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Typically, when people need a little extra cash, they use their credit cards. But is that a smart choice? Nowadays, most credit cards have high monthly interest rates, and you have to pay an annual fee. Not only this, but credit cards could be risky. For instance, you will accumulate credit card debt if you don’t manage to pay off your entire balance by the due date each month. 

Does this sound familiar to you? Well, if the answer is yes, then you have come to the right place. Have you heard of personal loan companies? Lately, more and more people are taking personal loans for a variety of reasons such as their purchases, buying a house or a car, paying tuition fees, or even in cases of medical contingencies. 

What is a Personal Loan? 

Basically, personal loans are unsecured loans taken by individuals from either a bank or in our case from a non-banking financial company. Moreover, this loan is not secured against any asset. However, both credit cards and personal loans require you to pay off the amount that you have borrower. So, make sure you borrow only what you need and that you will be able to pay it back. 

It is essential to note that you have the ability to pay off the loan early. In most cases, there will be no extra charge or a prepayment penalty fee. So, if you have the chance to pay off a part or the rest of the loan, you should do it, as that will save you money over the life of the loan. In general, you should do your best to avoid fees if possible.

Once you decide you want to take a personal loan, there is only one big step you need to make – deciding which company you can trust. You have to consider and compare criteria such as interest rate, origination fee, other types of fees, prepayment penalty, etc. 

Lucky for you, we have already done due diligence. In this article, we rounded up the most reputable personal loan companies. So, let’s not waste time and take a glance at the best personal loan companies and why we recommend them. 

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: The Best Overall

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Minimum Credit Score: 660 

Est. APR: 6.99% – 28.99% 

Loan Term: from 36 months to 72 months

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Some people may know it as the Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs. Basically, Marcus is its banking and borrowing brand. As such, the online bank offers competitive rates on savings accounts and liquid CDs. 

Also, Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers personal loans and savings accounts. Currently, the online fixed-rate personal loan amounts vary from $3,500 to $40,000. In short, the company focuses on debt consolidation, credit card consolidation, home improvement, and other personal loans. On the other hand, the annual percentage yield APY for the inline savings accounts is 1.70%. 

Moreover, applying for a loan at Marcus by Goldman Sachs is time-efficient and straightforward. Also, the no-fee guarantee makes it even more appealing for borrowers. Indeed, at Marcus, borrows won’t have to pay an origination fee, prepayment fee, or a late fee. However, if you pay less than your amount due or miss a payment, you will accumulate more interest, and your final payment will be larger as a result. 

Origination fee: None 

Late fee: None

Prepayment fee: None

SoFi: Best for Young Professionals

SoFi

Minimum Credit Score: 680 

Est. APR: 5.99% –  21.11% with automatic payments 

Loan Term: from 3 to 7 years 

SoFi is short for Social Finance. The company offers personal loans, student loans, student loan refinances, and mortgage loans. Also, SoFi offers wealth management and life insurance products. Not only this, but SoFi members can attend members-only networking events around the country. 

In short, the company offers numerous useful services. Currently, SoFi personal loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000. Similar to Marcus by Goldman Sachs, SoFi doesn’t charge origination, prepayment, or late payment fees. 

However, unlike other personal loan companies, SoFi offers an unemployment protection program. If you lose your job, you can apply for the unemployment protection program. Once approved for the program, SoFi will put your loans into forbearance, suspending your monthly SoFi loan payments. Unemployment Protection is offered in three-month increments and is capped at 12 months. 

Origination fee: None 

Late fee: None

Prepayment fee: None

Earnest: Best for Payment Flexibility

Earnest

Minimum Credit Score: 680 

Est. APR: 5.99% – 17.24%

Loan Term: from 3 to 5 years 

Earnest is a technology-enabled fintech lender. The company offers student loan refinancing, private student loans, and personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $75,000. Moreover, Earnest charges no origination, prepayment, early payment, late payment, or extra payment fees. 

With Earnest, you can choose your preferred monthly payment. Furthermore, applying for a loan is extremely easy. The fintech lender also has a user-friendly mobile app, which is a great tool to help you track and pay off your loan. 

Origination fee: None 

Late fee: None

Prepayment fee: None

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