Montana’s Best Mortgage Lenders & Current Mortgage Rates


If you’re interested in buying a home in Montana, you’ll be in good company. Though there are just 515,000 housing units in the state, the homeownership rate of 68% is above the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey.

Montana’s median housing value is $249,200, which is just above the national median of $229,700. Home values range widely by region, however, with the lowest counties reporting a median of $89,800, the highest median going up to $330,400.

U.S. News’ Best Montana Mortgage Lenders of 2021

PNC Bank

3% Min. Down Payment
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

McGlone

5% Min. Down Payment
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

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3% Min. Down Payment
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

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5% Min. Down Payment
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Best for bad credit

Carrington Mortgage Services makes a range of mortgages, including refinancing, available to borrowers nationwide. The company, which provides conventional government-backed mortgages, has funded $22 billion in home loans since 2011.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, ARM, Carrington Flexible Advantage, first-time buyers, refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 500
  • Maximum loan amount: $2.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Applicants with credit scores as low as 500 are accepted for some products.

  • Conventional loans are offered with down payments as low as 3%.

See full profile

Best for product availability

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. is based in Madison, Wisconsin, has funded billions of dollars in loans since the company began in 1996 – more than $58 billion in 2020 alone. The lender offers several mortgage products, including conventional, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs refinancing loans. Fairway Independent Mortgage also provides jumbo loans for home purchases in high-cost markets, renovation loans, adjustable-rate mortgages reverse mortgages. Fairway is an independent mortgage company serves as a mortgage broker direct lender.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, ARM, conventional, USDA/Rural Development, FHA, VA, jumbo, refinance, renovation, reverse mortgage
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 580
  • Maximum loan amount: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • The selection of mortgages includes VA USDA loans, which often have no down payment requirements.

  • The company has an A+ customer service rating with the Better Business Bureau.

  • Renovation loan options include the HomeStyle Renovation Loan, which combines the cost of remodeling the mortgage into one loan.

See full profile

Best for consumers with credit scores between poor good

NBKC Bank is a Kansas-based mortgage lender. It originates home loans in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, fixed rate, ARM, FHA, refinance, VA, FHA Streamline Refinance, Refi Plus, VA Streamline Refinance
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: Not disclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

  • It features a simple online application process.

  • VA loan borrowers aren’t charged lender fees.

See full profile

Best for product selection

Guild Mortgage, founded in 1960, specializes in home loans serves borrowers nationwide. The lender’s full suite of products includes conventional government-backed mortgages home renovation loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, ARM, refinancing, renovation, jumbo
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $2 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A broad range of mortgage products are offered.

  • Special mortgage programs for first-time buyers manufactured homebuyers are available.

See full profile

Best for VA loans

Veterans United Home Loans provides mortgages to veterans military families in all 50 states Washington, D.C., specializes in VA loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: VA, VA jumbo, refinance
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Maximum loan amount: $1.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No down payment or PMI are required.

See full profile

Best online bank for customer service

Ally Bank is a Detroit-based online bank. Ally offers traditional banking products services, such as conventional mortgages, as well as refinance loans jumbo home loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, ARM, home equity loans, refinancing, HomeReady for first-time homebuyers
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $4 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A program is available for first-time homebuyers.

  • Existing Ally customers can get a closing cost discount.

See full profile

Best for large loan amounts

Bank of America serves roughly 66 million customers in all 50 states. The lender offers conventional, Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs jumbo loans, as well as home equity lines of credit mortgage refinancing.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, Affordable Loan Solution, FHA, VA, ARM, home equity line of credit, fixed-rate refinancing, FHA refinancing, VA refinancing, cash-out refinancing, adjustable-rate refinancing, jumbo
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $2.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Bank of America has a wide variety of mortgage products.

  • The lender offers origination fee discounts for qualifying Bank of America Merrill Lynch clients.

  • Home equity lines of credit have no annual, application or cash advance fees or closing costs.

  • Bank of America offers a first-time homebuyer program.

See full profile

Best for low down payment

PNC Bank is one of the largest U.S. banks, serving more than 8 million customers in all 50 states. PNC offers most types of mortgages.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, FHA, VA, USDA, ARM, home equity line of credit, refinancing, medical professional mortgage program, jumbo, PNC Community
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Multiple types of mortgages are available.

  • Some mortgage options require no or low down payments.

  • PNC supplies an online home ownership cost tool.

See full profile

Best for no down payment

Alliant Credit Union is a nonprofit financial cooperative. The credit union serves customers in all 50 states. Mortgage products include conventional, jumbo refinancing loans, home equity lines of credit.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: Traditional, ARM, refinancing, home equity line of credit, Alliant Advantage Mortgage
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $2.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No-down-payment mortgages are available for first-time homebuyers with excellent credit.

  • Mortgages are available to borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 620.

See full profile

Best for online service

Caliber Home Loans of Coppell, Texas, offers mortgage home equity products nationwide. Options include conventional, adjustable-rate, refinancing, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterans Affairs loans. Caliber has been in business since 2008, is focused on home lending products.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, ARM, refinancing, bond, renovation, Freddie Mac HomeOne, Freddie Mac Home Possible, Fannie Mae HomeReady
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • The first-time homebuyer program HomeOne can require a down payment of as little as 3% borrowers may qualify with a minimum 620 credit score.

  • Government-insured loans including Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs, United States Department of Agriculture programs are available.

See full profile

What Are the Mortgage Rates in Montana?

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgage in Montana is 2.94%.

Home interest rates range from 2.5% to 3.63% in Montana.

What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage Calculator

Is your dream home within reach? U.S. News’ mortgage calculator will show you how much house you can afford.

What Are Some Montana Homebuyer Programs?

Montana homebuyers can get help with down payments closing costs from these Montana Housing programs.

Available to: First-time homebuyers who first qualify for a Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development or Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program first mortgage loan.
Income limits: Vary by county (see income limits).
First-time homebuyers only?: Yes.
Benefits: A lower interest rate.
Down payment closing cost assistance: Programs are available may be combined.

Available to: Borrowers who are eligible for a Regular Bond Program loan with a minimum credit score of 620; completion of a buyer education program is also required.
Income limits: Vary by county (see income limits).
First-time homebuyers only?: Yes.
Down payment closing cost assistance: Available for up to 5% of the sales price, maximum $10,000, as a 15-year amortizing loan with low monthly payments the same fixed rate as the main loan. Borrowers must contribute at least $1,000 of their own funds.

Available to: Borrowers with a minimum credit score of 620 maximum debt-to-income of 43%; completion of a buyer education program is also required.
Income limits: $55,000
First-time homebuyers only?: Yes.
Down payment closing cost assistance: Available for up to 5% of the sales price, maximum $6,500, as a 0% second loan with no monthly payments. Borrowers must contribute at least $1,000 of their own funds.

Available to: Homebuyers who are eligible for Montana Housing financing.
Income limits: Vary by county (see income limits).
First-time homebuyers only?: No.
Benefits: This is a 30-year mortgage loan at 80% loan-to-value that is combined with a second loan at 20% LTV offered by a partnering nonprofit.

Available to: Montana residents serving or who have served in the military through the federal armed services or the Montana National Guard.
Income limits: No income, purchase price or asset limits apply.
First-time homebuyers only?: No.
Benefits: Mortgage interest rate is 1% lower than market rate.

Available to: Homebuyers who meet the same IRS eligibility requirements as the Montana Housing loan programs, but Montana Housing loans are not eligible for MCC.
Income limits: N/A.
First-time homebuyers only?: Yes.
Benefit: A tax credit that reduces the amount of federal income tax paid by a first-time homebuyer. The tax credit is equal to 20% of the mortgage interest (not to exceed $2,000) paid during the tax year.

