto loan debt.
  3. Consider whether other types of loans are right for you: Home equity lines of credit, home equity loans, personal lines of credit and 0% introductory APR credit cards are also reasonable options for debt consolidation.
  4. Check whether you’re applying for a secured or an unsecured loan: If it’s a secured loan (backed by an asset such as your car) and you fail to make your payments, the lender can repossess the item. Unsecured loans, on the other hand, aren’t backed by this kind of collateral, but often come with higher interest rates. Make sure you consider the trade-offs before you apply for the loan.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

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.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erinm@magnifymoney.com

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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$

Won’t impact your credit score

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Featured, Personal Loans, Reviews

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review: GS Bank Takes on Online Savings, CDs, and Personal Loans

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1990
Total Assets$179.2B
Most Americans probably think of fancy white-collar stock traders on Wall Street when they think of Goldman Sachs, a global investment firm that’s been around since the late 19th century.

In recent years, Goldman made a major pivot, launching a new arm of the company called GS Bank, which would provide internet-only savings accounts to the masses.

They also launched Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, a line of personal loans. Eventually, they decided to rebrand their savings account business, putting it under the Marcus umbrella as well.

Today, through Marcus, you’ll find three product offerings: personal loans, savings accounts, and CDs.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into all three products. We’ll tell you what you need to know before opening an account, including what rates they are offering.
Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

3.10%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.65%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs savings account

A very high interest rate and no fees make this one of the best savings accounts out there.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

2.05%

None

  • Minimum opening deposit: None. However, you’ll need to deposit at least $1.00 if you want to earn any interest
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: None

This is a great account for almost anyone. However, before you click that “Learn More” button below, there are a couple of things to know.

No ATMs. First, Marcus by Goldman Sachs doesn’t offer ATM access to your savings account. You’ll either need to deposit or withdraw money by sending in a physical check, setting up direct deposits, or by moving the money to and from your other bank accounts via ACH or wire transfer.

No checking account. Second, Marcus does’t offer a corresponding checking account. That means you can only use this account as an external place to park your cash from your everyday money flow.

Keeping a separate savings account does have its benefits. For example, it’s harder to tempt yourself to withdraw the cash if you’re a chronic over-spender. But, it also means that there might be a delay of a few days if you need to transfer the money out of your Goldman Sachs online savings account and into your other checking account.

How to open a Goldman Sachs online savings account

It’s really easy to open an online savings account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs. You can do it online or over the phone as long as you’re 18 years or older, have a physical street address, and a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

You’ll be required to sign a form which you can do online, or by mail if you’re opening the account over the phone.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How their online savings account compares

Marcus’ online savings account can easily be described with one word: outstanding.

You’ll get a relatively high interest rate with this account, which is among the best online savings account rates you’ll find today. In fact, these rates are currently over seven times higher than the average savings account interest rate.

Even better, this account won’t charge you any fees for the privilege of keeping your money stashed there. It’s a tall order to find another bank that offers these high interest rates with terms this good.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs CD rates

Sky-high CD rates, but watch out for early withdrawal limitations.

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

6 months

0.60%

$500

9 months

0.70%

$500

12 months

2.65%

$500

18 months

2.65%

$500

24 months

2.70%

$500

3 years

2.75%

$500

4 years

2.80%

$500

5 years

3.10%

$500

6 years

3.15%

$500

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 12 months, 90 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs of 12 months to 5 years, 270 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs of 5 years or over, 365 days’ worth of interest

Marcus’ CDs work a little differently from other CDs. Rather than having to set up and fund your account all at once, Goldman Sachs will give you 30 days to fully fund your account.

Once open, your interest will be tallied up and credited to your CD account each month. You can withdraw the interest earned at any time without paying an early withdrawal penalty, but heads up: If you withdraw the interest, your returns will be lower than the stated APY when you opened your account.

If you need to withdraw the money from your CD, you can only do so by pulling out the entire CD balance and paying the required early withdrawal penalty. There is no option for partial withdrawals of your cash.

Finally, once your CD has fully matured, you’ll have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money, add more funds, and/or switch to a different CD term. If you don’t do anything, Marcus will automatically roll over your CD into another one of the same type, but with the current interest rate of the day.

How to open a Goldman Sachs CD

Marcus has made it super simple to open up a CD. First, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

You can open an account easily online, or call them up by phone. You’ll need to sign an account opening form, which you can do online or via a hard-copy mailed form. Then, simply fund your CD account within 30 days, and you’re all set.

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How their CDs compare

The interest rates that Marcus offers on their CDs are top-notch. In fact, a few of their CD terms are among the current contenders for the best CD rates.

If you’re interested in pursuing a CD ladder approach, Marcus is one of our top picks because each of their CD terms offer above-average rates. This means you can rest easy that you’ll get the best rates for your CD ladder without having to complicate things by spreading out all of your CDs among a handful of different banks.

The only downside to these CDs compared with many other banks is that you can’t withdraw a portion of your cash if you need it. It’s either all-in, or all-out. However, once out, you’re still free to open a new CD with the surplus cash, as long as it’s at least the $500 minimum deposit size.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loan

Personal loans offered by Marcus have low APRs, flexible terms, and no fees.

Terms

APR

Credit Required

Fees

Max Loan Amount

36 to 72 months

6.99%-24.99%

Varies

None

$40,000

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® personal loans can be used for just about anything, from consolidating debt to financing a large home improvement project. They offer some of the best rates available, with APRs as low as 6.99%, and you’ll not only be able to choose between a range of loan terms, but you can also choose the specific day of the month when you want to make your loan payments.

While there are no specific credit requirements to get a loan through Marcus, the company does try to target those that have “prime” credit, which is usually those with a FICO score higher than 660. Even with a less than excellent credit score, you may be able to qualify for a personal loan from Marcus, though, those that have recent, negative marks on their credit report, such as missed payments, will likely be rejected.

Applicants must be over 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska, 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico) and have a valid U.S. bank account. You are also required to have a Social Security or Individual Tax I.D. Number.

No fees. Marcus charges no extra fees for their personal loans. There is No origination fee associated with getting a loan, but there are also no late fees associated with missing payments. Those missed payments simply accrue more interest and your loan will be extended.

Defer payments. Once you have made on-time payments for a full year, you will have the ability to defer a payment. This means that if an unexpected expense or lost job hurts your budget one month, you can push that payment back by a month without negatively impacting your credit report.

How to apply for a Marcus personal loan

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a process that is completely online, allowing you to apply, choose the loan you want, submit all of your documents, and get approved without having to leave home. Here are the steps that you will complete to get a personal loan from Marcus:

  1. Fill out the information that is required in the online application, including your basic personal and financial information, as well as how much you would like to borrow and what you will use the money for.
  2. After a soft pull on your credit, and if you qualify, you will be presented a list of different loan options that may include different rates and terms.
  3. Once you have chosen the loan you want, you will need to provide additional information to verify your identity. You may also be asked for information that can be used to verify your income and you will need to provide your bank account information so that the money can be distributed.
  4. You will receive your funds 1 – 4 business days after your loan has been approved.

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By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

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How their personal loans compare

Marcus offers low APRs and flexible terms with their personal loans, but their main feature is that they have no fees. If you are looking for a straightforward lending experience with no hidden fees or costs, Marcus will be perfect for you since you won’t even have to worry about late fees if you happen to miss a payment.

While Marcus offers some great perks, you may be able to get a lower rate if you choose to go with another lender, such as LightStream or SoFi. Both of these lenders offer lower APR ranges and they don’t charge origination fees, though, LightStreamwill do a hard pull on your credit to preapprove you.

LendingClub and Peerform both have lower credit requirements than Marcus, but they also charge origination fees and, being P2P lending platforms, you will need to wait for your loan to be funded and you run the risk that other users might not fund your loan.

Overall review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs‘ products

Marcus has really hit it out of the park with their personal loans, online savings, and CD accounts. Each of these accounts offers some of the best features available on the market, while shrinking the fees down to a minuscule, or even nonexistent, amount. Their website is also slick and easy to use for online-savvy people.

The only thing we can find to complain about with Marcus is that they don’t offer an equally-awesome checking account to accompany their other deposit products. Indeed, it seems like Marcus has turned their former hoity-toity image around: Today, they’re a bank that we’d recommend to anyone, even blue-collar folks.

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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Personal Loans

Should You Pay Off Credit Card Debt with a Personal Loan? What to Consider

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

paying off credit card
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If you’re carrying credit card debt, you’re not alone. Americans topped $1 trillion in total revolving debt in 2018, according to the Federal Reserve.

That adds up to a lot of debt per person. The average credit card balance is $6,354, according to CompareCards.com (MagnifyMoney and CompareCards.com are both under the same parent company, LendingTree). When you factor in the average credit card interest rate of 15.54% — that’s a hefty monthly financial obligation.

An outstanding credit card balance can weigh your budget down for years, even decades, so you need to get a handle on it as quickly as possible. We’ll go over the pros and cons of using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt to determine if this could be the right move for your finances.

Paying off credit card debt with a personal loan

You may be able to use the proceeds of a personal loan to pay the debt on multiple credit cards. Here are 5 reasons you might go this route.

