Explore your options with personal loans
Freedom of choice
To give you more options when it comes to personal loans, Earnest is working with Fiona—the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for loan offers. Fiona is the easiest way to get matched with personalized loan offers — with no impact on your credit score.
Meet Fiona, the personal loan search engine.
Save time by searching loan offers from many of the top providers all in one place. Get matched with a personal loan that gives you a monthly payment or APR that works best for you.
- Get matched in less than 60 seconds
- Loan terms from 6-144 months
- Loan amounts from $1,000-$250,000
- APRs as low as 2.49%
- Searching has no impact on your credit score
Here’s how it works
Search and compare
Complete a simple form and Fiona will search personalized offers from many of the top providers.
Based on the info you provide and your creditworthiness, Fiona will match you with the right offer.
Close the deal
Find the lender of your choice, finalize on their site and start reaping the benefits of your personal loan.
Get the FAQs on personal loans and Fiona.
A personal loan lets people borrow money for a set amount of time (known as the loan term), and pay it back in monthly payments. You can fill out an online application for a personal loan or you can apply in person. Many lenders will allow you to check your eligibility online before you apply for the loan and check your estimated interest rate. The rate estimate can be different from the actual rate of the loan.
Usually, a personal loan is considered an unsecured loan, meaning there is no asset/property that can be taken away by the lender if the borrower does not pay.
By contrast, if a borrower takes out a mortgage or an auto loan, those are considered secured loans. These types of loans require collateral that can be used as payment if the borrower doesn’t pay.
A line of credit is a more flexible loan, and it’s typically used for recurring business expenses and not one-time purchases. If you’d like to learn more about lines of credit, this Investopedia article may be helpful.
Term loans are personal loans that give a lump sum of cash and require a large down payment. These types of personal loans are usually used for small businesses and you can learn more about them on Investopedia.
If you take out a personal loan directly from a bank or financial institution it is considered a direct loan.
That depends on the lender and on your credit history. You may want to consider partnering with a qualifying cosigner or wait until your credit is in better shape before you go through credit approval for a personal loan.
Remember that a personal loan application involves a hard credit pull, meaning the lender will conduct a credit check. It’s common for your credit score to decrease by a few points after a credit inquiry.
If you are approved for a personal loan and you make payments on time, and avoid any negative marks for things like making a late payment, or not paying less than the minimum amount, your credit will likely improve.
Most personal loans will not ask for you to disclose the loan purpose, but some may. You can use personal loan funds for many different kinds of expenses, such as fixing your home, debt consolidation, a wedding, or large unexpected expenses like medical bills. Some lenders offer home improvement loans or medical loans specifically for different scenarios. Make sure to read any disclosures on the lender’s website to check for any restrictions on the use of your loan.
Personal loans should not be used for college expenses, because Federal student loans, and even private student loans may have terms that work better for college students.
If you’re considering using a personal loan as a debt consolidation loan, you can search for different options on the Fiona platform. Fiona is an online lending platform that acts as a search engine for personal loan lenders. You can browse different personal loan offers that could be a good match for you.
If you’re unsure whether you’d like to use a personal loan to pay off debt, this article from Experian may be helpful.
Personal loans come with either a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. A fixed rate does not change over time, but a variable rate can vary depending on financial market trends.
If a variable-rate loan has the lowest rate, keep in mind that the rate could change in the future. If your interest rate goes up, this could increase your accrued interest (the amount of interest added to your loan every month). High-interest debt is something you should try to avoid, so consider your options carefully when choosing a fixed or a variable rate loan.
It all depends on the lender, your credit, and their policies. Some lenders require excellent credit and have a high minimum loan amount (the smallest amount you can borrow), while others do not. Many lenders take your income-to-debt ratio into consideration and may offer a larger loan to those with a smaller debt-to-income ratio.
You can use this calculator to check your debt-to-income ratio.
To better serve our clients’ education financing needs, we’ve decided that working with Fiona will be the best way to help those looking for personal loans. Fiona is a tool you can use to check personal loan rates across multiple financial institutions. Fiona search results are not a guarantee of loan approval. If you have a question about an existing Earnest personal loan, you can visit our Help Center for support.
If you currently have a personal loan with Earnest, don’t worry. Your loan amount, monthly payment, interest rate, loan term (life of the loan), access to AutoPay automatic payments, and any other details will not change. You can always visit our Help Center if you have any questions.
We partnered with Fiona to bring people the most competitive rates possible. As a search engine, Fiona showcases multiple personal loan interest rates and allows you to pick the best option for you. Fiona offers a quick overview of options you can review before committing to a loan application.
Fiona is a loan marketplace, so while the Fiona tool does not charge any fees, some of the lenders you’ll see on Fiona might. Fiona searches a list of lenders and shows the loan options available to you. These loan options may have different interest rates, and some may charge a loan origination fee, late fees, and prepayment penalties.
Whether you choose to take out a personal loan or refinance your existing debt depends on your situation. Your credit score, loan payment history, credit card payments, and credit history are all contributing factors. In short, research both refinancing and personal loans before deciding which option is right for you.
No matter which option you choose, do your research and check for the best rates.
One way you could do that is with an online personal loan calculator. NerdWallet and other companies offer personal loan calculators free of charge. While tools like that can be useful, don’t forget that they show you an estimate and not the final loan.
Not necessarily, but having a fair credit score can make the application process easier. Fiona lists different types of lenders, such as credit unions and banks that offer personal loans. You can explore your options and apply for a loan on the same business day.
Fiona will show personal loans to those with different credit profiles. While having good credit can give you more options, Fiona gives you the chance to find the best personal loans for your situation.
If you make on-time payments and avoid late payments, your credit report will likely improve over the loan repayment term. Keep in mind that your credit score is also impacted by credit usage (how much of your available credit you’re actually using) and any high-interest credit card debt.
Before applying for a personal loan, you can check your credit score for free on experian.com. Here you’ll find all three credit scores – FICO, Transunion, and VantageScore.
With a secured personal loan, you usually need to put up collateral on the loan amount. An unsecured personal loan means you don’t need to provide collateral to the financial institution (whether it’s a bank, an online lender, or a credit union).
Finding the lowest interest rate begins with researching different lenders. Some may have higher interest rates than others, which can add a lot of money to the total cost of your loan. Fiona is a search tool for private loans, you can browse different offers to get an idea of the rate range and look for low interest rates.
In addition to a low rate, you want to watch out for any hidden fees and research the term length each lender offers. Both the rate and the term can have a big impact on your monthly installments or monthly payments. Some lenders may offer an autopay discount if you choose to make loan payments automatically, which could be another way to save on payments.
Getting a personal loan without a checking account is difficult but not impossible. Some lenders issue personal loans to borrowers without checking accounts or savings accounts. However, almost all lenders will require a social security number when taking out a loan.
It depends on the lender and their process. While some lenders might offer next day funding, it’s wise to be cautious and not feel rushed into making a decision.
Fiona shows you loan options that do not require collateral. However, the personal loan you select may ask for collateral or have annual income requirements. The amount of the loan you’re able to take out depends on a few factors, such as the loan terms and your lender.