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Personal Loans

The Ultimate Guide to Personal Loans

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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Part I: Personal Loans 101

Personal loans are among the easiest financial tools to understand. When you take out a personal loan, a bank lends you money for a fixed interest rate and a fixed period of time.

This means you’ll be expected to make a fixed monthly payment for the life of the loan, but it also means you’ll face less uncertainty than with a credit card. With a personal loan, you’ll know exactly how much you borrowed, how much you’ll pay every month and when your debt will be paid in full.

This isn’t to suggest that personal loans are perfect. Like anything else in life, they come with risks and drawbacks. Most of the downsides depend on how responsible you are with credit and what interest rate you’ll pay.

Keep reading to learn more about how personal loans work, which pitfalls to avoid and how to get the most out of the loan you choose.

How personal loans work

As we mentioned, a personal loan is easy to grasp. You borrow money at a fixed interest rate, over a fixed amount of time, then you pay a fixed monthly payment until your loan is paid off.

While the terms of your personal loan can depend on an array of factors, these loans are typically offered in amounts up to $35,000. You may be able to borrow this amount for any length of time from 12 months to 20 years.

In addition to the interest rate you’ll pay, personal loans may also come with an origination fee which can range from 1 percent to as high as 8 percent at some lenders, according to a review of personal loan terms on MagnifyMoney.com. On the bright side, it’s a competitive business and many lenders charge no origination fee or any other fees upfront.The real costs to worry about with personal loans involve the APR. Interest rates charged through personal loans can vary quite a bit, and they are typically higher than you see with secured loans such as home equity or auto loans. That’s because personal loans are unsecured debts. Whereas a secured loan — think home or auto loan — is secured by an underlying investment (in these cases, a home or car), unsecured loans aren’t secured by an investment. The banks are taking on a greater risk lending without any collateral, so they charge higher fees and APRs as a result.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company.... Read More

How to qualify for one

If you’re considering a personal loan, here’s what you’ll need to qualify:

  • Good or excellent creditSome personal loan companies will approve you with a credit score as low as 580, according to MagnifyMoney’s parent company, LendingTree. But having very good credit (a FICO score over 740) will put you in a position to qualify for a personal loan with the best interest rate and terms.
  • Proof of ability to repay – You need to be able to show your ability to repay your loan, usually with pay stubs or other evidence of employment.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio – Lenders may be hesitant to lend you money if your debt-to-income ratio is high. This ratio is determined by taking your total monthly recurring debt and dividing it by your monthly income. Discover Personal Loans notes that borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio below 36 percent may qualify for the best terms and rates on loans and mortgages.
  • Co-signer – If your credit score is poor, you may need a co-signer with good credit to help you qualify for a personal loan.

How to pick the best personal loan

When it comes to personal loans, there is no one-size-fits-all option. The best loan for your needs depends on factors such as how much you need to borrow and whether you have good credit scores.

Here are some tips that can help you identify a loan that fits your goals:

  • Shop around with different lenders. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to shop around and compare rates and loan terms. Our parent company, LendingTree, is an excellent place to start because you can easily explore options from different lenders in one place. Start by filling out an online form.
  • Read the fine print. Make sure you understand each loan’s terms, conditions and interest rate, along with your monthly payment.
  • Look for a low-cost loan. Ideally, you should look for a personal loan with the lowest rate and fees (or no fees) you can find.
  • Read reviews. The internet is a treasure trove for reviews of various lenders. Reading product reviews can help you gauge the quality of each lender and what your experience might be like.

Part II: Common Uses for a Personal Loan

While borrowing money and paying it back slowly can be ideal no matter what your goals might be, you might be surprised to find out just how many uses personal loans can have.

“I’ve found that personal loans can be helpful when looking to consolidate higher interest debt, pay for a major expense or quickly get funds when needed for an emergency,” says Jeff Rose, founder of Good Financial Cents and partner of Discover Personal Loans.

Rose also pointed to a new survey from Discover Personal Loans, which showed that 26 percent of respondents cited a major medical expense as the most popular potential use for a personal loan, followed by 22 percent saying debt consolidation, and 13 percent using it to fund a small business.

Take note: That doesn’t mean personal loans are ideal for all uses. Here are some potential uses for personal loans, along with some pros and cons to consider:

Debt consolidation

If you have several types of debt and you’re struggling to keep up, debt consolidation can be a smart way to tackle the problem. When you consolidate debt, you take out a new loan, use it to pay off your existing debts and are left with just one loan to repay.

The real benefit of using a personal loan for debt consolidation is knowing exactly how much you pay each month and precisely how long you have until you’re debt-free.

“You don’t get that with a credit card,” says Gerri Detweiler, a writer, educator and authority on credit and loans.

You’ll have to decide when a personal loan makes sense as a debt consolidation tool over other options — such as a balance transfer credit card. It will likely come down to your credit score and which option will cost you the least over time. For example, a debt consolidation loan may have a higher interest rate than a balance transfer credit card, many of which come with a 0 percent APR for 12 to 21 months.

You can find 0% balance transfer offers at CompareCards.com, another LendingTree site.

Medical expenses

Taking a personal loan to cover medical expenses “can be very helpful, especially if it keeps you out of collections,” Detweiler says.

Before you take this step, however, you should speak to your provider to see if it offers a payment plan. If so, you may be able to make payments on your outstanding medical debts without paying interest.

Car purchase

You can take out a personal loan to buy a car, but should you? Detweiler says it depends on the type of car you’re buying and how much it costs.

“You would probably get a better interest rate through a car dealership since personal loans are unsecured but car loans use the car as collateral,” she says.

On the flip side, a personal loan might work better if you’re buying an older used car from an individual instead of a dealership.

Home improvement

Detweiler notes that, while a lot of people use a home equity loan or HELOC, or home equity line of credit, to remodel their home, not everyone has enough equity to qualify. A personal loan could be ideal since you may qualify no matter how much equity you have in your home.

Not only that, but you won’t lose your home if you fall behind on payments with a personal loan. A home equity loan uses your home as collateral.

Moving expenses

Moving can be expensive, but you should try to save up the cash before your move, if you can. If you’re short on funds, a personal loan or a credit card can work well. The best option for your needs depends on the interest rate you qualify for and how long repayment might take you.

Starting a business

Detweiler says she’s a big fan of trying to separate personal and business credit, but there are still times when using a personal loan to finance a business could be beneficial.

If you’re a startup that’s not yet earning money, for example, you might not yet qualify for a business loan.

“In that case, a personal loan could help you get your business off the ground,” she says.

Boosting your credit

“A personal loan can help you improve your credit mix, and that can boost your score,” says Detweiler. “But you shouldn’t get into debt just to build credit.”

If you want to build credit without getting into debt, signing up for a secured credit card and using it regularly can also help. Read more about how secured cards work.

Emergencies

When it comes to the unexpected, personal loans can be a better option than some other types of borrowing, like payday loans. Not only are interest rates typically low, but you can figure out an exact payment plan to pay the debt off before you sign up.

But first, you should “really think about whether you need to borrow or whether you could come up with the money another way,” says Detweiler.

When to avoid using a personal loan

While a personal loan can be a valuable financial tool, there are plenty of times where you might be better off borrowing money a different way – or not borrowing at all.

Joseph Toms, president of the nonbank consumer lender Freedom Financial Asset Management, says these instances really depend on individuals and their situation, although there are many telltale signs a personal loan is not for you.s

One of the biggest signs, he says, is when you can’t afford to keep up with the monthly payments for the loan you plan to take out.

“Not being able to keep up with the monthly payments means you won’t pay your loan on time,” he says. “If you pay your bills late or not at all, your credit will take a hit. That can lead to higher interest rates and cause your debt to spiral out of control.”

Before you take out a personal loan, you should write out a budget and make sure you can truly afford the monthly payments, he says.

Another time you shouldn’t take out a personal loan is when you don’t truly need what you’re borrowing for – or if you should probably live without it.

“A personal loan can be like a candy store,” says Toms.

The temptation of being able to borrow money can be too much for some people. It can inspire crazy actions, like financing purchases that can leave the borrower in financial peril, Toms says.

Another instance where you may not want to get a personal loan? “If you’re going to buy a house in the near future, you should think twice about taking out a personal loan,” Detweiler says.

This is because the amount you owe can affect how much you can borrow for a home.

Lastly, you should probably avoid a personal loan if you’re on shaky financial ground, says Detweiler.

“If you aren’t in a very stable financial situation, a personal loan could make your problems worse,” she says. “It’s risky because if you don’t make the payments, you could wind up hurting your credit and could end up in default or collections.”

