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Rising Incomes Outpace Increasing Housing Costs in Every Major American City

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements 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.

Most U.S. workers’ real wages have been stagnant over the past four decades, according to analysis from the Pew Research Center. With the prices of crucial expenses such as housing and healthcare increasing over these decades as well, consumers’ purchasing power today is about the same as in the 1970s. These circumstances have contributed to the belief that overall, Americans’ incomes aren’t keeping up with the rising costs of living.We set out to analyze U.S. Census Bureau data for America’s 100 largest metros to compare incomes to housing costs. Our findings show that this trend might be reversing — at least for residents of America’s biggest cities.

Compared to three years ago, the typical household in these cities has more money left over after paying for housing. In other words, even though housing costs have risen over the last three years, the dollar amount of wages have grown faster and exceeded the dollar pricing increases for both renting and owning a home.

In fact, famously-expensive metros saw the biggest jumps in the gap between income and housing costs. This trend also holds in places where rents take a greater share of household income.

Key findings

  • The median household in each of the 100 largest metros takes home more cash after paying for housing than they did three years ago.
  • Households in San Francisco saw the biggest gain in gross income after housing costs, up $10,642 more per year compared to three years previous. For renters, the amount is $9,982, and for homeowners with a mortgage the amount is $12,178.
  • Annual savings at the other end of the list are still substantial. The median household in Albuquerque, N.M. has an extra $1,750 a year — $1,438 for renters and $2,194 for homeowners with a mortgage.
  • Rent costs are increasing at a faster rate than costs for households who own their own homes and still have a mortgage in every metro. Even so, wage growth has outstripped those increases.
  • The 2017 homeownership costs in most metros exceeds the 30% marker that is traditionally used as a guideline for affordable housing costs. This suggests that homeownership is still not affordable for most households in those metros.
  • In a few places, the percentage of a household’s income spent on rent has increased — such as in Denver; Colorado Spring, Colo.; and San Jose, Calif. Even so, these households still take home more dollars after paying rent than they did three years ago.
  • The effect is especially pronounced in famously expensive cities; the first seven metros on our list, from San Francisco to Boston, are notorious for high rent costs.
  • Median housing costs have actually dropped in a handful of cities, such as Atlanta (down by $24 per year), Birmingham, Ala. ($24), Chicago ($24), Cleveland ($84), Detroit ($144), Jacksonville, Fla. ($36) and Las Vegas ($216).
  • Rents have risen at a faster rate than homeownership costs, but median costs for the latter are still higher across the board. As a result, homeowners today have more funds leftover after paying their mortgages and property expenses, even though they are spending a greater percentage of their incomes on housing.
  • Median rents in every metro lie comfortably below the 30% mark of median gross income, but homeownership costs exceed the 30% rule in most places.

Our study compared local incomes to housing costs in the top 100 metros. We then ranked them based on how much local wages have increased compared to housing costs, dollar for dollar, with the highest increase starting at 1 (in green on the map above) and going to the lowest at 100 (in red).

Hover over the map to see the ranking of each city and how much incomes after housing costs have increased in the past three years.

10 cities where incomes are rising faster than housing costs

When income rises faster than housing costs, our study found, this puts thousands more dollars per year into people’s pockets.

With these extra funds, households might find they have more funds available to cover other living expenses, from groceries to utilities to healthcare. This money can ease the demands placed on households by consumer debt such as credit cards, auto loans or personal loans. It could even grant them more room in their budgets to save, get out of debt or invest.

Here, we highlight the 10 cities in which the gap between median incomes and housing costs is growing the fastest.

1. San Francisco

San Francisco has become notorious in the past decade for its soaring housing costs, but it appears that local incomes are finally catching up. This city had the highest increase in local incomes left over after housing costs — for both renters and homeowners.

Overall, San Franciscans have $10,642 more in gross income after paying for housing than they did three years ago. That translates to a gain of $9,982 for renters, and $12,178 for homeowners.

Despite these high dollar amount increases, the percentage of the median gross income required to cover the median rent has remained mostly unchanged, falling just 0.2%. By contrast, San Francisco had the steepest decline in the percentage of a local median income required to cover homeownership costs — down 12.3% from three years ago.

