The best debt consolidation loans right now

Best loans for debt consolidation 2x1

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The best debt consolidation loans of 2021

Lender APR Amount available Learn more

wells fargo logo

5.74% to 24.24% $3,000 to $100,000 for unsecured loans, $3,000 to $250,000 for secured loans Personal Loan

Lighstream Logo

5.93% to 19.99% $5,000 to $100,000 (for excellent credit) Lightstream Debt Consolidation Loan

SoFi Logo

5.99% to 16.19% APR (with AutoPay) $5,000 to $100,000 SoFi personal loan
Payoff by Happy Money Logo
5.99% to 24.99%

$5,000 to $40,000

Payoff loan

Avant Logo

From 9.95% – 35.99% APR

$2,000 to $35,000 for unsecured loans; $5,000 to $25,000 for secured loans

Avant Personal Loans

Generally, you’ll need a personal loan for debt consolidation, which means replacing multiple loans with a single loan instead.

Most personal loan lenders ask about loan purpose when starting the loan application process, and often, personal loans for debt consolidation have higher interest rates than other personal loans and other loan types.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

PFI Best Wells Fargo Logo Banner

Wells Fargo

Flexibility makes Personal Loan a top contender for best personal loans for debt consolidation. Wells Fargo separates debt consolidation loans from personal loans, but the interest rates are the same.

Benefits include incredibly competitive interest rates, ranging from 5.74% to 24.24% APR, and an autopay discount of 0.25% if payments are made from a Wells Fargo account. For unsecured personal loans, the most common type for debt consolidation, the amount available ranges from $3,000 to $100,000 and there are no origination or prepayment fees.

Wells Fargo gives several options for personal loans that aren’t common elsewhere. Firstly, there’s an option to secure your loan with a CD or savings account, though that option is only available to current customers. Secured loans allow you to borrow up to $250,000, though an origination fee of $75 applies to secured loans (unsecured loans don’t have a fee).

Wells Fargo can send your loan funds to your Wells Fargo bank account, or to a credit account outside of Wells Fargo to pay down your debts directly.

Watch out for: Secured loan options. Secured loans use collateral to bring down interest rates and increase the amount available to borrow. But using these savings accounts as collateral could mean losing your savings or CD if you don’t pay on your loan.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning Wells Fargo’s history with data security and compliance. The bank has faced several federal penalties for improper customer referrals to lending and insurance products, and security issues tied to creating fake accounts several years ago.

Read Insider’s full review of Wells Fargo here.

Personal Loan

PFI Best lightstream Logo Banner

Lightstream

Lightstream Debt Consolidation Loan is a highly regarded lender for many loan types, and has been a top pick across Insider’s coverage of the best personal loans and best auto loans. However, this lender only works with borrowers with good or better credit, with a minimum credit score requirement of 660.

LightStream offers consistently competitive interest rates, though its minimum interest rate for debt consolidation is higher than its typical personal loan’s interest rates. However, this lender does not have any prepayment or origination fees. Same-day funding is available with LightStream.

Watch out for: Varying loan terms between LightStream’s typical personal loans and debt consolidation loans. Only borrowers with excellent credit can borrow the $100,000 maximum, and anyone without excellent credit may not qualify for the full amount.

LightStream defines excellent credit history as an account with five or more years of credit history, stable and sufficient income for debts, and a variety of credit history with little or no credit card debt. If you’re looking for a debt consolidation loan, chances are you have a significant amount of debt, and may not fit these qualifications.

Additionally, LightStream doesn’t have a way to pre-qualify online. You’ll have to apply for the loan to find out exactly what your rates and terms could look like, which could make comparison shopping difficult.

Read Insider’s full review of Lightstream here.

Lightstream Debt Consolidation Loan

PFI Best SoFi Logo Banner

SoFi

A SoFi Personal Loan is the best option for anyone with a high balance, as this lender makes debt consolidation loans of up to $100,000. Debt consolidation loans from this lender are comparable in rates to those offered by LightStream, but SoFi offers higher loan limits to all applicants, whereas LightStream only allows some borrowers to borrow up to $100,000. Similarly, SoFi doesn’t have any application, origination, or prepayment fees.

