How to Find the Best Reverse Mortgage Lender


A reverse mortgage could allow you to access your home’s equity without selling or moving from your property. That could come in handy if you need help with retirement expenses, but you could deplete the equity in your home. It’s important to understhow reverse mortgages work before signing up, as some types of reverse mortgages have downsides.

  • How does a reverse mortgage work?
  • Is a reverse mortgage a good idea?
  • What will a reverse mortgage cost?

How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?

A reverse mortgage borrows against your home’s equity. They’re available to seniors who hold equity in their homes. You’ll get cash out, but don’t have to sell your home. Reverse mortgages don’t have to be paid back as long as you continue to live in your home.

The mortgage loan is due when you move out, sell your home or pass away. If you or your heirs want to keep the property after that, you’ll have to pay the loan balance. Otherwise, the reverse mortgage lender will keep the home to settle the debt.

Who Is Eligible for a Reverse Mortgage?

Eligibility requirements can vary depending on the type of loan the lender. Home equity conversion mortgages, or HECMs, have the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 62.
  • The property must be your primary residence.
  • Your home must be paid off or have a low mortgage balance.
  • You must be able to afford future housing costs.
  • You must have no delinquent federal debt.
  • You must satisfy property requirements, such as a single-family home or multi-family home you live in.
  • Meet with a Department of Housing Urban Development-approved counselor.

If you are married, you your spouse should both be listed as co-borrowers on the reverse mortgage loan so that if one spouse dies or has to move out for medical reasons, the other can continue living in the property receiving money from the reverse mortgage.

What Are the Types of Reverse Mortgage Loans?

There are three major types of reverse mortgage loans: home equity conversion mortgage, proprietary reverse mortgage single-purpose reverse mortgage.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage

The home equity conversion mortgage is the most common type of reverse mortgage funding. These loans are insured by the U.S. government through the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, a branch of HUD. If the amount you owe from the reverse mortgage grows to exceed the home value, the FHA will assume most or all of the loss.

You will pay a mortgage insurance premium to cover the potential for this type of loss, but it can be financed into the cost of your loan. The FHA limits the origination servicing fees charged by reverse mortgage lenders for these loans. HECMs make sense for most properties valued at less than $1 million, says Peter H. Bell, CEO of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

Proprietary Reverse Mortgage

Proprietary reverse mortgages are similar to HECMs, but they do not offer a government guarantee. They have fewer restrictions, the lender could loosen eligibility requirements, such as eliminating the financial review with a HUD counselor. A proprietary reverse mortgage can be a jumbo reverse mortgage, which is a loan that exceeds HECM loan limits, so this can be a good option if you have a high-value property. But fees may be higher than an HECM.

The right reverse mortgage option depends on which programs you qualify for. “Proprietary loans are not available in every area,” Bell points out. “On the other hand, some properties do not qualify for an HECM reverse mortgage, like a condominium that doesn’t meet the FHA standards.”

An HECM for purchase can be used to buy a new home for your primary residence. You enter into a contract to buy your home, pay a down payment, then finance the balance of the purchase with the reverse mortgage rather than paying cash or using a first-lien mortgage. The new home can’t be a vacation home or an investment property.

This strategy lets you complete everything in one transaction, you will not owe monthly mortgage payments for your new home. Many seniors use an HECM for purchase to downsize or move closer to family members.

Single-Purpose Reverse Mortgage

With a single-purpose reverse mortgage, the lender restricts how you can use the money from a reverse mortgage. For example, you may not use the money to pay property taxes or to make home repairs. These reverse mortgages are typically the least expensive option, but they are limited in availability. Some state local governments nonprofits offer them, they are typically for low- moderate-income borrowers who may not be able to qualify for other types of reverse mortgages.

Is a Reverse Mortgage a Good Idea?

Access to home equity: With a reverse mortgage, you tap home equity without selling your home. These funds can offer extra money during retirement to pay off debt, maintain your lifestyle handle surprise expenses.

No monthly mortgage payments: Like a reverse mortgage, a home equity loan borrows against your home’s equity. But with a home equity loan, you’ll make monthly payments. A reverse mortgage only needs to be repaid when you sell your house, move out or pass away, it is typically paid for with the money from the sale of your home.

Maintain ownership of your home: A reverse mortgage lender doesn’t receive the title or the right to sell your house, so long as you keep up with the housing costs, including property taxes homeowners insurance. The house remains yours until you move out or pass away. Even if you move out, you still have the option to pay off the loan to keep the property.

“With a reverse mortgage, people take their home equity turn it into a flexible source of money,” Bell says. “This gives them more options during retirement. For example, when they need money, they can borrow through their line of credit rather than being forced to sell a stock that’s paying a nice dividend.”

Social Security Medicare unaffected: When you receive money from a reverse mortgage, it counts as a loan, not as income. As a result, your Social Security Medicare will not be affected.

What’s the Downside to Reverse Mortgages?

Despite their benefits, reverse mortgage loans erode your home equity incur interest fees like any other loan. Consider these drawbacks of reverse mortgages, below.