Using personal loans for a vacation might be tempting, but it’s not the wisest choice. However, the truth is, some people do this anyway. In a recent survey, we found that 16 percent of people who said they are going into debt for vacation are using personal loans.

“Don’t borrow money and go into debt for a vacation,” Detweiler urges. “You’ll come back from vacation in debt. Save the money instead, or have a staycation.”

Like vacations, a wedding financed with debt is rarely a good idea.

“Don’t start your marriage in debt,” says Detweiler. If you have to use a personal loan for your wedding, make sure you shop around for a loan with the lowest interest rate and best terms.

If you believe you could pay the balance off in a short amount of time, you may also be better off with a 0 percent APR credit card.

The risks of using a personal loan

Taking out a personal loan can help you borrow the money you need to achieve any goal, but that doesn’t mean these loans are without risk. Some of the perils you’ll face when taking out any loan include:

  • Overspending – A personal loan can be the answer to your prayers, but some experts say they’re almost too easy. “No one is going to question what you’re spending the money on, so you might use this loan to justify things you shouldn’t really buy,” says Detweiler. “If you go overboard, you can end up with debt that takes years to pay off and a lifetime of regret.”
  • Damage to your credit if you don’t repay the loan – Obviously, your personal loan may go off without a hitch if you don’t borrow too much and can always afford your payments. “But if you can’t afford your payments due to job loss or another issue, your credit will see damage,” Detweiler explains. That damage can ruin your credit, or even lead to collections or bankruptcy.
  • Bad financial habits – Getting into the habit of constantly borrowing money can make your life more difficult, she adds. While personal loans can be easy to get, relying on credit over and over can leave you short on cash to reach other financial goals.

And the benefits?

There are times to avoid a personal loan, without doubt, but these loans aren’t all bad. In the real world, there are plenty of instances where a personal loan can help you get what you want or even improve your financial life.

If you take out a personal loan – and do it in a financially responsible way – there are plenty of benefits to look forward to. These loans can:

  • Simplify your financial life – “A personal loan can be a great tool for people looking to simplify and save by consolidating higher interest debt into one fixed monthly payment,” says Rose, of Discover Personal Loans. “If you have multiple credit cards or store card bills, and are having difficulty keeping track of them all, a personal loan can be a smart tool to streamline your payments and potentially save thousands of dollars on interest.”
  • Help with emergencies – If you are hit with an unexpected expense you can’t cover, “personal loans can provide the funds fairly quickly to help manage through the situation,” says Rose. In that sense, a personal loan could actually save you from financial peril.
  • Offer you predictable payments and interest – Because of the way personal loans are set up, you’ll never wonder how much you’ll pay each month or how much interest you owe. “Compared to higher-interest financial tools, having a fixed interest rate and monthly payment could save you money in the long run,” Rose explains.

Part III: Personal Loan Traps and Scams to Avoid

While there are plenty of reputable lenders in the personal loan space, that doesn’t mean it’s scam-free. Like most other areas of personal finance, there are plenty of fraudsters who will use personal loans to extract money from you or perpetrate fraud in some other way.

As you explore the world of personal loans, here are some traps to be aware of:

Advance loan fees

Occasionally, a fraudulent loan company will offer outrageous loans and loan terms with a catch: You have to pay the first few months of payments to qualify.

“They usually ask for these funds via Western Union or Moneygram,” says Detweiler. “But it’s a complete scam.”

No reputable lender would ask you to pay money upfront. “Do not pay money upfront for a personal loan under any circumstances,” she says.

Loan insurance

Another one from Detweiler: the fraudulent lender who will offer you a personal loan, only to say you need to buy “insurance” to cover the loan in case you default.

This is also a scam because personal loans are unsecured – and because no reputable lender would require you to buy insurance to insure your own loan.

‘No credit check’ loans

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a lender who isn’t interested in checking your credit should set off alarms.

Ads that say: “Bad credit? No problem” or “We don’t care about your past” should be particularly worrisome, notes the CFPB. These slogans are usually suggestive of a scam.

Pre-compute interest

Some personal loans might come with the caveat of pre-compute interest, interest that is stacked so you pay the bulk of it near the beginning of your loan term.

This is a bad deal, since you’ll wind up paying extra interest – even if you pay your loan off early. Before you take out a personal loan, make sure you know how interest is accrued and how it will impact the total costs of your loan.

Prepayment penalties

Some personal loans will tack on a prepayment penalty if you pay your loan off early. Since this fee isn’t that common and is totally unnecessary, you should avoid loans that charge this fee altogether.

Make sure you read through your loans terms to check for a prepayment penalty. If you find one, look for another lender and loan.

Part IV: Alternatives to a Personal Loan

A personal loan might be ideal for helping you reach your financial goals, but it’s also possible a different financial product might work better. As you consider the prospect of a personal loan, don’t forget to explore your other options.

Here are some alternatives to consider, along with some instances where they may represent a better deal:

Personal loans versus credit cards

According to Paul Gentile, president of Cooperative Credit Union Association, there are definitely times where a credit card may be better than a personal loan.

“A credit card can be used to purchase something, so that can offer more flexibility,” he says. Credit cards can also be a great deal if you pay them off monthly, he notes, since you have the potential to earn rewards. Lastly, credit cards can be beneficial for certain short-term purchases since many offer 0 percent APR for 12 to 21 months.

On the flip side, “a personal loan may be better for someone who wants to make a large, intentional purchase that they planned for.”

Personal loans also offer the benefit of a fixed payment and payoff date, whereas credit cards can literally tether you to payments indefinitely if you keep using them for purchases.

Personal loans versus HELOCs

As Gentile notes, HELOCs come with the advantage of interest deductions (similar to how you deduct mortgage interest) if you itemize your taxes. In contrast, interest paid on your personal loan is not tax-deductible. Rates on HELOCs may also be lower than those on personal loans, he notes.

A possible downside with HELOCs is the fact that some only require you to pay interest for years. “This means you may not be paying anything toward the principal,” Gentile says.

Some HELOCs also come with balloon payments at the end, and those big payments may be hard to handle. On the other hand, personal loans come with predictable, fixed monthly payments and no surprises.

Personal loans versus peer-to-peer loans

Gentile notes that peer-to-peer lending is really similar to a personal loan. Both things allow you to borrow a fixed rate of cash and repay it over a predetermined length of time.

But since peer-to-peer lending isn’t regulated as heavily, this could be worrisome, says Gentile.

Before you choose among personal loans and peer-to-peer loans, make sure you compare all related fees, all total costs and interest rates.

Personal Loans versus cash-out refinancing

Gentile believes that opting for a cash-out refinance is the best option for people committed to their properties in the long term, whereas personal loans are better for short-term financial needs.

There are risks to getting cash out of your home as well, he notes. “If home prices drop, you could end up underwater.”

On the other hand, refinancing your home to get access to your home equity could help you qualify for a lower interest rate than a personal loan. “You also get to write off your mortgage interest, so you get a tax deduction,” notes Gentile.

Check out this cash-out refi calculator from MagnifyMoney’s parent company, LendingTree.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the CFPB, lenders and loan brokers are required to be registered in all states where they conduct business. To check registration, they suggest calling your state attorney general’s office, or your state’s Department of Banking or Financial Regulation.

Yes, if you use it to consolidate high interest debts from credit cards or other loans. To get out of debt faster, make sure your new personal loan comes with a lower interest rate than you’re already paying, along with no or few fees. Paying more than your minimum payment is another great way to pay down debt faster.

Your interest rate will be determined based on the type of loan you apply for, how much you want to borrow and the quality of your credit. Getting the best loan terms and the best interest rate typically requires a credit score of 740 or more, or very good or exceptional credit.

If you were denied a personal loan due to poor credit, the best thing you can do is take a few simple steps to improve your credit rating over time. Pay all of your bills on time, pay off debt to reduce your credit utilization, and avoid opening or closing too many accounts.

Thanks to the internet, you can apply for a personal loan online and from the comfort of your own home. You can also compare lenders, fees, and interest rates by visiting this page.

Because personal loans are unsecured, you don’t need collateral. What you do need is the ability to illustrate how you’ll repay your loan, along with a good credit score.

You can absolutely pay your loan off early; very few loans will charge a prepayment penalty. Before you take out a personal loan, you should make sure you won’t be charged a prepayment penalty if you’re able to repay your loan early.

While applying for a personal loan will result in a hard inquiry being placed on your credit report, any negative hit your score takes will be short-lived. Borrowing too much in relation to your credit limits can hurt your utilization, however, and yes, that could hurt your credit score.

