The best alternative providers to Marcus by Goldman Sachs for personal loans.
Even though Marcus has the advantage of Goldman Sachs’s experience, you might be looking for a more popular loan provider or one that can offer more options.
- Backed by a big firm
- No fees
- Specializes in debt consolidation
- Discounted interest rates for US servicemembers
- Harder to qualify with self-employment income
- Potentially high late payment charges
- Not available in Maryland
This online lender has a lot in common with Marcus, though it’s best known for student loan refinancing. And while you can’t open a savings account or CD with SoFi, it does offer a serious bundle of perks with your loan. These include career and financial advice, networking opportunities, unemployment protection and even an entrepreneur program for borrowers who want to start their own business.
If Marcus sounds great but doesn’t offer a loan large enough for your needs, SoFi might be a better choice. It lets you borrow anywhere between $5,000 and $100,000. It also doesn’t charge any fees — including late fees — but manages to charge fixed rates ranging from 6.99% to 14.87% and variable rates from 6.26% to 13.99% with an autopay discount. It also slightly one-ups Marcus when it comes to how long you have to pay back your loan, offering loan terms from 3 to 7 years.
Both Marcus and SoFi are for high-credit borrowers and market themselves toward high-paid young professionals with good or excellent credit. But Marcus might be a better pick if you only need to borrow a few thousand dollars. And while SoFi might offer loans in Maryland — where Marcus doesn’t — you can’t qualify with the lender if you live in Nevada or Mississippi.
Loans through Prosper start at $2,000 and cap at $40,000 — slightly smaller than what you’d find with Marcus. APRs start lower but end higher than Marcus’s, ranging from 6.95%–35.99%.
Prosper might not give you as much time as Marcus to pay back your loan, with terms ranging from 3 to 5 years. Its APRs mostly depend on your credit score, while Marcus considers other facets of your personal finances when making its decision. Prosper also isn’t available in Iowa, North Dakota or West Virginia.
Prosper helped bring peer-to-peer (p2p) lending to the US in 2005, along with LendingClub. It also offers healthcare financing, where you can get up to $100,000 if you have a credit score of 740 or higher.
Peer-to-peer lender LendingClub might have come to the scene a couple years after Prosper, but like Marcus it’s had a meteoric rise. Now, it’s one of the most influential lenders in the country, offering business loans, healthcare financing and car loan refinancing in addition to its standard personal loans. It’s won several awards and is fifth place on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies of 2014.
LendingClub gives borrowers access to a wider range of loan amounts than Marcus, starting at $1,000 and capping at $40,000. It offers loan terms of 3 to 5 years, one year less than Marcus. Both require borrowers to have a high credit score.
LendingClub loans might not be quite as cheap as Marcus’s, however, with APRs ranging from 6.95% to 35.89%. This could be due to the fact that LendingClub charges an origination fee of 1% to 6% of the loan amount, depending on your credit rating.
Upgrade is only slightly older than Marcus, but has really taken technological innovation to the next level. Where Marcus is more reserved, combining traditional and startup approaches to lending, Upgrade could arguably be even more of an innovator. It’s partly led the charge on using blockchain technology to secure and speed up the user experience, and it’s making a shift toward looking at new types of data like cash flow when deciding if you’re eligible — rather than just your credit score. It’s also recently launched a new line of credit.
Upgrade offers both larger and smaller loan amounts than Marcus, starting at $1,000 and stopping at $50,000. Plus, its loans come with borrower perks like access to educational resources and free credit monitoring.
They’re slightly more expensive, though, with APRs ranging from 6.99% to 35.97%. These include an origination fee of 1% to 6% — which Marcus doesn’t charge. Loan terms are also capped at one year shorter than Marcus’s, with a choice between either 3 or 5 years. Like Marcus, Upgrade isn’t available in Maryland — but you also can’t qualify if you live in Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont or West Virginia with this lender.
5. Even Financial
Even Financial is the only loan connection service on this list. Unlike Marcus, it doesn’t provide loans directly, but can instead put you in touch with a lender you could qualify with — including Upgrade, LendingClub and Prosper. It’s designed to help busy borrowers who don’t have the time to make a comparison on their own find a competitive choice — and doesn’t necessarily come with Marcus’s high credit requirements.
In fact, you only need a credit score of 580 to qualify with a lender through Even, though higher scores typically give you more competitive choices. It’s hard to beat the range of financing its providers offer, starting as low as $1,000 and capping at $100,000. Its rates have a wider range as well, with APRs from 4.99% to 35.99%. You can find lenders offering loan terms of 2 to 7 years — a wider range than Marcus offers.
But using Even means you’re limited to its network of partners, meaning that you could be missing out on some really awesome deals from other lenders. And while its service is technically free, you could end up getting phone calls, emails and other offers from partner lenders even after you’ve taken out a loan. It’s also important to keep in mind that you aren’t guaranteed to qualify for every lender you’re connected with.