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Earnest Personal Loans: 2022 Review
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At a glance
Low minimum APR
Accessible to all borrowers
Wide range of loan amounts
No mobile app
Doesn’t provide loans directly
No guarantee of qualifying
Earnest is a loan servicer known primarily for its student loans. Earnest has partnered with Fiona, a lender matching platform, to help borrowers find, compare and choose from qualifying lenders. This means that Earnest does not lend directly. Instead, borrowers fill out an application with Earnest to get matched with lenders they qualify for.
The 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.
Earnest: in the detailsLoan Amount$1,000 - $250,000APR fromVaries by lenderFunds available inVaries by lender
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 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. While 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.
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. Since Earnest does not lend directly, the time it takes to receive funding varies.
Fees and penalties
LendingPoint charges an origination fee of up to 6 percent of the loan amount. You can have this upfront fee deducted from your loan disbursement instead of paying it out of pocket. If you choose this option, you may have to borrow more than you need to make sure you don’t come up short on your funds.
There’s no application fee, and you won’t get penalized if you choose to pay your loan off early. But it’s not stated on LendingPoint’s website whether there are any late fees or returned check fees, so be sure to fully review your loan agreement before signing.
How to apply for a loan with Earnest
Earnest 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:
- Your credit score
- Your ZIP code
- Your loan purpose (home improvement, debt consolidation, major purchase, etc.)
- Your desired loan amount
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.
Earnest 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 Bankrate rates Earnest
Overall Score 4.3 Availability 3.5 $2,000 minimum loan amount, same-day approval and funding next business day. Affordability 4.2 Several competitive options for individuals who qualify. Customer Experience 4.0 Customer service has limited hours, but there is online access.
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.