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Personal Loans

A Guide to Secured Loans

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.

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In this guide, we’ll talk about several different secured loans, and the pros and cons of each so you know exactly what to expect before you borrow.

Part I: Secured Loans 101

A secured loan is backed by an asset that you own outright, like a paid-off vehicle or the equity in your home. You put up that property as collateral, and a lender uses that collateral as assurance that they’ll get their money back if you don’t pay. In some cases, secured loans can be allotted for any purpose the borrower chooses.

Home equity loans (HELs) and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), for example, use the equity a borrower already has in his or her home as collateral. These loans might go toward home improvements and repairs, but consumers also use them to pay for education or debt consolidation.

Each lender has different requirements for the type of collateral they will accept, though it’s most often some form of tangible property with substantial value: a home, car or boat, for example. Auto title loans allow you to put up your vehicle title, and payday lenders take future income — hence the term “payday” — and sometimes even small home appliances as collateral. If you are applying for a secured credit card, your own cash is used as collateral. You can even use a savings or investment account to secure a loan.

For some secured loans, like high-fee payday or title loans, the barrier to entry is very low. Lenders may not require a credit check, and you can walk out with cash in just a few minutes. These usually fall under the category of predatory loans, and although they are easy to obtain and have short loan terms, they are difficult to pay back and escape.

For home and auto loans, borrowers usually have to demonstrate a minimum level of creditworthiness. Secured credit cards are a unique type of secured loan in that they don’t usually require a good credit history and instead are used primarily to build or repair credit on a low-limit card.

The different types of secured loans

Secured card

A secured credit card is often used to build credit, either for consumers who don’t have a history, or those who are trying to recover from dings like bankruptcy or accounts sent to collections.

To obtain a secured card, the borrower must put down a minimum deposit as collateral. The line of credit available for use is usually equal to the deposit amount, though in some cases it can be higher.

The borrower can use their secured card just like a normal credit card — and in order to build credit and avoid interest, he or she should manage the balance and payments responsibly. Minimum deposits for secured cards range widely from $49 to $750, and some carry annual fees up to $50 or more.

HEL/HELOC

With a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, the borrower puts up the equity in his home as collateral — essentially, this means borrowing against the amount your home is worth minus your current mortgage balance.

HELs, like a traditional installment loan, are made in a set dollar amount with fixed payments over the life of the loan.

HELOCs, on the other hand, operate like credit cards. The borrower is approved for a dollar amount that he can draw against and pay off with a variable interest rate. These loans are often spent on home repairs but can be used for other major expenses like education, weddings, debt consolidation or in case of emergency.

In some cases, borrowers carry a zero balance for most of the life of their HELOC but feel secure knowing it’s available if the need arises. If the borrower defaults on a HEL or HELOC, the lender has the right to repossess and sell the home.

Payday loan

Payday loans are a form of lending in which a cash-strapped borrower receives cash with the promise of repaying the loan plus a fee on their next payday.

In this case, a postdated check for the total of the loan amount and fees or authorization to access the funds in your bank or prepaid account serves as collateral for the loan.

These small-dollar loans usually run on two- or four-week terms and although they are often for $500 or less, they carry an average 391% APR. This often traps borrowers in a debt cycle. According to recent research from the Pew Charitable Trusts, 12 million Americans take out these loans every year and spend $9 billion on fees alone.

Title loan

Title loans require the borrower to turn over their car title in exchange for fast cash.

Most lenders don’t require a credit check, and though terms and requirements vary widely, these loans come with hefty fees and interest rates. If the borrower fails to pay back the loan, he or she can either take out another loan with additional fees, or risk having the lender repossess the car.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that between 2010 and 2013, 20% of borrowers had their vehicles seized by lenders, and more than half of borrowers took out four or more consecutive loans to repay their initial amount.

Mortgage

A mortgage is used to purchase a home, which in turn serves as the collateral to secure the loan. Unlike some other types of secured loans, existing — and healthy — credit is important for securing a mortgage.

