A personal loan can help you achieve your financial goals. But how do you know which company is the best lender for you?
Meet Credible, a loan marketplace that presents you with various pre-qualified loan offers in as little as two minutes.
Credible can speed up your loan shopping process. Is this online marketplace as trustworthy as its name implies? Let’s find out.
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What is Credible?
Headquartered in San Francisco, Credible has been connecting people with personal and student loans lenders since 2012.
Founder Stephen Dash originally intended to help borrowers relieve their student loan debt. Now, Credible offers personal loans for people who want to start a business or do home improvements.
If you have a lot of credit card debt a debt consolidation loan through Credible could save you a lot in interest charges each month.
If you’re not happy with your current personal loan’s interest rate, a refinance loan could lower your rate. Refinancing could save hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.
In 2016, Credible partnered with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — the three major credit bureaus. Through this partnership, Credible can give you interest rate quotes without a hard credit check. (Too many hard inquiries can hurt your credit score.)
Credible’s platform helps you compare loan offers from up to 10 personal loan lenders in just a few minutes. Loan shoppers in all 50 states can use Credible.
How Does Credible Work?
What exactly can a personal loan be used for? Credible allows you to use your loan to fund the following projects:
- Credit Card Debt Consolidation
- Starting a Business
- Home Improvement
- Buying a Home
- Medical Expenses
- Wedding Expenses
- Major Purchase
Credible does not allow personal loan borrowing for taxes or education.
Credible Itself Doesn’t Lend Money
First things first: Borrowers should know Credible does not underwrite or back any loans itself. Credible is not a lender.
Instead, this platform acts as an online comparison marketplace so you can see multiple loan offers from companies that do offer personal loans.
Credible simplifies your process of loan shopping by helping you compare loan options from multiple lenders on one screen.
You’ll see loan offers from Credible partner lenders such as Lending Club, Prosper, Best Egg, Marcus, Avant, Upstart, FreedomPlus, and Payoff.
You’ll fill out a two-minute loan application and then see a list of loan options. Filling out one form will lead you to a variety of loan offers without a single hard inquiry until you actually apply for a loan.
Once you decide on a lender, you will need to complete a full application through the actual lender’s site. Then, you’d undergo the hard credit check to finalize your actual interest rate.
Tools Include a Personal Loan Calculator
Credible’s personal loan calculator lets you anticipate monthly payments depending on a variety of loan terms.
You can use the calculator to see how loan amounts, repayment terms, and even whether or not you have a cosigner can affect your monthly payments.
This can help you budget your borrowing costs ahead of time and avoid loans you can’t afford to repay.
Once you close a loan through the lender, you can receive the funds in your account in as little as one business day.
At this point, Credible’s role in the loan process is complete. Everything regarding your loan going forward will be between you and the lender.
Credible Personal Loan Rates
The Credible platform includes loans with loan amounts ranging from $600 to $100,000. As of 6/1/21, fixed rates on these loans can range from 3.99 percent to 35.99 percent depending on your credit score.
You can find repayment terms ranging from two to seven years. Spreading the loan across a longer repayment term should lower your monthly payments but could result in more interest paid over time.
Since Credible, itself, isn’t a lender, the interest on your loan would be paid to the lender Credible connects you with.
Credible makes its money from the lenders who pay for visibility through this online marketplace. When Credible connects you with a lender, the lender pays Credible for your business.
So as a loan shopper, you’d be using Credible’s loan-finding service for free.
Signing Up for Credible
Getting started on Credible is relatively quick and easy.
To apply for a loan through Credible, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. You must be 18 years old and have a valid checking account in your name.
Your credit score should be at least 620, but borrowers with higher credit scores see the best loan offers. Once again, since Credible itself isn’t a lender, it doesn’t set these terms.
To begin your loan shopping process, create an account with Credible. Creating a Credible account is easy — about the same as starting a new social media account. You’ll just need an email address and a password.
After you create your account, you’ll see a variety of borrowing choices such as student loan refinancing, mortgage refinancing, private student loans, and even credit cards.
Choose “personal loan” from this list to compare personal loan rates. From there, Credible will ask that you provide some basic information such as:
- Social Security number
- Estimated credit score
- Employment information
- Annual income before taxes
- Borrow amount
- Monthly household expenses
- Purpose for loan
- Education information
- Debt-to-income ratio
With this information, Credible can estimate loan rates for you with its partner lenders. Credible will also run a soft credit check to confirm your information.
