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VA Cash-Out Refinance: How It Works and When to Get One

A VA cash-out refinance allows you to pay off your existing home loan — even if it’s not a VA loan — with a new, larger VA home loan. You’ll receive the difference as a lump sum to use for any purpose your lender allows.

You can also use a VA cash-out refinance even if you don’t want cash back — say, you only need enough cash to pay the loan’s closing costs. To qualify for a VA cash-out refinance loan, you’ll first need to be a military service member, veteran, or surviving spouse.

Here’s what else you need to know about VA cash-out refinances:

What is a VA cash-out refinance?How does a VA cash-out refinance work?VA cash-out loan limitsVA cash-out refinance ratesBenefits of a VA cash-out refinanceDrawbacks of a VA cash-out refinanceVA cash-out refinance guidelinesAre there costs associated with a VA cash-out refinance?How to apply for a VA cash-out refinanceIs a VA cash-out refinance right for you?

What is a VA cash-out refinance?

A VA cash-out refinance is one of the two most common VA loan refinancing options. You can use a VA cash-out refinance whether you want to cash out your home equity or not. These loans are available to any qualified veteran homeowner, regardless of what type of mortgage you have.

The other most common option available to veterans is a VA streamline refinance — also known as an interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL). This option works similar to a conventional refinance. It can help you lower your interest rate, shrink your monthly payment, or shorten your term. However, you’ll need to have an existing VA loan to use an IRRRL.

How does a VA cash-out refinance work?

A VA cash-out refinance uses a VA mortgage to pay off your existing mortgage, whether it’s a VA loan or not. It also lets you tap into your home equity, which you can use to pay off any other liens on your home or the closing costs of the refinance.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs sets guidelines for income, credit scores, and other borrower characteristics. This helps lenders approve and deny VA loans and set loan terms.

However, lenders often impose stricter guidelines than the VA requires, such as tighter limits on how much equity you can cash out. They do this, in part because the VA only guarantees up to 25% of the loan amount. That means the lenders are still taking most of the risk.

Learn: How Soon You Can Refinance: Typical Waiting Periods By Home Loan

VA cash-out loan limits

VA loans are unique: They allow you to borrow against as much as 100% of your home’s appraised value. In other words, your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio can be as high as 100%.

Here’s an example: Say you owe $240,000 on your mortgage and your home is worth $300,000. That leaves you with $60,000 in home equity, or 20%. With a VA cash-out refinance, you may be able to borrow as much as $300,000, and you’d be able to finance your VA funding fee.

But remember, lenders may have their own rules that are stricter than the VA’s. Don’t be surprised if you can only borrow against 80% of your home’s appraised value. Some conventional lenders will allow you to refinance up to 90%, too, so we suggest comparing offers for both VA and conventional cash-out refinancing.

VA cash-out refinance rates

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate VA home loans tend to run about 0.25 percentage points lower than conventional loan rates. But as with any mortgage, your interest rate will mostly depend on personal factors like your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment.

Cash-out refinance rates can be slightly higher than rate-and-term refinance rates since decreasing your home equity can make you a riskier borrower. To get the best deal, it’s important to check pricing with several lenders.

You won’t find VA loans at Credible, but if you’re looking for a great refinance rate on a conventional loan, we can help with that. It only takes a few minutes to compare personalized, prequalified rates from all of our partner lenders.

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Benefits of a VA cash-out refinance

These features of a VA cash-out refinance can make it a uniquely appealing option if you’re eligible:

You may be able to borrow up to 100% of your home’s appraised value. On top of that, you can finance energy-efficient home improvements and the VA funding fee.You can refinance a non-VA loan. Whether you have a VA, conventional, FHA, or USDA loan, you can do a VA cash-out refinance.You can use it to pay off delinquent liens. If you’ve fallen behind on property taxes, your first mortgage, or a home equity loan, for example, you can use a VA cash-out refinance to pay off these liens.

Read: How Often Can You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Drawbacks of a VA cash-out refinance

Before you get too excited about the benefits of a VA cash-out refinance, you should know there are some cons to this option:

You’ll pay the VA funding fee. If the cash-out refinance will be your first VA loan, you’ll have to pay a funding fee of 2.3% of the loan amount. If it won’t be your first VA loan, the funding fee will be 3.6% of the loan amount. Veterans with a Purple Heart or service-related disability payments may be exempt from the funding fee.Lenders might not let you borrow 100%. The VA allows, but does not require, lenders to set an LTV limit of 100%. Lenders may have tighter requirements and set a borrowing limit of up to 90% of your home’s appraised value, for example.Requires more paperwork. One of the main benefits of a VA IRRRL is the lack of paperwork, which allows you to close the loan faster. VA cash-out refinances aren’t as streamlined. Your lender will require you to go through the full underwriting process and provide income statements, tax returns, and a certificate of eligibility (COE), among other documents.

Find Out: VA Loan vs. Conventional Loan: How to Choose

VA cash-out refinance guidelines

Here are the key criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify for a VA cash-out refinance. They’re the same as VA purchase loan requirements:

RequirementDescriptionYou or your spouse meet the military service requirements for a VA loanVA loan eligibility depends on where, when, and how you served. For example, if you’ve served 90 continuous days on active duty this year, you will likely qualify for a COE.Your credit score is at least 620The VA doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but lenders typically do.The home will be your primary residenceYou can’t use a VA cash-out refinance on an investment property or second home.Your income is stableA two-year history is helpful, but the VA gives lenders room to decide whether your income is reliable enough to repay the loan you’re applying for.Your DTI is 41% or lessLenders might approve a higher debt-to-income ratio if you can offset it with financial strengths, such as excellent credit, long-term employment, or satisfactory homeownership experience.

re there costs associated with a VA cash-out refinance?

Yes, you’ll pay closing costs on a VA cash-out refinance, just as you would with a conventional or FHA refinance. These are the costs you can expect to pay:

VA funding fee: Either $2,300 or $3,600 for every $100,000 borrowed, depending on whether you’re using a VA loan for the first time or a subsequent time.Origination fee: Generally 0.5% to 1.5% of the loan amount, or $1,000 for every $100,000 borrowed.Appraisal fee: Usually a few hundred dollars, depending on location and home sizeCredit report fee: Usually less than $30.Lender’s title insurance fee: About $500 to $1,500, depending on the loan amount and insurer.Discount points: Points are prepaid interest that reduce your interest rate. This is an optional charge.

How to apply for a VA cash-out refinance

These are the steps you’ll need to follow to apply for a VA cash-out refinance.

1. Decide how much cash you need

Just because you may be able to borrow against 100% of your home equity doesn’t mean you should. Zero equity makes you vulnerable to a decline in home prices. You could end up owing more than your home is worth — a potential problem if you decide to sell your home.

2. Gather documents for your lender

You’ll need three categories of documents:

Identification documents: VA lenders require you to provide two forms of identification. These can include a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, Social Security card, or military ID.Financial documents: You’ll need to substantiate your income and assets with W-2s and signed federal income tax returns for the last two years, your two most recent pay stubs, and your two most recent bank statements. Military service documents: These include your Certificate of Eligibility (which your lender may be able to pull online), statement of service (if you’re on active duty), and disability award letter (if you receive service-connected disability payments). You may also need to provide your DD-214 or Reserve/Guard points statements.

3. Apply with at least three lenders

The VA doesn’t set mortgage rates and fees; lenders do. To make sure you’re getting the best loan terms, get pre-qualified quotes from multiple VA lenders.

You should also consider getting offers for a conventional cash-out refinance if you don’t need to access all of your equity; it may be cheaper since you won’t have to pay a VA funding fee.

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Is a VA cash-out refinance right for you?

If you’re eligible for a VA loan, a VA cash-out refinance may be right for you in these situations:

You don’t have enough home equity for a conventional cash-out refinance.If your home equity is 20% or less, a VA loan can be a good way to access it.You’re paying for mortgage insurance on the loan you have now.VA loans don’t require mortgage insurance.Your new mortgage will have a lower rate than your existing mortgage.Ideally, a cash-out refinance doesn’t just give you cash, it also lowers your rate.You’re behind on your bills.You can use a VA cash-out refinance to pay off any lien against your property, whether it’s a mortgage, tax lien, or judgment lien.

However, a VA cash-out refinance may not be right for you in the following circumstances:

You have a lot more home equity than you want to cash out.Instead, consider a conventional cash-out refinance so you don’t have to pay the VA funding fee.Your new mortgage would have a higher rate than your existing mortgage.A home equity loan or line of credit could be the more cost-effective option.You might sell your home soon.It may not make sense to pay closing costs on a large loan that you won’t keep long enough to break even on. Try a no-closing-cost mortgage, or just ride out your existing loan.You need cash quickly.A new mortgage can take up to two months to close. A personal loan may be a better choice if you can’t wait that long.

Keep Reading: How Long It Takes to Refinance a Home

The post VA Cash-Out Refinance: How It Works and When to Get One appeared first on Credible.

Should You Refinance With the Same Lender?

You have plenty of financial institutions to choose from when refinancing a mortgage. But if you were happy with the place that originally funded your loan, you might be wondering if you should refinance with that same lender.

Before making the decision, you’ll need to understand your own goals and shop around to find the right fit.

Here’s what to consider if you’re looking to refinance with the same mortgage lender:

Can you refinance with the same lender?Advantages of refinancing with the same lenderDisadvantages of refinancing with same lenderHow to negotiate with lender

Can you refinance with the same lender?

Yes, you can refinance your mortgage with the same bank or lender. According to a Black Knight report, 28% of all homeowners who refinanced in the first quarter of 2021 stayed with their current mortgage company.

This could be a good option if your lender:

Offers low interest rates or closing costsGives discounts to returning customersCloses refinance loans quickly and efficiently

Before you go down this path, you’ll need to find out:

Who’s your loan servicer? Your mortgage lender is the institution that funded your home loan, but it might not be the same company that now processes your payments and manages your account. Since your loan servicer might not originate loans, you’ll want to be sure you’re talking with the right company.Do you need to honor a waiting period? Some lenders make borrowers wait at least six months before they’ll refinance a home loan. So if you recently closed on your mortgage and you want to refinance with the same lender, you’ll need to ask if it’s possible.Does your original lender offer what you need? There are many different types of refinance loans, such as rate-and-term refinances and cash-out refinances. Some lenders also offer programs like the FHA streamline and VA streamline refinances. Make sure your original lender can meet your refinancing goals.

dvantages of refinancing with the same lender

Refinancing your mortgage with the same lender has two major benefits: money savings and convenience.

You might save money

Like your original mortgage, there are costs to refinancing a home loan. These closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the total loan amount — or about $5,000 on average, according to Freddie Mac.

However, your lender could waive or reduce certain fees if they already have an appraisal report, title information, and a mortgage insurance policy on your property. You could save money on these costs:

Title insurance feeMortgage insurance feeLoan origination feeHome appraisal fee

You might be able to negotiate better terms

Because you have an established relationship with your original lender, the company might take extra steps to keep you as a customer. Your lender might be willing to match a lower interest rate or closing cost quote from a competitor. This is especially true if you have good credit and a record of making on-time mortgage payments.

Also Read: 6 Ways to Negotiate Home Closing Costs

The process might be quicker and more convenient

It could be easier to refinance with the same lender since you already have an established relationship. The company has your information on file, including your payment history and financial details, so it might be able to streamline some of the documents required on a refinance.

Plus, if the bank or credit union you use for your personal finances underwrites your home loan as well, it might be more efficient to keep everything under one roof.

Disadvantages of refinancing with same lender

Sometimes change can be a good thing. Switching your mortgage lender might be a good idea if it can’t close your loan quickly, offers bad customer service, or it isn’t giving you the lowest rate.

They might have capacity issues

According to national property database ATTOM Data Solutions, refinances during the first quarter of 2021 were at the highest levels in more than 14 years. That means financial institutions have been busy churning out a record number of home loans. If your original lender is popular, you might experience closing delays.

As part of the loan shopping process, you’ll need to ask your lender if it has the capacity for another refinance loan and how long it might take. Across the industry, lenders are taking 47 days on average to close refinance loans, per data from ICE Mortgage Technology — but some are able to turn things around more quickly.

You might get better customer service elsewhere

Every mortgage lender provides different services. Some financial institutions have an end-to-end digital process that emphasizes efficiency and savings, while others offer brick-and-mortar branches to provide in-person help. Furthermore, some lenders have higher customer satisfaction ratings.

If you’re not happy with your original lender or current loan servicer, switching lenders could give you a better experience.

