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Earnest Personal Loans: 2023 Review
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At a glance
Earnest is best for bad to fair credit borrowers
Since Earnest is a lender matching platform, it works with customers of all credit brackets. If you are new to credit or have a low credit score, you may still be able to find a lender through Earnest. If you apply with individual lenders, you will have to submit a new application for each lender to see the actual rates you qualify for with each one. This could hurt your credit score, as loan applications cause a temporary ding to your score, and multiple applications at once can have an even bigger impact. With Earnest, you only need to apply once to see all of your offers, and your credit score won’t be impacted.
Earnest Pros and Cons
Ability to add cosigner
Accessible to all borrowers
Wide range of loan amounts
No mobile app
Doesn’t provide loans directly
No guarantee of qualifying
Do you qualify?
Although Earnest works with a network of lenders there are some qualifications to be aware of.
Earnest matches borrowers with lenders offering loans from $1,000 to $250,000. Rates vary by lender, and loan repayment terms range from 6 months to 12 years.If you plan to borrow with the assistance of a cosigner. Consider the following requirements.Once you have submitted a loan application through Earnest, the platform will match you with lenders that you qualify for and that offer the terms you’re looking for. From there, you can compare your offers before making a decision.
What Earnest doesn't allow loan funds to be used for
Earnest does not disclose what its loans cannot be used for. The website notes that an Earnest loan can be used to fix your home, debt consolidation, a wedding or other unexpected large expenses.
How this lender compares4.8Bankrate ScoreAPR fromVaries by lenderLoan Amount$1,000 - $250,000Term Length6 months to 12 yearsMin Credit ScoreNot disclosed4.3Bankrate ScoreAPR from9.57% – 35.99%Loan Amount$1,000 – $40,000Term Length24 to 60 monthsMin Credit ScoreNot disclosed4.7Bankrate ScoreAPR from9.95% to 35.99%Loan Amount$2,000 - $35,000Term Length12 to 60 monthsMin Credit Score550
Earnest vs. LendingClub
LendingClub, similar to its counterpart Earnest, encourages its borrowers to sign off with a cosigner. This will present you with more competitive rates along with better terms. This is especially a wise consideration if you are struggling to gain approval from other lenders. Unlike Earnest, LendingClub has disclosed loan amounts, term lengths and APR. This makes it a better option for a borrower who wants a firm grasp on expected rates prior to the loan application.
Earnest vs. AvantIf Earnest was initially attractive due to its undisclosed credit score, Avant may be another good lender option. The financial institution carries a minimum, according to an Avant representative of 580. This makes it a great option for bad credit borrowers. Though Earnest does take gold in the realm of adding a cosigner, whereas Avant does not allow for them.
Earnest: in the detailsLoan Amount$1,000 - $250,000APR fromVaries by lenderFunds available inVaries by lender
What we like and what we don’t like
The convenience of a range of loan amounts online is a major benefit to Earnest. But consider all aspects of the lender before signing off.
What we like
- Ability to add cosigner. Borrowers without strong credit history can increase their chance of approval with the help of a cosigner.
- Accessible to all borrowers. Earnest caters to a wide range of credit backgrounds.
- Wide range of loan amounts. You can borrow anywhere from $1,000 up to $250,000.
What we don’t like
- No mobile app. All Earnest upkeep must be done online.
- Doesn’t provide loans directly. Earnest does not directly provide loans to borrowers and instead works with a network.
- No guarantee of qualifying. Due to the network arrangement, not all that apply are guaranteed to qualify.
How to contact EarnestEarnest offers customer service both over the phone and via the live chat function on its website. A customer service representative can be reached via live chat or at 888-601-2801 Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST.
How to apply for a personal loan with EarnestEarnest works with Fiona, a fully online personal loan search engine. In order to apply for a loan through this platform, you’ll start by filling out a basic application form, including the following information:Once you have filled out the application, Earnest will match you with lenders you qualify for that meet your specifications. This only takes about 60 seconds. Once you have been matched with qualifying lenders, you can compare offers and choose a lender. From there, you will be directed to that lender’s website to finalize the loan. Finding times vary by lender.Before choosing a lender through Earnest, make sure that you are aware of the interest rates and fees that the lender charges, as well as any other terms and conditions.
Features and additional perksThe major benefit of applying for a loan through Earnest is that you only have to fill out one application to see multiple offers. This saves you from having to fill out multiple loan applications and potentially damaging your credit score. Earnest offers a wide range of loan amounts with low starting APR options. Exact loan amounts, APRs and fees vary by lender.
Fees and penalties
Earnest does not charge any fees directly, the lender you are matched with might. Always make sure to review the terms of a loan offer before signing on.
How Bankrate rates Earnest
Overall Score 4.8 Availability 5.0 $2,000 minimum loan amount, same-day approval and funding next business day. Affordability 5.0 Several competitive options for individuals who qualify. Customer Experience 4.3 Customer service has limited hours, but there is online access. Transparency 5.0 All fees and rates are easily accessible.
To select the best personal loans, Bankrate’s team of experts evaluated over 30 lenders. Each lender was ranked using a meticulous 20-point system, focusing on four main categories:
- Affordability: The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score. We also give bonus points to lenders offering rate discounts, grace periods and that allow borrowers to change their due date.
- Availability: Minimum loan amounts, number of repayment terms, eligibility requirements, ability to apply using a co-borrower or co-signer and loan turnaround time are considered in this category.
- Customer experience: This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
- Transparency: For this factor, we consider how well information is presented to the borrower on the lender’s website. This includes listing credit requirements, rates and fees, in addition to offering prequalification.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.
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