Fees: Reverse mortgage lenders charge a number of fees to close on maintain a reverse mortgage. While you don’t have to pay the majority of fees until you leave your home, you could receive less money overall than if you had sold the home outright.

Interest: The reverse mortgage company will charge interest on what you borrow. It doesn’t have to be paid as long as you’re still living there, but it reduces your home equity – or what you’d receive when you sell your home.

Loan repayment: Your reverse mortgage loan must eventually be repaid. It’s due if you move out, sell the home or pass away. If you decide to downsize or move to a retirement community, you’d have to pay off your reverse mortgage – typically by selling the home.

Additional housing costs: While you don’t have to make loan payments on a reverse mortgage, you still need to cover other housing costs, such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, home repairs association dues. If you fail to make these payments, the reverse mortgage lender could foreclose on your home.

However, Bell notes that this concern is not unique to reverse mortgages: “If you don’t pay your property taxes, you could eventually lose your home in any situation.”

Smaller inheritance: A reverse mortgage could reduce the inheritance for your heirs, as it reduces the equity in your home. If your heirs sell your home after your death, proceeds from the sale of the home will be used to pay off the loan, then they will receive any remaining proceeds. If they want to keep your property, they will need to pay off the loan first.

“We often have clients that decide not to proceed with a reverse loan because they’re worried they won’t leave as much of an inheritance,” says Andrina Valdes, executive sales leader COO at Cornerstone Home Lending. “We also counsel clients to think about discussing with their potential heirs before moving forward.”

How Much Can You Borrow on a Reverse Mortgage?

When you take out a reverse mortgage, the lender will let you borrow a percentage of your home equity. A reverse mortgage typically lets you borrow up to 60% of your home equity, but the actual amount you take out depends on a few factors, including:

  • Your age.
  • Appraised home value.
  • Current interest rates.
  • Type of reverse mortgage.
  • Your financial situation.

When you qualify for a reverse mortgage, you can choose to receive your money in the following ways:

  • Single disbursement: a lump-sum payout.
  • Tenure: monthly payments while you live in the home.
  • Term: monthly payments over a fixed amount of time.
  • Line of credit: an open line of credit that you can access when needed.
  • Combination: combines a line of credit with term or tenure payments.
  • Purchase: A lump-sum payout for buying a new property.

What Will a Reverse Mortgage Cost?

Reverse mortgage companies charge upfront fees to set up your loan as well as ongoing expenses. Fees will vary depending on the type of reverse mortgage you obtain, but you can expect these fees with an HECM:

You’ll pay these fees at or before closing.

  • Appraisal.
  • Closing costs.
  • Origination fees.
  • Initial mortgage insurance premium.
  • Points (optional for a lower interest rate).

Expect these fees for the life of the loan.

Loan interest: Reverse mortgages charge fixed or adjustable interest rates. A fixed rate stays the same over the entire reverse mortgage. An adjustable rate can change over time based on a market index. Your reverse mortgage will list how often the rate can change.

Valdes recommends that you research all the possibilities for loans. “Adjustable-rate mortgages often scare people, but the ARM features in an HECM can create more options let the borrower use their equity more wisely,” she says. “A well-informed borrower makes better decisions.”

Mortgage insurance: You will continue paying mortgage insurance to the FHA for guaranteeing your loan, an annual MIP of 0.5% of the outstanding mortgage balance. This is added to your outstanding loan balance, so you don’t have to pay for the mortgage insurance while you’re still living in your home.

Servicing fee: The lender can charge a monthly servicing fee for managing your loan. The maximum monthly servicing fee is $30 for fixed- or adjustable-rate loans that reset annually, $35 for adjustable-rate loans that reset monthly.

How Can You Compare Reverse Mortgage Lenders?

Choose the best reverse mortgage for your needs between competing reverse mortgage companies by considering these factors:

  • Loan types.
  • Costs.
  • Customer service ratings reviews.

Shop reverse mortgage companies to find out which loan options they offer. For example, if you want an adjustable-rate line of credit, a lender that is limited to fixed-rate lump sum or tenure payments won’t be a good fit for you.

Compare reverse mortgage offers by getting rate quotes identifying the reverse mortgage company with the lowest interest rates fees. Be aware there’s some give take so look at the bottom line as you compare reverse mortgage lenders.

“Often, the difference between lenders is where they put the costs,” Bell says. “Lenders that charge a lower interest rate are usually charging more upfront, while low-cost lenders may charge a higher interest rate. The right choice depends on when you want to pay: upfront or over the course of the loan.”

Consider how a reverse mortgage lender rates in customer satisfaction. Read lender reviews check with the Better Business Bureau to see whether a lender has any complaints or comments from other borrowers.

Bell recommends that you use lenders who are members of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. “Our lenders have to follow a code of ethics for how they treat their customers. If a customer ever has an issue with a lender on our list, they can reach out to us we can help resolve the dispute,” he says.

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 Business Loans for Bad Credit of 2021


If you have a checkered credit history, traditional banks or credit unions may be unwilling to approve a business loan. Luckily, alternative lenders, which provide options outside of conventional banks, offer small-business loans if you have a bad credit score.

Some of these lenders set no minimum credit score requirements consider factors such as revenue or time in business for approval.