SoFi offers unique features like unemployment protection, which could put loans in forbearance for up to three months if you find yourself out of work.

Watch out for: Stringent requirements. SoFi personal loans have a minimum credit score of 680. According to NerdWallet, the average income among borrowers is over $100,000.

Read Insider’s full review of SoFi here.

SoFi personal loan

PFI Best Payoff Logo Banner

Payoff

In the fair credit range, it can be tough to qualify for a personal loan with reasonable interest rates – many lenders have a minimum of 660 or 680. However, a Payoff loan could be a good option for people with credit scores as low as 640. Interest rates are comparable to those offered by LightStream and SoFi, but this lender has less stringent requirements.

Compared with competitors Prosper and Best Egg, which both have the same 640 minimum credit score requirement, Payoff’s interest rates are capped lower, and could have lower origination fees.

Watch out for: Origination fees. Payoff offers loans with origination fees ranging from 0% to 5%. Competing lenders Prosper and Best Egg charge minimum 2.41% and 0.99% origination fees, respectively. The better deal will depend on your credit score, income, and repayment term.

Payoff loan

PFI Best Avant Logo Banner

Avant

With bad credit, a personal loan for debt consolidation can be expensive, or hard to qualify for. An Avant personal loan is the best bet for borrowers with poor credit, requiring a minimum credit score of 600.

Compared to other personal loan lenders offering debt consolidation loans for bad credit borrowers, Avant’s terms are the most generous. Interest rates range From 9.95% – 35.99% APR. While there is an administration fee, it could be lower than competitors’ fees with a cap at 4.75%. Avant also has the advantage of quick, next-day funding available.

Watch out for: Secured loan options. Like Wells Fargo, Avant offers the option to secure your loan with collateral like your car. While this could be helpful to lower interest rates, it could put your car in jeopardy if you don’t pay. Secured loans have an administration fee of 2.5%, and a maximum amount of $25,000.

Read Insider’s full review of Avant here.

Avant Personal Loans

Other personal loans we considered

  • LendingClub personal loans: This lender has the potential for high origination fees that could add to the cost of borrowing. The average origination fee is 5.2%. Read Insider’s full review here.
  • Prosper personal loans: Prosper’s minimum credit score requirement is 640, but borrowers with this score could get lower interest rates and potentially lower fees from Payoff. Read Insider’s full review here.
  • Best Egg personal loans: Like Prosper, borrowers with credit scores of 640 or above could get lower minimum interest rates and lower maximum fees from Payoff. In order to qualify for the lowest possible interest rates, borrowers need a minimum FICO score of 700 and an income of at least $100,000 per year. Only three-year and five-year loan terms are available, making these loans less flexible than other options. Read Insider’s full review here.
  • Discover personal loans: Discover’s personal loan rates start higher than other lenders’ loans, and borrowers who meet the minimum credit score requirements could get lower interest rates from LightStream, which cap lower. However, Discover makes payments directly to creditors, which could simplify your payoff process. Wells Fargo is the only other bank on our listing to offer that option.
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans: Like Discover, borrowers who qualify for Marcus personal loans could find lower minimum interest rates with LightStream, SoFi, or Wells Fargo.
  • Axos personal loans: This lender’s personal loans require a minimum credit score of 720. For borrowers with this type of credit, lower interest rates can be found elsewhere.
  • OneMain Financial personal loans: OneMain doesn’t have a minimum credit score required to apply, which could make it a viable option for people who don’t meet Avant’s 600 minimum. But interest rates range from a high 18.00% – 35.99%. Read Insider’s full review here.

Which lender is the most trustworthy?

We’ve compared each institution’s Better Business Bureau score to give you another piece of information to choose your lender. The BBB measures businesses’ trustworthiness based on factors like their responsiveness to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here is each company’s score:

Lender BBB Grade

wells fargo logo

NR

Lighstream Logo

A+

SoFi Logo

A+
Payoff by Happy Money Logo
A+

Avant Logo

A

With the exception of Wells Fargo, our top picks are rated A or higher by the BBB. Keep in mind that a high BBB score does not guarantee a positive relationship with a lender, and that you should continue to do research and talk to others who have used the company to get the most complete information possible.