You could lose out on money savings

Shopping around with different lenders is the best way to save money on the interest rate and closing costs. Your lender knows the rate you currently pay, and it might offer you slightly lower terms. But when you get rate quotes from multiple lenders, you can use the information to negotiate.

Credible makes comparing different lenders and refinance options easy. In just a few minutes, you can see personalized prequalified rates from all of our partner lenders. Checking rates with us is free and secure, and it won’t have any effect on your credit score.

Find out if refinancing is right for you

Actual rates from multiple lenders – In 3 minutes, get actual prequalified rates without impacting your credit score.Smart technology – We streamline the questions you need to answer and automate the document upload process.End-to-end experience – Complete the entire origination process from rate comparison up to closing, all on Credible.Find My Refi Rate
Checking rates will not affect your credit

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How to negotiate with lender

You can refinance a mortgage with the same lender, but it’s important to negotiate the details so you save money. Follow these steps to get the best deal:

Get rate quotes from multiple lenders. Compare the interest rate you’ll pay along with the closing costs and your monthly loan payment. Credible can help with this.Ask other lenders to offer a better rate. Take the best offer and ask the other lenders to offer a better interest rate or closing costs — or both. Your original lender might be more willing to compete for your business if it knows you’re shopping around.Consider paying discount points. A discount point is a fee you can pay in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you know you’ll be in the home long enough to recoup this cost, it could be worthwhile.Get everything in writing. If a lender offers a better deal, ask it to send it to you in writing.

Keep Reading: What to Expect When You Close on a House

The post Should You Refinance With the Same Lender? appeared first on Credible.

Home Equity Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards

Using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt can be a smart move, but it’s not without risk. Since credit card debt usually has a much higher interest rate than mortgage debt, you could save money and get out of debt faster with this strategy.

The big risk is that if you can’t repay the home equity loan, you could lose your home. Not repaying your credit card debt can also have serious consequences, but you’re less likely to lose your home.

Here’s what you need to know about paying off your credit card debt with a home equity loan:

How to use a home equity loan to pay off credit card debtHome equity loan limitsBenefits of using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debtDrawbacks to using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debtHow to pay off credit card debt without a home equity loan>How to pay off credit card debt without a loanIs a home equity loan to pay off credit cards right for you?

How to use a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt

To pay off credit card debt with a home equity loan, you’ll first need to qualify for a home equity loan. Home equity is the part of your home’s value that you don’t owe to the bank. For example, if your home is worth $350,000 and you owe $250,000 on your first mortgage, your equity is $100,000, or about 28.5%.

A home equity loan, also called a second mortgage, will let you access a portion of that $100,000 as a lump sum. You can use the money however you want and take up to 30 years to repay it.

The long repayment period and fixed, lower interest rate can immediately reduce your financial stress. And if you avoid taking on new credit card debt, your home equity loan can help you make steady progress toward getting out of debt for good.

Home equity loan limits

On average, the most you can usually borrow between your first and second mortgages is 80% of your home’s value. This percentage is called your combined loan to value ratio, or CLTV.

Some lenders have stricter loan requirements and limit borrowing to 70% of your CLTV, while others have looser requirements and may let you borrow up to 90%. Your financial profile will also affect how much you can borrow.

Here’s how to calculate your home equity:

Home value - Mortgage principal balance = Home equity

So, let’s assume again that your home value is $350,000, your mortgage principal balance is $250,000, and your home equity is $100,000. With a $250,000 mortgage balance, you’re already borrowing against 71.5% of your home’s value. The strictest lenders that limit CLTV to 70% wouldn’t approve your home equity loan application.

Others might let you take out a home equity loan (or a home equity line of credit) for anywhere from $30,000 (80% CLTV) to $65,000 (90% CLTV).

Tip: Lenders want you to keep some equity because when your own money is at stake, you’ll do more to avoid foreclosure. It assures them that you’re committed to keeping your home and they won’t lose money on your loan.

Along with having enough equity, you’ll also need to meet these qualifications:

A credit score of at least 620Verifiable incomeA debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less

Benefits of using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt

Using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt can have several benefits:

They offer lower interest rates than credit cards. The typical credit card interest rate for someone carrying a balance is approximately 17%, according to the Federal Reserve. But home equity loan interest rates can run as low as 3% for highly qualified borrowers.They have a long repayment period. A home equity loan’s term can be as long as 30 years.You’ll enjoy lower monthly payments. A lower interest rate plus more time to repay your loan can improve your cash flow.You can borrow more money. Depending on how much home equity you have, you may be able to borrow more with a home equity loan than with other options, like a personal loan.They have fixed rates. The unpredictability of a variable APR on a credit card can make it harder to pay off debt. A home equity loan will lock in your interest rate for the entire repayment period.

You can also pay off other debts with a home equity loan.

Drawbacks to using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt

Using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt can also have drawbacks:

It won’t save you from bad habits. If you haven’t learned new money management skills to replace the habits that got you into debt, using a home equity loan to pay it off will only be a temporary fix. (Of course, bad habits aren’t the only reason people get into credit card debt: illness, unemployment, and emergencies can also be the cause.)Your home will serve as collateral. A home equity loan is secured by your house, so if you default on the loan, there’s a chance it can be foreclosed on. Credit cards don’t have collateral. That said, if you default on your credit card bills, a debt collector could obtain a judgment against you and force the sale of your home, depending on your state’s laws and how much equity you have.It might be harder to sell. The more you owe on your home, the greater your risk of owing more than your home is worth if the market declines. This situation is called being underwater. If you’re underwater and want to sell your home, you’ll have to tap into your savings to pay off your mortgage.You might pay more interest in the long run. Despite getting a substantially lower interest rate on a home equity loan, if you take a lot longer to pay it off than you would have taken to pay off your credit card, you might not achieve the savings you expected.You might pay closing costs. Any closing costs you have to pay will reduce your savings from refinancing your credit card debt. Some lenders don’t charge closing costs on home equity loans, but they might bundle these costs into a higher interest rate.

Learn More: Refinancing a Home Equity Loan: What You Need to Know

How to pay off credit card debt without a home equity loan

Before you take out a home equity loan to pay off your credit card debt, research these alternatives so you can choose the best option for your situation:

Personal loan: A personal loan allows you to borrow money based on your income and credit score. A personal loan is usually unsecured debt, which doesn’t directly put your assets at risk.Debt consolidation loan: A debt consolidation loan is just a personal loan that’s marketed as a way to pay off multiple debts.Balance transfer credit card: Many credit cards offer a low introductory interest rate on balance transfers. If you have excellent credit, the rate can be as low as 0%. However, you’ll also pay a balance transfer fee of the amount transferred, usually 3%. If you miss any payments or don’t pay off your balance before the introductory rate expires, this strategy can become costly.Cash-out refinance: A cash-out refinance replaces your first mortgage with a new, larger mortgage and deposits the difference in your bank account. This loan may be a good choice if interest rates have dropped since you took out your mortgage. However, you’ll have to balance the potential savings against the closing costs of a cash-out refinance and the risk of using your home as collateral. 401(k) loan: If your plan allows it, you may be able to borrow against your 401(k) to pay off credit card debt. You’ll repay the loan to your own account with interest. But you might have to pay early withdrawal penalties if you don’t repay the loan, and you risk falling behind on saving for retirement. Credit counselor: A credit counselor can offer personalized guidance and accountability to help you pay off your balances. Just be sure they are reputable — there are plenty of debt relief and credit repair scams that consumers regularly fall prey to.

Credible makes refinancing easy. You can see personalized, prequalified rates from our partner lenders in just a few minutes. We also provide transparency into lender fees that other comparison sites typically don’t.

Get the cash you need and the rate you deserve

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How to pay off credit card debt without a loan

You also have options for paying off your credit card debt without taking out a loan of any kind:

Trim unnecessary spending. If paying off credit card debt is a priority, you’ll have to deprioritize something else. Cut any unnecessary expenses from your budget, like streaming subscriptions or cable. Rent out part of your home. A drastic move that slashes a large expense — like renting out your basement or another room in your home — might also be an option if you’ve already slashed your discretionary spending.Seek a raise. The best raises often come from changing employers and negotiating a better salary and benefits package. If you’re up for it, this path could get you out of debt faster or with fewer spending cuts.Create a spending plan. Before you get your next paycheck, allocate every dollar to a specific purpose. Try a debt repayment strategy. If you have more than one credit card to pay off, strategies such as the snowball method or avalanche method could help you build momentum toward getting out of debt.Pay more than the minimum. Maybe you can only pay $5 over the minimum, or maybe you can pay double. Just keep moving forward and don’t add new charges to your card.Automate your payments. If your cash flow is consistent, automated payments can help you avoid late fees and penalty rates. If you don’t have automatic payments turned on or prefer not to have them, set up multiple calendar reminders.

Check Out: Should You Refinance Your Mortgage to Pay Off Debt?

Is a home equity loan to pay off credit cards right for you?

If you’re not confident you’ll be able to repay your home equity loan, or if you think you might sell your home soon, you could end up worse off by tying more debt to your home. It may be worth giving the no-loan strategies above a chance before going the home equity loan route.

If the circumstances that created your credit card debt are behind you and your income will easily support your home equity loan payments, getting the loan could save you money and strengthen your finances — and provide you with peace of mind.

Keep Reading: Home Equity Loan vs. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

The post Home Equity Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards appeared first on Credible.

Are Christmas Loans Worth It? Pros and Cons of Taking Out a Loan this Holiday Season

Paying for Christmas gifts and other holiday-related costs such as food or travel can be expensive, especially if you have lost your job or are working fewer hours. In fact, 11.5% of Americans say they won’t be spending any money on holiday expenses in 2021, according to a survey by Deloitte.

If you need help covering holiday expenses, taking out a Christmas loan might be a good option.

Here’s what you should know about Christmas loans:

What is a Christmas loan?How to qualify for a holiday loanPros of getting a Christmas loanCons of getting a Christmas loanWatch out for predatory loansTips for a debt-free holiday season

What is a Christmas loan?

You might see some lenders advertise special “Christmas loans” — but these are usually just personal loans that can be used for holiday expenses. Here are several important points to keep in mind if you’re considering a personal loan for Christmas:

Interest rates: The rate you get on a personal loan will depend on the lender as well as other factors, such as your credit score and the repayment term you choose. Average personal loan interest rates generally range from 4.99% to 36%. Repayment terms: You’ll typically have one to seven years to repay a personal loan, depending on the lender. While longer terms can provide lower monthly payments, it’s usually a good idea to choose the shortest term you can afford to keep your interest costs as low as possible. Many lenders also offer lower rates to borrowers who opt for shorter terms.Fees: Some lenders charge fees on personal loans, such as origination or late fees. These can increase your overall loan cost. Keep in mind that if you take out a loan with one of Credible’s partner lenders, you won’t have to worry about prepayment penalties.Time to fund: If you’re approved for a personal loan, you can generally expect to get your fund in about one week, depending on the lender. There are also some lenders that will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval — which could be helpful if you need the money quickly for Christmas.

If you decide to take out a Christmas loan, it’s important to shop around and consider as many lenders as possible. This way, you can find the right loan for your needs.

Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in just two minutes.

