LightStream Review Personal Loans

We live in a golden age for personal loans. With interest rates at their lowest in living memory, obtaining a personal loan has never been cheaper. Don’t believe me? Take LightStream, the personal loans division of SunTrust Bank. Qualified borrowers can get fixed rates as low as 2.49%* APR (with AutoPay) for an unsecured new auto loan (as of January 2017). Sure, these record-low rates might soon change, if the Federal Reserve sticks to its plan of gradually raising interest ratesHowever, that does not change the fact that we live in a time when $100k unsecured loans with 2% APR, no origination fees, and no prepayment penalties are a reality.

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So, what’s the catch? Yes, there is a catch. There always is.

LightStream’s lowest rates on unsecured personal loans are only available to borrowers with excellent credit, good jobs, and substantial savings. Do you have what it takes to qualify for a LightStream personal loan? By the time you finish this in-depth review of LightStream, you’ll know.

What Are LightStream’s Interest Rates And Terms?

LightStream provides some of the lowest interest rates in the business. In fact, LightStream is so confident about its interest rates it has created the Rate Beat Program, which will beat any other lender’s APR offer by 0.10 percentage points. See below for more details on the Rate Beat program.

One of the reasons LightStream dominates the rate game is that it bases interest rates on the purpose of the loan. This flexibility allows LightStream to differentiate loans by their inherent risk.

Check LightStream’s personal loans, auto loans, and auto refinancing profiles for their latest rates.

As of January 2017, interest rates range from 2.49% to 16.19% APR with AutoPay.  Check SuperMoney’s profile on LightStream for the latest rates and terms. Basically, buying a new or used car from a dealer is the loan purpose with the lowest interest rate, and debt consolidation has the highest interest rates.

What determines the rate of your loan?

Of course, the purpose of the loan is not the only factor that determines your rate.

  • Your rate depends on your personal credit profile.
  • Interest rates also vary by loan amount. The larger the loan amount, the lower the interest rate. For example, a $5,000 home improvement loan will have an interest rate of  6.79% to 8.79% APR, but a $25,000 loan for the same purpose will range from 3.99% to 7.29% APR.
  • How long you take to pay off a loan will also influence your APR. LightStream borrowers can choose terms of 24 to 84 months (2 to 7 years). For instance, a $25,000 loan to repay medical expenses will have an APR of 6.29% to 8.29% if you repay it in 24 months. The same loan with a 7-year term will have an APR of 8.54% to 10.29%.

LightStream’s loans have fixed interest rates, so you’ll know what your monthly payments will be for the duration of the loan. This helps borrowers avoid surprises and makes it easier for them to budget.

Please note that all the interest rates mentioned above include LightStream’s autopay discount. If you prefer not to enroll in automatic payments, add 0.50% to your rate.

LightStream’s Rate Beat Program

LightStream’s Rate Beat Program does one better than your typical price match program by beating any other lenders’ qualifying offers by 0.10 percentage points. Let’s say you shop around for the best interest rate available (as you should) and discover that another lender, such as SoFi or LendingClub, beats LightStream’s price by 0.50%. LightStream will match the offer and lower it further by 0.10%: a total saving of 0.60%.

To qualify for the Rate Beat program, borrowers must meet the following conditions::

1. You have to compare apples to apples. The competing loan has to be for the same amount, term, and https://www.supermoney.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=35716&action=editpurpose. LightStream only offers fixed rate terms, so the loan to beat also has to have fixed rates.

2. A third-party arrangement can not subsidize the rate. For instance, a 0.0% APR loan offered by a car manufacturer on the purchase of a new vehicle would not qualify.

3. The interest rate to beat must be freely available to customers that share the same credit risk profile. In other words, employee-discount programs or other limited lending programs do not count.

4. Borrowers must be approved for the other lender’s rate and provide the new rate (and corroborating evidence) before 2 p.m Eastern time on the business day before LightStream funds the loan.

Who Qualifies For A LightStream Personal Loan?

LightStream is only available to borrowers with good credit and only applicants with excellent credit can qualify for its lower interest rates.

What qualifies as excellent credit?

Here are some specific characteristics borrowers with excellent credit share:

  • Five or more years of credit history.
  • A variety of account types: credit cards, installment loans, and mortgage debt
  • No delinquencies or late payments on your history
  • Proven ability to save. You must have liquid assets, such as bonds, bank deposits, and stocks
  • Enough income to comfortably repay all debts

Ok, what about good credit?

What is the minimum bar to qualify for a LightStream loan?

  • Several years of credit history
  • A variety of account types: credit cards, installment loans, and mortgage debt
  • A good payment history with only a few, if any, delinquencies
  • An ability to save. Borrowers must have liquid assets, such as cash down payments on real estate, bank deposits, and stocks
  • A stable source of income that is sufficient to repay current debts

If you have poor credit, other lenders to consider are NetCredit and Rise Credit.

How Do LightStream Personal Loans Work?

LightStream’s loan process is simple. It is not completely automated, but there are no documents to fax, no origination fees, and no prepayment penalties. Unfortunately, getting approved isn’t easy. However, the rates are so good it is worth trying. One caveat: LightStream will perform a hard credit check when you apply, whether or not you choose to go ahead with the loan.

  • The first step is to apply online. More details below on what to expect from the online application.
  • LightStream will email you during business hours concerning your application.
  • If you are approved, log in to your account and choose your funding and monthly payment dates. This part of the process can be fast. In some cases, it is possible to get your funds within the same day of applying, if all conditions are met. You will also need to provide LightStream with a Visa or Mastercard. The card is used to confirm your identity.
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What Is LightStream’s Application Process Like?

LightStream’s has a fast and easy to complete application process. This section provides a detailed review of its online application form. LightStream makes a big deal about customer satisfaction and providing a quality customer experience. If after receiving a loan you are not happy with the experience, contact their customer care desk. As part of LightStream’s best loan experience guarantee, you’ll get $100 as part of their apology. The catch is there are some details you need to follow, including completing a questionnaire to help them improve their services.

1. Apply Online For A LightStream Personal Loan

The application is short. Just four pages with questions about your loan, finances, and employment.

LightStream review online application 1

2. Provide The Purpose Of The Loan

You must also choose whether you want an individual loan or you’d prefer to include someone else as a joint applicant.

LightStream review online application 2

3. Provide Personal Information

LightStream needs to know your full name, address, phone numbers, SSN, date of birth, the last 4 digits of your driver’s license, country of citizenship, and your employment details.

LightStream review online application 3

4. Choose A Password And Security Questions

Create a user ID and a password to be able to login to your account. You will also need to establish a security question and answer in case you forget your login information at a later date.

LightStream review online application 3

5. Check The Loan Terms And Submit Your Application

The final step involves reviewing the loan information and verifying that your personal information is accurate. Once you have read through the terms and agreements, including e-sign and electronic disclosures acknowledgment, click “Submit” and your application is complete.

LightStream review online application 5That’s it. Once you submit your application, wait for LightStream’s email.

A Quick History Of LightStream

LightStream started out in 2004 when Gary Miller and Dave Zeller founded FirstAgain in San Diego, California. In 2012, SunTrust bought FirstAgain and made it its online lending division. FirstAgain changed its name to LightStream in 2013. Gary Miller has developed a knack of building successful online companies and selling them to large corporations. Before FirstAgain, Gary was the co-founder and CEO of PeopleFirst, which Capital One bought in 2001.

SunTrust Bank

SunTrust is the biggest bank by assets with headquarters in Georgia and the 13th largest bank in the United States. It has $183.2 billion in assets and 1,473 branches spread over 11 states. Although LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank, you do not have to have an account with SunTrust to qualify for a loan with LightStream.

What Are The Advantages Of LightStream’s Personal Loans?

LightStream is the Bugatti Veyron of personal loans

LightStream is the Bugatti Veyron of personal loans. It has jaw-dropping specs and any borrower with a pulse would want it, but only a select few can aspire to own one.

Here are the top six advantages of LightStream personal loans:

  • Rock-bottom interest rates. APRs as low as 3.24% with AutoPay for auto purchases directly from dealers. Enough said.
  • Fast application process. In some cases, funds can be deposited on the same day.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • LightStream will beat the rate of other lenders by 0.10%.
  • Interest rates vary depending on the purpose of the loan.
  • Easy to complete application form and fast loan decisions.

