CompareFirst personal loan connection service review

CompareFirst personal loan connection service review

New to borrowing? Make loan shopping easy by connecting with multiple lenders in a few clicks.

Does this sound familiar: You’re just out of college, and it’s time to settle into real life. Adulting is great and all, but it’s so much more expensive than you expected. You might want to consider taking out a loan to offset the immediate impact of those initial costs of moving to a new city, buying a new apartment or even paying off old debts.

A loan connection service like CompareFirst could be a help by simplifying the process and getting you funds fast. But consider your options carefully to make sure you get the best offer you’re eligible for.

Product NameCompareFirst Personal Loans
Min Loan Amount$3,000
Max. Loan Amount$100,000
Min APR From 2.99%
Minimum Loan Term1 year
Maximum Loan Term5 years
RequirementsMust be a US citizen or permanent resident, age 18 or older, with a credit score of 580 or higher, and have a minimum annual income of $35,000.
  • Age 18 or older
  • American citizen or permanent resident
  • Credit score of 580+
  • Minimum annual income $35,000+

What makes CompareFirst unique?

CompareFirst is designed to save you time when looking for a loan — without having to sacrifice comparing lenders. Fill out its quick application, and you’ll get quotes from several lenders in a matter of seconds. And you might find a loan even if your credit isn’t stellar — the cutoff credit score is only 580.

Though you can use a CompareFirst loan for almost any legitimate purpose, it’s possibly best for young adults who are just getting their finances together. Aside from saving time, it helps first-time borrowers understand what they’re getting into.

What is CompareFirst?

CompareFirst is a service that connects you with lenders in its network. Founded in 2016 by a team of consumer credit experts, it’s focused on speeding up the loan application process while allowing borrowers to compare their options.

It’s powered by Backed Inc., a direct lender that specializes in cosigned loans to help young adults build their credit with the help of their parents.

What are the benefits of CompareFirst?

  • Low credit score OK. You only need a FICO score of 580 to qualify for a loan through CompareFirst.
  • Makes comparison easy. Quickly compare multiple loan options that fit what you’re looking for.
  • Fast prequalification. Prequalify for multiple lenders in a matter of seconds and get funding in as little as 24 hours.
  • Available in all 50 states. Apply for a personal loan through CompareFirst no matter where you live in the US.

What to watch out for

Loan connection services typically make their money each time they connect you with a partnered lender, and CompareFirst is no different. This means you’re limited to what its partner pool offers.

Unlike some lenders, CompareFirst is relatively up front about this. Still, you might find a better deal out there on your own.

  • Limited website. CompareFirst’s website is barebones, and it doesn’t display much information about the company or loan offers on its pages or in the fine print.
  • No customer service phone line. The only way to contact CompareFirst is through an email form, which could take a while to hear back compared to a phone call.
  • No loan term information until after you apply. You can’t get an idea of the exact loans you’ll choose from before handing over your Social Security number and other personal information.
  • Few other resources. Most connection services provide educational resources about loan types and useful terminology to help you figure out what loan type might be best for you. CompareFirst offers a few general advice articles on things like home expenses and debt freedom.
  • Almost no online presence. CompareFirst might be so new that nobody’s written about their experiences with it yet.

CompareFirst vs. similar providers

Rates last updated February 22nd, 2018
Name Product Minimum Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR Product Description
Even Financial Personal Loans
From 4.99% (fixed)
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
CompareFirst Personal Loans
From 2.99% (fixed)
An easy-to-use loan connection service geared toward introducing first-time borrowers to affordable personal loans.
LendingTree Personal Loan
From (fixed)
Receive up to five loan offers in just minutes through LendingTree's simple online form.
Monevo Personal Loans
From 3.09% (fixed)
Quickly compare direct lenders offering online loans with competitive rates depending on your credit score.
Zippyloan Personal Loans
Varies by lender
From (variable)
Apply with Zippyloan to be considered by over 100 lenders, all offering multiple loan options to suit your needs.
TakeLend Personal Loan Connection Service
All credit types welcome
From (fixed)

Compare up to 4 providers

What does the Internet say about CompareFirst?

CompareFirst is relatively new, so there’s almost nothing about it online. Its parent company, Backed Inc., a direct lender specializing in cosigned loans, has a slightly larger footprint.

Backed Inc. earns an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, though it’s not accredited. You’ll find no customer reviews or complaints filed against it, but the BBB did raise concerns in 2016 about unsubstantiated advertising claims concerning how much lower CompareFirst’s rates were than its competitors’ rates.

Neither CompareFirst nor Backed Inc. have Trustpilot reviews yet.

Am I eligible?

To meet CompareFirst’s basic requirements, you must:

  • Have a personal credit score of 580 or higher.
  • Make at least $35,000 per year.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be an American citizen or permanent resident.

Keep in mind that you might need to meet other requirements, depending on the lender you’re connected with. Common requirements include a steady income and a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or lower.

How do I apply?

Once you’re sure you meet CompareFirst’s eligibility requirements, you’re ready to apply for a loan.

  1. Click the Go to Site button on this page.
  2. Fill out your loan amount and annual income and select your credit score range before hitting Compare Offers.
  3. If you’ve met any of its lenders’ basic requirements, you should receive a message that you’re matched with an invitation to prequalify. To get started on the prequalification application, click Get Started.
  4. Follow the directions to complete required fields with information like your name, level of education, housing status and Social Security number before submitting your application.
  5. CompareFirst’s algorithm connects you with lenders that fit your loan request and financial situation. CompareFirst then shares your personal information with lenders. After a few minutes, you could potentially receive several quotes from different loan providers.
  6. Pick the quote that best suits your needs and finish the loan application process directly with the lender.

I like one of the offers presented by CompareFirst. Now what?

How your application process goes largely depends on the direct lender. It might ask for additional documentation, like a scan of your ID, past tax returns and proof of income. Once you’re formally approved, read your loan terms carefully, and ask questions if there’s something you don’t fully understand.

Sign up for autopay if you can (some lenders require it) to take the worry out of remembering your monthly repayments. But don’t forget about your loan altogether — stay up to date on your loan balance and personal bank account. Contact customer service if you notice something that doesn’t look right, like a double charge on an automatic payment.

Take advantage of any perks offered by your lender. Many offer a discount on interest for signing up for autopay. Backed Inc. offers a chance to refinance your loan after 12 months for better rates if your credit improves.

Bottom line

CompareFirst simplifies the lending process for first-time borrowers, allowing you to choose your lender and get your money fast. But use caution: CompareFirst is a new service with little online presence. Be sure to read the fine print before you accept any loan.

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