2. San Jose, California

Neighboring San Francisco is San Jose, the next city where residents saw the largest increases in incomes overall, rising $12,849 in the past three years. This increase helped typical workers pocket $9,909 more in gross annual income after paying housing costs, compared to three years previous.

Rent costs rose faster than home owning costs over those years, too. Renters’ after-housing income rose $9,117 in the past three years, compared to $11,913 more for homeowners.

Despite having one of the largest increases dollar-for-dollar, however, San Jose’s numbers are less impressive when comparing housing costs directly to income. The percentage of the city’s median gross income required to cover median housing costs fell by just 0.8% in the past three years — the smallest decrease of any city we surveyed.

3. Seattle

In Seattle, the median gross income increased by $8,300 per year in just three years. Local workers’ paychecks increased far faster than their housing costs, which were up $1,164 during the same period — resulting in a net gain of $7,136 overall.

During the three years we looked at, Seattle homeownership costs decreased by 10.3% relative to income while rent costs were up 2.6% compared to incomes. The three-year increase in income after housing costs was $6,272 for renters, and $8,180 for homeowners. In actual dollars, this meant homeowners netted $1,908 more per year from rising incomes than their renting neighbors.

4. Austin, Texas

At No. 4 is Austin, where the amount of a median gross income left over after paying median housing costs increased by $6,737 per year. This number specific to renters is $6,125, and homeowners are taking home $7,025 more after housing costs per year.

This is thanks again to rising local incomes, which shot up $7,817 from 2014 to 2017 while median housing costs increased by just $1,080.

Overall, the percentage of a gross median income required to cover Austin’s median housing costs fell by 4.5% over those three years.

5. Portland, Oregon

Portland is No. 5 among cities where incomes have increased the most compared to housing costs in over the past three years. This net gain in dollars is $6,733, reflecting median incomes that increases $7,825 per year compared to a rise of just $1,092 in annual housing costs.

Homeowners in Portland saw the biggest gains; the percentage of the median income required to cover the costs of owning a home fell by 11.2%. In dollars, homeowners here had an average of $7,693 more of their gross income leftover after covering housing costs than three years previous. For renters, this figure is $6,025.

Notably, Portland ranked No. 7 out of 50 in our rankings of the places where Americans live the most balanced lifestyles.

6. Denver

Next is the Mile High City, Denver, where increases in income outstripped the rise in housing costs to grant locals an average of $6,418 more in annual income, after housing costs. This is based on the $7,678 rise in Denver’s median income in the past three years, which outsrippted the $1,260 rise in housing costs during the same period.

Rising rent costs, however, have countered some of the income gains for Denver residents. For workers earning the local median income, the percentage of their pay that would be devoted to rent costs actually rose by 7.7% over three years — the steepest increase of any city we surveyed. Compare that to a 3.1% fall in costs-to-income for homeowners.

7. Boston

Another high cost-of-living city makes the list with Boston. Fortunately, the median annual income was up $7,344 from 2014 to 2017, helping to make up for some of the city’s high costs. Housing costs rose $1,008 per year during the same period.

In all, a typical Bostonian has $6,336 more in gross income leftover after paying for housing, compared to three years ago. This same figure is $5,952 for renters, specifically, and $7,128 for homeowners.

8. Bridgeport, Connecticut

In the city of Bridgeport, slower-rising housing costs are also contributing to a widening gap between housing costs and incomes. Here, annual housing costs are just $432 higher than they were three years ago — the smallest increase in housing costs among the top 10 cities.

That means that more of the $6,610 increase in incomes from 2014 to 2017 will make its way into Bridgeport resident’s pockets being eaten up by housing costs.

In all, the three-year increase in incomes after accounting for housing costs is $6,178 .This number is actually higher for local homeowners, at $7,018, and lower for renters,$5,266.

9. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville locals have $5,984 more in gross income after paying housing costs today than they did three years ago. Housing costs rose $576 during that time, while incomes were up $6,560.