On the other hand, repaying your personal loan on time, and ultimately in full, can actually help your score in the long run.

Depending on your lender, you may receive funds from your new personal loan as early as the next business day. However, it could take up to seven business days (or longer) if you apply for a loan on a weekend, have errors in your application, or your loan takes longer to process for any reason.

The best part about personal loans is that you can use the funds however you want. You can use the cash to pay off high interest debt, remodel your kitchen or buy a newer car, for example.

Just keep in mind that borrowing is never free. In addition to the interest you pay on your loan, you may also incur additional costs, such as origination or application fees.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company.... Read More

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Holly Johnson
Holly Johnson |

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

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

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Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

USAA Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

USAA Bank
APR

8.99%
To
10.99%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

USAA offers personal loans for members with low, fixed interest and protections to fall back on if you get behind in payments.... Read More

USAA personal loan details

USAA loan terms range from 12 to 84 months; however, longer terms are not available for smaller loans. Loan amounts range from $2,500 to more than $20,000 with APR ranging from 8.99% to 10.99%, and funds are available the next day after you qualify.

USAA personal loans have no origination or prepayment fees, although they do charge a late fee of 5% of the total amount due.

 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 12 to 84 months
  • APR Range: 8.99% to 10.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $20,000
  • Time to funding: Day after approval
  • Soft-pull/hard-pull: Hard Pull
  • Origination fee: None.
  • Prepayment fee: None.
  • Late payment fee: 5% of the amount due

Eligibility requirements

Applying for a USAA personal loan will show up as a hard pull on your credit report. USAA does not have a minimum credit score requirement or debt-to-income cap, but will consider your credit score as part of their lending decision.

In addition to the financial requirements, you must also qualify for USAA membership under their military service requirements. You are eligible if you are in the following categories:

  • Active military: You are currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy.
  • Former military: If you have retired or separated from the military with an honorable discharge.
  • Family members of servicemembers: If you are the child, spouse, widow, widower, or unmarried former spouse of a USAA member.
  • Cadets and midshipmen: Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies or involved in ROTC and officer candidates with 24 months of commissioning are eligible for membership.

Apply for a personal loan with USAA

Before you can apply for a USAA personal loan, first you’ll need to set up your USAA membership online or by phone. The membership application will ask for your personal information, along with other qualifying USAA membership questions. You will need to submit documents to verify your status, like a discharge certificate, your military orders (if you’re actively serving) or the name of a family member who is also a member, so USAA can look up their account.

Once you have a membership with USAA, you can sign into your online account to start the personal loan application process. The loan application will ask for your name, address and will use your Social Security number to check your credit report. You will also need to list your income and employer.

USAA states that their online personal application makes an instant decision in most cases; however, applicants will be alerted at the end of this if additional time or documents are necessary.

If USAA approves the loan, the funds will be available the next day, or it can be immediately deposited into your USAA bank account. If you don’t have a USAA account, they will send you a check, as they do not support the option of direct depositing the loan in a bank account at another bank.

Pros and cons

Like all lending products, there are both pros and cons to a particular loan product.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Quick application and decision – The online application takes a few minutes, and in most cases, provides an immediate loan decision.
  • Fast payment – USAA makes the loan funds available one day after the loan is approved.
  • Competitive interest rate with autopay discount – USAA personal loan interest rates are competitive to other personal loans, especially if you have excellent credit. They also offer a 0.25% rate discount if you set up recurring, automatic payments for the loan.
  • No prepayment, origination or application fees — You do not pay anything to apply for a USAA personal loan. There is also no penalty for paying the money back ahead of schedule.
  • Only available for those who meet USAA membership requirements – Not everyone can bank at USAA. You must quality for USAA membership through your own military service or by being the child or a former or current spouse of a USAA member.
  • Hard Pull on your credit – A hard pull will show up on your credit report when you apply for a personal loan with USAA. A hard credit pull is used to determine your financial risk and loan rate.
  • No direct deposit for non-USAA bank accounts – Loan funds will be sent in the form of a check if you don’t have a bank account with USAA.

Alternatives to a USAA personal loan

If you meet the USAA membership requirements, their personal loan could be a solid choice. USAA offers competitive interest rates especially for applicants with excellent credit scores. They don’t charge application or origination fees, so you can set up a personal loan without paying anything besides the interest. Funds are usually available by the next business day, an important feature for someone who needs fast cash.

If you want a long-term personal loan, USAA’s terms go all the way up to 84 months, provided you borrow at least $20,000 —you won’t see terms of this length with many lenders.

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements to be a USAA member, consider the following three alternatives for a personal loan:

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE 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


If you’d like to compare your options before applying for USAA, LendingClub is a solid alternative. They use a peer-to-peer system where you submit your financial information online and get matched with a financial institution that can fund your loan. If you have strong credit and high income, you may qualify for an even lower interest rate through LendingClub; however, it takes about seven days to fund your loan.They also charge an origination fee of 1.00% - 6.00% to set up your loan, a fee USAA does not charge.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial
APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

APPLY NOW Secured

on OneMain Financial’s secure website

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


OneMain Financial could be a solid alternative option, especially if you need money quickly, because they approve and pay out loan funds within one day. They also accept borrowers with fair credit and could be an option if you cannot qualify for a USAA loan. However, their interest rates are higher than USAA and the application process can’t be entirely completed online— you must go to a physical branch to close your loan.

LendingPoint

LendingPoint
APR

15.49%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Origination Fee

Fee Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint offers personal loans for a wide variety of reasons, including paying for home repairs, consolidating credit card debt, or to make a large purchase. Their online process can help you to quickly apply for a personal loan, get qualified, and receive funding. While their interest rates can be higher than others, they do offer fast approval and can transfer funds to your bank account in 24 hours.


LendingPoint offers medium-term loans through a quick online application. Their personal loans only last between 24 to 60 months, so they don’t offer as many options as USAA. Their interest rates are relatively high, but funds could be received within two days, as early as the next business day, and look at factors beyond your credit score to make a lending decision.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

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Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

LendingPoint Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

LendingPoint
APR

15.49%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Origination Fee

Fee Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint offers personal loans for a wide variety of reasons, including paying for home repairs, consolidating credit card debt, or to make a large purchase. Their online process can help you to quickly apply for a personal loan, get qualified, and receive funding. While their interest rates can be higher than others, they do offer fast approval and can transfer funds to your bank account in 24 hours.

LendingPoint personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 24 to 48 months
  • APR range: 15.49% to 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Time to funding: After the final approval, funds may be transferred in up to 1 to 2 business days, though often as soon as the next business day.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: LendingPoint conducts a soft pull when you first apply for a personal loan quote. After you review the loan offer(s) and select one, a hard pull will then be done to move forward with the final loan approval process.
  • Origination fee: The Fee Varies, depending on your state of residence and credit history.
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: Varies

Many lenders are strict about how many loans you can have at one time, sometimes maxing out at one per borrower. However, LendingPoint may allow you to take out two loans at once, depending on your current loan’s standing and your overall credit history. Being able to take out another personal loan can be helpful if a new financial issue comes up, such as an unexpected home repair, where you need more funds than your current loan can’t cover.

LendingPoint’s personal loans may be used for many different financial reasons. Whether you need to pay for an upcoming home renovation, you need funds to buy a car or need help paying off a medical bill your insurance won’t cover, a personal loan with LendingPoint can help. These personal loans can also be used to help consolidate your debt and refinance your credit cards.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 585
  • Minimum credit history: LendingPoint looks at your overall financial potential to help determine whether you’re a good candidate for a personal loan, but it will only consider those who can show income of at least $20,000 a year.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 35%

All borrowers must be at least 18 years old and reside in one of LendingPoint’s 34 designated states or Washington, D.C. Borrowers are encouraged to show consistent employment history for at least the past 12 months and must have a bank account.

LendingPoint does not offer loans in:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Applying for a personal loan from LendingPoint

To begin the application process with LendingPoint, you’ll first need to provide basic background information, such as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and annual income. This is the pre-approval process which will generate one or more loan offers in just a few minutes.

If you choose one of the offers and agree with the terms and rates, you will then need to provide any additional information and documents LendingPoint may request, including your driver’s license, bank statements (with voided check) and proof of income. Once all documents have been received and reviewed, a final loan approval can happen in a few hours, and your funds can possibly be distributed to your bank account within the next business day.