5 pros of using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt

1. You can consolidate payments
Managing multiple credit card accounts is hard work. When you’re trying to keep track of too many cards, it’s easy to confuse payment deadlines or accidentally miss them altogether. Paying off multiple credit cards with a personal loan consolidates that debt into one monthly payment, meaning fewer bills to worry about.

2. You could lower your interest rate
There’s no guarantee, but you’ll likely be able to secure a lower interest rate on your personal loan than you were paying on your credit cards. Your interest rate is determined by factors including credit score, debt-to-income ratio, employment status and credit history. Every lender has different borrowing criteria, but generally speaking, a high credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio will help you get a more competitive interest rate.

3. Your monthly payment could go down
If you’re able to secure a lower interest rate on your personal loan, it will likely reduce the amount on your monthly payments. This will allow you to enjoy a little extra room in your budget.

4. You might boost your credit score
If much of your credit portfolio is consumed by revolving accounts, diversifying the mix by taking on a personal loan will likely improve your credit score, according to the credit bureau Experian. Making monthly payments on a timely basis showcases your ability to manage debt responsibly. In most cases, the increase will take time and won’t be monumental, but it’s a step in the right direction.

5. You more likely to pay off debt faster
If you’re making the minimum payment on a substantial credit card balance, you could be stuck with the debt for decades. On the other hand, most debt consolidation loans have a term of 24 to 60 months. This can allow you to pay off the debt in a fraction of the time.

5 cons of using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt

1. You might not qualify for a personal loan
Lenders don’t issue personal loans to just anyone. In most cases, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 525 to even have your loan application considered. Other factors that will be taken into consideration include your debt-to-income ratio, employment status and credit history.

2. You may continue to rack up debt
Technically speaking, paying off your credit card balances with a personal loan frees up space to start racking up charges again. If you don’t completely trust yourself to cut ties with the plastic, it might not be wise to put the temptation out there. After all, debt consolidation is supposed to help improve your finances, not make them worse.

3. You might not get a lower interest rate
Personal loan interest rates are largely based on your credit score. Generally speaking, most rates fall between 5.99% to 35.99%. It’s possible your credit card interest rate will be lower than the rate you’re offered for a personal loan. In this case, it wouldn’t make sense to proceed with debt consolidation.

4. Your monthly payment could increase
You pay for it with interest, but credit cards offer more repayment flexibility than personal loans. Since the latter is typically attached to a repayment period of 24 to 60 months, it’s possible you’ll end up with a higher monthly payment. If you don’t have a lot of extra room in your budget, this could be difficult to handle. The last thing you want is to default on the personal loan that was supposed to be getting you out of debt.

5. The loan might come with fees
Some lenders charge an origination fee, which is tacked on to your personal loan. In most cases, the fee costs 1% to 6% of the total loan amount. For example, if you had a $5,000 loan with a 2% origination fee, you would have to pay $100 upfront. Therefore, it’s possible the personal loan could be more expensive than your credit cards, even if you’re able to secure a lower interest rate.

How to find a personal loan to pay off debt

Shopping around to find the best offer for a personal loan is a must. MagnifyMoney offers a personal loan marketplace that allows you to quickly identify lenders that might meet your needs. You can personalize results by filtering for your credit score, desired loan amount and ZIP code.

What to consider as you review personal loan offers

When comparison shopping for a personal loan, take these key factors into account:

  • APR: Personal loan rates typically fall between 5.99% to 35.99%. The rate you’re offered directly impacts your monthly payment and the overall interest you’ll pay on the loan.
  • Term length: Most personal loans come with a term length of 24 to 60 months, which is the amount of time you’ll have to pay the balance off in full.
  • Fees: Some lenders tack on additional fees to personal loans, including origination fees and prepayment penalties. These can increase the total cost of the loan.
  • Loan amount: Personal loans are generally available in sums ranging from $1,000 to $35,000. However, not all lenders are able to approve the amount of money you might need.
LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

3 alternatives to a personal loan

Taking out a personal loan to pay off credit card balances isn’t the only way to get out of debt.

If you don’t qualify for a personal loan or are unable to find one that meets your needs, here’s a few other options to consider.

1. Balance transfer credit card

A balance transfer allows you to shift your debt from a high interest credit card to one with a more competitive rate if you qualify. Many credit card companies even offer a 0% introductory APR, making it possible for you to pay less interest or none at all for a period of time, so you can pay your balance down faster. The MagnifyMoney balance transfer card marketplace can help you comparison shop to find the right credit card for your needs.

Pros

  • If you get a new card with an intro 0% APR and pay it off in full during the promotional period, you can eliminate all interest charges.
  • Your new card might have better perks than the old one.
  • It might be possible to get a card with $0 intro balance fees, making it possible to save even more money.
  • There’s no prepayment penalty.

Cons

  • In most cases, you’ll need good or excellent credit — often a 700 minimum credit score — to qualify for the most competitive offers.
  • You’re unable to transfer balances between the same credit card issuer.
  • Cards often come with a transfer fee, which is usually 3% of the total balance transferred.
  • If you don’t pay the balance in full during the introductory period, you could face a higher APR than you were paying on your old card.

2. Home equity line of credit

A home equity line of credit, commonly known as a HELOC, allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. Equity is the difference between what the home is worth and the outstanding debt on it. For example, if your property is valued at $400,000 and you owe $250,000 on your mortgage, you have $150,000 in equity. Most lenders will allow you to borrow up to 85% of the current value of your home.

Pros

  • Borrow as much or as little as you need, up to your limit.
  • Repay only the amount used.
  • Interest rates are typically lower than credit cards and personal loans.

Cons

  • Interest rates are generally variable, which could cause your monthly payment to fluctuate.
  • You could be subject to annual fees, maintenance fees, transaction fees and closing costs.
  • Some lenders have a minimum borrowing or withdrawal amount.
  • If you fall behind on payments, you could lose your home.

3. Borrowing from a friend or family member

Nearly three in four Americans have borrowed money from a relative at some point in their lives, according to a survey from LendingTree, which owns MagnifyMoney. Unfortunately, more than one-quarter experienced negative consequences from the transaction. If you take this route, create a contract outlining the loan length, monthly payments and other terms, such as interest.

Pros

  • No credit check is involved, which is advantageous if your score isn’t the best.
  • If you have to pay interest, you’ll likely get a more competitive rate than would be offered by a traditional lender.
  • You won’t have to spend time comparison shopping for loans.

Cons

  • Missing payments could permanently damage your bond with a loved one.
  • Owing a friend or family member money might change the dynamic of your relationship.
  • Tensions could arise if the person needs the money before the expected loan payoff date.

5 questions to consider before tackling your debt with a personal loan

In many cases, using a personal loan to pay off credit card balances is a wise move, but not always. Ask yourself these questions to make sure this it’s the right choice for your unique situation.

Using a personal loan to pay off your credit cards opens the door to take on even more debt. You don’t want to end up with more debt than you had initially.

After paying your credit card(s) off, you might be ready to cut ties with them and close the account. But that might not be the best move — closing an account slashes your overall available credit, which can lower your credit score. If you close a credit card account that you’ve had for several years, it could also damage your length of credit history, which can also lower your credit score.

However, if you know you’ll charge the cards right back up, closing them could still be the better choice. Be honest with yourself and take the route that’s best for your unique situation.

Generally speaking, personal loans have an average interest rate of 5.99% to 35.99%, but they can go much higher. It’s possible you could be offered a higher rate than you’re currently paying on your credit card. For example, if you’re offered a personal loan with an 30% interest rate, but the interest rate on your credit card is 14%, you’d likely end up paying more with the loan.

In addition to high interest rates, some lenders attach costs, terms and conditions to personal loans that add up fast. Origination fees, prepayment penalties and longer term lengths, to name a few, can take more money out of your wallet than you’re currently paying credit card companies. Read the fine print carefully to understand exactly what you’re getting into.

For example, many lenders don’t charge origination fees, but others tack on approximately 1% to 6% of the total loan amount. Some lenders will also hit you with a prepayment penalty if you decide to pay your loan off early. Others might offer a lower monthly payment, but with an extended term that will take longer to repay, ultimately costing you more than if you’d just stuck with a credit card.

If you’re currently making the minimum payments on your credit card(s), transferring the balance to a personal loan could result in a higher monthly payment. Debt consolidation loans must typically be repaid within 24 to 60 months, so if this causes your payment to increase, make sure you can handle the added financial burden.

The bottom line

Most Americans carrying a credit card balance — 77% — don’t realize they can take out a personal loan to pay down their debt, according to Marcus by Goldman Sachs. This can be a savvy way to get a handle on your credit card debt, and finally pay it off for good. When shopping around for a personal loan, take the time to compare multiple offers and carefully review all terms and conditions, to make sure you’re making the best choice for your finances.

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.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

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Personal Loans

7 Best Personal Loans that Accept Cosigners

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

best personal loans
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When you need to borrow money but don’t want to deal with the uncertainty of credit cards, a personal loan is a smart option to consider.

Not only do personal loans come with fixed interest rates, but they also come with fixed monthly payments and a fixed repayment period. With a fixed payment, you’ll never end up with a monthly bill that’s higher than you thought it would be. A fixed repayment timeline also lets you know exactly when your loan will be paid off.