There are two disadvantages to consider when looking at a LightStream loan:

  • Only borrowers with excellent credit can qualify for lower rates.
  • LightStream is not set up to rely on soft credit inquiries. When you apply, a hard inquiry will be recorded on your credit report, which could cost you a few points. Other loans perform a soft credit inquiry at the application stage and only do a hard pull when the borrower accepts the loan. 
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* “The APR listed is for an unsecured dealer used auto loan between $10,000 and $24,999 with a term between 24 and 36 months, for applicants with excellent credit. Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. The rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. If your application is approved, your credit profile will determine whether your loan will be unsecured or secured. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 2.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $286.38.

Just Military Loans Review

Just Military Loans is an online lender that – as its name indicates – deals exclusively in personal loans to military personnel. Just Military Loans is certainly not alone in targeting members of the armed forces, but it is one of the largest lenders in this niche.

Given the U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s biggest employer and that there are over 1.4 million active service members, it is no real surprise there is a whole market that specializes in lending to soldiers.

How does Just Military Loans compare with other military loans providers? Are military loans a good deal for members of the Armed Forces? This in-depth review of Just Military Loans will look at these and other important questions.

What Types Of Loans Does Just Military Loans Offer?

Just Military Loans specializes in short-term unsecured loans for emergency expenses, such as car repairs or medical bills. The loans have relatively high interest rates and expensive fees, if you compare them to the rates of prime lenders, such as SoFi and Prosper. The key point to consider is that Just Military Loans considers military personnel with poor credit. If you compare Just Military Loans’ rates with rates offered by other lenders that consider borrowers with bad credit, such as payday lenders, the rates are excellent.

Overall, Just Military Loans is a good deal for service members with less than stellar credit. There is one thing we do take issue with, though.

You have to expect high interest rates and origination fees when a lender makes loans available to borrowers with poor credit. What is harder to justify is Just Military Loans’ lack of transparency when “advertising” its rates and fees. There is little information on their website on the cost of its loans. Even if you call and get through to one of its customer care agents, they are not able (or authorized) to provide any information on the range of rates or fees you will have to pay. Borrowers must first complete an application form and get approved before they are told their terms. It’s hard to understand why Just Military Loans doesn’t advertise its rates. As you can see below, they are very competitive, considering the target audience.

What Are Just Military Loans Interest Rates and Terms?

  • Just Military Loans repayment terms range from 12 to 24 months
  • 31.04% to 35.99% APR. The Military Lending Act sets a maximum of 36% APR on loans marketed to U.S. service members
  • $100 to $500 origination fee
  • There are no prepayment penalties

There is no way to get pre-approved and find out what your rates will be before applying and getting hit with a hard pull on your credit. Borrowers must complete the application process and wait to receive a loan contract to see their rates and terms. Check SuperMoney’s Just Military Loans company profile for the latest rates and terms.

How Much Can Your Borrow From Just Military Loans?

Just Military Loans offers loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Larger loans (up to $15,000) will be available soon. Maximum loan amounts vary depending on your income and credit profile. The cost of a loan depends on your interest rate and how long you take to repay the loan. To illustrate, a $4,000 loan with a 35.43% APR and a 24-month term would have monthly payments of $211.48. A total cost of $5,075.52.

How Do Just Military Loans Work?

Just Military Loans prides itself on its fast and efficient loan process. Borrowers who apply during business hours can receive same day approval. Once approved, funds can be deposited by the next business day.

All Just Military Loans are issued by Resolute Bank, an FDIC member bank based in Maumee, Ohio. Resolute Bank was established in 2006 and has $38.6 million in assets. Bauer Financial gives the bank a two-star rating, which signals it as a problematic bank. On the other hand, it is an accredited business (A+ rating) with the BBB.

To start the loan process, you must complete an online application form and upload your latest Leave and Earning Statement (LES). See below for screenshots and a detailed review of the application form. Notice that by submitting an application you are authorizing Just Military Loans to perform a hard pull on your credit, which could affect your credit score.

If Just Military Loans approves the loan application, you will receive an email with a link to the loan contract, which includes the loan’s interest rates and terms.

Once your account manager has verified and approved your application and contract, Just Military Loans will deposit your funds.

15-Day Guarantee

Just Military Loans offers a 15-day guarantee on its loans. If borrowers are unsatisfied with a loan or just change their mind, they can return the money within 15 days of receiving the loan without paying penalties or fees.

What Is Just Military Loans’ Application Process Like?

Just Military Loans has a simple application process. The issue is that borrowers have to go in blind without knowing what the interest rates and origination costs will be. If you’re comfortable with that, loan application forms don’t get much easier than this.

1. Choose The Loan Amount And Provide Your Personal Details

Submit your full name, address, email, and phone numbers.

Just Military Loans Application Form 1

2. Provide Your Date Of Birth and SSN

This is a short form. Just provide your date of birth, SSN, and duty status and you’re ready to go.

 

Just Military Loans Application Form 2

Just Military Loans: The Bottom Line

Just Military Loans claims to support active duty military. “Serving those who serve” is the company’s slogan. And Just Military Loans does facilitate loans to service members with a variety of credit types. Interest rates of 31.04% to 35.99% APR are not bad for a lender that considers borrowers with poor credit, which would struggle to find credit with these terms elsewhere.

Here are the key advantages of Just Military Loans:

  • It considers borrowers with poor credit
  • It offers a 15-day satisfaction guarantee
  • 31.04% to 35.99% APR range
  • Borrowers receive a personal account manager who explains the loan’s terms
  • Easy online application
  • Funds are deposited directly to your bank account
LendUp Loans Review

LendUp Payday Loans: A Comprehensive Review

LendUp is an online payday lender based in San Francisco, California. It markets itself as a socially responsible lender and an alternative to payday loans, but its prime rates and terms are only available to repeat customers in certain states. Its standard rates and terms are similar to other payday lenders.
In most cases, payday loans should be avoided. They are the loans of last resort that you should only consider in emergencies. As the Center for Responsible Lending warns, payday loans can force borrowers into a spiral of debt without regard to their ability to repay. However, not all payday lenders are created equal.

Although LendUp’s rates and terms are similar to other payday lenders, it doesn’t offer rollover loans, and borrowers cannot take on additional loans to repay a previous loan. LendUp can also help borrowers learn better financial habits with their free credit education.

Let’s be clear. LendUp is still a payday lender with vertigo-inducing interest rates. It can help towards improving your credit, but it will cost you, and it won’t be fast.

So are LendUp’s benefits worth the price or not? This in-depth review will look at the rates and terms of LendUp, so you can decide whether or not it makes sense in your financial situation.

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Who Can Benefit From A LendUp Loan?

LendUp offers short-term loans to consumers of all financial backgrounds and is an option for people of all credit types.

Customers who don’t have perfect credit often find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle.

What Are LendUp’s Rates and Terms

LendUp’s interest rates vary depending on the state, loan amount and loan duration. See LendUp’s profile for the latest rates and terms.

How Do LendUp’s Payday Loans Work?

LendUp is a direct lender, not a middleman so that it can provide borrowers with an instant decision on loan approval.  No need to wait for hours or days on approval or denial of credit. The online application form only takes as few as 5 minutes to complete.

There are no hidden fees and, unlike most payday lenders, there are no rollovers to worry about.

What Is LendUp’s Application Process Like?

LendUp’s application process is easy to complete and entirely automated. Borrowers get an immediate decision once they fill out the application. This section will review the six steps that need to be completed to qualify for a LendUp loan.

1. Select The Loan Amount And Repayment Period

LendUp has a sliding bar you can use to choose the amount you want to borrow and a slide bar to determine the term of the payday loan. As you make your choices, LendUp instantly provides the equivalent APR and total loan cost.

LendUp Loans application 1

2. Create An Account.

You will need an email address, a password, and agree to LendUp’s terms of service.

LendUp payday loans

3. Submit Personal Details

New borrowers must provide their full name, SSN, mobile phone, date of birth, and address.

LendUp Loans application

4. Submit Employment Details

LendUp needs to know your current employer, how long you have worked there, your annual income, and how often you are paid. However, LendUp does consider unemployed applicants as long as they have a source of income and can afford the loan payments.

LendUp Loans application

5. Military Disclosure

Disclose whether you are a member of the Armed Forces (or the dependent of one).

LendUp Loans Application screenshot

6. Banking Details

Provide the routing number and account number of the bank account where you receive your income.

bank info

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of LendUp?