If you have poor credit, you’ll see higher interest rates and monthly payments, which means you could owe tens of thousands of dollars more over time than if you had a higher score. Lenders also consider your debt-to-income ratio, the size of your down payment, employment history and the size of the loan. If you fail to make mortgage payments, the lender has grounds to repossess your home.

Auto loan

Like a mortgage, with an auto loan the borrower uses the property they are buying — a vehicle — as collateral to secure the loan.

The lender, usually a bank, credit union or dealership, holds a lien on the car until the loan is paid in full. Monthly payments vary widely depending on the price of the car, the length of the loan contract and the APR you receive.

Similar to a mortgage, if you are late on auto loan payments, the lien holder can repossess your car and, in some states, do so without going to court.

Part II: Secured loans vs. unsecured loans

Whereas a secured loan is made using collateral a borrower already owns, an unsecured loan is offered based on a lender’s trust that you’ll pay back what you owe. The lender takes a bigger risk with an unsecured loan because they don’t have any collateral to claim if the borrower defaults. As a result, unsecured loans may come with higher interest rates and fees.

This isn’t always the case, however — rates and terms vary widely depending on the lender and type of loan as well as the borrower’s credit history. For some, an unsecured loan may not even be an option, as lenders may offer only a secured loan to a consumer who is considered high risk. Borrowers may also prefer to put up collateral and get more favorable terms offered with a secured loan over an unsecured loan.

Unsecured loans include credit cards and student loans as well as personal loans. Like cash from some secured loans, personal loans can generally be used for any purpose — according to data from LendingTree nearly 34% of personal loans are intended for debt consolidation and just under 33% are targeted toward credit card refinancing.

With both secured and unsecured loans, it’s important to know that nonpayment has serious consequences for your financial well-being. In addition to seizing collateral put up for a secured loan, lenders can send your unsecured loan debt to a collections agency and take legal action to recoup losses. Default puts your credit rating and access to future loans in jeopardy.

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A Personal Loan can offer funds relatively quickly once you qualify you could have your funds within a few days to a week. A loan can be fixed for a term and rate or variable with fluctuating amount due and rate assessed, be sure to speak with your loan officer about the actual term and rate you may qualify for based on your credit history and ability to repay the loan. A personal loan can assist in paying off high-interest rate balances with one fixed term payment, so it is important that you try to obtain a fixed term and rate if your goal is to reduce your debt. Some lenders may require that you have an account with them already and for a prescribed period of time in order to qualify for better rates on their personal loan products. Lenders may charge an origination fee generally around 1% of the amount sought. Be sure to ask about all fees, costs and terms associated with each loan product. Loan amounts of $1,000 up to $50,000 are available through participating lenders; however, your state, credit history, credit score, personal financial situation, and lender underwriting criteria can impact the amount, fees, terms and rates offered. Ask your loan officer for details.

As of 28-Feb-2019, LendingTree Personal Loan consumers were seeing match rates as low as 3.99% (3.99% APR) on a $10,000 loan amount for a term of three (3) years. Rates and APRs were based on a self-identified credit score of 700 or higher, zero down payment, origination fees of $0 to $100 (depending on loan amount and term selected).

 

Secured

Unsecured

Examples

  • Secured card

  • Mortgage

  • Auto loan

  • HEL/HELOC

  • Payday loan

  • Title loan

  • Personal loan

  • Student loan

  • Credit card

Collateral required?

Yes

No

Credit required

Varies. Title lenders may not require a credit check, while an auto loan or mortgage lender will

Yes — history and score vary by product and lender. Most federal student loans don’t require a credit check, however.

Cost of loan (APR, fees etc.)

