Discover operates as an online bank that extends its services to include credit cards, retirement solutions, and personal loans, available to customers in all 50 states. What sets Discover apart in the lending sphere is its user-friendly online application process, robust mobile banking tools, a well-regarded customer support team, and speedy funding. In broad terms, Discover offers loans ranging from $2,500 to $40,000, with flexible repayment periods spanning three to seven years. While other lenders may offer larger loan amounts, Discover's adaptable repayment terms make it an attractive option. It's important to note that Discover does impose a late payment fee and lacks an autopay discount. However, it distinguishes itself by not charging origination fees or prepayment penalties, putting it on par with other leading personal loan providers.
SoFi operates as an online lending platform that provides unsecured fixed-rate personal loans to residents in all states. Established in 2011, SoFi has facilitated over $50 billion in loans, distinguishing itself by offering substantial loan amounts and extended repayment terms. SoFi caters to a wide range of borrowing needs, with loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with excellent credit seeking substantial financial assistance. The specific loan amounts available may vary depending on your state of residence. Furthermore, SoFi offers remarkable flexibility in repayment, with terms spanning from two to seven years. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for those with a minimum credit score 650 and an annual income of at least $45,000. While SoFi permits joint applications, it does not accept co-signers. One of SoFi's standout features is its ability to grant approved borrowers access to competitive APRs. Additionally, SoFi sets itself apart by refraining from charging origination fees, late fees, or prepayment penalties. This is noteworthy, as many personal loan providers commonly impose origination or late payment fees. However, if you are contemplating a debt consolidation loan through SoFi, it's important to note that the lender does not facilitate direct payments to your other creditors. Consequently, the loan proceeds will be deposited into your bank account, and you will be responsible for paying off your other lenders individually. Nevertheless, SoFi offers various benefits and discounts to its customers, including unemployment protection and the option to change your payment due date once per year.
Launched in 2017, Upgrade is a platform that provides convenient online and mobile credit and banking services. Over the years, the platform has disbursed over $3 billion in credit to more than 10 million applicants and continues to expand its online and mobile offerings. Although its maximum APRs are relatively high compared to other online lenders, Upgrade stands out by offering loans to individuals with a less-than-stellar credit history. Upgrade offers loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, with flexible repayment terms spanning from two to seven years. However, it's important to note that Upgrade imposes an origination fee, which can range from 1.85% to 9.99% of the loan amount. Additionally, borrowers may encounter a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or if the payment does not go through. Unlike some other lenders, Upgrade does not offer discounts for autopay. On a positive note, Upgrade borrowers are not subject to prepayment penalties, allowing them to reduce the overall cost of the loan by paying it off early. In addition to providing accessible personal loans, Upgrade simplifies the lending experience through its mobile app, enabling borrowers to easily check their balance, make payments, and update personal information. Furthermore, Upgrade's Credit Health tool facilitates the monitoring of your credit score throughout the life of your loan.
LightStream, a consumer lending division of Truist, which came into existence following the merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T, provides unsecured personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. The specific loan amount you qualify for can vary depending on the purpose of the loan. While some lenders offer smaller loans, LightStream stands out by providing a higher maximum loan amount. Borrowers can select repayment terms spanning two to seven years, making it an ideal choice for those seeking to manage substantial expenses over an extended period. What sets LightStream apart, aside from its appealing and flexible terms, is its commitment to transparency. LightStream does not impose origination, late payment, or prepayment fees, offering a cost-effective borrowing experience. Additionally, the lender provides a noteworthy 0.50% rate discount for borrowers who enroll in autopay, a higher rate discount than most lenders with a similar feature offer. LightStream offers a 30-day loan experience guarantee to ensure borrower satisfaction, Covid-19/hardship assistance, and a rate-beat program. LightStream is willing to beat a competitor's interest rate by 0.1 percentage point for applicants who meet specific criteria. LightStream extends its loan services to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with a customer support team available seven days a week for applicants. Current borrowers can access customer support from Monday through Saturday. While LightStream does not provide a dedicated mobile app for loan management, customers can easily access their accounts through LightStream.com.
LendingPoint is an online lending company headquartered in Atlanta, extending personal loans to potential borrowers in 48 states and Washington D.C., except Nevada and West Virginia. Applicants can conveniently apply online and benefit from speedy loan disbursement in the eligible states. LendingPoint offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $36,500, except in Georgia, where the minimum loan amount is $3,500. Borrowers can select repayment terms that suit their needs, spanning 24 to 72 months, equivalent to two to six years. However, it's essential to know two notable drawbacks of LendingPoint. Firstly, the lender tends to have relatively high maximum APRs, which can be mitigated by maintaining a solid credit score. Secondly, LendingPoint imposes origination fees that can go as high as 10%, and the specific rate depends on the state of residence.