View More Best Montana Mortgage Lenders

Best for product range

CMG Financial is a privately held mortgage banking firm operating nationwide with localized support, founded in 1993 based in San Ramon, California. The lender offers a range of products including conventional, government specialty mortgages, like jumbo loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo, All in One Loan, 203K Renovation Loan, Fannie Mae HomeReady, Freddie Mac Home Possible, HomeFundIt, refinance
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Exclusive mortgage products include the HomeFundIt for crowdfunding a down payment.

  • The lender has a national presence with regional fulfillment local support.

  • CMG Financial offers a mobile app.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

Flagstar offers banking lending products in every state. Borrowers can select from conventional or government-backed mortgages, such as FHA, VA U.S. Department of Agriculture loans, opt for adjustable-rate mortgages. Other choices include home equity loans lines of credit.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, VA, ARM, FHA, USDA, jumbo, refinance, home equity
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Flagstar Bank provides a broad selection of mortgages home equity loans.

  • Some mortgages require no or a low down payment.

  • Borrowers can apply for loans online.

See full profile

Best for digital mortgages

LoanDepot is an online lender operating in all 50 states with more than 200 in-person branches. The company was founded in 2010 is headquartered in Southern California. LoanDepot offers Federal Housing Administration Department of Veterans Affairs loans, as well as home equity refinancing loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: refinance, jumbo, hybrid ARM, fixed rate, HARP, VA, FHA, 203k loan
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • LoanDepot mortgages have a lifetime guarantee, which means if you ever decide to refinance an existing LoanDepot loan, the company will waive the lender fees reimburse appraisal fees.

  • The company offers a variety of mortgage products.

  • It’s licensed in all 50 states.

See full profile

Best for digital customer care

PrimeLending is a Dallas-based mortgage lender with several mortgage loan options, including conventional loans, jumbo loans, government-backed loans refinance loans. The lender is a subsidiary of PlainsCapital Bank.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, ARM, conventional, cash-out refinance, refinance, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, new construction, interest rate reduction refinance loan
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Maximum loan amount: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Homebuyers can choose from a variety of mortgage products.

  • Home loans are available nationwide.

  • Down payment closing cost assistance is available.

See full profile

Best for array of products

Founded in 1999, McGlone Mortgage Group is licensed in multiple states to offer purchase refinance home loans. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, McGlone Mortgage Group offers many different mortgage options.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, HomeReady, High Balance/Super Conforming, Energy Efficient Mortgage, FHA
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $2 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Varied loan options are available.

  • McGlone Mortgage Group offers mortgage calculators other tools.

  • Co-signers are allowed for most loans.

See full profile

Best for conventional mortgage

Citizens Bank is a regional bank based in Providence, Rhode Island. It offers traditional banking services products, including home loans mortgage refinance loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, ARM, refinance, HELOC, jumbo, fixed rate
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Citizens Bank provides a homebuying service with rewards for borrowers in select states.

  • Homebuyers can get an interest rate discount for qualifying automatic payments.

  • Borrowers can apply online.

See full profile

Best for government loans

Founded in 2008, PennyMac is a national mortgage lender with more than $402 billion in loans serviced. PennyMac offers a range of home loans, including conventional, Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs investment property mortgages.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, FHA, VA, ARM, refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $765,600
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • PennyMac accepts a 50% debt-to-income ratio for conventional loans in some instances.

  • Online capabilities include a 24/7 access center email status updates.

See full profile

Best for low APR

New American Funding is a national mortgage lender with a variety of home loan options. The lender has processed more than $27 billion in mortgages.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: ARM, cash-out refinance, conventional, FHA, HELOCs, jumbo, reverse, USDA VA
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Provides multiple mortgage options, including low no down-payment loans

  • Offers fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages

See full profile

Best for product availability

Freedom Mortgage Corp. serves more than 1 million customers in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico. The lender offers various mortgage products, including conventional, adjustable-rate, jumbo, refinance, Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs U.S. Department of Agriculture loans.

Highlights
Mortgage types offered: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinancing (conventional), Refinancing (FHA), Refinancing (VA), Refinancing (USDA)
• Minimum FICO score: 620 (conventional), No minimum (VA), 540 (FHA), No minimum (USDA)
• Max DTI: Not disclosed
• J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Two out of five

Best Features

  • Wide selection of mortgage loans.

  • Prequalification is available.

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

See full profile

Advertising Disclosure: Some of the loan offers on this site are from companies
who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact
where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions,
such as which loan products we write about how we evaluate them. This site
does not include all loan companies or all loan offers available in the marketplace.



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Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fee of July 2021


You might be willing to fork over an annual fee for your credit card if the value of your rewards benefits outweighs the fee. Generally, cards that charge annual fees come packed with perks, you can come out ahead despite the cost.

Still, 60% of consumers said having no annual fee is a very important factor when choosing a credit card, according to a 2019 Discover survey about annual fees. No matter what type of credit card you want, look at options with without annual fees. These examples can show you how an annual fee may or may not pay off.

Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:
Chase Freedom Flex charges no annual fee offers a 15-month 0% introductory APR on purchases, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee no introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers.

On Chase Freedom Flex you can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening or an 100,000-point sign-up bonus with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card but will need to charge $4,000 in the same time frame.

Which card can help you get more cash back depends on your spending habits. Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly bonus categories you activate; 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022; 3% back on dining, including takeout eligible delivery services, plus drugstore purchases; 1% back on all other purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card accrues two points per dollar on travel dining, including eligible delivery services takeout orders, one point per dollar on everything else. Cardholders get five points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022, a one-year subscription to DashPass for free deliveries reduced service fees, plus up to $60 in statement credits on qualifying Peloton purchases through 2021. The card also allows you to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for statement credits toward purchases in rotating categories for 25% more value using Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature.

If you need an introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers, you can rule out the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. On the other hand, Chase Freedom Flex isn’t the best choice if you don’t spend a lot on the card’s bonus categories or you usually carry a balance. You could pay a high APR based on your creditworthiness.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card vs. Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card has no annual fee, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card charges a $95 annual fee.

With the no-annual-fee card, you can earn 3% cash back in a category of your choice 2% back at grocery stores wholesale clubs, on up to $2,500 quarterly in combined purchases. The card offers unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.

By comparison, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card pulls in two points per dollar on travel dining purchases unlimited 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases. Cardholders also get up to $100 in annual statement credits toward incidental airline fees up to $100 in statement credit every four years for the Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee.

You can pick up a sign-up bonus with either card. The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card dangles a 50,000-point bonus worth $500, but you will need to spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card has a smaller $200 cash rewards bonus, but you will need to spend only $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

If a 0% introductory rate is a priority, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card does not offer one. However, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card provides a 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases balance transfers made in the first 60 days. Both cards are eligible for rewards bonuses of up to 75% for members of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.



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Best Low Interest Personal Loans


A personal loan can help you pay for debt consolidation, home improvement or other expenses, but you’ll need to pay it back – with interest. Shopping around for a competitive rate, even on a low-interest personal loan, can reduce the interest you pay. Find out where to shop for low-interest personal loans what to ask before you agree to a new loan. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why is a low-interest personal loan important?
  • What is a good interest rate on a personal loan?
  • Can you get a low-interest loan?

What Are the Best Low-Interest Personal Loans?

