Ratings and Methodology

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Student Loan Refinancing Rating Methodology

Ratings Last Updated: 10/30/2018

LendEDU has reviewed and researched the student loan refinancing industry since 2014. LendEDU analyzes each student loan refinancing company using the following criteria: breadth of products offered, interest rates by term and product, available term length options, applicable fees, soft-credit check process, borrower benefits and unique incentives, borrower protections, ease of use, quality of customer support staff, and time to funding. Each piece of criteria is cross checked and audited by multiple members of the LendEDU team.

- Our highest recommendation, the top tier option for consumers

- Excellent selection for consumers

-  Average selection for consumers

- Consumers should proceed with caution

- Consumers should avoid

Description of Rating Categories

​Product Information: Analyzes interest rates, term length offerings, discounts, and more.

​Application Process: Analyzes the ease of the application process as well as the strictness of eligibility requirements.

Post-Application: Analyzes offerings available to borrowers after loans are disbursed including repayment plans, forbearance, and more.

In-Depth Insights: Analyzes factors such as approval rates, credit score needed, average interest rates received by applicants, and more.

Customer Support: Analyzes the availability of customer service, extra benefits offered, other ratings available online, and more.


Private In-School Student Loan Rating Methodology

Ratings Last Updated: 1/21/2019

LendEDU has reviewed and researched the private student loan industry since 2014. LendEDU analyzes each private student loan provider using multiple criteria which are detailed below.

For private student loans, companies' products were classified as either "Traditional" or "Non-Traditional." Traditional products allow borrowers to use a cosigner during the application process and are geared towards the majority of students in the U.S. Non-Traditional products include those that are designed for borrowers without a cosigner and/or for international students. Products in each grouping were rated relative to other products in the same grouping. 

For each private student loan grouping, there are five categories which lenders are rated on: Product Information, Repayment, Eligibility & Application, Customer Support, and Discounts & Benefits.​ There are multiple data points analyzed within each category and each data point is weighted based on the importance of each. To come up with the overall rating for a lender, we find the weighted average of each category score. Categories deemed more important are weighted higher than those that are deemed less important. See the Description of Rating Categories below for more information.

Each piece of criteria is cross checked and audited by multiple members of the LendEDU team.

- Our highest recommendation, the top tier option for consumers

- Excellent selection for consumers

-  Average selection for consumers

- Consumers should proceed with caution

- Consumers should avoid

Description of Rating Categories

​Product Information (40%): Considers interest rates, term length offerings, loan amounts, and fees.

Repayment (20%): Considers in-school payment plans available, forbearance options, and deferment options.

Eligibility & Application (20%): Considers state availability, whether or not a soft credit pull for prequalification is available, and school eligibility.

Discounts & Benefits (10%): Considers discounts and benefits available to borrowers.

Customer Service (10%): Considers the availability of customer service, Trustpilot ratings, and Better Business Bureau ratings.


Personal Loan Rating Methodology

Ratings Last Updated: 1/21/2019

LendEDU has reviewed and researched the personal loan industry since 2016. LendEDU analyzes each personal loan provider using multiple criteria. Each company's personal loan product was categorized as either "For Above Average Credit," "For Average Credit," or "For Below Average Credit," and each was rated relative to other products in the same credit category.

For personal loans, there are five categories which lenders are rated on: Product Information, Fees, Eligibility & Application, Customer Support, and Discounts & Benefits.​ There are multiple data points analyzed within each category and each data point is weighted based on the importance of each. To come up with the overall rating for a lender, we find the weighted average of each category score. Categories deemed more important are weighted higher than those that are deemed less important. See the Description of Rating Categories below for more information.

Each piece of criteria is cross checked and audited by multiple members of the LendEDU team.

- Our highest recommendation, the top tier option for consumers

- Excellent selection for consumers

-  Average selection for consumers

- Consumers should proceed with caution

- Consumers should avoid

Description of Rating Categories

​Product Information (37.5%): Considers interest rates, term length offerings, and deposit time.

Fees (22.5%): Considers the existence of and amount of origination fees, late fees, prepayment fees, and check fees.

