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Personal Loans

Where to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates Online

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

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

Where to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates Online

Updated November 01, 2018

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

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

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

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.
LendingTree

5.99% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Minimum 500 FICO

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Disclaimer

3.34% - 16.99%

24 to 144

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

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

6.99% - 15.49%

36 to 84

months

680

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 15.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 13.99% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.22% plus 4.285% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

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

See Consumer Licenses.

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

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

6.99% - 24.99%

36 to 72

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

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

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

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

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

6.95% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

600

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

9.95% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

16.05% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

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

PenFed Credit Union

Starting at 6.49%

60

months

700

SEE OFFERS Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

8.89% - 35.99%

36 & 60

months

640

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

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

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

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

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

Start Here – Multiple Lenders at Once

LendingTree

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

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

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

Why is this a good way to save?

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

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

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

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

Best Personal loans for Excellent Credit

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

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

SoFi

SoFi
APR

6.99%
To
15.49%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 15.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 13.99% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.22% plus 4.285% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

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

See Consumer Licenses.

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

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

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

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

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

Amount: $5,000 – $50,000

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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

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

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

BestEgg

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Amount: up to $35,000

Lightstream

APR

3.34%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


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

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

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

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

Amount: $5,000 – $100,000

Available states: All

Best Personal Loans for Good Credit

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

LendingClub*

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

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

Amount: up to $40,000

Available states: All except Iowa and West Virginia

BestEgg

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


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

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

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

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

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

Upstart*

APR

8.89%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 & 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

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

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

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

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

Amount: $1,000 – $50,000

Available states: All

PenFed

PenFed Credit Union
APR

Starting at 6.49%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

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

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

Available states: All

Best Personal Loans for Bad or No Credit

Avant*

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

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

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

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

Amount: up to $35,000

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

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

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

OneMain Financial

APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


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

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

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

Amount: Up to $30,000

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Creative Ways to Pay for Your Honeymoon

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Noah Bouillon, a 27-year-old travel blogger, paid less than $400 for a honeymoon to Fiji and New Zealand that was valued at around $14,000. (Photo courtesy of Noah Bouillon)

Getting engaged is a momentous occasion. You pose for the perfect photo. The congratulations phone calls and social media comments come pouring in. You and your fiance are on cloud nine. Then you start looking for wedding venues, caterers, DJs, honeymoon airfare and hotel accommodations. Dollar signs begin adding up as reality sets in —things are about to get expensive.

According to WeddingWire’s 2017 Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in 2016 was $28,000 — we’re talking enough to cover a down payment on a house here. And this figure doesn’t even include the cost of the honeymoon, which costs couples a whopping $4,000, according to the same report.

If these numbers are making your head spin, you can rest easy knowing your dreams of a luxury vacation aren’t down the toilet just yet. Planning smart can get you to a beautiful destination after you exchange vows.

Noah Bouillon, a 27-year-old travel blogger, is an example of a honeymooner who paid less than $400 for a trip to Fiji and New Zealand that was valued at around $14,000. Bouillon and his fiancee (now wife) got crafty with credit card points and miles to make their dream trip a reality. They signed up for multiple credit cards with huge sign-on bonuses to stockpile 435,000 points and miles.

Aside from amassing points and miles, there are multiple ways you can get the money you need to have the vacation you want. We’ve put together an all encompassing resource on affording your dream honeymoon to help you review options.

Creative ways to pay for your honeymoon

Honeymoons don’t have to be a debt trap. Ideally, you want to avoid debt on travel altogether, and it’s possible if you plan ahead. Here are a few unique ways to pay for your honeymoon:

Honeymoon registries

You’ve probably heard of gift registries related to home goods and furnishings before. You may be less familiar with honeymoon registries. Starting a registry for your honeymoon can potentially save you quite a bit of money. Honeymoon registries like Honeyfund, The Newlywed Fund™ and Traveler’s Joy let you create registries where guests give you money toward your trip.

Rebecca Forst, a 31-year-old administrative professional of Towson, Md., is one bride who’s using the Honeyfund website to afford a once-in-a-lifetime trip with her fiance. “My favorite movie is ‘Lord of the Rings’ so New Zealand is a bucket-list destination,” said Forst. “We noticed the cost of our wedding going up and were scared that we wouldn’t be able to afford our trip.”

To foot part of the bill, Forst and her fiance created a Honeyfund account. Close family members were concerned at first that the fund wouldn’t go over well with some wedding guests. “We also decided to put some traditional gifts on our registry for those who wanted to give that sort of gift,” Forst explained.

Honeymoon registries through Honeyfund are simple to set up. You list airfare, accommodations and excursions that you want as a gift. You can split the expenses into smaller gifts as well. For example, airline tickets to New Zealand for Forst and her fiance will cost over $1,000 each. She broke down gifts into smaller $25 to $100 options to make it manageable for guests.

Crowdfunding

Honeymoon registries work like a gift registry except they are for a travel experience. You share the registry with wedding guests and they buy experiences on your list as your wedding gift.

A crowdfunding campaign is different — it’s fundraising. You create a campaign and ask people to donate money so you can get where you want to go. FundMyTravel, GoFundMe and Plumfund are examples of sites that can help you campaign for travel expenses.

Understand that fundraising for your honeymoon may be difficult if you don’t have a highly compelling reason for someone to donate money. With that said, it’s still an option that you can consider to make your dream honeymoon less of a strain on your purse strings. It may be specifically worthwhile if you’re interested in ecotourism or voluntourism.

Credit card points

If you want to fund the trip on your own without asking for help, credit card points or miles can help you avoid having to pay completely out of pocket. Bonus points or miles that can be used for travel are offered by some credit card companies when you get a new card. But they may require meeting a minimum spending requirement before you can qualify.

Keep in mind, you should be a highly responsible credit card user before signing up for new cards. It makes zero sense to rack up credit to get points, and then turn around and get slapped with tons of interest charges on your unpaid balance.

Bouillon strategically gained the amount of points needed to pay less than $400 for an estimated $14,000 trip by signing up for multiple new credit cards that were all giving him a sign-up bonus.

“The biggest concern people have about [opening new cards] is thinking that it will be bad for their credit,” said Bouillon, but according to him, opening credit cards for points in this way has actually been positive for his and his wife’s credit scores. They increase their credit limits by opening new cards, keep their credit utilization low and pay bills on time. This formula can do great things for your credit score.

Bouillon suggests strategizing a good 12 months or more out to amass the points you need for your dream honeymoon. This will give you time to get approved for cards and have the bonus points added to your account. From there, you can use the points for travel and accommodation. Check out our top cards with sign-up bonuses here.

Sign up for a home-exchange program

House exchanging is when you swap houses with someone who wants to visit your area. You list your home and look through other home listings as well. Check out IVHE, HomeExchange and Love Home Swap for home-exchange opportunities. Contact residents of homes that you’re interested in and see if you can strike up an agreement.

Housesitting is another way to lower the cost of accomodation. You stay at someone’s home for free in your desired location and take care of household tasks while they’re out traveling. Housesitting placement sites like TrustedHousesitters can connect you with people looking to form an arrangement.

Photo courtesy of Todra Payne

Todra Payne, a 50-year-old copywriter, has a home based in Los Angeles, but is soon going to be location independent with her fiance thanks to her house sitting hustle. She stays in homes across the world and does small jobs for the homeowner.

“[Housesitting] tasks can run the gamut from staying in the home so it’s not empty, watching farm animals, or managing a B&B,” said Payne. She adds that often a pet is involved or there’s a garden to water.

Payne suggests that honeymooners should be flexible in their travel dates or the location to make the most of housesitting opportunities. There are listings all over the world, including luxury homes. To learn the ropes, Payne recommends doing it locally first. Always talk to the homeowner before committing so you can ask questions about their home and neighborhood. Create a written agreement so you both know what to expect.

Don’t take a home assignment that gives you a lot of responsibilities if you really just want to relax on your honeymoon. Housesitting can even turn into a long-term adventure. Payne and her fiance plan to housesit across Europe and Australia for the next year.

Work in hospitality to get the perks

Connections can be your very best friend. Check to see if you have any friends or family that work for airlines or hotels because they may be able to offer you a nice friends and family discount.

For example, at the time of writing this article, the standard rate starts at $410 for a room at the luxury Marriott Scrub Island Resort in St. Thomas for dates Aug. 3, 2018 to Aug. 10, 2018. The starting rate drops to $269 when you use the Marriott employee discount. That’s a possible savings of over $100 per night.

