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Personal Loans: Online Lenders You Need to Know

Personal Loans: Online Lenders You Need to Know
Fiona StaffMay 7th · 3 min read

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Of all the financial services out there, the personal loan has to get credit for being arguably  the most versatile. With what other product can you both: fund a major expense and consolidate high-interest credit card debt

Personal loans are also growing in popularity. One big reason is their accessibility, as online lending — powered by innovations in fintech — is making it easier and faster to get approved for personal loan offers from top providers. 

So who are the major players in the digital lending game? Here’s three loan providers you may want to consider when shopping for a personal loan online. 


Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Launched in 2016, Marcus is the retail banking offshoot of Goldman Sachs, one of the country’s oldest and most recognized financial institutions. When it comes to personal loan options, Marcus is big on no fees — charging $0 for signing up or paying off your loan too early (the dreaded prepayment penalty). While Marcus doesn’t charge late fees, there is an interest surcharge for missed, late, or partial payments. Marcus also offers a 25% APR reduction for enrolling in AutoPay. The online lender provides loans for debt consolidation, home improvement projects, wedding expenses, and more. 

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Prosper

Prosper, the original peer-to-peer online lending platform, has a well established history in the industry, having funded over a million borrowers for a total of $17 billion in loan credit. The lender lets consumers pay back loans on a three- to five-year repayment schedule, but doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty (in case you’re able to pay off your loan early). Prosper does charge origination fees (0.50% to 4.95%) and late fees ($15 or 5%), but also offers special loan features like adding a co-signer. Prosper provides green loans, which come with their own benefits and tax incentives, as well as options for life’s special occasions (e.g., buying an engagement ring or having a baby). 

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SoFi 

For borrowers with a good credit score (660 and above), SoFi provides a wealth of options as far as APR, repayment schedules, and loan amount. With loans as high as $100,000, SoFi can accommodate borrowers seeking quick and easy access to a large chunk of cash. SoFi is also unique in the personal loan game in that it offers variable APRs, which, while more volatile than fixed APRs, can come in handy for borrowers looking to capitalize on a low market rate and pay off their loan quickly. SoFi also offers a 25% APR discount for enrolling in AutoPay and charges no origination or late fees.

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