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Earnest is a lender that offers low-interest loans. The financial products they offer to responsible borrowers are student loan refinancing, private student loans and personal loans. For the purpose of this review, we will only concentrate on Earnest’s personal loan offerings.
A personal loan is money borrowed from a bank, credit union or other lending source that you pay back in fixed monthly installments, generally over two to seven years. Personal loans are unsecured, which means they’re not backed by collateral. Lenders, therefore rely on your credit score, credit history, debt-to-income ratio and available cash. If you don’t qualify for an unsecured loan, you still may be able to acquire a secured loan, which is backed by an asset like your house or a vehicle, or a co-signer who will assume the debt if you miss payments.
Earnest no longer offers personal loans through their site. Instead, Earnest has partnered with Fiona to secure loans for potential borrowers. Fiona is a free, online marketplace that doesn’t offer personal loans, but will show you which lenders are best for you based on your credit score, how much you want to borrow, the use of the loan and where you live (zip code).
Through Fiona, Earnest will match you with personal loan offers in 60 seconds or less. The loan amount ranges from $1,000 to $100,000 and the terms range from 24-84 months, with an APR as low as 4.99%.
Earnest offers personal loans for debt consolidation, home improvements and expenses, and other personal expenses, including:
Credit card refinancing
Wedding, reception or other special occasion
Auto and auto refinancing
Medical and dental
To secure a personal loan, you’ll have to provide some information about yourself. This information will be used by the lender to make a decision on whether to approve your application.
Earnest requires you to fill out a form, which includes:
Date of birth
Social Security number
Number of times per month you get paid
Fill out the form completely, this ensures the best chance of securing a loan offer. Also, your credit score won’t be affected by applying. If you’re concerned with putting personal information like your social security number out into cyberspace, Earnest uses 256-bit encryption, so your data is secure.
Within a matter of seconds after your information is submitted, you’ll be matched with a loan offer that meets your needs. Or you will receive a message that states, “Unfortunately, it looks like there are no offers available for you at this time.” Should you be matched with a loan offer you’ll be directed to the lender’s site to complete the finalization of the loan.
Although Earnest no longer offers loans through its site, it still has a solid reputation as a trusted lender, receiving a 4.7 rating from Trustpilot.
Credit Shout is a community of personal finance experts dedicated to helping you save money and make smart financial decisions. Learn how to master your credit card rewards, improve your credit score and start eliminating your debt.