Earnest Personal Loans Review
Earnest offers a variety of lending products, including personal loans. Earnest personal loans come with competitive rates, and consumers should consider getting a rate quote to see how Earnest loans compare to those provided by other lenders.
What we like:
Unique underwriting process
|Rates (APR)||6.99% – 18.24%|
|Loan Terms||3 – 5 years|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 – $75,000|
|Fees||Origination fee: None|
Prepayment penalty: None
Late fee: None
Founded in 2013, Earnest joins a growing number of financial technology, or fintech, lenders that are putting a mobile spin on finance — something that has traditionally been a brick-and-mortar-based industry.
Today, the company offers a variety of consumer-focused products, including student loan options and personal loans.
Borrowers interested in securing a personal loan will find that Earnest offers numerous “loans for living,” including those meant to meet the financial needs associated with engagements, weddings, home improvements, debt consolidation, and medical expenses.
In this review:
- Applying for an Earnest Personal Loan
- Earnest Loan Rates, Terms, Fees & Limits
- Benefits of an Earnest Personal Loan
- Downsides of an Earnest Personal Loan
Applying for an Earnest Personal Loan
If you’re considering applying for a personal loan through Earnest, you’ll need to be a U.S. citizen, have a 10-year Permanent Resident Card, or be a conditional permanent alien.
Further, though Earnest will originate loans in most states, their loan products are not available to those living in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island, limiting some consumers.
In addition to basic personal requirements, Earnest also offers very transparent financial requirements. To be eligible for a personal loan, you must be able to show proof of a consistent income, a FICO credit score of at least 680, and a credit history that does not include a bankruptcy within the last three years.
Additionally, Earnest will only grant personal loans to applicants who do not have an account in collections and who can show a history of on-time monthly payments on all revolving or installment accounts.
The application process takes place online, and applicants will have the opportunity to obtain basic interest rate quotes by completing the online form. This request will result in a soft credit inquiry, which does not negatively impact your credit score.
However, Earnest will perform a hard credit report inquiry to determine the official rates and terms should you decide to move forward with your loan application.
Earnest Loan Rates, Terms, Fees & Limits
Earnest provides a variety of lending products, each with different rates and terms. The following provides basic information about rates, terms, fees, and limits as they pertain to Earnest personal loans.
Earnest personal loans can be used to accommodate the financial needs associated with life’s major expenses. Approved applicants may be eligible for a loan amount between $5,000 and $75,000. Regardless of the loan amount, individuals applying for this loan can currently select from three different loan terms, each with their own rates:
|3 Years||6.99% – 14.24%|
|4 Years||7.49% – 16.24%|
|5 Years||9.49% – 18.24%|
Earnest personal loans come with no origination fees, late fees, and borrowers can pay extra or pay off their loan early without incurring any additional fees or penalties.
Benefits of an Earnest Personal Loan
Overall, Earnest loan products have been well received by customers, and the company has a consistently excellent rating on consumer review sites like Trustpilot. Perhaps this isn’t so surprising when one peruses the Earnest website or calls customer service; both outlets offer helpful and transparent information, including credit card requirements, something not always easy to obtain from lenders.
Additionally, though Earnest doesn’t offer the lowest prime rates available, the 18.24% maximum fixed annual percentage rate is still lower than rates offered by similar lenders, like Marcus by Goldman Sachs, which caps APRs at 24.99%. Further, without an origination fee, Earnest also beats some other lenders, like LendingClub, which has a 1% to 6% origination fee, and Prosper, which issues an origination fee between 2.41% and 5%.
Downsides of an Earnest Personal Loan
Though Earnest is often competitive in its space, there are definitely lenders that offer lower interest rates. So if you’re looking for a personal loan, it’s worth getting rate quotes from lenders like SoFi, which currently has rates as low as 6.79% for people with good credit, or LightStream (a division of SunTrust Bank), which extends prime borrowers low interest rates between 3.34% and 6.14%, depending on the purpose of the loan.
>> Read More: Earnest vs. SoFi personal loans comparison
While Earnest does include a variety of factors in their ultimate decision — and low rates aren’t exclusively tied to top credit scores — the credit score requirement of 680 may leave an Earnest loan just out of reach for consumers who don’t have good or excellent credit.
Earnest may not come in first place when considering its personal loans, but it’s definitely one of the best personal loans offered by online lenders.
This is particularly true when it comes to requirement transparency, ease of application, and overall customer service. And since Earnest uses a soft credit check to generate a rate quote, it’s worth hopping over to their site if you’re in the market for a personal loan.4.05 Earnest Personal Loans
Author: Jennifer Lobb
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