Pros and cons of a LendingPoint personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • No prepayment penalty. If you decide to pay off your loan before your term is up, LendingPoint will not charge you a prepayment penalty.
  • Fast approval and funding. Many borrowers are pre-approved for a personal loan within just minutes and approved for the actual loan within hours. Borrowers can possibly receive funds in their bank account the next business day.
  • Works with borrowers with fair credit. LendingPoint provides personal loans to borrowers with fair credit.
  • Bankruptcy is not grounds for automatic disqualification. Borrowers with a discharged bankruptcy of 12 months or more can still apply for a personal loan with LendingPoint. Your credit history, income and discharged bankruptcy timeframe will all be determining factors.
  • No joint or cosigner loans. Some lenders allow you to have a cosigner with a higher credit score in order to qualify for a better personal loan rate. That is not the case with LendingPoint’s personal loans, as they are based only on your individual credit history.
  • Fluctuating payment schedule. Your monthly due date may change because LendingPoint uses a 28-day payment cycle.
  • Higher interest rates. LendingPoint may work with borrowers with fair credit, but that can mean higher interest rates when compared with other lenders.
  • Origination fee. Many lenders don’t charge an origination fee for personal loans, which is why LendingPoint’s possible charge of up to 6.00% can be off-putting.

Who’s the best fit for a LendingPoint personal loan

If you have fair credit and meet the income requirements, LendingPoint could be a good option, especially if you need funds fast. The lack of a prepayment penalty is a plus, but other lenders offer lower rates, even for those with less than ideal credit.

It’s always a good idea to search and compare personal loans before making a final decision. Shop around to find the best personal loans with a rate and term ideal for your financial needs while also keeping an eye out for any fees associated with the loans, including origination fees. LendingPoint may be the best fit for you, but you should take some time to compare with others to know for sure.

Alternative personal loan options

Peerform

Peerform
APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 5.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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


Peerform offers lower fixed rates ranging from 5.99% to 29.99% with loan amounts starting at $4,000 and maxing out at $25,000; terms are between 36 or 60 months. Similar to LendingPoint, there are no prepayment penalties should you want to pay off your loan in advance, but there may be an origination fee that varies from 1.00% - 5.00%. There are other fees to consider with Peerform as well — these include late fees, unsuccessful payment fees, and check processing fees, all of which can range around $15 each.

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE 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


While LendingPoint allows borrowers to take up to $25,000, LendingClub offers loans up to $40,000 which is good for those looking to borrow more money. However, you will likely have to wait a little longer to receive the funds — LendingClub’s earliest distribution is within 7 business days. There are no prepayment penalties, but LendingClub charges an origination fee of anywhere from 1.00% - 6.00%, and you could also be charged a check processing fee or late payment fee. Credit history, the loan amount and any other outstanding debt are some of the factors used to determine the APR, which usually ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial
APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

APPLY NOW Secured

on OneMain Financial’s secure website

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


OneMain Financial has issued loans for more than 100 years and, similar to LendingPoint, can have money in your hands within the next business day after final approval. Loan amounts are from $1,500 to $30,000 with an APR range of 16.05% to 35.99%. Borrowers are eligible for terms of 24 to 60 months, depending on your credit and financial history and any other debts you may have. Credit score requirements vary and all personal loans have fixed rates and payments without any prepayment penalties. You may be able to get a loan offer within minutes when you apply online but will need to meet with a loan specialist in person for final approval.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Carissa Chesanek
Carissa Chesanek |

Carissa Chesanek is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Carissa here

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

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Personal Loans

Wells Fargo Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Wells Fargo Bank
APR

6.99%
To
23.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fees

APPLY NOW Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Wells Fargo personal loan details

Wells Fargo loan terms range from 12 to 60 months on loan amounts of $3,000 to $100,000. The APR on a personal loan can range from 6.99% to 23.99%,  (0.25% discount is applied to the interest for relationship accounts). The Wells Fargo website states funds are often distributed the next business day after approval.

What’s great about Wells Fargo personal loans is there are no origination or prepayment fees. There is a late payment fee: $39; however, there is 10-day grace period to make that payment before Wells Fargo charges a penalty.

 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 12 to 60 months
  • APR Range: 6.99% - 23.99%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000 - $100,000
  • Time to funding: Next business day
  • Soft-pull/hard-pull: Hard
  • Origination fee: None.
  • Prepayment fee: None.
  • Late payment fee: $39

Eligibility requirements

Like most applications for a line of credit or a loan, your credit report will show a hard pull when you apply for a personal loan with Wells Fargo. The bank does not have a minimum credit score requirement, but will consider your credit score in their decision. They also don’t have a cap on the debt-to-income requirement, but again, it will be factor into their lending decision.

Loan underwriters will also consider your income and any other banking relationship with Wells Fargo as part of their decision. If you’re a long-term Wells Fargo customer, that could improve your chances of qualifying.

Apply for personal loan with Wells Fargo

You can apply for a Wells Fargo personal loan online, by phone or at a Wells Fargo bank branch. In each case, Wells Fargo will ask for your personal information — like your name, address and Social Security number — and employment and income verification. Finally, you will need to submit your ideal loan term and amount, although you may not receive the full amount requested.

If you already have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can log in and the application will be prefilled with information that is already on your account. Once you submit the online application, the software will tell you whether you qualify, are rejected or if they need more information. Wells Fargo may request supporting documentation such as your pay stubs, driver’s license or tax returns before making a decision.

Wells Fargo often supplies funds within one business day of approval. Funds can be received in a variety of different ways, including a direct deposit into an existing Wells Fargo account, transferring the money into another bank account, cashier’s check or you can opt to have the funds go directly toward outstanding debts (if you requested the loan to consolidate your other debts).

Wells Fargo personal loan: Pros and cons

Wells Fargo has some positives — such as banking with a mega financial institution — but it also has some negatives — like their history of setting up fraudulent accounts. Loan products (with any institution) will be no different. Here are some pros and cons to taking out a personal loan with Wells Fargo:

Pros:

Cons:

  • Fast payment – Once your loan has been approved, they pay out within one business day.
  • Competitive interest rates – Wells Fargo interest rates are competitive compared with many online lenders.
  • Relationship discount – Wells Fargo takes 0.25% off your interest rate if you have a qualifying checking account with them and make automatic payments.
  • No prepayment, origination or application fees – Wells Fargo does not charge an application fee or origination fee to set up a personal loan. There are no penalties for paying off your loan early.
  • Varied loan amounts – Wells Fargo offers loans anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000. This can be useful for people looking for a large personal loan.
  • Decision could take time – Wells Fargo does not make an instant decision on all applications. They may ask you to submit additional documents before making a decision.
  • Hard credit pull – To see whether you qualify and at what rate means making a hard pull on your credit report, which can knock a few points off your score.
  • No guaranteed approval – Although Wells Fargo does not list its eligibility requirements, expect them to be tougher than with an online lender. Large national banks use a more stringent qualification process in exchange for charging lower interest rates than some online lenders.

Who’s the best fit for a Wells Fargo personal loan?

Wells Fargo personal loans are ideal for someone with a strong credit score and high income. In this case, you have a better chance of receiving an instant decision at the lowest available interest rate.

Wells Fargo incentivizes personal loan borrowers to open a checking account with them by offering a 0.25% discount on the interest rate when you set up automatic payments. Plus, Wells Fargo can deposit the loan proceeds immediately into your bank account after you’re approved.

Wells Fargo is a good fit if you want the flexibility to pay the money back earlier than expected or are looking for a large personal loan limit. Finally, if you want to meet with a banker in person to discuss your loan, Wells Fargo is one of your better options as they have roughly 5,800 branches nationwide where you can meet with a loan officer.

Alternative loan options

If you don’t meet Wells Fargo eligibility requirements, consider the following three alternatives for a personal loan:

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE 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


LendingClub is an online lender that uses a peer-to-peer system, which means they match you with other lenders to fund your loan. You could potentially receive a lower interest rate or qualify with a lower credit score than you would with Wells Fargo, but that depends on what kind of offers you receive. You can check rates without hurting your credit score because they use a soft pull to create offers. However, the entire process takes at least seven days to fund your loan. A personal loan with Wells Fargo is a faster process if you immediately qualify.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial
APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

APPLY NOW Secured

on OneMain Financial’s secure website

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


OneMain Financial’s application process — from application to funding — can be completed in just one day. The downside is they charge significantly higher interest rates than Wells Fargo. You will be required to visit a OneMain Financial branch in person to complete the process as it can’t be 100% completed online.

LendingPoint

LendingPoint
APR

15.49%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Origination Fee

Fee Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint offers personal loans for a wide variety of reasons, including paying for home repairs, consolidating credit card debt, or to make a large purchase. Their online process can help you to quickly apply for a personal loan, get qualified, and receive funding. While their interest rates can be higher than others, they do offer fast approval and can transfer funds to your bank account in 24 hours.