LenderFixed ratesLoan amountsMin. credit scoreLoan terms (years)

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
9.95% – 35.99% APR$2,000 to $35,0005502, 3, 4, 5*Fixed APR:
9.95% – 35.99% APRVariable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
550Loan amount:
$2,000 to $35,000**Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5*Time to fund:
As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)Fees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except CO, IA, HI, VT, NV NY, WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
AvantLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposesMin. Income:
$1,200 monthly

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
6.79% – 17.99% APR$10,000 to $50,0007003, 4, 5, 6Fixed APR:
6.79% – 17.99% APRVariable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
700Loan amount:
$10,000 to $50,000Loan terms (years):
3 to 6Time to fund:
Next business dayFees:
No prepayment penaltyDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, self-employment, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
4.99% – 35.99% APR$5,000 to $35,0006002, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
4.99% – 35.99% APRVariable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
600Loan amount:
$2,000 to $50,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
As soon as 1 – 3 business days after successful verificationFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all states except DC, IA, VT, and WVCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
Best Egg and Blue Ridge BankMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
5.99% – 24.99% APR$2,500 to $35,0006603, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
5.99% – 24.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$2,500 to $35,000Loan terms (years):
3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund:
As soon as the next business day after acceptanceFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
 Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan Uses:
Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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7.99% – 29.99% APR$10,000 to $50,000Not disclosed by lender2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
7.99% – 29.99% APRMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$10,000 to $50,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
As soon as 2 business daysFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoEligibility:
Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, KS, NH, NY, ND, OR, VT, WV, WI, and WYCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, travel, medical expenses, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
7.04% – 35.89% APR$1,000 to $40,0006003, 5Fixed APR:
7.04% – 35.89% APRMin. credit score:
600Loan amount:
$1,000 to $40,000Loan terms (years):
3, 5Time to fund:
Usually takes about 2 daysFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
LendingClub BankMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
9.99% – 35.99% APR$2,000 to $36,5005802, 3, 4Fixed APR:
9.99% – 35.99% APRMin. credit score:
580Loan amount:
$2,000 to $36,500Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4Time to fund:
As soon as the next business dayFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except NV and WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
$20,000Loan Uses:
Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.49% – 19.99% APR$5,000 to $100,0006602, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
(up to 12 years for home improvement loans)Fixed APR:
2.49% – 19.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*Time to fund:
As soon as the same business dayFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except RI and VTCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
NoLoan servicer:
LightStreamMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
6.99% – 19.99% APR1$3,500 to $40,0002660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)3, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
6.99% – 19.99% APR1Min. credit score:
660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)Loan amount:
$3,500 to $40,0002Loan terms (years):
3, 4, 5, 6Time to fund:
Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as three daysFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
Goldman SachsMin. Income:
$30,000Loan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchase, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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18.0% – 35.99% APR$1,500 to $20,000None2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
18.0% – 35.99% APRMin. credit score:
NoneLoan amount:
$1,500 to $20,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch officeFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must have photo I.D. issued by U.S. federal, state or local governmentCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not disclose

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
5.99% – 17.99% APR$600 to $50,000
(depending on loan term)6601, 2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
5.99% – 17.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$600 to $50,000*Loan terms (years):
1, 2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
2 to 4 business days after verificationFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Does not discloseCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
NoMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
6.95% – 35.99% APR$2,000 to $40,0006403, 5Fixed APR:
6.95% – 35.99% APRMin. credit score:
640Loan amount:
$2,000 to $40,000Loan terms (years):
3, 5Time to fund:
As soon as one business dayFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all states except IA, ND, WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
4.74% – 19.28% APR10$5,000 to $100,000Does not disclose2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
4.74% – 19.28% APR10Min. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund:
3 business daysFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except MSCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Solely for personal, family, or household uses

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
8.93% – 35.93% APR7$1,000 to $50,0005603 to 5 years 8Fixed APR:
8.93% – 35.93% APR7Min. credit score:
560Loan amount:
$1,000 to $50,000Loan terms:
3 to 5 years 8Time to fund:
Within one day, once approved9Loan types:
Debt consolidation, pay off credit cards, home improvements, unexpected expenses, home and auto repairs, weddings, and other major purchasesFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
A U.S. citizen or permanent resident; not available in DC, SC, WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
5.94% – 35.97% APR$1,000 to $50,0005602, 3, 5, 6Fixed APR:
5.94% – 35.97% APRMin. credit score:
560Loan amount:
$1,000 to $50,000*Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 5, 6Time to fund:
Within a day of clearing necessary verificationsFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except West VirginiaCustomer service:
EmailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
4.37% – 35.99% APR4$1,000 to $50,00055803 to 5 years4Fixed APR:
4.37% – 35.99% APR4Min. credit score:
580Loan amount:
$1,000 to $50,0005Loan terms (years):
3 to 5 years4Time to fund:
As fast as 1 business day6Fees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
$12,000Loan Uses:
Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposesCompare rates from these lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!

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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | 10SoFi Disclosures | Read more about Rates and Terms

Christmas loans for bad credit

You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan — a good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. There are also several lenders that offer personal loans for bad credit, but these loans usually come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans.

If you’re struggling to get approved for a Christmas loan, here are a couple of options to consider:

Take out a secured personal loan. While most personal loans are unsecured, some lenders offer secured personal loans that require collateral. Because these loans are less risky for the lender, you might have an easier time qualifying if you have poor or fair credit.Apply with a cosigner. You might also consider applying with a creditworthy cosigner, which could improve your approval odds. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own. Tip: It could also be a good idea to work on building your credit so you’ll have an easier time qualifying for loans in the future. There are several potential ways to do this, such as making on-time payments on all of your bills and paying down credit card balances.

Learn More: Getting a Loan with No Credit: 5 Loans for New Borrowers

How to qualify for a holiday loan

While eligibility criteria for a personal loan can vary by lender, there are a few common requirements you’ll likely come across, including:

Good credit: You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan. If you have poor or fair credit, having a creditworthy cosigner could improve your chances of approval.Verifiable income: Some personal loan lenders have a minimum income requirement while others don’t — but in either case, you’ll likely need to provide proof of income to show that you can repay the loan.Low debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the amount you owe in monthly debt payments compared to your income. To get approved for a personal loan, your DTI ratio shouldn’t be higher than 40% — though some lenders might require a lower ratio than this.

Check Out: Credit Card Consolidation Loans

Pros of getting a Christmas loan

Christmas loans offer a few potential benefits, including:

Lower interest rates: Personal loan interest rates tend to be lower than credit card rates.Fixed payments: Personal loans typically come with fixed interest rates, which means your payments will stay the same throughout the life of your loan.Fast funding: The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though with some lenders, you might get your money as soon as the same or next business day after approval.

Cons of getting a Christmas loan

There are also some possible downsides of Christmas loans to keep in mind, such as:

Fewer options for bad credit: If you have poor or fair credit, it could be harder to get approved for a personal loan.Increased debt: Getting a personal loan means you’ll have another payment to manage on top of any other debts you might already have. If you’re already stretched financially thin, taking on another loan might not be a good idea.No rewards or perks: Unlike many credit cards, personal loans don’t offer any rewards or perks.

If you decide to get a personal loan, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for your situation. This is easy with Credible: You can compare your prequalified rates in two minutes — without affecting your credit.

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Credible makes it easy to find the right loan for you.

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Watch out for predatory loans

If you need a small, short-term personal loan for Christmas, it’s critical to make sure you’re working with a vetted lender that provides reasonable rates and terms. This is especially true if you have poor or fair credit since predatory lenders and scammers often target borrowers with bad credit who are desperate for a loan.

Here are a few types of loans to watch out for:

Payday loans: While these short-term loans generally don’t require a credit check, they can come with astronomical rates and fees — sometimes as high as 300% to 500% APR. If you can’t quickly repay a payday loan, you could get stuck in a revolving debt cycle that could be hard to escape.Pawn shop loansThese loans are offered by pawn shops and require you to provide an item of value as collateral. If you don’t pay off the loan, the pawn shop can sell your item. Like payday loans, pawn shop loans can also come with extremely high rates and fees. Car title loans With this type of loan, you’ll give the lender the title of your car (or motorcycle). You’ll typically have to repay a car title loan within a short amount of time — usually 30 days or less. If you fall behind on your payments, the lender could seize your vehicle.

If you’re looking for a personal loan, here are a few personal loan scam warning signs to watch out for:

Using high-pressure sales tacticsNot requiring a credit check Approaching you about the loan out of the blueNot having a physical address

Go with your gut — if something feels off about a lender, it probably is. Also keep in mind that if you compare your options with Credible, you’ll be working with vetted, trustworthy lenders.

Learn More: How to Check If a Personal Loan Company Is Legitimate

Tips for a debt-free holiday season

While taking out a Christmas loan could help you cover last-minute holiday expenses, here are also a few other strategies that could help you avoid holiday stress:

Set a budget. Creating a budget based on your income is a great way to determine what you can actually afford to spend for Christmas.Look for deals. Scour the internet and your local shops for deals on what you’re looking for to lower your overall costs. For example, consider taking advantage of savings offered on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other shopping holidays.Stick to the basics. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy what you want (or what someone else wants). But try to be firm whenever you can or compromise when necessary. For example, you might buy a couple of small, practical gifts for those on your list instead of a big expensive gift for each person.

If getting a Christmas loan seems like the right fit for you, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find the best loan for your needs. Additionally, be sure to think about the overall cost of the loan before you borrow — this way, you can be prepared for any added expenses.

You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.

Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay

Loan amountEnter the total amount borrowedInterest rateEnter your annual interest rateorLoan termEnter the amount of time you have to repay your loanyears
Total Payment>
Total Interest>
Monthly Payment>
With a>
loan, you will pay>
monthly and a total of>
in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of>
over the life of the
loan.

The post Are Christmas Loans Worth It? Pros and Cons of Taking Out a Loan this Holiday Season appeared first on Credible.

How to Lower Credit Card Interest Rates: 4 Options

A high-interest credit card can be a major burden on your finances. The average credit card interest rate was 14.75% as of February 2021, according to the Federal Reserve — which could translate into steep interest charges if you only pay the minimum payment each month.

However, there are ways to potentially lower your credit card interest rate, which could help you save money while paying off your balance.

Here’s how to lower credit card your interest rate:

Check your credit scoreCall your card issuer and askApply for a balance transfer cardTake out a personal loan

1. Check your credit score

Your credit score helps determine what kind of interest rates you qualify for. In general, the better your credit score, the lower your rate.

If you’d like to get a lower interest rate, you’ll likely need good to excellent credit — a good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. This is why it’s a good idea to check your credit before making the request so you know where you stand.

Tip: You can use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureaus to potentially boost your credit score.

Learn More: How Personal Loans Impact Your Credit Score

2. Call your card issuer and ask

One way to possibly get a lower credit card rate is to simply ask your credit card issuer for a reduction. Generally, credit card issuers are friendlier to these types of requests if you have good credit and are a good customer who pays your bills on time.

When you make the call, a few points to mention include:

How long you’ve been with the companyYour history of on-time paymentsWhether your credit score has gone upWhether you’ve received better offers from other credit card companiesTip: When you’re speaking to your customer service representative, respectfully explain the reason for your call (being nice and pleasant goes a long way!). Ask about lowering your interest rate and what steps you need to take in order to get that taken care of.

Also keep in mind that your request might not be approved. If this happens, don’t be discouraged — ask what you need to do to lower your interest rate and when you can request a reduced rate again in the future.

Check Out: How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

3. Apply for a balance transfer card

A balance transfer card could be a good option if your current credit card company doesn’t approve you for a lower interest rate on your card. With a balance transfer card, you can move your balance from one card to another one with a lower rate.

Tip: Some balance transfer cards come with 0% APR introductory offers. This means you could avoid paying interest if you can repay your balance before this period ends. However, keep in mind that if you can’t pay off the card in time, you could get stuck with hefty interest charges.

Learn More: Personal Loan vs. Credit Card

4. Take out a personal loan

Another option is taking out a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt — a process known as debt consolidation. Personal loans often have lower credit card interest rates than credit cards, which means you could save money on interest charges while repaying your debt.

Tip: You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to get approved for a personal loan as well as to qualify for a low interest rate. While some lenders offer debt consolidation loans for bad credit, these personal loans often come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans.

If you’re struggling to get approved, consider applying with a cosigner. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.

If you decide to take out a personal loan, it’s important to think about how much that loan will cost you. This way, you can be prepared for any added expenses. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.

Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay

Loan amountEnter the total amount borrowedInterest rateEnter your annual interest rateorLoan termEnter the amount of time you have to repay your loanyears
Total Payment>
Total Interest>
Monthly Payment>
With a>
loan, you will pay>
monthly and a total of>
in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of>
over the life of the
loan.

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Balance transfer card vs. personal loan

Balance transfer cards and personal loans are both options to consolidate credit card debt and hopefully save money on interest along the way. If you’re considering a balance transfer credit card vs. personal loan, here are a few pros and cons of each to keep in mind:

Pros of balance transfer credit cards

0% APR: Some balance transfer credit cards come with a 0% APR introductory offer, which means you can avoid paying interest if you pay off your balance before this period ends.Could help build your credit: If you make all of your payments on time, you might see your credit improve — which could help you qualify for better rates in the future.Rewards or perks: Depending on the card you choose, you might have access to various rewards or perks, such as cash back or points.

Check Out: How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast

Cons of balance transfer credit cards

Balance transfer fees: Most cards charge a balance transfer fee — generally from 3% to 5% — that could increase your balance.Higher interest rates: Credit cards generally have higher interest rates than personal loans. While you might be able to take advantage of a 0% APR introductory offer — depending on the card — carrying a balance beyond this period could lead to steep interest charges if you don’t pay off the card by your due date each month.Might be tempting to rack up a balance: A balance transfer card is still a credit card. Even if you pay your initial balance off, it could be tempting to rack up a balance again.