If you’re on the fence about borrowing money, keep in mind that there are many reasons why a personal loan may be a viable option for you. Perhaps you want to consolidate high interest debt with a new loan that features a lower interest rate and better terms. Maybe you need to remodel your kitchen or fix your car that has been broken down for months. Whatever the reason, a personal loan offers a predictable way to borrow money without any surprises.

But what do you do if you can’t get a personal loan on your own? A cosigner could help you qualify for funds. Here’s what you should consider before applying with a cosigner, plus personal loans that accept cosigners.

When should you find a personal loan cosigner?

While personal loans offer a smart way to borrow money, not everyone can qualify. Lenders consider your income, employment status, debt-to-income ratio and your credit score before they approve you, which could be a problem if your finances aren’t in the best shape.

If you don’t have the time to improve your credit score before applying for a loan, a personal loan cosigner can help your application. A cosigner agrees to guarantee the loan if you stop making payments. A cosigner could be a family member or a close friend, but it needs to be someone with good credit for them to help you qualify for a loan.

Here are the pros and cons of getting a cosigner for your personal loan:

Pros

  • Qualify for a loan when you may otherwise not have been able to
  • Get better terms on your personal loan
  • Can use the loan to build your credit
  • Have someone to hold you accountable, if you’re new to debt

Cons

  • Your cosigner’s credit report could take a hit if you miss payments
  • If you stop making payments, your cosigner will be equally responsible
  • Can strain your relationship if you’re not on top of your loan

Don’t mistake a cosigner for a co-borrower

Before you apply for a personal loan with a cosigner, it’s also important to note the difference between a cosigner and a co-borrower. Where a cosigner lends their good credit to your loan application and guarantees to repay your loan if you do not, a co-borrower is someone who shares in your obligation to repay money you borrow.

If you plan to take out a personal loan with your spouse and you each plan to make payments toward the loan, for example, your spouse would act as a co-borrower and not a cosigner. With that being said, it’s possible you could benefit from having a co-borrower or a cosigner provided the other individual has good credit and the financial means to repay the loan.

7 best personal loans that accept cosigners

A cosigner can help you qualify for a loan you may not be able to get on your own. Fortunately, there are a handful of companies that readily accept loans with more than one applicant or a cosigner who is willing to guarantee the loan.

To help you find the best loan options within this category, we compared lenders based on their interest rates, loan terms, borrowing limits and credit requirements. Here are some of the top personal loans you can get with a cosigner or a joint applicant.

Company
APR
Terms
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount

3.34% - 16.99%

24 to 144

months

$5,000

$100,000

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on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.

6.95% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

$1,000

$40,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Our Commitment We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.
Backed Personal Loans

2.90% - 15.99%

12 to 36

months

$3,000

$25,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on Backed Personal Loans’s secure website

16.05% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

$1,500

$30,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

4.99% - 29.99%

24 to 60

months

$7,500

$40,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details.

36.00%

12 to 60

months

$1,000

$25,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

SoFi

6.99% - 14.99%

36 to 84

months

$5,000

$50,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 14.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 14.10% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of November 30, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.33% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

1. LightStream

LightStream is a popular online lender that offers personal loans for almost any reason. Their personal loans come with a fixed interest rate, a fixed monthly payment and a fixed repayment timeline that dictates exactly when your loan will be paid off from Day One.

Although LightStream doesn’t list a minimum credit score requirement, they do note that their loans are available for consumers with “good credit.” LightStream also allows people to apply for their loans with a joint applicant. The best part is, LightStream personal loans come with no fees — no origination fee, no application fee and no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early.

LightStream personal loans may be best for:

  • Individuals who have “good credit” or a FICO score of 660 or higher
  • Individuals who have a co-borrower whose credit score is 660 or higher
  • Anyone who needs to borrow a lot since LightStream personal loans have a higher borrowing limit than some of their competitors

2. LendingClub

LendingClub is another loan company that allows joint applicants to apply for personal loans. Unlike other lenders on this list, however, LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender that gets its funds from other individuals who agree to invest in the platform.

LendingClub lets consumers borrow up to $40,000 for debt consolidation, home repairs, emergency expenses and many other purposes. Interest rates can be on the low side provided you have good or great credit since the lender’s lowest advertised rates start at 6.95%. However, LendingClub does offer personal loans to borrowers with credit scores as low as 600.

LendingClub also considers applicants with a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40%, meaning that your monthly debt obligations cannot make up more than 40% of your monthly gross income.

LendingClub personal loans may be best for:

  • Borrowers with fair credit who may not be able to qualify for a loan with other lenders
  • Anyone who needs to borrow less than $40,000 with a joint borrower
  • People who want to borrow from individual investors rather than a traditional bank

3. Backed Personal Loans

Backed Personal Loans is a lender that is actually geared to consumers who need a cosigner to get a personal loan. This company refers to cosigners as “backers,” however, per the company name.

Backed offers special protections for individuals who agree to cosign on their loans. Unlike traditional personal loans that inform cosigners of a default after the fact, Backers personal loans offer the borrower and cosigner a 15-day grace period to keep a loan in good standing once a payment is late. Late fees aren’t charged during this time, and the late payment won’t be reported to credit bureaus until the 15-day period has lapsed. Plus, the cosigner is informed of the late payment right away.

Backers personal loans do charge an origination fee that can be decreased substantially if you fill out your application with additional information and add a qualified cosigner. Backed requires a minimum credit score of 660, and it does exclude borrowers who have recent derogatory marks on their credit reports. Currently, Backed personal loans are only available for individuals who reside in the following states: New York, New Jersey, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona and West Virginia.

Backed personal loans may be best for:

  • Individuals who need a cosigner for their loan
  • Borrowers who need a personal loan with poor credit
  • Anyone who wants their cosigner to have the added protection of a 15-day grace period before a payment is reported late

4. OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial is a personal loan company that offers higher interest rates than some of their competitors. However, OneMain does extend personal loans to borrowers with “fair credit” who may not be able to get a loan elsewhere.

Loan amounts are offered between $1,500 and $30,000 and repayment terms are available for up to five years. OneMain Financial also allows borrowers to apply for a loan with a cosigner, which could help you qualify for a lower interest rate if your credit is poor. It’s important to note, however, that will you will have to visit a physical OneMain Financial branch to close on your loan.

OneMain Financial personal loans may be best for:

  • Individuals who need a cosigner for their loan
  • People with fair credit who may not qualify for a personal loan with another lender
  • Anyone who needs to borrow up to $30,000 and pay it back for up to five years

5. FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus is another personal loan company that focus on borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. Loan amounts are offered up to $40,000 and you can repay for up to five years. FreedomPlus does charge an origination fee from 0.00% - 5.00% of your loan amount, but they don’t charge any penalties if you pay your loan off early.

While FreedomPlus doesn’t list an exact minimum credit score to qualify, they do list a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40%. FreedomPlus also allows co-borrowers on their loan applications, which can make it easier to qualify if you do not have the income or credit to qualify on your own.

FreedomPlus personal loans may be best for:

  • Individuals with fair credit who have a co-borrower to apply with
  • Anyone who needs to borrow up to $40,000 for nearly any reason
  • Someone who can’t qualify for a personal loan without any fees

6. Mariner Finance

Mariner Finance is another personal loan company that allows individuals to apply for a personal loan with a cosigner. This company does offer interest rates as high as 36.00% depending on your creditworthiness, but they do not list a minimum credit score to qualify. For that reason, Mariner Finance may be a good option for consumers who may need to pay a higher interest rate due to credit mistakes they’ve made in the past.

While Mariner Finance does have looser requirements to qualify for their loans, it’s important to note that they only operate in 22 states: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Fees can vary on personal loans from Mariner Finance as well, so make sure to read the fine print and understand all fees before you move forward with one of their loan options.

Mariner Finance personal loans may be best for:

  • Individuals who need a cosigner for their personal loan
  • Anyone with less-than-stellar credit who can’t get a loan with another company
  • People who need to borrow up to $25,000; however, note that loans greater than $7,000 or less than $1,500 need to be funded at a physical branch

7. SoFi

While SoFi is mostly known for their private student loans and student loan refinancing options, this company also offers personal loans. SoFi personal loans are available for people in every state except for Mississippi, and they allow co-borrowers on the same loan application.

One big benefit of personal loans from SoFi is their lack of fees. This company doesn’t charge an origination fee for their personal loans, nor do they charge prepayment fees or late fees. SoFi even has a program that allows you to pause your loan payments if you lose your job. The best part is, SoFi makes it possible to see if you could get approved for a loan without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

SoFi personal loans may be best for:

  • People with good credit who want to apply with a co-borrower
  • Anyone who needs to borrow a lot since personal loans amounts go up to $50,000
  • People who want a personal loan without any fees

Conclusion

If you need a personal loan with a cosigner or a co-borrower, make sure to check out all the companies on this list. While we included some lenders that charge higher interest rates and fees, our list of top lenders for personal loans with a cosigners was created to include options that could work for borrowers with all credit ratings and financial situations.

