Serious review of personal loans

As of April 20, 2020, Earnest is currently not accepting new applications for personal loans.


The benefits explained

  • No charges – Earnest will not charge you origination fees or prepayment penalties if you wish to prepay your loan.
  • Competitive interest rates – Personal loan rates start at 5.99% for applicants who are able to meet Earnest’s eligibility criteria.
  • Help with financial difficulties Earnest offers forbearance (the ability to delay loan repayments) if you can prove that you are unable to repay your loan due to financial circumstances.


Disadvantages Explained

  • Not available in all states – Residents of Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada and Rhode Island are not eligible to apply for a personal loan with Earnest.
  • Good credit history required – Borrowers with credit scores below 680 or who cannot demonstrate a strong financial history may not qualify for a loan.
  • No joint request – Unlike some lenders, Earnest does not allow co-borrowers on personal loan applications (it does allow co-borrowers on student loans).


Types of personal loans offered by Earnest

Earnest lets you use your personal loan for a variety of reasons. These can include credit card debt consolidation, moving expenses, home improvement projects, medical expenses, vacation expenses, and wedding expenses.Inasmuch asInasmuch as

Basically, you can use Earnest personal loans for any reason other than those specifically restricted, including paying tuition at an approved institution, for business purposes, or buying or investing in real estate, including mortgages (although security deposits for rented residences are acceptable).Inasmuch asInasmuch as


Deadline for receipt of funds

After you submit your personal loan application, Earnest will review it and make a decision within five to 10 business days.Inasmuch asInasmuch as

Once your loan is approved and you sign all necessary documents, Earnest will transfer the funds the next business day. It should arrive in your account within 1-2 business days.Inasmuch asInasmuch as


Characteristics of the serious personal loan

  • Assistance in case of difficulty available – Borrowers can be granted forbearance, temporarily suspending payments on your loan. If you can prove that you are in financial difficulty, Earnest will refer you to its service partner, Systems & Services Technologies, to discuss options.Inasmuch asInasmuch as
  • Prequalification option – Earnest allows you to check the rates and conditions you may be entitled to with a soft credit check. This will not affect your credit score.Inasmuch asHowever, when you submit a complete application, the lender will conduct a thorough investigation of your Experian credit report, which may temporarily impact your credit score.


Apply for a serious loan

Here’s what you can expect from the Earnest application process:

  1. Complete a first application to get an estimate of the rate, which will not affect your credit score. This prequalification information will include your mailing address, date of birth, credit score, social security number, and employment information. You will also indicate how much you want to borrow and for what purpose: credit card debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding/honeymoon or unaccredited education.
  2. Earnest will show you an estimated loan offer, which includes rates and conditions, based on this information. Note: This may be a range of prices and they are not guaranteed until final offer.
  3. Continue to the application process by confirming the desired rate and duration.
  4. Provide additional information, including your social security number (even if you already provided it during the initial application), proof of income, and bank account information. If Earnest needs additional documents, such as a tax return, he will request them.
  5. Submit your application once you have reviewed the terms and confirmed that all information entered is correct.

You can expect a decision within five to 10 business days.


Can I refinance a personal loan seriously?

Earnest does not allow refinancing of personal loans.

Verdict

Borrowers who have a good credit profile – a minimum credit score of 680 and a history of good financial behavior – will be able to take advantage of Earnest personal loans. “Good financial behavior” includes things like a history of paying debts on time, two months of savings to cover expenses, and no recent bankruptcy or foreclosure on your file.

With its pre-qualification process – flexible credit so your credit score isn’t affected until you submit a complete application – Earnest indeed gives you insight into the type of loan rates and terms it will suggest to you.

However, if you are not a sound financial citizen, you will not be able to take advantage of Earnest’s low interest rates, no fees, and other desirable and highly competitive features. And Earnest currently does not allow the ability to submit a joint application, a courtesy that other lenders extend to borrowers whose applications could benefit from a boost.



Methodology

Investopedia is committed to providing consumers with comprehensive and unbiased personal lender reviews. We’ve collected over 25 data points from over 50 lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts and repayment terms, to ensure our content helps users make the right decision. borrowing decision based on their needs.

Investopedia asks authors to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reports, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can read more about the standards we follow to produce accurate and unbiased content in our editorial policy.


About Judith J. George

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