LendingPoint is another choice if you need money quickly and want to handle the entire process online. They are more accepting of lower credit scores and consider other factors for their lending decision, such as employment and financial history and income. Their application process is fast and you may be able to apply and receive funding within a couple of days. They do charge a loan origination fee and have higher interest rates than Wells Fargo.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Personal Loans

BofI Federal Bank Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

BofI Federal Bank
APR

6.49%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 60

months

Origination Fee

5%

APPLY NOW Secured

on BofI Federal Bank’s secure website

BofI Federal Bank personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 12 to 60 months
  • APR Range: 6.49% and up
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Time to Funding: 2 days
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Prequalification: soft pull; application/prior to funding: hard pull
  • Origination fee: 5%
  • Prepayment fee: $0
  • Late payment fee: $15
  • Other fees: Insufficient funds fee: $25

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45% to 50%

The basic eligibility requirements for a personal loan with BofI Federal Bank call for applicants to be U.S. residents who are at least 18 years old with verifiable income. Applicants also need a minimum credit score of 680 and a debt-to-income ratio of 45% to 50%. Although the credit history requirements are not specified by BofI, this information is used to determine if an applicant is approved for a loan.

Applying for a personal loan from BofI Federal Bank

Applying for a BofI Federal Bank personal loan is simple, and the process can be completed fairly quickly. By visiting the website, you can get the ball rolling by answering a few questions to see if you prequalify for a loan. You need to provide your income, credit history and score, employment history, basic contact information and Social Security number.

After answering these questions and a soft pull (which won’t affect your credit score), a loan offer will be provided if you prequalify. This offer can help you decide if you want to complete the application. Should you decide to apply, the information you provided will be verified.

If BofI Federal Bank offers you a loan following verification, you have the opportunity to review it before accepting. The final loan offer may differ from what you were offered after pre-qualification because of what was found during the verification process. Once you accept the offer, funds are deposited into your bank account within two days.

Pros and cons of a BofI Federal Bank personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • No collateral: A personal loan with BofI Federal Bank is unsecured, so it does not require collateral.
  • No prepayment fees: You won’t be charged an additional fee if you pay off your BofI Federal Bank loan early.
  • Quick application: The application process for a BofI Federal Bank personal loan is quick. You can expect to spend no more than 15 minutes on prequalification and the application.
  • Pre-qualification: You can avoid a drop in their credit score by seeing if you prequalify for a loan before applying. This is a soft pull, and it allows the bank to determine if you are likely to be approved for a loan.

  • Funding time: It can take up to two days for funds be received. This is a problem if you have expenses that need immediate attention and require instant or same-day funding.
  • Loan terms: Although BofI Federal Bank offers flexible loan terms, not all options are available depending on your loan request.
  • Origination fee: You must pay a 5% origination fee. This amount is deducted from the loan before funding.

Who’s the best fit for a BofI Federal Bank personal loan

A personal loan with BofI Federal Bank is unsecured, so while no collateral is required, there is specific criteria you must meet if you wish to secure a loan. While BofI will use multiple factors to determine if you are a good fit for a loan, you should have a credit score of at least 680 when you apply. This means if you could be approved even if you have less than perfect credit. But you likely won’t be approved if you have poor or bad credit.

In addition to the credit score requirement, another factor that could affect a person’s fit for this lender is the funding time. If you need to receive funds immediately, this is not possible and you won’t benefit from applying for a loan with this lender. However, if you don’t have an immediate need for funds, you may find a BofI Federal Bank personal loan to be a great option.

Although a personal loan with BofI Federal Bank may not be the ideal lender for all, there are alternatives that may be more suitable.

Alternative personal loan options

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE 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


Securing a personal loan between $1,000 and $40,000 with LendingClub can be done in a matter of minutes. To ensure you are a good fit for a loan with this particular lender, you can check rates prior to filling out the application. If a loan with LendingClub seems like an option, you can review the available offers and then move forward with the application by verifying the information you provided. If you’re approved after the review of the application, funds will be deposited into your account within seven days. When comparing this lender to BofI Federal Bank, the prequalification and application processes are similar, but you may be able to take out a personal loan with a lower APR and a lower origination fee.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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


If you have at least fair credit, you have the option to apply for a personal loan with Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. When choosing this specific lender, you have access to between $3,500 and $40,000, more than what’s on offer from BofI Federal Bank. In addition to access to higher funds, Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers loan terms from 36 to 72 months, giving you plenty of time to pay back your loan. Should you choose to pay the loan off early, there are no prepayment fees that will be tacked onto your final payment, making this loan ideal if you want to avoid paying extra fees.

Upgrade

Upgrade
APR

6.87%
To
35.97%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.87%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.


Upgrade is an alternative if you have fair credit and need between $1,000 and $50,000. Before applying, you can use the pre-qualification process to determine your chances of being approved for a loan without taking a hit to your credit score. Following pre-qualification, the application can be filled out. If approved for a loan, it can take up to four days for funds to be received. There is an origination fee, so take this into consideration before you begin the process of securing a loan with Upgrade.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Kristina Byas
Kristina Byas |

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

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Personal Loans

Avant Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Avant
APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Fees

Up to 4.75%

LEARN MORE Secured

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

Avant has helped over 600,000 customers by providing access to over $3.5 billion in personal loans. Whether you need to improve your home, make a major purchase, or consolidate your debts into one simple monthly payment, Avant may be able to provide you access to the funds you need as soon as next business day! ‡

For Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Avant personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • APR Range: 9.95%-35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000-$35,000
  • Time to funding: As soon as the next business day.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: A Soft Pull will be done initially to provide you with potential loan options. After you select your rate, a hard pull will be done on your credit as you officially apply.
  • Origination fee: Administrative fee of Up to 4.75%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: $25 if your payment is 10+ days late
  • Other fees: $15 fee if your payment is returned

You can qualify for an Avant personal loan if you’re self-employed. Instead of providing your W-2 paperwork as proof of income, you will have to provide two years of full tax returns so Avant can verify how much money you bring in per year.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Minimum credit history: Avant judges each application on a variety of different credit criteria, though the average borrower has a credit score between 600-700.

You must have a checking or savings account in order to qualify for a loan with Avant. This account must allow you to do automatic payments. This account must be a personal account; Avant cannot currently lend to you if you’re using a business account.

Applying for a personal loan from Avant

Definitely take advantage of Avant’s Soft Pull option, where you can get a sense of your loan options before you officially apply and let them perform a hard credit inquiry. When you apply for a loan with Avant, you will want to come armed with some basic information like your name, address and Social Security number. If you’re someone’s employee, you’ll want to know where your pay stubs are from the past 30 days. If you’re self-employed, expect to be asked for your tax returns from the past two years.

Regardless of if you’re a W-2 or 1099 worker, you will have to provide your bank account information, including routing number and account number. Sometimes, Avant can use this information alone to verify your income, saving you the hassle of scanning in your taxes or pay stubs. You won’t know until you apply, though.

After you apply, you’ll be offered a rate. If you accept, Avant will do a hard pull on your credit, confirming the final details. If you are approved, you could see money in your account as soon as the next day.

Pros and cons of an Avant personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Competitive interest rates for lower credit scores. Among lenders that extend credit to those with lower credit scores, Avant’s interest rates are about average. Keep in mind that if your credit score is low, though, you’re more likely to fall into the higher end of the interest rate range anyway.
  • Fast access to your money. You may be able to get your loan disbursed as soon as the next day.
  • No prepayment penalty. You can pay off your Avant personal loan early — saving you interest — without incurring a fee for prepayment.
  • Better options for higher credit scores. If you do have a higher credit score, Avant’s starting rates of 9.95% pale in comparison with lenders who target borrowers with a better credit history.
  • Origination fee. While Avant’s origination fee is lower than some of their competitors, the fact that they have a fee at all is still a negative. If you have poor credit, however, it can be tricky to find a lender that doesn’t charge such a fee.
  • You have to link up your bank account. Linking your bank account is a pretty standard way to pay your bills, and most marketplace lenders will prefer you do it this way. But if you’re uncomfortable linking your checking or savings to Avant for automatic payments, this could be a negative as it is required to qualify for one of their personal loans.

Who’s the best fit for an Avant personal loan

Among lenders who issue personal loans in this credit score range, Avant’s starting interest rates are near average. If you have a lower credit score, you should make Avant one of the companies you look at first, along with credit unions that allow you to apply online.