While this isn’t the highest dollar amount, it reflects a drop of 6.7 percentage points in the ratio of housing costs to income. In other words, Nashville is the top 10 city where locals who saw the biggest increase in the percentage of their income they get to keep rather than pay toward housing.

10. Salt Lake City

Rounding out the list is Salt Lake City, which ranked in the top cities to live out your golden years. Despite a boom in housing costs in the past 15 years, wages in this Utah city have also increased. From 2014 to 2017, the median household income rose $6,309, exceeding the $456 rise in housing costs for a total gain of $5,853 for Salt Lake City locals.

In all, Salt Lake City residents are still coming out ahead, with more money leftover after paying for housing compared to three years previous.

Understanding the metrics

Comparing data from the American Community Survey for 2017 to 2014, analysts subtracted the change in median household income from the change in median housing costs (annualized) to determine the three-year change in gross income left over after paying for housing.

In addition, we also calculated the change in the percentage of income a median household would spend on median housing costs, and then we repeated the exercise for median rents and median costs for homeowners who have mortgages. In all, this generated the following findings for each city:

  • 3-Year change in gross income left over after housing costs (annual)
  • 3-Year change in gross income left over after rent (annual)
  • 3-Year change in gross income left over after homeownership costs, including mortgage (annual)
  • 3-Year change in the percentage of the median gross income required for median housing costs
  • 3-Year change in the percentage of the median gross income required for median rent
  • 3-Year change in the percentage of the median gross income required for median homeownership costs, including mortgage

Scroll to the end of this piece for a table that includes these full study findings for each city.

The median housing cost estimate is inclusive of every household within a Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which may include a city and surrounding communities. The rent estimate is limited to people who pay rent, and we limited the homeownership costs (which includes costs such as taxes and insurance) to those with a mortgage. We excluded homeowners without a mortgage, as their housing costs are likely to stay close to flat and wouldn’t reflect area changes in housing costs.

In several instances, we found that a higher proportion of median income was required to pay the median rent in 2017 than it was in 2014. Even in these cases, the median households brought home more money after paying rent.

Conventional wisdom says that households should spend no more than 30% of their gross income on housing costs. In every metro we reviewed, the ratio of median income required to pay median rent fall comfortably below this line. Yet rents were more likely to have increased on pace with wages, meaning renters saw smaller gains in after-housing income than homeowners.

The ratio of housing costs to income homeowners, however, exceeds that limit in most metros, implying that homeownership is still not affordable for the typical household. Together, these findings suggest that while homeowners’ housing costs rise more slowly than renters’, they must use a large chunk of income to cover those costs than do renters.

Full rankings

Below is a table with the full findings for all 100 cities in our study. After the column listing the city, the leftmost three columns shows the change, in dollars, of gross income left after paying for housing costs. The rightmost three columns show the change in the percentage of the median income needed to pay for the median housing costs in that city.

Methodology

Researchers compared 2017 and 2014 median household income, as well as 2017 and 2014 median housing costs, median gross rent, and median housing costs for homeowners with a mortgage.  The results were aggregated to the 100 largest municipal statistical areas, and the data is from the American Community Survey 5-Year estimates from the U.S. Census.

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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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements 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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For example, a three-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of AA would have an interest rate of 5.31% and a 2.41% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 6.95% APR. You would receive $9,759 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $301.10. A five-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of A would have an interest rate of 8.39% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 10.59% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $204.64. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. APRs through Prosper range from 6.95% (AA) to 35.99% (HR) for first-time borrowers, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC.

Prosper personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • APR range: 6.95% to 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Time to funding: On average, borrowers can see funds deposited in their bank accounts within a week of starting the loan review process. However, investors will have up to 14 days to fund loans.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Prosper does a Soft Pull on your credit when you check your rates.
    Origination fee: Origination fees range from 2.41% - 5.00% and will be deducted from the final loan amount.
  • Prepayment fee: Prosper has no prepayment penalties for paying your loan off early.
  • Late payment fee: You will be assessed a late fee of $15 or 5% of your unpaid monthly amount — whichever is greater — if you have not paid in full within 15 days of your due date.
  • Other fees: Prosper charges a check processing fee — the lesser of $5 or 5% of your monthly payment — as well as an insufficient funds fee of $15 for each returned or failed payment.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Minimum credit history: Borrowers must have at least three open trades on their credit reports; fewer than five credit inquiries over the last six months; and no filed bankruptcies within the last year.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: A borrower’s DTI must be below 50%.

