Best Lenders for Secured Loans

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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If you’re looking for a personal loan but don’t have the credit score needed for a traditional loan, there are options for you to access the line of equity you need. Most lenders base your APR and terms on your credit score, but if yours is less than stellar, you could still qualify for a secured personal loan.

A secured personal loan is a loan that uses some kind of collateral, usually a down payment or an asset such as your home or car, to secure the loan. Successfully obtaining and making timely payments on a secured loan is one way to help improve your credit score, so it’s a smart choice all around.

LightStream

LightStream is known for being a lender willing to loan you money for whatever you’re looking for. It promotes that you can “finance practically everything.” Want to buy a horse? No problem. Finance a vacation? You got it. The only exceptions to its lending capabilities are for businesses and education purposes. LightStream also offers a $100 customer satisfaction guarantee if your expectations aren’t met within 30 days.

LightStream does not offer preapprovals, so a hard credit check will have to be done to see if you qualify for a personal loan. If you will be using your secured loan for an automobile, you will need to fill out some lienholder paperwork. LightStream’s loans are done 100% online. It’s a convenient and environmentally friendly option for users comfortable with technology, but not if you prefer to talk to someone in person.

Pros

  • Timely funding. In some qualified cases, same-day funding is available.
  • Competitive APR. LightStream vows to beat any competitor’s APR by 0.10% if you can find the rate online.
  • There are virtually no fees with LightStream’s personal loans, as well as no prepayment penalties.
  • $100 cashback customer satisfaction guarantee within 30 days if you’re happy with your loan.

Cons

  • Higher minimum credit. LightStream does require higher minimum credit scores than some other lenders to help meet its high expectations for loans.
  • No preapproval. You have to undergo a hard credit check to see if you qualify.
  • Limits on funding. You can’t use your loan to refinance debt, for education or for a business.

LightStream is a fast and convenient option that is best for individuals with solid credit scores. If you need to avoid hard credit checks or know that your credit score is very low, this loan option may not be the best for you.

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo offers competitive rates and low rates, especially for customers who already have a relationship with the bank. It also offers a wide variety of loan amounts — from $3,000 to $100,000 — depending on your own credit score and background.

To qualify for a secured loan through Wells Fargo, you can use a Wells Fargo certificate of deposit or savings account or other assets as collateral against the loan. You can also use your home in some situations. You can change your payment due date one time after your loan initiation, and there is no prepayment penalty if you want to pay off your loan early. But Wells Fargo does charge an origination fee of $75 for secured loans and an annual fee of $25 for secured lines of credit.

Pros

  • Allows you to use your home as collateral.
  • Allows you to preserve your savings and continue to earn interest on your Wells Fargo savings account.
  • Preference is given to Wells Fargo customers. If you are a customer, you may qualify for a lower interest rate.
  • Loan offerings are flexible, from $3,000 to $100,000.

Cons

  • Does require an origination fee of $75.
  • Besides the origination fee, there is also an annual fee of $25 for secured lines of credit.
  • There is no preapproval process, so a hard credit check is required. 

If you qualify and are approved, you can receive the funds in your account in as quickly as one business day. Wells Fargo also offers special benefits for members of the military. If you are an active-duty member or have an active-duty family member, you should contact it directly for a more individualized loan plan specific for military.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial offers both secured and unsecured loans. It has the option for you to use your assets, such as your car, as collateral.

OneMain Financial is one of the few financial institutions listed that requires you to visit a branch in person to complete your application and get your loan. On one hand, that is helpful because that also means you only need a soft credit check online to get prequalified. But if you’re not located near a branch or you want an online-only loan service, that won’t be available for you. Because each loan is specific to its branch, there are no set fees, meaning origination and annual fees for loans may vary by state.

Pros

  • Loan amount flexibility. You can borrow as little as $1,500 (and up to $30,000).
  • Preapproval is available. You will fill in some basic information online to allow OneMain Financial to do a soft credit check for preapproval of your loan so that it won’t affect your credit score.

Cons

  • No online approval. If you are preapproved from your online application, you will have to visit a branch in person to complete your loan process.
  • Set fees for annual and origination fees vary by state, so you will have to check with the branch closest to you.

Although you do have to visit a branch in person to complete your loan approval, there are 1,600 branches in 44 states. Chances are good that there may be a branch near you. If you’re not located near an in-person branch, OneMain Financial is not a good option for you.

First Technology Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union has a variety of different offerings that allow you to choose from stock or savings account options for your personal secured loan. By using the credit union’s savings account loan, for instance, you may be approved for an APR as low as 3%. But in using the savings option, you will pay the APR as well as the fee for the savings account. The exact fee you will pay for a savings account will vary based on which type of account you choose; for example, the Membership Savings account requires that you at least sell one share as a condition of membership and have a minimum balance of $5. A CareFree Savings account, on the other hand, only requires a $0.01 minimum deposit to open. There are also options to access lines of equity through stock accounts, although those do require minimum investments and have higher APRs.

Pros

  • High borrowing amounts. With the savings secured and the certificate secured loan, you can borrow up to $50,000.
  • Many uses for loans. You can use your personal loan for a variety of reasons, from debt consolidation to education.
  • Most loans are approved or denied within 24 hours.
  • No origination, prepayment or annual fees. 

Cons

  • All loans require some kind of investment in the credit union, whether it be a stock purchase or opening a savings account.
  • Although there are no fees for the loan itself, using a savings secured loan requires you to pay any applicable fees or maintain the minimum balance on your savings account.
  • The loan structure and choices can be a little overwhelming to sort through online, and there are limited in-person offices.
  • It does require a hard credit check.

First Tech Federal Credit Union is a good option if you’re ready to get serious about rebuilding your credit. Choosing its secured loans forces you to choose either a savings or stock account that will simultaneously build your credit score. If you’re looking for a quick loan without included memberships and other add-ons, it might not be a the best choice for you.

Digital Federal Credit Union

A savings secured loan with Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) lets you keep your money in a savings account so that you don’t burn through any of your savings using it as collateral. Using your savings as collateral lets it continue to earn interest per the saving account rates. Its secured loans offer low interest rates and, like other secured loans, provide an affordable way to build or raise your credit score. There are two options for secured loans through DCU: borrowing against your savings account balance or borrowing against your DCU certificate accounts.

For a savings secured loan, you can borrow for up to $200. You can borrow as little as $200, so you can even use the loan as a stepping stone to building your credit.

Pros

  • Term flexibility. You can borrow up to $200 through a savings secured loan.
  • Payment protection. You can purchase payment protection insurance in the event that something unexpected happens, so it won’t further hurt your credit score.
  • Focus on education. DCU is a big proponent of educating you on your own credit. It offers a StreetWise Consumer Education Program to help you understand your finances better.

Cons

  • A savings secured personal loan requires a DCU savings account, as well as a minimum balance. If you don’t have any savings to spare, it might not be a good option for you.
  • Hard credit check for loan approval.
  • Becoming a DCU member with a $5 minimum deposit for a Primary Savings account is required to apply for a loan.

DCU is best for a borrower who is focused on raising their credit score. Low interest, term flexibility and a low minimum borrowing rate, along with a consumer education program, mean that you have a lot of tools at your disposal to increase a low credit score. There are membership requirements based on your location and if whether you have relatives who are members, so there is no universal qualification.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.240% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.75% APR to 14.60% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.75% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.50% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  5. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  6. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 9.99% APR to a high of 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

5.75% – 16.24%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

7.69% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.99% – 35.89%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

5.99% – 29.99%3$7,500 - $40,000

Visit FreedomPlus

6.79% – 20.89%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

9.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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