However, if you have a good or great credit score, you’ll likely be able to get a better interest rate elsewhere. Whichever category you fall into, you should be sure to shop around before you commit.

Alternative personal loan options

Lending Club

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE 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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

If your budget is stretched thin, the fact that Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers 36 to 72 month terms which may be exciting news for you as it generally means lower monthly payments. Just remember that when you stretch a loan out over a longer period of time, you end up paying more in interest over the life of your loan — even if you’re paying less per month.

Earnest

Earnest
APR

6.99%
To
18.24%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Instead of offering credit-based loans, Earnest has taken a very nontraditional approach using a merit-based system.... Read More

Earnest is a better option if you have a higher credit score. Their interest rate range is lower, and there is No origination fee or administrative fees. The minimum credit score requirement of 660 is significantly higher than Avant’s minimum of 580, though.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Personal Loans

MoneyLion Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

MoneyLion
APR

5.99%
To
99.00%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

6 to 36

months

Origination Fee

None

APPLY NOW Secured

on MoneyLion’s secure website

MoneyLion personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 6 to 36 months
  • APR Range: 5.99% - 99.00% APR
  • Loan amounts: $300 to $35,000
  • Time for Funding: Up to one business day
  • Hard pull/soft pull: MoneyLion and BetterCash loans do a soft pull to check rates and a hard pull to complete the application. The MoneyLion Plus does a soft pull for the membership application and no additional inquiry for the loan.
  • Origination fee: None
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: $25 to $37.50

MoneyLion product details

Personal loans are just one aspect of MoneyLion. Collectively, MoneyLion is a personal finance platform with several products many of which are free after you sign up for an account. MoneyLion partners with TransUnion for free credit monitoring. Credit monitoring for users comes with a credit score simulator and scores updated each month.

MoneyLion also offers financial tracking for users where you can view your assets and debts all in one platform. Users can connect bank accounts, investment accounts, and credit card accounts to the financial tracking dashboard to review their overall financial standing.

There’s a rewards program that gives points for using different MoneyLion features, and these points can be redeemed for restaurant and retail gift cards. Downloading the app and signing up for an account gets you 100 rewards points right off the bat. You can also receive points for taking out a MoneyLion loan, enrolling in credit monitoring, making on-time loan payments, and more.

Again, each of the benefits above are free, but there’s an additional paid product called MoneyLion Plus that comes with a few extra perks.

MoneyLion Plus

The MoneyLion Plus membership costs $79 per month, made up of two payments.

One payment of $29 is the membership fee. The remaining $50 is a payment that goes into an investment account for you managed by MoneyLion.

Here are the features you get with MoneyLion Plus:

  • MoneyLion invests your $50 into an investment fund.
  • Loans of $500 at 5.99% APR, even if you have fair credit
  • $1 cashback into your investment account whenever you log into MoneyLion; log into your account daily each month and you could earn enough to cover the $29 monthly fee
  • Other bonus cashback rewards

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Minimum credit history: Less-than-stellar credit is acceptable for the BetterCash loan. Fair credit or better is required for the MoneyLion loan product.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Varies

There are a few loan products to review here with slightly different terms and eligibility requirements. The payment schedule for MoneyLion loans match your employer paycheck. If you get paid bi-weekly, your loan payment will also be bi-weekly.

For each loan, you have to sign up to become a user of MoneyLion first.

  • MoneyLion: Allows people with fair to good credit to borrow $1,000 to $35,000. The MoneyLion loan is marketed as an installment loan solution for planned purchases or major emergencies.
  • BetterCash: Those with less-than-stellar credit may borrow between $300 and $10,000 for 6 to 24 months. The BetterCash loan is for unexpected small expenses that pop up and need a quick payment. To be blunt, this product is comparable to a payday loan. Payday loans are meant to keep you afloat from one paycheck to another. Be careful with this type of loan — it can turn into a debt trap because you’re constantly relying on debt to put out financial fires.
  • MoneyLion Plus – As we mentioned above, you may borrow $500 for 5.99% APR, but it’s only available if you sign up for the $79 per month MoneyLion Plus account.

Think twice about signing up for the MoneyLion Plus account for the sole purpose of getting access to these $500 emergency loans. It may not be constructive to pay $79 per month, even if $50 is going into an investment account. That $79 would probably serve you better deposited into a liquid emergency fund savings account you can use when emergencies arise. It can take up to seven business days to withdraw cash from the investment account when you need it.

Eligibility requirements

MoneyLion and BetterCash loans are available in the following states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. MoneyLion Plus is available in all states, except Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Vermont and Washington.

You also need to meet these conditions:

  • Be of legal age in your state
  • Pass an identity check
  • Have verifiable income and employment
  • Provide a valid checking account with at least 45 days of history
  • Have income direct deposited into the checking account

Applying for a personal loan from MoneyLion

Here’s how to apply for a MoneyLion loan product:

Join MoneyLion. You have to sign up for MoneyLion at no initial charge if you’re not already a member to apply for a loan. Returning members can go into the MoneyLion dashboard and click “new loan.”

Complete the application. You can complete the application online. You will need a Social Security number, email address, home address, phone number, date of birth, and verifiable bank information to apply.

Loan decision. The decision on whether or not to fund your loan can happen within 24 hours. More information may be requested from underwriting before you’re approved.

Funding. If approved, funding can happen within one business day. The money is deposited directly into your bank account.

Pros and cons of a MoneyLion personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Quick loans. MoneyLion can get you approved for a loan within 24 hours and can fund your loan within 24 hours of the approval.
  • Products for both good and bad credit. You can qualify for the MoneyLion loan with fair or good credit, and qualify for the BetterCash loan with less-than-perfect credit.
  • Soft pulls. You can prequalify for a loan with just a soft inquiry that won’t affect your credit score.
  • Free credit scores. Of all the extra MoneyLion perks, the free credit score monitoring may be the best feature. It’s free and you get monthly updates. Having this tool can help you build credit and prevent fraud.
  • Expensive loans. An APR of 30% to 99.00% is astronomical, and MoneyLion products may even surpass this rate range into the triple digits. You could find yourself in a never-ending cycle of debt if you use this loan to pay bills. The MoneyLion Plus product with 5.99% APR is touted as the affordable loan. But to get access to this loan, you’ll need to pay $79 monthly for MoneyLion Plus membership — $29 for membership costs and $50 in required investment contributions. If you’re already strapped for cash, $79 monthly could be cumbersome. You can search for other affordable loan products in our roundup here that don’t require a membership.
  • Limited availability. MoneyLion products aren’t available in all states. Refer to the list of states above before applying.
  • Beware of MoneyLion Plus. Only consider the MoneyLion Plus product if you’ll be logging into the account daily, and if you won’t need the cash you’re investing for emergencies. You earn $1 in cashback to your investment account for each day you log in, so this could cancel out the $29 monthly fee. Otherwise, $29 per month ($348 annually) is an extremely high price to pay for membership access to a $500 installment loan and investment product. You can invest with other companies that could manage your account for cheaper. We have a list of robo-advisors in our roundup here.

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

Cost is the biggest disadvantage of this loan. The interest rate range can go from 30% to 99.00% APR or even higher depending on the product (unless you invest in MoneyLion Plus). Sure, you can qualify for a BetterCash loan with less-than-perfect credit, but you could be paying on it for quite some time if you get a three-digit interest rate.

The MoneyLion products may be ones to consider when you’ve exhausted all other options. The best way to use a MoneyLion loan is to borrow fast when you need a quick buck and make early payments to pay it off; there are no prepayment fees. Repaying your loan fast before the entire term can help you avoid paying a mountain of interest.

High-interest loans like this can lead to a debt cycle where you borrow money, another emergency comes along, and you struggle to keep up. Building up an emergency fund can help you avoid having to fall back on this type of last-minute debt vehicle.

Having bad credit doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to obscenely high-interest rates. Check out our list of other personal loans for various credit profiles.

Alternative personal loan options

Upgrade

Upgrade
APR

6.87%
To
35.97%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.87%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.


Upgrade lets you borrow between $1,000 to $50,000. You can check rates with a soft inquiry. After you’re approved for a loan, you can get access to funding within a day. There are no prepayment penalty fees, but there is an origination fee to consider. This loan is another one for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit that may be more affordable than MoneyLion.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

7.08%
To
15.37%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on SoFi’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


Fixed rates from 7.08% APR to 15.37% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.81% APR to 14.11% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 10, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.81% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.Terms and Conditions Apply.

Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.