As you compare loan options, make sure to read the fine print and compare loan terms, interest rates and fees. With enough research, you’ll have the best shot at finding a personal loan that meets your needs — with or without a cosigner.

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.

Holly Johnson
Holly Johnson |

Holly Johnson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Holly here

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Personal Loans

Financing a Patent With a Personal Loan

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

financing a patent
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You just invented what you believe will be “the next big thing.” Perhaps you’ve built a better mousetrap, created a product that is going to revolutionize an industry or just made something fun that is going to bring joy to everyone for years to come — remember the pet rock? Either way, you’ll need to protect your product with a patent.

Investing in a patent application is just as important as investing in the product you created. “The real power in a patent is a negative right, or the power to stop other people from practicing your invention,” says Adam Kelly, partner with Loeb & Loeb LLP in Chicago, who specializes in patent litigation and infringement.

Here’s what you need to know before financing your patent.

Financing your patent with a personal loan

A personal loan can provide you with a lump sum chunk of change to help you finance the cost of a patent. The pros of using a personal loan to finance a patent are obvious: “You will have the money up front to hire a registered patent attorney to draft a thorough patent application,” according to Kelly.

However, personal loans often come with higher interest rates compared to other types of loans, so if you are short on cash now, consider how you are going to be able to pay this loan back later. As Kelly noted, “the cons are that now you have this note that you have to pay at some point, and you need to be able, as a business person, to figure out how you’re going to monetize the invention to pay the money back.”

If you want to use a personal loan to finance a patent, Kelly suggests starting by creating a business plan. Then, do some research on potential lenders.

How to find personal loans for a patent

Before applying for a loan, make sure you know your credit score. You know the old story — the better your credit score, the better your loan. You can see your credit score for free using My LendingTree. If you need to improve your score before applying, you can follow these tips.

Once you’re ready to start shopping lenders, you can use LendingTree’s personal loan tool. By inputting some personal information, you may get to review loan offers from up to five reputable lenders. You could also compare lenders on MagnifyMoney’s personal loan marketplace (MagnifyMoney is a subsidiary of LendingTree).



Finance a Patent with a Personal Loan

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, fill out the paperwork for your personal loan.

Don’t qualify for a loan? Apply for a provisional patent application

If you can’t afford the cost of a patent and don’t qualify for a loan, a provisional application can be your saving grace. Kelly explains that for approximately $400, you can file a provisional application — which means temporary — that holds your place in line for one year.

In the meantime, you can try and raise the funds you need for a full patent application. If your one year is up and you haven’t converted your provisional patent application to a full patent application, you’ll lose your place in line and will need to start over.

Applying for a patent: Filling out your application and costs

The process for obtaining a patent starts with an application that will be submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “This is a legal document that combines patent law with an explanation of the technology underlying the invention,” Kelly says. “It’s one of the most complex legal documents that we have in the United States.”

The type of patent application you’ll need depends on the product you’ve invented. There are three types of patents: design, utility and plant.

Patent typeDescription of patentFiling Fee

Design patent

A design patent covers how a product looks. The length of a design patent is 14 years.

$200

Utility patent

A utility patent protects the way an article is used and works. The length of a utility patent is 20 years.

$300

Plant patent

A plant patent protects new varieties of plants, flowers and seeds. The length of a plant patent is 18 years.

$200

As Kelly explained, the design patent protects the ornamental aspects of your product. “For example, the bug-eyed headlights on a Porsche 911 are covered by a design patent,” he said. “The same with the BMW kidney-shaped grill and the unique shape of a Heineken beer bottle.”

Compare that to a utility patent, which protects the functional aspect of an invention, or how that technology is used; as an example, Kelly noted, “On an iPhone, the round button that you press to use your phone is protected by a utility patent.”

The third patent is for those who create new plant varieties — say, a new corn or soybean seed.

Filling out a patent application

According to Kelly, each patent application requires several components: a description of the problem that the inventor was attempting to solve and the failed solutions to that problem; a description of how the inventor solved the problem and descriptions of the invention itself. The application also requires properly labeled and described drawings.

“Most importantly,” according to Kelly, “at the back of the patent application is the claim, a long run-on sentence which describes the invention.” Kelly also urges every entrepreneur to hire a registered patent attorney to complete the application: “The claim determines the scope of the patent rights that are afforded to the inventor. It takes a very skilled draftsperson to write a patent claim appropriately.”

Once your application is complete, it is filed with the patent office, along with the requisite fees. Then, Kelly says, a patent examiner who has the technical background that matches your invention reviews your application.

Your cost for a patent

Speaking of fees, a patent application can start at just a few hundred dollars, but the investment often comes with a hefty price tag. According to Kelly, entrepreneurs should plan on spending between $7,000 and $15,000 to prepare and file a patent application, which includes the services of a registered patent attorney.

“The fees also range based on the complexity of the invention,” he said. “If you need to hire a registered patent attorney who has a Ph.D in biochemistry, because your application deals with recombinant DNA technology, that’s going to be more expensive.”

Compare that to someone who has just designed a new cardboard coffee cup — according to Kelly, “that invention is pretty low technology and wouldn’t require as much time to put together the patent application.”

Applications can be five pages long or 200 pages long, depending on the invention and complexity of the technology.

“The Patent Office is one of the few administrative agencies of offices in the U.S. government which makes money,” said Kelly, “and that’s because there’s a fee for filing a patent application, a fee for asking for a once-a-year examination process, and even a fee for not meeting deadlines that the examiner will set to the inventor.

When it is time to award the patent, there is a issuance fee and there are maintenance fees so that the patent office will continue to recognize that patent as valid and enforceable.”

Beware submitting a patent application on your own

You can submit a patent application on your own, but this is the riskiest of all of your options. According to Kelly, if you want to do it yourself, you must have a strong familiarity with patent laws and the procedures of the Patent Office, and your application must comply with those procedures and laws. Unless you have a legal and patent background, it’s better to leave this tricky process to the pros.

Do you even need a patent?

Remember: You can’t patent an idea, just your actual invention, but maybe you don’t even need a patent for that either.

“If you discover or create an invention, you need to make a strategic decision as to whether you disclose that invention to the world or whether you keep it secret,” said Kelly. “It could be considered a trade secret, such as the formula for Coca Cola or the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. You can derive proprietary value from a trade secret.”

However, Kelly noted that if the invention can easily be reverse engineered, then patent protection is a must.

The patent application process can take anywhere from one to three years. Once you apply for your patent, you can mark your product “patent pending” and continue to sell it (and hopefully make money) while you wait for an answer.

“The patent pending designation is important for calculating damages later if you sue an infringer, and if you’re successful proving infringement,” said Kelly.

A patent application takes money and time, but it ultimately protects the one thing you have been working on for a long time — your invention.

Fees mentioned above are accurate as of the date of publishing.

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.

Lisa Iannucci |

Lisa Iannucci is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lisa here

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Where to Get an Unsecured Personal Loan

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

applying for an unsecured loan
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Life always has a way of coming up with new ways to surprise us. When those surprises call for quick cash, an unsecured personal loan might be what’s needed to fill in the gap between the funds you have and the debts you owe.

Taking out a personal loan to consolidate your existing debts might be wise if you’re facing high interest rates. Also, rolling all your debts into a single payment and interest rate can make it easier to manage and track how much you owe and how long it’ll take for you to pay off the loans.

An unsecured personal loan may also be preferable to selling your assets to get the money you need to pay for large purchases or unexpected emergencies.

What is an unsecured personal loan?

A personal loan is considered unsecured when it’s not backed by collateral, such as your car, which could be repossessed by the lender if you default on your loan agreement. Instead, unsecured loans are backed only by your promise to repay the lender, which is why they are called unsecured, or sometimes signature, loans.

Because an unsecured loan doesn’t require you to put down any collateral, lenders rely heavily on various factors to determine whether you’ll pay back your loan in full. Such factors include:

What can an unsecured personal loan be used for?

An unsecured loan is provided to the borrower in a lump sum and can be used for virtually anything, including:

  • Debt consolidation, which is where you use the personal loan to pay off high-interest debts, leaving you with an easier-to-manage single interest rate and monthly payment.
  • Special experiences such as a wedding or honeymoon so that you can enjoy the experience without worrying about the money.
  • Home improvements or other large appliance purchase, but borrowers should also consider alternatives such as a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.
  • Medical bills for an unexpected treatment that isn’t covered by your health insurance.
  • College tuition to invest in your and your child’s future.
  • Business expenses to scale and set up your organization for success.
  • Unexpected expenses for those emergencies that often come up in life.

Still, borrowers should make it a point to check with their lender for any guidelines on ways in which the funds can be used.

Personal unsecured loans generally have term ranges between two and five years and rates that are usually fixed. The monthly payment is based on how much money you owe and the interest rate, which is determined by your credit rating and financial history. Some lenders offer revolving lines of credit that allow borrowers to withdraw as needed and only pay interest on the amounts withdrawn.

Where to find unsecured personal loans

If you’ve decided that a personal loan is right for you, you’ll need to begin researching lenders and the terms they offer.