The BBB currently does not have a rating for Wells Fargo as the BBB is investigating its profile. Previously, the organization gave Wells Fargo an F in trustworthiness. In the past few years:

If you’re uncomfortable with this history, you may want to use one of the other personal loan lenders on our list.

Frequently asked questions

Why trust our recommendations?

Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that “best” is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product, we outline the limitations, too. We spent hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don’t have to.

How did we choose the best debt consolidation loans?

To find the best personal loans for debt consolidation, we combed through the fine print and terms of about a dozen personal loans to find the ones that were best suited to help with consolidating debt. We considered four main features:

  • APR range: For the most help with debt payoff, a personal loan for debt consolidation needs to have lower interest rates than the credit card or other debts you’re consolidating. We looked for the loans that had the lowest rates possible for each credit range and purpose. The average credit card interest rate was 16.28% in 2020, so we focused on loans that had the potential to beat this.
  • Appropriate loan amounts: We looked for personal loans that had the most variety in loan amounts. According to loan comparison site Credible, the median amount of debt consolidated in May 2020 was $18,000. To benefit the most borrowers, we included personal loans with maximum limits over $10,000.
  • Minimum credit score requirements: Where available, we considered the minimum credit score requirements for each company. We considered loans for excellent, fair, and poor credit, grouping loans into categories based on these credit score requirements.
  • Fees: We considered fees like origination or administrative fees in our decisions, looking for loans with the fewest or lowest fees. None of the best loans listed have prepayment penalties.
  • Nationwide availability: We only considered loans with availability in most or all 50 US states.

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation takes all sorts of debts, including credit cards, medical debt, or typically any other type of unsecured debt, and rolls it into one loan.

To consolidate debt, you get a loan from one lender for the total amount of debt you’d like to combine. Then, you use those funds to pay off the individual, smaller debts. At the end, you have all of your debt rolled into one monthly payment, one deadline for debt repayment, and a smaller interest rate.

Can I use any personal loan for debt consolidation?

Most personal loans allow a variety of uses, and while most include credit card consolidation or debt consolidation, not all do. Make sure to read the fine print of any personal loan you’re applying for, and make sure that debt consolidation is an acceptable use of your loan. All of the loans we considered had an option to use the loan for debt consolidation, if not a separate loan, which we included details for.

Related Product Module: Related ProductRelated Content Module: More on Loans

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I’m a 30-year-old whose student loan balance increased by more than $20,000 in 6 years, despite making every payment. It’s enough to make you question your sanity.

Ashley Strahm standing in a brick alley
Ashley Strahm says her original student loan balance increased by over $20,000 in six years due to interest rates.

  • Ashley Strahm, 30, is a content strategist, activist, and writer in Durham, North Carolina.
  • She went to college at age 16 and took out $60,000 in student loans by graduation, which ballooned to over $82,000 thanks to interest rates.
  • Even after refinancing her loans she still owes $44,000, and it’s often “the first thing I think about when I wake up,” Strahm says.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

I knew what I was getting into.

I’m a first-generation college grad born to two amazing parents from South America. I prepared to graduate from a private, all-girls, college-preparatory high school at 16, got a partial academic scholarship to a private university, and proceeded to take out $15,000 a year in federal Stafford and parent plus loans to cover the rest. (Fun fact: no one, not even the government, is willing to lend to a college-bound kid who’s not even remotely 18 yet. This meant my parents had to put their credit on the line to help me finance my education. I know that’s not unorthodox, but it would’ve been nice to at least have the option to shoulder the burden myself from the outset.)

Read more: This couple paid off $114,000 of debt then saved up $431,000 with these 4 side hustles. Here’s how much money they made from each gig and their advice to others.