When you know how bad credit small-business loans work, you can find the best bad-credit business loan to start or expyour small business. What you’ll learn here:

  • What is bad credit?
  • Can you get a business loan with bad credit?
  • How can you get a small-business loan?

What Are the Best Bad Credit Small-Business Loans of 2020?

U.S. News conducted an in-depth review of the leading bad credit small-business loan companies, researching key factors, including customer service ratings, qualification requirements loan options.

Best for bad credit

Established in 2013, BlueVine has delivered more than $9 billion in financing to more than 200,000 customers. The entrepreneurial lender focuses on small businesses, offering business lines of credit up to $250,000 invoice factoring with credit lines up to $5 million. BlueVine also offers an online vendor bill payments program business checking accounts. The lender serves borrowers across the country has three brick-and-mortar locations in Redwood City, California; Gretna, Louisiana; Jersey City, New Jersey.

Lender Highlights

  • Loan types: invoice factoring, lines of credit, term loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 530
  • Maximum loan amount: $5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Invoice factoring credit lines as large as $5 million

  • Disbursement within 24 hours

See full profile

Best for loan options

Biz2Credit was founded in 2007 as a platform to match small businesses with funding based on their needs by connecting borrowers with lenders that offer a range of loan credit options. The platform has arranged more than $3 billion in small business funding for thousands of U.S. companies.

Lender Highlights

  • Loan types: lines of credit, merchant cash advances
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $5 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans come from a network of financial institutions

  • Borrowers matched with loan options

See full profile

Best for short loan terms

OnDeck is an online lender providing small businesses with term loans lines of credit. The company has extended $13 billion in loans using data analytics digital technology to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers.

Lender Highlights

  • Loan types: lines of credit, term loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $2 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Term loans lines of credit

  • Loans of up to $2 million

See full profile

Best for product availability

Rapid Finance offers lines of credit, merchant cash advances Small Business Administration bridge loans from $5,000 to $1 million. Approval in 24 hours is available, with one-day disbursement.

Lender Highlights

  • Loan types: bridge loans, invoice factoring, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, term loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Maximum loan amount: $1 million
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans charge monthly fee instead of annual percentage rate

  • Smallest loan amount is $5,000

See full profile

What Is Bad Credit?

Bad credit is a FICO score that falls below 670, which is a fair or poor credit score. You typically need a FICO score of at least 530 to qualify for a bad credit business loan, but you could get better terms with a good credit score of 670 or higher.

Bad credit business loans are generally aimed at business owners with low credit scores.

Not only your personal credit score but also your business credit score may be a factor in whether you get a loan, particularly from traditional lenders.

As with personal credit scores, business credit scores have distinct scoring ranges interpretations. Your business credit score reflects your payment history on accounts associated with your business.

However, your personal credit will be used exclusively to measure the risk of a loan if your business has no credit history, as with a startup.

Can You Get a Small-Business Loan With Bad Credit?

Small-business owners with low credit scores will find limited options for small-business loans, especially from traditional lenders.

Approval for a small-business loan can be tricky because it factors in not only credit history but also cash flow collateral, says Jay DesMarteau, head of commercial distribution at TD Bank. The bottom line is that approval is always easier when applicants have strong credit steady revenue.

“When a business owner has poor or unsteady cash flow, banks lenders often focus more on the company’s documented financial history assets,” DesMarteau says. “Those with poor credit scores may struggle with their loan approval.”

What Small-Business Financing Can You Get With Bad Credit?

Small-business loans come in many forms, some are easier to qualify for than others. Alternative lenders, including online lenders, may offer bad credit small-business loans that are more accessible than loans from traditional lenders.

Alternative lending refers to the broad range of loans for consumers business owners made outside of traditional financial institutions. Alternative lenders fill a gap left by risk-averse banks that may turn away certain borrowers – especially as many traditional lenders tighten credit standards in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Usually, alternative lenders make loans online may not have brick-and-mortar branches like many traditional banks.

Alternative lenders traditional lenders specializing in bad credit provide these types of loans for small businesses:

Term loans are lump sums of cash you borrow from banks pay back, with fees, over a certain period of time. You can choose from secured or unsecured business loans, but secured business loans require collateral, such as equipment. Unsecured business loans primarily rely on your credit but may need a personal guarantee.

Business lines of credit are similar to business credit cards can help when you’re in a cash flow crunch. With a business line of credit, a lender approves you for a pool of funds, also known as a revolving line of credit.

Just like a business credit card, a business line of credit has a credit limit, which is the maximum amount you can borrow. You will pay interest only on the portion of money that you borrow from your business line of credit.

With equipment loans, lenders typically finance 80% to 100% of the cost of your equipment. The equipment acts as collateral for the loan. Alternative lenders may be more likely than traditional lenders to offer equipment loans to small businesses with poor credit.

Invoice Financing or Factoring

If your small business struggles with cash flow issues because customers do not pay their balances in full, invoice financing – or invoice factoring, which is closely related – is an option.

With invoice financing, you sell your invoices to a lender at a discount receive an advance on them. The lender pays you most of the amount owed on the invoices upfront keeps a portion – usually 20% – until the invoices are paid.