MagnifyMoney offers a personal loan marketplace where you can discover lenders and review the loan terms they offer. But you may also consider these lenders:

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.
LendingTree

5.99% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Minimum 500 FICO

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Disclaimer

3.34% - 16.99%

24 to 144

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.
SoFi

6.99% - 14.99%

36 to 84

months

680

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 14.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 14.10% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of November 30, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.33% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

6.99% - 24.99%

36 to 72

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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.

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

6.95% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

600

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Our Commitment We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

9.95% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

16.05% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

PenFed Credit Union

Starting at 6.49%

60

months

700

SEE OFFERS Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

7.98% - 35.99%

36 & 60

months

640

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

We'll receive a referral fee if you apply for this loan. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

You’ll find that personal loan lenders take different forms: traditional banks, credit unions, online lenders and peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders. If you’re not sure which lender is right for you, consider these pros and cons for each.

Traditional banks

At one time, brick-and-mortar banks might have been your best option for a personal loan. But nowadays, you may find that your local bank isn’t a competitive option. Why? Because banks with physical branches have higher overhead costs than online lenders — and they’re still trying to make a profit off your loan. Still, they can be a convenient option.

Pros

  • Can visit your local branch to learn more and apply
  • Likely a trusted and known brand

Cons

  • Higher fees
  • May have stricter loan requirements

Credit unions

Because credit unions aren’t trying to profit off your loan, they can generally offer lower interest rates on their personal loans. But to get a personal loan through a credit union, you have to become a member first — and you won’t qualify for membership at every credit union.

Pros

  • Lower fees
  • May have lower loan requirements

Cons

  • Have to become a member before applying
  • Fewer locations compared to a big bank

Online lenders

Online lenders don’t have brick-and-mortar locations. That could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your needs. But with fewer overhead costs, online lenders are competitive options for personal loans.

Pros

  • Competitive rates and terms
  • Easier to research, plus streamlined application processes

Cons

  • Little name recognition can make them hard to find
  • No physical locations for in-person aid

P2P lenders

P2P lending is what it sounds like: Instead of going to a bank, borrowers receive their loans from their peers who they are connected to through a platform. Since P2P lending is only online, overhead costs are low and customers get lower interest rates. A personal loan through P2P lending comes with some cons, such as an origination fee, which is deducted from the total loan amount before the borrower gets their lump sum. Also, loans are not available in all states, and they can depend on debt-to-income ratio, financial history and career experience. They are generally limited to borrowers with above-average credit and income levels.

Pros

  • Can share your story if you’re struggling to qualify
  • Work with people rather than companies

Cons

  • Likely to receive high rates
  • Harder to qualify for a loan

How to compare personal loans: 3 factors to consider

With so many options, it’s beneficial for borrowers to consider several lenders for a comparison. Below are some considerations to take into account when shopping for a personal loan:

Interest rate

Take a look at MagnifyMoney’s personal loan marketplace and you’ll see that rates fall from 5.99% to 35.99%. Your loan’s interest rate will impact how much you pay throughout the life of the loan, so it’s important to shop around for the best rate.

Interest rates are determined through various factors, depending on the lender, but they are generally decided based on the borrower’s credit, income and whether there’s a cosigner.

Fees

Fees are serious factors to take into account when choosing a lender as they will greatly impact your total loan amount. Here are two common fees:

  • Origination fees are charged by the lender for processing a personal loan application. The origination fee is either presented as a flat rate or a percentage of the loan, which is typically withdrawn from the full amount of the loan and incorporated in the APR. This fee is negotiable.
  • Prepayment penalties are charged when a borrower pays off their loan ahead of the term schedule.

View our list of lenders with no personal loan fees here

Lender perks

If you have a strong credit history and are a good candidate for a personal loan, lenders will usually work with you on a repayment schedule that doesn’t overwhelm you each month. For instance, some lenders will allow you to use a cosigner who has good credit for a lower interest rate and term on your loan.

Some lenders take a nontraditional approach to the merit-based system utilized in personal loans. For instance, Earnest offers flexible terms along with customized loan and repayment plans, which work well for recent graduates who haven’t yet had the opportunity to establish a strong credit history. Upstart, founded by “ex-Googlers,” uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine whether someone would be a good borrower based on their education, career, job history and standardized test scores.

Some lenders are forgiving during challenging times. SoFi offers loan forbearance during a job loss. During this time, the interest will continue to accrue, but SoFi will not consider your payments overdue. LendingClub leaves its borrowers alone for at least 30 days if they’ve been affected by a natural disaster.

Applying for an unsecured personal loan

Most online lending platforms use a soft pull during the application process so that you will be able to shop around for the best interest rate and loan term without hurting your credit. These are called preapprovals or pre-qualification checks, but they are usually contingent on you passing a hard credit inquiry after you’ve accepted the loan offer.

While shopping around for the lender that works best for you, consider using MagnifyMoney’s loan payment calculator to get an idea of possible monthly payments. Put in the amount you need, the period you’ll need it for and the interest rate to get the estimated amount you’ll pay each month.

Submitting your application

Since an unsecured loan is not backed by anything other than a borrower’s creditworthiness, you’ll need a good credit score and documentation — recent pay stubs, tax returns and an offer letter to prove employment status – proving you have enough income to repay the new loan.

If you have this kind of information handy, the application process can be quick and simple.

Receiving loan funds

This varies by lender, but decisions are usually made quickly. Funds can be deposited as early as the same business day. Check with your lender on wait times.

Once you have your funds, make sure you are responsible with them. Taking on new debt can be scary if you don’t have a plan for repayment, so make sure you understand how your personal loan fits into your budget.

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.

Vivian Giang
Vivian Giang |

Vivian Giang is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Vivian here

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Personal Loans

Where to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates Online

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

Where to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates Online

Updated December 01, 2018

If you want a to pay off a credit card or consolidate debt, a personal loan is going to be one of your best options. A personal loan with a set payoff period a few years from now has some of these advantages:

  • One monthly payment
  • A set rate
  • You don’t need absolutely perfect credit
  • You can check your rate without touching your score

There are more attractive deals than ever thanks to some new online lenders and you can see sample rates below for excellent credit and good credit.

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.
LendingTree

5.99% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Minimum 500 FICO

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Disclaimer

3.34% - 16.99%

24 to 144

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.
SoFi

6.99% - 14.99%

36 to 84

months

680

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 14.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 14.10% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of November 30, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.33% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

6.99% - 24.99%

36 to 72

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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.

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

6.95% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

600

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Our Commitment We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

9.95% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

16.05% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

PenFed Credit Union

Starting at 6.49%

60

months

700

SEE OFFERS Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

7.98% - 35.99%

36 & 60

months

640

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

We'll receive a referral fee if you apply for this loan. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

Best personal loans for excellent credit: SoFi, Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, BestEgg, LightStream

Best personal loans for good credit: LendingClub, BestEgg, Upstart, PenFed Credit Union

Best personal loans for bad or minimal credit: Avant, OneMain Financial

Tip: Apply for several loans to check rates. Every lender has different approval criteria and different pricing models – and the difference in rate between lenders (even for people with excellent credit) can be significant. So long as you shop with lenders that use a soft credit pull, you can check your rate without negatively impacting your credit score.

Start Here – Multiple Lenders at Once

LendingTree

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

Dozens of lenders participate in LendingTree‘s personal loan shopping tool – including all of the lenders listed on this page. With one online form, LendingTree will perform a soft pull (with no impact to your score) and match you with multiple loan offers. This is our favorite (because it is easy) way to get multiple offers from lenders in minutes and consolidate debt. For people with excellent credit, you could get an interest rate below 6%. For people with less than perfect credit, there are many lenders participating with more liberal acceptance criteria.

Why is this a good way to save?

Banks don’t care much for personal loans because the lower rates earn them less profit than credit cards.

Fortunately, some new companies believe you should be able to get a competitive rate without dealing with credit card intro offers, even if your credit isn’t perfect.

They’re doing it by lending online only without the overhead of branches.

They pass the savings on to you through better rates, and you can check up on them below.

Best Personal loans for Excellent Credit

The following providers are for you if you want the absolute lowest possible rates that reward a record of no late payments and good income, even though you have some high rate debt that you want to consolidate.

Unless you get a rate of 5% or less, you’re probably better off with balance transfer deals, but the convenience of a fixed payment and walking away from credit cards makes personal loans appealing.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

6.99%
To
14.99%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 14.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 14.10% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of November 30, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.33% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

SoFi’s believes if you’ve graduated college or went to grad school you’ll be a more responsible borrower, so they may be more likely to give you a better rate, even if your credit history is limited.

For example, if you have $10,000 in credit card debt, good income, and great credit, their best rate could save you as much as 0% balance transfer deals once you factor in the fees for each.

What we like best about SoFi is that they offer No origination fee and no prepayment penalty. If you think you may be able to pay off your loan earlier (or want the flexibility to do that), Sofi is the only lender we reviewed that charges no fee at all. Given their very low rates, we think anyone with good credit should start with Sofi first, and then compare their offer to the rest of the providers.

Amount: $5,000 – $50,000

Available states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Washington D.C., Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington (terms and limitations apply).