So, let’s recap. It’s 2008, I’m aware America’s economy is going up in flames, but I got a pretty significant scholarship to attend college – which no one in my immediate family has done before. I went in with my eyes wide open, researching interest rates, deciding against private loans, refusing to accept my dad dipping into his 401k to fund my endeavor, and getting an on-campus job to subsidize costs while I was in school. (I obviously wasn’t aware of what we should all know by now – women, and Black women in particular, are disproportionately ensnared in student debt.)

“There’s more you could have done!” say folks who refuse to empathize with us (greedy/lazy/opportunistic/careless?!) millennials. “You chose to play rugby and spend frivolously on cleats, gas, and stitches for your unnecessarily procured gaping wounds! You could’ve sold a kidney, donated plasma, or went to a community college! How dare you even begin to complain about a college experience you knew would cost so much?!”

Stop right there, y’all. I knew. I was ready.

I lay awake at 20 years old in the spring of my senior year with unwavering determination. I was going to get a kick-ass job in journalism/communications/marketing and not even wait the six-month deferment period to allow my loan’s interest to capitalize. I viewed my loan balance as yet another thiccc rugby woman I had to stiff-arm into submission (and I’d had plenty of practice). I wasn’t scared. I’d incurred a significant fee to finance an education I both desired and relished the process of receiving … and I was ready to pay when my bill came due. I understood that each promissory note was another proverbial nail in my coffin.

This is what folks who stridently and stubbornly refuse to empathize with young student loan borrowers will never understand.

Many of us operate as though no one will save us, forgive our debt, and pretend our responsibility has ended. There are millions of us who lose sleep every night for years, plugging formulas into Excel spreadsheets and debt repayment calculators, budgeting for jobs they apply for mere months after enrolling in school. There are countless tears, anxieties, and plans that result in this burden we know we are accountable for.

Before I’d turned 21, I already accepted that the remainder of the decade would be spent in service to the investment I’d made when I was still too young to vote.

So I got down to it. I’m 30 now, and I’ve never missed a student loan payment. The monthly bills have fluctuated between $462 and $2,695 dollars per month, but I have never. missed. a single one.

What began as an original balance of nearly $60,000 when I graduated in 2012 ballooned to over $82,000 in 2018.

Yes, you read that right.

A 21-year-old who never missed a monthly $450+ student loan payment financed by the United States government saw her balance increase by over $20,000 over the course of six years.

You could comment on how I should’ve paid more than the minimum, how I should’ve worked over the course of six years to land a job that paid double so I could make a dent in the principal. That I should’ve gotten my parents or family to help, should’ve gotten a side hustle, should’ve lived in squalor and cut back on my already meager meal plans to pay more, ever more.

And I’m going to call bullshit on that.

I made my debt a massive priority. But when the minimum payment for my federal 8.5% interest rate loan is nearly $500, I will not accept that the issue lies with me. A kid with a degree bringing home $50,000 a year three years out of school should be able to make at least a dent in her debt burden. Instead of seeing my diligence rewarded, I saw my balance increase.

It’s earth-shattering. It’s enough to make you question if you’re insane; if you’ve been reading your billing statements correctly; if the loan officers you call every quarter are lying to you; if you’re the reason your efforts are failing.

But I’m still at it, y’all. I refinanced my loans to a 5.25% interest rate because my credit is over 815 at this point (yes, I’m proud). I married – which, besides being the best decision I ever made for my heart, also helps because (and I’ll just say it) after paying off his student debt, we’re contributing his entire monthly salary to mine. Every. last. cent.

We’re choosing not to have children partially because we’re already paying the equivalent of Montessori tuition for a non-existent five-year-old.

Hear this: People are feeling all kinds of ways about potential federal student loan forgiveness. I forfeited any possibility of that when I refinanced my loans with a private company three years ago, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I pray every night for the millions of folks still paying endlessly to the government to get their loans forgiven. They deserve it. They’re still sprinting up a treacherous mountain with no end in sight, paying astounding amounts of interest while suffocating under the weight of other basic financial responsibilities.