Invoice financing can be a risky choice. Borrowers pay a factoring fee based on a percentage of the invoice, plus interest charged on the cash advance until it is paid off.

The fees can quickly add up, with invoice factoring, you hcontrol of the invoices collections to a factoring company. You’ll need to carefully weigh the pros cons before choosing invoice financing or factoring.

A merchant cash advance, or MCA, is an advance on your firm’s future sales can deliver quick access to capital. You’ll often repay the advance as a percentage of your daily credit card debit card receipts, plus fees.

Lower-risk borrowers will have lower fees more favorable borrowing terms than higher-risk borrowers. Still, a merchant cash advance is often a poor choice for a business.

Beware the long-term financial implications of using merchant cash advances.

“It’s almost like a drug,” says Kevin Monahan, area director for the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida. “Small-business owners need the money desperately, resort to paying high interest rates, find themselves with less less money.”

How Can You Get a Small-Business Loan?

Getting a business loan means preparing a solid application, especially when you have bad credit. Before you apply for a small-business loan, take these steps to boost your odds of approval:

  • Improve your personal credit. Present your personal finances as attractively as possible, recommends S. Michael Sury, lecturer in finance in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. If you have a bad personal credit score, you can get a higher credit score by making on-time payments, dealing with delinquencies paying down balances when possible. Dispute fix errors, such as incorrect balances.
  • Build your business credit score. If you want to establish a business credit history, consider opening small-business credit products, such as a business credit card or line of credit. If you need to improve your business credit score instead, the steps are similar to how you would rebuild your personal credit score, explains Rod Griffin, senior director of public education advocacy for Experian, one of the three major consumer credit bureaus. Catch up on any late loan payments, make sure your vendors are paid on time to give your business a higher credit score.
  • Write a solid business plan. Sury recommends a well-thought-out business plan with a mission strategy to boost your odds of securing financing. Your business plan should include projected financial statements. If you have a strong management team, you can highlight its background, experience creditworthiness, Sury says.
  • Find other ways to boost your creditworthiness. If you have a bad credit score, you can improve it by asking for reference letters indicating timely payments from personal business creditors as well as vendors.

When you’re ready to start a business loan application, make sure you can answer these questions:

  • Why do you need this loan?
  • How do you plan to use the loan proceeds?
  • What collateral, such as business equipment or other assets, will you pledge?
  • Has your business applied for other loans?

You will likely need to provide personal information, such as your Social Security number, home address phone number, along with your resume. Any sound loan program will also require your business personal financials legal documents, such as articles of incorporation.
For in-depth information on the business loan application process, read the U.S. News Small-Business Loans guide.

How Can You Choose a Loan?

When choosing a lender for your small business, pay close attention to the lender’s:

  • Loan options
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Costs
  • Customer service

Keeping these factors in mind will help you find a lender with a better chance of approving your loan offering you the best possible terms costs.

Applying for a loan that you don’t qualify for doesn’t make sense. Find out what a lender expects as a baseline for approval before you apply.

Ask about these other factors:

  • Minimum personal credit score
  • Minimum years in business
  • Minimum annual revenue

Look for a lender that provides the type of loan you need, such as a business line of credit, invoice financing or term loan.

Also, check that loan limits terms are in line with your needs. If you require a $250,000 loan with a seven-year repayment term, you won’t want to apply with a lender that makes only small, short-term business loans.

Seek a lender with the lowest costs, including:

  • Annual percentage rate, or APR
  • Down payment
  • Factor rate
  • Origination fee
  • Underwriting fees
  • Closing costs
  • Additional fees

Read lender reviews to find out how businesses rate the products the customer service each lender offers.

Two good review sources for alternative lenders are Trustpilot, which rates companies based on an aggregate of customer reviews, the Better Business Bureau.

What Can You Do if You’re Denied a Small-Business Loan?

If you aren’t approved for a small-business loan or can’t secure enough financing because of poor credit, you have a few options:

  • Lower the loan amount. You may need to work with less financing than you had anticipated, explains P. Simon Mahler, a business mentor with SCORE, a nonprofit that offers free mentorship education to small businesses. Reassess your business plan look for areas where you can reduce expenses.
  • Add business partners. This move can strengthen the creditworthiness of your business, as lenders may consider the total personal income collateral of all owners.
  • Seek creative funding. Think about asking friends, family members, private investors potential customers to invest in your business. You can seek funding through a crowdfunding campaign using Indiegogo, Kickstarter or GoFundMe.

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 Cards for Good Credit of July 2021


Best Cards Summary

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Why this is one of the best credit cards for good credit: If you have good credit are looking for a rewards card with 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, this is a good choice. Chase Freedom Flex also offers 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% at drugstores restaurants, including takeout delivery, 1% on other purchases year-round. See our full review.