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

If you want to work with a traditional bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® can be a great option. With rates as low as 6.99% APR and flexible terms ranging between 36 to 72 months, they offer a competitive personal loan option that is backed by the security and peace of mind that comes with using a bank that has been in business for 148 years.

While Marcus does not state a required minimum credit score, they do seek out people with prime credit, which usually falls above 660 or higher on the FICO scale. Those that meet the requirements will be able to borrow up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation loans.

BestEgg

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

People looking for a process that is fast and straightforward can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. ... Read More


*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

BestEgg is an online personal loan company that offers low interest rates and quick funding. BestEgg is one of the fastest growing personal loan companies in the country, largely because it has been able to provide one of the best combinations of interest rate and loan amount in the market.

You can check to see your interest rate without hurting your score, and they do approve people with scores as low as 660. If you have an excellent credit score, BestEgg will be very competitive on terms.

Amount: up to $35,000

Lightstream

APR

3.34%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.

Lightstream is a great choice for people with excellent credit. It is actually part of a bank you might have heard of, SunTrust Bank. They were recently set up to offer some of the best personal loan rates available, and they are delivering. The interest rate you are charged depends upon the purpose of the loan.Interest rates can be as low as 3.34% for a new car purchase (and LightStream does not put their name on your title. They just put the cash in your bank account, and you can shop around and pay cash for the car). Home improvement loans start at 4.99% APR with AutoPay , making them cheaper and easier than a home equity loan.

They’ll also approve and deposit your money fast, often the same day, and give extra consideration if you have money in your 401K or equity in your home.

Lightstream has created an exclusive offer, just for MagnifyMoney readers. (This offer went live in January 2016). Credit card consolidation loans for MagnifyMoney readers are now as low as 5.49% fixed. The highest fixed rate is 14.69%. Just beware: LightStream does a hard credit pull.

Amount: $5,000 – $100,000

Available states: All

Best Personal Loans for Good Credit

These providers may be able to help you out if you’re not approved for the very best rates or a 0% balance transfer offer.

LendingClub*

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More

You might not have heard of LendingClub yet, but they are a big player in online loans. And they offer a wide range of rates and terms based on your credit profile and needs. Generally you’ll need a score of about 600 or higher to get approved.

Amount: up to $40,000

Available states: All except Iowa and West Virginia

BestEgg

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

People looking for a process that is fast and straightforward can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. ... Read More


*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

BestEgg (reviewed earlier in this post) will approve people with credit scores as low as 660. If you have good credit and are looking for a loan, you should consider BestEgg.

Upstart*

APR

7.98%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 & 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Upstart is an online lender created by ex-Googlers.... Read More

Upstart offers loans that look a lot like the ones from the bigger online lenders like LendingClub or Prosper.

They’ll let you borrow up to $50,000 for 36 & 60 months. But the key is they will take into account the schools you attended, your area of study, the grades you earned in school, and your work history to see if you can get a better rate.

So while the range of rates Upstart offers is similar to the bigger guys, if you did well in school, you might find the rate you actually get is lower than what the others will offer you, so it’s worth trying.

You’ll need a 640 or better FICO and your monthly payments can’t be more than 55% of your monthly income.

Amount: $1,000 – $50,000

Available states: All

PenFed

PenFed Credit Union
APR

Starting at 6.49%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) offers personal loans with terms up to five years and maximum loan amounts of $25,000.... Read More

Previously, PenFed offers a fixed rate starting at 6.49% interest rate for 60 months. Veterans get extra special attention so it’s worth checking this online only offer. You have to be a member of the PenFed credit union, but that’s easy and anyone can do that online as part of the process.

Available states: All

Best Personal Loans for Bad or No Credit

Avant*

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

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

Avant‘s platform offers access to loans from $2,000 to $35,000, with terms from 24 to 60 months. The minimum credit score varies, but we have seen people with scores as low as 580 get approved.

The good thing about Avant is that these loans are amortizing. That means it is a real installment loan, and you will be reducing your principal balance with every payment.

Amount: up to $35,000

Available states: All except: Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, and Vermont.

For 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.

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

OneMain Financial

APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

OneMain Financial offers personal loans through its branch network to people with less than perfect credit. You can start your application online. If you qualify, you will have to visit a branch to complete the application. Once in the branch, if you have all of the required documents, you can receive you loan proceeds immediately via check.

You can borrow from $1,500 to $30,000. The interest rates are not low, and can go up to 35.99%. They will also charge an up-front origination fee that is not refundable. You should definitely shop around at other lenders first, given the high cost of the loan and the need to visit a branch.

Amount: Up to $30,000

promo-personalloan-wide

* We’ll receive a referral fee if you click on offers with this symbol. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations You can learn more about how our site is financed here.

Got questions? Get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or email (info@magnifymoney.com)

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.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Personal Loans

The 6 Best Personal Loans for Auto Repairs

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

car repair loans
iStock

Car trouble is always a hassle, but it becomes even more nerve-wracking when you don’t have the cash to pay for repairs. If the vehicle you rely on to get to work has just broken down or been involved in an accident, you might need a car repair loan.

Here’s what to consider if your car needs some work:

Does your insurance cover repairs?

You won’t know if you need a loan for car repair until you find out if you’re on the hook for repairs. If your vehicle is under warranty, the repairs could be covered, and if you were involved in an accident, the other party might be at fault.

If you’re not sure if your car is under warranty, CarsDirect recommends finding the vehicle identification number, or VIN, and contacting your local dealership. If they are unable to assist, the site recommends searching for your vehicle history report on Carfax.

In the case of a car accident, Esurance notes that auto insurance is fault-based in most states. Therefore, if you weren’t at fault, the other driver’s insurance company will likely help pay for your car repairs, medical expenses and other costs. If you live in a no-fault state, you might still qualify for assistance with car repairs, so check with your insurer.

Researching pricing and auto body shops

You might not even need a car repair loan — or you can at least reduce the size — if you’re able to score the best possible deal on repairs. If you were in an accident, your insurance company will likely recommend an auto body shop. But you ultimately have the final say on where the repairs are made, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

It’s also wise to shop around and gather quotes from several auto professionals, to be sure you’re getting the best price. When looking for a repair shop, the Federal Trade Commission advises:

  • Asking family members and friends for recommendations
  • Checking to see if the business is licensed (when required by state or local law)
  • Making sure your vehicle warranty will be honored at the shop

If you’re really trying to avoid car repair loans, you might consider taking your vehicle to an auto mechanic school. Of course, this can be a risky move, as technicians are still students. Before turning your car over to the school, check into liability issues, in case the problems aren’t fixed or new ones are created.

Where to find car repair loans

If you need a car repair loan to get back on the road, a personal loan might be the answer. This type of loan requires no collateral, so you won’t have to pledge assets like your home or car to secure financing. Most personal loans have a fixed-interest rate and a term ranging from one to five years, allowing you to choose an option that fits your budget.

LendingTree offers a personal loan tool that may help you find and compare personal loans from lenders. You’ll fill in basic information about yourself and what you’re seeking in a loan. Then, you may be provided with loans to consider from up to five different lenders.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

To kickstart your search for car repair loans, consider these personal loans offered by lenders in the MagnifyMoney personal loan marketplace.

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.
PenFed Credit Union

Starting at 6.49%

60

months

700

Apply Now Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

6.95% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

600

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Our Commitment We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

5.99% - 24.99%

24 to 60

months

640

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
Tower Federal Credit Union

8.74% - 11.74%

12 to 72

months

580

Apply Now Secured

on Tower Federal Credit Union’s secure website

6.99% - 16.99%

24 to 60

months

680

Apply Now Secured

on Santander Bank, N.A’s secure website

Affinity Federal Credit Union

9.50% - 18.00%

60

months

525

Apply Now Secured

on Affinity Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Paying for auto repairs: Comparing your financing options

Personal loans

“A personal loan has a fairly reasonable interest rate when you compare them to other non-asset based borrowing like credit cards, so they are actually not a bad deal, as long as you have decent credit and shop around for the best interest rates,” said Lucas Casarez, CFP and founder of Level up Financial Planning, LLC, a virtual fee-only financial planning firm based in Fort Collins, Colo.

Casarez also warned against seeking nontraditional financing, such as working with a pawn shop or a payday lender.

“The interest rates associated with those types of lenders is eye-popping and to be avoided at all cost(s),” Casarez said.

If you decide to take this route, Jayson Owens, CFP and financial advisor at Bright Road Wealth Management, a fee-only independent investment advisor with offices in Anchorage, Alaska, and Tacoma, Wash., emphasized the importance of making sure you can afford the payment.

“Another common problem is when people don’t compare the alternatives, assuming their primary bank will give them the best rate,” Owens said. “This is almost never the case.”

Cash-out refinance or HELOC

If you have equity in your vehicle or home, Casarez suggested a cash-out vehicle refinance or a home equity line of credit— HELOC — as two possible alternatives.

In a cash-out refinance, the total value of your new loan exceeds the amount needed to pay off the asset — in this case, your vehicle. This only makes sense if you can lower the interest rate and monthly payment, in addition to getting the cash back you need.

A HELOC grants you access to a line of credit you can borrow from as needed. Your lender determines the maximum amount of funds available, then you’re able to choose the amount you actually use.