LendUp has the following benefits over other payday lenders:

  • Borrowers can apply online
  • Proven repeat borrowers can qualify for lower interest rates larger loan amounts and longer repayment periods where available.
  • You know immediately whether you have been approved.
  • Clear terms. No late fees, no origination fees.
  • Customizable payment dates.
  • Direct Lender.
  • No rollovers. LendUp does not trap borrowers in a cycle of debt.
  • Provides free credit education.

LendUp has the following disadvantages:

  • Maximum loan amount of $250 for first-time borrowers.
  • Interest rates are very high, particularly for first-time borrowers.

The Bottom Line

LendUp is a payday lender. Therefore, it has high rates, small loan amounts, and short terms. LendUp loans are not a great deal for borrowers with fair or good credit who are likely to qualify for better rates and terms elsewhere. However, LendUp is an option for borrowers who need a payday loan but want to avoid some of the pitfalls of late fees and loan rollovers.

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SoFi Student Loans Review

SoFi is a leading marketplace lender of personal loans and mortgages, and the number one provider of student loan refinancing. The secret of its success is no secret at all. SoFi offers ultra-low interest rates, excellent terms and a hassle-free application process. How does a relatively new player in the loan business compete with international banks and established alternative lenders? By being extremely selective about who it does business with.

Who Are SoFi’s Student Loans Designed For?

SoFi only lends to super-prime borrowers. In other words, its lending pool is limited to borrowers with a good education, substantial and steady incomes, a proven track of financial discipline and excellent credit. If you want a loan and you meet SoFi’s eligibility criteria, you are practically guaranteed a good experience. For those who are denied a loan, SoFi’s stringent requirements will be frustrating; but they can at least take comfort in that the application process was simple and the rejection swift.

About SoFi

SoFi, which stands for Social Financing, was founded in 2011 by four Stanford MBA students as a school project. If the company’s balance sheet and BBB rating is anything to by, it’s safe to say the school project got an A+. The startup began as a peer-to-peer lending marketplace for Stanford alumni. Graduates got a chance to refinance their loans at lower rates and the alumni could feel good about themselves while they got a halfway decent return on their investment. A win-win arrangement. The alumni/community loans model was then extended to other top universities.

Fast forward to 2017, and most of the funds used to finance SoFi loans come from large institutional investors. SoFi is exceptionally well-funded, which gives it an edge on many of its cash-strapped competitors. As of June 2017, SoFi has funded $20 billion in loans and has more than 300,000 members.

SoFi: Student Loan Refinancing

Despite its growth, student loan refinancing is still at the heart of SoFi. In fact, SoFi is the biggest player in student loan refinancing.

Why are SoFi student loans so popular?

Here are just a few of the benefits SoFi provides borrowers.

  • There are no application or origination fees
  • You can get pre-approved and find out your rate in 5 minutes without a hard credit pull
  • If you lose your job, SoFi will pause payments and help you find a new one
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Interest rates are extremely low
  • Variable interest rates are capped
  • Fast approval procedure
  • Loans are funded within 4 to 5 days

What Are SoFi’s Student Loan Refinance Interest Rates and Terms?

As of June 2017, SoFi’s interest rates range from

Fixed:

  • 3.35% – 6.74% APR (with AutoPay)
  • 3.6% – 6.99% APR (without AutoPay)

Variable:

  • 2.795% – 6.72% APR (with AutoPay)
  • 3.045% – 6.97% APR (without AutoPay)

These rates include a 0.25% discount for borrowers who enroll in autopay. Borrowers who don’t agree to automatic payments must add 0.25% to their rate. See our SoFi Review on student loan refinancing for current rates.

Borrowers can choose terms ranging from 5 to 20 years. Although monthly payments are lower with longer terms, the interest rate and the total cost of the loan are higher.

Variable rate loans have lower interest rates, but they are linked to the one-month LIBOR index (the average rate at which a select group of large banks can borrow money from other banks), which can change monthly and increase the cost of the loan.

What Is SoFi’s Student Loan Refinance Eligibility Criteria?

SoFi only lends to super-prime borrowers and has strict credit requirements. These include:

  • Have a 4-year undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution accredited to receive federal aid (Title IV accredited institutions)
  • Have a good employment record and be either currently employed or have a confirmed job offer
  • Have a strong monthly cash flow
  • Have at least $5,000 in student loans (private or federal)
  • An excellent credit score
  • Be in good standing with current student loans
  • And be a US citizen or permanent resident.

Even if you do qualify for a loan with SoFi, you may not get the lowest rates. Remember you are competing with the best of the best when it comes to credit score and debt to income ratios.

The one caveat of refinancing your student loan with SoFi is that you may lose some protections that come with US student loans. For instance, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program lets people who work full-time for certain organizations (such as government and not-for-profit organizations) off the hook for the balance of their student loans if they make on time payments for 10 years.

Featured Student Loans
Lending PartnerAPR Range 
Variable: as low as 2.52%*

Fixed:as low as 3.25%*
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Variable: 2.56% - 6.73%*

Fixed: 3.37% - 6.99%*
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Variable APR: 3.25% - 10.22%*
Fixed APR: 5.74% - 11.85%*
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How Does SoFi’s Student Loan Refinance Application Process Work?

SoFi’s student loan application has four simple stages. We have added screenshots and descriptions of each stage so you know exactly what to expect.

Step 1 — Provide Personal, School, Employment and Loan Information
This stage determines whether a borrower meets SoFi’s eligibility criteria. Borrowers must provide their name, address, date of birth, citizenship status, the school they attended, the degrees they completed, their place of employment, income and work experience. It is at this stage you must also specify the loan amount you require to refinance all your student loans.

SoFi student loans review

 

Step 1b — Specify Your University, Program And Graduation Date

SoFi Review Student Loans application stage 1

 

Step 1c — Choose Your Student Loan Amount

SoFi student loans review

 

Step 2 — Choose the Loan Type and Calculate Your Savings

Based on the information provided in stage 1, SoFi provides borrowers with an interest rate, or—to be more precise—a range of interest rates. The actual rate will depend on several factors, such as the loan amount, term, and whether it’s a variable interest or fixed interest loan. Borrowers must now provide details on their current loan balance, remaining term and average interest rate so that SoFi can estimate the savings they can expect from refinancing.

SoFi Review Student Loans stage 2

 

Step 2b — Chose Your Loan Term and Rate Type

SoFi Review Student Loans stage 2 b

 

Step 2c — Provide Details About The Student Loans You’re Refinancing

SoFi Review Student Loan application stage 2 c

 

Step 3 — Upload Documents to Verify Your Information

SoFi requires borrowers to upload documents so it can verify the identity, income, address and loan information provided in the previous stages. SoFi accepts photographs, scans or even screenshots.

Review SoFi Student Loans upload documents stage 3 a

 

Step 3b — Don’t Forget to Include Address Verification And Your Social Security Number

Review SoFi Student Loans upload documents stage 3 b

 

Step 4 — Sign Acceptance Package

The final stage of SoFi’s application process summarizes the loan agreement and requires borrowers to confirm which student loans it wishes to refinance. If the application is approved, SoFi will contact the borrowers so they can take the final step of signing the loan refinance application. At this stage, applicants can also setup automatic payments while they wait for a response. Those that agree to autopay receive a 0.25% interest rate saving.

SoFi Student Loans Review stage 4

 

Step 4b — Setup Your Autopay Agreement

Review SoFi Student Loan Application

SoFi Student Loans Review & Summary

How Is SoFi’s Student Loan Refinancing Better Than Other Lenders?

Simply put, SoFi provides lower interest rates and better terms than most other lenders. If you want to refinance your student loans and you have excellent credit, a good job, and a stellar employment history, you should probably start by applying for a loan with SoFi. Although qualifying is not easy—around 40% of applicants are flat-out rejected—there is nothing to lose because SoFi only does a soft credit pull and within five minutes you’ll know whether or not you will be approved. Consider applying for a student loan with SoFi as a free, no strings attached way to see just how good your credit is that could save you a small fortune in interest payments.

 

Student Loan Refinancing:

Fixed rates from 3.350% APR to 6.740% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.795% APR to 6.720% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. Lowest variable rate of 2.795% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 1.22% plus 1.575% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
Credit Sesame Review Credit Reporting

If you’ve heard anything about Credit Sesame, it’s probably that it offers users a chance to see their credit score for free. That is true. We’re not talking about a free trial either. Credit Sesame is completely free. No trials. No gimmicks. No purchase required. Zilch. Nada.