LightStream

2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
N/A Min. Credit Score

Best Egg

4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Payoff

5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

SoFi

5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Peerform

5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

U.S. Bank

6.49% to 16.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Axos Bank

6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

Discover

6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Rocket Loans

7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Prosper

7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Upgrade

7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

FreedomPlus

7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Upstart

8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Avant

9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

LendingClub

10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

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2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
N/A Min. Credit Score

Lender

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4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

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5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

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5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

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5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

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6.49% to 16.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More

APR

Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

2.49% to 19.99% $100,000 N/A

4.99% to 29.99% $50,000 640

5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 640

5.99% to 18.28% $100,000 680

5.99% to 29.99% $25,000 600

6.49% to 17.99% $20,000 Not disclosed

6.49% to 16.99% $25,000 680

6.49% to 29.99% $35,000 720

6.99% to 19.99% $40,000 660

6.99% to 24.99% $35,000 660

7.16% to 29.99% $45,000 Not disclosed

7.95% to 35.99% $40,000 640

7.99% to 35.97% $50,000 Not disclosed

7.99% to 29.99% $40,000 620

8.69% to 35.99% $50,000 620

9.95% to 35.95% $35,000 550

9.99% to 35.99% $25,000 600

10.68% to 35.89% $40,000 600

Best for low interest

LightStream is the national online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, which in 2019 became Truist after merging with BB&T. The key feature of LightStream’s online personal loans is that they can be up to $100,000 used for nearly any reason, outside of refinancing existing LightStream loans. Personal loans are available to borrowers with good to excellent credit in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: N/A
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A variety of loan uses are available.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

See full profile

Best for bad credit

Best Egg is a national online lender offering personal loans starting at $2,000 for a variety of purposes. Loans can be funded in as little as one business day.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funding typically takes one to three business days upon approval.

  • The minimum loan amount is $2,000 in most states.

  • Borrowers incur no prepayment penalty.

See full profile

Best for debt consolidation

Payoff offers personal loans designed to consolidate credit card other high-interest debt. It operates in most states provides loans of up to $40,000.

Payoff is not a bank; instead, it works with lending partners that originate loans. The company, which considers itself a financial wellness firm, is based in California.

In 2017, Payoff launched a sister company called Happy Money, which takes a psychological approach to money matters. Today, Payoff is a service under the Happy Money umbrella.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers don’t face prepayment or late fees.

  • Borrowers can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may be eligible.

See full profile

Best for loans of up to $100,000 with no fees

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers personal loans of up to $100,000 to borrowers with very good to excellent credit. The lender operates nationwide, but does not offer personal loans in Mississippi, is known for offering loans with no fees. In addition to personal loans, SoFi offers student loans, student loan refinancing, home loans small business financing.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • SoFi offers no-fee loans, including no late fees.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

  • Co-borrowers are accepted.

See full profile

Best for peer-to-peer loans of up to $25,000

Peerform is a marketplace lending platform that connects borrowers nationwide with investors. Borrowers with a credit score of 600 or higher may qualify for loans of up to $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for low minimum loan amounts

PenFed Credit Union serves members of the Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Department of HomelSecurity, military associations, eligible veterans retirees, their families. However, military association is not required to apply for a loan or become a credit union member. The credit union offers personal loans for eligible members eligible co-borrowers in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Terms of up to 60 months.

  • There are no origination fees.

  • Borrowers can get access to funds as early as the day after approval.

See full profile

Best for short-term loans

U.S. Bank offers both short- long-term personal loans with fixed interest rates.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: three to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are paid out relatively quickly.

  • U.S. Bank doesn’t charge an origination fee.

See full profile

Best for flexible loan terms

Axos Bank launched in 2000 is owned by San Diego-based Axos Financial. You won’t find any brick-and-mortar branches, but the bank has offices throughout the country. Aside from personal loans, Axos Bank offers CDs, plus checking, savings, money market retirement accounts.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 720
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • The loan application process is completely digital because Axos Bank is online only.

  • Flexible loan terms are one to five years.

  • You can borrow between $5,000 $35,000.

See full profile

Best for no origination fee

Marcus is the consumer bank lending arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Established in 2016, the lender offers personal loans of up to $40,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Marcus does not charge any fees on its personal loans.

  • Borrowers can adjust their payment due date.

See full profile

Best for low costs

Discover is a digital bank payment services company known for its credit cards. But Discover also offers other products including fixed-rate personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers in all 50 states Washington, D.C. The lender boasts no fees as long as you pay on time.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Discover has no fees other than a late fee.

  • Customizable loan terms from 36 to 84 months.

  • Borrowers get free access to their FICO credit score.

See full profile

What Is the Best Interest Rate on a Personal Loan?

The average personal loan rate is 9.34%. Last week’s average rate was 9.93%.*

*Rate as of May. 21, 2021

Personal Loan Finder

Why Is a Low-Interest Personal Loan Important?

The lower your personal loan interest rate, the less you’ll pay to borrow money. That affects your monthly payment could mean you’ll need less time to pay off your loan. Here are a couple of scenarios that show the effects of interest rates on the cost of a personal loan:

Let’s say you received an offer for a $5,000 personal loan with a 9.3% annual percentage rate a four-year repayment term. With this loan, you’d pay $1,006.66 in interest alone.

Now assume that you were approved for a $5,000 personal loan with a four-year term a 6.75% APR. By comparison, your total interest charges on this loan would be $719.30, resulting in interest savings of $287.36.

Your personal loan interest rate makes more of a difference if you’re taking out a larger or longer-term loan. The average personal loan balance is $16,259, according to a 2019 personal loan study from the credit bureau Experian.

If you took out a $16,259 personal loan with the same 9.3% APR but a six-year term, interest charges would increase to a sizable $5,017.28. If you can shop around for a loan get the same term length at 6.2% APR, you would spend $3,252.73 save close to $1,800.

What Is a Good Interest Rate on a Personal Loan?

There are two pieces of good news: Low-interest personal loans are available, the average interest rate for all personal loans is about 12%. That’s particularly helpful if you need to pay off high-interest credit card debt.

You’ll pay down debt faster on a personal loan than on credit cards with higher interest rates, says David Bakke, personal finance expert at Dollar Sanity, a financial education website.

Getting a good personal loan rate, though, depends on your credit profile. This often includes your credit history score, your income your debt.

All lenders have their own criteria to set applicants’ personal loan interest rates terms.

Which Factors Affect Your Personal Loan Rate?

Here are a few key areas that lenders look at to determine personal loan approvals interest rates:

Your credit score is one of the major factors lenders consider for personal loan eligibility, says Lauren Anastasio, certified financial planner at SoFi, a personal finance company. “Lenders don’t always disclose whether they have a minimum credit score for applicants, but often they prefer to see a good or excellent credit history,” she says.

Meeting the minimum credit score doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for the lowest loan rates advertised. A FICO credit score in the mid-700s or higher is considered very good to exceptional generally earns you a competitive interest rate. Borrowers with fair or bad credit shouldn’t expect low interest rates on personal loans.

A co-signer, ideally one with strong credit, is held liable for repaying your loan if you can’t. Lenders may approve a loan at a lower interest rate when you have a co-signer.

“If you don’t have a stellar credit score or don’t make very much, adding a co-borrower to your loan might increase your chances of approval,” Anastasio says. “They might also help you get a better interest rate repayment terms.”

Lenders will evaluate your income to ensure that you earn enough to repay the loan. Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income you put toward debt. It helps lenders gauge whether you can manage a personal loan payment without financial hardship.

“And, in a nutshell, the maximum debt-to-income ratio you want if you’re looking for a personal loan is right around 35%,” Bakke says. “Anything higher than that the lender will be thinking twice about whether or not to extend the loan.”

Additionally, some lenders may have a minimum annual income requirement.

Whether your personal loan is secured or unsecured can influence your interest rate. With a secured loan, you’re providing collateral that the lender can claim if you default on your loan.

