PERSONAL LOANS

Explore your options with personal loans

Earnest has partnered with Fiona to help you find the right personal loan for you. Get credit card debt under control or finance your next big move. Get matched with loan options in less than 60 seconds.

Earnest and Fiona

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 24-84 months
  • Loan amounts from $1,000-$100,000
  • APRs as low as 4.99%
  • Searching has no impact on your credit score

Here’s how it works

1

Search and compare

Complete a simple form and Fiona will search personalized offers from many of the top providers.

2

Get matched

Based on the info you provide and your creditworthiness, Fiona will match you with the right offer.

3

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.

How do personal loans work?

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 differ from the actual rate of the loan.

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. 

Most people use personal loans to pay for a major purchase, to pay off credit card debt, or to cover an unexpected medical expense. When it comes to credit card debt, taking out a personal loan can be an opportunity to get a lower monthly payment or a lower interest rate or annual percentage rate.Unlike some loans that require collateral or a down payment, a personal loan’s APR range is based on the borrower’s credit history and credit score.

Can I use a personal loan for anything?

There are many ways you can use a personal loan. You usually have to tell the lender why you need to borrow money. A personal loan purpose can vary from debt consolidation to making a major purchase, paying for a home improvement project, or paying for a medical expense.

If you are considering debt consolidation, you could take out a personal loan and use it to pay off debt. Then, your personal loan effectively becomes a debt consolidation loan.

 

What does a fixed rate vs. variable rate mean on a personal loan?

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. 

How much can I borrow in personal loans?

It all depends on the lender, your credit, and their policies. Some lenders have a high minimum loan amount (the smallest amount you can borrow), and others don’t. A search tool like Fiona can be helpful in finding a loan that’s just right for your situation. 

Can I get a personal loan directly from Earnest?

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. If you have a question about an existing Earnest personal loan, you can visit our Help Center for support.

What if I currently have a personal loan with Earnest?

If you currently have a personal loan with Earnest, don’t worry. Your loan amount, monthly payment, interest rate, loan term, access to AutoPay automatic payments, and any other details will not change. You can always visit our Help Center if you have any questions.

Does Fiona charge origination fees, late fees, or prepayment fees?

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

Is it better to refinance my credit card debt or take out a personal loan?

Whether you choose to take out a personal loan or refinance your 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. 

How do I calculate my monthly payments before taking out a personal loan?

One way you could do that is 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. 

Do I need a high credit score to apply for a personal loan?

Not necessarily, but it can make the application process easier. Fiona lists different types of lenders, such as credit unions, banks, and others. You can explore your options and apply for a loan on the same business day. This means that Fiona can show personal loans to those with different credit profiles. While having excellent credit can give you more options, Fiona gives you the chance to find the best personal loans for your situation.

If you make payments on time, 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. 

What is the difference between a secured and an unsecured personal loan?

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). 

Do I need a bank account to take out a personal loan?

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. 

Do I need collateral to search for a personal loan on Fiona?

Fiona shows you loan options that do not require collateral. The amount of the loan you’re able to take out depends on a few factors, such as the loan terms and your lender. 

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