Unlike other “free” websites, Credit Sesame does not ask for your credit card number either, so they could not charge you even if they wanted to. What’s more, it only requires the last four numbers of your SSN for identity confirmation purposes to check your credit score and monitor your credit report.

The big caveat is that Credit Sesame only provides TransUnion’s credit score for free, and even then it’s not the same credit score lenders use (more on the confusing world of credit scores below). However, Credit Sesame is more than just a source of free credit scores.

Credit Sesame is a financial analysis and advice website that helps consumers manage their credit and debt. It is a valuable service with no real downside. If you haven’t already, we recommend you give it a try. Here’s why:

  • Credit Sesame is free
  • It provides access to your credit score and credit report with monthly updates
  • Daily monitoring of your TransUnion credit score and report
  • Offers members free identity theft insurance ($50k)
  • Only requires the last four digits of your SSN
  • Reliable advice on how to improve your credit, reduce debt and reach other financial goals, such as buying a home
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Still unsure? We get it. It’s smart to be skeptical about offers that sound too good to be true. This in-depth review will explain what Credit Sesame offers, why it is free, and how it compares to the other “free credit score” websites.

What Services Does Credit Sesame Offer?

Credit Sesame is a full-service credit monitoring and identity theft protection company that provides its services on a freemium model. Freemium means what it sounds like. Some of the services are completely free and will remain free indefinitely. However, there are optional services that do require a monthly payment.
Credit Sesame offers the following services:

  • Credit Monitoring
  • Free Credit Score
  • Free Credit Report Analysis
  • Personalized Mortgage and Refinance Loan Offers
  • Personalized Credit Card Offers

Although Credit Sesame’s free membership provides all these services, there are some features that members can only access if they pay to upgrade to a premium membership.

Credit Sesame Credit Monitoring

Credit Sesame provides free daily credit monitoring through TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. Although this is a great deal for a free service, there are two other credit bureaus: Experian and Equifax. Service providers (such as lenders, utility companies, and landlords) don’t always report to all three credit bureaus. In other words, monitoring your credit with one bureau does not guarantee you will be alerted if someone fraudulently uses your identity to apply for a loan or credit card.

To illustrate, my Equifax credit report doesn’t show one of my credit cards and only shows two credit inquiries. My TransUnion report does show all my credit cards and six credit inquiries (I shop around), but they aren’t the same inquiries on my Equifax report. In other words, any one credit bureau could miss new accounts opened in your name.

If you want Credit Sesame to provide daily credit monitoring of all three credit bureaus, you must enroll in its Pro Credit ($15.95 a month) or Platinum Protection ($19.95 a month) programs.

Does Credit Sesame Really Give A Free Credit Score?

Yes. It’s completely free, and it is based on your actual TransUnion credit report. The catch is that this isn’t the same credit score lenders see. Credit Sesame gives it customers TransUnion’s equivalency score. This score is useful because it gives you a good idea of your credit’s health. However, it is not the score most lenders see: your FICO score. For more information on the different credit scores available, read this article.

TransUnion’s FICO and equivalence scores are usually very similar, but there can be differences of up to 30 points. I just checked my Credit Sesame TransUnion score and my FICO score, and there was a gap of 7 points. Not bad. However, if you need a set score to qualify for a financial goal, such as buying a house or qualifying for a credit card, you should obtain your FICO score.

Here are three ways to check your FICO score:

  • Some credit cards and banks provide customers their FICO as an additional service. For instance, I just checked my FICO score through my Barclaycard Frontier Airlines World Mastercard. However, this will only give you your FICO score with one credit bureau. Check out SuperMoney’s credit card search engine to find credit cards that offer free access to your FICO scores.
  • Buy your FICO score from all three bureaus directly from MyFICO
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Free Credit Report Analysis

Credit Sesame’s credit report analysis is one of its most valuable features. It breaks down the components of your credit report into five categories and grades you for each one, which makes it clear what you need to work on to improve your credit.

The five categories are:

  • Payment History
  • Credit Usage
  • Credit Age
  • Account Mix
  • Credit Inquiries

Credit Sesame also calculates your total debt balances, your monthly payments, and your debt to income ratios, all of which are useful measures of your financial fitness.
Notice Credit Sesame does not offer a full credit report. Although it covers the necessary information, you will have to pay a one-time $9.95 fee or become a paying member to see your full credit report.

Personalized Recommendations

Credit Sesame’s loan and credit card recommendations are both a service to its customers and the way it covers the cost of its free services. Credit Sesame gets paid a commission every time a customer completes a loan or credit card application recommended on the site. These recommendations are based on each client’s personal credit profile. Credit Sesame even has an algorithm that calculates how likely you are to qualify for a loan or credit card. This service helps you avoid the credit damage caused by getting declined by card issuers and loans that are currently out of your league.

Credit Sesame Review Register

I particularly like Credit Sesame’s free mortgage and mortgage refinancing analysis. It allows you to estimate the best loan rates you can expect to get, tells you how much you can afford to borrow for a home loan, and what your mortgage refinancing options are.

How Do You Register With Credit Sesame?

Creating an account with Credit Sesame takes only 90 seconds, and that’s for slow typers. Here is a step by step guide of what you should expect.

1. Submit Your Email And Choose A Password

Credit Sesame Review

2. Complete Personal Information Form

Provide your name, address, DOB, and the last four digits of your SSN.

Credit Sesame Review Register

3. Confirm Your Identity 

Answer a couple of questions about your credit history to confirm your identity. That’s it. You’re done.

Is Credit Sesame a Scam?

No. Not at all. It is a for-profit company that attracts new customers by providing free services in the hope they will upgrade their membership or apply for the loans and credit cards it recommends. This is the same business model Credit Karma, Credit.com, and many other legitimate businesses use.

Is Credit Sesame Safe?

Yes. You don’t have to provide them with your credit card and they only request the last four digits of your SSN. Enough said.

Can I Get My Free Annual Credit Report Through Credit Sesame?

No. That is a different service you can only obtain through www.annualcreditreport.com. However, Credit Sesame and AnnualCreditReport.com are a perfect complement if you want a free way to keep tabs on your credit score and credit report for free.

How Much Does Credit Sesame Cost?

Credit Sesame is free if you stick to its basic features. Premium features, such as $1 million identity theft insurance, access to credit experts, and full credit reports require you to become a paying member.

Credit Sesame has three levels of paid membership: Advanced Credit, Pro Credit, and Platinum Protection.

Advanced Credit ($7.95 a month) offers a full credit report every month and 24/7 access to experts if you need to solve credit report inaccuracies.

Pro Credit ($15.95 a month) provides monthly credit scores (not FICO scores), daily credit monitoring, and full monthly credit reports from all three bureaus. It also includes 24/7 access to credit experts to resolve credit report inaccuracies.

Platinum Protection ($19.95) includes all the services offered by Pro Credit plus full-service identity restoration, $1 million identity theft insurance, 24/7 assistance when your wallet is lost or stolen, monitoring of black market websites, public records and your Social Security Number.

Credit Sesame Prices

The Bottom Line

Credit Sesame provides an excellent service for an unbeatable price. As well as free access to your TransUnion credit score (not your FICO score), Credit Sesame provides a free analysis of your credit report, $50k identity theft insurance, and personalized recommendations on mortgages and credit cards. There is no downside to registering with Credit Sesame and a lot to learn and benefit from its free credit and debt tools.

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lending.com B2B loans

The future of new businesses is disrupting old businesses. Jason Hogg and Nick Gould, founders of Lending.com, feel the business of lending is ripe for the picking and that they are the people to disrupt it. Hogg and Gould see personal and business lending as fragmented, complacent, inefficient and ready to be challenged. They have plans to improve things.

Ventures like Uber, Square, Google and Amazon didn’t necessarily succeed because they were the first to provide a service or sell a product, but because they saw new ways to improve on existing business models that had grown stagnant. The question is whether Lending.com can do for personal and business loans what Uber, Airbnb, Google and Amazon did for transportation, small business payments, search engines and online shopping.

There is no arguing that the business of lending could do with a make-over. Jason Hogg and Nick Gould made this point on the pre-launch landing page of Lending.com when they highlighted that satisfaction with traditional forms of financing remains abysmal. To illustrate, according to a recent survey, only 3 percent of consumers would recommend their bank to a friend.