In addition, borrowers must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Have a bank account and a Social Security number
  • Report an income greater than $0 and debt-to-income ratio of less than 50%

Prosper is not available to borrowers in Iowa or West Virginia.

Applying for a personal loan from Prosper

To apply for a loan through Prosper, start by filling out their online form to check your rates, which will trigger a Soft Pull on your credit — this does not impact your score. You’ll have to provide some personal information, including your physical address, birthdate, email, annual income, monthly housing cost and employment status. You can also apply via phone at 877-611-8801.

Your loan offer is based on your Prosper Rating, a proprietary score assigned to you when you apply. This score indicates the level of risk you pose to lenders and is intended to create consistency in the evaluation and approval process. An AA rating indicates the lowest estimated annual loss (up to 1.99%), while an HR rating represents the highest (15% or more).

If you choose to accept the offer you receive, you can submit documents for verification via email to [email protected], or upload them within your Prosper account; the latter is recommended. Log in to check the status of your documents, application and the percentage of funding you’ve received. Once you accept an offer and request funding, Prosper will perform a hard inquiry on your credit.

Your loan will be listed for up to 14 days, during which investors commit funds, and Prosper completes the underwriting and verification process. The latter usually takes seven business days or less.

Once your loan application has been approved and your listing is funded, you can expect to see your money deposited in your bank account within 1 to 3 business days. However, if your loan is not funded after 14 days, your listing will be canceled and you’ll need to create a new one.

Pros and cons of a Prosper personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Qualify with lower credit. Prosper will consider applicants with scores as low as 640, though the best rates are offered to those with excellent credit. Borrowers can receive funds in as little as one business day after loan approval.
  • Check rates with a Soft Pull. Your credit won’t be affected when you check your interest rates with Prosper.
  • No prepayment penalties. Prosper offers longer terms of three and five years, but you won’t be penalized if you are able to pay your loan down early.
  • The origination fee. Prosper charges 2.41% - 5.00% to originate your loan, so consider whether this added cost makes sense for you.
  • Potential to go unfunded. Investors have to commit to your loan within 14 days of listing. If this doesn’t happen, you will have to create a new listing, which means more time before you receive your funds.

Who’s the best fit for a personal loan through Prosper

If you have average credit, Prosper may be a good fit for you. With a minimum score requirement of 640, you’ll have slightly more leeway than you would with companies who have stricter standards. However, you’re more likely to qualify for a better rate with a higher score — APRs at Prosper go up to 35.99%, which is higher than with lenders with similar credit requirements.

Prosper is also a good option for those who want to reduce their monthly payments and pay down their loans over a longer period of time. Terms are set at 36 or 60 months — and if your financial situation improves and you are able to pay more quickly, there are no penalties to do so.

Checking rates at Prosper doesn’t impact your credit, so there’s no harm in gathering this information and comparing it with competitors.

Prosper consumer reviews

Prosper has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. On LendingTree, our parent company, customer reviews are generally positive, with a rating of 4.65 out of 5 stars on LendingTree.

Reviewers repeatedly praise the simple and efficient process of applying for a loan with Prosper, and say the company provides excellent customer service. One reviewer summed up the sentiments of most: “The application was quick and easy and I had the cash within days,” said Mark from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, adding that he was “very pleased with the ease of it all.”

Of those who left less-than-positive reviews, many reports primarily complained about the company’s high interest rates and fees.

Prosper FAQ

Propser is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, which means it matches borrowers with investors. Borrowers can apply for a fixed-rate unsecured loan. Loan terms are for 36 or 60 months. You can get a loan for between $2,000 and $40,000.

Prosper rates each applicant and assigns you a proprietary score that indicates the level of risk you may pose to investors. The score is based on information you provide, including your credit score, and determines if you’ll be approved for a loan and, if so, the terms of that loan.

Your loan funds can be used for almost any purpose, including consolidating existing debt, paying for medical expenses, buying a vehicle and financing home-improvement projects.