Don’t know anyone in the hospitality industry? Consider taking on a part-time job to snag the travel benefits. You can get paid while possibly saving a nice chunk of money on your honeymoon and other travel.

Have a destination wedding

Before signing up for a Honeyfund account, Forst considered having a very small destination wedding. This would have made it easier to afford the nuptials and New Zealand trip on their own. However, Forst’s destination wedding idea was ruled out when she chose to have a larger shindig for family reasons.

A smaller affair or destination wedding may still be a good plan for some couples. It can give you some leeway to sock away savings for the honeymoon if a trip is what’s most important to you. Another option is making your destination double as a wedding location and honeymoon spot. You can find more frugal wedding tips here.

Borrowing money for your honeymoon — The pros and cons

We’ve covered several creative ways to fund your honeymoon, but you still may be considering taking on some debt to make your dream trip happen. Before borrowing a whole bunch of money, think about whether your money is better spent on starting a new life together. Also be careful about stretching yourself thin if you both have lingering student loans. Money trouble can bring strain to a marriage. You don’t want to your happily ever after to begin on shaky financial footing.

It can make sense to finance your honeymoon if you have a sound plan for repayment, and you’ve exhausted all other options beforehand.

Here are a few of the financing methods you can consider for your honeymoon:

Personal loans

Personal loans offer a fixed payment over a fixed period of time. Quite a few online lenders offer personal loans you can use for practically any reason.

  • Pros. The best part of a personal loan is that you have one predictable payment each month and a predetermined payoff date. The interest rate is also fixed, which means you can calculate the total cost of your loan at the very beginning. With a decent credit score, you may be able to qualify for a remarkably low interest rate.
  • Cons. At the end of the day, an affordable personal loan is still a loan and increases your debt balance. The money you spend on the loan and interest may be better spent on a mortgage down payment, furniture, household goods and other items you need as a new couple.

You can find a roundup of our top personal loan suggestions here.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

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

Credit cards

Using a credit card may be the first thing you think of doing to fund your trip.

  • Pros. Smart use of a credit card can make your dream trip come true at an affordable price. Instead of using existing credit cards, you can find and open a new credit card that offers a 0% interest introductory deal. Just be sure to pay it off before the promo period ends and interest starts to accrue. Check out our list of credit cards with the longest 0% purchase offers here. Opening credit cards with high points or mile bonuses can also help you fund a trip.
  • Cons. Unlike a personal loan, your credit cards can have variable interest. The no-interest period on credit cards with introductory deals will expire eventually. The cost of borrowing with a credit card can be less predictable, especially if you pay just the minimum amount each month. Have a plan to pay off your credit card debt in a timely manner to avoid an array of interest charges.
Planning on using credit card points to finance your honeymoon? Bouillon suggests strategizing at least 12 months or more from the date you plan to travel to give yourself enough time to earn points.

Home equity loans

You may qualify for a home equity loan if you have enough equity in your home and a decent credit score. A home equity loan is sometimes called a second mortgage. It’s basically taking out a loan from the equity that you have in your home.

  • Pros. The benefit of a home equity loan is it’s a fixed-rate loan that can be less expensive and volatile than credit card debt.
  • Cons. Think long term before taking equity out of your house. Will you want to make home renovations in the future? Your equity can be valuable in a pinch when you need to do maintenance or home improvements. Also, you won’t be able to deduct the interest on your home equity loan unless you use it to substantially improve your home in some way.

LendingTree, which owns MagnifyMoney, has a more detailed walk-through of home equity loan pros and cons. Check it out here to see if it’s the right move for your honeymoon.

Cash-out refinances

A cash-out refinance is when you refinance your mortgage for a higher amount and take cash out of the transaction.

  • Pros. With a cash-out refinance, the payment for the cash you borrow is lumped in with your regular mortgage payment so it’s a simple one to keep up with.
  • Cons. A mortgage refinance costs you money. You need to think about application, origination and appraisal fees, and more. Be sure to factor in these costs against the cost of your honeymoon to see if a cash-out refinance makes sense.

LendingTree has another detailed overview of how a cash-out refinance works.

Take a loan from your 401(k)

The balance sitting in your retirement account may look enticing when you’re planning your wedding and honeymoon. An employee plan may let you take out a loan from your 401(k) so check with your employer for details first.

  • Pros. Borrowing money from your 401(k) can give you access to the cash you need without repercussions if you follow the rules. According to the IRS, money you borrow may not be taxable if you borrow up to 50% of your vested balance (up to a $50,000 max) and repay the loan within five years.
  • Cons. Money put away in your 401(k) is there for a purpose — retirement. Make sure you can adhere to the rules to avoid having the money borrowed from your 401(k) taxed. This scenario would be a double whammy. You may have to pay out of pocket to cover the income tax and you lose a portion of your retirement savings. Not good.

How to plan an affordable honeymoon

Here are a few more ways to cut costs and save up money for your dream honeymoon:

Pump the breaks. You don’t need to drive straight from your wedding to the airport with empty soup cans jingling at the back of your car. You have a lifetime together, so what’s the rush? Consider putting off the big trip until you can save enough money for the honeymoon you want. It may take you several months or several years to save enough cash or reward points, but the experience (and not struggling to pay for it) can last a lifetime.

Put on that thinking cap. If you’re not set on a specific location, choose a location that will be budget-friendly. A local spa will save you money on airfare. This means you’ll have more to spend for luxury accommodations, meals, drinks and entertainment. You can also eliminate airfare costs by driving to your destination. A cross-country trip can be a romantic experience in and of itself. Another option is reaching out to family and friends who may have a timeshare that you can use. The bottom line is, use your resources.

Go where it’s cheap. Two honeymooners we interviewed for this article cite New Zealand as their dream trip. Let’s be honest, New Zealand isn’t a cheap place to visit. Some places are cheaper to visit than others. Go to a place where your money will go far. Always look at the exchange rate before you travel. Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico are a few affordable travel locations to think about visiting.

Test the waters with Airbnbs and hostels. A luxury hotel may not be in the budget, and that’s okay. Try Airbnb or hostels if you and your partner like exploring. You may not be in the room you rent often anyway. Plus, crashing at a place with the owner and other travelers means you can meet new people and even have a built-in tour guide.

Scroll through your contact list. Ask to visit people you know who live in unique places. You can even stay in a hotel for a few days to get some personal time, and bunk up with your contact for the rest of the stay to cut costs.

Go all-inclusive. Vacation packages may offer you a cheaper rate than booking each individual arrangement for your own trip. Pros. Travel aggregators like Expedia and Priceline may offer a discount for booking a package all in one. In some cases, food and drinks are also included in your stay. The beauty of this is you don’t have to worry about budgeting cash for spending money. Cons. A low-budget, all-inclusive resort can also mean low quality. Beware if this is a deal breaker for you. If you do find a decent all-inclusive deal (one that includes airfare, hotel, food etc.), compare the cost of the trip booked separately to be sure it’s cost-effective.

Bring in the professionals. Sometimes travel agents have a hookup on deals that you wouldn’t be able to find on your own. Look for an agent that gets paid solely on commision. You won’t need to fork over cash if they don’t find any worthwhile vacation specials.

Get airline deal notifications. Having open travel dates can make booking airfare less expensive. The Flight Deal and Fare Deal Alert are two sites that regularly post specials and flight glitches. Be warned — you need to book these deals fast whenever they come up because they can disappear. You snooze, you lose.

Peruse deal sites regularly. Groupon and LivingSocial are two examples of places where you can snag travel package deals. Again, having open travel dates will often help you book the most affordable trips. You may also find some opportunity in last minute deals.

Save without effort. Automatic saving apps can help you save without you even having to think about it. Digit and Rize are accounts that can help you automate money to travel savings. Cash that these apps save on your behalf can add up quite a bit before you know it.

Traveling can get expensive. But you can still make the honeymoon of your dreams happen without going broke before your first or second wedding anniversary. Run through these tips and be thoughtful with your cash.

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

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How to Protect Yourself from Personal Loan Scams

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If you need some extra cash or want to pay off debt, taking out a personal loan can be a smart way to get the money you need. Personal loan interest rates can be lower than credit cards if you have decent credit and a personal loan can help you raise your credit score. In addition, there are dozens of online lenders to choose from, some of which offer an easy application process and funding in just one business day.

Along with the pros, of course, come cons. Personal loan scams are not uncommon, so it’s important to proceed with caution when vetting personal loan companies. Find out how to protect yourself from falling victim to fraud.