Over the past few years, new financial technology companies like Prosper, LendingClub and Funding Circle have introduced even greater levels of sophistication and technological wizardry to the lending business to fix its many shortcomings. There has been progress. Loan applications now take minutes to complete instead of hours and credit approval waiting times can take less than a minute instead of weeks. LendingClub and Prosper, the two leading marketplace lending platforms, which not long ago were quaint novelties, have made a total of $16 billion in loans. Online alternative business loan providers are still small, but they are growing fast. According to FDIC data, online options for business loans increased by +175% in 2014.

Lending.com founders say this is only the beginning. They feel there is yet to be a transformative technology platform that can provide a faster, fairer, and lower-friction lending experience for businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers. That is the role Lending.com is designed to play.

Does Lending.com have the innovations, experience, and financial backing to disrupt an industry as competitive as consumer and business lending?

Who Is Behind Lending.com?

Lending.com is a re-branding of B2R Holdings, the parent company of B2R Finance and its division Dwell Finance. B2R Finance was launched in 2013 to address the specific financing needs of rental property investors. The company gives people who buy property to rent— and who already own a rental property— the ability to invest in further rental properties by leveraging their existing investments. The terms and rates B2R Finance offers are attractive. Loan amounts range from the single-property Dwell Finance Foundation Loan at $25,000 to upwards of $25 million; interest rates are fixed and competitive, and investors can qualify for loans of up to 75 percent of property value. How have things worked out for B2R Finance? In two years, the platform has originated a billion dollars in loans with zero delinquencies. Enough said.

Both Nick Gould and Jason Hogg have already been at the forefront of companies that have taken advantage of fragmented and complacent industries. Nick has 30 years’ experience in real estate and founded Dallas,TX-based Invitation Homes, a leader in the single-family home rental industry with a portfolio of 45,000 rental homes in 14 of America’s most popular metro areas. Jason Hogg is the founder of Revolution Money, an alternative payment company that was acquired by American Express®. Jason was also the president of American Express® Serve Enterprise, Medsite Inc and HorizonLive. Not to mention he was a Special Agent with the FBI and currently teaches entrepreneurship and innovation at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

It’s not just that Lending.com is managed by entrepreneurs with impressive resumes. It also is backed by Blackstone, a premier global investment firm with $336 billion in assets under management.

How Do Lending.com’s Loans Work?

Lending.com will not be competing for individual borrowers with the likes of Prosper and LendingClub. Instead of acting as a retail lender, Lending.com is partnering with other companies that already have a distribution infrastructure in place. It is looking to be the warehouse provider for major businesses that already have a high volume of consumers. They act as a business to business platform that provides lending as a service.

For example, they could provide large business, such as T-Mobile’s finance unit, with a turnkey lending platform. There is also talk about Lending.com partnering with merchant processors to market its business loans. This does not mean Lending.com will be offering merchant cash advances, as Jason Hogg has stated they will not be in the merchant cash advance business. Instead, Lending.com would originate regular business loans and would use merchant processors to get first-hand data on the financial performance of borrowers.

The goal of Lending.com is to use its wildly successful real estate lending business as a base from which to move into new finance sectors. The platform is based on five essential components:

  1. Origination engine
  2. Underwriting
  3. Servicing
  4. Balance sheet
  5. Capital Markets

This platform has been thoroughly tested with rental property investment loans and can be scaled to new verticals, such as consumer loans and small business loans.

How Is Lending.com Better Than Other Lenders?

Lending.com acts as a B2B lending platform. Instead of playing the competitive and expensive game of finding individual borrowers, Lending.com is partnering with large corporations that already have an established audience and who are willing to partner with Lending.com to benefit from its stable finance platform.

Time will tell if Lending.com will be the great market disruptor it hopes to be. However, we are excited and hopeful about the innovations Lending.com can bring to the table. They have people who have already disrupted financial, medical and real estate sectors successfully, and they have deep pockets funding their ambitious goals.

Upstart Loans Review

Upstart Loans: A Comprehensive Review

Upstart is a personal loans marketplace that provides loans to borrowers with high income potential, but who may not have much in the way of credit history. While traditional banks require an established credit report and a substantial employment history, Upstart looks at a host of other variables when determining the credit risk of an applicant. Not only is Upstart flexible with its eligibility criteria, it also offers competitive rates for loans of up to $50,000.

Prime rates for young borrowers with little to no credit history?

If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because there are a few caveats to consider. But that doesn’t mean Upstart loans aren’t a great deal. On the contrary, for the right applicant, Upstart could well be the best lender around. This review will look into the terms and rates offered by Upstart and compare it to similar lenders. We will also take a detailed look at Upstart’s application process and eligibility criteria.

Upstart’s Backstory

Upstart was founded in 2012 by Dave Girouard, Paul Gu, and Anna Counselman. All of them are ex-google workers who decided to use their data science know-how to change the way credit risk is calculated. According to Girouard, 80% to 85% of people in the United States have never defaulted on a loan and are unlikely to do so. However, because of their FICO score, only a third of them qualify for prime rates. Upstart’s founders feel the system is broken and that their proprietary underwriting model does a better job of identifying high-quality borrowers. As of December 2015, Upstart has received $53.15 million in equity funding. The company is based in Palo Alto, California. Since it was founded, Upstart has financed over 17,000 loans.

When Upstart was first launched, it offered Income Share Agreements to borrowers. These agreements allowed people to borrow money in exchange for a percent of their future income for up to 10 years. If borrowers didn’t make enough money during a given year to meet a previously agreed upon minimum payment, an additional year was added to the agreement. This method was not necessarily cheaper than traditional loans, but it offered additional flexibility. Borrowers could afford to take more risks, start a business, and take on additional education because they weren’t tied to fixed payments. However, Income Share Agreements never really caught on with borrowers and were discontinued in May 2014. Now, Upstart only offers traditional 36-month loans.

How Does Upstart Work?

Upstart is not a direct lender. Instead, it is a lending platform that connects borrowers with an assortment of retail and institutional investors. Upstart performs all the underwriting and credit analysis for investors who don’t want the hassle of arranging and servicing loans. As of November 2015, 98% of Upstart’s loans are current and performing well. However, Upstart’s lending model allows for a default rate of up to 5% of principal.

How can lenders withstand such a high default rate? Upstart offers lenders the expectation of earning rates of around 7% and the average interest rate of an Upstart loan is between 11% and 15%.

How Does Upstart Make Money? Upstart makes money by charging fees to both borrowers and lenders. According to Dave Girouard, Upstart’s CEO and co-founder, Upstart makes around 5% off the principal of every loan.

Who Does Upstart Target?

Upstart is in the business of lending money to future prime borrowers. What sets its model apart from many other lenders is that it bases credit risk not so much on the past of borrowers but on what borrowers are expected to earn in the future. Upstart does this by attempting to identify well educated and motivated borrowers who are likely to achieve financial success before other lenders do.

So what does Upstart look for when identifying future prime borrowers? Earning a degree from a top university helps a lot. But so does your area of study and your employment history. For example, a registered nurse may receive just as good a rate as a literature major from an Ivy League university because Upstart’s credit model focuses on earning potential. Borrowers with advanced degrees and good grades on standardized tests, such as SAT and ACT, can also expect better rates with Upstart. Generally, borrowers must have a FICO score of at least 640, stable employment, and an income of at least $40,000 a year. However, borrowers who are attending a partner boot camp are exempt from the employment requirement.

Upstart still cares about borrowers’ credit history, but it is willing to look at a variety of markers of prime borrowers depending on each applicant’s credit profile. If you have an established credit history, Upstart will focus on that. If you don’t have much of a credit history (less than 10 years), Upstart will concentrate on other variables, such as your academic performance.

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What Are Upstart’s Rates And Terms?

Upstart offers fixed interest rates ranging from 7.16% to 29.99% APR. This rate includes Upstart’s origination fee, which ranges from 1% to 6% depending on the borrower’s credit grade. Origination fees are included in the loan’s APR but are deducted from the loan balance before it’s deposited. For example, if you borrow $30,000, and you’re charged a 5% origination fee, you will only receive $28,500 in your bank account. However, you will pay interest on the entire $30,000. Check Upstart’s SuperMoney profile page for the latest rates.

Loan amounts range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $50,000. Loans have terms of three or five years, but there is no prepayment penalty so borrowers can pay off loans early.