Learn More: How Debt Consolidation Loans Can Help Your Credit Score

Pros of personal loans

Lower interest rates: Personal loan rates are usually lower compared to credit cards. This could save you money on interest charges and even help you pay off your loan faster.Fixed monthly payments: Personal loans generally have fixed interest rates, which means your monthly payments will stay the same throughout the life of the loan.Options for poor or fair credit: While many personal loan lenders require good to excellent credit, there are others that offer personal loans for bad credit.

Check Out: Small Personal Loans: Compare Top Lenders Today

Cons of personal loans

Might come with fees: Some lenders charge fees on personal loans, such as origination or late fees. This can add to your overall loan cost.Can have larger payments: Depending on your repayment terms, you might end up with higher monthly payments on a personal loan compared to a credit card. Before you sign for a loan, be sure your new payments will fit comfortably in your budget.No rewards: Unlike credit cards, personal loans don’t come with any rewards.

Learn More: How to Check If a Personal Loan Company Is Legitimate

How to take out a personal loan

If you decide to take out a personal loan to help reduce how much you pay in credit card interest, follow these four steps:

Check your credit. Like with credit cards, personal loan lenders will review your credit to determine your creditworthiness as well as what rates you qualify for. To see what shape your credit is in before you apply, use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureaus to potentially boost your credit score.Compare lenders and pick a loan option. Be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender. After researching lenders, choose the loan option that works best for you.Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a personal loan lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.Get your funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so the money can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval. There are also lenders that will pay your creditors directly if you’d prefer.

Before you take out a personal loan, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes

LenderFixed ratesLoan amountsMin. credit scoreLoan terms (years)

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
9.95% – 35.99% APR$2,000 to $35,0005502, 3, 4, 5*Fixed APR:
9.95% – 35.99% APRVariable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
550Loan amount:
$2,000 to $35,000**Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5*Time to fund:
As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)Fees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except CO, IA, HI, VT, NV NY, WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
AvantLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposesMin. Income:
$1,200 monthly

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
6.79% – 17.99% APR$5,000 to $35,0007401, 2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
6.79% – 17.99% APRVariable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
740Loan amount:
$5,000 to $35,000Loan terms (years):
1, 2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
Next business dayFees:
No prepayment penaltyDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, self-employment, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
4.99% – 35.99% APR$5,000 to $35,0006002, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
4.99% – 35.99% APRVariable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
600Loan amount:
$2,000 to $50,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
As soon as 1 – 3 business days after successful verificationFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all states except DC, IA, VT, and WVCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
Best Egg and Blue Ridge BankMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
6.99% – 24.99% APR$2,500 to $35,0006603, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
6.99% – 24.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$2,500 to $35,000Loan terms (years):
3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund:
As soon as the next business day after acceptanceFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
 Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan Uses:
Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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7.99% – 29.99% APR$10,000 to $50,000Not disclosed by lender2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
7.99% – 29.99% APRMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$10,000 to $50,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
As soon as 2 business daysFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoEligibility:
Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, KS, NH, NY, ND, OR, VT, WV, WI, and WYCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, travel, medical expenses, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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7.04% – 35.89% APR$1,000 to $40,0006003, 5Fixed APR:
7.04% – 35.89% APRMin. credit score:
600Loan amount:
$1,000 to $40,000Loan terms (years):
3, 5Time to fund:
Usually takes about 2 daysFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
LendingClub BankMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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15.49% – 35.99% APR$2,000 to $36,5005802, 3, 4Fixed APR:
15.49% – 35.99% APRMin. credit score:
580Loan amount:
$2,000 to $36,500Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4Time to fund:
As soon as the next business dayFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except NV and WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
$20,000Loan Uses:
Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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2.49% – 19.99% APR$5,000 to $100,0006602, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
(up to 12 years for home improvement loans)Fixed APR:
2.49% – 19.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*Time to fund:
As soon as the same business dayFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except RI and VTCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
NoLoan servicer:
LightStreamMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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6.99% – 19.99% APR1$3,500 to $40,0002660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)3, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
6.99% – 19.99% APR1Min. credit score:
660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)Loan amount:
$3,500 to $40,0002Loan terms (years):
3, 4, 5, 6Time to fund:
Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as three daysFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
Goldman SachsMin. Income:
$30,000Loan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchase, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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18.0% – 35.99% APR$1,500 to $20,000None2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
18.0% – 35.99% APRMin. credit score:
NoneLoan amount:
$1,500 to $20,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch officeFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must have photo I.D. issued by U.S. federal, state or local governmentCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not disclose

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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5.99% – 17.99% APR$600 to $50,000
(depending on loan term)6701, 2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
5.99% – 17.99% APRMin. credit score:
670Loan amount:
$600 to $50,000*Loan terms (years):
1, 2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
2 to 4 business days after verificationFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Does not discloseCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
NoMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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6.95% – 35.99% APR$2,000 to $40,0006403, 5Fixed APR:
6.95% – 35.99% APRMin. credit score:
640Loan amount:
$2,000 to $40,000Loan terms (years):
3, 5Time to fund:
As soon as one business dayFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all states except IA, ND, WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
NoneLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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5.99% – 18.83% APR$5,000 to $100,000Does not disclose2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
5.99% – 18.83% APRMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund:
3 business daysFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except MSCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Solely for personal, family, or household uses

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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8.93% – 35.93% APR7$1,000 to $50,0005603 to 5 years 8Fixed APR:
8.93% – 35.93% APR7Min. credit score:
560Loan amount:
$1,000 to $50,000Loan terms:
3 to 5 years 8Time to fund:
Within one day, once approved9Loan types:
Debt consolidation, pay off credit cards, home improvements, unexpected expenses, home and auto repairs, weddings, and other major purchasesFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
A U.S. citizen or permanent resident; not available in DC, SC, WVCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
5.94% – 35.97% APR$1,000 to $50,0005602, 3, 5, 6Fixed APR:
5.94% – 35.97% APRMin. credit score:
560Loan amount:
$1,000 to $50,000*Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 5, 6Time to fund:
Within a day of clearing necessary verificationsFees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except West VirginiaCustomer service:
EmailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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6.46% – 35.99% APR4$1,000 to $50,00055803 to 5 years4Fixed APR:
6.46% – 35.99% APR4Min. credit score:
580Loan amount:
$1,000 to $50,0005Loan terms (years):
3 to 5 years4Time to fund:
As fast as 1 business day6Fees:
Origination feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
$12,000Loan Uses:
Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposesCompare rates from these lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!

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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | Read more about Rates and Terms

Should you close your credit card?

After you’ve paid off a credit card, you might consider closing it. However, keep in mind that if you close a credit card account, you might see your credit score drop. This is because a closed account could:

Raise your credit utilization ratio, as you might have less available credit compared to how much you oweLower the average age of your credit accounts, especially if you’ve had the account for an extended period of time

However, if you continue making payments on time on your other credit accounts, your score will likely bounce back within a few months.

Tip: Ultimately, whether to close an account depends on your individual circumstances. For example, if you feel that keeping a credit card account open could lead you into more debt, then it might be better to close the account and deal with the potential credit score changes.

Keep Reading: Pay Off Credit Card Debt ASAP With a Personal Loan
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.

The post How to Lower Credit Card Interest Rates: 4 Options appeared first on Credible.

4 Ways to Determine House Value

Whether you’re thinking of buying, selling, or refinancing — or you’re just curious — you might want to know how to determine a house’s value. Fortunately, there are several ways to find out how much a house is worth, and you might get different results from each one.

Here are some options for finding the value of a home:

Online home value calculatorsComparative market analysis from a real estate agentFHFA House Price Index CalculatorProfessional appraisal

How to find the value of your home

To determine your home’s value, try one or more of these methods.

1. Online home value calculators

Online home value calculators use automated valuation models, or AVMs, to estimate how much your home is worth. These estimates are based on a wide range of property and local market data, including your home’s square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, recent comparable sales, local market trends, and more.

Online valuation tools don’t account for unique features of your home that might increase or decrease its value, such as how old your roof is or when you last remodeled your kitchen. For that, you’ll need a professional appraisal.

Tip: You’ll also get different home values from different calculators because they use proprietary formulas.

Here are two home value calculators we like:

PennyMac Home Value EstimatorRedfin Home Value Estimator

If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ll want to secure a great mortgage rate for your home loan. Credible can help with this. We make comparing rates from multiple mortgage lenders easy. In just a few minutes, you can see prequalified rates and compare a wide range of loan options for free — our process is safe and secure, and checking rates with us won’t affect your credit score.

Credible makes getting a mortgage easy

Instant streamlined pre-approval: It only takes 3 minutes to see if you qualify for an instant streamlined pre-approval letter, without affecting your credit.We keep your data private: Compare rates from multiple lenders without your data being sold or getting spammed.A modern approach to mortgages: Complete your mortgage online with bank integrations and automatic updates. Talk to a loan officer only if you want to.Find Rates Now

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2. Comparative market analysis from a real estate agent

If you’re planning to hire a real estate agent to help you sell your home, you can ask them for a comparative market analysis, or CMA. They’ll look at similar, recently sold properties in your area and analyze how they compare to yours. After that, they’ll arrive at a fair market value and help you set a strategic listing price for your home.

A CMA requires a knowledgeable local agent who can assess how other homes’ characteristics contributed to their selling price, along with how your home compares and how to estimate its value accordingly.

Your agent will also need to understand nuances such as how much buyers in your area will devalue a property that backs up to a major road or how much value a screened-in patio adds.

See: How to Increase Your Home Value: Complete Guide

3. FHFA House Price Index Calculator

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) Calculator is an online tool that can tell you how the estimated value of a home in a given metropolitan statistical area (MSA) may have changed since you purchased it. Its calculations are based on the percentage change in home values in the MSA during that time span.

The FHFA’s HPI calculator is not likely to be useful to an individual who is buying or selling a home. That’s because the values it provides are based on averages, and it can’t tell you the actual value of a specific house. Homes within the same MSA can have wildly different values because an MSA encompasses such a large area. The HPI doesn’t account for neighborhood conditions or a specific home’s attributes.

This tool, and all the data behind the HPI, might help you out if you’re a researcher or an economist, or if you simply want a quick overview of how property values have trended in the area over the years. But if you’re looking for a more accurate valuation of your home, we’d recommend going with a professional appraisal.

4. Professional appraisal

Hiring a professional appraiser costs several hundred dollars but is often the best way to get the most accurate value for your home. That’s why mortgage lenders often require a home appraisal before they’ll approve your mortgage application.

Good to know: Lenders do sometimes rely on AVMs to save time and money or even waive the appraisal for a refinance or second mortgage.

Here are some of the factors appraisers take into account when establishing a value for your home:

LocationSquare footageInterior and exterior conditionNumber of bedrooms and bathroomsLot sizeAge of the homeHeating and coolingUpdates and renovations (such as a new garage door or hardwood floors)Neighborhood and surrounding propertiesHome designCurrent market conditions

What is home value?

There’s more than one way to determine a home’s value. Here are three valuation methods for residential real estate and the different purposes they serve.

Fair market value

Fair market value is how much someone is willing to pay for your home. It’s based on supply and demand and explains why old mansions in Midwestern cities with major population losses can cost less than starter homes in bustling West Coast cities.

Fair market value assumes that the seller isn’t giving the buyer any breaks on the price, and that the buyer has a solid understanding of the property’s characteristics.

ppraised value

Appraised value is how much your home is worth for lending purposes. It’s determined by a state-licensed appraiser.

The appraised value may be higher or lower than fair market value. If it’s lower, the seller will need to lower the price. Otherwise the borrower will need to increase their down payment to gain mortgage approval and close the deal.

Tip: Appraisers try to be objective, but can make mistakes or be biased. You can challenge a low home appraisal with solid data.

ssessed value

Assessed value is how much your home is worth for property tax purposes. To find the assessed value of your home, you can look at your property tax statement or contact your local property tax assessor.

Some jurisdictions even have websites where anyone can look up a property’s assessed value. Assessed value may be less than the property’s current fair market value. Common reasons for this include homeowners exemptions and statutory limits on annual property tax increases.

Keep Reading: Property Tax Assessment: What It Is and What It Means

The post 4 Ways to Determine House Value appeared first on Credible.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.coloradomicrofinance.org/?p=217

Student Loan Rehabilitation vs. Consolidation: Getting Out of Default

If you miss a payment on a federal student loan, your loan will be considered delinquent. After missing payments for a certain amount of time (270 days for most federal loans), your loan will enter default.

