Earnest is an online lender that uses new technologies to provide loans to individuals and small business that wouldn't qualify for traditional loans. Instead of focusing exclusively on credit scores and debt-to-income ratios, Earnest uses its own algorithms to analyze a wide range of financially relevant factors to determine whether a customer qualifies for a loan.

How Does Earnest Work?

Earnest offers loans with rates as low as 5.25% APR to borrowers with credit scores that would only qualify them for subprime rates with traditional lenders by filtering for borrowers with a good education, high-income potential, responsible spending patterns and low credit card balances.

What Are Earnest Loan's Rates and Fees?

Rates vary from 5.25% APR to 12% APR depending on the term of the loan. For example, the lowest rate for a 12-month loan is 5.25% APR, while the lowest rates for a 24-month and 36-month loan are 5.50% APR and 6.00% APR, respectively.

How Much Money Can I Borrow from Earnest?

Available loan amounts range from $2,000 to $50,000 and terms range from 12 to 36 months. To illustrate, a 12-month $10,000 loan at 5.25% APR will cost you $857 a month for a total cost of $10,284. The same loan with an 11.25% APR would cost you $885 a month and a total cost of $10,620.

Which States Does Earnest Operate In?

Earnest loans are currently available in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

What Is Earnest's Application Process Like?

The only catch of Earnest's ultra-low rates is you have to reveal a lot of information most lenders don't require. For instance, Earnest requires access to your LinkedIn account, your savings account, and your retirement accounts to confirm your education, employment, salary and financial situation. The good news is Earnest uses the information collected from your accounts to automatically populate the application form, so you won't have to waste time filling forms. Borrowers should expect a reply within one week. After you're approved, you have one week to either accept or decline the loan. The money will take 1 to 3 days to reach your account.

How Is Earnest Better Than Other Lenders?

Earnest is a merit-based lender that looks at more than your credit score when assessing your loan application. If you fit Earnest's guidelines, such as a having a good employment history, working in a sector with high-earning potential, having a good education and solid spending and saving habits, you could qualify for rock-bottom rates even if you have little or no credit history.

There are no initiation or prepayment penalty fees and they guarantee the best rates among no-fee lenders. The only catch is the entire process could take up to 10 business days and only borrowers who fit Earnest's stringent eligibility criteria are eligible.

  • Loan Amount
    $2000 - $50000
  • Payment Options
    Automatic Payments
  • APR
    5.25% - 12.99%
  • Max Loan Term (Months)
  • Credit Score Range
    700 - 850
  • Immigration Status Considered
    • U.S. Citizen
    • U.S. Permanent Resident
  • Military Status
    • Active Duty Military
    • Military Dependent
    • Non-Military
    • Veterans
  • Minimum Age
  • Supported Income Types
    • 1099 Misc. Income
    • Direct Deposit (W2, SSA, SSDI)
    • Payroll Check or Prepaid Card
  • Verification Documents Required?
    • Recent bank statements
    • Recent pay stubs
    • Driver license (or other photo ID)
    • Proof of citizenship/residence
  • No Late Fees
  • No Origination Fee
  • No Prepayment Fee
  • Institution Type
    Direct Lender
  • Approval Speed (Hours)
  • Pre-Approved Soft Credit Inquiry
  • Funding Time
    1-7 days
  • Credit Bureau Reporting
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0 votes

They had me submit my VA benefits letter only to deny me 2 mins later because my Experian report was frozen. Waste of my time.

0 votes

These guys are not ready for home mortgages yet. Very poor communications from the Rep - wouldn't return emails or calls. Be careful with these guys.

i subsequently wrote a review on Bankrate and a guy named David (business Mgr) called me to discuss the loan, which I said no thank you to of course. Told him his rep Kristine was not responsive. Subsequently I found out he was solely concerned with the poor review i wrote on bankrate. He told me that the review was removed and he ... threatened me by saying I falsified my income. Unbelievable!!! I have an +820 credit score.