There is a late fee of $15 or of 5% of the payment amount, whichever is larger. There are no fees for paying with a personal check, as with other lenders.

What Are Upstart’s Credit Requirements?

Because of Upstart’s flexible credit analysis model, its minimum credit criteria is short:

  • Have a credit score of at least 640
  • Have a full-time job or a job offer
  • Have a four-year college degree and be looking for a job
  • And NOT live in West Virginia

The college degree and employment requirements can be waived for applicants who want to use the loan to pay for the tuition of one of the coding boot camps that have partnered with Upstart. Note that Upstart uses TransUnion’s FICO score. It’s not a bad idea to check that there are no mistakes on your credit report with TransUnion before applying.

Apart from that, there is no minimum income, no minimum credit history, and no maximum debt-to-income ratio. However, Upstart does not accept people who have bankruptcies or public records on their report or who have six or more credit inquiries on their credit report for the last six months. Upstart also prefers borrowers not to have a debt ratio above 16%.

What Does A Typical Upstart Borrower Look Like?

The average Upstart borrower is 22 to 35 years old, has a credit score of 692, and a debt-to-income ratio of around 15%. As of December 2015, a typical Upstart loan has an APR of between 11% and 15%. The average loan size is $13,000, and with an APR of say 15%, would require 36 monthly payments of $416 to repay.

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What Is Upstart’s Application Process Like?

Upstart has a simple and easy to complete application process. Here is a detailed walkthrough. Remember, Upstart only performs a soft credit check at this stage. Checking your rate will not hurt your credit.

  1. Choose the purpose of your loan.

Upstart Rates

2. Choose the loan amount and provide an estimate of your credit score.

upstart rates 2

3. Provide your level of education and your primary source of income.

Upstart rates 3

4. Provide some personal information.

Upstart rates 5

Upstart Rates 6

5. Choose your loan and terms.

upstart loan offers

6. Confirm your identity and provide your bank account information

Upstart identity bank account upstart

7. Submit supporting documentation and electronically sign your loan contract. 

How Does Upstart Compare to Other Lenders?

Upstart and a small group of similar businesses have created a new way of lending that focuses on the future potential of borrowers and not exclusively on their credit history. Upstart’s rates are similar to those of SoFi, LightStream, and Earnest, but Upstart has more flexible credit score requirements. Upstart has both lower rates and a faster lending process than marketplace loan leaders Prosper and LendingClub.

This is what we love about Upstart:

  • Upstart offers competitive rates to borrowers with less than perfect credit reports.
  • The application process is quick and easy. If approved, borrowers can receive their money by the next business day.
  • Checking your rate will not affect your credit. Upstart performs a soft credit inquiry that will not ding your credit score.
  • There are no prepayment penalties.
  • Available in all states except West Virginia.

What we don’t love about Upstart:

  • It excludes borrowers without a higher education or a high-income potential. Unfortunately, these exclusions are what allow Upstart to filter out future prime borrowers in the first place.
  • Longer application process than other online lenders. Upstart must confirm the schools, grades and job offers that borrowers claim to have in their application forms. Cash is deposited within the next business day, but only after a loan is approved, and all necessary documentation is submitted.

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lendingpoint personal loans

LendingPoint offers fast access to fixed and predictable installment loans at competitive rates and with flexible loan amounts. Yeah. Lots of lenders do that. LendingPoint’s key differentiator is that they offer fair interest rates to people with less than great credit: borrowers with credit scores ranging from 600 to 680. They are able to do so by using a proprietary credit analysis model that looks at more than just your credit score and approves loan applications from borrowers that traditional lenders might not consider.

Is LendingPoint the right lender for you? Maybe.

This comprehensive review will look at the rates and terms of LendingPoint loans and compare them to similar lenders in the business. By the end of this featured article, you will understand whether you stand to benefit from a LendingPoint loan or if there are greener pastures elsewhere. We will also take an in-depth look at LendingPoint’s application process, so you know exactly what to expect if you decide to apply for a loan.

Who Are LendingPoint’s Loans Designed For?

If you have excellent credit or assets, this is not the lender for you. Prime borrowers can find much better rates with companies such as Sofi or LendingClub.  On the other hand, LendingPoint can be an excellent option if your credit score is not great, but you still want:

  • Access to fair rates
  • Fixed payments
  • Fast access to your cash
  • A loan that improves your credit rating

LendingPoint is also a good choice if you are trying to rebuild your credit. LendingPoint reports your loan payments to Experian and TransUnion, two of the three credit reporting bureaus. If you are regular and on time with your payments, your credit score may improve over time.

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What Are LendingPoint’s Rates and Terms?

LendingPoint offers personal loans ranging from $3,500 to $25,000 with loan terms of 24 to 36 months. The average LendingPoint loan is around $7,500 and has a 30-month term. Interest rates range from 17.46% APR to 34.99%. Your interest rate depends, among other factors, on your credit profile, income, employment, and your state of residence. LendingPoint also charges a one-time startup fee. This startup fee varies from state to state and is deducted from the loan amount before funds are deposited. Borrowers are informed about the startup fee before the loan is funded.

Please visit LendingPoint’s SuperMoney profile to check out the latest rates and terms.

LendingPoint’s Backstory

LendingPoint was founded in July of 2014, which makes it a relatively new startup. However, its experienced management team and financial backing have allowed it to grow quickly into a leader in online direct lending. LendingPoint has its headquarters in Kennesaw, in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, but it operates in many states across the country. The company is structured as a Limited Liability Company and has an A- rating with the BBB.

Lending Point’s CEO, Tom Burnside, CTO, Franck Fatras, and Chief Risk and Analytics Officer, Sharat Shankar were all part of CAN Capital’s management team. Can CAPITAL is a leading marketplace for small businesses. Tom Burnside, for instance, was the President and Chief Operating Officer of CAN Capital from 2000 to 2013. Franck Fatras was CAN Capital’s CTO during the same period, and Sharat Shankar was a senior vice-president.

From the start, LendingPoint has been a direct lender, which allows it to provide instant decisions on loan applications. In October 2015, LendingPoint received a $100 million credit facility from Ares Management: a publicly traded global asset manager with $92 billion in assets, as of December 2015.

How Does LendingPoint Work?

LendingPoint loans can be used for practically any personal use, from debt consolidation to home improvements, car repairs or a vacation. The loans are fixed-rate installment loans, and people with credit scores as low as 600 can qualify. The loan application process only takes a few minutes, and applicants receive an answer within moments of completing the form.

Once approved, funds are deposited directly into the borrower’s bank account, usually within 24 hours of submitting the loan application. Transfers are not done on weekends, so you may have to wait longer if you apply on a Friday or Saturday.

LendingPoint does not perform a hard credit check when you apply for a loan, so checking your rates will not affect your credit score. As with most lenders if you accept the loan, LendingPoint will perform a hard credit check that could cause your credit score to hurt a little. Although a borrower’s credit score is a factor with LendingPoint, its proprietary risk analysis model looks into a wide selection of other relevant variables, which gives people who have fallen on hard times but are fighting to rebuild their financial health a fair chance at receiving a loan.

What Is LendingPoint’s Application Process Like?

LendingPoint’s application process is short and easy to complete. It takes just a few minutes to complete the two-page application form. The best part is that it won’t your credit score to check your rate.

lendingpoint application form

1. Loan amount and purpose of the loan

This page asks for the loan amount and the purpose of the loan. Loan amounts range from $3,500 to $25,000.

Lending Point Application 2

 

 

2. Personal Information

LendingPoint asks for your name, date of birth, and address.

Lending Point Application 3

3. Financial Information

This is the last page of the application form. Provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number, your annual income, mobile phone number, and email. You will also need to agree to a soft pull of your credit score. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your credit score.

Lending Point Application 4

4. Review Your Loan Offers

Choose which loan terms work for you.

lendingpoint3

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of LendingPoint?

This is what we like about LendingPoint:

  • LendingPoint is a direct lender
  • It provides loans from $3,500 to $25,000
  • Reports loan payments to Experian and TransUnion, which can help improve your credit
  • Offers fair interest rates to borrowers with less than great credit
  • Fast credit decisions
  • Flexible terms of 24 to 36 months
  • Simple application process
  • No prepayment penalty

What we don’t like about LendingPoint:

  • Larger loans would be a bonus. $25,000 may not be enough for many borrowers
  • The minimum term is 24 months. Having the option of a shorter term would be nice
  • Lack of clarity on the cost of the startup fee. As with most lenders, this fee is probably capped at 5%, but LendingPoint only reveals this fee once it has approved an application.