Discover it® Cash Back

Why this is one of the best credit cards for good credit: Good credit can score you a Discover it Cash Back card, which offers 5% cash back each quarter in rotating categories, such as Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back. Discover will match your rewards at the end of the first year. There’s no annual fee, you can take advantage of a 14-month 0% introductory APR on purchases balance transfers (then a 11.99% to 22.99% variable APR applies). See our full review.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why this is one of the best credit cards for good credit: Cardholders with good credit can earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%. Cardholders can also earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations on transit, including taxis, ride-sharing services, tolls, trains, buses parking. Cardholders can earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first six months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first six months of Card Membership. See our full review.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: Cardholders with good credit will access hefty rewards with Chase Freedom Unlimited. One of many perks is a $200 welcome bonus after spending $500 on the card in the first three months. Add 1.5% cash back rewards a variety of bonus categories, this card is a solid earner. See our full review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: You need good credit to apply for top travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Score a hefty sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You’ll earn two points per dollar on travel dining, plus one point per dollar on other purchases. Just note the $95 annual fee. See our full review.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: With good credit, the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express card can be yours. Get 80,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first six months. Then, rack up seven points per dollar on Hilton purchases, five points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets at U.S. gas stations, three points per dollar on all other eligible purchases (See Rates & Fees). See our full review.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: If you have a high credit score, you’re more likely to qualify for The Platinum Card from American Express. An elite travel card, this one comes with a $550 annual fee, but also tons of VIP travel benefits. Start off with 75,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first six months, while earning 10 points on eligible purchases made at U.S. gas stations U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during the first six months after opening an account. You’ll earn five points per dollar spent on flights directly booked with airlines or with American Express Travel (beginning Jan 1, 2021, bonus points in these categories will be limited to the first $500,000 in combined purchases each year). Cardholders also earn five points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com (See Rates & Fees). See our full review.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: If you have good credit like staying at Marriott, SPG or Ritz-Carlton hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers sizeable rewards. New cardholders will earn three free nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories. Cardholders will also earn one free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after their account anniversary. See our full review.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: Cardholders with good credit earn up to 25 points per dollar at IHG Hotels by combining their card benefits with their IHG Rewards Club member benefits. Spend $3,000 within the first three months for an additional 125,000 bonus points. Earn one reward night on your anniversary simply by being a cardholder. See our full review.

What Can You Expect From Credit Cards for Good Credit?

Here’s what you should know about credit cards for those with good credit:

Rewards earning: More than 80% of cards for good credit earn at least two points per dollar or 2% cash back on bonus categories.
Sign-up bonus value: Almost 11% of cards for good credit have a sign-up bonus worth more than $500.
Annual fee: You’ll pay no annual fee with 61% of cards for good credit. Only about 9% of cards for good credit have an annual fee of more than $100.
APR: About 16% of cards for good credit have a minimum APR of 14.99% or lower, 70% have a minimum APR between 15 to 18.99%.
Benefits: Cards for good credit often have valuable benefits, with most offering travel accident insurance, travel credits, priority boarding, free checked bags, hotel status other valuable cardholder perks.

What Is Good Credit?

When you have good credit, lenders will view you as less risky than consumers with fair, poor or very poor credit.

“With a good credit score, you’re likely to get into a credit card with a reasonable limit, lower fees, lower interest rates possibly better program perks,” says Paul Golden, director of media relations with the National Endowment for Financial Education.

But good credit is not as ideal as very good or excellent credit, so scores in the good credit range are not in the top tier. Where exactly you fall in the range depends on whether lenders use FICO or VantageScore, the two main credit-scoring models.

Scores on the FICO scale fall between 300 850. Within that range are different categories:

  • Exceptional is 850 to 800.
  • Very good is 799 to 740.
  • Good is 739 to 670.
  • Fair is 669 to 580.
  • Very poor is 579 to 300.

Measuring with the FICO scale, 21% of Americans have a good credit score, which is considered average risk. About 8% of them will become seriously delinquent.

As with FICO, VantageScore 3.0 – the most recent version of the scoring model – assigns numerical credit ratings between 300 850. But the categories break down a bit differently:

  • Excellent is 850 to 750.
  • Good is 749 to 700.
  • Fair is 699 to 650.
  • Poor is 649 to 550.
  • Very poor is 549 to 300.

Although your FICO score can be as low as 670 still qualify as good, 700 is the VantageScore cutoff. Compared with the FICO model, VantageScore 3.0 produces fewer Americans with a good credit rating: Less than 13% have a “good” rating are likely to be approved for credit at competitive rates.

How Can You Get Good Credit?

Good credit, unlike excellent credit, doesn’t call for a long credit history or an exceptionally low credit utilization ratio – the amount of available credit you use. If you pay your bills on time keep within your credit limits, good credit is possible.

While VantageScore determines whether your credit score is good based on six factors, FICO looks at five factors. VantageScore 3.0 assesses, in order of importance, payment history, age type of credit, percentage of credit limit used, total debt, recent credit behavior, available credit.

FICO weighs payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, credit mix new credit, in that order. In the U.S., FICO scores are used in more than 90% of lending decisions, according to the credit scorer FICO research.

Both FICO VantageScore consider payment history to be the most important factor. Good credit, then, means you make most or all payments to creditors on time.

It means you don’t max out your credit cards, either. As a general rule, good credit requires using less than 30% of your available credit. Exceeding this level indicates that you may be charging more than you can easily pay off.