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

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 has loans from $5,000 to $100,000 — if you need to borrow a large sum, this is one of the lenders that offers the most money, and there are also long loan terms that give you a decent amount of time to repay debt. SoFi doesn’t have a credit score minimum, but there are no fees and competitive interest rates (especially when using autopay), which is a sign that the loan is geared toward people with decent credit.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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


Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is a personal loan that also has no origination fees, and does not require a hard inquiry to check rates. You can borrow up to $40,000 with longer loan terms than what MoneyLion has available. Marcus is another loan that doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but would likely be best for borrowers with good credit or better because of the favorable terms. With that said, this is probably going to be a much more affordable option than MoneyLion. If your credit is in the high 600’s or better, consider this loan. More than 80% of borrowers last year had a credit score of at least 660, according to Goldman Sachs’ most recent annual report.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

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

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

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Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

Regional Finance Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Regional Finance
APR

10.00%
To
99.00%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

6 to 84

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 7.00%

APPLY NOW Secured

on Regional Finance’s secure website

Regional Finance personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 6 to 84 months
  • APR range: 10.00%-99.00%, varies by state
  • Loan amounts: $500 to $12,000, but varies based on state
  • Time to funding: Same day as approval
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Soft Pull when prequalifying; hard pull when applying
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 7.00%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: $5-$24.50

In the event that you are unable to make timely payments on your loan, Regional Finance offers payment protection plans. Not only is this helpful in cases of involuntary unemployment, borrowers who become disabled will also be able to benefit from it. Since the plans are based on the loan amounts, not every borrower is eligible.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

Eligibility to apply for a Regional Finance personal loan is based on a few different requirements, including age, residency and employment. Applicants will need to be at least 18 years old, have verifiable income and live in one of the nine states the company operates in:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Be aware that the state you live in can affect your eligibility as well as the minimum and maximum amount of money you can borrow from this lender. For example, a borrower who resides in North Carolina can only access between $700 and $7,500.

Applying for a personal loan from Regional Finance

To secure a loan from Regional Finance, you can use the website to see if you prequalify prior to filling out an application. The lender says the process will take no more than five minutes, and you will need to provide your contact information, Social Security number and requested loan amount. Once you’ve submitted this information, applicants can contact the lender or wait for a representative to reach out, which can take up to 48 hours.

If you’re eligible for a loan, you will be required to visit a Regional Finance branch to apply for a loan. To complete the application, the lender will need to verify the information provided, so applicants need to bring identification, proof of residence and proof of income. The best documents to bring would be utility bills, check stubs and/or tax returns. The lender will review the application and documents before making a decision. Upon approval of the loan, you will be given your funds via check.

Pros and cons of a Regional Finance personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Payment protection plans: With the payment protection plans offered by Regional Finance, certain circumstances, such as loss of employment or disability, will relieve borrowers of their monthly payment obligations.
  • Payment date changes: In extreme circumstances, if you need to change your payment due date, you can contact Regional Finance to speak to a specialist.
  • Fast funding: Once approved for a Regional Finance personal loan, you can receive funds the same day.
  • Prequalification: The loan application will require a hard pull, but prequalification allows you to determine your chances of being approved for a Regional Finance loan without affecting your credit.
  • Collateral: Securing a loan with Regional Finance requires applicants to have insured collateral, such as vehicles or TVs.
  • Application process and closing completed at branch: To complete the application process, close a loan and receive funds from Regional Finance, borrowers have to visit a branch.
  • Loan amount: At Regional Finance, loan amounts vary from state to state. This means that depending on where you live, you may not have access to the amount of funds you need. Regional Finance also only offers a maximum loan amount of $12,000, so borrowers requiring more would need to look elsewhere.

Who’s the best fit for a Regional Finance personal loan

When attempting to determine if this lender is the right one, you will want to consider your credit score because it can affect the terms, the APR and more. For example, if you have poor credit, you may be approved for a loan, but chances are you will not be able to acquire a loan with a low APR and may not receive an offer for the amount of money you requested. However, if you have good to excellent credit, Regional Finance may be a better fit because you’ll likely have a low APR and be able to secure a loan in the amount you requested.

Anyone in need of funds quickly may find Regional Finance to be the perfect option for a lender. Once you prequalify online, it is possible for you to receive your funds in a reasonable amount of time. Depending on when you speak to a Regional Finance representative and visit your local branch to complete the application process and close the loan, you could have a check in your hands in less than 24 hours.

Alternative personal loan options

LendingClub

LendingClub offers loans between $1,000 and $40,000 with term options of 36 or 60 months, and the APR range is 6.16% to 35.89%. Prior to filling out an application, you can check rates, but applying will impact your credit score. The process can take seven days, maybe more, so this is something potential borrowers want to consider before applying. LendingClub loans have no prepayment fees but they do have origination fees. LendingClub also offers National Disaster Support, which means they will not contact you about payment, report to the credit bureaus or charge a late fee for a minimum of 30 days if you have been affected by a natural disaster.

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE 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

SoFi

For those who wish to borrow more than $12,000, SoFi can be considered an alternative to a loan with Regional Finance. This particular lender gives people access to loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. With fairly reasonable APRs from 7.08% to 15.37%, and terms ranging from 36 to 84 months, you have plenty of time to back your loan, regardless of its size. What many may really find appealing about SoFi as a lender is the APR discount people are eligible to receive for signing up for automatic payments, but also the unemployment protection, which allows you to go up to 12 months without making payments should you lose your job and are unable to make the required monthly payments.

SoFi
APR

7.08%
To
15.37%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on SoFi’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


Fixed rates from 7.08% APR to 15.37% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.81% APR to 14.11% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 10, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.81% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.Terms and Conditions Apply.

Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.

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

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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

When choosing Marcus by Goldman Sachs® as your lender, you have the option to borrow between $3,500 and $40,000. There is the possibility of receiving a loan with a low APR of $3,500 to $40,000, but rates go as high as 24.99%. Terms range from 36 to 72 months, and there are no prepayment fees or late fees.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Kristina Byas
Kristina Byas |

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

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

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Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

LoanMart Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Van Nuys, Calif.-based LoanMart has originated car title loans since 2002. But if you want a loan without using your car as collateral, the company also offers unsecured personal loans.

Few consumers, though, will be able to qualify for a personal loan from LoanMart: The company only provides personal loans to residents of the state of California. Live elsewhere? If you want to take out a loan from this company, you’ll have to turn to a car title loan.

LoanMart
APR

60.00%
To
165.00%

Credit Req.

No minimum credit score

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

18 to 30

months

Origination Fee

$75

APPLY NOW Secured

on LoanMart’s secure website

LoanMart personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 18 to 30 months
  • APR range: 60%-165%
  • Loan limits: $1,500 to $3,100
  • Time to funding: LoanMart says it can provide funds as quickly as 24 hours after approving a borrower's application.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Going through prequalification doesn't impact consumers' credit scores. Going a step further and completing a full application, however, will. LoanMart will check your credit, resulting in a hard inquiry.

  • Origination fee: $75
  • Prepayment penalty: None
  • Late payment fee: $10, but you can avoid it by signing up for automatic payments. If you’re paying using this method, your APR may be reduced.
  • Other fees: None

LoanMart doesn’t disclose much information about its fees on its site. The company says it will disclose all fees clearly when presenting a loan offer to borrowers. Be sure to study your loan paperwork closely to make sure that you aren’t surprised by any fees.

You can change your mind — if you act fast: You’ve signed the paperwork to take out a personal loan from LoanMart. You’ve received your money, too. But the interest rate attached to your loan doesn’t look so good anymore. Fortunately, you can cancel your loan at no charge. You will have to submit a cancellation request within five days of getting your loan and return any funding you did receive.

Eligibility requirements

Minimum credit score: LoanMart does not list any minimum credit scores or debt-to-income ratios on its site. It does say that it will pull the credit of applicants and that approval is subject to the company’s credit standards. The loans, however, are designed for people with less than perfect credit.
Minimum credit history: Bankruptcies will be viewed negatively, as will a history of late payments.
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: LoanMart does not list a minimum DTI ratio, but it does exclude student loans and medical debt from its calculations.

LoanMart personal loans are only available to residents of California and you must have a bank account to receive funds from LoanMart.

Applying for a LoanMart personal loan

The easiest way to apply for a LoanMart personal loan is online or by speaking with a representative at 1-888-393-5924. By clicking on the “Get Prequalified” button, you’ll bring up a link to a brief application form. The form asks for basic information such as your name, address, cell phone and email. The form also asks how long you’ve lived at your address, your gross monthly income, years you’ve worked at your job and your requested loan amount. You’ll have to provide your birth date and Social Security number, too.