I wanted to be out of that hell so badly that I gave up any hope of a government bailout. If I still had federal loans, I’d still be running in place. I will support anyone who is still trapped in that federal student debt purgatory and sees their loans forgiven, because I know that pain. I feel that strife. When they are free, we’ll all be free. Their salvation couldn’t possibly deny me the sweet reprieve of my efforts for all of these years.

My husband and I are now paying twice the amount of our mortgage to my student loans every month. From the fall of 2018 to now, my balance has decreased from over $82,000 to $44,000. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing we talk about most nights before bed.

Sometimes, people ask me if I ever think about graduate school and it makes me want to vomit. Even as the pursuit of knowledge calls out to me, the shadowy nightmare of its cost keeps me far from ever considering it.

Read the original article on Business Insider

America’s housing crisis is the result of classist credit guidelines

Housing market
Potential home owners stop by an open house.

  • The way credit is scored and mortgages are underwritten is putting low-income borrowers at a disadvantage.
  • Lenders should have more freedom to count nontraditional credit, such as rent and utilities, in a borrower’s credit history.
  • The industry must change the way it treats student loan debt, which is increasingly keeping borrowers off the housing ladder.
  • Skylar Baker-Jordan is a freelance writer who has worked in the mortgage industry.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

America is in a housing crisis. “US home sales are surging. When does the music stop?” asked the New York Times’ Stephanos Chen last month. CNBC reports that “when is the housing bubble going to crash?” is a “red hot” Google search. Meanwhile, US News and World Report warns that “cities need a building boom to avoid a housing bubble.”

While inflated housing prices might be concerning, it is not the most pressing housing crisis facing America today. Much more alarming is the lack of affordable housing and the lack of financing options for low-income borrowers. The way we score credit, and the way we qualify borrowers, is inherently classist, and America’s fixation on wealthy borrowers and its credit scoring system are unfairly keeping low-income but responsible people off the housing ladder. If we really want to help people into homes, we must change the way we qualify borrowers for mortgages.

Bad credit

The lack of affordable housing is often cited as the most pressing obstacle to homeownership. This is indeed a problem. The coronavirus has left many homeowners reluctant to sell, whether for fears of financial insecurity or because they didn’t want strangers traipsing through their home during a pandemic. However, for those of us familiar with the mortgage industry – which I spent much of the past decade working in – the shortage of available homes for sale is nothing new.

In cities such as Chicago where I spent much of my mortgage career, deconversions are turning multi-unit dwellings to single family homes. An insufficient supply of newly constructed homes – a chronic problem since the Great Recession – has further led to a lack of supply throughout the country, especially for homes lower-income buyers can afford. According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales in the $100,000 – $250,000 range fell 11% from February 2020 to February 2021, while home sales over $1 million rose by 81%.

This means that lower-income homebuyers are competing for fewer available houses, but the problem does not end there. Virtually all of these borrowers will require a mortgage. While mortgage rates are historically low, mortgage guidelines are historically tight. This makes it difficult for responsible low-income borrowers to obtain a loan.

From an underwriting perspective, you want to look at the “Three Cs:” capacity to repay, collateral, and creditworthiness. Certainly, you want to know a borrower makes enough money to make timely mortgage payments and that they have a sufficient down payment (so that they have a financial stake in making said timely payments) and the home is worth what you are lending. It is how we determine creditworthiness, however, which is unfairly punishing lower-income borrowers.

You must have credit to get credit. Depending on the lender and the investor – that is, who the loan will be sold to on the secondary market, which is where servicing rights to loans as well as the mortgages themselves are sold (most often Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) – you will need a certain amount of existing tradelines in order to obtain a mortgage. Yet even applying for credit can lower your score. Those with higher scores – usually (but not always) higher-earners – are better able to absorb this blow. Furthermore, lower-income and younger borrowers are less likely to have credit cards and other traditional tradelines that actually report to the bureaus that score credit, and a history of racial discrimination has left Black Americans at an unfair credit disadvantage.

These people are, however, paying bills, and often on time. Most people, even with insufficient traditional credit history, pay rent, electric, water, gas, phone bills, and so on. Yet these bills do not report on credit unless they go into collections, meaning that the bills lower-income people are paying do not help them but can hurt them.