“Secured loans, backed by assets owned by the borrower, like a car or house, are less risky to the lender therefore often come with much lower interest rates, reducing the cost of borrowing over the life of the loan,” Anastasio says.

Before jumping on a secured personal loan, factor in the risk of losing your collateral, such as your home, if you can’t make the monthly payments.

Some lenders offer a small APR percentage point reduction for existing customers or for signing up for automatic payment options. Some lenders list interest rates that include autopay discounts.

Can You Get a Low-Interest Loan?

Take these steps to find the lowest rates on personal loans.

Lenders may advertise an APR range, but you won’t find out your rate until a lender checks your credit. Prequalification can tell you whether you could be approved for a low-interest personal loan it only uses a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t affect your credit score.

“Many lenders allow potential borrowers to see if they prequalify for a loan before applying,” Anastasio says. “This process shows how much the loan would potentially be approved for, what your repayment terms your interest rate could possibly be.”

Not all lenders offer prequalification options, but online lenders generally do. You’ll submit basic information, such as how much you want to borrow your income, the lender will perform a soft credit check. This option gives you great insight into whether you might meet borrower criteria what terms you could get without committing to the loan or hurting your credit with a hard credit check.

Plus, the process can be quick. Some lenders let you check rates prequalification online, which can take just minutes.

2. Check With Your Bank or Credit Union

When you’re rate shopping, getting a quote from a financial institution you have a relationship with could pay off. “Your bank or credit union would be a great place to start,” Bakke says. “However, rates fees do vary, so it’s recommended that you get quotes from at least three lenders.”

Your bank or credit union might be able to offer a more competitive rate or origination fee than rivals because it has a window into your finances that the others don’t. If you have deposit accounts, for example, the bank may consider your wages, spending patterns savings.

3. Be a More Attractive Borrower Try Again

If you can’t get approved for a competitive interest rate on a personal loan, you might want to wait. Take time to focus on raising your credit score reapply.

Check your credit reports for errors that you can dispute, pay down debt, make on-time monthly payments, take other steps to improve your credit before you apply for a personal loan.

Which Bank Is Best for Low-Interest Personal Loans?

Carefully review personal loan options before you commit to a loan. Read full reviews to find the best personal loan lenders with the lowest rates. Loan terms vary, but a personal loan review can tell you about what you can expect from a lender. In addition to interest rate, learn about each lender’s:

  • Loan amount range
  • Minimum credit score requirement
  • Minimum income requirement
  • Loan terms, or time to pay off the loan
  • Customer service ratings, such as from the Better Business Bureau

View More Best Low-Interest Personal Loans

Best for digital customer care

Rocket Loans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa, West Virginia Nevada. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses business or other expenses.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available in some cases.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

  • An online application process is available.

See full profile

Best for post-sales support

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows borrowers to apply online for fixed-rate, fixed-term loans. Prosper matches borrowers with partner investors including Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners, Institutional Venture Partners Credit Suisse Fund. Since its founding in 2005, Prosper has expedited more than $18 billion in loans. Prosper lends to borrowers with fair to excellent credit with a minimum 640 FICO score.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Prosper offers preapproval with a soft credit check.

  • Small-dollar loans of $2,000 or more are available.

  • Joint personal loans are available.

See full profile

Best for loan amounts of up to $50,000

Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans lines of credits nationwide. Borrowers can qualify for up to $50,000 in financing.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans lines of credit are available up to $50,000.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for below-average credit

FreedomPlus is an online lender offering personal loans ranging from $7,500 to $40,000. Loans are available to qualified borrowers with a minimum FICO credit score of 620.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify for a loan.

  • Loans of up to $40,000 are available.

  • Same-day approval is available, with loans funded in as little as 48 hours.

See full profile

Best for borrowers with no credit or poor credit

Upstart is an online marketplace lender that connects borrowers investors to originate personal loans. It offers loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair to excellent credit nationwide, with the exception of Iowa West Virginia residents. Since it was established in 2012, more than $7 billion in loans have been originated. Many loan decisions made through the platform are automated use artificial intelligence.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Upstart may accept applicants with fair credit or even those with no credit history, using artificial intelligence to quantify risk.

  • Upstart loans as low as $1,000 are available in most states.

  • The lender’s credit dashboard allows borrowers to see the impact of loan repayments to modify payment dates.

See full profile

Best for risky borrowers

Since 2012, Avant has provided access to personal loans to more than 800,000 borrowers nationwide. Borrowers may qualify with fair to excellent credit can borrow from $2,000 to $35,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Loans as low as $2,000 are available.

  • Funding can happen as early as the next business day after approval.

See full profile

Best for FICO scores between 580 669

LendingPoint, which specializes in loans for borrowers with fair credit, has offered online personal loans since 2014. The lender, operating in 49 states the District of Columbia, provides loans as large as $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 48 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are available as soon as one day after approval.

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

LendingClub is an online marketplace that connects borrowers investors through its network of lending partners. LendingClub initially launched on Facebook has evolved into an extensive peer-to-peer lender. Borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa U.S. territories who have fair to excellent credit can get $1,000 to $40,000 loans with LendingClub.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: not rated

Best Features

  • Loans of $1,000 or more are available.

  • Joint applications are accepted.

  • Borrowers can qualify with fair to excellent credit.

See full profile

Advertising Disclosure: Some of the loan offers on this site are from companies
who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact
where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions,
such as which loan products we write about how we evaluate them. This site
does not include all loan companies or all loan offers available in the marketplace.



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District of Columbia’s Best Mortgage Lenders & Current Mortgage Rates


The District of Columbia’s median housing value is $617,900, which is close to triple the national median of $229,700. Although home values vary by region, homes in the District of Columbia are fairly expensive due to the relatively small size of the area the heavy presence of the federal government.

U.S. News’ Best District of Columbia Mortgage Lenders of 2021

Chase

3% Min. Down Payment
620 Min. Credit Score

McGlone

5% Min. Down Payment
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

USAA

0% Min. Down Payment
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
3% Min. Down Payment
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5% Min. Down Payment
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
0% Min. Down Payment
620 Min. Credit Score

Best for product availability

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. is based in Madison, Wisconsin, has funded billions of dollars in loans since the company began in 1996 – more than $58 billion in 2020 alone. The lender offers several mortgage products, including conventional, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs refinancing loans. Fairway Independent Mortgage also provides jumbo loans for home purchases in high-cost markets, renovation loans, adjustable-rate mortgages reverse mortgages. Fairway is an independent mortgage company serves as a mortgage broker direct lender.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, ARM, conventional, USDA/Rural Development, FHA, VA, jumbo, refinance, renovation, reverse mortgage
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 580
  • Maximum loan amount: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • The selection of mortgages includes VA USDA loans, which often have no down payment requirements.

  • The company has an A+ customer service rating with the Better Business Bureau.

  • Renovation loan options include the HomeStyle Renovation Loan, which combines the cost of remodeling the mortgage into one loan.

See full profile

Best for VA loans

Veterans United Home Loans provides mortgages to veterans military families in all 50 states Washington, D.C., specializes in VA loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: VA, VA jumbo, refinance
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Maximum loan amount: $1.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No down payment or PMI are required.

See full profile

Best online bank for customer service

Ally Bank is a Detroit-based online bank. Ally offers traditional banking products services, such as conventional mortgages, as well as refinance loans jumbo home loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: fixed rate, ARM, home equity loans, refinancing, HomeReady for first-time homebuyers
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $4 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A program is available for first-time homebuyers.

  • Existing Ally customers can get a closing cost discount.