Varies with loan type. Interest rates for auto loans go as low as 5.2%, while rates for title and payday loans can hit triple digits. These also come with fees for rolling over to another loan at the end of a term. Secured cards have APRs ranging from 9% to 21.99% and annual fees of $0-50

Personal: As low as 3.99% APR with origination fees ranging from zero to 8%
Student: Federal interest rates range from 4.45% to 7% plus fees between just over 1% and just over 4%. Private loans have variable rates, some high as 14.24%.
Credit: APRs start around 6% and hit upward of 25%. May also have annual fees

Pros

Opportunity to build credit and to borrow more than you might be approved for with an unsecured loan

Don’t have to put up collateral, helpful in emergencies, can be used for any purpose — especially to consolidate higher interest debt

Cons

Risk of default and loss of collateral plus additional money and property, negative impact on credit

Higher APR and fees, risk of overspending and creating loan dependency, damage to credit if you can’t afford payments

Best for (what type of consumer)

Depends on loan. Secured cards help build (or rebuild) credit history, while payday and title (predatory) loans are not recommended

Consumers looking to consolidate high-interest debt or purchase big-ticket items they’ve planned for IF they can afford the monthly payments

Learn more

The pros and cons of secured loans

Secured loans — aside from predatory payday and title loans — are available from a variety of lenders. If you already hold accounts at a bank, this would be the first place to look. Credit unions also offer secured loan services, though you must be a member to access their products. Finally, look at online, nonbank lenders who focus on loans without offering traditional banking products. No matter what type of loan you’re looking for, shop around to ensure you get the best rates and terms.

When it comes to choosing a secured loan over an unsecured loan, there are some benefits and risks to weigh.

Pros

Secured loans may allow you to get more money with less credit.
Lenders are often more willing to lend higher sums to consumers if the loan is secured by collateral because they have something tangible to repossess or foreclose on if the borrower defaults, according to Andrew Chan, a financial adviser at Locker Financial Services, LLC in Little Falls, N.J. Because this is a lower risk for lenders, they may also be more willing to forgive lower credit scores.

Secured loans often have lower interest rates and fees than unsecured loans.
Because secured loans pose less risk to the lender, the borrower may be offered lower rates, fees and payments, says Chan. This may give you access to the cash or credit that you need but may not otherwise get — if you use it responsibly.

Cons

The collateral you put up is always at risk.
Even with the best-laid plans, taking on a secured loan means that your personal property may be repossessed. If you default, your lender can take your collateral, sell it and repay the loan with the proceeds. As the borrower, you lose amount you already put into the loan plus valuable property that may be difficult to replace.

Lenders may trap you with prepayment penalties and other fees.
Even if you want to get out of your secured loan and have the ability to pay off what you owe, you may get hit with prepayment penalties — fees that lenders charge borrowers who repay loans before they are due. If you do pay off a loan early, the lender makes less in interest, so they may try to keep you in a costly loan by making it too expensive to leave. With predatory lending, loan fees can quickly add up each time the borrower tries to extend the loan.

Under the Truth in Lending Act, lenders must disclose all charges and fees associated with a loan, so you should know ahead of time if prepayment penalties will apply.

Staying safe with a secured loan

An important part of taking on any loan or form of credit, secured or not, is knowing that you can handle the payments over the life of the loan and continue to afford other financial obligations. Here are five factors that may impact your ability to manage your loan:

Job security. Some secured loans, like HEL and mortgages, are long-term commitments (20 to 30 years) . Even if you have the income to cover your loan payments and still live comfortably now, think about whether your current career and employer offer enough stability to do so down the line, as well as whether you have marketable skills to find other opportunities next month, next year, or far in the future if necessary.

Cash flow. Just because you are able to put up property as collateral doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable making payments on your secured loan. Look carefully at your income and expenses to determine if the monthly payments, interest and fees on your loan are actually within your budget, both now and (as much as possible) in the future.

Lifestyle. Even if you have the cash, the burden of taking on a loan could impact your ability to live the way you want to, says Johnna Camarillo, assistant vice president of equity processing and closing at Navy Federal Credit Union.

“Make sure that you don’t put yourself in a situation that according to the numbers, I can comfortably make my payments, but I can’t take a vacation or I can’t go out with my family as much as I’d like,” she told MagnifyMoney. “People should really look at their total lifestyle and look at how much disposable income they want.”

Future expenses. If you have kids (or plan to) and want to pay for college, aspire to buy a home or are close to retirement, this may impact your ability to continue to make loan payments. Plus, if you default on a secured loan, lose your property and damage your credit, it will likely be difficult to restore your financial situation to the point where you can afford these investments.

