Find the Best Loan Companies
Compare Top Loan Company Reviews
Read 1,538 Reviews
Compares rates and quotes from multiple lenders for a variety of loan types. Free services. Use of the site doesn’t affect credit score. Provides a list of loan options tailored to the user’s situation.
Read 1,490 Reviews
Offers personal loans up to $35,000. Loan term lengths range between three to five years. Requires a credit score of at least 640. APRs start as low as 5.99%. Minimum debt consolidation is $5,000.
Read 243 Reviews
Offers personal loans, unsecured loans, debt consolidation, small business loans and startup business funding. Free service. No minimum qualifying credit score to obtain a loan. Available nationwide.
Read 525 Reviews
Offers personal loans from $600 to $20,000. Provides small business loans. Requires a credit score of 760 for best rates. Includes seven-day “no worry guarantee” to return any amount. No prepayment penalty.
|Learn More Call Now Toll Free (844) 725-7868|
Read 47 Reviews
Online lender that offers fixed-rate personal loans, installment loans and lines of credit. Instant lending decision upon application completion. Requires minimum monthly income of $1,000. Operates in 10 states.
|Learn More Call Now Toll Free (844) 615-0766|
Read 507 Reviews
Offers personal loans from $7,500 to $40,000. Same-day loan decisions available. Only offers loans in some states. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. APRs start at 7.99% to 29.99%.
Read 954 Reviews
Westlake Financial was established in 1988 and is a part of the Hankey Group of Companies. It is headquartered in Los Angeles. Westlake offers auto financing through car dealerships across the United States.
Read 536 Reviews
Dell offers financing for Dell products. Interested consumers can apply for financing online, and some borrowers or purchases may qualify for an interest-free period. Borrowers can also earn 10 percent back in rewards.
|Santander Consumer USA|
Read 1,502 Reviews
Santander is a Spanish-based bank with a global presence. It operates as Santander Consumer USA Inc. in the United States with headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. The U.S. division focuses on auto loans.
|Credit Acceptance Corp|
Read 774 Reviews
Credit Acceptance is a publicly-traded company that has been in business since 1972. It provides auto dealers with financing programs for traditional borrowers and those with poor credit. Dealers share in the company’s profits.
Types of loans
Auto loans are available for both new and used cars, and consumers can obtain car loans from banks and credit unions as well as most auto dealers.
Home loans, or mortgages, are available to help people finance their homes. Conventional mortgages usually require the borrower to have a down payment for 20 percent of the purchase price.
If you own a home, you might be able to take cash out of your home with a home equity loan to finance a remodel or fund another major purchase.
Many private lenders work with the Federal Housing Authority to offer FHA mortgages. These loans require a much smaller down payment than conventional loans.
Armed service veterans, current service members and their spouses may qualify for a Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage. These home loans have a very low down payment, and borrowers aren’t required to purchase mortgage insurance.
Those who want to attend college can take out a student loan to help cover the cost. The two types of student loans available are federal and private.
Debt consolidation loans are used to help people manage their debt. Multiple loans are combined into one loan with a single monthly payment, usually with a lower interest rate.
Those wishing to open a business or expand their current business can take out loans to finance their ventures.
Secured vs. unsecured loans
Secured loans rely on an asset (such as a car, a home or a boat) that will be used as collateral for the loan.
Unsecured loans are more difficult to qualify for and have higher interest rates because an asset for collateral is not required. These are sometimes called personal loans.
How to choose a loan company
Loan fees and costs
When you take out a loan, chances are you’re thinking more about the cost of the item you’ll purchase with the loan money than about the cost of the loan itself. If you don’t consider the loan cost, that item could end up costing much more than you expect. To ensure that you get the best deal on a loan, make sure you talk to your loan company and understand all fees associated with it and how interest will accumulate.
- Interest rate: The interest rate is the money a lender charges you when you borrow money and is a percentage of the total amount borrowed. Your credit score will influence the interest rate a lender charges, because they will charge people deemed higher risk a higher rate. If your loan doesn’t have pre-payment penalties or precomputed interest, you’ll save money on interest by paying your loan off early.
- APR: The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is often confused with the interest rate; however, the APR actually accounts for the total cost of the loan, including any one-time fees. When comparing loan offers, look at the APR to get the best price comparison.
- Origination fee: The origination, or processing, fee, is a one-time charge that covers the cost of processing a loan. This fee is typically included in the overall loan amount, so you aren’t required to pay it up front.
- Pre-payment penalties: Some loan companies charge a fee if you pay off your loan early. These fees help the lender make up the money they lose in interest, but they also prevent people from getting out of debt early when they’re able to.
- Precomputed interest: Loans with a precomputed interest rate use the original amount instead of the outstanding balance to determine the amount of interest a consumer will pay each billing cycle. This method means your payments may get smaller as time passes. However, if you pay the loan off early, you won’t save any money on interest.