Warning signs of a personal loan scam

Personal loan scams typically come with at least one red flag that should signal something isn’t right. Jeramy E. Genaway, a financial advisor from Pittsburgh, Penn., shared these six warning signs of a personal loan scam:

1. Unsolicited loan offers

Traditionally, when you want a personal loan, you seek out a lender. Scammers, however, often turn the tables by approaching consumers with bogus offers.

“Oftentimes, personal loan scams start in a very similar manner as phishing — email — or phone scams,” Genaway said. “If you receive an email with an offer for a personal loan and the message contains spelling, punctuation or grammar errors, it can be an immediate red flag.”

2. Pressure to make a decision quickly

“If you receive a phone call with an offer for a personal loan and the caller is rushing you to make a quick decision or you ‘risk the offer being rescinded,’ it’s often a red flag as well,” Genaway said.

Taking out a personal loan is a big decision that you shouldn’t make quickly. Legitimate financial institutions want you to feel comfortable with your choice, so you’ll never be pressured to make a move before you’re ready.

3. Guaranteed approval

If you have no credit or a less-than-stellar credit score, a personal loan with a guaranteed approval is bound to catch your eye. Don’t get too excited though, because it’s likely too good to be true. Legitimate lenders never promise your application will be approved. Extending a personal loan is a risk, so trustworthy lenders always review background information on consumers before offering money. If you have poor credit, check out list of the best personal loans for bad credit here.

4. Money transfer requested prior to receiving the loan

When you take out a personal loan, you should be the one receiving the funds. If you’re asked to pay money out of your pocket for your loan, that’s a problem.

You should never make payments for a loan directly to an individual, according to the FTC. The agency also advises against using a wire transfer service or sending money orders to pay for a loan, because a legitimate lender wouldn’t make a request like that.

5. No credit check required

Beware if the lender loans money to those with a poor credit histories, Genaway said. If your credit is poor, a lender not interested in your creditworthiness might seem like a dream come true, but it’s likely a scam.

The FTC notes that advertisements containing wording such as “Bad credit? No problem” or “Get money fast,” are often telltale signs the lender is trying to swindle you. It might not be what you want to hear, but legitimate lenders typically verify credit information prior to approving a loan.

6. Hidden fees required to obtain the loan

Legitimate lenders are open and honest about any fees associated with your loan. If you’re immediately hit with charges before getting your funds, something isn’t right.

Application, appraisal and credit report fees are standard, but the lender usually deducts the fees from the amount you borrow. If a lender asks you to pay upfront fees for services like insurance, processing or paperwork, don’t move forward with it.

“It’s important to remain diligent in an uncertain situation where these red flags may be present,” Genaway said. “Most importantly, keep in mind, the scammer is not only trying to potentially obtain money from you, they could also be attempting to obtain personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, address or any other confidential personal information, which could be used for fraudulent purposes.”

Is applying for a personal loan online safe?

The possibility of falling victim to a scam might make you hesitant to apply for a personal loan online, but it’s actually very safe if you exercise proper due diligence. Jeffrey Brown, a financial advisor in the St. Louis area, said applying for a personal loan online is common practice these days, but he advises consumers to do it the right way.

“People get panicked and they make poor decisions because they’re trying to deal with the short term, but they get themselves in trouble in the long term because they haven’t made a wise decision with their loan,” Brown said.

Genaway agreed that applying for a personal loan online is generally safe, thanks to technology advances.

“It has become almost commonplace to skip working directly with a banker or visiting a local branch in lieu of obtaining financing online,” Genaway said.

Consumers can identify potentially fraudulent websites a couple different ways, according to Genaway. First, make sure a lender’s site is secure — the URL on secure sites start with “https” — and look for a padlock symbol in the address bar on any page you’re asked to provide personal information.

“If the perceived lender’s website is not secure or does not have a padlock symbol, do not enter any additional information” said Genaway. “There is no reason a legitimate lender would not have a secure website, meaning the site you are on is unsecured and could potentially be a fraudulent website.”

Brown reiterated the importance of entering personal information only on a secured website, and also suggested checking with the Better Business Bureau to review the lender’s ratings.

What to look for when searching for a lender online

Beyond looking for a secure website, make sure the lender has a physical address.

“If there’s an address listed on the website, double check the address via your favorite online map service to see if there is a building there, and preferably, with their name on or around the building,” Genaway said. “Often times, fraudulent lenders will have addresses that are actually vacant lots or buildings that would not normally contain operating businesses.”
He also said online lenders are required to register in the states where they do business, so see if you can verify that the proper licenses are in place.

“The lender’s website should list any states in which it is allowed to conduct business, and if it doesn’t, the lender might be fraudulent,” Genaway said.

He also advises researching a lender’s online reviews and ratings to learn more about other customers’ experiences.

Brown emphasized the importance of researching the lender you’re dealing with, and recommended covering all the bases by specifically searching for unfavorable information on the lender. Do a Google search and include the lender’s name and key terms associated with a negative personal loan experience.

What if you’ve been scammed?

If you’re conned into a personal loan scam, Genaway said to contact your local police department. He also advised reporting it to your State Consumer Protection Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Speaking up promptly can help authorities catch the scammer quickly. The faster they’re shut down, the less time they’ll have to target innocent consumers.

Where to find the best personal loans online

Shopping around is the key to locating the best personal loans online. LendingTree, which owns MagnifyMoney, has a personal loan comparison tool that connects dozens of reputable lenders with consumers in need of financing. By completing one online form, you could receive multiple personal loan offers in a matter of minutes. This is an easy way to find lenders you can trust, without your credit taking a hit — LendingTree performs a soft credit pull that won’t impact your score. Find your loan today with our table below.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

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

When you do it correctly, finding a personal loan online is a safe way to get a competitive rate. Now that you’ve learned about personal loan scams, be on the lookout for red flags. In some cases, they’ll be obvious, but sometimes the signals are harder to spot. Always trust your instincts and never proceed with a lender that doesn’t feel quite right.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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

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Personal Loans vs. Payday Loans: What’s the Difference?

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

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

personal loans and payday loans
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If you need cash in a pinch to pay a medical bill, fund an urgent home repair or keep food on the table while between jobs, you might consider taking out a loan. This can be a good way to get the money you need — and fast — but the type of loan you choose is important. The terms attached to the loan can have a significant impact on your finances, so before signing any papers, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into.

Here’s a look at the difference between personal loans and payday loans to help you make an informed decision.

Personal loan vs. payday loan

 Personal LoanPayday Loan

What is it?

An unsecured loan that typically comes with a fixed
interest rate and a term of one to five years

A loan obtained by paying a borrowing fee that usually needs to be repaid in two weeks

Typical interest rates*

Interest rates range from about 6% to 35%

Many states have laws limiting fees to $10 to $30 per $100 borrowed, but APRs can reach nearly 400%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Common eligibility requirements

Credit check, proof of income, bank account, identification

Proof of income, bank account, identification

Typical amount borrowed

$1,000 to $50,000

$500

*Loan and interest rate amounts vary by individual borrower and lender.

What are personal loans?

If you need money quickly, a personal loan could be the answer. Since this form of financing is unsecured, underwriting typically only takes a few days. And if you default, the lender cannot repossess your property. Most personal loans come with a fixed interest rate and a set payment schedule so that you always know exactly how much you owe each month.

Who should take out a personal loan?

Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation,paying for a wedding,medical bills, car repairs or almost any other reason you need cash. But it’s important to use common sense since taking out a personal loan that doesn’t offer a long-term benefit — say, using a personal loan to buy a new wardrobe or pay for a vacation or lavish wedding — can set you back financially for years. Think of it this way: Making payments on a personal loan leaves less room in your budget to put money aside for the future or save for retirement.

If you’re trying to raise your credit score, a personal loan can also be a useful tool. Credit scoring systems consider installment debt preferable to revolving debt, such as credit cards. Your monthly payment activity will be reported to the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — so making consistent, on-time payments will eventually boost your score.

How do personal loan rates and terms compare to other forms of borrowing?

Personal loans pose a greater risk to the lender than a loan that requires borrowers to provide a security deposit or collateral. So personal loans tend to come with higher interest rates than secured debt.

But your credit score is a factor in determining your interest rate, so if it’s high, you might be offered a low rate. You might also be charged an origination fee or other borrowing fees, so it’s always wise to shop around for the best personal loan offer.

Do note that personal loans typically come with lower interest rates than credit cards. Since most rates are fixed, they’re usually the better option when you need funding that you can’t pay off immediately.