Total interest and fees. When you shop around for a secured loan, look at the total cost you’re on the hook for over the life of the loan — especially when you put up collateral you don’t want to lose.

“Sometimes people get attracted to a low monthly payment, and they’ll stretch it out over 15 to 20 years, but they don’t realize the impact that has on the amount of interest that they pay,” Camarillo said. She recommends looking carefully at interest rates, transaction and maintenance fees, as well as any fees associated with entering and exiting your loan.

MagnifyMoney has a personal loan comparison tool that compares rates and requirements for unsecured loans and a calculator to show monthly payments and interest paid over the life of a loan to help you understand the commitment you are taking on.

When it comes to managing a secured loan, having all the information and planning carefully for the long term is key. Don’t jump on what seems like a good deal without shopping around and budgeting, and don’t sign for a loan without understanding the risk to your property and your overall financial health.

What happens if you can’t pay?

If you get in over your head with any kind of loan, the first thing to do is talk to your lender. If you are a member at a credit union or a long-time customer at your bank, your loan officer may be able to help you with a plan to get back on track. Even payday lenders may be willing to work out an Extended Payment Plan (EPP), which allows borrowers extra time to cover their outstanding debt without added fees or risk of being sent to collections. You can also find ways to free up funds in your budget by cutting expenses large and small.

If you aren’t able to make payments and your loan goes into default, however, there are serious consequences.

Your credit takes a hit.
Payment history is the single most important factor in your FICO credit score — it accounts for 35% of the total. It is also considered “extremely influential” in the VantageScore model. Scoring models take into account bankruptcies, foreclosures and missed/halted payments, and having any of these in your credit history can have a long-lasting impact on your ability to apply for credit in the future. Even secured cards, which are primarily used to build and improve credit, can backfire if not managed properly.

“A lot of people fail at secured cards,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center in Washington, D.C. “A lot of people end up defaulting, and their credit score is worse than when they started.”

You end up on a debt spiral.
Defaulting on a loan can quickly put you into a cycle of debt that is difficult to break, especially if you are caught in a predatory lending situation. These lenders operate by charging interest rates and fees so high that the borrower is unable to make a dent in the loan principal and continues to take out additional loans just to pay the excess that accrues.

Auto title loans are “incredibly dangerous” because borrowers continue to pay fees to extend and end up paying out far more than they expected or planned for, says Saunders. “They’re not getting out of debt, and eventually many people not only lose all that money they paid but they lose their car.”

In 2017, the CFPB issued a rule requiring payday and auto title lenders to verify a borrower’s income, expenses and ability to repay before issuing a loan, a move that in theory would protect consumers from entering an endless cycle of payday and title loan debt.

You lose your collateral—and possibly more of your assets.
If you default on a secured loan made with physical property as collateral, there’s a good chance you’ll lose that item at the very least. A lender may repossess your car, foreclose on your home or come after the boat, motorcycle or other valuable property you put up. If it’s something that diminishes in value, what the lender sells it for may not cover the full amount of the loan, in which case they may come after you for the difference, says Chan.

“Although the lender may be willing to offer higher loan amounts with a secured loan, consumers still need to make sure that they can afford the monthly payments associated with the higher loan amount,” he added.

Experts agree that the biggest risk with a secured loan is losing property you already own. When you put your home, car, paycheck or savings on the line, you must understand the consequences of default — especially if you are already in a difficult financial situation.

“The overarching theme is, ‘Can you afford to lose the collateral?’” said Saunders. “How catastrophic would it be for you if you lose the collateral? You shouldn’t put it at risk if you can’t afford it. You shouldn’t pawn your wedding ring, but you might be willing to pawn a TV.”

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.

Emily Long
Emily Long |

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

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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.

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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
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

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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

Upgrade
APR

7.99%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.50% - 6.00%

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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®
APR

5.99%
To
28.99%

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Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

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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 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

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Finova Financial
APR

18.00%
To
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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on LendingTree’s secure website

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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