On a credit card with a $5,000 credit limit, aim to have a balance of no more than $1,500 reported to the credit bureaus each statement period. Achieving excellent credit may require even lower use, about 7%.

The length of your credit history also can separate good from excellent credit. You might have good credit with a short credit history. However, you’ll need to demonstrate a history of on-time bill payments to reassure lenders that you’re a low credit risk earn an excellent score.

Credit mix only makes up 10% of your FICO credit score, but showing creditors you can successfully maintain different types of credit is helpful to establish maintain good credit. Ideally, you can demonstrate an ability to stay in good standing on installment accounts, such as a mortgage, an auto loan or a student loan, on revolving accounts, including credit cards, to open credit lines for cellphones or utilities.

Similarly, new credit is not a major factor with either FICO or VantageScore, but managing it properly can be helpful for good credit. If you’re shopping for new credit, multiple card inquiries may temporarily ding your credit score. Limit credit applications to products you will use are reasonably confident in your likelihood of approval.

Overall, if you have good credit, focus on maintaining your score. “It doesn’t take much for it to fall,” Golden says. “Even one late payment can be significantly derogatory.”

What Do Cards for Good Credit Offer?

Cards for good credit provide many features of cards for excellent credit. Here is what’s in the cards for you if you have good credit:

Rewards. Because good credit offers access to most cards, expect to choose from credit cards with rewards that include cash, travel points that can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise more. Cards for good credit commonly offer at least one point per dollar on all purchases.

Depending on the card, you may be able to earn rewards at a higher rate, such as 5% cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories.

Other cards may earn two or more points per dollar on all purchases, or in bonus categories year-round.

About 63% of cards in the U.S. News database available to consumers with good credit offer sign-up bonuses worth at least $150, but some offer sign-up bonuses worth $500 or more.

Benefits. Often, cards for good credit come with useful cardholder benefits. Some cards offer travel credits or perks, such as free checked bags. Frequently, cards for good credit provide some form of travel insurance, whether it’s trip cancellation accident insurance or coverage for rental cars. And almost all offer purchase protection benefits, such as extended warranty coverage or cellphone insurance.

Some credit cards offer top-notch benefits, such as annual travel credits airport lounge access. Benefits available with The Platinum Card from American Express include a $200 annual airline fee credit; access to the Global Lounge Collection, which allows cardholders to use a variety of airport lounges; Uber VIP status with $15 in free rides each month.

Interest rates. Typically, cards available to consumers with good credit are rated for good to excellent credit. That means if you have good but not excellent credit, you might be approved for a card, but you shouldn’t expect to qualify for the lowest available APR.

Fees. Annual fees aren’t unusual with cards for good credit, but there are some available without an annual fee. Usually, cards for good credit have an annual fee of no more than $100.

How Can You Get Approved for a Credit Card for Good Credit?

Despite your good credit, you may not always be approved for the credit card you want. As with excellent credit, card approval depends on more than your credit rating, although it is an important factor.

In addition to your credit rating, card issuers want to see that you have the income room in your budget to support at least the standard credit line for the account. They’ll consider your debt-to-income ratio, how many other credit card accounts you’ve recently opened other factors.

“I recommend applying for credit cards for which you are likely to qualify,” says Gerri Detweiler, education director for Nav, which helps business owners build credit. “Not only is it discouraging to get a rejection, but there will be an inquiry on your credit report.”

Check whether the card issuer offers preapprovals before you apply. A preapproval can tell you whether you’re likely to be approved for the card with a soft inquiry, which has no effect on your credit rating.

When you’re confident you’ll be approved, you can submit an application, which will involve a hard credit check. A hard credit check can have a negative effect on your credit score, although it is typically small temporary. If your application is rejected, consider a different card, or try again in a few months, after you’ve improved your credit score or other factors considered for approval.



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Getting Student Loans Without a Co-Signer


You can get student financial aid options without a co-signer, including scholarships, grants federal student loans. But if you need private student loans without a co-signer, your options will be limited. This guide explains how to find private student loan providers financial aid options when you don’t have a co-signer.

  • Do you need a co-signer for a student loan?
  • How can you get a student loan without a co-signer?
  • What is the minimum credit score for a student loan?
  • Where can you get a student loan without a co-signer?

Best Student Loans Without a Co-Signer

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

Splash Financial

2.54% to 6.25% with autopay Fixed APR
No maximum Max. Loan Amount
650 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

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.

See full profile

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.

See full profile

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.

See full profile

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.

See full profile

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.

See full profile

Best for speedy credit decisions

Splash Financial is a student loan refinance lender marketplace based in Cleveland, with its own lender network of banks credit unions. Splash Financial gives borrowers quotes from its partner lenders with loans available in all 50 states. Refinancing is available for federal, private Parent PLUS loans. A specialized refinance program is designed for doctors completing residencies or fellowships.

Before You Apply

  • Loan types: refinancing, parent refinancing
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 650
  • Co-signer accepted: yes
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A-

Best Features

  • Refinancing is available for a range of student loans.

  • Splash Financial works with a network of banks credit unions to provide the best possible rates.

