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Personal Loans

LightStream Personal Loan Review

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

APR

4.99%
To
16.79%*

with AutoPay

Credit Req.

Not specified

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 without AutoPay may be 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 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66.

LightStream personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: LightStream loan terms range from 24 to 144 months.
  • APR range: The APR for this loan is 4.99% to 16.79% APR. The lowest interest rates include a 0.50% rate discount for using autopay.
  • Loan amounts: You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000.
  • Time to funding: You can get funding the same business day you apply if you’re approved by 2:30 p.m. EST. Otherwise, you have to schedule funding of your loan within 30 days of getting approval.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Applying for a LightStream loan will trigger a Hard Pull. LightStream pulls your Experian and Equifax credit reports. LightStream does not offer soft pull preapprovals.
  • Origination fee: None.
  • Prepayment fee: None.
  • Late payment fee: None.
  • Other fees: None.

LightStream has no fees across the board and offers highly competitive interest rates. These two variables add up to an affordable loan, if you qualify. According to LightStream, you can borrow money for “practically anything.” Here are some examples of things you can finance with a LightStream loan:

  • Adoption
  • Auto
  • Debt consolidation
  • Dental work
  • Home improvements
  • IVF/fertility treatments
  • Pre-K-12 education
  • Medical bills
  • Recreation
    • Boats
    • RVs
    • Timeshares
  • Tiny homes
  • Weddings

The list of ways you can use a LightStream loan is exhaustive. However, there are a few instances where you can’t use a LightStream loan. You can’t use one to finance a college or post-secondary education or a vehicle registered under a business name. LightStream does not offer financing to businesses either; you are only able to apply for a loan as an individual.

‘The Rate Beat’ program

Here’s an incentive to shop around and compare rates: LightStream will beat competitor rates by 0.10% APR. You must show that you’ve been approved by a lender for a lower rate and meet other eligibility criteria before LightStream will beat the competitor rate.

Here are the terms and conditions for the Rate Beat program:

  • The lower interest rate you find with another lender can’t be from an employee discount or other special that’s not available to all customers.
  • The lower rate can’t be through any rate-subsidized programs.
  • The lower rate you get from a competing lender must be for a loan that has the same amount, loan term loan purpose and payment method (such as auto-pay).
  • The offer expires at 2 p.m. EST on the business day before your loan is funded.

Consider shopping for other loans before going to LightStream so that if you do receive a lower offer, you can try to take advantage of the Rate Beat program.

‘Loan Experience Guarantee’

The next benefit that LightStream offers borrowers is the Loan Experience Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the loan process, LightStream will give you $100 for completing a questionnaire within 30 days of receiving your loan.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: LightStream seeks candidates with “good credit.”
  • Minimum credit history: LightStream looks for borrowers who have several years of credit history, a mix of accounts, stable income, few (if any) delinquencies and a proven ability to save money.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

LightStream is clear about offering loans to borrowers with good credit, although a specific credit score minimum isn’t specified. What constitutes good or excellent credit is subjective: A credit score of 670 or above is generally considered good, while a score of 740 or above is generally considered very good or excellent.

Despite not specifying a minimum credit score or maximum debt-to-income ratio, LightStream does outline some key characteristics of borrowers who tend to qualify for a Lightstream loan.

  • Borrowers with good credit have several years of credit history (excellent borrowers tend to have five years or more of credit history).
  • Borrowers have a credit history that includes many different types of accounts, such as credit cards, installment loans and mortgages.
  • Borrowers show evidence of being able to save through liquid assets, retirement savings, etc.
  • Borrowers have few late payments (excellent borrowers tend to have credit reports with no deliquences at all).

Applying for a personal loan from LightStream

The LightStream application process is straightforward. You apply online which requires a hard pull. There is no preapproval with a soft pull available. LightStream first asks why you want the loan, how much you want to borrow and which loan term length you need. The next step is to tell LightStream your personal information.

You should receive a response quickly if you apply during business hours. After an approval, you can e-sign your loan documents and set up funding. You can get money as soon as the same day if your application is approved and all required steps are completed before 2:30 p.m. EST on a business day.

