Taking out a personal loan is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Perhaps you plan on using it to pay for your education, home maintenance, or even to pay off your debts. (For more information on personal loans, check out our Complete Guide To Personal Loans.
Before you take out a personal loan, ensure that you receive the best possible terms by looking for the following.
When you are searching for information on personal loans, you want to look for a company that provides important information upfront. Many companies have a loan calculator to help you find your interest rate based on your financial situation, while your loan terms and ranges can be easily found by filling out a short application form or calling the company directly.
A few companies that excel in this regard include SoFi, OneMain, Upstart, FreedomPlus, LendingTree, and LendingClub.
Pricing And Fees
Because many of these loans are peer-to-peer (P2P) lending through a loan network, some loan companies have interest rates that go as high as 36%. Personal loan companies with lower interest rates ranging include SoFi (5.70% - 14.24%), FreedomPlus (4.99% - 29.99%), and Upstart (9.48% - 29.99%).
Time In Business
Longevity in the personal loan industry is always a good sign. Some of the longer running personal loan companies include SoFi (since 2011), Upstart (since 2012), LendingTree (since 1996), and LendingClub (since 2006).
Customer Service and Reviews
Check reviews to determine if a company and their customer service is right for you. The BBB, Yelp, Trustpilot, and Google reviews are good places to find the answers to the following:
- Can this company be easily contacted by phone, email, or live chat 24/7?
- Do they respond quickly to any questions or concerns I may have?
- Will they keep me updated during the process?
SoFi, FreedomPlus, Even Financial, LendingTree (since 1996), and LendingClub (since 2006) all have widely positive reviews.
Your Own Personal Credit History
This last factor depends on you. Whether or not you have excellent or poor credit determines what type of loans you qualify for. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be (and vice versa).
Need some recommendations? Here are our top picks for those with good and bad credit:
The Best Personal Loans For Good Credit
The Best Personal Loans For Bad Credit