Shows the integrity of this guy and the company.
More Less

0 votes

I applied for a loan with Earnest in the hopes that they were different from the other traditional lenders as far as their borrowing qualifications. Unfortunately, to my disappointment, I was sadly mistaken. After telling them my entire life story including past job history, about my medical conditions, colleges attended & also personal information like my bank information in addition to an extensive analysis of my past credit history, they denied me within 12 hours of my loan application. I told these MF'ers my whole life story and went through ... the most extensive background check in my entire life for absolutely nothing! I wasn't even requesting a large loan amount only asked for $3,000 and still got denied. This place totally sucks because they make you tell them your life story just to crush your hopes and dreams at the end. I would never recommend this company to anyone who needs a legitimate loan. More Less

0 votes

I applied for a loan with very good credit and very healthy savings. They asked me for a picture ID and a copy of my taxes, then declined my request. They blamed it on income variability and income (I am self-employed) but I really dislike the intense scrutiny, as well as the request for access to your bank accounts and picture ID, and then a weak excuse for declining. I contacted them, and got more weak responses, but I feel that I was redlined. Also, i ... notice that most of the positive reviews are from Anonymous sources and all seem to follow certain clear story and reasoning patterns. I think they are probably fake More Less

1 votes

Intrusive and extremely annoying process. Their standards are higher than other lenders and will comb through every link in your bank statement. Ended up going through a different company after Earnest denied a personal loan after several weeks of digging.

0 votes

I applied with Earnest because of hoe they supposably did their loans with a merit-basen loan application. I don't have the greatest of credit and have quite a bit of CC debt, but that is why I am asking for a debt consolidation loan. They state they will give the reason of your denial if you are denied right away instead of waiting for a letter. They only stated 1 reason and I corrected that reason and had them look back over my application and then all ... of a sudden in an e-mail they added 2 additional reason's that were never stated originally and every single reason they denied my app was off my CREDIT REPORT never considering my other information that they say they do because that I had a 100 percent with that information. So for a company that doesn't just look at your credit report it seems like that is all they looked at with my app none of my other factors. Not happy with this comnpany they are like all the other financial companies even know they advertise differantly and say they are differant. More Less

0 votes

I recently was approved for a student loan refinance and my APR is dropping 2-2.5%.

The application process was long, but their interface wasn't too bad. You can use your LinkedIn account to import data as well.

I was just approved so I can't comment on everything yet, but the ease of use of the interface made everything smooth and quick for the amount of information you have to enter.

0 votes

Not good at all and stay away from them and look elsewhere. I seriously doubt their loan approval process. They will make a joke out of your application. Here is what you will hear after their lousy job and making you wait for two to three weeks. "We are concerned that you do not have enough certainty to comfortably afford the monthly payments for this loan. Our goal is to see you achieve your milestones while staying financially secure."

1 votes

They suck you in by saying they are not like other banks. They are jut like the other guys. DONT WASTE YOU TIME!!!!

1 votes

Their main advantage is supposed to be independence from credit scores. But guess the reason why my application for loan was rejected? Right, my low credit score :D I had more than twice amount of assets on my brokerage account (comparing to size of requested loan), I submitted my broker's report as a proof, but got rejected anyway.

0 votes

For the people that say ou have to give too much information please remember they giving you lots of money.

Application process was fairly smooth. They link to every major bank and with moderate typing skills this is quick.

I am refinancing a student loan and will save over a lot. When asking for support they were super fast getting back to me and courteous.