Pros and cons of a LightStream personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Low rates. LightStream has highly competitive rates to offer borrowers who qualify.
  • ‘Rate Beat’ and other guarantees. LightStream will beat other rates if you can prove that another lender will give you a more affordable loan. LightStreamalso takes pride in the ease of the application process — if you have complaints about it, you can reach out to LightStream and they’ll give you $100 for your trouble. Terms apply.
  • Large and small loans. You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000.
  • Long loan terms. Loan terms are available from 24 to 144 months.
  • Credit requirements. While LightStream does not specify a minimum credit score for borrowers, it generally looks for people with “good” credit. This typically means a score of at least 670, potentially putting borrowers with lower scores out of the running.
  • There’s a hard pull. There’s no preapproval process to check rates with a soft pull, so you won’t be able to see if your credit is strong enough to qualify without taking the hard hit. Check out our personal loan comparison tool, which includes loans that don’t require a hard pull.

Who’s the best fit for a LightStream personal loan?

People with good credit tend to get the most competitive interest rates on loans, for good reason — in the eyes of lenders, they are less likely to default on a loan, thus making them a lower risk.

In this case, LightStream is clear that it focuses on rewarding borrowers who have good credit with loans that have no fees and low interest rates because they’ve demonstrated an ability to manage debt responsibly. The LightStream loan is one that you should consider putting at the top of your shopping list if you have good credit or better, because of its perks and price.

Besides the cost, another plus is that LightStream lets you borrow high amounts of cash for almost any reason, as long as it’s not for college tuition or a vehicle registered to a business. It also offers long loan terms that allow you to stretch out your payments. Keep in mind, however, that the lowest interest rates are available for loans of $5,000 to $100,000 with loan terms of 24 to 144 months. You can borrow a higher amount for a longer period, but it may cost you more money.

What stands out as a potential downside of this loan is that a hard pull on your credit is necessary to check rates. But don’t let a fear of hard inquiries prevent you from shopping around for the best deals. A hard pull will typically cost you 5 to 10 points on your credit score — a trade-off that might ultimately be worth it when you consider the savings you could gain from qualifying with a low-cost lender like LightStream. We have discussed the impact of credit inquiries in this post — the effect on your credit may be minimal considering the potential benefit.

If you meet the conditions of what’s considered good or excellent credit, you may find that a LightStream loan is one of the better personal loans that you may find for your situation online. Check out other personal loan options here to compare products. This roundup includes many loans that allow you to check rates with a soft pull.

LightStream consumer reviews

One of the best ways to assess an offer is to read about other customers’ experiences with the lender. The Better Business Bureau has given LightStream an A+ rating, and it’s also earned 4.1 out of 5 stars from reviewers on LendingTree, the parent company of MagnifyMoney.

Customers who reviewed LightStream on LendingTree — which owns MagnifyMoney — are, by and large, satisfied with the interest rates, fees and closing costs, customer service and responsiveness. Borrowers praise LightStream for having a “straightforward, simple, delightful loan process,” “great rates and fast response” and “lightning fast closing.” Many customers were also pleased that LightStream funded their loans the same day they were approved.

While there is far more praise than criticism of LightStream on LendingTree, some customers said they were denied for loans even though they had a high credit score and income and they were unable to connect with the company by phone. Overall, though, borrowers seem generally happy with their experience with LightStream.

LightStream FAQ

LightStream does not specify a minimum credit score for borrowers. Instead, the company looks for individuals with at least “good” credit, which typically means the borrower has several years of credit history, multiple types of accounts, a decent history of on-time payments, evidence of an ability to save and a “stable and sufficient income.”

While you can apply for a LightStream loan for educational expenses related to pre-K through grade 12, the company does not offer funding for college or post-secondary education. The company does not offer refinancing for student loans.

LightStream borrowers do not incur any fees from the company.

LightStream says customers will receive a response “shortly” after applying online, if done during business hours.

LightStream loans can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including dental bills, home improvements, adoption expenses, horses and jewelry. The company requires that you use the money from the loan for the purpose you indicated in your application. You are not allowed to use the loan to refinance an existing LightStream loan, pay for college tuition or post-secondary education, buy stocks and bonds or purchase a vehicle that will be registered under a business name.

LightStream does not offer pre-approvals for loans. Potential borrowers must fill out the online application to see if they’re approved.

LightStream uses its “easy, fast and virtually paperless loan process” as a selling point to potential borrowers. If you’re not happy with your experience, the company will offer you $100 for filling out a questionnaire within 30 days of receiving funding for your loan.

