Earnest Personal Loan Review 2020

4.1 stars out of 5

The Smart Investor reviews are unbiased, and reflect the views of our editorial staff. We’ve collected the information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.

Earnest – About The Lender

Earnest is a technology-enabled lender, launched in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, that offers personal loans and student loan refinancing. The parent company is Navient, which services about 25% of student loans in the US.

“The company (Earnest) uses software and algorithms to evaluate a person’s full education, employment, and financial profile, looking beyond a traditional credit score (also known as a FICO score) in order to obtain a complete financial profile of each applicant. This type of credit is referred to as “merit-based lending.”

Earnest is better known for student loan refinancing, but they also offer competitive personal loans.

Loan Specification

Here are the basic specifications & requirements of Earnest Personal Loan :

FeatureEarnest Personal Loan
Loan Amount Range$5,000 – $75,000
Interest Rate Range6.99% – 18.24%
Term36 to 60 months
Origination feeNone
Late Payment FeeNone
Returned payment feeNone
Prepayment FeeNone
Minimum Credit Score680
Funding5 to 10 days
Documents To Provide
  • Income
  • Employment history
  • Banking information
  • creditor information (debt consolidation)

Earnest Loan Pros & Cons

As we know, each lender has its own pros & cons – here are the relevant things we found for potential borrowers:



What Can a Earnest Personal Loan Be Used For?

Earnest personal loans can be used to pay for debt consolidation, vacations, medical expenses, engagement rings and wedding expenses, home improvements, or moving expenses. They cannot be used for any post-secondary education expenses, to fund a startup or an existing business, or purchase or invest in real estate.

Earnest debt consolidation takes one or more loans or bills and pays them off with the new Earnest personal loan. Instead of multiple payments to multiple lenders you can create one payment to one lender. Earnest offers flexible repayment options.

An Earnest vacation loan offers a way to get money for your vacation without having to deal with credit cards, or worry about every dime during your travel.

Using Earnest for an engagement ring will reduce the overall cost of one of the biggest purchases in you lifetime. You can also use Earnest for wedding expenses to help pay for your dream wedding day.

An Earnest home improvement loan is for home repairs or renovations. The advantage of using an Earnest home improvement loan is the promptness of receiving the funds. Typically, it takes a month or more to get an equity line of credit on your home.

An Earnest loan for moving expenses is a fast way to get the funds needed to move you and your items from point A to point B.

Earnest loans for medical expenses help borrowers manage large unexpected medical costs.

Compared to other lenders, Earnest has a much more rigorous application process. Earnest looks beyond credit history, considering your saving patterns, employment history, career growth potential, and retirement savings. You will need all of this information for the application process.

Earnest offers a soft pull or “check my rate” option, but often cannot come up with a rate because of the many different items they evaluate. You will likely have to do a hard pull and fill out an application that includes personal information, education, and savings information. Many times you will need to show proof of those items by uploading them to their dashboard. This includes bank statements, identification, 401K or IRA statements, pay stubs and/or taxes.

Earnest has a longer turnaround time than other lenders with funding of the loan taking 5 to 10 days. Turnaround also depends on how quickly they obtain the information required to get your interest rate. Once the information has been verified you will need to sign loan documents if you decide to move forward.

Earnest Personal Loan is Best for..

Earnest is geared toward young professionals who may have many new and large expenses as they start out in life. They cater to borrowers who have good credit, consistent income, good saving patterns, and low debt. 

They have a more extensive application process and take much longer than other lenders to approve your loan.

The biggest advantage to Earnest is that they have no fees. Origination fees can greatly increase the cost of a loan, so Earnest should be seriously considered during any search for a personal loan.