If you have less-than-perfect credit, Earnest and Avant are worth considering when you’re looking for a personal loan. Earnest lets you browse lenders you could qualify for, and some borrowers may be able to qualify for larger loans. Avant primarily works with borrowers who have fair credit, although its minimum credit score requirement is low. Both are trusted online companies for personal loans, so consider the costs and time commitment of each before making a final decision.

Earnest vs. Avant at a glance

Earnest is a service that matches borrowers with lenders, which can help you quickly compare options. However, it isn’t upfront about its lenders’ requirements. Avant may be more pricey, but it offers a similarly quick process for borrowers with bad credit.

Bankrate Score 4.8 4.7
Better for Comparing multiple lenders Borrowers with bad credit
Loan amounts $1,000-$250,000 $2,000-$35,000
APRs Varies by lender 9.95%-35.99%
Loan term lengths 6 months-12 years 12-60 months
Fees None 4.75% administrative fee
Minimum credit score 680 550
Time to funding As soon as the next business day As soon as the next business day

Earnest personal loans


  • Joint applications accepted.
  • Wide range of loan options.
  • Quick approval process.


  • Not a direct lender.
  • Good credit required.
  • Not guaranteed to find a lender.

Earnest is not a direct lender. Instead, it works directly with Fiona, an online lending platform, to match consumers with personal loans of up to $250,000. Loan terms are between six months and 12 years, but APRs are not disclosed online since they vary by lender.

The main benefit to working with Earnest is that its lenders accept joint applications. If you and a co-borrower want to go in on a loan together, Earnest is the better option. Its wide range of loan amounts and terms also help it to stand out, although the exact terms of your loan will depend on the lender you are matched with.

Avant personal loans


  • Accepts bad credit.
  • Competitive starting APR.
  • Quick approval process.


  • High administrative fee.
  • Low maximum loan amount.
  • No joint applications.

Avant is a direct lender offering unsecured personal loans between $2,000 and $35,000. Its interest rates are nothing to marvel over, as the maximum APR is a bit on the higher end. Still, its personal loans are worth considering since you could get approved with a credit score as low as 550.

That being said, Avant is a quick lender and a much safer alternative to other bad-credit lenders. So while you are limited in how much you can borrow — and won’t be able to apply with a co-borrower — Avant is a good choice if you need a small loan and want to avoid predatory short-term loans.

How to choose between Earnest and Avant

Although Earnest is not a direct lender, the lenders in its network may have personal loans similar to the personal loans offered by Avant. With entirely online processes, it may make sense to apply with both and see which has the better offer.

Earnest is better for comparing multiple lenders

If you are new to borrowing a personal loan or don’t have the best credit, Earnest is a good option. It lets you compare lenders to see what you could qualify for. And with the ability to apply with a co-borrower, you may be able to score a lower rate than you could get with Avant. However, it isn’t guaranteed — and some of Earnest’s lenders may charge a higher origination fee that makes your loan more expensive.

Avant is better for bad credit

Avant is a good choice if you have bad credit, although it does offer better rates to borrowers with fair or good credit. Its quick processing time and midsize loans are good if you don’t need to borrow much. And while the administrative fee is high, it isn’t as steep as the origination fee charged by other lenders.

Compare lenders before applying

Both Earnest and Avant are good options for midsize loans. But while you may not be able to qualify for the lowest rates if you don’t have good credit, you should still compare more lenders to ensure you are getting the best terms on your personal loan.