LightStream is considered SunTrust Bank’s online lending division. Borrowers do not have to be account holders at SunTrust Bank to qualify for a loan from LightStream.

Alternative personal loan options

SoFi

SoFi
APR

5.99%
To
20.01%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 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 5.99% APR to 20.01% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.49% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of November 15, 2019 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 6.49% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.81% plus 4.93% 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.

All rates, terms, and figures are subject to change by the lender without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit the lender's website directly. 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. Minimum loan requirements might be higher than $5,000 in specific states due to legal requirements. Fixed and variable-rate caps may be lower in some states due to legal requirements and may impact your eligibility to qualify for a SoFi loan.

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.

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 is another lender that offers no-fee personal loans with competitive, fixed interest rates that you can use for a variety of reasons. You can borrow large amounts with SoFi — $5,000 to $100,000. Perks offered by SoFi include access to financial advisors and unemployment protection for borrowers. You can check rates with a soft pull.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
28.99%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is another personal loan that has absolutely no fees. You can borrow up to $40,000, get approval within five minutes and receive your funds in about one to four business days after verifying your bank account. Plus, checking rates doesn’t require a hard inquiry. Interest rates are typically higher for the longer term loans, and borrowers with excellent credit will get the lowest rates.

Upgrade

Upgrade
APR

6.98%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.50% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


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

Upgrade is the only lender included in this review that charges an origination fee. This lender may be an option for people with less than stellar credit, as the credit score minimum is just 620. You can borrow up to $50,000 from Upgrade, and check your rate without a hard inquiry. Upgrade can send money to your bank account in as little as one business day after your personal information is verified.

Joni Sweet contributed to the reporting for this article.

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.

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Personal Loans

The Best Personal Loans for People with Bad Credit

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

If you have bad credit, it can be difficult qualifying for a personal loan. Some of the best personal loans for bad credit — defined here as a credit score below 640 — come from lenders who consider other information in addition to your credit score. These lenders might not offer the lowest interest rates or biggest loan amounts, but you won’t be automatically disqualified just because your credit is less than stellar.

Read on to learn about the personal loan products we selected.

The 3 best personal loans for bad credit

 

LendingPoint

Learn more

Peerform

Learn more

Upstart

Learn more

APR

9.99% - 35.99%

5.99% - 29.99%

6.46% - 35.99%

Terms

24 to 48 months

36 or 60 months

36 & 60 months

Loan amount

$2,000 - $25,000

$4,000 - $25,000

$1,000 - $50,000

Origination fee

0.00% - 6.00%

1.00% - 5.00%

Up to 8.00%

Credit score requirement

585

600

620

LendingPoint

LendingPoint offers personal loans for fair credit borrowers. Although loan amounts are restrictive, the lender has more repayment terms to choose from (though a shorter maximum term) compared to the other options included here. The funds can be deposited the next business day after loan approval, as well.

LendingPoint considers more than your credit score when reviewing your application. The lender looks at factors such as:

  • Job history
  • Income
  • Financial history
  • Credit behavior

When applying, you can expect LendingPoint to request additional documentation, such as proof of income and recent bank statements.

Peerform

Peerform is a peer-to-peer lending platform through which borrowers may access personal loans. These loans come with the lowest APR range and the lowest maximum origination fee among the personal loans we reviewed on the MagnifyMoney marketplace for borrowers with credit scores below 640. That means Peerform may be a good option for bad credit borrowers hoping to minimize their overall cost of borrowing.

Potential borrowers should know that the process of getting a loan through Peerform is different from getting a loan through a traditional lender. After you register on Peerform and select your loan terms, your loan inquiry will be listed on the Peerform platform. From there, investors can choose to fund your loan.

The minimum credit score requirement for Peerform is reasonable, at 600. But as with any unsecured personal loan, only the most creditworthy borrowers will qualify for the lowest interest rates. Further, the loan amounts are more restrictive than for those offered through Upstart and LendingPoint.

Upstart

Upstart’s APR range is slightly higher than the two competitors in our selection. This includes a higher cap on the origination fee. Although Upstart has a higher credit score requirement than Peerform and LendingPoint, the lender specifies on their website that it considers education and employment information in their underwriting.

Upstart offers the most generous loan amount range, potentially making them a good option if you want to borrow either very small amounts (less than $2,000) or large amounts (more than $25,000). Once your loan is approved and you accept it, you can receive funds as soon as the next business day.