Where can you get a personal loan?

Banks and credit unions offer personal loans, but don’t stop there. Cover all the bases by checking with online lenders, as many offer competitive rates and terms that can’t be beaten by traditional financial institutions. Comparison shopping is essential. One lender might offer better rates, but lower costs and fees at a different financial institution could make it a better choice.

You’ll likely be paying off your personal loan for one to five years, so take the time to find the right fit. If you go with the first offer you receive, you won’t know if you’re making the best choice for your unique situation.

The LendingTree online marketplace makes it easy to find the best personal loan for your needs. Complete a quick online form to connect with one of the largest lender networks in the country. This one-stop tool could allow you to receive offers from up to five lenders without impacting your credit score.



Compare Personal Loans

Note: LendingTree is a parent company of MagnifyMoney.

Personal loan pros

  • Unsecured personal loans require no collateral
  • Boost your credit score
  • Get the funds you need quickly
  • Good credit could score you a lower interest rate
  • Most are fixed-rate loans, making it easier to budget

Personal loan cons

  • Poor credit could cause your application to be denied
  • Approved borrowers with subprime credit might receive higher interest rates
  • Many come with origination or other borrowing fees
  • Interest rates are typically higher than secured loans
  • Payments could take away from other savings opportunities

What are payday loans?

As it sounds, a payday loan is typically a short-term, high-cost loan due on your next payday, according to the CFPB. Most payday loans are granted for sums of $500 or less, but they can vary in size. Many states have regulated the dollar amount of payday loans.

Most payday loans are based on the size of your paycheck. When you choose this type of financing, you either write the lender a postdated check for the full balance of the loan and the borrowing fee or authorize them to access the funds electronically from your bank account. In most cases, the loan will need to be repaid in two to four weeks, but if you still don’t have the money, most lenders will allow you to roll the loan over — which, if you’re not careful, can create a cycle of debt.

Who should take out a payday loan?

If you need money to tide you over until your next paycheck but your credit isn’t the best, you’ll likely be approved for a payday loan. Generally a quick and easy process, most payday lenders don’t run a credit check or otherwise dig into your financial history before granting the loan. The only things needed to get a payday loan are a bank account, steady income and a form of identification, making the barriers to approval notably low.

But just because payday loans are easy to get doesn’t mean they’re the right solution. Payday loans are considered a last resort. If you have bills to pay and nowhere else to get the money, payday lenders offer immediate access to cash, which makes them an attractive offer for borrowers with poor credit. But the high cost and short repayment period of this debt is a slippery slope. If you’re unable to make a payment, your debt could quickly balloon out of control.

How do payday loan rates and terms compare to other forms of borrowing?

The biggest drawback of payday loans is the costs associated with them. Fast and convenient financing comes at a high price that can add up very quickly. Both the fees and APR attached to a payday loan are notably higher than those charged for personal loans by traditional lenders.

Many states have laws in place limiting payday loan fees to a maximum of $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed, according to the CFPB. A standard two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee comes with an APR equivalent of nearly 400%. In comparison, the CFPB notes that APRs on credit cards typically range from about 12% to 30%.

Fees can add up fast during one payment cycle, but according to the CFPB, many borrowers ultimately roll over or refinance their loans. This adds a new round of charges to their total, making it even more difficult to catch up on payments.

In total, more than 4 in 5 payday loans are re-borrowed within a month, according to the CFPB. Most of the time, this occurs when payment for the loan is due or not too long afterward. Even worse, nearly 1 in 4 original payday loans are re-borrowed at least nine times, causing the borrower to pay more in fees than the actual loan balance.

The federal Military Lending Act offers special protections from payday loans to active-duty service members and their dependents, according to the CFPB. This includes a 36% cap on the Military Annual Percentage Rate and other restrictions on the fees that lenders can tack onto payday loans and other consumer loans.

Where can you get a payday loan?

Most payday loans are granted by check cashers, finance companies and other nonbank institutions. If permitted by your state’s laws, you might also be able to get a payday loan online.

It’s important to note that payday loans are not available in every state. Some states have outlawed this form of borrowing, and regulations in other states have caused payday lenders to decide not to do business there at all, according to the CFPB.

Payday loan pros

  • No credit check makes it easy to qualify
  • Upon approval, money is immediately distributed
  • Some lenders offer cash, prepaid debit cards or direct deposit
  • You might be able to roll the loan over if you can’t repay it immediately
  • Easy access to cash can ease the stress of financial woes

Payday loan cons

  • Loans are typically limited to $500 or less
  • Fees generally range from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed
  • APRs can reach nearly 400%
  • They’re not available in every state
  • Repeatedly rolling over payday loans can exceed the original loan balance

Which should you get?

If you need money right now, you’re probably ready to accept a loan from the first available source, but don’t act in haste. Take the time to weigh your options to make the best possible decision for you.

Get started by asking yourself these questions:

  • How much money do I need?
  • How quickly can I repay the loan?
  • Is my credit score attractive to lenders?

If you need a large amount of money — $1,000 to $50,000 — apply for a personal loan. Interest rates generally range from 5.99% to 35% and repayment terms are usually one to five years. This gives you the flexibility to negotiate a monthly payment that comfortably fits your budget. Even if your credit isn’t perfect, some lenders might be willing to work with you.

But if you have poor credit or otherwise can’t qualify for other loans, payday loans may be your only option. Before you borrow, be sure you can repay the loan at its due date, since APRs can reach almost 400%. The last thing you want is to have to roll your payday loan over, which could quickly cause the fees to exceed the original balance.

The bottom line

Being in desperate need of cash isn’t a good feeling. When you needed money yesterday, it’s easy to panic and go with the first available form of financing, but don’t make this mistake. Choosing the wrong type of loan for your situation can be detrimental to your finances for years to come.

Take the time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of personal loans and payday loans, as applied to your unique circumstances. When you decide which option is best, comparison shop to make sure you get the best possible deal. Being savvy with your finances is a decision you’ll never regret.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

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

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Personal Loans

Can I Get a Personal Loan With No Income? Yes, Here’s How

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

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, America’s unemployment rate was 3.7% in September 2018. Although this number may seem relatively small in the grand scheme of things, this hasn’t historically been the case. During the market crash of 2008-2009, America’s unemployment rate swung from 4.7% to 10.1% in a matter of months.Long-term unemployment can be emotionally and financially challenging. Although most people actively work to avoid getting into debt, especially while they’re unemployed, sometimes their financial situation leaves them with no other course of action but to take out a personal loan.

Unfortunately, many lenders require that borrowers have some proof of income before they’re willing to pass out personal loans. However, in some cases, you may be able to secure a loan – even without the proof. Let’s walk through the steps you’ll need to take to get a loan when you’re unemployed.

Can I get a personal loan with no income?

Yes, you can get a personal loan without income. At the end of the day, lenders are looking for borrowers who can prove that they’ll make repayments. It’s true that having a consistent source of income certainly helps prove that you’re eligible for a loan, but it’s also true that you can “prove” your worthiness as a borrower in other ways.

If you don’t have a full-time job that’s providing you with a consistent income that would be used to repay your personal loan, you’ll need to meet the lender’s alternative eligibility requirements.

These might include:

  • Proof of alternate income. Any of the following may qualify when you apply for a loan: Social Security benefits, a pension, child support, funds from your retirement account distributions, unemployment benefits, disability, employment offers for a job that starts in the future, housing income, capital gains from your investments, income from a spouse or partner, trust income, savings or cash that you’ve built up, VA benefits or a government annuity.
  • Automatic payments. Your lender might require that you have payments automatically deducted from your bank account to help ensure that you’re always paying in full and on time.
  • Security. If you’re struggling to get a loan while unemployed, your lender might ask for you to provide collateral for the loan. This would mean taking out a secured personal loan. Lenders often accept cars (as long as they’re paid in full), property or any other assets that you own outright as security.
  • Find a cosigner. To get a personal loan while you’re unemployed, you may need to find a cosigner. A cosigner is essentially a third party who applies with you for your loan. If you fail to make your payments, the lender may turn to them for the money they’re owed. A cosigner isn’t always a perfect solution, and asking family or close friends to cosign a loan could potentially cause some tension if you can’t repay it. However, if you’re confident that you have the funds set aside to repay your loan, or that you’ll find employment soon, this may be an option worth considering.