Then you should see a list of potential lenders and qualifying rates.
Selecting the Best Loan Offer
The beauty of Credible is its ability to help you compare loan offers without running a credit inquiry on dozens of different lender’s sites.
You can choose the best personal loan for your needs using Credible.com as an aggregator. Borrowers with good credit will have the most choices.
Compare each loan offer’s rates, but also look at origination fees, late payment fees, and other potential costs to borrow money.
Each financial institution that partners with Credible can set its own borrowing terms and charge its own fees.
Working With the Partner Lender
Once you select a loan offer, Credible will redirect you to that partner lender’s site to complete a formal loan application and confirm eligibility.
Only the formal application with its hard credit check can confirm eligibility and lock in your actual interest rate. Rates you see on Credible are estimates based on your soft credit check.
You’re under no obligation to accept the loan. If, for some reason, your actual interest rate came in higher than the quoted rate, you could pull the plug on the application.
After closing on a loan, you will work with the lender moving forward. Any payments or issues regarding your loan will go directly through the loan company and not through Credible.
Is Credible Safe?
Shopping for loans from multiple lenders simultaneously is super convenient. But can you be sure every loan offer is legitimate?
With Credible, you can. The platform vets each partner lender carefully. You can tell by the lineup of partners which includes reputable names like Upstart, SoFI, LightStream, and Lending Club.
Of course, a smart consumer will do his or her own research into the partner lender. But you can rest assured Credible won’t connect you with a low quality lender.
Security also matters when you’re sharing your personal finance data. So Credible uses 256-bit encryption and secure socket layer (SSL) technology to make sure your sensitive personal information is safe.
This is what you’d expect from a reputable fintech company.
Credible Customer Support
Unlike some online marketplaces, Credible has a customer support team to walk you through the loan application process from start to finish.
Credible offers customer care through phone, email, and online chat support.
Pros and Cons of Credible Personal Loans
Credible is a great tool for comparing personal loan rates, but it is not a perfect system. Let’s dive into the good and the bad of Credible.
- Best Loan Rate Guarantee: Credible offers a best rate guarantee unlike anything else in the market. If you find and close on a personal loan through another marketplace with a better rate, Credible will give you $200. You will obviously have to show some proof, but it’s definitely a show of confidence on Credible’s part.
- Excellent Customer Service: Credible wants to make the loan process simple, so it has a solid customer support team unlike some aggregators who simply direct you to their partner lenders’ customer support programs. Credible’s customer service team can answer questions throughout the personal loan application process.
- Accurate Rate Comparison: There is nothing worse than finding a great rate through a loan marketplace only to find out through the lender application that the actual offer is much higher. Credible’s system uses a soft check of your credit report, giving consistent loan estimates that shouldn’t fluctuate too much from the estimate to the actual offer.
- Lender fees may apply: While Credible doesn’t charge fees for its services, the lender you choose will likely have some built-in fees, especially if your credit report limits you to a handful of loan offers. The lender may charge origination fees, processing fees, late payment fees, or prepayment penalties, for example. And, the actual lender’s quoted interest rate may be based on an autopay discount. Read the fine print before you close a loan with any lender and consider these fees as you compare loan offers.
- Limited Lender Network: With any online loan marketplace you see only a portion of the market. So there’s no guarantee that comparison platforms like Credible.com can always show your very best personal loan option. Keep this in mind as you compare loan offers, especially if you’re not happy with many of the choices you see and think you can find lower interest rates elsewhere. That said, Credible’s network offers a good representation of the broader market.
Is a Credible Personal Loan For You?
Credible lives up to its name. It has an A+ rating from the BBB and a 5-star rating on Trustpilot. Overall, users agree this is a legitimate online loan marketplace.
It cannot help everyone, though. If you have bad credit, Credible may not be the best option for you. Lenders like iLoan and OneMain Financial accept borrowers that may not qualify for loans on Credible.com or elsewhere.
If you have fair to excellent credit, Credible will likely be able to offer you great personal loan rates.
As always, be sure to shop around outside of their network to make certain that you are getting the best rate.