How to compare and choose a personal loan

When comparing personal loans to find the best one for your financial situation, it’s important to read the fine print and make sure you understand each lender’s terms and conditions. The table below details important features to consider.

APR

APR (annual percentage rate) is the primary factor in determining how much your loan will cost over time.

Credit score requirements

Look for credit score requirements or a pre-approval tool to figure out your chances of approval before applying.

Loan amount

The loan amount determines how much money you can borrow, although only the most creditworthy borrowers will qualify for the highest loan amounts.

Loan term

The loan term determines how long you have to pay off your loan. The longer the loan term, the lower your monthly payments, but a long loan term also means paying more in interest.

Origination fee

Origination fees are charged by some lenders in order to process your loan, and they're typically deducted from your loan amount upfront.

Prepayment fee

Prepayment fees are charged if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule and should be avoided when possible.

Late payment fee

Late payment fees are charged if you miss a loan payment. Avoid these by always making payments on time.

Check processing fee

Many lenders charge a check processing fee if you choose to make your loan payments by physical check rather than electronically.

Loan restrictions

While personal loans are flexible, you can't always use them for any purpose. Check if there are restrictions on how you can use your funds.

The primary factors to consider are the APR — essentially the cost of your loan — as well as the loan term, loan amount and credit score requirements. If those factors match up with your needs, move on to considering other fees, such as origination fees, prepayment fees, late payment fees and check processing fees.

Finally, make sure that the personal loan you’re considering can be used for your needs. Some personal loans are geared toward paying off or consolidating debt, while others might be designed to pay for home improvements or a new car. By going through this checklist, you’ll be more likely to find a personal loan that’s the best fit for you.

The application process for a personal loan

  1. Determine your eligibility: Each of these lenders offer a pre-qualification tool that allows you to check what loan rates you might qualify for without impacting your credit. Use these tools to determine whether or not you’re eligible for the loan you need.
  2. Consider adding a cosigner: It’s easier to get a competitive interest rate for your credit profile if you can find a cosigner to lean on. However, this person will be held responsible for your debt if you can’t pay it off, so make sure you have a solid plan in place to repay your loan.
  3. Prepare your loan materials: To complete most loan applications, you’ll need to provide basic information like your full name, address and social security number, plus any documents required to verify your identity and income. These can include a driver’s license, passport, or government-issued ID, pay stubs, bank statements and information regarding your current debts if you’re consolidating.
  4. Complete the loan application: Once you’ve gathered the necessary materials, you can fill out your chosen lender’s online application form. You might receive a decision immediately, or the lender may ask to see additional materials to verify your income and identity. With peer-to-peer lending platforms, your loan will need to be funded by investors before you can receive your money.
  5. Add a bank account to receive your funds: If you’re approved, you’ll need to add and verify a bank account where you’d like your funds to be deposited. You’ll then receive your funds within one day to two weeks, depending on the lender.
  6. Follow up with lenders that reject you: If you’re rejected for the loan of your choice, it can be helpful to follow up with the lender and ask why. Their answer will provide guidance as to how you can improve your chances of approval.

Alternatives to a bad credit personal loan

  1. Ask for help from friends and family: The best alternative to a bad credit personal loan is borrowing from friends and family. Even if they charge you interest, you’re likely to save the most money with this method. Just make sure you have a plan to repay the loan, or you could risk destroying important relationships.
  2. Consider a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC): If you’re a homeowner who has paid off a portion of your home, you may be able to take out a loan against the equity in your house. Home equity loans and HELOCs tend to be easier to qualify for and offer lower rates because you offer your house as collateral. Just know that you risk losing your home if you don’t pay off the loan.
  3. Secured loan: Secured loans are backed by collateral as well, making it easier to qualify for lower interest rates. Aside from borrowing against your house, you can often borrow against other property such as a car or a boat, or even an upfront deposit. Again, you risk losing your collateral if you don’t pay off the loan on time.
  4. Charge a credit card: Credit cards can come with higher interest rates than personal loans depending on your credit. However, if you need money now and can’t qualify for lower interest rates, you might be better off charging a credit card. Make sure you pay off your balance diligently to minimize interest charges.

Improving your credit score for future loans

If you can’t get approved for the best personal loans for your credit profile, it might be worth trying to repair your credit before you borrow money. A better score will help you qualify for loans with better terms and lower interest rates.