Remember that lenders don’t just look at your current income during the loan approval process. They’re also looking at your credit history and your credit score. If you’ve always been consistent with repaying your debts in the past, you have a good (or better) credit score and you’re not utilizing very much credit in comparison with your current income, you may be able to secure a personal loan with fewer issues – even if you’re unemployed.

Beware these risks of borrowing with no income

Although it’s possible to receive a personal loan when you’re unemployed, that doesn’t always mean it’s in your best interest to do so. Lenders are taking a risk by lending you money that you technically don’t have (and may not have for the foreseeable future). As a result, they’re likely to give you a less attractive loan offer.

Here are a few downsides to loan offers you may see while you’re unemployed and taking out a loan:

  • Shorter repayment terms. Typically, if you don’t have income to prove your ability to repay a loan over a long period of time, your lender will want to lower their risk. One way they do this is by offering loans to the unemployed with shorter repayment terms. This means you’ll get the funds you need, but you’ll be required to pay them back much faster than had taken out a traditional loan while you were gainfully employed.
  • High interest rates. Again, lenders aren’t out to get you if you’re unemployed – they just need to protect themselves against the risk of lending to someone who may not be able to repay the loan they’re offering. One way they do this is by offering you a personal loan with higher interest rates. High rates combined with a shorter term means that you’ll be paying a significant amount of money back to your lender over a short period of time. This ensures that they’ll get the amount they gave back from you (with interest), and they’ll receive it quickly.
  • Automatic payments. Many lenders require that automatic payments be set up when a borrower is unemployed. This could mean that they take funds directly from your bank account every month for payment, but it could also mean that they take funds directly from your other income sources (like your pension) each “pay period” to ensure that they get paid first. If you have the funds to repay your loan and cover your bills, this may not be an issue. But as things get tighter the longer you stay unemployed, this becomes a bigger issue.
  • Hefty fees. Although many lenders already have notable fees attached their personal loan offerings, it’s even more important to look at the fees in your loan offer if you’re unemployed. Fees are another way that a lender can protect themselves against the risk of lending to someone without an income. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying back a high interest loan over a short time period, with extra fees to boot – hardly an ideal situation for someone who’s lacking cash flow.
  • Predatory lending. As much as you may not want to believe it’s true, there are plenty of lenders out there who take advantage of the unemployed. By offering personal loans with egregious repayment terms, interest rates and fees, they could potentially drive you so deeply into debt that you’re unable to pay your monthly bills. Thinking long term, these types of predatory loans could also have a dramatically negative impact on your credit score.

Getting a loan when you’re unemployed isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be a terrifying journey either. As long as you keep a watchful eye out for these non-ideal repayment terms and know what you’re getting into, you’re off to a good start.

Alternative options to a personal loan

Although it’s possible to qualify for a personal loan with no income, that doesn’t mean it’s a given. Many borrowers may run into a situation where they don’t qualify for a personal loan while they’re unemployed, which can be incredibly challenging if their situation is dire and they need cash now.

There are several reasons you may not qualify for a personal loan while you’re unemployed:

  • You have no source of alternate income to show the ability to repay
  • You have no assets (like a well-padded savings account, or a paid-in-full vehicle) to offer as collateral for the loan
  • You have poor credit history
  • You have a low credit score
  • You’re already utilizing a large portion of the total credit you have available to you

Although it’s impossible to guarantee whether you’ll get approved or denied a personal loan while you’re unemployed, these factors will play a large role in the lender’s final decision. If you aren’t approved for a personal loan, you’re not entirely out of options. First, you can look into alternative lending services that can help give you the boost of cash you need rather quickly:

  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC allows you to essentially borrow against the equity you have built up in your home. If you’ve already paid down a significant chunk of your mortgage, this might be an option for you to look into. Typically, you can borrow up to 85% of your home’s value minus what you owe on your mortgage.
  • Secured loan. A secured loan is one where you offer up collateral for loan funds. You may put up your car or other property for this type of loan.
  • Short-term loan from a family member. Borrowing money from family can be uncomfortable and potentially damaging to both your personal and financial life. However, if you’re confident in your ability to repay the loan, and your relative is willing to offer you favorable terms, this may be a path you pursue. You’ll need to discuss the total amount of the loan, what interest rate they’ll charge you (if any) and what the length of the loan’s repayment term will be. It’s wise to draw up a formal contract to protect both of your interests.

Conclusion

You have several options for borrowing funds, even when you don’t have an income to rely on for repayment. However, there are several other options to consider before you seek out a personal loan or alternate lending option.

Consider these other ways to get cash in a pinch:

Going into debt should never be your first course of action. Although you can get a loan without an income, pursuing these other ideas first until you’re able to secure another full-time, well-paying job is usually in your best interest.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

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on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

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

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Dave Grant
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Dave Grant is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Dave at dave@magnifymoney.com

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Featured, Personal Loans, Reviews

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

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

Year Established1990
Total Assets$177.5B
Most Americans probably think of fancy white-collar stock traders on Wall Street when they think of Goldman Sachs, a global investment firm that’s been around since the late 19th century.

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

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

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

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

APY

Account Type

Account Name

3.15%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 6 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

3.10%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.70%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 4 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.65%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 3 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.60%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 2 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.55%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.55%

CD Rates

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 18 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.05%

Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield Online Savings Account

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs savings account

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

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

2.05%

None

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

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

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

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

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

How to open a Goldman Sachs online savings account

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

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

LEARN MORE Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How their online savings account compares

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

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

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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs CD rates

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

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

6 months

0.60%

$500

9 months

0.70%

$500

12 months

2.55%

$500

18 months

2.55%

$500

24 months

2.60%

$500

3 years

2.65%

$500

4 years

2.70%

$500

5 years

3.10%

$500

6 years

3.15%

$500

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

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

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

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

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

How to open a Goldman Sachs CD

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

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

LEARN MORE Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How their CDs compare

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

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

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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loan

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

Terms

APR

Credit Required

Fees

Max Loan Amount

36 to 72 months

6.99%-24.99%

Varies

None

$40,000

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

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

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

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

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

How to apply for a Marcus personal loan

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

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

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

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How their personal loans compare

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

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

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

Overall review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs‘ products

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

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

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

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

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Personal Loans

Best Debt Consolidation Loans

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

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

Best Debt Consolidation Personal Loans

Updated November 01, 2018

Are you stuck under an overwhelming pile of consumer debt? Do you feel like it might be impossible to get out? Fortunately, there are tools that can help you get out of debt faster.

Debt consolidation loans could be a good answer. With a debt consolidation loan, you would use the loan proceeds to pay off credit card debt, medical debt or any other form of debt. You would then have a loan at a fixed interest rate and a fixed term.

Debt consolidation provides three benefits:

  1. Make payments simple: If you owe a lot of lenders and are having a tough time keeping track of all the payments, then consolidating will make your life easier. You’ll only owe one lender and have to keep track of one due date. There’s less of a chance of anything falling through the tracks.
  2. Lower your interest rate: This is where you have to run the numbers to see if debt consolidation makes sense for you. What’s the average interest rate you’re paying on your debt? If it’s quite high (which is likely if you have a lot of consumer debt), you may benefit from consolidating under better terms. Just remember to only use a personal loan if the interest rate is lower than the one you are already paying.
  3. Improve your credit score: If your credit cards are currently maxed out, your credit score will suffer. When you pay off your credit card debt with a personal loan, you will often receive a boost to your credit score, so long as you don’t start using your cards again. LendingClub did a study and determined that there is an average score increase of 21 points within three months for people who use loans to eliminate credit card debt.

If you think debt consolidation makes sense for your situation, we have a list of the best debt consolidation loans you can use to refinance your consumer debt. Read on for our recommendations.

Personal Loans to Consolidate Credit Card Debt

Start Shopping Here – LendingTree

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

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

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

Below are some leading lenders you could also consider:

SoFi – Excellent, Good Credit Required

You can borrow between $5,000 and $50,000, which is the most out of the personal loans recommended here. The fixed APR ranges from 6.99% to 15.49% if enrolled in autopay. You can choose a term of 36 to 84 months. Variable interest rates range from 6.40% – 12.70% APR. Although SoFi does not use FICO, you need to be “prime” or “super-prime” to qualify. That means you must be current on all of your obligations and must never have filed for bankruptcy. There is No origination fee or prepayment penalty associated with a personal loan from SoFi.

SoFi
APR

6.99%
To
15.49%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

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


Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 15.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 13.99% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.22% plus 4.285% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

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

See Consumer Licenses.