  • There are no application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.

See full profile

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

Do You Need a Co-Signer for a Student Loan?

Private student loans are approved based on your creditworthiness, so if you don’t have well-established credit, you might need a co-signer to help out.

A co-signer is someone with stronger credit who agrees to share responsibility for repaying a loan. If you don’t repay your student loan according to the terms, the co-signer must step in. This decreases the risk for student loan providers, making it easier for students to obtain a loan. Often, parents act as co-signers for student loans – but not always.

“Parents aren’t required to pay for college,” says Brad Baldridge, certified financial planner college funding consultant, as well as owner chief podcaster of “Taming The High Cost of College.” “But if they don’t help, the result is it might be near impossible for the student to figure it out.”

If you don’t have someone to co-sign your student loan, you still may be able to get money for school. Scholarships grants don’t require a co-signer, they don’t have to be paid back. Eligibility for federal student loans does not depend on your income or credit, so a co-signer isn’t needed.

“Students should start with free money first,” says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher vice president of research at Savingforcollege.com. “Search for scholarships. Then, if they must borrow, they should borrow federal loans.”

How Can You Get a Student Loan Without a Co-Signer?

The simplest way to get a student loan without a co-signer is to build your credit maintain a steady income. Private student loan companies will use these factors to approve your loan. But many undergraduate students don’t have an established credit history, payment history or steady income, which can make it difficult to qualify for a private student loan on your own. And if you do, a lack of credit or income could result in loan offers with high interest rates.

Here are some common private student loan eligibility criteria:

  • U.S. citizenship or national or permanent resident alien status.
  • An approved school or enrollment level, such as at least half-time enrollment in a four-year program.
  • Age, generally the age someone legally becomes an adult in your state.
  • Credit history, usually at least two years of established credit history verified by a credit check.
  • Credit score, usually in the good credit score range.
  • Income requirements, generally based on your debt-to-income ratio after taking out the loan.

How Do Federal Student Loans Work?

Scholarships grants are preferable to loans, but if you need to borrow money, federal student loans are the best option. This is especially true if you don’t have a co-signer, as undergraduate federal student loans don’t require co-signers.

Federal student loans may offer a much lower interest rate because the rate isn’t based on your credit score or income. They also offer a variety of repayment plans, student loan forgiveness programs hardship options that can make it easier to repay the loan. However, some private student loans offer different repayment plans hardship options, which vary by lender.

If you’re applying for federal student aid, a few types of direct federal student loans are available:

  • Direct subsidized loans
  • Direct unsubsidized loans
  • Direct PLUS loans

All students receive the same fixed interest rate on federal student loans, regardless of income credit. You can receive a 0.25% interest rate discount if you sign up to make automatic monthly payments from a bank account.

Submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a requirement for federal student loans, grants work-study awards. Some state- school-based aid also depends on your FAFSA, you may need to submit it to qualify for scholarships or grants.

Where Can You Get a Private Student Loan Without a Co-Signer?

Many banks, credit unions online lenders offer private student loans, so you should compare your loan options. The research you do now could help you find a private student loan without a co-signer snag a lower interest rate or better benefits, which could save you money in the future.

Consider these key areas when comparing private student loans that don’t require a co-signer:

Types of private student loans. Lenders may offer different types of private student loans, such as undergraduate, graduate, professional degree or parent loans.

Different loan terms. Your loan’s term is how many years you have to repay the debt. Loan term lengths vary typically from five to 20 years. Short-term loans may have a lower interest rate but require a higher monthly payment. Even if a longer-term loan requires a higher interest rate, the lower monthly payment could make it more affordable.

Eligibility requirements. Consider the lender’s minimum credit score, income employment requirements. If you can’t qualify for a loan on your own, try another lender.

Interest rate. Your interest rate greatly influences the cost of borrowing, so try to get the lowest interest rate possible. The lowest advertised rate may only be available to the most creditworthy student loan borrowers. If you have no co-signer or have a limited credit history income, you might not receive the low interest rate in the lender’s published interest rates range.

You may be able to get either a fixed interest rate or variable interest rate private student loan. Variable-rate loans tend to offer a lower interest rate at first, but your interest rate is tied to a benchmark rate. If the benchmark rate rises or falls, the interest rate on your loan, your monthly payment, could change. If you can lock in a low interest rate on a fixed interest rate loan, you’ll save over time.

Some lenders let you check your loan eligibility your approximate interest rate with a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t hurt your credit. Get preapprovals from all the lenders you’re considering so you can compare offers.

Other loan costs discounts. Also consider loan fees, including application, origination late fees. You can potentially get a 0.25% to 0.5% interest rate reduction if you are a customer of the lender when you apply or a 0.25% interest rate reduction for automatic payments. Some student loans require automatic payments factor the automatic payment discount into their published rates. They may offer other cost-savings benefits, such as a cash back reward if you maintain a good GPA.

Loan limits. Private student loans often have minimum maximum loan amounts. The minimum amount is often about $1,000 to $5,000. The maximum could be your school-certified cost of attendance, minus the financial aid you’ve already received. However, the lender may calculate an aggregate maximum loan amount, based on the sum of your outstanding federal private student loans.