“Both of these options have a significantly lower interest rate than a personal loan because they are tied to assets,” Casarez said.

Credit cards

In some cases, paying for the car repairs with a credit card might be the wisest move.

“For someone with good credit, credit card rates will likely be better than personal loan rates, particularly an introductory rate,” said Owens. “If a person can commit to paying the card off during the introductory period, that’s frequently the best way to go.”

Putting car repairs on a credit card might benefit some people, but it’s not the best choice for everyone.

“If someone has poor credit, a personal loan might have better rates, particularly if they can pledge collateral — a CD at the same bank, for instance, ” Owens said. “The payments are usually fixed to pay off the loan over a certain term, so you don’t have the flexibility of just paying the minimum and extending the term.”

Ultimately, Owens said the choice between putting repairs on a credit card or taking out a personal loan depends on the person’s behavioral history in previous similar situations.

“This is difficult, because in many cases, the better choice from a financial perspective is not the better choice when you bring human behavior into the equation,” Owens said.

Start an emergency fund for the future

Casarez and Owens agreed establishing an emergency fund is the best way to avoid running short on cash to pay for car repairs in the future.

“If they haven’t started, they should set an emergency fund goal, with a specific date and dollar value, then begin setting a little (aside) each month, even while they are paying off this debt,” Owens said. “The biggest mistake people make with regards to an emergency fund is attempting to wait until they are out of debt to start one.”

The long and short of getting a loan for car repairs

Getting car repairs in a timely manner can be a matter of life or death because it’s unsafe to drive a vehicle that isn’t functioning properly. Taking out a loan for a car repair can allow you to get issues fixed without delay. If you choose this route, always look for ways to save money on repairs.

And if you decide to take out a loan for repairs, be sure to compare lenders to get the best deal possible.

This article contains links to LendingTree, which is our parent company.

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.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

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Personal Loans

How Payday Loans Work — And Why You Should Avoid Them

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

how payday loans work
iStock

You’ve probably heard that payday loans are bad news. There are plenty of reasons for the stigma surrounding this product. Filling in financial gaps with payday loans can lead to a vicious debt cycle.

According to a report released by Pew, the average borrower who takes out a payday loan is in debt for five months and spends an average $520 in fees while repeatedly borrowing $375. Similarly, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that over 80% of payday loans roll over or borrowers take out another payday loan within 14 days.

In this post, we’ll discuss what exactly a payday loan is, why it’s dangerous and alternatives to consider when money is tight.

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan is a short-term loan of a small amount, typically $1,000 or less, that you’re meant to pay back the next time you receive a paycheck. Payday loans can also be called cash advance loans or check loans. If you can’t pay the loan by your next payday, the lender may allow you to roll over the loan into a new term for an additional fee. You can often find payday loans at check cashing places in strip malls.

Payday loans are typically used by low-income borrowers who need access to quick cash to pay everyday bills. A Pew survey found that payday loan borrowers typically earn less than $40,000 per year.

The fees and interest are where the red flags appear: “I’ve seen [interest rates] upwards of 700%,” said Natalie Fountain, a financial wellness expert at GreenPath, Inc., a financial wellness nonprofit.

The cost of a payday loan isn’t always expressed as a percentage. Instead, it may be called a “finance charge,” but when calculated as an APR, it can be astronomical. The average fee, according to Pew, is $55 per loan from a storefront lender and $95 on average for a payday loan offered online.

Fees can vary from lender to lender. Fountain, based in Farmington Hills, Mich., has seen instances where borrowers have to pay a fee per dollar amount. For example, the borrower pays $15 to $40 per $100.

Let’s say you borrow $500, there’s a $20 fee per $100 and you renew at the end of the two-week period for another $50 fee. The loan would cost you $150 in one month. Imagine you kept renewing. After just five months, the total fees would surpass the original $500 loan.

Fees should be stated in the contract you sign. Read all documents with an eagle’s eye. Some states set a maximum fee for payday loans. Other states prohibit payday loans entirely.

Why payday loans are dangerous

Payday loans are often advertised as products to help you cover unexpected bills. However, a majority of borrowers use them for everyday expenses to solve an income gap.

“Most of what I see is people rolling over or renewing the loan. That’s when people get caught in the cycle of the loan and never get out of it,” said Fountain. Over the years, she has found that some people are able to pay it back in two weeks or maybe a month, but many become trapped in debt.

The real danger of payday loans is getting into the pattern of only paying the renewal fees when the loan is due because that fee is all you can afford. The fees may not seem problematic for a short term when you’re in a pinch. But repeatedly borrowing can turn it into a long-term situation that digs you into a deep hole.

Payday loans are easy to get

Payday loans don’t have many requirements, which is what makes them so easy to access. “You can get [payday loans] almost immediately. There’s really no wait, and almost everyone can get one,” Fountain said. A credit check may not be required. In fact, Fountain has worked with borrowers who have payday loans that don’t show up on their credit reports at all. Payday lenders may not report accounts to bureaus.

The one requirement payday lenders do typically have is that you write a post-dated check for the balance or give them direct access to your bank account for the payment. Giving a lender authorization to make bank withdrawals is another area that can cause problems.

A withdrawal can trigger an overdraft if you don’t have enough money when the payment is due. On top of struggling to repay a loan, you could have overdraft fees and a negative account balance to rectify with your bank.

How to resolve your payday loan woes

We’ve driven the point home about the dangers of payday loans. What if you already have payday loans that you’re trying to recover from? There are solutions.

Fountain recommends slowly backing down on the loan. If you have a loan that you keep renewing, try to borrow less each time you renew. For example, if you have a $1,000 payday loan that you keep paying just a renewal fee on, borrow $800 on your next go around and so on until the debt is paid off.

Another option is signing up for a debt management program with a credit counseling organization. Counselors can possibly negotiate better terms like a monthly payment as opposed to one lump sum that’s challenging to pay off.

If you’re buried under multiple debts, you may also consider debt consolidation. That’s where you get a new loan to pay off your existing debts. The new loan should have a lower interest rate and better terms to make repayment easier — or at least lower your overall debt costs. You can see offers from up to five different lenders by using this personal loan tool from LendingTree.

Learn more about how to dig your way out of payday loan debt here.

5 better alternatives to payday loans

Below are some alternatives to review before you settle with a payday loan:

1. Consider peer-to-peer (P2P) lending

Don’t shy away from long-term loans. Short-term loans may seem better because it’s marketed as a shorter commitment. But when you take into account factors like high interest, high fees and unmanageable lump-sum payment requirements, a long-term loan is likely a better solution.

Peer-to-peer loan products can have flexible qualifying criteria for those with less-than-stellar credit. LendingClub and Peerform are examples of P2P online marketplaces where you can get a loan funded by peer investors if you have a credit score of at least 600.

Interest rates for these products currently range from 5.99% to 35.89% APR. You can shop for P2P loans online with a soft inquiry. It’s possible to apply and get funding within a few business days. A P2P loan works like a traditional installment loan where you pay a set amount monthly for a term that can be 36 to 60 months. Shop for P2P loans and other personal loans here.

2. Try a credit card

Credit cards get a bad rap because excessive use of them can also land you in a debt trap. But when used responsibly, credit cards can be a more affordable way to borrow money than payday loans. The average credit card interest rate is currently 14.38% compared with the triple-digit interest rates that you can find with a payday loan.

Credit cards may offer a cash advance option as well, although cash advances may have a higher APR and can come with a cash advance fee of 3% or 5%. However, there are some credit cards that don’t have a cash advance fee.

The application for credit cards is fairly quick. You can apply online and get an instant response. It can take a few weeks for the physical card to come in the mail to activate the account. Compare credit card offers here.

3. Work with your local bank or credit union

Sometimes a local bank or credit union may be willing to lend you a small amount if you’re a loyal customer or member. Speak with your financial institution to see if there are affordable products available.

One product to ask your credit union for is the payday alternative loan or PAL. PALs are small loans that may be offered as a solution for members when money is tight. PALs are typically $200 to $1,000 and can have loan terms of one to six months. These products may come with administrative fees of up to $20.

4. Borrow from friends and family

If you need quick cash and you can’t wait for a loan or credit card, asking friends and family for a favor can get you out of a tough spot. Set up a repayment agreement to avoid awkward conversations about when you’ll pay the money back.

5. Work out bill arrangements and lower your expenses

Jump on the phone before bills get out of control. Try to contact companies you owe money instead of leaning on payday loans to bridge the gap between paychecks. You could ask for bill extensions or a payment plan.

Another proactive step is to lower your monthly bills where you can. Cut the cord on cable. Negotiate a lower rate for your telephone bill and other services. Take on a roommate. Start a side hustle. Reducing expenses and increasing your income can help you avoid short-term loan products for everyday living expenses.

Shop around before making a decision

When bills are due, it’s understandable that you look for the quickest way to solve the problem. Take a deep breath and consider alternatives before going to your local check advance storefront for money. Weighing your options can help you avoid taking a course of action that can put you in even more financial trouble.