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

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

Some of the leading lenders for people with less than perfect credit include:

LendingClub – Minimum FICO of 600

This is a peer-to-peer platform, which means individual investors are contributing to your loan. You can borrow between $1,000 to $40,000
with LendingClub, and its APR ranges from 6.95% – 35.89%, depending on the type of loan grade you’re eligible for. Be aware there are origination fees (ranging from 1.00% - 6.00%) associated with this personal loan, but there are no prepayment penalties. You can borrow on terms 36 or 60 months. The minimum credit score needed is 600. LendingClub is not available in Iowa or West Virginia.

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

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

Prosper – Minimum FICO of 640

Prosper offers loans from $2,000 to $40,000, and APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.99% . It offers loans terms of either 36 or 60 months. Your APR is determined during the application process, and is based on a credit rating score created by Prosper. Your score is then shown with your loan listing to give potential lenders an idea of your creditworthiness. Origination fees range from 2.41% - 5.00% and are based on your Prosper score. In order to qualify, you must:

Prosper is a flexible alternative with a low-end APR that usually beats a credit card.

APR

6.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

2.41% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS 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.

[Check out other Personal Loans on Our Comparison Table Here]

A Loan or a Credit Card to Consolidate Debt?

Personal loans can be an excellent way to consolidate your debt. Personal loans are best when you have a lot of debt or your credit score isn’t perfect. However, if you have a smaller amount of debt and a great credit score, you can get rates as low as 0% with a balance transfer. If you do have a good credit score, you should apply for a 0% interest balance transfer credit card.

Wait: I Have Student Loan Debt

If you’re thinking about refinancing or consolidating your student loans, there are a couple of things to know.

First, what’s the difference between refinancing and consolidating?

  • Private Loan Consolidation: This involves combining all your loans into one loan so you only owe one lender and have to make one simple payment.
  • Federal Loan Consolidation (Direct Consolidation Loan): Only have Federal student loans? You can combine them through a Direct Consolidation Loan with the government. According to studentaid.ed.gov, “The fixed rate is based on the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated.” This doesn’t save you much money, but your payments will be more manageable. For a complete list of Federal loans that can be consolidated, check here.
  • Refinancing: This is when you apply to a completely new lender for new terms – you’ll have a new loan, and your new lender will pay off your old loan.

The difference isn’t all that big – when you consolidate private (or private and Federal) student loans, you’re essentially going through the refinancing process.

If you currently have Federal loans, you need to be aware refinancing or consolidating means giving up certain benefits that come with federal student loans.

That means income based repayment, deferment, forgiveness, and forbearance options disappear. A few of these benefits are forfeited even with the Direct Consolidation Loan. These benefits could get you through an otherwise rough time, so make sure refinancing makes sense beforehand.

If you do have federal student loans, and you’re thinking of refinancing or consolidating, first see if you’re eligible for deferment or forbearance. There’s no reason to go through the process of having your credit checked if you can lessen your student loan burden another way.

If you have private student loans, you can also check with your lender to see if it offers payment assistance. Many lenders are making improvements to their student loan refinance programs and including forbearance and deferment options.

Also, once you consolidate or refinance your student loans, there’s no going back. This applies to the Direct Consolidation Loan as well.

Okay, still think refinancing or consolidating is right for you? You can shop for the best lender to refinance your student loans here.

Shopping Around is a Must When Consolidating or Refinancing

The goal of refinancing or consolidating is to ultimately make your debt less of a burden on you. That means getting the best rates and terms offered. The easiest way to accomplish this is to shop around with different lenders. If you do so within a 45-day window, FICO will not punish you for shopping around. All of your student loan inquiries in the 45-day period will only count as one inquiry. Plus, there are many lenders out there who will give you rates with just a soft credit inquiry (though a hard inquiry is required to move forward with a loan). Always put yourself first, as you’re never obligated to sign for a loan you’re approved for.

promo_refi_studentloans_lg

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

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

TAGS: , ,

Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

$

Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

How to Get a Personal Loan in 5 Steps

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

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

how to get a personal loan
iStock

Applying for a personal loan can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You may be looking to make a purchase or consolidate your debt. But first, you have to go through the personal loan application process. Luckily, getting a personal loan is a fairly straightforward process.

1. Check your credit score and credit reports

It’s critical to check your credit score before you start to search for a personal loan. Your credit score will, in part, determine whether you are able to secure a loan. Often, it will impact what type of interest rate and repayment terms your lender offers you.

You can check your credit score for free from any number of sources. LendingTree, the parent company of MagnifyMoney, offers a free credit monitoring service that will show you your VantageScore. With some banking institutions, you can receive your free credit score by checking your bank or credit card statement.

When you check your score, it’s good to know exactly where you stand. If it turns out that your score is lower than you thought, you can work on some measures to increase your score before applying for a loan. Let’s take a look at the range of credit scores you might have and what those numbers mean. Here are the FICO score ranges:

  • 800-850: Exceptional
  • 740-799: Very good
  • 670-739: Good
  • 580-669: Fair
  • 300-579: Very poor

Typically, most lenders require that you have a minimum credit score to be approved for a loan. But different lenders set their own requirements. The higher your score, the easier it can be to qualify for a loan.

Although consumers with low scores can still qualify for a loan, you can take extra measures to ensure you are approved for a loan or get favorable terms. You might consider:

Keep in mind that if your credit score isn’t in the higher tiers, you’ll need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of pursuing a personal loan. Taking on too much debt could potentially impact your credit score, as would being unable to repay your personal loan.

Improving your credit score

Your credit score is reflective of information found on your credit report. Each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — maintain a credit report that outlines your outstanding debts, your payment history and more. If you have a low credit score, requesting your credit report could be your first step to increasing your score and qualifying for more competitive loan terms.

You can request a free copy of your credit reports once every 12 months from each of the credit bureaus by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Carefully review your reports and dispute any errors you find.

If there are no errors on your reports but you have a low credit score, you will need to develop healthy financial habits to raise your score over time.

After reviewing your credit reports and credit scores, you can begin researching lenders.

2. Research and compare lenders

Just as credit requirements may vary, different lenders may offer different interest rates and term lengths on their loans. It’s wise to check different lenders to get an idea of which will best meet your needs.

You can find personal loans from banks, credit unions and online lenders. If you’re not sure where to start, you can use MagnifyMoney’s personal loan marketplace. There, you’ll enter your desired loan amount, credit score range and ZIP code before reviewing lenders.

No matter how you seek out lenders, your goal should be to find a lender that offers:

  • Reasonable interest rates
  • Loan terms that suit your financial needs
  • Few limitations on repayment, such as no prepayment penalties
  • No or few hidden fees

Just because one offer from a lender looks good doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other lenders. You’ll want to choose a few of your favorites. In this next step, you’ll apply for preapprovals to get a better idea of what loan terms each of these lenders will offer you. Use our table below to compare personal loan offers to find the best option for your needs!



Compare Personal Loans

3. Go through the preapproval process

To find out which lender has the best offer, you can get preapproved for a loan through different institutions. When you apply for loan preapproval, you may need the following documents and pieces of information:

  • Total amount you want to borrow
  • What your purpose for borrowing is
  • Your name
  • Your home address
  • Your total annual income

To get preapproved, you may not need documents such as tax returns to prove your income, but you will need to be prepared to offer these when you officially apply for your loan.

Next, the lender will perform a soft credit check to determine what type of offer it can give you. A soft check is where a bank or company can access your credit report and score, but it doesn’t affect your credit as a hard inquiry would.

After submitting your application, you’ll receive word whether you’re preapproved. Once you have your preapproval offer, you’ll see the loan amount for which you’re preapproved, plus your rate. This amount and rate aren’t a sure thing – it’s just an estimate provided from the lender based on high-level financial information.

When you apply for your loan, the lender will do a more in-depth look at your finances and consider your ability to repay the loan. This could affect the rate and amount for which you qualify. But a preapproval offer allows you to better compare different lenders to determine which is the best fit for you.

In this step, you’ll want to dig into each of the lenders who have preapproved you. Consider checking each lender for the following:

  • Poor reviews: If you haven’t already checked customer reviews, now’s the time. Knowing how a lender treats its customers could help you avoid getting stuck with a bad lender for several years.
  • Hidden fees: Dig into the fine print with each lender. Keep an eye out for hidden fees.
  • Prepayment penalties: If you want to pay off your loan early to get out of debt, that should be a good thing. Having to pay a penalty for not paying the loan for the full length of your term is something you should avoid.
  • Pre-computed interest. In a nutshell, this means that you end up paying more interest on the front end of your loan, which could result in you overpaying over the life of your loan term (even if it’s paid off early). This is a common personal loan trap.