How Does LendingPoint Compare To Other Lenders?

LendingPoint has found a niche in the lending industry by offering reasonable rates to borrowers with fair or just okay credit. At first look, its rates are higher than the rates advertised by Prosper, LendingClub, and Upstart (as low as 5% APR), but those rates are only available to those with excellent credit. Borrowers with credit scores in the 600s, which is LendingPoint’s target audience, can only qualify for the higher end of their rates range (up to 36%). And that’s if they qualify at all. In the case of Upstart, only borrowers with a degree from a top university can even apply.

Other companies that also target borrowers with a similar credit profile to LendingPoint are Avant and OneMain Financial. Some of these may also advertise rates that seem better than LendingPoint. For instance, Avant will accept borrowers with credit scores as low as 580 and touts a rate range of 9.95% to 36%. These rate ranges are often only available to borrowers with good credit. There is a second tier rate range with higher rates for borrowers with poor credit.

In summary, LendingPoint does not have the lowest interest rates around, but it is certainly worth checking for borrowers with a credit score from 600 to 750. It is particularly a good option for those with a credit score around 675, a sweet spot for LendingPoint loans.

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Lending Club Review

LendingClub: A Comprehensive Review

LendingClub is America’s largest loan marketplace. The term “alternative” has nothing to do with its size or popularity. It’s only used because LendingClub is an online lender and not a brick-and-mortar bank. As of March 2016, LendingClub had a market value of about $3.22 billion and had arranged over $16 billion in loans. Why so successful? Loans made via LendingClub provide fast access to credit at lower interest rates than most banks and credit cards. It has excellent customer service, earning it an A+ rating with the BBB.

So, should LendingClub be your first choice for personal loans and small business loans? There are other good options out there–more on that later–but LendingClub should certainly be on your shortlist. The only thing that might be an issue for individuals wanting to borrow through LendingClub is that they only offer low-interest rates to prime and super-prime borrowers.

This comprehensive review of LendingClub will look into their rates, terms and application process, and compare their loans with those offered by other alternative lenders. We also provide a detailed description of LendingClub’s eligibility requirements and walk you through its loan application process.

So What Does LendingClub Do?

Loans made through LendingClub can be used as personal loans, business loans and even to finance elective medical procedures. All credit products are available online or through a smartphone’s mobile interface. LendingClub has an edge on traditional lenders because it’s fully online. It has neither a branch network or the fat overhead that goes with it.

LendingClub also uses technology to streamline the costly labor-intensive underwriting structure that most banks these days prefer. LendingClub passes these savings on to their borrowers who get better rates, and investors who receive higher returns.

Who Is LendingClub Designed For?

Loans through LendingClub are designed for individuals and businesses that have good to excellent credit and are looking for low-interest rates. This is important. LendingClub is not for people who would find it impossible to get a traditional loan with a bank or a credit union. LendingClub is a prime lender looking for prime and super-prime borrowers. Over two-thirds of applicants get denied. That is the price of fast loans at competitive rates.

LendingClub’s loans are a particularly good fit for people who carry a balance on their credit cards or for those who have other types of long-term debt. Even consumers with excellent credit can find themselves paying variable interest rates of 17% to 19% on their credit cards, especially if they don’t pay the entire balance each month. LendingClub allows debtors to consolidate high-interest loans into a lower interest LendingClub loan with a fixed interest rate.

According to LendingClub’s own statistics, borrowers who consolidate their loans with LendingClub see a 33% reduction in the interest rate they pay on their debt.

LendingClub reports the payments of borrowers to the three major credit bureaus. If you are regular and punctual with your payments, this can increase your credit score. 76% of LendingClub borrowers saw their credit score rise after getting a loan. The average credit score increase among borrowers from January 2013 to January 2015 was 21 points.

LendingClub’s Backstory

LendingClub had a rocky beginning. Soon after it was launched in 2006, LendingClub had to fight a six-month negotiation with the federal government (SEC) for its survival. Not to mention the Great Recession that started just after LendingClub was beginning to get some traction.

In 2007, Renaud Laplanche, LendingClub’s CEO, and founder launched the company on Facebook. This was when Facebook first opened its platform to other firms. Although this was a brilliant marketing and PR move, as a business decision, it was a complete flop. At that time, Facebook was mainly populated by college students, which are neither lenders nor prime borrowers: the two demographics LendingClub is interested in.

By April 2008, Laplanche had finally ensured the capital required to promote and operate LendingClub´s website. It was at this point that the SEC decided peer-to-peer lending didn’t fit into any of the existing securities and that a new one would have to be developed. Many doubted whether the peer-to-peer companies (P2P) could come to an agreement with the SEC. To make things worse, the SEC banned LendingClub from accepting any money from investors until the issue was resolved. LendingClub was forced to use its capital to keep the website afloat. Six months later the SEC created a new type of security and LendingClub was still in business.

In 2014, LendingClub completed a $1 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.

One of the differences between LendingClub and other market disruptors, such as Uber and Airbnb, is how it deals with competition. Instead of trying to undercut the competition, it is quick to partner up with other companies. For instance, LendingClub has partnered with Google, the world’s biggest search engine and with Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce operator.

LendingClub shows no signs of slowing down. As of March 2016, LendingClub has funded $16 billion in loans.

How Does LendingClub Work?

LendingClub is a lending marketplace. It brings together investors looking for the best yield on their savings, and borrowers looking for affordable interest rates. It works much like a mortgage originator, but they do everything online. They charge origination fees on loans that are financed by investors and then charges additional fees for servicing the loans. In other words, LendingClub is not a direct lender. It doesn’t take on any risk for the loans it arranges.

Instead, it takes care of the underwriting and servicing side of loans. It collects information on borrowers, runs credit reports, and verifies accuracy. It then grades and categorizes borrowers by their estimated risk of default, to help lenders decide what loans to invest in.

LendingClub uses proprietary underwriting technology that does what traditional banks do, only faster and at a fraction of the cost. The use of technology makes it cost effective for LendingClub to deal in loans that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to underwrite and service for traditional lenders.

Investors

LendingClub started as a peer-to-peer lending platform where small-time investors could use their savings to finance the loans of other individuals. Today, large institutional lenders are LendingClub’s primary source of capital. However, average people can still invest their savings in LendingClub. In fact, the minimum investment is just $25. Investors have received a 5% to 8% average historical return. The ROI does not include a 1% servicing fee payable to LendingClub.

What Are LendingClub’s Rates and Terms?

As of November 2015, LendingClub´s personal loans have rates ranging from 5.32% to 28.99%. Your rate will depend on your LendingClub loan grade, what origination fee you qualify for and the term length. Loan grades are a way to quantify the risk of borrowers based on their credit profile. Check SuperMoney’s profile page on LendingClub for the latest rates.

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Business loans come in two flavors: installment loans and lines of credit. As of November 2015, installment loans have fixed rates ranging from 5.9% to 25.9%. Lines of credit have rates ranging from 6.0% to 21.6%. Check SuperMoney’s profile page on LendingClub’s business loans for the latest rates.

Origination Fee

LendingClub also charges an origination fee ranging from 1% to 5% of the loan balance. This fee applies to business and personal loans and is included in the APR quoted by LendingClub. The fee is deducted from the loan balance before the funds are deposited in your account. For example, if you borrow $10,000, and you are charged a 5% origination fee, you will only receive $9,500 in your account.

Other Fees

There are three other fees to consider when getting a loan with LendingClub:

  • A returned payment fee of $15
  • A late payment fee of $15
  • And a check processing fee of $7. Avoid this fee by making payments with a debit card.

Notice there are no prepayment penalties. Borrowers who can afford to pay their loans off early can save big on interest payments.

How Much Can You Borrow From LendingClub?

LendingClub provides loans of up to $40,000 for personal loans. Business owners can apply for up to $300k.

What Is LendingClub’s Application Process Like?

LendingClub has a simple five-step application process. Borrowers must have a steady and substantial income and a credit score of over 660.

1. Check Your Rate

Specify how much you need, the purpose of the loan and your credit score. You will also need to provide your full name, address, and annual income. This step has two screens. LendingClub performs a soft credit check, so checking your rate won’t affect your credit score.

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2. Choose Your Offer

If you qualify for a LendingClub loan, you are given a range of offers to select from. Choose the one that best fits your needs.