While improving your credit takes time, you’re bound to see your credit score increase if you can consistently follow the steps below:

  1. Go through your credit report and dispute any errors
  2. Pay all of your bills on time, and make any late payments before your debt goes to collections
  3. Pay off debt, focusing on paying down high credit card balances first
  4. Consider applying for a secured credit card and using it responsibly and regularly

Methodology

Our selection of the best personal loan lenders for bad credit was based on offers listed on MagnifyMoney’s personal loan marketplace. Lenders were chosen on December 18, 2019 assuming:

  • Credit score of poor (below 640)
  • Loan amount of $5,000
  • Zip code 11220

Lenders were chosen based on APR ranges for each of the above credit score ranges. Ties were broken by assessing: 1) Origination fees 2) flexibility of term lengths. Lenders who do not specify credit score requirements on their website were excluded when assessing lenders for borrowers with poor credit.

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.

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Personal Loans

LoanMart Car Title Loan Review

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

LoanMart
APR

30.00%
To
199.00%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

Up to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies by state

LEARN MORE Secured

on LoanMart’s secure website

LoanMart auto title loan details

Terms

Fees and penalties

  • Term lengths: Up to 60 months
  • APR range: 30.00% - 199.00%
  • Loan amounts: $2,600 - $50,000
  • Time to funding: As soon as 24 hours after submitting required documentation
  • Credit check: Poor-credit applicants will be considered
  • Origination fee: Varies by state
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: Varies by state
  • Other fees: DMV charges possible in some states

LoanMart product details

LoanMart offers auto title loans at a lower interest rate than most of its competitors, but they are still an expensive form of credit. To secure your loan, you will have to sign over the title of your vehicle as collateral. It’s easiest to do this if your car is paid off, but you may still qualify if you have a few payments left depending on your vehicle’s equity.

The APR you are charged will include any origination fees, as well as possible Department of Motor Vehicle fees, though these do not appear to be excessive. If the title is in your name and you’re looking to get a loan, LoanMart will contact the DMV on your behalf.

One of the most noteworthy things about LoanMart’s auto title loans is its terms. While many auto title loans require you to pay back your loan within a month, LoanMart gives you up to five years. Its term lengths are more in line with what you would find with an unsecured personal loan. And your car can be repossessed with an auto title loan, which makes unsecured personal loans preferable. Not everyone will qualify, though.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Not specified, though LoanMart says almost anyone can qualify for its car title loan
  • Minimum credit history: You can still qualify if you have poor credit or a bankruptcy on your record, but it will most likely to impact your APR
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

The primary thing you’ll need when applying for a car title loan from LoanMart is a vehicle. While your credit history will be evaluated, a bad credit history won’t necessarily disqualify you like it does with other lenders.

You must also be a resident in one of the states in which LoanMart issues auto title loans:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Utah

Applying for an auto title loan from LoanMart

  • Fill out an application: You can apply online, via phone (855-422-7412) or at a LoanMart location.
  • Receive a quote: Within an hour of submitting your application, you should receive a quote — if you’ve been approved — with the amount you are able to borrow.
  • Submit documentation: If you move forward, you will need to submit documentation to support your application. This includes a government-issued ID, your car title, proof of income and proof of residence.
  • Sign and cash: After you submit your documentation, you will sign the final paperwork. You can then choose to receive your money electronically, via paper check or in person at a LoanMart location. You may also be able to pick up your funds through MoneyGram at select Walmart locations.
Pros and cons of a LoanMart auto title loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Longer loan terms: LoanMart loans can be repaid over up to 60 months. Many car title loans are extremely short, ending within 15 to 30 days.
  • Lower APR: LoanMart’s APR offerings can be notably lower than other auto title lenders.
  • Quick turnaround: LoanMart will provide funding in as few as 24 hours if you submit the necessary documents and signatures by 2 p.m. Pacific time on a business day.
  • Credit reporting: LoanMart reports your payments to two of the three major credit bureaus: Experian and Equifax. This can help you rebuild a positive credit history.
  • Expensive form of borrowing:  Even the lowest APR available through LoanMart is higher than what you’re likely to be offered via an unsecured personal loan with another lender.
  • You could lose your car: If you can’t repay your loan, you could lose your vehicle.
  • Limited availability: LoanMart only issues title loans to residents in 7 states.
  • Amount you can borrow depends on your car: Newer cars with a clean title will yield a higher offer from LoanMart than a vehicle of an earlier model year with a rusted-out bottom. That’s good news if you have a newer vehicle, but potentially disappointing for everyone who does not.