No complaints from me

1 votes

I am very disappointed with Earnest Loans, I KNEW it was too good to be true, I should have listened to the others who were denied.. I am middle aged female, high school grad, some college, make decent money, permanent job, with a credit score of over 600-650 with a few derogatory marks from a few years ago. I explained on my application that I was laid off 7 years ago and I had to let me credit cards go, it got especially bad after my unemployment ran out, as a ... result, my credit suffered. I just wanted a little money to help me with my move to Sacramento and to get some car repairs done. Nowadays, I have a permanent job, base salary is $52,000.00 a year (this amount does not include bonuses and yearly raises which I expect to receive later this year), have 5 credit cards in GOOD STANDING, my monthly take home pay after taxes is almost $3,000.00, my monthly bills are only $1,110.00 which means I have MORE than enough MONEY to pay off the loan. The reason for my denial..old derogatory remarks on my credit profile. I trusted Earnest Loans and gave them access to my checking account, access to my credit card accounts, copies of my drivers license, social security, copies of my new lease agreement, copies of pay stubs and countless emails back and forth to Earnest explaining my situation. To top it off, their website wouldnt allow me to upload any documents, I emailed Anne and she said it was coming from my end, said I wasnt filling out all the sections, I had to screenshot shot her the error message and tell her I was in fact filling out all sections properly. Very frustrating. After reading the positive reviews I noticed most of them are from young students, must be nice to be so young and have money thrown at you from Earnest Loans, seems they only help the college educated with perfect credit scores. In my denial letter they told me they would monitor my progress and let me know when I prequalify in the future. If you are reading this Earnest Loans, do NOT save my personal information, do NOT access my personal information, DELETE my information from your database/records, do NOT monitor y progress, if I catch you running hard credit inquires without my permission, I will get my Sister involved, she is a Corporate Attorney and will advise me the best course of action to take. Again, do NOT monitor my progress and delete my information from your servers. Take my advice, go to a family member for a loan, and dont waste your time with this Company. I should be financially sound within the next 3 weeks and I did it all on my own. I suppose I should thank Earnest Loans for denying me, instead of me paying them for a loan I will take that money and invest even more into my 401k plan. If you are a youngster going to college with perfect credit, this is the place for you, anyone else? Just forget it. Earnest Loans does not help people looking for a second chance. More Less

1 votes

Applying for a loan through Earnest was my least favorite waste of time, of recent. They seriously nitpicked my credit report worse than I've ever experienced in my life of 31 years. I was denied a loan because of "too low balance" in my 401k. Well let me tell you Mr. Earnest, If I wasn't over paying to my current student loan servicing company I'd actually be able to make monthly deposits into my 401k, well gee, that's a concept. When I called their customer service ... line to discuss options for reconsideration, they nitpicked my credit report saying "Well you also had two overdraft charges on your checking account" (which was forgiven by my bank because I am a long standing customer of my bank and merely had a miscommunication between bank and I. Oh and had NEVER had an overdrawn account prior.) which was appalling to me. I haven't had late payments or overdrawn accounts since I was in my late teens. I understand this company is a fairly recent start up but their approval process is a bit extreme if you ask me. I would consider myself middle class, by no means am I in their "Average demographic of 25-35 and $100k annual income" but come on, I have excellent credit and I make my payments early/on-time and simply want a better future for myself, my wife and my unborn child. Thank you for nothing Earnest, I'll be sure not to recommend you to anyone I know. More Less

0 votes

I am saving thousands of dollars by refinancing my private student loans with Earnest. I will say that I was a bit skeptical when I was asked to put in all of my Bank Account information. However, this is a credible company and everything went well during the process. My rate was much lower than any other rate I've received from other refinancing companies. I am now considering adding my Government Loans to Earnest since it is helping cut my loan interest and loan term in half.

0 votes

This is a great place for a loan. The customer service is wonderful, the terms are liveable, and overall the experience was very good. I would definitely recommend Earnest to anyone!

0 votes

It was great and personalized, I felt like I was in great hands the whole way. I appreciated all of the security checks all along the way and clear communication with the staff at Earnest.

0 votes

For many people, borrowing money is a problem even with good jobs and good incomes because they have limited credit histories. Earnest looks beyond all that to consider your entire financial profile. On the other hand, Earnest requires a lot of information, such as your LinkedIn profile, that may make you uncomfortable. Another drawback is that getting your money can take up to 10 business days, which doesnt help if you need a bill paid today. Also, bad credit is a no-go with this company.

0 votes

This bar none is the BEST loan experience I have ever had. The employees are courteous and super helpful and the interest rates are wonderful! I consolidated some high interest credit card loans, and I am going to save a bundle thanks to Earnest. They obviously care about their customers and not just themselves, and that is so refreshing nowadays.

1 votes

When I saw that Earnest considers more than the standard criteria when deciding whether to loan you money, I applied right away. The fact that they use real data to analyze your finances and then give you a loan offer based on those results told me that this is a forward thinking company that would give me the money I need. I liked how my rate was personalized based on my financial profile. They say they have no hidden fees and there werent any. I also like the fact that ... I can skip one payment a year and build it into the other payments. That really helps. More Less

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