What Makes Earnest Great?
Earnest offers unsecured personal loans – a great option for those with good to excellent credit scores and a positive and responsible spending and savings history.
- Earnest personal loans offer low APR (annual percentage rate): Earnest personal loans range from $5,000 to $75,000 with term lengths of three to five years. Their fixed-rate APRs start at 5.99-percent for the best terms on a three-year loan, to a maximum of 17.24-percent for their worst terms on a five-year loan.
- Your loan is fee-free: Earnest offers zero fees for their personal loans. This means that you don’t pay late fees, early pay-off fees, and there are no hidden fees.
- Always interact with a human: If you need assistance during your loan application, or you need to reach out for questions or concerns, you’ll always speak with a real person.
- Quick loan payment: Once you’ve submitted your application, it takes about five to ten business days to receive a decision. Once you’ve sent your account information and signed an agreement, they’ll send your money the next business day. So, you can receive your funds as early as seven days after submitting your application.
Do I Qualify?
Earnest provides clear, comprehensive information regarding their personal loan eligibility. In general, they want borrowers to have a good credit score, a strong and responsible financial history, and a legal status in the United States.
Earnest personal loans require a minimum of a 680 credit score. Although they don’t specify which score they’ll use to determine your eligibility, the majority of lenders will use your FICO score. Your FICO score is calculated using the information from all three credit bureaus. If you don’t know your credit score, you can view it using free online resources that won’t affect your credit. To qualify, you need to be able to show a history of on-time payments for any account reported to the credit bureau. The most common account types include credit cards or loans. Additionally, you must not have declared bankruptcy within the last three years or have open accounts in collections.
You should have enough savings in your accounts to cover your normal expenses for at least two months. Normal expenses are those that are required to live from, such as your mortgage or rent and utility bills. With the exception of mortgages and student loans, you cannot carry large amounts of debt. You should be able to prove that you make more than you spend via consistently increasing bank account balances, and you must be able to prove a history of on-time payments. If you’re regularly charged late, overdraft, or insufficient fund fees, it’s likely you won’t qualify.
You must be at least 18 years of age and able to provide proof of consistent income to be eligible for Earnest’s personal loans. In other words, you should be employed or otherwise receiving consistent payments. You must reside in the District of Columbia or one of the 45 states in which Earnest is authorized to lend, which include all but Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, and Road Island. You must also be a US citizen or long-term permanent or conditional permanent US resident.
In addition to the above qualifications, there are certain restrictions regarding the uses of your personal loan.
Qualified Loan Purposes
- You may use Earnest’s personal loans for credit consolidation or refinancing.
- You may use your loan for home improvement purposes.
- You may use your loan to pay for wedding or honeymoon costs.
- You may use your loan to pay for unaccredited education costs.
- You may use your loan as a security deposit on a rented property.
Unqualified Loan Purposes
- You may not use your loan to pay for accredited education costs.
- You may not your loan to finance a business.
- You may not use your loan to purchase or invest in real estate.
How do I Work with Earnest?
The Application Process
The first step in applying for your loan is to complete the initial pre-screening application on Earnest’s website. You’ll be asked to provide some personal information, including your name, email, address, requested loan amount, yearly income, and social security number. Once you’ve agreed to their terms and policies and clicked the “Get My Rate” button at the bottom of the form, Earnest will pull a soft credit check. This won’t hurt your credit, but it will give them a general idea of where it stands.
Based on this information, you’ll receive a message indicating your projected APR rate (or a denial, if you weren’t approved based on the pre-screening results). You should then be redirected to another page to complete your online application.
Earnest will gather all the information that is needed to determine your eligibility and pull a hard credit inquiry for a complete look at your credit profile. Their loan specialists will process your application and go through your information. They’ll generally make a final decision about your loan within five to ten business days.
If you’re approved for a loan, you’ll be contacted to sign an agreement and provide your account details. Once you return the documents, your loan will be deposited into your account on the next business day. Although not required, the most common method of repayment is auto-pay, in which your loan is automatically withdrawn from your account on your due date. This helps ensure that you always make timely installments and your credit isn’t affected by late or missed payments.
With low APR rates, no fees, personal customer service experiences, and quick turn-around times, an Earnest personal loan is a great choice—as long as you have good credit and a strong financial history. If your struggling to save money or your bad luck put you in a tough financial situation within the last couple of years, however, Earnest may not be the best choice for you.
Ok, Let’s Get Started
Ready to kick start your personal loan? Head over to Earnest’s website and check your projected APR rate.