Shopping for a personal loan can feel overwhelming. How do you know which lender has a program you’ll qualify for? How many lenders should you try before taking a loan?
The process can be exhausting, but it’s important to try and get the best personal loan deal available. Fortunately, a marketplace like Credible makes it easier. With 17 lenders in one place and only one form to complete, Credible simplifies the personal loan application process, making it easy to get the loan you need.
Is Credible worth it for you? Read our review below.
Credible is a marketplace that brings together consumers and lenders. If you like comparison shopping for personal loans (most people should), you’ll love how easy Credible makes it. Looking online, there are many of personal loan lenders available. Finding the one that’s right for you can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, not to mention exhausting as you complete application after application. Luckily, Credible makes it simple.
Credible isn’t a lender. They allow you to be prequalified with multiple lenders simultaneously based on the criteria you enter. If you prequalify, lenders will provide rates allowing you to choose the loan you want. If none of the offers appeal to you, you don’t need to select one and your personal information won’t be shared with any lenders. This saves you from annoying phone calls from lenders which can happen with other loan comparison sites.
The best part is getting prequalified rates for a personal loan with Credible doesn’t affect your credit. Once you choose a lender complete the lender’s application for a loan, your credit report will show an inquiry. Fortunately, only one credit inquiry won’t hurt your credit score a lot as it usually only hits your credit a few points.
Are you ready to see if Credible is right for you? Read on.
Like we said above, you’ll need at least a 600 credit score to qualify with any lenders on Credible. If you aren’t sure what your credit score is, ask your bank or credit card companies if they provide free access to your credit score (most do). You can also pull your free credit reports to see if you have any negative information on your credit report.
Go through your credit report and if you see any of the following, try to fix it before applying for a personal loan:
- Late payments – Any payments over 30 days past due bring your credit score down considerably. Bring all payments current and keep paying them on time to help your credit score increase.
- Overextended credit – Keep your credit card balances at 30% or less than your credit line. Any balances exceeding 30% bring your credit score down and make it harder to qualify for a personal loan.
- Overextended credit – Negotiate a settlement on any collection accounts, but include a request to delete the collection from your credit report. Just paying it doesn’t get it off your credit report and collections stay there for 7 years. Eliminate the collection and you increase your chances of approval.
- Excessive inquiries – If you applied for many loans or credit cards recently, it makes lenders worried about lending you money. Avoid applying for new credit unless it’s necessary.
Besides your credit, lenders will look at your income and debts. Keeping your income as stable as possible is important. If you change jobs often, it could make lenders wary of lending you money. You want to show that you are stable and reliable if you want a lender to loan you money.
Your debts play a role too. If you have too much debt outstanding now, the personal loan will only add to it. The exception to the rule is if you’re using the personal loan to consolidate your credit card debt. If you will consolidate the debt, your debt-to-income ratio will likely decrease, which would make the personal loan a good thing.
Just like when you apply with specific lenders yourself, every lender has different qualifying factors. Applying with Credible allows you to compare rates from multiple lenders with one simple form.
To improve your chances of qualifying, we recommend pulling your credit before applying and fixing any issues. Also look at your current debts, and make sure your income and employment are stable. Most lenders like a 2-year stable employment history, but if you’ve changed jobs recently, just make sure the income is in line with what you made before and you have the qualifications to succeed at the job.
Pros & Cons
- Credible is 100% free, there are no hidden fees and any fees charged would be from the lender you chose, not Credible
- You can borrow as little as $600 to get through an emergency or as much as $100,000 for debt consolidation, home improvement, or other large expenses
- You can compare rates from multiple lenders all in one place and with only one form
- The prequalification process takes only a 2 minutes and you get answers instantly
- You can check your rate without hurting your credit
- Credible doesn’t sell your information to third parties so you won’t be hit with spam
- There may be limited lender options depending on your qualifying factors. Since Credible can’t work with every lender available today, you may not find a lender that works for your situation.
- You may pay fees to the lender you choose depending on the loan, APR, and your qualifying factors.
- You should do your own legwork after getting matched with a lender to make sure they are a good fit.
Main Loan Features
A personal loan is usually an unsecured loan you borrow. You’ll pay interest and principal monthly right after receiving the money in one lump sum.
Most loans have a fixed interest rate (the rate doesn’t change) and give you the principal in one payment (direct deposit in your checking account). Some loans, though, may have a line of credit (similar to a credit card) or have a variable interest rate.
Read the fine print before accepting a personal loan to make sure you understand the repayment options, how you’re being charged, and what options you have to prepay the loan if you are able.
Rates & Fees
Like any loan, personal loans charge interest on the money you borrow, and many charge upfront fees, which come out of the loan proceeds.
The rates and fees lenders charge you depend on a few factors:
Qualifying factors – Lenders look at your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and employment history to determine your likelihood of paying the debt back. If you have great credit scores, a low debt-to-income ratio, and stable employment, you’re more likely to get a lower APR and fees than someone with a lower credit score, higher DTI, and unstable employment.
Loan amount – Typically, the more money you borrow, the higher the interest rate. A larger loan amount is riskier for lenders because if you default, they stand to lose a lot of money.
Late payments – Lenders also ask the reason you want the personal loan. For example, someone borrowing money to consolidate credit card debt is a higher risk than someone borrowing to fix up their home. A home equity loan has collateral (the home), so if the borrower defaults, the lender can foreclose on the home. There isn’t any collateral with a debt consolidation loan. The riskier your loan, the higher the APR lenders will charge.
It’s easy to use the Credible platform. You complete one form that takes 2 minutes. In the form, Credible asks pointed questions they use to prequalify you with the 17 lenders on the platform.
Once complete, Credible gets back real prequalified rates from all the lenders you qualified for a loan with. The rates you receive aren’t estimates, but real rates that if you can prove everything you stated on your application will be your rates when you close on the loan.
As the offers come in, read the fine print, know the terms, and play around with the numbers. For example, some lenders may offer a term of 2 years or 5 years – you can play with the numbers to see how the different terms affect your interest rate and fees.
Once you choose the right offer, you work directly with the lender to close the loan. Sometimes you’ll send in additional information, such as pay stubs or tax returns to prove your income. Usually, lenders can close and fund the loan within a matter of days, sending the funds via direct deposit to your bank account.
Credible offers incredible customer support from the moment you land on their website. If you have questions throughout the application process, they are there to help you. If you have questions any other time, Credible offers support via phone, email, or online chat to make it easy on customers.
If you’re in the market for a personal loan and you want to shop around for the best rate, Credible makes it easy. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply and you aren’t obligated to take any offers you receive.
Credible is free and if anything, provides you with more knowledge and support than you’d receive trying to find a personal loan yourself.