- Late payment fees: Most lenders will charge a fee if you pay your bill late. Avoid that fee by setting up autopay from your bank account or just put a reminder on your calendar to keep you on track.
- Payment processing fees: Some lenders charge a fee to pay your bill in a certain way. For example, some lenders may charge a small fee if you pay your bill by phone or using a check instead of setting up automatic electronic withdrawals. Make sure you understand these fees and choose a lender that allows you to make your payment in the way you want for free.
Trustworthiness of the lender
When working with a lender, you should choose someone you feel comfortable with and who is trustworthy. In general, if you’re taking out a mortgage or auto loan from a well-established bank or credit union, you can feel confident in the lender’s credibility. If you’re working with an online loan company or new business, make sure to fully research the company to avoid being scammed. Scams may be most likely to occur with unsecured, personal loans.
- Hold loans vs. flip loans: Determine whether the lender you’re working with will hold the loan after you close or if they’ll flip, or sell, it to another party. While lenders who flip loans aren’t more or less trustworthy than those who don’t, you’ll have to simply accept that the company they sell your loan to will be trustworthy and offer good customer service.
- Customer service: Consider how easy it is to get in touch with your lender now to determine if they’ll be easy to reach later if you have any problems. Also consider how patient they are in answering your questions. They should be willing to address all your concerns and explain anything you’re confused about.
- Registered: Lenders must be registered to do business with the appropriate authority, usually the department of banking or consumer credit, in every state in which they do business. You can find a list of state licensing authorities on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry website.
Mortgage broker vs. loan officer
When taking out a loan, you’ll have the choice to work with either a mortgage broker or a loan officer. There are perks to each one, so it is important to know the difference.
- Loan officer: Loan officers work for the bank or lender, so getting a loan through them may be faster than working with a mortgage broker. These individuals are primarily accountable to their employer, so they may not always make recommendations that are best for you.
- Mortgage broker: Mortgage brokers are a kind of middle-man between those seeking loans and multiple lenders. If you’re worried that your credit may make it difficult to get a loan, consider working with a broker because they can help you decide which lender is most likely to approve you. These individuals may also be able to help you find a better interest rate because they’ll be comparing multiple lenders.
There are a variety of other factors to consider when borrowing money. If at any point during the process you’re confused, make sure to discuss the matter with your lender.
- Expertise: Look for a loan company that specializes in the type of loans you’re considering. If you’re working with a big bank, ask whether they have loan officers who specialize in certain types of loans.
- Credit report: All consumers are entitled to get one free report from each credit reporting company every year. If you’re considering taking out a loan, request one of your credit reports as far in advance as possible to make sure no inaccurate information appears on it. Many credit cards show you your credit score for free; knowing your credit score may help you decide whether to work with a loan officer or mortgage broker.
- Down payment: If you’re taking out a mortgage or car loan, consider how much of a down payment you’re able to make. The larger your down payment, the less money you’ll need to borrow. Saving a little longer to have a larger down payment could save you a significant amount of interest later.
- Special programs: Many homebuyers qualify for special program loans, like FHA or VA loans, for example. Research these options to determine whether you qualify for any special programs before taking out a loan.
- Private mortgage insurance: Individuals who qualify for a mortgage but do not have a down payment that accounts for 20 percent of the home’s value may be required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI), which will allow the lender to recover money if the borrower defaults on the loan. This insurance does not offer any protection to borrowers. PMI is usually between .5 and 1 percent of the total amount of the loan.
Loan companies FAQ
- How do I know if a loan company is legitimate?
- A legitimate lender is easy to reach, has a solid online reputation and offers you complete loan terms before you sign anything. It will also check your credit history to ensure that you can pay back the loan.
There are a few warning signs of scams. You should avoid loan companies that:
- Ask for advance payments
- Rush you into making a decision
- Have numerous consumer complaints
- Don’t go over loan terms in detail
- How do you get approved for a loan?
- To get approved for a loan, you need to:
- Apply with your lender in person, over the phone or online
- Have a decent credit history
- Have proof of a stable income
- Have a reasonable debt-to-income ratio
Some lenders offer instant approval, while others may take several weeks to issue an approval. It's possible your lender might require collateral.
- What is a loan registration fee?
- A loan registration fee is a one-time fee that your lender charges to process your loan application. Loan registration fees are usually 1% to 8% of the loan amount. However, this varies depending on the type of loan and your chosen lender.
- Do loan companies check your bank account?
- Before issuing a loan, some lenders may want to see your bank statements to confirm your financial details, but this isn’t always the case. Ask your lender if it requires bank statements before it issues a loan.
- Do loan companies ask for money upfront?
- Legitimate lenders do not ask for money upfront. Any fees are automatically added to the loan amount, so you should never agree to make any payments upfront.
- How do loan companies make money?
- Loan companies make money on the interest charged on loans. Part of their profit is the difference between the money charged to borrowers and the money the loan company owes to depositors and investors.