While getting back on track after ending up in default might feel impossible, the good news is that there are a few ways to recover — including rehabilitation and consolidation. Refinancing your loans could also be an option in some cases.

If you’re considering student loan rehabilitation vs. consolidation, here’s what you should know:

Rehabilitation vs. consolidation: What’s the difference?Student loan rehabilitationStudent loan consolidationStudent loan refinancing with a cosignerConsequences of ignoring student loan defaultRecovering from student loan default: How is my credit affected?

Rehabilitation vs. consolidation: What’s the difference?

Student loan rehabilitation and consolidation are the two of the most common ways to recover from federal student loan default. Which one is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances and financial goals.

Keep in mind: You also have the option to pay off your loans in full to get out of default. However, this is unrealistic for most borrowers struggling with defaulted loans.

Here’s how rehabilitation and consolidation work:

Rehabilitation: With this option, you’ll need to make on-time payments for nine to 10 consecutive months, depending on the type of loans you have. If you successfully complete the terms of your rehabilitation agreement, the default status will be removed from your loan as well as your credit report.Consolidation: You could also choose to consolidate your federal loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, which could extend your repayment term up to 30 years. Keep in mind that before you can consolidate, you’ll have to agree to either repay the loan under an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan or make three consecutive, on-time, full payments first. Also note, that while this will remove the default status from your loan, it will remain on your credit report.RehabilitationConsolidationHow it worksRemoves default status from existing loansCombines old loans into new Direct Consolidation LoanProcessDirect or FFEL Loans:
Must agree to make 9 voluntary, reasonable, and affordable payments over the span of 10 consecutive monthsPayments will typically be 15% of your annual discretionary income divided by 12 (lender might calculate lower payment if you can’t afford this)

Perkins Loans:
Must make full monthly payments within 20 days of your due date for 9 consecutive monthsMust agree to:
Repay consolidated loan on an IDR plan; ORMake 3 consecutive, on-time, full monthly payments before consolidatingHow long to complete9 to 10 months
(depending on loan type)30 to 45 days
(might take longer if you decide to make 3 payments before consolidating)Can use for multiple loans?No, must be done separately for each loanYes, can consolidate multiple loans at onceAllowed if wages are being garnished?Yes, but wages might continue to be garnished during the rehab processNo, you can’t consolidate unless the order is lifted or judgment is vacatedImpact on credit reportIf you successfully make the required payments:
Default status will be removed from loan and from credit reportLate payments could stay on your credit reports for up to 7 yearsAfter consolidation:
Default status will be removed from loan but not from credit reportLate payments could stay on your credit reports for up to 7 yearsCan do more than once?No, can only be done once for each loan No, can consolidate to get out of default only onceProsMight lower your paymentsWill restore eligibility for other federal benefits, such as access to IDR plans and student loan forgiveness programsHaving default removed from credit report could help your credit scoreFaster process than rehabilitationCan consolidate multiple loansCan extend your repayment term up to 30 years, which could lower your paymentsConsLonger process than consolidationIf you want to rehabilitate multiple loans, must enter separate agreements for each of themWon’t stop wages being garnishedDoesn’t remove default status from credit reportAny interest or collection costs from your old loans will be added to your new loan balanceCan’t consolidate if wages are being garnished

Student loan rehabilitation

Best for: Borrowers who want to start rebuilding their credit

To rehabilitate defaulted federal loans, you’ll have to make consecutive, on-time payments for nine to 10 months, depending on the kind of loans you have.

If you successfully complete rehabilitation, the default status will be removed from both your loans and your credit report — this could make rehabilitation a good choice if you want to begin rebuilding your credit.

Keep in mind, though, that any late payments could stay on your credit report for up to seven years.

Tip: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, payments and interest accrual on federal student loans have been paused by the CARES Act through Jan. 31, 2022.

If you decide to enter a rehabilitation agreement during this administrative forbearance period, your suspended monthly payments will qualify as on-time payments — meaning you could get credit for rehabilitation without actually paying anything.

However, if you haven’t made each of the required rehabilitation payments before the forbearance ends, you’ll still need to make the remaining payments.

Learn More: Federal Student Loans and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Pros of rehabilitation

Default status removed from credit report: After making each of the required payments, the default will be cleared from your loans and from your credit report.Might lower your payments: If you have Direct Loans or loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, your rehabilitation payments will generally be limited to 15% of your discretionary income. If you can’t afford this, your servicer might calculate a lower alternative after you provide documentation of your income and expenses. If you have Perkins Loans, your payments will stay the same.Restores eligibility for other federal benefits: Having defaulted loans makes you ineligible for federal protections, such as access to IDR plans and student loan forgiveness programs. But if you rehabilitate your loans, you’ll regain these benefits.

Cons of rehabilitation

Long process: You’ll have to make consecutive, on-time payments for nine or 10 months to complete rehabilitation — a much longer process compared to consolidation.Only applies to one loan: A rehabilitation agreement only applies to one loan. If you have multiple loans you want to rehabilitate, you’ll have to set up an agreement for each one.Won’t stop wage garnishment: If your wages are being garnished, agreeing to rehabilitation won’t necessarily stop these involuntary payments.

Check Out: How to Find Your Student Loan Balance

How to rehabilitate a defaulted student loan

If your federal loans are held by the Department of Education, follow these three steps to apply for rehabilitation:

Mail or fax a copy of your latest tax return or transcript. The Department of Education will use this information to calculate your monthly payment. Keep in mind that if you are married, live with your spouse, and file taxes separately, you’ll also need to submit your spouse’s tax returns. Additionally, if your tax returns don’t accurately represent your income, you can fill out the Loan Rehabilitation Income and Expense Form.Sign and return the agreement. You’ll be mailed a loan rehabilitation agreement to review within 10 business days of the Department of Education receiving your income information. This will include your payment amount, payment options, and agreement terms. You’ll need to sign and return this form to officially begin rehabilitation.Make the required payments. After the rehabilitation agreement is in place, you’ll need to make the agreed-upon monthly payments. For Direct or FFEL Loans, this means you’ll have to make nine consecutive, on-time payments. Perkins Loans, on the other hand, require 10 full payments. If you successfully make each of these payments, the default status will be removed from your loans and credit report.Tip: If your federal student loans aren’t owned by the Department of Education, you’ll need to reach out to your loan holder to see what steps are required to apply for rehabilitation.

Learn More: Federal Student Loan Repayment Calculator

Student loan consolidation

Best for: Borrowers who want to get out of default quickly

Another option for getting out of student loan default is consolidating your federal loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. A request to consolidate your loans could be processed within as little as 30 to 45 days, which makes it a faster option than rehabilitation.

Additionally, while consolidation won’t change your interest rate, you can extend your repayment term up to 30 years. This could greatly reduce your monthly payments — though keep in mind that it also means you’ll pay more in interest over time.

Check Out: How to Consolidate Your Student Loans

Pros of consolidation

Faster process: Consolidating your federal student loans could take as little as 30 to 45 days — a much shorter process compared to the nine to 10 months of payments required by rehabilitation.Can combine multiple loans: Federal consolidation lets you combine multiple federal loans — leaving you with just one loan and payment to manage.Could reduce your payments: Through consolidation, you can extend your repayment term up to 30 years. This could greatly reduce your monthly payments — though remember that it also means you’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan.

Cons of consolidation

Default won’t be removed from credit report: Unlike rehabilitation, consolidation won’t remove your default status from your credit report.Capitalization of interest and collection costs: After you consolidate your loans, any interest or collection costs from your old loans will capitalize — meaning they’ll be added to your new loan balance.Can’t consolidate if wages are being garnished: If you’re subject to wage garnishment, you won’t be able to consolidate until the wage garnishment order is lifted or judgment is vacated.

Learn More: Pros and Cons of Consolidating Student Loans

How to consolidate defaulted student loans

If you want to consolidate your federal loans, follow these three steps:

Contact your loan holder. Before you can consolidate defaulted federal loans, you must contact your loan holder and agree to either repay your consolidated loan under an IDR plan or make three consecutive, on-time, full monthly payments first. If you choose to make the three payments, the payment amount will be calculated by your loan holder based on what you can reasonably afford according to your total financial circumstances.Apply for consolidation. You can fill out an online application at StudentAid.gov or a paper application from your servicer. When completing the application, you’ll need to provide your personal information, list the loans you want to consolidate, and choose your repayment plan. Afterward, you’ll need to sign and submit the application.Manage your payments. A consolidation request generally takes 30 to 45 days to process. Once your loans have been consolidated, you can begin making your new monthly payments.Keep in mind: If you have a defaulted Direct Consolidation Loan that you want to reconsolidate, you must have at least one other eligible federal loan to include in the consolidation.

However, if you have a defaulted FFEL Consolidation Loan, you don’t need to include any additional loans in the new consolidation as long as you agree to repay the loan on an IDR plan.

Check Out: Private Student Loan Consolidation

Student loan refinancing with a cosigner

Best for: Borrowers who know someone with good credit who is willing to act as a cosigner

Refinancing your student loans could also help you get out of default. With this process, your federal loans will be paid off with a new private student loan. You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for refinancing, which could be difficult if your loans are in default.

To increase your chances of approval, consider applying with a creditworthy cosigner. A cosigner can be anyone with good credit — such as a parent, other relative, or trusted friend — who is willing to share responsibility for the loan. Having a cosigner might also get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.

Keep in mind: While you can refinance both federal and private loans, refinancing federal student loans will cost you access to federal benefits and protections — such as IDR plans and student loan forgiveness programs.

You’ll also no longer be eligible for the suspension of federal student loan payments and interest accrual under the CARES Act.

Learn More: Defaulted Student Loans: Can You Refinance?

Pros of refinancing

Might get a lower interest rate: Depending on your credit and if you apply with a cosigner, you might qualify for a lower interest rate. This could save you money on interest and even help you potentially pay off your loan faster.Could reduce your payments: If you choose to extend your repayment term, you could reduce your monthly payments. Just remember that this means you’ll pay more interest overall.Can combine multiple loans: Through private refinancing, you can consolidate multiple federal as well as private loans.

Cons of refinancing

Could be hard to qualify: Defaulting on student loans can severely damage your credit, which could make it difficult to qualify for refinancing.Loss of federal benefits: If you refinance your federal loans into a private loan, you’ll no longer have access to federal benefits and protections.Lack of repayment options: Private loans don’t offer federal student loan repayment options. For example, you generally won’t be able to sign up for an IDR plan after you refinance.

Check Out: Student Loan Consolidation vs. Student Loan Refinancing

How to refinance a defaulted student loan

If you decide to refinance a defaulted student loan, follow these steps:

Check your credit. When you apply for refinancing, the lender will review your credit to determine your creditworthiness — so it’s a good idea to check your credit beforehand so you know where you stand. You can use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureaus to potentially boost your credit score.Compare lenders and pick a loan option. Be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your situation. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms, any fees charged by the lender, and eligibility requirements. After comparing lenders, choose the loan option that works best for your needs.Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs. Also be prepared to provide information regarding each of the loans you want to refinance.Manage your payments. If you’re approved, continue making payments on your old loans while the refinance is processed. Afterward, you might consider signing up for autopay so you won’t miss any payments in the future — several lenders offer a rate discount to borrowers who opt for automatic payments.

Before your refinance, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.