Customer Support (17.5%): Considers the availability of customer service, Trustpilot ratings, and Better Business Bureau ratings.

Discounts & Benefits (12.5%): Considers discounts and benefits available to borrowers.

Eligibility & Application (10%): Considers state availability, whether or not a soft credit pull for prequalification is available, and whether or not co-applicants are allowed.

Description of Credit Rating Categories

For Above Average Credit: For consumers with great credit; generally scores ranging from 680-850.

For Average Credit: For consumers with mediocre credit; generally scores ranging from 620-680.

For Below Average Credit: For consumers with poor credit; generally scores that are under 620.


Pet Insurance Rating Methodology

Ratings Last Updated: 11/13/2018

LendEDU has reviewed and researched the pet insurance industry since 2017. LendEDU analyzes each pet insurance company based on the conditions covered, states where coverage is available, types of pets covered, age restrictions, monthly premiums, deductibles, deductible types, reimbursement percentages, benefit limits, waiting periods, and customer service. Each piece of criteria is cross checked and audited by multiple members of the LendEDU team.

- Our highest recommendation, the top tier option for consumers

- Excellent selection for consumers

-  Average selection for consumers

- Consumers should proceed with caution

- Consumers should avoid

Description of Rating Categories

Coverage: Analyzes states eligible and minimum and maximum age limits.

Payments: Analyzes benefit limits and discounts. 

Waiting Period: Analyzes the waiting periods for illnesses, injuries, and special surgeries.

Customer Service: Analyzes Trustpilot rating, Better Business Bureau score, and financial strength (A.M. Best).


Renters Insurance Rating Methodology

Ratings Last Updated: 11/27/2018

LendEDU has reviewed and researched the renters insurance industry since 2017. LendEDU analyzes each renters insurance provider based on a multitude of factors including overall customer experience with Trustpilot score and BBB composite score, overall coverage available to the consumer, discounts offered, and financial strength of the provider. Each piece of criteria is cross checked and audited by multiple members of the LendEDU team.

- Our highest recommendation, the top tier option for consumers

- Excellent selection for consumers

-  Average selection for consumers

- Consumers should proceed with caution

- Consumers should avoid

Description of Rating Categories

Coverage: Analyzes basic coverage offered, maximum liability coverage, and valuation of losses. 

Pricing and Discounts: Analyzes policy discounts.

Financial Strength: Analyzes the ratings of A.M Best, Moody's, and the S&P. 

Customer Experience: Analyzes the Trustpilot score, the BBB overall rating, and the BBB composite score. 


Small Business Financing Rating Methodology

Ratings Last Updated: 8/28/2018

LendEDU has reviewed and researched the small business financing industry since 2017. LendEDU analyzes small business term loans, line of credit, and invoice financing using the following criteria: credit score required, minimum business age, revenue needed, interest rate range, minimum and maximum loan amount, deposit time, and overall customer experience using Trustpilot and BBB ratings. Each piece of criteria is cross checked and audited by multiple members of the LendEDU team.

- Our highest recommendation, the top tier option for consumers

- Excellent selection for consumers

-  Average selection for consumers

- Consumers should proceed with caution

- Consumers should avoid


Credit Card Rating Methodology

Ratings Last Updated: 10/2/2018

LendEDU has reviewed and researched the credit card industry since 2016. LendEDU may analyze credit cards using the following criteria: availability of sign-up bonuses, terms of sign-up bonuses, clarity of required disclosures for consumers, recurring rewards offered to consumers, reward incentives offered to consumers, interest rates and caps in place, partner channels for rewards earned, non-financial benefits and services offered, application process and customer experience, availability of customer support staff during application process, availability of customer support staff post-application process, unique partner benefits provided to consumers from non-issuers, fees and other charges, and more. Each piece of criteria is cross checked and audited by multiple members of the LendEDU team. Credit cards are rated respective to other credit cards in their category. Categories include: Rewards, Travel, Hotel, Business, Secured, Student, Balance Transfer, Exclusives, and Store. 

- Our highest recommendation, the top tier option for consumers

- Excellent selection for consumers

-  Average selection for consumers

- Consumers should proceed with caution

- Consumers should avoid