Once you submit your application, the loan review process may take up to 14 days, though it’s usually completed in less than 7 days. Once your loan is approved, it can take 1 to 3 days to show up in your bank account, depending on your bank.

If you don’t qualify for a loan the first time you apply, you will receive notice as to why your application was rejected. You may reapply for another loan after 120 days.

If you can’t pay your bill within 15 days of the due date, your account will be considered delinquent and a late fee will be assessed. Bills that are more than 120 days overdue will be reported as “charge-offs,” which will negatively impact your credit score and prohibit you from borrowing from Prosper in the future.

Yes, if you’re able to, you may pay off your loan early with no prepayment penalty fee. You can see your pay-off amount and make additional payments by signing into your Prosper account.

Alternative personal loan options

Lending Club

APR

6.95%
To
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Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

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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

Like Prosper, LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending platform funded by investors. The rates and terms are similar, and they won’t do a hard pull on your credit until after you’ve checked your rates and completed your application.

LendingClub is a good alternative if you don’t meet Prosper’s minimum credit score requirement — they will consider borrowers with scores as low as 600. You will pay an origination fee of 1.00% - 6.00% of your loan amount.

There are no prepayment penalties. Expect to wait up to seven days to see your funds deposited. Loans aren’t available to residents of Iowa, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Upgrade

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35.89%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.50% - 6.00%

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on LendingTree’s secure website

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

Upgrade is an online lending platform that offers similar personal loan rates, terms and fees. You can check your rates without impacting your credit — sign up for autopay and get a better rate.

Borrowers can get between $2,000 and $40,000 through Upgrade. The company claims most borrowers can expect to see their funds within four business days of approval.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
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5.99%
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36 to 72

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No origination fee

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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 5.99% to 24.99% APR.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a no-fee personal loan. Rates are also slightly more favorable than those offered through Prosper. Terms are for 36 to 72 months, which gives you more flexibility to pay over time.

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.

Julie Ryan Evans
Julie Ryan Evans |

Julie Ryan Evans is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Julie here

Emily Long
Emily Long |

Emily Long is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Emily here

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Finova Financial Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements 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.

Finova Financial
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18.00%
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204.00%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12

months

Origination Fee

Up to $10 per $100 of the loan

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Finova Financial personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 12 months
  • APR range: 18.00% to 204.00%, varies by state. It’s unclear if these rates include all finance fees.
  • Loan amounts: Varies based on state, vehicle and monthly income
  • Time to funding: As soon as the same day
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Soft Pull to check your rates and terms. Hard pull if you choose to submit a full application.
    Origination fee: Up to $10 per $100 of the loan
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: Not specified
  • Other fees: $25 credit investigation fee, $75 DMV lien fee, filing fee of $0 to $75 (depending on state), document stamp tax (depending on loan amount)

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: As long as you own your car outright and it has enough equity to fund your loan, you should be able to get approval.
  • Minimum credit history: No minimum, but borrower cannot currently be in bankruptcy.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

To secure a personal loan with Finova Financial, one of the most important requirements that applicants will have to meet is the owning of a vehicle. This vehicle must be in the borrower’s name, have a car title that is lien-free and have comprehensive and collision insurance. Borrowers are not required to obtain Finova’s voluntary debt cancellation addendum, but should a borrower not be able to provide proof of insurance, this is mandatory.

In addition to the vehicle requirement, applicants will need to be U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years old and residents of Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, South Carolina or Tennessee. They cannot be active-duty service members and must have verifiable income.

Applying for a personal loan from Finova Financial

Applying for a Finova Financial personal loan is simple. The process is fairly quick, and begins with a short form on Finova’s homepage to determine if interested parties prequalify for a loan. At this stage, Finova only requests the applicant’s name, phone number, email and information about their vehicle, including the make, model and mileage.

Upon submission of this information, applicants will be informed of the probability of being approved for a loan. Once the results from the prequalification process are reviewed by the applicant, the application can be completed by logging into their account.