LoanMart will then do what is known as a “soft pull” on your credit. This will not hurt your credit score. But if you do prequalify for a personal loan and you decide to proceed, LoanMart will then run a hard pull of your credit. This could bring your credit score down slightly.

Prequalifying for a LoanMart loan doesn’t mean that you’ve officially qualified for a final loan. LoanMart can still reject your application even if it tentatively prequalified you for a loan. It all depends on what the company finds when it checks your credit and verifies your income.

If LoanMart gives you a final approval, it will deposit your money into your bank account through an ACH transfer. You could see your funds as soon as 24 hours after LoanMart approves your loan.

Pros and cons of a LoanMart personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Unsecured: Because you do not put up any collateral for this loan, you won’t lose your house or car should you fall behind on your monthly payments. If you do choose to take out an auto title loan with LoanMart — which is available to residents outside the state of California — be aware that if you do fall behind on payments, you could lose your vehicle.
  • Fast payments: Once your loan is approved, your funds will be deposited into your bank account quickly.
  • No prepayment penalty: The earlier you pay off your loan, the less interest you’ll pay on it.
  • High interest rates: If you don’t pay your loan off early and instead carry it to full term, you could pay an exorbitant amount in interest.
  • Limited availability: LoanMart only offers personal loans to borrowers living in California. You can apply for a title loan from LoanMart but remember, you’ll be putting your car up as collateral. LoanMart could take your vehicle if you can’t make your monthly payments.
  • Not the best reputation: LoanMart has experienced legal problems in the past. In 2013, Wheels Financial LLC — which does business as LoanMart — settled a case with the California Department of Business Oversight in which the company was accused of violating the state laws governing finance lenders. The department said that Wheels Financial filed a false report, compensated unlicensed employees for soliciting or accepting loan applications from borrowers, performed unlicensed brokering in Illinois and failed to properly maintain its books.

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

If you live in California and you need quick cash but don’t want to risk losing your car or home, you might consider an unsecured personal loan from LoanMart. Just be careful: If you can’t pay off the money you borrow early, you will pay a lot in interest.

A better choice might be to shop around with other online or brick-and-mortar lenders. Even if you don’t have a strong credit score, you might be able to find a lender that is willing to loan you money at a lower interest rate.

Alternatives to a LoanMart personal loan

Prosper

Prosper
APR

6.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

2.41% - 5.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers a quick and convenient way to get personal loans with fixed and low interest rates. ... Read More


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 is a peer-to-peer lender, meaning loans are funded through individual investors. You may still be eligible for a loan through Prosper even if you have a debt-to-income ratio of up to 50%, which is higher than many other lenders. Your interest rate and origination fee will vary depending on the strength of your credit. Like LoanMart, Prosper also doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, so you can pay off your loan early without facing any additional charges.

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE 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

LendingClub is another online lender, one that offers personal loans up to $40,000. Your APR will vary depending on your credit rating, how big of a loan you want and how much money you already owe to other creditors. It also does not charge prepayment penalties.

Upgrade

Upgrade
APR

6.87%
To
35.97%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.87%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.

Online lender Upgrade provides personal loans of up $50,000 and also charges no prepayment penalties. You can pay back your loan in 36 or 60 months. If you want to qualify for the lowest APR, you will have to sign up for autopay, which means Upgrade will automatically withdraw your monthly payment from your bank account. If you are approved for a loan, Upgrade will send funds to your bank account through ACH deposit within one business day.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter |

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

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

$

Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

LoanMe Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

LoanMe
APR

16.88%
To
35.16%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

180

months

Origination Fee

$500

APPLY NOW Secured

on LoanMe’s secure website

LoanMe personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 180 months for prime loans and 84 months for non-prime borrowers
  • APR Range: 16.88% to 35.16% for prime loans and 97.32% to 184.36% for non-prime
  • Loan amounts: $2,600 to $100,000
  • Time to funding: Three to four hours after approval
  • Soft-pull/hard-pull: If you pre-qualify it will not affect your credit score. Once you are pre-qualified, LoanMe will check your credit, which means you’ll have an inquiry on your credit reports.
  • Origination fee: Loan fees vary by credit score and state, typically ranging from 17% to 33%. In some states, LoanMe charges flat fees of up to $500.
  • Prepayment fee: LoanMe does not charge fees for paying off your loan early.
  • Late payment fee: $15 if you pay 15 days or more after your due date.

Taking out a loan with LoanMe is far from inexpensive. That’s because the company charges such high interest rates and origination fees.

For example, say you live in California and you have a FICO score of 720 or higher and you own a home. Your fee will be 17% of your loan amount and your maximum APR will be 13.33% for a loan term of 180 months. If you live in California, your FICO score is 645 to 719 and you are not a homeowner, your fee will be 33% of your loan and your interest rate will be 22.9% — for a maximum APR of 35.16% for a loan with a 180-month term.

Loans get especially expensive if your credit score is under 645. LoanMe says that if you live in California and you borrow $10,600, your loan fee will be 33%, your interest rate will be 74% and your maximum APR will be 97.86% for a loan with an 84-month term.

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

Applying for a personal loan from LoanMe

Applying for a personal loan from LoanMe is a simple process. You can call a customer service representative at 844-956-2663 or you can apply directly online by clicking the “Get Pre-Qualified” button on the home page.

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

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

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

Pros and cons of a LoanMe personal loan

Every financial product comes with pros and cons. Review and consider those associated with a LoanMe product:

Pros:

Cons:

  • Quick funding. If you’re approved, you can expect the money to be in your bank account in as few as three to four hours.
  • Lower credit scores. Even if your credit score is low, you can qualify for a LoanMe personal loan. The company does loan money to borrowers with credit scores under 645.
  • Fixed payments. Because LoanMe offers personal loans with fixed interest rates, you know exactly what you must pay each month.
  • HIgh interest rates. Borrowing money here isn’t cheap. LoanMe charges interest rates as high as 184.36% for sub-prime borrowers with lower credit scores.
  • High origination fees. LoanMe charges origination fees that can be as high as 33% of your loan amount.
  • Applying can hurt your credit score. After you pre-qualify for a loan, LoanMe will check your credit. That will result in an inquiry on your credit reports, which could lower your credit score. This inquiry will remain on your credit report even if LoanMe ultimately rejects your application.

Who is the best fit for a LoanMe personal loan?

Because of high interest rates and fees business owners should use loans from this company as a last resort. If you take out a personal loan with LoanMe and carry it to full term, you will end up paying far too much in interest.

LoanMe gives this example: Say you live in California and your FICO score is 560. If you were approved a loan for $10,600, you’d get an interest rate of 74% and an origination fee of $2,500 for an APR of 97.32%. You’d receive $8,100 into your bank account — your original loan amount minus the $2,500 origination fee — and be required to make 84 monthly payments of $657.98 each. This means that if you take the full 84 months to pay back the loan, it would cost you more than $55,270 in total.

Clearly, the best fit for a LoanMe personal loan is a business that needs a quick infusion of emergency cash but that will be able to pay back the loan as quickly as possible to avoid interest charges. If you can’t pay back what you borrowed quickly you’re probably better off searching for an alternative.

Alternative personal loan options

Upgrade

Online lender Upgrade offers personal loans for up to $50,000 with a far lower APR range of 6.87% to 35.97%. The lender does not charge prepayment penalties. If you want the lowest APR, you will have to sign up for autopay. If you do, Upgrade will automatically withdraw your monthly payment from your bank account. Upgrade can send funds to your bank account via an ACH deposit within one business day.

You can repay your Upgrade personal loan in terms that range from 36 or 60months. The loans do come with an origination fee of 1.00% - 6.00% of the loan amount and you’ll pay a late fee of up to $10 if you fail to make your full payment within 15 calendar days of your due date.

Upgrade
APR

6.87%
To
35.97%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.87%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.

Avant

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

Avant
APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

Avant has helped over 600,000 customers by providing access to over $3.5 billion in personal loans. Whether you need to improve your home, make a major purchase, or consolidate your debts into one simple monthly payment, Avant may be able to provide you access to the funds you need as soon as next business day! ‡

For Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is a good alternative if you need a personal loan because the company does not charge fees for its personal loans. Its APRs are reasonable, too, ranging from 6.99% to 24.99%. The fine print, however, it spells out that only the most creditworthy borrowers qualify for the lowest rates — and that rates will usually be higher with longer-term loans. Loan terms range from 36 to 72 months and you can borrow up to $40,000.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter |

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

TAGS:

Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

$

Won’t impact your credit score