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Compare Top Loan Company Reviews
|Cenlar Central Loan Administration||Read 747 Reviews|
Cenlar is a loan service provider headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey. The company works with credit unions, banks, mortgage companies and other lenders to manage loans made by those institutions. Cenlar was founded in 1958.
|Currency||Read 565 Reviews|
Currency's services include various business financing options including business loans, equipment financing, equipment leasing and working capital. They offer competitive interest rates and 100 percent financing services.
|Consumer Portfolio Services|
Read 164 Reviews
Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPS) offers subprime vehicle financing options through auto dealers across the United States. The company was founded in 1991. CPS’s website has resources for consumers and dealers.
Read 119 Reviews
Offers personal loans from $500 to $25,000. Must visit a branch to close the loan upon approval. Fixed rates, terms and payments. Includes debt consolidation and auto loan options. Maximum unsecured loan amount is $8,000.
Read 80 Reviews
Offers unsecured personal loans from $5,000 to $40,000. Fixed interest rates and no hidden fees. No early repayment fees. APR as low as 4.99%. No minimum credit score requirement to apply. Provides unsecured debt consolidation.
Read 178 Reviews
Regional Acceptance is a subsidiary of BB&T with headquarters in North Carolina. It offers vehicle financing options through more than 10,000 U.S. auto dealerships. The Regional website has information for borrowers and dealers.
|Prestige Financial Services|
Read 220 Reviews
Prestige Financial Services, Inc. was established in 1994 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City. It offers subprime auto loans through car and truck dealerships across the United States. Loan applications are available online.
|Monterey Financial Services|
Read 143 Reviews
Monterey Financial Services offers loan servicing, financing and debt recovery to businesses. The company also offers investment opportunities. Monterey Financial was established in 1989 and is headquartered in California.
Read 199 Reviews
Tower Loan was founded in 1936 and now has over 200 locations in Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. The lender offers both unsecured and secured loans. Consumers can find locations on the company’s website.
|Lobel Financial Corporation|
Read 110 Reviews
Lobel Financial offers auto financing to vehicle dealers for subprime customers. The company’s DealWRITER program lets dealers offer instant approval to those applying for financing, and customers can make payments online.
Read 38 Reviews
Mepco Finance Corporation is a subsidiary of Independent Bank Corporation. It is headquartered in Chicago and has been in business since 1964. Mepco offers consumer financing to pay for auto warranties.
Read 100 Reviews
Credit Central offers installment loans with branches in Tennessee. Interested consumers can apply online, by phone or at a branch location. Decisions are made within minutes, and borrowers pick up their loan at any branch.
|Phoenix Financial LLC|
Read 44 Reviews
Phoenix Financial LLC is located in Spokane, Washington. The company offers financing to consumers who purchase a vehicle from one of the five Auto Credit Stores located in the Northwestern United States.
|United Consumer Financial Services|
Read 44 Reviews
United Consumer Financial Services has been offering financing solutions to companies and distributors for over 35 years. Its team of over 200 employees services the U.S.A., Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
|Mid-Atlantic Finance Company|
Read 70 Reviews
Mid-Atlantic Finance Company (MAF) allows auto dealers to offer in-direct financing to their customers. MAF specializes in subprime auto loans and purchasing loan pools. The company has been in business since 1989.
Read 1,397 Reviews
GE Capital, a subsidiary of General Electric, offers corporate financing to businesses in the aviation, industrial and energy industries. Beginning in 2014, Synchrony Bank took over all services offered to non-corporate customers.
Read 180 Reviews
Partners with Chrysler Capital to offer car loans and auto refinancing loans. Options available for a wide range of credit scores. Get a loan decision in as little as one minute. Offers financing for loans from $5,000 to $75,000.
|Business Finance Advance|
Read 70 Reviews
Business Finance Advance has a free, quick quote option via their website that gives business owners an instant approval decision. They have a 95 percent approval rating, and their loans go as high as $2.5 million per location.
|Pioneer Military Credit|
Read 24 Reviews
Offers personal military loans for active duty and retired military members. Loan amounts range from $500 to $10,000. All ranks and branches eligible to apply. Installment loans with fixed rates. Includes 15-day return guarantee.
Offers personal loans between $1,000 to $50,000. Fixed rates and no prepayment fees. APRs between 7.99% and 35.97%. Origination fees between 2.9% and 8%. Funds sent as soon as one business day after approval.
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||Read Reviews|
Provides loans from $3,500 to $40,000. Loan terms up to 72 months. Interest rates range from 6.99% to 19.99%. FDIC member. Rate discounts for AutoPay. High-yield online savings accounts. No fees on savings or loans.
Personal Loan Pro
Offers personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000. APRs as low as 2.49%. Serves as a free matching tool to connect users to lending partners. Provides loan offers in less than two minutes.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
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