Repayment plans. Private lenders could offer several student loan repayment plans. Your repayment terms may defer your payment completely until after you graduate or leave school, allow you to make interest-only payments while you’re in school, or require a fixed monthly payment (such as $25) while you’re in school. With the latter two options, your full principal interest payments may start after you graduate or leave school.

Discharge hardship options. A discharge benefit can cancel your debt if you die or are permanently disabled. Some lenders offer hardship options to student loan borrowers that let you put your loans into deferment or forbearance, periods when you don’t need to make payments. However, you start making payments on the loan once these periods are over. Lenders may also offer other hardship options, such as a temporary interest rate reduction or monthly payment reduction.

What Are Your Options if You Can’t Get a Student Loan Without a Co-Signer?

You’re not alone if you aren’t able to get approved for a private student loan without a co-signer. If your scholarships, grants federal aid won’t cover your costs, you may need to take a step back.

Consider a less expensive school. You may have been admitted to your dream school, but if you can’t afford all the expenses, it may not be a good fit. Even if you can get a private loan to cover your gap in funding, the interest rate may be so high that you’ll wind up with a difficult-to-manage debt load after graduating.

“The path for low-income students is lower-cost state schools, living at home working while at school,” says Baldridge. Re-evaluating your plans may not be ideal, but sometimes it’s the only way to make your finances add up.

Starting at a local community college is an inexpensive option. You may be able to get your general education requirements out of the way then transfer to a four-year college or university to finish your degree.

Talk to the school’s financial aid office. If you’re looking for additional funds because of a change in your, or your family’s, financial situation, reach out to the school’s financial aid office. “Sometimes, colleges will make adjustments to the financial aid package when justified by special circumstances,” says Kantrowitz. You may qualify for additional loans, grants or work-study awards.

Cut back on educational expenses. If you’re close to having enough savings financial aid to pay for school but still have a small gap to fill, you may be able to cut expenses rather than find more aid.

For example, you might be able to live with roommates pay less for housing. You can save on textbook costs by buying used books, renting them or using free reference copies at the library. And some schools also have food banks.

Consider alternative financing. Home equity loans, personal loans Parent PLUS loans are options for student loan borrowers. Kantrowitz encourages students who have hit their annual loan limit to ask their parents to borrow from the federal Parent Direct PLUS loan program.

Take a gap year to start building credit savings. If you’ve been admitted to a school but can’t afford it, you could ask to take a gap year to work build your finances. You’ll maintain your admission at the school the following year have a year to get your financial affairs in order.

Your income could make you eligible for a secured credit card or credit-builder loan, which you could use to start building credit. If you get a credit card to build your credit, only use it for a small purchase every month, such as your phone bill or Netflix subscription, be sure to pay the bill in full.

View More Best Student Loans Without a Co-Signer

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 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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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 Military Credit Cards of June 2021


Methodology: U.S. News reviewed hundreds of credit cards to identify those that offer the most value to members of the military, considering factors including rates, SCRA policies, rewards fees. Each card has its own strengths drawbacks, so there is no single card that’s ideal for all military members. U.S. News’ selections reflect the best card in each category that may be a good fit for your needs.

How Do Military Credit Cards Work?

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, commonly known as SCRA, credit card companies must forgive interest greater than 6% per year on financial obligations incurred before military service for active-duty service members.

Eligible service members include full-time active-duty members, reservists on federal active duty members of the National Guard on federal orders longer than 30 days. SCRA benefits apply during the period of active duty can be granted retroactively.

Service members must provide creditors with a copy of their military orders a written notice within 180 days of the end of their military service.

While SCRA benefits are available with any credit card issuer, many lenders have gone beyond these requirements in recent years, says Doug Nordman, author of “The Military Guide to Financial Independence Retirement” founder of The Military Guide, a financial blog for service members making a transition from the military.

For example, some Capital One credit cards offer an SCRA rate capped at 4% on existing balances when you enter active duty, which is lower than the required 6%. Additionally, Capital One offer the 4% rate on your balance until one year after completing active duty.

A 4% interest rate is one of the lowest you can expect from a credit card without a 0% APR offer, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of this benefit if you qualify. But regular cards may offer better rewards perks, so you should also consider cards that don’t offer additional SCRA benefits.

How to Choose a Military Credit Card

Consider all the features offered by credit cards when choosing which is right for you, not just the SCRA rate.

“As with any other customer, military members should be sure the card suits their lifestyle,” says military finance coach Kate Horrell. “If they travel a lot overseas, they definitely want a card with no foreign transaction fees.”

Compare cards based on the annual fee, rewards, sign-up bonus, cardholder benefits, introductory APR the standard APR that applies after SCRA benefits expire.

For example, many credit cards offer 0% interest rates on purchases balance transfers for 12 to 18 months. Instead of paying an SCRA rate of 4% to 6%, you can pay 0% for the introductory period.

Nordman encourages service members to use credit cards responsibly, even while on active duty, as debt can affect security clearances if it’s not paid on time. He suggests using credit cards within your budget, then automating payments to avoid disruptions if you’re deployed.



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