See full profile

Best for no down payment

Alliant Credit Union is a nonprofit financial cooperative. The credit union serves customers in all 50 states. Mortgage products include conventional, jumbo refinancing loans, home equity lines of credit.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: Traditional, ARM, refinancing, home equity line of credit, Alliant Advantage Mortgage
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $2.5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No-down-payment mortgages are available for first-time homebuyers with excellent credit.

  • Mortgages are available to borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 620.

See full profile

Best for online service

Caliber Home Loans of Coppell, Texas, offers mortgage home equity products nationwide. Options include conventional, adjustable-rate, refinancing, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterans Affairs loans. Caliber has been in business since 2008, is focused on home lending products.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, ARM, refinancing, bond, renovation, Freddie Mac HomeOne, Freddie Mac Home Possible, Fannie Mae HomeReady
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • The first-time homebuyer program HomeOne can require a down payment of as little as 3% borrowers may qualify with a minimum 620 credit score.

  • Government-insured loans including Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs, United States Department of Agriculture programs are available.

See full profile

Best for product range

CMG Financial is a privately held mortgage banking firm operating nationwide with localized support, founded in 1993 based in San Ramon, California. The lender offers a range of products including conventional, government specialty mortgages, like jumbo loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo, All in One Loan, 203K Renovation Loan, Fannie Mae HomeReady, Freddie Mac Home Possible, HomeFundIt, refinance
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Exclusive mortgage products include the HomeFundIt for crowdfunding a down payment.

  • The lender has a national presence with regional fulfillment local support.

  • CMG Financial offers a mobile app.

See full profile

Best for low costs

Chase, one of the nation’s largest banks, offers mortgages, refinance loans home equity loans for qualified borrowers.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types offered: conventional, ARM, conforming, FHA, DreaMaker, VA, jumbo, refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Down payments as low as 3% are accepted.

  • Fixed- adjustable-rate mortgages are available.

See full profile

Best for digital mortgages

LoanDepot is an online lender operating in all 50 states with more than 200 in-person branches. The company was founded in 2010 is headquartered in Southern California. LoanDepot offers Federal Housing Administration Department of Veterans Affairs loans, as well as home equity refinancing loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: refinance, jumbo, hybrid ARM, fixed rate, HARP, VA, FHA, 203k loan
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • LoanDepot mortgages have a lifetime guarantee, which means if you ever decide to refinance an existing LoanDepot loan, the company will waive the lender fees reimburse appraisal fees.

  • The company offers a variety of mortgage products.

  • It’s licensed in all 50 states.

See full profile

What Are the Mortgage Rates in the District of Columbia?

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgage in the District of Columbia is 2.91%.

Home interest rates range from 2.5% to 4% in the District of Columbia.

What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage Calculator

Is your dream home within reach? U.S. News’ mortgage calculator will show you how much house you can afford.

What Are Some District of Columbia Homebuyer Programs?

District of Columbia homebuyers can get help with down payments closing costs receive competitive interest rates or a federal tax credit from these DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) programs.

  • Available to: Eligible homebuyers purchasing a home in D.C. who have a minimum credit score of 640 maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50%.
  • Income limits: Borrower income maximum of $145,560.
  • First-time homebuyers only?: No.
  • Benefits: Competitive or below-market interest rates lower mortgage insurance costs on first trust mortgages, down payment assistance loan of up to 3.5% in the form of a 0%, no monthly payment loan due at the sale, refinance or transfer of the property or when the property ceases to be your primary residence.

  • Available to: Eligible D.C. homebuyers who have not owned a home in the last three years, except for residences in targeted areas or veterans using a one-time exception, purchasing single-family residences with a sales price of $530,000 or less loan amount of $510,400 or less.
  • Income limits: Vary by area household size.
  • First-time homebuyers only?: No.
  • Benefits: A federal tax credit of 20% of the mortgage interest paid during each calendar year.

  • Available to: Eligible D.C. homebuyers who are the head of household, have not owned a home in the last three years, have a good credit rating are purchasing a home as their primary residence.
  • Income limits: Vary by household size.
  • First-time homebuyers only?: No.
  • Benefits: Up to $4,000 in closing cost assistance up to $80,000 in down payment assistance in the form of a deferred interest-free loan.

  • Available to: Eligible D.C. homebuyers who are full-time D.C. government employees with no homeownership interest in a primary residence during the past three years no property interests at the time of settlement. The borrower must have a minimum credit score of 640 a debt-to-income ratio that doesn’t exceed 50%. The maximum loan amount cannot exceed $484,350 the maximum sales price cannot exceed $525,000.
  • Income limits: Household income cannot exceed 120% of the area median income.
  • First-time homebuyers only?: No.
  • Benefits: A first trust mortgage at a reduced interest rate up to 3% down payment assistance in the form of a 0% deferred subordinate loan.

View More District of Columbia Mortgage Lenders

Best for array of products

Founded in 1999, McGlone Mortgage Group is licensed in multiple states to offer purchase refinance home loans. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, McGlone Mortgage Group offers many different mortgage options.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, HomeReady, High Balance/Super Conforming, Energy Efficient Mortgage, FHA
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $2 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Varied loan options are available.

  • McGlone Mortgage Group offers mortgage calculators other tools.

  • Co-signers are allowed for most loans.

See full profile

Best for conventional mortgage

Citizens Bank is a regional bank based in Providence, Rhode Island. It offers traditional banking services products, including home loans mortgage refinance loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: conventional, ARM, refinance, HELOC, jumbo, fixed rate
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Citizens Bank provides a homebuying service with rewards for borrowers in select states.

  • Homebuyers can get an interest rate discount for qualifying automatic payments.

  • Borrowers can apply online.

See full profile

Best for low APR

New American Funding is a national mortgage lender with a variety of home loan options. The lender has processed more than $27 billion in mortgages.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: ARM, cash-out refinance, conventional, FHA, HELOCs, jumbo, reverse, USDA VA
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum loan amount: $3 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Provides multiple mortgage options, including low no down-payment loans

  • Offers fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages

See full profile

Best for low down payment

Spring EQ is a Philadelphia-based home equity lender. Home equity loans are available in more than 30 states the District of Columbia, Spring EQ has plans to expinto more.

Highlights

  • Mortgage types offered: Home Equity
  • Minimum FICO score: N/A
  • Max LTV: 100%
  • Max DTI: N/A
  • Closing costs: N/A
  • Equity required: N/A
  • J.D. Power satisfaction rating: N/A

Best Features

  • Loan limits ranging from $20,000 to $250,000.

  • Reduced fees for loans more than $80,000.

  • Loan funding in as little 14 days.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

Guaranteed Rate has served millions of Americans since 2000 with more than $150 billion in loan volume. This lender has no minimum loan amount.

Highlights:

  • Minimum FICO score: 580 (FHA)
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: N/A
  • Loan amounts: No minimum
  • Total closing costs: Varies
  • J.D. Power overall satisfaction rating: Two out of five

Best Features

  • Provides qualifying borrowers with a 10-minute closing process.

See full profile

Best for Veterans Affairs loans

USAA specializes in offering financial services to active-duty service members, veterans their family members. To use USAA’s products, you must meet its military service requirements, be the spouse of a USAA member or be the child of a USAA member. This requirement means many customers are also eligible for VA home loans, so these are one of USAA’s specialties.

Highlights

  • VA loan products available: Fixed- or adjustable-rate VA loan or IRRRL
  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Varies, but recommends keeping it less than 36%
  • J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Five out of five but not rank eligible

Best Features

  • Good customer service ratings.

  • VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans, also known as IRRRL or streamline refinance loans.

See full profile

Advertising Disclosure: Some of the loan offers on this site are from companies
who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact
where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions,
such as which loan products we write about how we evaluate them. This site
does not include all loan companies or all loan offers available in the marketplace.