This puts lower-income borrowers at a disadvantage and paints an incomplete picture of a borrower’s creditworthiness. After all, someone who might be delinquent on their credit card or jewelry payment might be very consistent in paying their rent and their electric bill, prioritizing needs (like housing) over luxuries. Credit reports will never show this.

This presents another problem with credit underwriting: We do not account for the bills people actually need to pay. Because the debt-to-income ratio (DTI) used in underwriting comes from the debts reporting on a borrower’s credit report, monthly expenditures like utilities and car insurance are not counted (again, unless they go delinquent). Adding these “nontraditional tradelines” to a credit report means counting them against the borrower when calculating their DTI. While some might argue that including these would do a disservice to lower-income borrowers, as it would increase the number of debts that underwriters must count against them (thus lowering purchase power), it is important that borrowers do factor these bills into any decision to buy a home. Including them in the DTI ratio would give everyone, including borrowers, a better idea of what they can and cannot reasonably afford.

Lenders are beginning to understand this problem. Quicken Loans is urging millennials to take out credit cards to drive up their credit score, while Veterans United – which specializes in lending to military veterans – touts the use of alternative tradelines to qualify VA borrowers. But simply utilizing nontraditional credit to gain a more accurate portrait of a borrower’s creditworthiness is not enough to address the lack of housing for lower-income Americans. We need to change the way we underwrite borrowers.

Down payment for a dream

Over the past decade, a cottage industry dedicated to dissecting why millennials are not buying homes has emerged. While many point to delayed marriage ages and a more rootless existence among this generation, the numbers show otherwise. A 2019 survey from the Urban Institute found that 53% of millennials said they could not afford a down payment, while 33% said they could not qualify for a mortgage.

Much of this is due to student loan debt. 83% of non-homeowners say they have student loan debt keeping them from buying a home. Lenders and investors need to look at new ways of treating this debt, which is increasingly ubiquitous and hindering borrowers’ ability to obtain a mortgage. Many borrowers defer student loans or are on income-based repayment plans. Fannie Mae has switched to factoring the actual payment into a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, but FHA still takes “the greater of 1% of the outstanding balance on the loan; or the monthly payment reported on the Borrowers credit report; or the actual documented payment.”

Because of this, loan officers and underwriters are frequently forced to qualify borrowers with payments which are higher than the borrower’s actual payment. This lowers the purchase price and loan amount for which a borrower can qualify, hindering their ability to bid for homes in a market skewing more expensive by the year. And while it is true that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allows for higher DTI ratios than conventional lending, too often I have seen student loans put borrowers above even that qualifying threshold. This disproportionately hurts low-income borrowers, who might not qualify for conventional loans so rely on FHA to access credit.

This problem shows no signs of going away. Student loan debt is at a crisis point in the United States, and higher education an increasing necessity in an ever-changing job market. I saw this change happen in real time in the mortgage industry. The entry-level position I was hired for in 2011 then required only a high school diploma, but within two years my company was requiring entry-level applicants to have a college degree.

The mortgage industry has yet to adjust to this new reality. Underwriters should be allowed to treat student loans as they currently treat medical debt. Recognizing a fundamental unfairness in America’s healthcare system, lenders are regularly able to discount medical debt from a borrower’s DTI ratio. They should look at student loans the same way, understanding them as a necessity which should not stop borrowers from buying a home.

As anyone who has ever lent on new construction knows, it takes a long time to build a home. The housing shortage is not going to end anytime soon. We need to look at other ways to help solve America’s housing crisis, including making access to home loans fairer and more equitable. By modernizing credit scoring and underwriting practices, the mortgage industry can do its part to help a new generation of hard-working Americans achieve the dream of home ownership.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Practical Tips That’ll Improve Your Chances of Getting a Home Loan

Purchasing a home is a huge financial investment that you’re likely to make in your lifetime. To make this dream come true, you may need a home loan, especially if your savings aren’t enough.  Getting mortgages can be quite tricky and there are no guarantees that you’ll get the exact amount you need. However, if you equip yourself with the right knowledge and work with a middleman company like BanksterUSA, you can boost your chances of getting such loans. Work On Your Credit Score Mortgage lenders will give you a loan if you get some minimum credit score. Usually, the

The post Practical Tips That’ll Improve Your Chances of Getting a Home Loan appeared first on Moneybies.com.