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.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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Personal Loans

Top 5 Best Personal Loans for Moving Expenses

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

moving loans
iStock

Updated – Nov. 27, 2018

Whether you’re relocating across the country or to a different neighborhood, moving expenses can take a huge bite out of your bank account.

Moving expenses can vary widely depending on how much you’re moving, as well as how fast and how far. In one comparison of moving costs, we found that an interstate move would cost $800 or more to rent and gas up a moving truck, upward of $1,800 for container shipping or $4,700 for a full-service move.

If your moving expenses come in on the higher end, taking out a personal loan can be a strategic way to cover them without wiping out your savings. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering a loan for moving expenses.

 

5 best personal loans for moving expenses

The best loans for moving expenses will allow you to borrow what you need and choose a repayment term that keeps payment affordable. They’ll also have low interest rates and fees.

A great way to start your search for moving loans is using the LendingTree personal loan shopping tool. After you provide some general details about yourself, the LendingTree tool could quickly match you with up to five different lenders and highlight the best loan offers for you.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

 

Shopping around and comparing different lender offers is how you’ll find moving loans that meet your needs — and your budget.

 

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.

3.34% - 16.99%

24 to 144

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.

5.99% - 24.99%

24 to 60

months

640

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.
Peerform

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

600

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

6.95% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

600

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Our Commitment We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

You can also conduct a search for loans to help with moving expenses. To give you a head start, we’ve tracked down details on personal loan providers offering some of the most competitive interest rates in our marketplace.

1. LightStream

LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank that offers a wide range of personal loan features with low costs. You can borrow with LightStream for any purpose, including getting moving loans.

  • Fixed rates from 3.34% to 16.99% APR, including a 0.50% discount for auto-pay
  • LightStream says it will beat other lenders’ qualifying rates
  • Amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms of 24 to 144 months.
  • Fast loan processing, funded as soon as the same day you apply
  • No origination or processing fees, and no prepayment penalties
  • Loan experience guarantee grants $100 if the borrower is unsatisfied

For LightStream loans, qualified applicants should have several years of credit history with multiple accounts, a clean payment history, stable income and evidence of savings.

One thing to keep in mind before requesting a rate with LightStream is that it uses a hard credit inquiry to do so, which might have a minimal impact on your score.

APR

3.34%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.

2. Payoff

You can’t technically get moving loans from Payoff, but you can use it to consolidate credit card balances you’ve run up during a move.

The Payoff debt consolidation loan will pay off existing credit card balances with a new, low-cost loan. Your new loan can help you save hundreds of dollars in interest and get out of debt faster, compared to paying your credit card minimums. Here’s how it works:

  • Fixed rates from 5.99% to 24.99% APR
  • Consolidate $5,000 to $35,000 in credit card debt
  • Loan terms of 24 to 60 months
  • Origination fees of 0.00% - 5.00%
  • No application, prepayment or late payment fees
  • Free monthly FICO® Score updates
  • Job loss support and payment adjustments

Payoff also has some details on who would be a good fit to apply for its consolidation loan. You’ll need a FICO Score of 640 or higher, a DTI ratio at or below 50% and at least three years of solid credit history.

APR

5.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Payoff is a financial services firm that offers personal loans mainly to help consolidate credit card debt.... Read More

3. Best Egg

Next is Best Egg, a lender that offers relocation and moving loans that can provide a straightforward way to cover moving expenses. Also important during a busy move, Best Egg can quickly process your loan application and, if you’re approved, fund it as soon as the same day.

Here are some other details of Best Egg moving loans:

  • Fixed rates from up to 5.99% to 29.99% APR
  • Borrow as little as $2,000 up to $35,000
  • One-time origination fee of 0.99% - 5.99%, depending on creditworthiness and length of the loan
  • Rate quotes use a soft credit inquiry, which won’t affect credit

Best Egg looks at a range of information on a loan application, including your credit reports and your DTI ratio.

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

People looking for a process that is fast and straightforward can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. ... Read More


*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

4. Peerform

Next up is peer-to-peer lending platform Peerform, which connect applicants seeking loans with investors who are willing to fund them. Peerform offers personal loans for moving expenses, with several beneficial features.

  • Fixed rates from 5.99% to 29.99% APR
  • Loan amounts of $4,000 to $25,000
  • Origination fees of 1.00% - 5.00%
  • No prepayment penalties

Besides these, Peerform uses a grading system to rate borrowers, which considers a range of factors. You can be considered for a Peerform loan with a FICO Score of at least 600 and a debt-to-income ratio below 40%.

Peerform
APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Even with a credit score of 600, you still might be able to secure a loan through Peerform. ... Read More

5. LendingClub

Another peer-to-peer lender that offers competitive rates is LendingClub. It offers personal loans that can be used for a range of purposes, including covering your moving expenses.

  • Fixed rates from 6.95% to 35.89% APR
  • Rate quotes generated without affecting your credit score
  • Loan amounts of $1,000 to $40,000, with terms of 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fees of 1.00% - 6.00% of the loan amount
  • No prepayment penalties

LendingClub takes around seven days to process a loan application and fund it if approved. It also works with a wide range of borrowers, considering credit history and score and ability to repay a loan when evaluating applicants.

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More

Should you use a personal loan for moving expenses?

If you can’t cover your costs out of pocket or are worried about depleting your savings ahead of a move, you might need to borrow for some or all of your moving expenses. Getting personal loans to help with moving expenses allows you to get the funds you need to cover your moving costs now and repay them later.

But do you need a personal loan to pay for a move? Here are the big benefits and drawbacks of moving loans.

Pros

  • You can borrow what you need for your move. Lenders can grant personal loans as small as $1,000 and up to $100,000 or higher, which is enough to fund nearly any move.
  • You’re likely to get lower rates. Personal loan rates typically beat rates offered on revolving credit options, such as credit cards and lines of credit.
  • You know when you’ll be out of debt. A personal loan has fixed monthly payments — or installments — designed for you to pay off the debt over your term.
  • You don’t need collateral for a personal loan. Secured loans such as a home equity loan might not be an option if you’re moving and planning to sell your home. You might need an unsecured personal loan instead.

Cons

  • You might not qualify for a personal loan. Unlike using savings or credit cards you already have, you must apply to get a personal loan. Lenders are unlikely to approve your application unless you have a decent credit score, income and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.
  • You might pay some fees. Some (but not all) personal loans will charge origination fees to set up and fund your loan, adding to your borrowing costs.
  • You’re taking on more debt. Debt can be a big burden, so you’ll need to be sure you look at your payments and choose a loan you can afford to repay.

In all, using personal loans for moving expenses can be a decent idea if you can afford the debt. Make sure you calculate personal loan payments and carefully decide if you can fit a moving loan payment into your budget.

Besides looking at your finances, you will also need to choose the lender with which you want to work. Finding the best personal loans for moving expenses will help you borrow what you need at a lower cost and keep monthly payments manageable.

Other ways to cover your moving expenses

Using a personal loan for moving expenses can be a smart option. But it’s not the only way to keep your moving costs under control and make sure you can afford to relocate. You might want to consider additional ways to keep moving costs under control.

Here are some additional or alternative ways you can handle moving costs.

  • Minimize moving costs. Take a look at your moving needs and budget and find ways to cut back on costs. You can enlist the help of friends to pack rather than hiring movers, for example. And for services you’ll need, such as renting a truck, make sure you call around and compare moving costs to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
  • Sell some belongings. Take inventory of what you own and find things that you could sell to generate some cash to add to your moving fund. Besides putting cash in your pocket, it will mean fewer things that you have to pay to move.
  • Delay a move and save up. If you can put off a relocation, this could be a good way to buy some time to save and plan for moving expenses. Make saving for your move a top financial priority. Cut back in other areas of your budget and save extra cash to make it happen.
  • Look for a job that offers relocation benefits. If you’re moving because of a job offer, see if your employer can help cover some of your relocation costs. You can also seek job opportunities in the area that you want to move that would provide relocation assistance and pay to move you where you want to live.
  • Open a 0% interest credit card. If you have to borrow hundreds rather than thousands for moving expenses, a credit card can be a more convenient way to do so. If you apply for a credit card with a 0% introductory interest rate, you can get a year or more to use this credit card for moving expenses and pay it off interest-free.
  • Consolidate credit card debt from moving. If you don’t have time to get a personal loan before moving, it can still help after the fact. You can use credit cards to pay for a move, then consolidate your balances with a personal loan after things settle down. This will simplify your debt and could help you get a lower, more affordable interest rate.

Relocating is a major expense that requires careful budgeting to pull off. These strategies are smart ways to manage moving expenses and keep them from becoming overwhelming or unaffordable.

Moving loans can come in and cover any gaps between what your move will cost and the cash you have available to pay for it. With a range of options and interest rates that beat those on credit cards, it’s worth considering personal loans for moving expenses. Be sure to borrow only what you can afford to repay, and compare loan and rate offers to find the best deals.

Methodology

Lenders were selected from MagnifyMoney’s personal loans comparisons page when sorted by borrowers with good credit who hold a college degree. They were narrowed to the top five picks, based on APR.

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.

Elyssa Kirkham
Elyssa Kirkham |

Elyssa Kirkham is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Elyssa here

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