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3. Personal Details

Provide your phone number. Specify whether you rent or own your home and how much you pay. LendingClub also requires your employment status, your position, how long you’ve worked there and your Social Security Number. Investors use this information to filter the borrowers they fund. For instance, many investors prefer borrowers who are looking consolidate their loans. Higher risk borrowers, such as those who want to invest in a new business, are not as popular.2015-11-22 (4)

4. Watch Your Loan Get Funded

Remember LendingClub is not a direct lender. You will have to wait until enough investors fund your loan.

5. Deposit

Once funded, LendingClub sends your money straight to your bank account.

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of LendingClub?

LendingClub is one of the best online loan marketplace platforms in the business. Prosper and SoFi are among the few companies that can compete. SoFi has lower interest rates, but it’s also harder to qualify for a loan. Prosper has higher rates: 5.99% to 36.00% APR, but they consider borrowers with lower credit scores.

This is what we love about LendingClub:

  • Largest alternative online lender. It’s hard to argue with the leverage size and volume provides lenders.
  • Low-interest rates
  • Fixed rates
  • No prepayment penalties. Pay early to save on interest.
  • Fast and easy application process
  • Report to major credit bureaus. Of course, this can backfire if you miss or you’re late with payments.

 

paypal working capital review

PayPal Working Capital gives businesses fast and easy access to the capital they need to grow. Since it was launched in 2013, PayPal Working Capital has lent more than $1 billion to over 60,000 small businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Why We Love PayPal

PayPal Working Capital addresses one of the biggest problems small businesses face: access to credit without the painfully slow application process. Many other lenders offer fast business loans. PayPal manages to do it while still keeping rates and terms reasonable. Here are our favorite features:

  • The terms and rates offered by PayPal are among the best in the business.
  • There is no fixed maturity date and no interest to pay.
  • Just one fixed-fee that varies depending on how quickly you decide to pay it back.
  • When your business goes through a slow patch, the payments drop accordingly.
  • Did we mention there is no credit check and no minimum credit score to get approved?

Now we have your attention, here is the catch. PayPal Working Capital is only available to businesses that already process payments with PayPal. This is because PayPal uses your PayPal account´s payment history to determine whether or not you qualify.

Even if you don’t currently have an account with PayPal or you barely use it to accept payments, read on. It doesn’t take much to build up your history with PayPal and qualify for prime rates, regardless of your personal credit.

This article will take an in-depth look at PayPal Working Capital. We will spell out its terms and rates, and the requirements you must meet to qualify. We will also walk you through the application process so you know what to expect.

PayPal Working Capital Backstory

The PayPal Story

PayPal was founded in 1998 as a revolutionary way of making and accepting payments. In 2002, one year after its IPO, PayPal was purchased by eBay for $1.5 billion. In 2015, PayPal was spun off by eBay as a separate publicly traded company.

Today, PayPal is one of the largest internet payment companies in the world. As of November 2015, it has 173 million active customers spread throughout 203 countries who do business in more than 100 currencies. In 2014, PayPal processed 4 billion payments ($235 billion), of which 1 billion ($46 billion) were payments made from a mobile device. Its total revenue in 2014 was $8.01 billion

PayPal Working Capital

In 2013, PayPal launched PayPal Working Capital as a small but important part of PayPal’s strategy to strengthen its payment system. At first it was setup as an invitation only service that PayPal offered to pre-approved businesses. Now, PayPal Working Capital is open to all that meet its simple eligibility requirements.

How Do PayPal Working Capital Business Loans Work?

PayPal Working Capital´s business loans are provided by the aptly named WebBank: a bank that also funds loans for Prosper, LendingClub and Avant, among others. Its loans work in a similar way to merchant advance loans. However, the terms are simpler and the rates are much lower.

These are the key points you need to know:

  • Loans have a single, fixed fee.
  • Once a business chooses the loan amount it requires, it also must choose the percentage of future daily sales that will go to repay the loan (10%, 15%, 20%, 25% or 30%). The higher the percentage, the lower the fee.
  • Payments are automatically taken from the business account as a percentage of daily sales.The loan is deposited immediately in the company´s bank account.

Instead of charging monthly payments, PayPal collects daily payments from the business’s PayPal account until the loan is repaid. When businesses have a great day of sales, their payments will be higher. If a business doesn´t sell anything one day, its loan payment will also be zero. There is one caveat though. Borrowers are required to pay at least 10% of the total loan every 90 days, regardless of sales volume.

Companies can also repay the loan earlier without penalty but this won’t reduce their fee. If a business spends or transfers its PayPal balance before the daily loan payment is taken, PayPal will take catch-up payments until the account is current again. There is no late fee for catch-up payments.

What Are PayPal Working Capital’s Interest Rates and Terms?

Calculating the equivalent APR of PayPal Working Capital’s business loans is tricky. You see, PayPal Working Capital does not charge interest in the way traditional lenders do. There is just one fixed fee. No hidden fees, no late fees and no periodic interest.

PayPal Working Capital´s fee is determined by:

  • How much your borrow
  • What percentage of your sales are used to repay the loan
  • Your PayPal sales history

The larger the percentage of your daily sales you dedicate to repaying the loan, the smaller the fee. Businesses with a solid payment history also receive preferential rates. However, the fee remains the same whether you take one month or one year to repay it. We estimate PayPal Working Capital loans have an average APR between 15% and 40%. Yet, your personal rate could be much higher.

One of the reasons for this is that your APR depends on how quickly you repay the loan. For example if you borrow $8,000 and you promise to use 30% of your daily sales to repaying the loan, you may qualify for a $294 loan fee. If you only dedicate 10% of your sales to repay PayPal, you could pay a $949 fee. If it is paid in 30 days, the equivalent APR for a loan with these terms would be 44.71% to 144.32% respectively. Assuming it´s repaid in three months, the APR range would be 14.9% to 48.10% APR.

As you can see, this represents a wide APR range. Another thing to consider is that businesses don’t have much control over how fast they repay the loan. Once a business agrees to a percentage of daily sales, the payments are automatic. Unless, of course, a business decides to stop using PayPal as a payment method. Sneaky. Although as you probably guessed, that is where PayPal´s nifty minimum payment clause comes in. As mentioned above, borrowers must pay a minimum of 10% of the total loan amount every 90 days. The minimum payment must be made regardless of sales volume.

How Much Can You Borrow From PayPal Working Capital?

Your PayPal sales history determines your maximum loan amount. Typically, businesses qualify for 15% of their annual sales, up to a maximum of $85,000. For example, if your company made $100,000 in sales, you may qualify for a loan of up to $15,000.

What Is PayPal Working Capital’s Application Process Like?

One of the best features of PayPal Working Capital´s loans is how fast, easy and painless it is to apply. No credit check required – soft or otherwise. Completing an application form takes less than 5 minutes, and qualified borrowers receive their cash instantly in their PayPal account.

PayPal Working Capital Requirements

  • Have a business or premier PayPal account for at least 3 months
  • Process between $20,000 and $10 million within the last 12 months

PayPal Working Capital Application Workflow

1. Confirm Your Info

Provide some personal and financial information about you and your business. This is a one-page form that asks for your address, business structure and industry, time in business, authorized representatives and date of birth. This information helps the lender determine your eligibility.

PayPal Working Capital Application

2. Choose Your Terms

One minute and PayPal determines whether you qualify for a loan. Choose a loan amount and a daily repayment percentage. Review the terms and agree to the loan.

PayPal Business Loans

3. Pick up Your Money

As soon as your loan is approved, funds are automatically disbursed to your PayPal account.

Contract PayPal Working Capital

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages Of PayPal Working Capital?

PayPal Working Capital is a great option for small businesses that do business with PayPal, particularly for retail businesses. The big catch is that only businesses that use PayPal as a payment method can qualify. Here are the main advantages of PayPal Working Capital´s business loans:

  • They are fast. The application takes 5 minutes to complete. If you´re approved the funds are deposited directly into your PayPal account.
  • Simple and transparent eligibility requirements.
  • Flexible payments that are based on your daily sales. Just don´t forget about the minimum payment of 10% of the loan amount every 90 days.
  • No pre-payment penalty, hidden fees or late fees.
  • No credit check or credit score requirements. PayPal Working Capital will not hurt your personal or business credit scores.
  • A single, fixed fee that has a lower APR than most online business lenders.