At this point, applicants can request a loan, which will involve their Social Security number as well as details regarding residency, vehicle and requested loan amount. After this, they will be able to schedule a time to speak with a Finova Financial representative. During this call, the representative or specialist will evaluate and review the applicant’s vehicle, monthly income and residency information.

Applicants will then need to send in various documents for verification purposes, including photos of their vehicle. There will also be two forms: one for the lien that will be placed on the title of the vehicle and a power of attorney. They will need to be signed and sent back along with the title for the vehicle. When all signed forms have been returned, borrowers will be able to receive their funds the same day via MoneyGram.

Pros and cons of a Finova Financial personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Poor credit accepted: Bad credit likely won't hold you back from securing a Finova Financial loan as long as you own your vehicle and aren’t in bankruptcy.
  • Prequalification: Applicants can review rates before submitting a full loan application, which may then require a hard pull on your credit.
  • Funding time: Once approved for a loan and all documents and forms are signed and returned, borrowers may receive their funds the same day.
  • Funding and payments via MoneyGram: Loan funds are sent to customers via MoneyGram (which may be inconvenient if you prefer a checking or savings account). Monthly payments can also be made online or at one of more than 30,000 MoneyGram locations.
  • Collateral: Applicants are required to use their vehicle as collateral. The vehicle must have prepaid comprehensive and collision insurance with a deductible of $500 or less. The website doesn’t mention any deductible requirement for California borrowers.
  • Additional fees: There are multiple fees borrowers may have to pay. In addition to an origination fee, borrowers may also be charged credit investigation fees, DMV lien fees and more.
  • Availability: Only residents of Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, South Carolina and Tennessee can apply for a loan.

Who’s the best fit for a Finova Financial personal loan?

For those with poor credit but who own their car outright, a Finova Financial CLOC may be a good fit, especially if you need cash right away. Finova may be able to provide funding the same day as your approval. But there are other lenders who offer loans for those with bad credit that don’t require a car title as collateral.

Finova Financial consumer reviews

When it comes to online reputation, Finova Financial has a lot of ground to make up. The four-year-old lender has received 17 consumer complaints in the last three years. It currently has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited with the organization.

Finova Financial earned 3.7 out of 5 stars from customers who reviewed its services on LendingTree (Disclaimer: LendingTree is the parent company of MagnifyMoney).

Finova Financial FAQ

You have to own the vehicle and have a lien-free title to be eligible for a loan from Finova Financial.

You need to be a minimum of 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license.

Currently loans are only available to residents of six states — Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Yes, you may be charged an origination fee, a credit investigation fee, a documentary excise tax, or a filing fee.

No. There are no prepayment penalties or fees.

You only have to purchase this addendum to receive a loan if you do not provide adequate proof of required insurance.

Alternative personal loan options

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

A loan through peer-to-peer lender LendingClub may be a good alternative to consider. Unlike a Finova Financial personal loan, collateral is not required, and loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000.

What stands out about LendingClub is that after checking their rates, applicants may receive more than one loan offer, leaving them to choose the one they believe is the best fit for them. Funding can take up to seven days and there is an origination fee that potential borrowers will want to consider before applying for a loan.

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


Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. The lowest APR shown represents the 10% of loans with the most favorable APR. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

OneMain Financial offers loans from $1,500 to $30,000. Applicants can check rates prior to completing an application and if everything looks good, they can also apply for a loan online within minutes.

Applicants will have to speak to a specialist in order to secure a loan. They will have to visit a local OneMain Financial branch to have their identity, employment and income verified, as well as their collateral, if it is required for the loan. Having to visit a branch can be a drawback, but an added bonus for borrowers who select this lender is the OneMain Financial mobile app that makes payments fast and convenient.

LendingPoint

APR

15.49%
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

A LendingPoint personal loan may be good for borrowers who have fair credit and need between $2,000 and $25,000. Potential borrowers can check rates prior to filling out an application, and if they are approved for a loan, funds are made available to borrowers by the next business day. An origination fee may be applied, but the process of securing a loan with LendingPoint is quick and simple, which can prove to be helpful when borrowers need funds sooner rather than later.

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.

Michelle Black
Michelle Black |

Michelle Black is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Michelle here

Kristina Byas
Kristina Byas |

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

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