Source link

Best Student Loans of 2021


Whether your college plans involve heading to campus or logging on for online learning, one thing is certain: You will need a way to pay. Although federal student loans are often the most affordable way to borrow, they may not be enough to cover all of your college costs. Private student loans, as well as grants work-study programs, can cover the gap between what you need how much you can afford to pay toward your college expenses.

But be cautious about borrowing too much. “With so much uncertainty regarding college campuses fall class schedules, planning for expenses is not an easy task,” says Bruce McClary, vice president of marketing for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling U.S. News contributor.

This guide can help you navigate the uncertain school year. What you’ll learn here:

  • How do private student loans work?
  • What are the drawbacks of private student loans?
  • How can you choose the best private student loans?

The Best Private Student Loans of 2021

Because each student has unique financial aid needs, no single lender is a good choice for everyone. These lenders are a good starting point for your private student loan research.

Earnest

3.34% to 12.78% with autopay Fixed APR
No maximum Max. Loan Amount
650 Min. Credit Score

College Ave

3.34% to 12.99% with autopay Fixed APR
No maximum Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Sallie Mae

4.25% to 12.59% * Fixed APR
Not disclosed Max. Loan Amount
Mid 600s Min. Credit Score

Discover

4.24% to 12.99% with autopay Fixed APR
No maximum Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

U-fi

3.59% to 12.34% Fixed APR
$125,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Laurel Road

2.80% to 6.00% with autopay Fixed APR
No maximum Max. Loan Amount
650 Min. Credit Score

LendKey

3.99% to 8.49% with autopay Fixed APR
Cost of attendance, minus aid Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

PNC

4.44% to 9.59% with autopay Fixed APR
$50,000 yearly Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

RISLA

As low as 3.99% with autopay Fixed APR
$45,000 yearly Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

SoFi

4.23% to 10.66% with autopay Fixed APR
No maximum Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Citizens Bank

As low as 3.01% with autopay Fixed APR
$150,000 Max. Loan Amount
670 Min. Credit Score

EDvestinU

4.092% to 8.609% with autopay Fixed APR
$200,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

CommonBond

3.74% to 10.74% with autopay Fixed APR
$500,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Ascent Funding

3.58% – 11.95% with autopay Fixed APR
$200,000 Max. Loan Amount
540 Min. Credit Score

Find the Best Student Loans for You

Best for fair credit

Earnest is an online lender offering private student loans to current college graduate students student loan refinancing to graduates. The company was founded in 2013. Borrowers can choose their loan terms to fund up to the full cost of their education.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, co-signer, refinancing, Parent PLUS refinancing, MBA, law, medical
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 650
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Earnest doesn’t charge origination, application or late fees.

  • You can choose your monthly payment loan term length.

  • You can use a co-signer on undergraduate or graduate student loans, student loan refinancing is available.

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Best for customer service

Education Loan Finance, also known as ELFI, is a student loan refinancing program offered by SouthEast Bank. Options are available in all 50 states Puerto Rico to refinance private federal student loans, including undergraduate, graduate, parent MBA loans, as well as loans for law, dental medical school. ELFI also offers private loans for students at eligible institutions.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, parent loans, refinancing, parent refinancing, MBA, law, health care
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • There are no application, origination or prepayment fees.

  • All types of student loans are eligible for refinancing.

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Best for instant approval

College Ave Student Loans offers student loans to borrowers in all 50 states. Undergraduate, graduate parent loans are available. The lender specializes in simple applications with an instant decision.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, parent loans, refinancing, MBA, law, dental, medical, career, international
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans are available from $5,000.

  • Prequalify for a rate in less than 1 minute.

  • Loan terms are available from 5 to 20 years.

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Best for product availability

Sallie Mae is a publicly traded consumer bank that offers private student loans to pay for undergraduate, graduate specialty degrees. The company started in 1972 as a government entity that serviced federal student loans. It went private in 2004 has served nearly half a million students families with its range of student loan products. Beyond student loans, Sallie Mae Bank offers savings products to help families plan pay for college, credit cards with incentives for using cash back rewards to pay back student loans.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, career training, parent, K-12, graduate, MBA, medical, medical residency, dental, dental residency, health professions, law school, bar study
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Student loans completely cover school-certified expenses such as tuition, fees, books, housing, meals, travel or a laptop.

  • Customer service is 100% U.S.-based.

  • Borrowers don’t have to pay a loan origination fee.

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Best for no fees

Discover Bank has been operating for more than 100 years, since 2010, it has offered private student loans to students attending more than 2,400 colleges universities. Loans of up to 100% of education costs with fixed or variable rates are available.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, parent, refinancing, MBA, law, international, consolidation, health professions, residency, bar exam. International loans require a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans as small as $1,000 are available.

  • Discover has no origination, application or late fees.

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Best for flexible loan terms

U-fi from Nelnet offers private student loans refinancing loans to borrowers in all U.S. states except Vermont. Undergraduate, graduate refinancing loans are available. The lender specializes in offering flexible repayment options.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, MBA, law, health professions, refinance
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers can get up to 15 years to pay off the loan.

  • The lender offers an interest rate discount for automatic payments.

  • Borrowers can make full payments or pay interest only while in school, or defer payments.

See full profile

Best for graduate health care program loans.

Laurel Road, which became part of KeyBank in 2019, offers graduate student loans refinancing on a variety of student loans.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: student loan refinancing, health care graduate, Parent PLUS refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 650
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Loans are available from $5,000 up to 100% of the student’s school-certified cost of attendance.

  • Borrowers can make full payments while in school, or choose to pay interest only, a flat fee or defer payments.

  • Laurel Road student loans have no application, origination or prepayment fees.

See full profile

Best for minimal fees

LendKey is a student loan lending platform that connects credit unions community banks with online borrowers. Founded in 2009, LendKey has served more than 99,000 borrowers with more than $3.1 billion in loans from partner lenders. Undergraduate graduate student loans are available, as well as student loan refinancing.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, refinance
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Students can consider multiple lenders with a single application.

  • LendKey has no origination or application fees.

See full profile

Best for ACH discount

PNC Bank was established in 1845 operates in all 50 states. The bank is engaged in a number of community efforts, including its Grow Up Great program in conjunction with Sesame Workshop various financial literacy efforts. For students, PNC offers opportunities to win $2,000 scholarships toward education expenses. PNC provides a range of loans for students at all stages of postsecondary education, including professional training loans refinancing.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, refinancing, MBA, law, dental, medical, bar residency
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • PNC offers a range of loans for undergraduate, graduate professional education.

  • Loans are available in all 50 states.

  • Borrowers can receive an interest rate discount for automatic payment from a checking or savings account.

See full profile

Find the Best Student Loans for You

U.S. News Survey: Student Loan Payments Can Hinder Retirement Savings, Personal Goals

Many borrowers don’t regret their student loans, according to a U.S. News survey of consumers with federal or private student loans. They revealed how much they borrowed, whether their payments are affordable other details about how their student loans have affected their lives.

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • About half of student loan borrowers said their student loan payments are reasonable.
  • Student loan debt can impede personal goals, including saving for retirement, increasing disposable income setting aside money for a down payment on a home.
  • Although lenders typically offer hardship options, such as deferment forbearance, only about half of borrowers said they’ve used them.
  • More than half of respondents said they didn’t research lenders before getting a student loan.
  • About 41% of student loan borrowers surveyed said they have regrets about taking out student loans.

Most student loan borrowers surveyed took out less than $50,000 in loans.

A little more than half of survey respondents said their monthly student loan payments are affordable.

Student loan debt can get in the way of personal goals.