4. Finalize your application

When you decide on an offer that works for you and your unique financial situation, you’re ready to finalize your application. Although you’ve already received preapproval, you’ll still need to fill out your official application for final approval.

This typically only requires a few additional steps:

  • Proving your identity, such as with a driver’s license or passport
  • Verifying your address through a copy of your lease or a utility bill
  • Proving that you have steady income through bank statements, an offer letter or contract from your employer

Remember: If you’re not happy with the loan offer you receive, you can always negotiate with your lender. This is a particularly viable option if you’ve already built up a relationship with your bank or local credit union and are seeking a loan from it. Many lenders will have some wiggle room on their offer, especially if you’re able to point to another preapproved loan offer you received with better interest rates or repayment terms. Once an institution has all the details it needs, it should only take a couple of days for it to process its decision, and another week to send you a notification by mail (if applicable). Funds can be available as soon as the next business day.

5. Know what you’re getting into

Regardless of what type of loan you end up selecting, it’s important to read and understand the fine print. No loan is going to be perfect in every way, and weeding through the final loan offer you receive can set you up for future success.

For example, knowing whether your lender takes automatic withdrawals is important information as you build a new monthly budget that includes your loan. It’s also important to fully understand the expected monthly payment on your new personal loan, and whether you can pay off your loan early without penalty.

Applying for a personal loan can be daunting. Taking on debt in any capacity can be a financial risk, and you need to be prepared for the potential consequences. After you receive your loan funds, you should work diligently to pay them back. To do this, you can set up automatic loan payments and regularly pay extra toward your loan when possible to speed up your repayment process.

If your budget doesn’t support additional payments on a consistent schedule, you might consider dedicating yourself to putting any windfall toward your loan. This would include a quarterly bonus, money you receive as birthday or holiday gifts or any other funds you receive that weren’t already included in your annual or monthly budget.

Finally, think about why you took out the loan in the first place. Is there a way to avoid accumulating debt like this in the future? It may make sense to add extra savings into your budget once this loan is paid off to put money toward future big-ticket financial goals. It would also help to avoid taking on additional debt while you work to pay down your existing personal loan.

Final thoughts

Taking out a personal loan can be stressful, but the application process doesn’t have to be. Organizing your documents ahead of time, checking your credit score and doing your research on different lenders can help you ensure that you’re getting the best possible loan available for your unique needs and financial circumstances.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Dave Grant
Dave Grant |

Dave Grant is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Dave at dave@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

$

Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

How Personal Loans Work and Common Traps to Avoid

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

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

how a personal loan works

Need money to pay for a kitchen renovation? Maybe you’d like a chunk of cash to pay off your high-interest credit card debt? An unsecured personal loan can help you accomplish these goals.

Because personal loans aren’t typically backed by any form of collateral, such as a home or car, you don’t need home equity or a vehicle to qualify for one. You do, however, need to do your research before applying for a personal loan. Here’s what you need to know and consider.

How personal loans work

You can apply for personal loans at banks, credit unions or through online lenders. And you often don’t have to put up any collateral to do so.

Unsecured personal loans are different from other types of loans, such as mortgages and auto loans. Those loans are backed by collateral. When you take out a mortgage, your home acts as the collateral, providing a safety net for your lender. If you stop making payments, your lender can take your home through a foreclosure process.

With an unsecured personal loan, there is nothing for a lender to take back should you stop making your payments. Because of this, this type of loan is riskier for lenders.

You can use the funds from a personal loan to pay for a variety of things, such as:

Personal loans come with terms that are usually pretty simple:

  1. There is a fixed term. You know when the debt is paid off, and it is almost always less than 5 years. (Pay the minimum due on your credit card, and you could still be paying 30 years from now). There usually aren’t pre-payment penalties, but some loans do have them, and you should check for that before you accept the loan.

  2. There is a fixed interest rate. Your monthly payment and interest rate stays the same for the life of your loan. Credit cards will increase the interest rate on your existing balance if you become 60 days past due. And they can increase your interest rate on future purchases at any time.

It’s important to compare multiple offers when signing up for a personal loan. Click “see offers” below to compare up to five personal loan lenders to find the best for your needs!

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

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

Applying for a personal loan: What factors lenders consider

Because personal loans often don’t require collateral, lenders are taking on more of a risk by lending you money. Because of this, lenders will look closely at your credit score and other factors when determining your eligibility for loan funds and what interest rate they will offer you.

Credit score

The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for a personal loan at a lower interest rate. That’s because borrowers with higher credit scores tend to have a history of making on-time payments each month.

How high should your credit score be? That varies from lender to lender. In MagnifyMoney’s personal loan marketplace, you’ll find lenders who require a minimum score as low as 525. Other lenders require a minimum 710 credit score.

When lenders check your credit score, chances are they will look at your FICO Score. This score ranges between 300 and 850, with 850 being the highest score possible. Here’s a breakdown of the FICO Score ranges:

  • 800+: Exceptional
  • 740-799: Very good
  • 670-739: Good
  • 580-669: Fair
  • 579 and below: Poor

You can view your credit score for free at the three major credit bureaus once per year or you can sign up for free credit monitoring services with MyLendingTree (LendingTree is the parent company to MagnifyMoney).  If you find that you have a low score, try following these steps to improve your score.

Debt-to-income ratio

Lenders will also look at your debt-to-income ratio. Different lenders will have different standards for debt-to-income ratios. Most lenders, though, want your total monthly debts to consume no more than 43% of your gross monthly income.

View our video below to get a better understanding of how personal loans work and what factors lenders consider!

How much can you borrow with a personal loan?

Banks and lenders have limits to how much you can borrow with a personal loan. These will vary by institution, so you’ll need to do your research before you apply, especially if you need to borrow a significant amount of money.

At Pentagon Federal Credit Union, for example, you can borrow $500 and $25,000. At Discover Bank,  you can borrow between $2,500 and $35,000. Other lenders, however, will let you borrow up to $100,000.

How long do you have to pay back a personal loan?

Once you’re approved for a personal loan, your lender will provide you with a schedule of payments. This will spell out how much you pay each month, and how many payments you’ll make. It will also list your interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR). APR is the best measure of how much your loan will cost you. APR includes your loan’s interest rate and any additional charges levied by your lender.

How long it takes you to repay your personal loan depends on your lender and the loan term you sign up for. Most banks, though, offer personal loans that you pay back over one to five years.

For example, USAA Bank offers loan terms for 12 to 84 months. Discover offers terms between 36 to 84 months.

How much do personal loans cost?

Banks and financial institutions make their money with personal loans through the interest they charge you for borrowing money. You want to make sure when applying for a personal loan that you know exactly how much you will pay each month in interest.

The interest rate your lender charges will depend largely on your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

Rates with personal loans, though, tend to be higher than they are with mortgages, auto or home equity loans. That’s because personal loans don’t require collateral, so they are riskier for lenders. To make up for that risk, lenders tend to charge higher interest rates.

What rates can you expect to pay? LightStream offers APRs between 3.34% and 16.99% with autopay, while Upstart has rates between 8.89% and 35.99%.

Some lenders will charge an origination fee to draft your personal loan. It’s not uncommon to see fees ranging from 1% to 6% or more of your loan amount. Many others, though, will not. In general, you should avoid paying an origination fee.

Click here to view the best options for a no fee personal loan.

Personal loan pitfalls to avoid

Personal loans do come with some advantages over, say, using your credit card. The interest rates are lower and you’ll have a fixed monthly payment, so you can more easily budget your payments.

But there are some potential traps you should avoid when signing up for a personal loan.

Insurance

We all want to protect our families from the unexpected and insurance is a great way to do just that.  Similar to how we recommend planning in advance for your debt (and looking for the best deal), you should do the same with insurance. However, many personal loan providers will try to add an insurance sales pitch at the end of a loan closing.  The two most typical types of insurance are life insurance and unemployment insurance.

For life insurance, a typical sales pitch would sound like this: “for just the cost of a can of soda a day, you can make sure your children never have to worry about this debt if you die.” Beware these high-pressure sales tactics.  The value of these add-on policies is almost always outrageously bad.

To protect your family, you should think about a good term life insurance policy that covers not just your personal loan, but all of your needs.  Do this search separate from the loan transaction.