Avant review: Personal loans for people with low credit scores, but you’ll pay a high interest rate

Avant review 4x3
Avant gives personal loans to people with lower credit scores than most lenders.

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • Avant offers personal loans for emergency expenses, car repairs, vacations, and more.
  • Avant loan amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000, but exact limits vary by state.
  • You have a good chance of qualifying for an Avant personal loan with a credit score of 600.
  • See Insider’s picks for the best personal loans »

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Should you use Avant?

You may like Avant if you … You may not like Avant if you …
  • Have a credit score as low as 600
  • Want to avoid prepayment penalties
  • Want a company with long customer service hours
  • Need your funds within one business day
  • Want to manage your loan from a mobile app
  • Need to borrow more than $35,000
  • Don’t have an account with a bank or credit union
  • Have a lower credit score but could get a better APR with a credit card

How Avant works

Avant provides personal loans through WebBank (Member FDIC), a state-chartered industrial bank. Avant offers both secured and unsecured personal loans, but we’re focusing on the company’s unsecured personal loan options. Unsecured loans are more common with Avant and with competing lenders.

An unsecured personal loan doesn’t require any collateral, such as a house or car. These personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes.

Avant loan amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000. The minimum amount you’re required to borrow varies by state. Avant offers loans to all 50 states and Washington, DC.

The minimum loan term is 24 months, and the maximum term is 60 months. You can pay off Avant loans in full at any time without incurring an early payment penalty.

Depending on your credit score and annual income, your APR will range from 9.95% to 35.99%, which is higher than some other major competitors’ APR ranges. For example, Best Egg’s range is 5.99% to 29.99%, and Marcus by Goldman Sachs’ is 6.99% to 19.99%.

If Avant offers you a loan with a high interest rate, you may want to look into credit cards for people with bad credit and compare rates between a card and a loan – you might be eligible for a lower APR and better terms with a credit card. Weighing the pros and cons of your decision will help you get the best financial deal possible.

If your loan is approved by Avant by 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, funds are generally deposited by the next business day, per the company’s website.

You can reach Avant via their customer service email address, support@avant.com. Or call 800-712-5407 Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. CT, or weekends from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CT.

Avant also has a mobile app with a smooth, well-designed interface. The app has 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 3.8 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Avant has a Support Center with answers to questions, sorted by topic.

You can get a variety of personal loans from Avant, including:

You’ll need to meet the following requirements to apply:

  • You must be over the age of 18 (19 if you live in Alabama)
  • You must have a personal bank or credit union account (prepaid card accounts aren’t eligible)
  • You must be able to provide documents to verify your income, identity, and other information as requested

What credit score do you need to qualify for an Avant loan?

To qualify for a personal loan, Avant states on its website that most customers have a credit score between 600 and 700. However, your credit score isn’t the entire factor in your loan approval, so you may still consider applying with a lower score. Here’s how scores break down, according to FICO:

  • Very poor: 300 to 579
  • Fair: 580 to 669
  • Good: 670 to 739
  • Very good: 740 to 799
  • Exceptional: 800 to 850

Your credit score will not be impacted if you check your loan rates with Avant, because the company only generates a soft credit inquiry.

Avant will perform a hard credit inquiry once you continue with the loan application, which will likely affect your credit score. A hard inquiry gives a lender a comprehensive view of your credit history, but may negatively affect your score.

Avant may be a good choice for you if you have a lower credit score, because Avant has more lenient credit score requirements than other personal loan companies. Keep in mind that the lower your credit score, the higher your APR could be – and Avant rates go up to 35.99%.