Universal Credit is an online lending platform that facilitates personal loans through its partner network, with loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Borrowers can choose repayment terms that span from three to seven years. While Universal Credit offers a pathway to securing a personal loan, even for individuals with impaired credit histories, it does come with inevitable tradeoffs. Firstly, it imposes relatively high APRs, surpassing the most competitive rates available in our comparison. Additionally, Universal Credit levies an origination fee ranging from 5.25% to 9.99% on all personal loans. It's important to note that this fee is subtracted from your loan disbursement, so you must consider it when determining the loan amount to ensure you receive the required funds after this deduction.
Established in 2012 and headquartered in Chicago, Avant is a consumer lending platform offering secured and unsecured personal loans through a partnering bank, WebBank. Unsecured loans provided by Avant are available in all states except Hawaii, Iowa, New York, Vermont, West Virginia, and Maine, as well as in Washington, D.C. Avant specializes in serving middle-income borrowers with fair to good credit, requiring a minimum credit score of 580 for qualification. While Avant's maximum loan amounts may be relatively modest compared to other lenders, its low minimum loan threshold and flexible repayment terms, which range from two to five years, make it an accessible choice for borrowers. However, it's important to note that Avant's loans, tailored for subprime borrowers, come with certain costs. Besides imposing an administrative fee of up to 4.75% of the loan amount, Avant's APR range (9.95% to 35.99%) falls on the higher side for applicants with a good to excellent credit score. Additionally, Avant does not offer an autopay discount. Nevertheless, Avant garners high marks for providing quick access to funds to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. In April 2019, Avant reached a $3.85 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC filed the lawsuit in response to allegations, including charging consumers late fees and interest they didn't owe and collecting payments from customers without authorization or in amounts exceeding what was authorized. While we attempted to seek information from Avant regarding adjustments to their practices since the settlement, we have yet to receive a response. Despite this, Avant maintains a commendable 4.7-star rating on Trustpilot.
A personal loan is a form of fixed-sum financial assistance that individuals can obtain from traditional banks, credit unions, or online lenders. These funds can be utilized for various purposes, including covering medical expenses, vehicle repairs, home renovations, or consolidating existing debts. Typically, personal loans come with repayment periods ranging from two to seven years, and they offer competitive interest rates, which can be as low as 3% for well-qualified borrowers.
Banks, credit unions, and online lenders generally offer personal loans. Individuals seeking a loan can apply through an online platform or by visiting a physical location, and then they await a decision regarding approval or denial. Once approved, borrowers receive the loan amount as a single, lump-sum payment deposited into their bank account, with interest accruing from the first month onwards. These loans involve regular, fixed monthly payments spanning the entire loan term, typically from one to seven years. Many personal loans can be disbursed within a few business days, ensuring you can access the necessary funds promptly.
Based on a survey conducted by Forbes Advisor, which involved 1,000 U.S. adults who had applied for personal loans, it was observed that consumers availed themselves of a range of loan amounts and durations. The survey revealed that 35% of respondents borrowed amounts ranging from $1,000 to $4,999, while 17% chose to borrow between $5,000 and $9,999. Additionally, 15% of participants borrowed between $10,000 and $19,999. Regarding loan duration, 20% of respondents selected a one-year loan, 16% preferred a two-year loan, and 17% opted for a three-year loan.
As per a survey conducted by Forbes Advisor involving 1,000 U.S. adults who applied for personal loans, consumers allocate the funds from these loans to cover a diverse array of expenditures. According to the survey results, 25% of respondents utilized private loan funds for consolidating debt, while 17% directed the funds toward meeting their monthly living expenses. Additionally, another 17% earmarked the funds for home improvement projects.
Check your credit score: Begin by checking your credit score for free through your credit card issuer or a reputable website offering free scores. This step helps you gauge your creditworthiness and assess your eligibility. Aim for a minimum score of 610, although a score of at least 720 will provide the most favorable loan terms. Improve your credit score if necessary: If your score falls below 610 or if you want to secure better loan terms, take the time to enhance your credit score before applying. Actions like reducing your credit utilization or settling unpaid debts can help. Determine your borrowing needs: After reviewing your credit score, calculate the precise amount of money you need to borrow. Remember that you'll receive the loan as a lump sum and will be responsible for interest on the entire sum. Therefore, only borrow what is necessary. Compare terms and interest rates: Many lenders offer prequalification, allowing you to see the loan terms and rates you qualify for through a soft credit inquiry. Utilize this prequalification process to shop around for the most favorable rates without affecting your credit score. Submit a formal application and await a decision: Once you've identified a lender offering terms that align with your needs, submit your loan application online or in person. The duration of this process can vary, typically taking a few hours to a few days, depending on the lender.