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Put your financial security to work and get low rates.
Earnest specializes in loans meant for those with an extensive — and positive — credit history. It offers competitive rates and large loan amounts. But you’ll need to qualify, and the short loan terms might make your monthly payments difficult to manage.
Aliyyah Camp is a publisher helping folks compare personal, student, car and business loans. Prior to joining Finder, she ran her own personal finance blog and wrote for numerous finance sites. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She regularly attends industry conferences to stay in the know about market changes that can affect consumers. When she's not helping people with their personal finances, you can find her at the movies or going for a run outdoors.
An Earnest personal loan might be best if…
You have good credit. You need a 680 credit score just to meet its minimum requirements — and it doesn’t take cosigners.
You have a steady job. Earnest considers your work history — and education — when you apply for a loan.
You have an emergency fund. You must have enough money to cover at least two months of expenses to qualify.
What makes Earnest personal loans unique?
Personal loans from Earnest are reserved for those who have a firm grasp on their finances. The good side of rigorous qualifications is that there’s less risk associated with the borrowers. That means if you get in, the rates could be lower than you might see with other lenders.
You can borrow between $5,000 to $75,000, with APRs ranging from 5.99% to 17.24%. Terms can be 3 years to 5 years. You’ll also likely see the funds hit your account just 1 to 2 days after signing the agreement.
Earnest provides unsecured loans for pretty much any legitimate purpose. Whether it’s furthering your career or paying for your big day, you can likely use the funds from an Earnest personal loan to finance it.
Its loans are unsecured, so you don’t have to worry about fussy collateral paperwork. You also might be able to take out a loan even if you aren’t a permanent resident of the US.
Compare Earnest to other top online lenders
Updated September 19th, 2019
What are the benefits of Earnest personal loans?
Low rates. Being choosy has its advantages. In this case, it results in interest rates that are competitive when compared to other lenders, even some banks.
Service from application to payoff. Earnest hosts a team that’s completely in-house. Reliable service means an easier time getting answers and smoothing out any bumps along the road.
Repayment tailored to you. Data-driven underwriting allows Earnest to help fit a loan to your budget. You’re also able to increase your payments and make extra ones at any time from your online dashboard or its mobile app.
No fees. This one is exactly what it says on the tin: no origination or early repayment fees as well as no fees for your method or means of repayment.
Easy-to-use app. You can make adjustments to your loan and keep track of your repayments by downloading the Earnest App.
What to watch out for
Offering exclusive rates and no fees comes at a cost. But you’ll want to keep an eye on a few factors when comparing Earnest to other lenders.
Exclusive. A strength and a weakness — with stringent requirements come great rates, but also lower acceptance for those without near-perfect histories. Earnest recommends having enough savings to pay for at least one month of expenses.
Not available everywhere. Earnest doesn’t offer loans to those living in Delaware, Kentucky or Nevada.
Limited term options. Your monthly payment may be higher because of Earnest’s shorter terms. But while this may put more strain on your budget, it could result in you paying less interest when compared to loans with longer terms.
Processing time. It currently takes three to four days for Earnest to process personal loan requests. If you’re in a hurry to get funding, you may want to consider other options.
Limited uses. Need help paying for college? Starting a business. Buy real estate? You can’t use an Earnest loan for any of these purposes.
No cosigners. Earnest doesn’t allow borrowers to apply with a cosigner on any of its loans.
Am I eligible?
Before you apply with Earnest, make sure you meet the minimum requirements.
680+ credit score
Proof of consistent income
Live in any state except Delaware, Kentucky or Nevada
US citizen or 10-year permanent resident
18+ years old
The lender also specifies guidelines that range from increasing bank account balances to not getting regularly dinged for late, overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees.
What do I need to apply?
Visit Earnest’s website and then click Get Your Loan. From there, you’ll complete the details of why you want the loan and how much you’re requesting. You’ll also supply information about your education, employment, financial and personal details.
Remember that when you submit your application, you will undergo a hard credit pull. If you’re approved and accept the offer, you could get funded in as little as one to two business days.
I got the Earnest personal loan. Now what?
You’ve proved your creditworthiness and financial acumen with a funded loan. Now it’s time to keep on that trend of careful money management.
When you agreed to take the loan, you should have been asked if you’d wanted to enroll in autopay. If you didn’t set it up but want to now, you can enroll through your Earnest online account.
Just go look under your Loan Details and select Enroll in Autopay. You can change your autopay schedule for payments every two weeks, rather than monthly.
Get rewarded for your steadfast dedication to fiscal responsibility with low rates on the loans you need through Earnest. However, shorter repayment terms and strict requirements may mean that Earnest isn’t right for you. You can always compare other lenders to find a better fit if needed.
Frequently asked questions
Earnest allows seven calendar days to accept an offer.
Upload documents to your Earnest account and attach them to the appropriate file from there.
Contact Earnest’s customer service team as soon as you suspect you may have difficulty making repayments. You may be able to work out an alternative until you’re back on your feet.
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