Only about half of student loan borrowers have used hardship options, such as deferment or forbearance.

More than half of student loan borrowers didn’t research lenders.

Student loan borrowers tried financial aid alternatives before taking out private student loans.

Survey respondents are somewhat split on whether they regret taking out student loans.

Student loan borrowers said interest rate was the most important factor when choosing a loan.

  • U.S. News ran a nationwide survey in April 2020 through Google Surveys.
  • This survey sampled 500 people in the general American population who visit desktop mobile sites where Google conducts surveys.
  • The survey asked 10 questions related to student loans.

How Can Students Maximize Federal Free Financial Aid?

Before you consider private student loans, try to make the most of federal free financial aid, including private scholarships.

You may be eligible for federal direct unsubsidized loans, but there are limits on how much you can borrow each academic year overall. Limits range from $5,500 for dependent undergraduate students to $20,500 for graduate or professional students.

“Your first step in financing your education is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called a FAFSA,” says Jay S. Fleischman, a lawyer who advises student loan borrowers on effective repayment strategies.

Even if you don’t think you’ll need financial assistance, or think you won’t qualify, submit a FAFSA. The FAFSA is the key to most financial aid.

It’s a requirement for the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, including federal loans, grants work-study programs. These do not have income or GPA cutoffs, which are common myths.

Although it’s primarily used for federal aid, the FAFSA is often necessary for other forms of assistance. “Many states colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state school aid,” Fleischman says.

How Do Private Student Loans Work?

Unlike federal student loans, private student loans do not offer standard options interest rates. Your credit, that of a co-signer if you have one, will affect what types of loans you qualify for the interest rate you’ll receive.

Private lenders may offer different types of loans, depending on the degree you’re pursuing. The loan type can affect your loan amount, interest rate repayment terms.

  • Community college or technical training. Some lenders provide loans to students who are pursuing two-year degrees, attending nontraditional schools or going to career-training programs.
  • Undergraduate school loans. You can take out undergraduate loans to pay for expenses while you pursue a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate loans may have lower interest rates higher loan limits than community college loans.
  • Graduate or professional school loans. Graduate school loans tend to have higher maximum loan amounts than undergraduate loans, reflecting the higher cost of attending school for a master’s degree or doctorate. Some lenders have special loan programs for business, law or medical school.
  • Parent loans. Parent loans are offered by lenders to parents of students. Some families have an informal agreement that the child will make loan payments after graduating, but the legal responsibility to repay the loan falls on the parent.

The loan term is the length of the loan’s repayment period, which could range from five to 20 years for private student loans. Typically, shorter loans have higher monthly payments, lower interest rates lower total costs. Longer loans have lower monthly payments but higher interest rates higher total costs.

Loan minimums: Most lenders have minimum amounts you can borrow, which may vary based on your state. Because the minimum could be as low as $1,000, a private student loan may not be the best option if you only need a few hundred dollars for, say, books.

Loan maximums: Lenders can have several limits that affect how much you can borrow. There could be a maximum annual amount you can borrow. Or there could be a maximum combined private federal student loan amount you must be under to qualify for a loan.

You may also be limited to borrowing up to your school’s certified cost of attendance. The maximum loan limits may be higher if you’re going to graduate, professional or medical school, reflecting potentially higher costs compared with undergraduate programs.

Lenders offer student loans with either fixed or adjustable interest rates. You may not be able to switch your interest rate type after taking out a loan, so carefully consider your options before deciding.

When you’re comparing student loans from different lenders, look at the annual percentage rate, or APR, rather than the interest rate. The APR is your total cost of borrowing each year.

Fixed-rate loans. With a fixed-rate private student loan, your interest rate is set when you take out the loan, it won’t change. The rate you lock in can depend on market rates, as well as your lender, your credit your loan’s terms.

“In general, a fixed-rate loan is a better long-term option for financing your education,” Fleischman says. “You are able to plan for future payments without worrying that interest rates may increase payments faster than your income increases.”

Variable-rate loans. The same factors that may determine your interest rate with a fixed-rate private student loan can affect your initial interest rate when you take out a variable-rate loan. But with a variable-rate loan, your interest rate may rise or fall over the life of the loan.

Interest rates for variable-rate loans are tied to an index, such as the prime rate. The lender adds a margin to the index to determine your total interest rate. There may be a limit to how high or low your interest rate can go.

Variable-rate student loans tend to start with a lower initial interest rate than fixed-rate loans could remain lower. However, you’re taking on risk because the loan’s interest rate could rise, causing your monthly payment total cost of borrowing to increase.

A variable-rate loan may be best for those who can quickly repay the loan, which will limit your risk, or for those who can afford higher monthly payments if the interest rate increases.

What Are the Drawbacks of Private Student Loans?

Private loans can help students fill gaps in funding. Yet private student loans have drawbacks compared with federal student loans. These include:

Credit-based eligibility. Private student loan terms will depend on the applicant’s credit. Without a creditworthy co-signer, many students may not be able to get approved or may only qualify for a high interest rate.

Risk for co-signers. Co-signers take on debt risk when they add their names to private student loans. If the student can’t make payments, this can hurt the co-signer’s credit.

In some cases, the co-signer will be responsible for the debt if the student dies or is permanently disabled.

Potentially higher interest rates. Private student loans do not always offer lower interest rates than federal student loans.

Interest rate accrual. With subsidized federal loans, the government will pay the interest while you’re in school when the loans are in deferment. With private student loans, you’ll accrue interest during these periods.

No guaranteed hardship options. “The difference between unsubsidized loans private loans is deeper than the accrual of interest,” Fleischman says. “Unsubsidized loans come with federally mandated periods of in-school deferment, forbearance opportunities a variety of income-driven repayment options.”

Some private student loan lenders offer deferment or forbearance options, but they might not be as lenient or as lengthy as your options with federal student loans.

Shorter default period little recourse. If you default on a private student loan, the entire loan balance becomes due immediately. Federal student loans default after 270 days of nonpayment, when they do, you may have several options for getting your loans out of default.

Private student loans can default after one missed payment. You may be able to repay the late balance bring the account current before the lender charges it off, often around four to six months, depending on the lender. But federal student loan programs can be much more forgiving.

How Can You Choose the Best Private Student Loan?

  1. Products
  2. Eligibility requirements
  3. Costs
  4. Additional features

Once you’ve determined the type of student loan you’ll need how much you want to borrow, check to see that the lenders’ offerings match your requirements. You can then compare their loan terms limits to narrow down your list. For example, make sure each lender offers financing for your degree type.

Research lender eligibility criteria, such as citizenship, enrollment status, income credit history. You should make sure you’re likely to qualify for a student loan before you apply.

Student loan eligibility requirements typically include:

  • Citizenship. Private student loans are generally only available to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals permanent resident aliens. International students may be eligible if a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident alien co-signs the loan.
  • Enrollment status. Lenders may only offer loans to students who are enrolled at least halftime at an eligible school.
  • Age. You must reach the age of legal adulthood in your state – usually 18 –or have an eligible co-signer.
  • Income. There may be income requirements, including debt-to-income ratio requirements, that you or your co-signer must meet.
  • Credit history. With private student loans, your credit history score can determine your eligibility for a private loan your interest rate. If you don’t have good credit or haven’t established credit, you may need a creditworthy co-signer, such as a parent or another trusted relative. Your co-signer’s credit will be considered with your application. This makes the co-signer legally responsible for the student loan.

The cost of your private student loan will depend on a variety of factors, including the interest rate the type of interest you choose. Look closely at fees to calculate how they’ll affect your total cost of borrowing.