LenderFixed rates from (APR)Variable rates from (APR)Loan terms (years)Loan amountsMin. credit score

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Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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4.54%+N/A10, 15, 20$7,500 up to $200,000
(larger balances require special approval)Does not discloseFixed APR:
4.54%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$7,500 up to $500,000Loan terms (years):
10, 15, 20Max. undergraduate loan balance:
$250,000 – $500,000Time to fund:
4 monthsRepayment options:
Immediate repayment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must be a resident of KentuckyCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
NoCosigner release:
After 36 monthsLoan servicer:
Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan CorporationMax. graduate loan balance:
$250,000 – $500,000Credible Review:
Advantage Education Loan reviewOffers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
Yes

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Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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2.15%+
1.87%+5, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 up to $250,000
(depending on degree)690Fixed APR:
2.15%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$10,000 to $400,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Military deferment, forbearanceFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must have a credit score of at least 720, a minimum income of $60,000, and must be a resident of TexasCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
Does not discloseCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
Firstmark ServicesMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$100,000 – $149,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$200,000 – $400,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Does not disclose

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Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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2.44%+1
2.24%+15, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 to $500,000
(depending on degree and loan type)Does not discloseFixed APR:
2.44%+1Variable APR:
2.24%+1Min. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$10,000 to $750,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Immediate repayment, academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
Autopay, loyaltyEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loansCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 24 to 36 monthsLoan servicer:
Firstmark ServicesMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$100,000 to $149,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
Less than $150,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

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Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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2.99%+2
2.94%+25, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20$5,000 to $300,000
(depending on degree type)Does not discloseFixed APR:
2.99%+2Variable APR:
2.94%+2Min. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$5,000 to $300,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Repayment options:
Military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
All states except for MECustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 24 to 36 monthsLoan servicer:
College Ave Servicing LLCMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$100,000 to $149,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
Less than $300,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

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Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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2.16%+
2.11%+5, 7, 10, 15, 20$5,000 to $500,000

680

Fixed rate:
2.44%+1Variable rate:
2.24%+1Min. credit score:
680Loan amount:
$5,000 to $500,000Cosigner release:
YesLoan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states, except MS and NVCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
FirstMarkMax. undergraduate loan balance:
$500,000Max. graduate loan balance:
$500,000Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
YesMin. income:
$65,000 (for 15- and 20-year products)

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Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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1.8%+5
1.8%+55, 10, 15, 20$1,000 to $250,000700Fixed APR:
1.8%+5Variable APR:
1.8%+5Min. credit score:
700Loan amount:
$7,500 to $200,000Loan terms (years):
5, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Immediate repayment, academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and submit two personal referencesCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 36 monthsLoan servicer:
Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R)Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$150,000 to $249,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$150,000 to $199,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


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2.47%+3
2.39%+35, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Minimum of $15,000680Fixed APR:
2.47%+3Variable APR:
2.39%+3Min. credit score:
680Loan amount:
No maximumLoan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Repayment options:
ForbearanceFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have at least $15,000 in student loan debt, and have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved schoolCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
MohelaMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
No maximumMax. Graduate Loan Balance:
No maximumOffers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
3.47%+4
2.44%+45, 10, 15, 20$5,000 to $250,000670Fixed APR:
3.47%+4Variable APR:
2.44%+4Min. credit score:
670Loan amount:
$5,000 to $250,000Loan terms (years):
5, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearanceFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Must be U.S. citizen or permanent residentCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
YesMax undergraduate loan balance:
$250,000Max graduate loan balance:
$250,000Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.24%+7N/A5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Up to $300,000670Fixed APR:
2.24%+7Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
670Loan amount:
Up to $300,000Loan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Time to fund:
Usually one business dayRepayment options:
Academic deferral, military deferral, forbearance, death/disability dischargeFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 24 monthsMax. undergraduate loan balance:
$300,000Max. graduate balance:
$300,000Offers Parent PLUS loans:
YesMin. income:
None

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
3.05%+
3.05%+7, 10, 15$10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debt670Fixed APR:
3.05%+Variable APR:
3.05%+Min. credit score:
670Loan amount:
$10,000 up to the total amountLoan terms (years):
7, 10, 15Repayment options:
Military deferment, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loansCustomer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
AESMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
No maximumMax. Gradaute Loan Balance:
No maximumOffers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.89%+N/A5, 8, 12, 15$7,500 to $300,000670Fixed APR:
2.89%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
670Loan amount:
$7,500 to $300,000Loan terms (years):
5, 8, 12, 15Repayment options:
Does not discloseFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Must be a U.S. citizen and have and at least $7,500 in student loansCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
After 12 monthsLoan servicer:
PenFedMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$300,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$300,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
3.29%+N/A5, 10, 15$7,500 up to $250,000
(depending on highest degree earned)680Fixed APR:
3.29%+Variable APR:
N/AMin. credit score:
680Loan amount:
$7,500 to $250,000Loan terms (years):
5, 10, 15Repayment options:
Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disabilityFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all 50 states; must also have at least $7,500 in student loans and a minimum income of $40,000Customer service:
Email, phoneSoft credit check:
Does not discloseCosigner release:
NoLoan servicer:
Rhode Island Student Loan AuthorityMax. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
$150,000 – $249,000Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
$200,000 – $249,000Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
Yes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.49%+6
2.25%+65, 7, 10, 15, 20$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loansDoes not discloseFixed APR:
2.49%+6Variable APR:
2.25%+6Min. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$5,000 up to the full balanceLoan terms (years):
5, 7, 10, 15, 20Repayment options:
Academic deferment, military defermentFees:
NoneDiscounts:
Autopay, loyaltyEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
Email, phone, chatSoft credit check:
YesCosigner release:
NoMax undergraduate loan balance:
No maximumMax graduate loan balance:
No maximumOffers Parent PLUS refinancing:
YesAll APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 5EDvestinU Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 7ISL Education Lending Disclosures | 6SoFi Disclosures

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Consequences of ignoring student loan default

If you’ve defaulted on federal student loans, it’s important to address the default instead of ignoring it. This way, you have a better chance of avoiding or resolving some of the potential consequences of default, which include:

Damaged credit: Missing payments and defaulting on a student loan can severely damage your credit. The longer you continue to miss payments on your loan, the more harm will come to your credit. Keep in mind that having bad credit could make it hard to access more credit in the future.Loan acceleration: If you default on a loan, your entire balance could become due.Loss of hardship benefits: Loans in default no longer have access to federal hardship benefits, such as deferment and forbearance. You also won’t be able to access more federal financial aid.Wage garnishment: In some cases, your wages could be garnished, or your tax returns could be withheld.Collection costs: Your defaulted loan might be sent to a collections agency that will try to obtain payments from you. If this happens, you’ll be held responsible for covering the collection costs incurred by your loan holder.

Learn More: 6 Ways Student Loans Can Impact Your Credit Score

Recovering from student loan default: How is my credit affected?

How your credit is affected will depend on the method you choose to get out of default. Here’s what you can generally expect:

Rehabilitation: If you successfully rehabilitate your loan, the default status will be removed from your loan and your credit report, which could have a positive impact on your credit. Any late payments you made on your loan will remain on your credit report for up to seven years — but the more time that passes, the less effect these will likely have on your credit.Consolidation: Unfortunately, consolidating your federal loans doesn’t remove the default from your credit report — like late payments, a default can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. But if you’re careful to make on-time payments on your consolidated loan, you might see an improvement in your credit score over time.Refinancing: When you apply for refinancing, the lender will perform a hard credit check to determine your creditworthiness. This could cause a slight drop in your credit score — though this is usually only temporary, and your score will likely bounce back within a few months. Additionally, refinancing might actually help your credit in the long run. For example, consistently making on-time payments on your refinanced loan could help you build a positive payment history and raise your credit score.

If you decide to refinance your student loans, remember to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs.

This is easy with Credible: You can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes — without affecting your credit.

Find out if refinancing is right for you

Compare actual rates, not ballpark estimates – Unlock rates from multiple lenders in about 2 minutesWon’t impact credit score – Checking rates on Credible won’t impact your credit scoreData privacy – We don’t sell your information, so you won’t get calls or emails from multiple lendersSee Your Refinancing Options
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The post Student Loan Rehabilitation vs. Consolidation: Getting Out of Default appeared first on Credible.

Contingent vs. Pending: What’s the Difference?

When you’re looking at real estate listings, you might come across homes described as “pending” or “contingent” instead of “for sale” or “active.” If you’re wondering whether you should consider these listings in your home search, you’ll need to understand the difference between the two terms.

Here’s what contingent and pending mean in real estate, and whether you can place an offer on homes with one of these statuses:

What is the difference between pending and contingent?What does contingent mean in real estate?What does pending mean in real estate?Common contingency clausesCommon pending clausesCan you put an offer on a house that is contingent?Can you put an offer on a house that is pending?

What is the difference between pending and contingent?

The difference between pending and contingent lies in how many things still need to happen before the home sale can close. Both terms mean that the seller has already accepted an offer, however the difference lies in how far along the home is in the sale process:

Pending: A pending home indicates that all contingencies have been met by the prospective buyer.Contingent: A home listed as contingent still has certain contingencies open.

The seller of a pending or contingent home may or may not be open to receiving additional offers. It depends on how likely they think the transaction is to close.

Important: Since a pending home is closer to closing, you’re more likely to have your offer accepted on a contingent home than a pending home. Technically, either type of listing represents a home that hasn’t actually been sold yet, so it’s worth inquiring to the seller’s agent if it’s your dream home and you’re serious about buying it.

What does contingent mean in real estate?

Contingent means that certain conditions — aka contingencies — need to be met before the deal can close. A homebuyer will often include contingencies in their offer to make sure they can get their earnest money back if the home does not appraise high enough, their mortgage isn’t approved, or another specified condition can’t be met.

A contingent listing is less likely to end up sold than a pending listing because of these conditions. If the purchase contract contingencies can’t be met, then the buyer or seller can terminate the contract without penalty.

What does pending mean in real estate?

Pending means the home has not sold yet, but the deal is likely to go through. Either the contract did not have any contingencies, or all the contingencies have been met and the sale is being processed.

Tip: Some multiple listing services use the term “under agreement” instead of pending. Homes listed as pending are so likely to close that the National Association of Realtors uses the number of pending home sales to gauge how well the housing market is performing.

Common contingency clauses

Here are five common contingency clauses homebuyers and sellers often include in purchase agreements.

ppraisal contingency

An appraisal contingency allows you to back out of the deal if your lender determines that the home’s value is less than the purchase price.

For a home purchase, a professional home appraiser typically evaluates the home inside and out to determine its fair market value.

Financial contingency

A financing contingency, also called a mortgage contingency, allows you to exit the contract if you can’t secure a mortgage.

Ideally, you’ll get pre-approved for a mortgage before making an offer on a home. However, even with pre-approval, the lender may uncover additional information during underwriting, your financial situation may change for the worse, or mortgage rates may go up and make it harder for you to qualify.

In situations like these, you may be unable to secure a mortgage and, therefore, unable to buy the home.

With Credible, you can find prequalified rates and generate a streamlined pre-approval letter in a matter of minutes. Our online tools allow you to easily compare loan options from all of our partner lenders to find a mortgage that’s right for you.

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Inspection contingency

An inspection contingency involves you — the buyer — hiring a professional home inspector to look for major problems that could affect the home’s value, safety, or livability.

If the home inspection reveals significant issues, you and the seller can negotiate a solution to keep the deal intact. For example, the seller might make the necessary repairs or lower the purchase price by the estimated cost of the repairs so you can have the work performed after closing.

Contingency with a kick-out clause

A kick-out clause in a home purchase contract means the seller and buyer have agreed that the seller will continue accepting backup offers because the buyer’s offer is contingent upon the sale of their property.

A kick-out clause goes hand-in-hand with a sale contingency, described below. The listing might have a “48-hour kick-out clause” or “72-hour kick-out clause,” indicating how long the buyer currently under contract has to waive their sale contingency and provide proof of financing before the seller can accept a backup offer.

Title contingency

A title search is an important part of any real estate transaction. You’ll pay a title company to make sure the seller is the only one with any legal claim on the home.

A title contingency allows you to walk away if the title search reveals title defects that cannot be resolved. For example, if the home has a contractor’s lien from work the seller hasn’t paid for, a title contingency would require the seller to pay off that lien if they want to sell the home to you.

Sale contingency

A sale contingency allows you to exit the contract if you cannot sell your current home. Let’s say you are moving from New Orleans to Nashville and you only want to move your belongings once. But to get the money to buy a new place in Tennessee, you’ll need to first sell your current place in Louisiana.

You’d want to put a sale contingency in your purchase agreement for the Nashville home so you won’t lose your earnest money if your New Orleans home doesn’t sell within the time period stated in the purchase contract.

Tip: You can avoid having to use a sale contingency by getting a bridge loan.

Closing contingency

Let’s say you’ve found a buyer for your New Orleans home, but the deal isn’t final. A closing contingency, also called a settlement contingency, would allow you to get out of your Nashville contract without penalty if your buyer can’t close within a specified time.

Common pending clauses

If you see a home that’s listed as pending, it might come attached with one of these additional descriptions.

Pending – taking backups

“Pending – taking backups” means that the seller isn’t confident the deal with their current buyer will close. The buyer might be having trouble obtaining financing, for instance. Whatever the case may be, this status indicates the seller is willing and contractually able to accept backup offers should the current deal fall through.

Pending – short sale

This listing status describes a situation where the owner wants to sell but must get their mortgage lender’s approval first. That’s because in a short sale, the property’s market value is lower than the mortgage balance, and the lender will have to take a loss.