Here are some tips you may consider to improve your credit score before applying for a loan:

  • Ask for and examine a copy of your credit report. Look for any mistakes on your report that could be tanking your score. If so, reach out to the credit bureau to talk about fixing the error.
  • Keep credit card balances low. Sustaining a credit utilization rate – the percentage of your total credit you’re using – of 30% or less will prove to lenders that you can handle your credit well.
  • Design a system for paying bills in a timely fashion. Your payment history makes up a significant percentage of your credit score, and lenders prefer to see stable payments in the past. Set up calendar reminders or automatic payments so you don’t find yourself playing catch up.

Is Avant trustworthy?

Avant is a Better Business Bureau-accredited company, and the BBB gives Avant an A in trustworthiness. The BBB assesses trustworthiness by evaluating a business’ responses to consumer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and transparency about business practices.

However, good BBB scores don’t guarantee you will have a good relationship with companies. They’re merely a guideline to help you get started on your hunt for a personal loan provider.

Avant does have a recent controversy. In 2019, the company settled a case with the Federal Trade Commission where it was found liable for putting unauthorized charges on customers’ credit card, and for illegally requiring customers to agree to automatic payments from their bank accounts when taking out a loan.

Due to Avant’s recent history, you may decide you’re more comfortable using a different personal loan company.

The pros and cons of Avant personal loans

How to get an Avant personal loan

The application is available online and can be completed in a few minutes. You’ll need basic information for the initial application, including:

  • Name
  • Contact information including your address, phone number, and email
  • Whether you rent or own your home
  • How much you pay for housing each month
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Employment status
  • Individual income (monthly net income)
  • Reason for applying for a personal loan and how much you want to take out
  • Other financial information, such as how you would rate your credit quality

You’ll be able to see your offers and interest rate range within a few minutes. You’ll need to undergo identity verification to complete the application process, and you may need to provide confirmation of certain financial details before your application is approved.

After you’ve verified your information, the funds will be delivered to your bank account as requested, usually by the next business day.

How does Avant compare to other personal loan lenders?

Although rates are specific to borrowers, Avant interest rates are higher than those offered by other big-name lenders. Here’s how Avant compares to the competition.

Avant   logo

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High yield online savings account

best egg logo

Min. credit score

600

Min. credit score

Unspecified

Min. credit score

640

APR

9.95% to 35.99%

APR

6.99% to 19.99%

APR

5.99% to 29.99%

Origination fee?

No*

Origination fee?

No

Origination fee?

Yes

Avant Personal Loans

Apply for a loan

Best Egg

*While Avant does not charge an origination fee, it does charge an administration fee of up to 4.75%.

Avant review vs. Marcus by Goldman Sachs review

Avant charges an administration fee of up to 4.75%, which will be subtracted from your loan proceeds when it’s funded. You’ll also pay a fee if you miss a scheduled payment or if a scheduled payment is returned unpaid.

You won’t pay any fees with Marcus, including late fees. Rather, you’ll rack up more interest if you don’t pay on time, and your final payment will be bigger.

With Marcus, you’ll receive a 0.25% discount on your loan by signing up for AutoPay; Avant does not offer this perk.

While Marcus has no official minimum credit score requirement, the company recommends a minimum credit score of 660 in an informational post on its website. This suggestion is higher than Avant’s loose guidelines by a significant margin. If your credit score is below 660, Avant is likely the better option. That said, the lower your credit score, the higher an APR you will probably pay.

Avant vs. Best Egg personal loans

You’ll pay a late fee with both loan providers – Avant’s late fee depends on which state you live in, while Best Egg’s late fee is $15. Both have additional fees baked into the cost of the loan. Avant charges an administration fee of up to 4.75% of your loan amount, while Best Egg’s has an origination fee ranging from 0.99% to 5.99%.

Avant also has a lower minimum credit score guideline than Best Egg – though both companies have relatively low minimums. As a result, Avant might be the better choice if your credit is toward the lower side of “fair.”

You’ll receive your funds roughly in the same amount of time with both companies. Avant claims most customers will receive their funds the next business day, and Best Egg says the majority of customers will get their money within one to three business days.

Ryan Wangman is a reviews fellow at Personal Finance Insider reporting on mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. In his past experience writing about personal finance, he has written about credit scores, financial literacy, and homeownership.

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