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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.”
- Loan amount range: $5,000 – $75,000
- Interest rate rage: 6.99% – 18.24%
- Terms: 36 to 60 months
- Origination fee: None
- Late payment fee: None
- Returned payment fee: None
- Prepayment fee: None
- Minimum credit score: 680
- Funding: 5 to 10 days
- Employment history
- Banking information
- creditor information (debt consolidation)
Earnest Loan Pros & Cons
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 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.
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.