Who’s the best fit for a LoanMart auto title loan?

If you have no other options and are determined to take out an auto title loan, LoanMart is one of your better options:

  • APRs are clearly advertised
  • APRs for qualified applicants can be lower than the competition depending on the state in which you live
  • Your credit history plays less of a role; if it’s poor, though, you’re likely to end up at the higher end of the APR range

Auto title loans are an expensive form of borrowing. While LoanMart can be preferable to other lenders in its space, that doesn’t change the fact that you should explore all other options before putting up the title of your car as collateral for fast cash.

LoanMart consumer reviews

Borrowers have ranked LoanMart a 4.3 out of 5 (53 reviews) on LendingTree, which owns MagnifyMoney. That ranking does include customers that have used its other products, such as personal loans or auto refinance.

Borrowers praised the ease of the application process with LoanMart, and the assistance provided by loan officers. Dan from Tucson, Ariz., wrote: “They were all very nice and the process moved very quickly. I had my loan in less than 24 hours. I would use them, again.”

Negative reviews cite not being approved after submitting documentation or rising APRs after documentation was reviewed. If you are applying for an auto title loan from LoanMart, be aware that your quote is not set in stone until after your loan officer has reviewed your documentation.

LoanMart FAQ

Yes. You don’t need to have to have a job to qualify for an auto title loan from LoanMart, but you need income. This income can potentially come from retirement, disability or Social Security benefits. You can also qualify with a cosigner.

If there is an “or” between the names on the title, you can apply like normal. If there is an “and” between your names, both of the owners will need to be on your LoanMart application. If your title reads “and/or,” you will need to contact LoanMart to guide you through the process.

You don’t need a bank account unless you are trying to prove self-employment income or you would like your funding deposited directly into your account.

Typically, your first payment is due 30 days after your funds are disbursed.

You can pay via the mobile app, online, with Automated Clearing House (ACH) auto payments, paper check via mail, over the phone or in person at a LoanMart location.

Worst-case scenario, your car is repossessed. But if you can’t make an on-time payment, LoanMart encourages you to contact them right away to work out an alternative.

Besides auto title loans, LoanMart offers high-interest, unsecured personal loans. LoanMart personal loans do not offer competitive terms.

You can spend this money on whatever you’d like. However, with the lowest possible APR at 30.00%, the bill or circumstance has to be dramatically dire to justify the costs of financing.

One may be requested if you take out a loan for $10,000 or more.

LoanMart subtracts the remaining balance on your traditional auto loan from the current market value of your vehicle if you still owe car payments.

Alternative loan options

LendingPoint

APR

9.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint is an online lender that targets borrowers with fair credit, and allows borrowing up to $25,000.... Read More

LendingPoint offers personal loans rather than title loans. These loans hands-down beat LoanMart loans, whether you’re considering a LoanMart personal loan or title loan.

LendingPoint’s APR offerings are substantially lower, and you can borrow a larger amount of money when compared to LoanMart’s unsecured personal loans — up to $25,000.

However, you do need to have a credit score of at least 585 to qualify for a loan from LendingPoint, where LoanMart’s credit requirements are more flexible (at a cost).

Upstart

APR

6.46%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 & 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

Upstart connects borrowers with partner lenders for unsecured personal loans.

Again, unsecured loans are usually preferable to title loans, and Upstart’s rates are superior to LoanMart’s. It also allows you to borrow outside of the range offered by LoanMart. With Upstart, you can potentially borrow as little as $1,000 and as much as $50,000.

Upstart’s credit standards may be higher than LoanMart’s, but it does strive for some flexibility. Besides your credit score, Upstart looks at your:

  • Education
  • Area of study
  • Career history

LendingClub

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

Not specified

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.... Read More

LendingClub’s most comparable product to LoanMart’s auto title loans is its unsecured personal loans, which come with lower rates but higher credit standards.

LoanMart can get you your money in one day, while LendingClub will take at least four. LoanMart can also loan you up to $10,000 more than LendingClub. Regardless, there will be very few circumstances where it wouldn’t be worth applying with LendingClub for its competitive APRs.

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