Some lenders provide preapprovals, which will give you an estimated interest rate without hurting your credit. It’s worth getting a preapproval if that’s an option, as you can reliably find out the interest rate a lender will offer you.

Lenders often have fees for applying for or originating loans. Not all lenders charge these, but you should always read the loan terms closely to identify potential fees, such as the:

  • Application fee. The lender may charge a nonrefundable fee to process your application.
  • Origination fee. Origination fees, sometimes called disbursement fees, aren’t common for private student loans. If the lender charges one, it’s usually a fee that’s equal to a percentage of the amount you borrow.
  • Late fee. A fee is required if your monthly payment is late. It may be a percentage of the amount due, with a maximum amount, such as $15 or $25.

Interest capitalization isn’t a fee, but it occurs when unpaid interest is added to the principal of your student loan. How when your interest is capitalized will influence your loan’s total cost.

Some lenders let you forgo loan payments during school for the first several months after graduation. Interest accrues on your loan principal, when your interest capitalizes, your principal increases. As a result, you’ll accrue more interest each month.

Interest capitalization also happens if you stop making payments but will continue to accrue interest in the future, such as when you put your loans into deferment.

One thing you don’t have to worry about with student loans are prepayment penalties. Unlike some other types of loans, such as mortgages or personal loans, student loans do not charge borrowers fees for early repayment.

The fine print of private student loans can vary from one lender to another. Some features or benefits could make repayment easier, lower your interest rate, or help you choose the right lender for your needs.

Here are some of those features benefits:

  • Autopay savings. Many lenders offer an interest rate discount if you sign up for autopay. The discount is often 0.25% or 0.50%, but it may not take effect until you start making full principal interest payments.
  • Other savings opportunities. Some lenders provide a discount if you have another financial product with them, such as a loan or bank account.
  • Early repayment options. Private student loans start to accrue interest as soon as they are disbursed. Some lenders have repayment plans that start while you’re in school. Making interest-only payments, full payments or fixed monthly payments will help lower your loan balance before you graduate.
  • Deferment options. You might be able to defer payments while you’re in school. Lenders may offer a grace period after you graduate, or if you drop below halftime, you won’t need to make full payments until the grace period ends.
  • Financial hardship deferment. You may be able to defer your student loan payments if you go back to school, join the military or can’t afford payments for another covered reason, such as a job loss.
  • Discharge due to death or permanent disability. Find out whether your loan balance passes on to your estate or co-signer if you die before it’s repaid. Also, make sure you know what happens if you become permanently disabled can’t afford to repay the debt.

Co-signer release. A lender may release a co-signer from a loan after the student makes a series of on-time payments if the student qualifies to take on the loan.

How Can You Get a Private Student Loan?

You’ll take several major steps to obtain a student loan. When you apply, you’ll need to meet eligibility requirements, provide documentation, go through processing before approval disbursement.

1. Eligibility: The lender will check basic eligibility for the loan, including citizenship enrollment status. With further documentation, your income, credit history other eligibility factors will be verified.

2. Required documentation: You’ll need to provide personal financial information when you apply for a private student loan. Organizing your documents could make this process easier.

Lenders may need this information for the borrower:

  • Name, address, phone number email
  • Date of birth Social Security number
  • Recent pay stubs or other proof of income
  • Bank account balances
  • Copy of mortgage statement or lease agreement
  • Employer’s name, phone number length of employment, if applicable
  • School’s name the student’s estimated cost of attendance
  • Student’s year in school semester of enrollment
  • Amount of financial aid received (you can find this on the award letter from the school)
  • Expected graduation date
  • Desired loan amount repayment period
  • References
  • Co-signer’s name valid contact information, if applicable.

3. Processing: Many private student loan lenders let you apply online. You may receive a decision within a few minutes, after the lender analyzes your credit other eligibility criteria. You may need to submit additional supporting documents or information if the lender has questions.

4. Approval disbursement: Once you’re approved for a private student loan, you can then choose the interest rate type, the repayment plan the other loan terms, then sign the loan agreement.

The lender will contact your school to verify that you’re eligible for the loan amount you requested. The school could take two to five weeks to respond to the lender, then it schedules disbursement dates amounts for the loan.

Private student loans will be sent directly to the school. If your loan amount exceeds what you owe the school for that semester, you may receive a refund for the difference. You could return it to the lender, reducing what your debt, or you could spend the money on education-related expenses, such as room, board or books.

View More Best Student Loans

Best for fixed APR

The Rhode IslStudent Loan Authority is a nonprofit quasi-state authority that provides college financing to students parents. The lender specializes in providing loans to Rhode Islresidents students, though not all loans have residency requirements.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, refinance, parent
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: unrated

Best Features

  • Students may be enrolled at least half-time still qualify.

  • There is no prepayment fee, so borrowers may pay off their loans early.

  • Rewards are available for interns nurses.

See full profile

Best for multiple repayment options no fees

SoFi is an online lender offering student loan refinancing, undergraduate, graduate parent loans in all 50 states. The lender has served more than 375,000 borrowers with $30 billion in refinanced student loans. Although SoFi focused on refinancing in its early years, the company has expanded to also offer its own undergraduate, graduate parent loans.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, parent loans, refinancing, parent refinancing, MBA, law, dental, medical
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • All types of student loans are eligible for refinancing.

  • SoFi’s lending process is completely online.

  • Loan terms are available from five to 20 years.

See full profile

Best for streamlined approval process

Citizens Bank was founded in the late 1800s in Rhode Island. Today, it’s one of the largest commercial banks in the U.S. with a presence in 11 states. Branches are concentrated in the New England, Mid-Atlantic Midwest regions.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, parent loans, refinancing, parent refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 670
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Citizens Bank offers multiyear approval loans, meaning that once you get started, you will continue to secure funding for subsequent years in school without needing to go through a credit check every year.

  • Borrowers who are Citizens Bank customers who sign up for auto payments can reduce their interest rates by 0.5%.

  • International students can apply if they have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with good credit.

See full profile

Best for small loan amounts

EDvestinU is a nonprofit student loan lending refinancing organization. It offers student loans to borrowers in all 50 states. Undergraduate graduate loans student loan consolidation are available.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: B

Best Features

  • Loans are available from $1,000.

  • Borrowers can make full payments while in school, pay the interest only or defer payments.

  • EDvestinU student loans have no application, origination or prepayment fees.

See full profile

Best for online preapprovals

Founded in 2012, CommonBond has funded more than $3 billion in student loans. The lender offers undergraduate, graduate, MBA student loan refinance loans.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, refinancing, parent refinancing, MBA, dental, medical, law
  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Co-signer accepted: A co-signer is required for the undergraduate graduate products. No co-signer is required for MBA, dental or medical loans. The lender offers a co-signer release after 24 on-time, consecutive payments. Parent PLUS loans can be refinanced to the child’s name, if they are eligible borrowers.
  • Better Business Bureau rating: B+

Best Features

  • Co-signers are accepted for all loans.

  • Borrowers can make up to full monthly payments while in school or choose to pay interest only, a flat fee or defer payments.

  • Online preapproval is available.

See full profile

Best for bad credit

Ascent offers student loans to borrowers in all 50 states. Undergraduate graduate loans are available. The lender specializes in providing opportunities for students to borrow loans in their own names.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: undergraduate, graduate, MBA, law, dental, medical, international, health professionals, graduate Ph.D./general, DACA students with an eligible co-signer
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 540
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Ascent offers a 1% cash back graduation reward with the satisfaction of certain terms conditions.

  • Co-signed loans offer the ability to make full payments while in school during a nine-month grace period following graduation, or choose to pay interest only, a flat fee or defer payments.

  • Ascent student loans have no origination, prepayment or application fees.

See full profile

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