Unemployment insurance could be a bit more compelling (because, unlike term life insurance, it is difficult to buy a policy separately that would make loan payments on your behalf if you lose your job).  I have seen people benefit from these policies.  But you need to do the math.  How much does it cost per month?  So long as you don’t have a high risk of losing your job in the next 6-12 months, you are almost always better off saving the money (rather than paying the premium).  There are also a ton of limitations to the amount of the loan payment that can be made (and the length of time that it will be paid).  You should ask them the following questions:

  1. How much does this cost a month?

  2. What are the requirements for me to be able to claim?

  3. How much would it pay and for how long?

When you ask those questions, you will likely see that the policy being offered is poor value, and you are better to just save the money yourself.

High interest rates

Depending on your credit score and lender, you could face high interest rates when taking out a personal loan. A high interest rate will result in a higher monthly payment.

In fact, if you qualify for an interest rate as high as 35.99% — which some lenders charge to customers with poor credit — you might not save any money over using a credit card if you have one.

Precomputed interest

Ask lenders how your interest is computed. What you don’t want to hear — and a situation that you want to avoid — is that your interest is calculated on a precomputed basis. The essence here? Precomputed interest is not a good deal for customers who might pay off their personal loans early.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does a good job of explaining how precomputed interest works. At its most basic, though, when lenders precompute your interest, you will pay a greater amount of interest from earlier months and years of your personal loan. This won’t happen if your interest is computed using the simple interest method.

If you take the full term to pay off your personal loan, there is no difference between the simple and precomputed methods. You’ll pay the same no matter what. But if you pay off your personal loan before its term ends — say you pay off a five-year loan in just three years — you will pay more in interest under the precomputed method. That’s because you’ll be paying more interest in the earlier months of your loan than you would under the simple interest method.

In short, if you plan to pay off your loan early, avoid precomputed interest.

Origination fees

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of lenders that don’t levy origination fees, the charge filed by lenders for originating your loan. If you can’t qualify for a personal loan with a lender that doesn’t charge an origination fee, you might consider skipping out on such a loan altogether.

That’s because origination fees can be costly.

Lenders that do charge origination fees vary in how high they are. Online lender LendingClub provides a good example. The lender says its origination fees range from 1.00% - 6.00% of your total loan amount, depending on your credit score.

For example, if you take out a $6,000 personal loan with an origination fee of 3.5%, you’d have to pay $210. This amount may reduce the amount of money you receive. LendingClub says that it subtracts your origination fee from your loan. This means that the money you receive will be less than what you were approved for.

Here’s an example provided by LendingClub: If you take out a $6,000 personal loan with 3.5% origination fee with their ongoing interest rate, you’d receive a total of $5,790 in your bank account. That equals $6,000 minus the $210 origination fee.

Prepayment penalties

Another way lenders can hit your finances is with prepayment penalties. As the name suggests, these are fees borrowers must pay if they pay off a loan too early.

Say you take out a personal loan with a term of five years. Your lender might charge you a prepayment penalty — usually a percentage of your remaining balance — if you pay ahead and pay off your personal loan in just two years.

The good news is that most lenders don’t charge prepayment penalties on personal loans, meaning that you should be able to avoid them. Just make sure you ask any lender with which you work if they do charge these fees.

Personal loans are great, if you do the research

With a personal loan, you can have a fixed interest rate, fixed payment, and fixed term.

If you compare APRs, then you will be making the right decision. Don’t just jump into picking a personal loan and end up taking out a pre-computed loan, with three add-on insurance policies and a big origination fee – only to refinance the loan three months later.  These are sub-prime tricks that can dramatically increase the costs.

If you borrow for 36 months and pay it off in 36 months, then you are in good shape.

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter |

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

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Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

Personal Loans in Richmond, Virginia

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

Company
APR Range
Minimum Credit Requirement
Terms
Fees
LendingTree

5.99% - 35.99%

Minimum 500 FICO

24 to 60

months

Origination fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Disclaimer

Partners Financial Federal Credit Union

7.19%

Varies

5

months

Origination fee

None

Apply Now Secured

on Partners Financial Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Connects Federal Credit Union

6.25% - 18.00%

Varies

60

months

Origination fee

None

Apply Now Secured

on Connects Federal Credit Union’s secure website

RiverTrace Federal Credit Union

7.50% - 15.99%

Not available

24 to 48

months

Origination fee

Not available

Apply Now Secured

on RiverTrace Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Virginia Credit Union

8.99%

Varies

Not Available

Origination fee

None

Apply Now Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

Virginia Credit Union

Virginia Credit Union has 18 branches throughout the state, offers surcharge-free ATM access and is part of the CO-OP Network®. Any U.S. citizen or resident alien can join the credit union if you reside within Richmond or the cities and counties listed on their site. You can also join if you work for for any of their approved list of companies or are currently a student at a Virginia state funded college.

To join, all you need to do is pay a $5 membership deposit and a valid credit or debit card if you want to open any accounts. You can then apply for a personal loan as low as $100. Virginia Credit Union claims to have an easy and fast application process, which you can complete online.

Partners Financial Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1958, Partners Financial Federal Credit Union has four branches, including two in Richmond. There are no origination or prepayments with the loan, meaning you can pay it off any at time without penalty. While there is no minimum loan amount, you can only apply for a maximum of $15,000 and up to 5 years. Once you apply for a loan, you’ll get your exact APR, and the typical time to approval is 45 minutes.

To see if you’re eligible to become a member, you’ll need to contact the credit union and speak to an associate.

Connects Federal Credit Union

Connects Federal Credit Union serves customers that reside in the Greater Richmond area. Anyone that lives, works or goes to school in the city of Richmond or in Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties is eligible to join; this includes immediate family members of current credit union members. You need to make an initial $5 deposit when joining.

With their personal loans, you can either use it as a line of credit or with set terms. Once approved, you’ll be presented with your payment schedule with a minimum payment of at least $25 a month. Members are also eligible for a 0.25% rate discount if you make automatic payments or if you have a Connects credit card in good standing; if a borrower has both qualifications, they can obtain both discounts.

RiverTrace Federal Credit Union

RiverTrace Federal Credit Union serves customers in the Greater Richmond area. To join, you need to either work, live or attend school in the city of Richmond, or in local Chesterfield, Hanover or Henrico counties. You’ll also need to complete a member and signature card application and open a regular share account. The membership fee is $1; you will need to keep a minimum of $5 in your share account.

Their personal loans range from $1,000 to $10,000 and offer fixed rates depending on your creditworthiness. There are no prepayment fees, meaning you can pay off your loan at any time with incurring any fees.

Compare Personal Loans Online

Shopping around for a personal loan online is a great way to see more options, ones that have more competitive rates and that suits your needs. However, you may be limited in options if you’re only looking for personal loans at your local Richmond branches.

Online lenders tend to be trustworthy and many customers have written reviews outlining great customer service and rates. Many places even offer loans to those who may not have a great credit history or might need secured loans. However, even though there are many reputable online companies, some may not be as trustworthy. As with any loan, do your research and ask questions to make sure you understand what you’re getting into. In other words, only borrow from a company you can trust. If you’re unsure, you can read reviews at places like the Better Business Bureau to check on their reputation. It also goes without saying, but read all the fine print before signing off on a personal loan.

Going with an online lender has numerous benefits. For one, it’s convenient — you can apply and get approval all within the comfort of your own home. You don’t need to spend a lot of time going to your local branch to get a personal loan. Secondly, shopping around online gives you more options and, by extension, lower rates. Many of these companies don’t have to pay for much overhead such as physical offices, so they pass on those savings to their customers. If you don’t have a good credit score, you can also search for secured loans or find companies online that deal with bad credit loans.

An efficient way to find personal loans is through an online lending marketplace. Websites like LendingTree, the parent company of MagnifyMoney, can help guide you through the loan request process. LendingTree isn’t a lender, but their site may be able to connect customers up to five different lenders at once so they can compare and save on loans. All you need to do is fill out a short online form.

Once you do so, there’ll be a soft pull on your credit, meaning that your credit score won’t be affected at this point. You may then be presented with multiple offers, listing the name of the lender, approximate APR and terms. You can contact any of these companies to ask further questions if you want, or just go ahead and submit an application to that specific lender. LendingTree doesn’t handle this part of the process; rather, it directs you to the lender’s site so you can complete the application there. The lender will do a hard pull on your credit when you officially apply.

When your loan is approved, you’ll need to complete the closing process with your lender, which typically involves you signing an agreement and letting the lender know where to send the funds. The money will then be deposited into your account within a few business days.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

TAGS:

Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

$

Won’t impact your credit score