CircleBack Lending No Longer Exists: Here are 5 Better Personal Loan Options

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CircleBack Lending, once a pioneer in peer-to-peer lending, stopped issuing personal loans in 2016. A website with the same name has emerged, but it might be best to stay away from it.

We’ll explain why, as well as share information about a handful of other top personal loan companies where you can get cash when you need it.

Why you should avoid Circlebacklending.net

As I researched CircleBack Lending, I came across a circlebacklending.net website. The site claims to be a marketplace lender, but there are several red flags.

For starters, the marketing language on the website is confusing. For example, it says:

“Get up for you to $1000 as soon as These days. Acceptance Usually takes Merely Just a few seconds. Rapid Money Tonight.”

When I called the number listed on the site and tried each of the automated menu options, the system told me no loan agents were available and that I should visit another website to get a personal loan. I sent an email to the contact email address listed on the website and got an automated response stating that the email address didn’t exist.

These are all red flags, which could be a sign that the website might be a scam. So make sure to take the time to examine the website to spot a potential personal loan scam.

If you’re looking for a personal loan, you could find one from many legitimate personal loan companies.

5 personal loan companies to consider

If you need a personal loan and prefer applying for one online, you’ll find a wide selection of lenders. To help you narrow it down, we’ve put together a list of five of the top personal loan companies, along with their interest rates and features.

Lender Interest rates (fixed) Best for
Citizens Bank 5.99% – 18.99% Interest rate discounts
Earnest 6.99% – 18.24% Looking beyond your credit score
SoFi 7.08% – 15.37% Loans of up to $100,000
Upgrade 6.87% – 35.97% Loans as low as $1,000
FreedomPlus 4.99% – 29.99% Excellent credit

1. Citizens Bank: Best for interest rate discounts

Citizens Bank offers up to 0.50% in interest rate discounts to personal loan borrowers: 0.25% if you have an eligible Citizens Bank account and another 0.25% when you set up autopay. Other loan highlights include:

  • Loans of $5,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms ranging from three to seven years
  • APR of 5.99% to 18.99%
  • No fees
  • Funds available within two business days
Visit Citizens Bank

2. Earnest: Best for looking beyond your credit score

Your credit score often is one of the biggest factors that lenders consider when deciding whether to approve your application. But Earnest considers other factors to focus more on your full financial picture. Specifically, it looks at your:

  • Savings patterns
  • 401(k) balance and investments
  • Employment history
  • Growth potential

Here are some other details to know:

  • Loans of $5,000 to $75,000
  • Repayment terms of three to five years
  • APR of 6.99% to 18.24%
  • No origination, prepayment, or extra payment fees
  • Funds available within one to two business days after signing
Visit Earnest

3. SoFi: Best for loans of up to $100,000

If you need to borrow a lot of money to start a business, finance a huge home renovation, or for some other reason, SoFi offers personal loans between $5,000 and $100,000. Here’s what else you’ll get with a SoFi personal loan:

  • Repayment terms of three, five, six, or seven years
  • APR of 7.08% to 15.37%
  • No fees
  • Funds available within a few days
  • Special SoFi community benefits, including unemployment protection, rate discounts on future loans, career coaching, and more.
Visit SoFi

4. Upgrade: Best for loans as low as $1,000

Many personal loan companies have a minimum loan amount of $5,000, which can force you to borrow more than you need. If you need far less than that, Upgrade offers a minimum loan of $1,000, but it can go as high as $50,000. Other terms and features include:

  • Repayment terms of three or five years
  • APR of 6.87% to 35.97%
  • Origination fee of 1% to 6% of the loan amount
  • Funds available within four business days
Visit Upgrade

5. FreedomPlus: Best for excellent credit

It’s not always easy to know whether you qualify for a personal loan company’s best interest rates. But FreedomPlus is transparent about what it takes to get one of the lowest rates on the market.

For starters, you’ll need to have excellent credit for a loan of $15,000 with a 24-month repayment period. Plus, you’ll need to qualify for two out of these three requirements:

  • Adding a cosigner who has sufficient income
  • Using at least 50% of the loan proceeds to pay off existing debt
  • Showing proof that you have at least $40,000 in retirement savings

Other FreedomPlus highlights include:

  • Loans of $10,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms of two to five years
  • APR of 4.99% to 29.99%
  • Origination fee of 0% to 5%
  • Funds available within 48 hours
Visit FreedomPlus

Choosing the right personal loan

Regardless of your reason for applying for a personal loan, it’s important to know how to get the best offer for your needs. Rather than picking one lender based on what we’ve shared here, get a rate quote from some or all of the companies to compare what they can offer you.

Then consider the other factors, such as fees, funding time, repayment options, and other special features. Also, use our personal loan calculator to make sure the monthly payments are affordable. If you’re having a hard time getting an offer because of a low credit score, consider other personal loan options for bad credit.

As you do your due diligence, you’ll be more likely to find a loan that works for your budget and your financial goals.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 7.08% APR to 15.37% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.81% APR to 14.11% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 10, 2018 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 5.81% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 4.175% 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. 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Terms and Conditions ApplySOFI 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 4.99% 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 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% 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 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% 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 6.16% to 35.89%. 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 time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. 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 or longer.


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.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.81% – 15.37%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%2$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
6.16% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. 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 understand what you are buying, and consult 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. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.