“Pending” in this case does not mean that the transaction is about to close. It means the seller has accepted an offer and is waiting for their lender to approve it. You’re more likely to see these types of listings during a recession or after a major housing market decline.

Good to know: Depending on which listing service you’re using to search for homes, you might also see a home in this situation listed as “contingent short sale.” And with some listing services, “pending short sale” does indeed mean that the seller is under contract with a buyer and the bank has approved the short sale.

Pending – more than 4 months

This is a self-explanatory status that means a property has been listed as pending for longer than four months. The property might still be under contract but experiencing delays, or it might have been sold and the listing status is incorrect. A public records search can determine whether the home was recently sold if the listing agent can’t be reached.

Can you put an offer on a house that is contingent?

It is sometimes possible to place an offer on a house that is contingent. One way sellers can indicate that they’re open to additional offers is to have their agent change the property’s listing status from “active” to “active under contract.” Active under contract means the seller has accepted an offer, but that offer has contingencies, and the seller may consider additional offers.

Ask your real estate agent to contact the seller’s agent for more information. Then, your agent can guide you through the process of making an offer on a contingent listing if it seems worthwhile.

Can you put an offer on a house that is pending?

You probably won’t be able to make an offer on a house that is pending because this status means the house has a scheduled closing date and everything is on track to close. Plus, the seller’s contract with their existing buyer may prohibit them from accepting additional offers.

If the seller is not accepting backup offers and it’s your dream home, you might want to contact the listing agent. You can always express your interest and ask them to get in touch with you if the home ends up back on the market.

The post Contingent vs. Pending: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Credible.

Refinance Programs for Seniors

If you’re a senior, you may have thought about taking advantage of record-low interest rates and refinancing your mortgage to save money or access your equity. However, you might also be wondering whether you can qualify for a refinance with your retirement income.

Read on to learn more about refinance programs for seniors, along with home loan refinancing options available to you during retirement:

How to refinance for seniorsRefinance program options for seniorsShould a senior refinance their mortgage?

How to refinance for seniors

The steps to refinance as a senior are essentially the same as the steps to refinance as a younger adult. One of the main differences is that you might be submitting Social Security statements instead of W-2s, and your assets could play a bigger role than your income in qualification.

Here’s how the refinancing process generally works:

Establish your goals for refinancing Ask yourself if you want a lower interest rate, a longer or shorter loan term, a pile of cash, or all of these.Check your credit. Figure out if your credit score is high enough to qualify for a conventional refinance or if you might want to consider an FHA refinance.Gather your most recent statements. Get statements from Social Security, your pension, your retirement accounts, and any other documentation of your income and assets.Shop around. Request quotes from several mortgage lenders to learn about your refinancing options.Choose the right loan. Find a loan that offers the best value and meets your needs.Apply for the loan and begin the underwriting process Promptly supply any additional documentation your lender requests, such as signed tax returns and proof of homeowners insurance.Close. Close on your refinance and enjoy your improved financial situation.

Refinance program options for seniors

Employment income is not a requirement to get a mortgage, and lenders aren’t allowed to discriminate based on an applicant’s age (you just have to be old enough to legally agree to a contract). So, you can still qualify for a mortgage if you’re over the age of 60 or retired.

Along with Social Security income, lenders will count distributions from retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and Roth IRAs, as long as their calculations show that this income will be available for at least three years after closing.

Important: Government refinance programs for seniors aren’t really a thing. While many mortgages are guaranteed or supported in some way by federal taxpayers, these mortgages are open to all adult homeowners who qualify financially. State housing finance agencies sometimes have programs to help struggling senior homeowners, however.

Rate and term refinance

A rate and term refinance, also known as a traditional refinance, is a type of mortgage refinancing that meets Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’s requirements. It can be the most cost-effective way for seniors in good financial standing to refinance their home loan.

A conventional rate and term refinance can give you a lower interest rate, shorter term, or both. If you have at least 20% equity, you won’t have to pay for private mortgage insurance, and these loans don’t have the additional costs that FHA and VA loans do.

Cash-out refinance

Seniors who want to do a cash-out refinance have many options, including a conventional loan, HomeReady cash-out refinance, FHA cash-out refinance, and VA cash-out refinance. This mortgage type will be most helpful if you can get a lower rate on your existing mortgage in the process. If not, a second mortgage might be a less expensive option.

Increasing how much you owe on your home during retirement goes against the conventional wisdom of paying off your mortgage before retirement. Still, it’s always worth checking to see if the usual advice makes sense in your situation.

When mortgage rates are low and you have enough cash flow from retirement accounts, Social Security, and other assets to make monthly mortgage payments, a cash-out refinance can be a good option to explore. It can help you unlock some of the equity in your home and allow you to enjoy your retirement more. Credible makes it easy to compare refinancing options.

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Fannie Mae HomeReady refinance

This loan may be a good fit for seniors because it’s designed for low-income borrowers. In 2021, the average monthly Social Security benefit for retired workers is $1,555, and it’s the sole source of income for many retirees.

Low-income borrowers whose existing mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae may be eligible for a HomeReady refinance. This loan merely requires that you have a credit score — no minimum score applies. The income limit to qualify is 80% of the area median. You only need to have 3% equity (97% LTV).

Fannie Mae RefiNow

This refinance program can help lower-income borrowers who have a Fannie Mae mortgage. You may be eligible if your income doesn’t exceed specified limits for your area, you haven’t missed more than one payment in the last 12 months (and no missed payments in the last six months), and you have a credit score of 620 or higher.

With this loan, you can finance your closing costs as long as your new monthly payment will be lower and your interest rate will be at least 0.5% lower. Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) can be as high as 65% and Fannie Mae will cover the appraisal fee.

Good to know: Most loans don’t allow a DTI higher than 50%. A generous DTI limit can help seniors whose retirement income is lower than their working income.

Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance

If your home loan is owned by Freddie Mac but your loan-to-value ratio is too high to qualify for a standard refinance — perhaps your mortgage is underwater — you may want to consider this program.

A high LTV ratio typically results in a higher rate, but the goal of this program is to make homeowners’ payments more affordable with a lower rate, shorter term, or fixed rate instead of an adjustable rate. A mortgage that can help you stretch your limited resources in retirement is worth a look.

Renovation refinance

Just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean you stop wanting to improve your home. In fact, renovations can be extra important to seniors who want to stay in their homes indefinitely. Certain improvements can make homes safer and more accessible as strength and mobility decline, and everyone needs a watertight roof over their head.

Renovation loans, like the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation and Freddie Mac CHOICERenovation, can help senior homeowners replace their old mortgage with a new mortgage while also financing home improvements.

Tip: Renovation mortgages require you to jump through extra hoops to complete renovations, like submitting copies of purchase contracts and specifications to your lender and getting lender approval for change orders. You might prefer a more straightforward option to pay for your home improvements, such as a cash-out refinance or home equity line of credit.

FHA streamline refinance

Seniors who already have an FHA loan may want to consider an FHA streamline refinance. This loan doesn’t require an appraisal or credit check, which saves you money and allows you to refinance even if your home’s value has decreased or your credit has gotten worse.

An FHA streamline refinance is meant to provide a lower interest rate when refinancing from one fixed-rate mortgage to another, or payment stability when refinancing from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage. Stability and saving money are valuable benefits for seniors who need their retirement income and savings to go as far as possible.

Tip: Because of the expensive mortgage insurance required with FHA loans, seniors who qualify may be better off with a conventional loan. It’s also not the right choice if you need to cash out some of your equity.

VA IRRRL

Qualifying military service members with a VA loan may want to consider refinancing into a VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL). Similar to an FHA streamline refinance, a VA IRRRL may be appealing if your income or home value has decreased. A drawback to this loan is the VA funding fee you’ll have to pay, which equates to 0.5% of the loan amount.

Learn More: VA Refinance: 3 Ways to Refinance a VA Loan

Should a senior refinance their mortgage?

Seniors who want to be debt free in retirement may not want to refinance into a longer loan term. However, you might be surprised to find that lenders offer terms other than 15- or 30-year mortgages. If you currently have eight years left on your mortgage and you don’t want to restart the clock on a 15-year loan, ask about refinancing into a five-, eight-, or 10-year loan.

Being debt-free isn’t an important (or realistic) goal for many seniors, though. If this describes your situation, you may want to refinance to take advantage of the equity in your home. As long as you can afford the monthly payments on your new loan, refinancing can allow you to access more equity at a lower cost than a reverse mortgage would.

Tip: Like all homeowners, as a senior, you’ll want to consider the breakeven period before refinancing. For instance, if you might move before recouping your closing costs, you may want to skip it.

There are a few other things you’ll want to consider before refinancing your mortgage as a senior. Think about whether you might end up downsizing, moving in with a relative, or relocating to a senior living community as you age. And, if you’re married, also think about whether you or your spouse might want to move out upon the other’s passing.

The post Refinance Programs for Seniors appeared first on Credible.

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5 Best Personal Loans With No Origination Fee

A personal loan could help you cover a variety of expenses, such as home improvements or medical bills. In some cases, lenders charge fees on personal loans that might increase your overall repayment cost.

One of the most common personal loan fees is an origination fee, which is deducted from your loan amount before you receive your funds. However, there are also some lenders that don’t charge origination fees.

Here’s what you should know about no-origination-fee personal loans and where to find them:

5 best personal loans with no origination feesOther personal loans to considerWhat is an origination fee?Other personal loan fees to considerHow to take out a no-origination-fee personal loanHow to keep your personal loan costs as low as possible

5 best personal loans with no origination fees

Before you take out a personal loan, it’s important to compare as many lenders as possible. This way, you can find the right loan for your needs — such as a loan without an origination fee.

Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer no-origination-fee personal loans:

LenderFixed ratesLoan amountsMin. credit scoreLoan terms (years)

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
5.99% – 24.99% APR$2,500 to $35,0006603, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
5.99% – 24.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$2,500 to $35,000Loan terms (years):
3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund:
As soon as the next business day after acceptanceFees:
Late feeDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
 Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan Uses:
Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
2.49% – 19.99% APR$5,000 to $100,0006602, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
(up to 12 years for home improvement loans)Fixed APR:
2.49% – 19.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*Time to fund:
As soon as the same business dayFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except RI and VTCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
NoLoan servicer:
LightStreamMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
6.99% – 19.99% APR1$3,500 to $40,0002660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)3, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
6.99% – 19.99% APR1Min. credit score:
660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)Loan amount:
$3,500 to $40,0002Loan terms (years):
3, 4, 5, 6Time to fund:
Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as three daysFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all 50 statesCustomer service:
PhoneSoft credit check:
YesLoan servicer:
Goldman SachsMin. Income:
$30,000Loan Uses:
Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchase, and other purposes

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
5.99% – 17.99% APR$600 to $50,000
(depending on loan term)6601, 2, 3, 4, 5Fixed APR:
5.99% – 17.99% APRMin. credit score:
660Loan amount:
$600 to $50,000*Loan terms (years):
1, 2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund:
2 to 4 business days after verificationFees:
NoneDiscounts:
NoneEligibility:
Does not discloseCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
NoMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

Credible Rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


View details>
5.99% – 18.83% APR$5,000 to $100,000Does not disclose2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Fixed APR:
5.99% – 18.83% APRMin. credit score:
Does not discloseLoan amount:
$5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years):
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund:
3 business daysFees:
NoneDiscounts:
AutopayEligibility:
Available in all states except MSCustomer service:
Phone, emailSoft credit check:
YesMin. Income:
Does not discloseLoan Uses:
Solely for personal, family, or household uses

Discover

Best for: Longer repayment terms

If you’re looking for a personal loan with a longer repayment term, Discover could be a good choice — you can borrow $2,500 to $35,000 with terms from three to seven years. Just keep in mind that if you pick a longer term, you’ll pay more in interest over time.


4.4
Credible rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


Rates and terms


Fees and Discounts


Customer Experience


Discover Personal Loans


Fixed APR


Range of fixed rates available from this lender
5.99% – 24.99% APR


Min. credit score


Minimum credit score needed to qualify660


Loan amount


Total amount you can borrow from this lender$2,500 to $35,000


Time to fund


How long it takes to receive your moneyAs soon as the next business day after acceptance

Ready to find a personal loan?

Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates>Checking rates won’t affect your credit scoreView DetailsFixed APR:
5.99% – 24.99% APRMin. credit score: 660Loan amount: $2,500 to $35,000Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund: As soon as the next business day after acceptanceFees: Late feeDiscounts: NoneEligibility:  Available in all 50 statesCustomer service: PhoneSoft credit check: YesLoan Uses: Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

Pros

Repayment terms up to 7 yearsAccepts fair credit scoresFast loan funding

Cons

Charges late feesNo discounts offeredCan only borrow up to $35,000

LightStream

Best for: Large loan amounts

With LightStream, you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 — which could make it a good option if you need a large loan. Most LightStream loans come with terms from two to seven years, but if you use your loan for home improvements, you could have up to 12 years to repay it.


4.9
Credible rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


Rates and terms


Fees and Discounts


Customer Experience


LightStream Personal Loans


Fixed APR


Range of fixed rates available from this lender
2.49% – 19.99% APR


Min. credit score


Minimum credit score needed to qualify660


Loan amount


Total amount you can borrow from this lender$5,000 to $100,000


Time to fund


How long it takes to receive your moneyAs soon as the same business day

Ready to find a personal loan?

Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates>Checking rates won’t affect your credit scoreView DetailsFixed APR:
2.49% – 19.99% APRMin. credit score: 660Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*Time to fund: As soon as the same business dayFees: NoneDiscounts: AutopayEligibility: Available in all states except RI and VTCustomer service: Phone, emailSoft credit check: NoLoan servicer: LightStreamMin. Income: Does not discloseLoan Uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Pros

Can borrow up to $100,000Fast loan fundingAccepts fair credit scores

Cons

Must borrow at least $5,000Doesn’t disclose minimum income requirementsNot available in Rhode Island or Vermont

Marcus

Best for: Budget-friendly payment options

With Marcus, you can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 with terms from three to six years. Marcus also offers tailored monthly payment options that could help you fit your payment more easily into your budget.

Plus, after you’ve made at least 12 consecutive, on-time payments, Marcus will let you defer one monthly payment interest-free.


4.3
Credible rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


Rates and terms


Fees and Discounts


Customer Experience


Marcus Personal Loans


Fixed APR


Range of fixed rates available from this lender
6.99% – 19.99% APR1


Min. credit score


Minimum credit score needed to qualify660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)


Loan amount


Total amount you can borrow from this lender$3,500 to $40,0002


Time to fund


How long it takes to receive your moneyMany Marcus customers receive funds in as little as three days

Ready to find a personal loan?

Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates>Checking rates won’t affect your credit scoreView DetailsFixed APR:
6.99% – 19.99% APR1Min. credit score: 660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)Loan amount: $3,500 to $40,0002Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6Time to fund: Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as three daysFees: NoneDiscounts: AutopayEligibility: Available in all 50 statesCustomer service: PhoneSoft credit check: YesLoan servicer: Goldman SachsMin. Income: $30,000Loan Uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchase, and other purposes

Pros

Accepts fair credit scoresTailored monthly payment optionsCan defer one monthly payment interest-free after making 12 consecutive, on-time payments

Cons

Funding could take longer compared to other lenders$30,000 minimum income requirementCan only borrow up to $40,000

PenFed

Best for: Smaller loan amounts

If you need to borrow just a small amount, PenFed could be a good choice — you can borrow as little as $600 up to $50,000 with terms from one to five years.

Keep in mind that while you don’t need to be a PenFed member to apply for a loan, you’ll have to join the credit union if you are approved and want to accept the loan.


4.5
Credible rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


Rates and terms


Fees and Discounts


Customer Experience


PenFed Personal Loans


Fixed APR


Range of fixed rates available from this lender
5.99% – 17.99% APR


Min. credit score


Minimum credit score needed to qualify660


Loan amount


Total amount you can borrow from this lender$600 to $50,000*


Time to fund


How long it takes to receive your money2 to 4 business days after verification

Ready to find a personal loan?

Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates>Checking rates won’t affect your credit scoreView DetailsFixed APR:
5.99% – 17.99% APRMin. credit score: 660Loan amount: $600 to $50,000*Loan terms (years): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5Time to fund: 2 to 4 business days after verificationFees: NoneDiscounts: NoneEligibility: Does not discloseCustomer service: Phone, emailSoft credit check: NoMin. Income: Does not discloseLoan Uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

Pros

Can borrow as little as $600Fair credit scores acceptedAllows cosigners on personal loans

Cons

Must join the credit union if you are approved and want to accept the loanDoesn’t disclose minimum income requirementsLoans are disbursed through the mail, which could make funding time longer compared to other lenders (unless you pay an expedited shipping fee)

SoFi

Best for: Borrower perks

SoFi is another lender that offers large loans — you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with terms from two to seven years. Additionally, SoFi borrowers have access to a variety of perks, such as unemployment protection, career coaching, and investing advice.


4.9
Credible rating>


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.


Rates and terms


Fees and Discounts


Customer Experience


SoFi Personal Loans


Fixed APR


Range of fixed rates available from this lender
5.99% – 18.83% APR


Min. credit score


Minimum credit score needed to qualifyDoes not disclose


Loan amount


Total amount you can borrow from this lender$5,000 to $100,000


Time to fund


How long it takes to receive your money3 business days

Ready to find a personal loan?

Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates>Checking rates won’t affect your credit scoreView DetailsFixed APR:
5.99% – 18.83% APRMin. credit score: Does not discloseLoan amount: $5,000 to $100,000Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Time to fund: 3 business daysFees: NoneDiscounts: AutopayEligibility: Available in all states except MSCustomer service: Phone, emailSoft credit check: YesMin. Income: Does not discloseLoan Uses: Solely for personal, family, or household uses

Pros

Can borrow up to $100,000Allows cosigners on personal loansBorrower perks, such as unemployment protection and investing advice

Cons

Doesn’t disclose minimum credit requirementsDoesn’t disclose minimum income requirementsNot available in Mississippi

Methodology

To find the “best companies,” Credible looked at loan and lender data points from 10 categories to give you a well-rounded perspective on each of our partner lenders. Here’s what we considered:

Interest ratesRepayment termsRepayment optionsMaximum loan amountLoan funding timeFeesDiscountsCustomer service availabilityWhether the minimum credit score is available publiclyWhether consumers could request rates with a soft credit check

Our hope is that this will be a win-win situation for you and us — we only want to get paid if you find a loan that works for you, not by selling your data. This means Credible will only get paid by the lender if you finish the loan process and a loan is disbursed. Additionally, Credible charges you no fees of any kind to compare your loan options.

Learn More: Low-Income Loans: Personal Loans for a Tight Budget

Other personal loans to consider

Here are more personal loan companies we evaluated. Keep in mind that these lenders aren’t offered through Credible, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform like you can with our partner lenders listed above.

Also note that the loans offered by these lenders might come with origination fees.

LenderLoan terms (years)Loan amountBest for
hsbc bank

Show details2, 3, 4, 5$3,000 – $50,000
(depending on relationship with HSBC Bank)HSBC: Best for existing HSBC customersRates: FixedLoan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5Loan amount: $3,000 – $50,000 (depending on relationship with HSBC Bank)Fees: NoneDiscounts: Does not discloseEligibility: Available in all states except WIMin. income: Does not discloseCustomer service: Phone, chatSoft credit check: YesMin. credit score: Does not discloseTime to get funds: 1 – 3 days
pnc bank

Show details3$1,000 – $35,000PNC: Best for small loan amountsRates: FixedLoan terms (years): 3Loan amount: $1,000 – $35,000Fees: NoneDiscounts: NoneEligibility: Does not discloseMin. income: Does not discloseCustomer service: PhoneSoft credit check: YesMin. credit score: Does not discloseTime to get funds: Does not disclose
rocket loans

Show details3, 5$2,000 – $45,000Rocket Loans: Best for quick loan fundingRates: FixedLoan terms (years): 3, 5Loan amount: $2,000 – $45,000Fees: Origination feeDiscounts: AutopayEligibility: Available in all states except IA, NV, and WVMin. income: Does not discloseCustomer service: Phone, emailSoft credit check: YesMin. credit score: Does not discloseTime to get funds: Does not discloseThe lenders in this table aren’t our partners. But you can use Credible to compare rates in 2 minutes from other lenders who offer personal loans.

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What is an origination fee?

A loan origination fee is the price the lender charges for offering the loan. This fee can include the costs of processing your application, underwriting, funding, and other associated administrative services.

Personal loan origination fees generally range from 1% to 8% of your loan amount, depending on the lender. For example, if you took out a $5,000 loan with a 5% origination fee, you’d be charged $250.

Keep in mind: While some lenders charge a flat origination fee, others have a range — for example, a personal loan from Upgrade could come with an origination fee from 2.9% to 8%.

In this case, the actual fee you’re charged will depend on several factors, such as your credit and income.

Check Out: Coronavirus Hardship Loans: 7 Options to Consider

Other personal loan fees to consider

In addition to origination fees, there are also other costs that could come with taking out a personal loan, depending on the lender. Some of these potential fees include:

Application fees: These are charged when you apply for a loan — before you get an approval decision. This type of fee can range from $25 to $50.Late fees: These are assessed if you make a past-due payment. On average, late fees can range from $25 to $50 or from 3% to 5% of the monthly payment amount.Returned check fees: These are charged if you make a loan payment that’s returned for insufficient funds. These typically range from $20 to $50.Payment protection insurance: This is a type of insurance that will cover your loan payments if you’re unable to work. Not all lenders offer payment protection insurance (PPI), but those that do might encourage you to sign up — however, keep in mind that it isn’t required. If you opt to get PPI, you’ll typically pay about 1% of your loan amount. Prepayment penalties: These are assessed if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule. These are typically 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Keep in mind that if you take out a personal loan with any of Credible’s partner lenders, you won’t have to worry about prepayment penalties.Tip: Before you get a personal loan, it’s important to consider the overall cost so you can be prepared for any added expenses. Also, be sure to ask the lender about any fees that could impact your total repayment costs.

You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.

Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay

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How to take out a no-origination-fee personal loan

If you’re ready to take out a personal loan, follow these four steps:

Research and compare lenders. Be sure to consider as many personal loan lenders as possible to find the right loan for your situation. Compare not only interest rates but also repayment terms and eligibility requirements. If you’re looking to avoid origination fees with your loan, also make sure to check into any fees charged by the lenders you’re considering.Pick a loan option. After you’ve done your lender research, choose the loan option that best suits your needs.Complete the application. Once you’ve chosen a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs. Get your funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so your money can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval.

Learn More: Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit

How to keep your personal loan costs as low as possible

Although you might be able to avoid personal loan fees with certain lenders, you’ll still typically need to pay interest on your loan. Interest is essentially the cost of borrowing money and is the main factor that will impact your total repayment costs.

However, there are a few strategies that could help keep these personal loan costs as low as possible, such as:

Have good credit

You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan. A good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. There are also several lenders that offer personal loans for bad credit, but these loans usually come with higher interest rates and fees compared to good credit loans.

The lender will also consider your credit score to determine your interest rate. In general, the higher your credit score, the better your interest rate — and the less you’ll pay overall on your loan.

Tip: There are several strategies that could help you build your credit and qualify for better interest rates in the future.

For example, you might be able to improve your credit over time by making on-time payments on all of your bills, paying down credit card balances, or taking out a credit-builder loan.

pply with a cosigner

If you have bad credit, having a creditworthy cosigner could make it easier to get approved for a loan. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do — including no-origination-fee personal loan lenders like LightStream, PenFed, and SoFi.

Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a better interest rate than you’d get on your own — which could help you keep your overall costs lower.

Tip: A cosigner can be anyone with good credit — such as a parent, another relative, or a trusted friend — who is willing to share responsibility for the loan. Just keep in mind that this means they’ll be on the hook if you can’t make your payments.

Choose a short repayment term

While picking a longer repayment term could get you a lower monthly payment, you’ll also pay more in interest over time. Because of this, it’s usually a good idea to choose the shortest term you can afford — this way, you can keep your interest costs as low as possible.

Tip: Many lenders also offer better interest rates to borrowers who opt for shorter repayment terms.

Comparing lenders

Taking your time to shop around and compare as many lenders as possible can help you find the most cost-effective loan for your financial needs. In addition to personal loan interest rates, be sure to consider repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender.

Credible make it easy to compare lenders: You can see your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in just two minutes.

Ready to find your personal loan?
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Free to use, no hidden feesOne simple form, easy to fill out and your info is protectedMore options, pick the loan option that best fits your personal needsHere for you. Our team is here to help you reach your financial goalsFind My Rate
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The post 5 Best Personal Loans With No Origination Fee appeared first on Credible.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.coloradomicrofinance.org/?p=90