15-Year vs 30-Year Mortgage: Which Should You Choose?

15-Year vs 30-Year Mortgage: Which Should You Choose?

Deciding whether to pick a 15- or 30-year mortgage largely boils down to what kind of monthly payment you can afford and whether you need financial flexibility.

There’s a reason that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is most popular by far: Manageable payments that ideally allow room for other needs and wants.

But borrowers who can afford the higher payments of 15-year mortgages, and who like the lower rate, may find them compelling.

How Does a 15-Year Mortgage Work?

Borrowers who opt for a 15-year mortgage when choosing a mortgage term — and let’s just talk about fixed-rate, not variable-rate loans, which can be useful in certain situations but are more complicated — will pay off their loan faster and save significantly more in interest over the life of the loan. The main trade-off is the fact that your monthly payment will be significantly higher than a comparable 30-year home loan.

Fifteen-year mortgages typically carry lower interest rates than 30-year mortgages. Consequently, the combination of a lower rate and compressed payoff time means a much lower interest cost overall.

A 15-year mortgage loan for $300,000 with a rate of 4.6% would result in $115,860 in interest paid. That same loan amount with a 30-year term at 5.8% would translate to about $333,700 in interest, a difference of $217,840.

The basic monthly payment, however, would be $2,310 vs. $1,760 in this example. Use an online mortgage calculator to compare home loans.

Lenders charge lower rates for 15-year mortgages because it costs them less to underwrite 15-year mortgages than 30-year loans. Generally speaking, the longer term a loan, the riskier it is to lenders, which they price into the loan through a higher interest rate.

Here are the main pros and cons of 15-year mortgages.


•   Interest cost savings

•   Faster loan payoff

•   Lower interest rate

•   Equity built at a faster rate

•   Much higher monthly payments

•   Less cash available for other opportunities

•   Smaller range of homes in the budget, thanks to high payments

When to Consider a 15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

You might want to consider a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage if you’re trying to pay off the loan faster, you want to save on total interest paid, want a lower rate, and can afford the higher monthly payments.

If you’re buying a home close to retirement and you’re interested in building generational wealth, a 15-year mortgage also is an attractive option as it ensures a faster payoff.

The 15-year mortgage is more frequently used for refinancing than buying, thanks to the lower rate and because most borrowers who choose to refinance are usually several years into their loan.

Consequently, borrowers who have longer-term mortgages with higher interest rates may want to consider refinancing to a 15-year home loan to save on interest costs. However, if you qualify as a first-time homebuyer or a typical U.S. family, expect a 15-year mortgage to restrict your budget.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

30-Year Mortgage vs. 15-Year Mortgage

Borrowers will find the payments on 30-year mortgages to be much more affordable than on 15-year mortgages. The longer the repayment term, the lower the monthly payment, potentially leaving more cash in your pocket every month.

Increased cash flow may allow borrowers to pursue other opportunities like preparing for retirement.

And shoring up emergency savings. Paying off higher-interest debt is always a good plan.

Homeowners may want to have enough cash to add or expand a home office, rev up the kitchen, and generally maintain the value of their home.

What about vacations and buying stuff? Yes and yes.

And some buyers will want to set up a college fund.

Like most things, 30-year home loans have upsides and downsides to consider.


•   Lower monthly payments

•   Extra monthly cash to dedicate to other opportunities

•   Making extra payments or refinancing will shorten term

•   Greater mortgage interest deduction if you itemize than a shorter-term loan allows

•   Higher interest expense than a 15-year loan

•   Builds equity at a slower rate

•   Longer time to pay off loan

When to Consider a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

You may wish to consider a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage if you’re looking for the most affordable option when buying a home.

Fixed-rate 30-year home loans are the most straightforward and common type of mortgage loan on the market.

Between rising home prices and interest rates, 30-year home loans have started looking more attractive than other options. Despite the higher overall interest cost, the lower monthly payments on 30-year mortgages make it easier to afford a home.

Borrowers always have the option of paying off the mortgage early. Every extra principal payment reduces your overall loan balance and reduces the amount of interest that compounds over time as well.

The final thing to consider is that a 30-year mortgage provides a greater tax benefit than a shorter-term mortgage if you take the mortgage interest deduction. Some homeowners use this strategy when itemized deductions on a primary and second home total more than the standard deduction.

Should You Choose a 15-Year or 30-Year Mortgage?

For many homebuyers, the choice of 15- vs. 30-year mortgage will not be voluntary: The monthly payments will force the decision.

If you are able to choose one or the other, you’ll want to consider whether you’re able to comfortably commit to a series of high monthly mortgage payments in exchange for the earlier loan payoff and interest savings, or whether any money left over monthly after making the relatively low mortgage payment on a 30-year loan could be put to other uses.

Your income level, career stability, and debt-to-income ratio may largely determine your course.

The Takeaway

The decision on a 15- vs. 30-year mortgage depends on your personal budget and financial goals. If you can swing the shorter term, you’ll benefit from a lower interest rate, faster loan payoff, and substantial interest savings.

SoFi offers fixed-rate mortgages with a variety of terms and competitive rates. Check out all the advantages of SoFi Mortgages.


Is a 30-year mortgage better than a 15-year mortgage?

It’s a matter of personal choice and affordability.

Is it better to pay off my mortgage for a long period?

You’ll pay a lot more in total interest than you would with a shorter-term loan, but payments will be more affordable.

Can I pay off my 30-year mortgage in 15 years?

Yes, assuming that your mortgage doesn’t have a prepayment penalty, there’s nothing stopping you from paying off the balance ahead of schedule.

Are the interest rates for a 30-year mortgage higher than a 15-year mortgage?

Yes, the interest rates for 30-year mortgages are typically higher than 15-year mortgages because of the extra risk of longer-term loans.

Photo credit: iStock/Tatomm
SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Read more
What Is a Mortgage Lien? And How Does It Work?

What Is a Mortgage Lien? And How Does It Work?

A mortgage lien may sound scary, but any homeowner with a mortgage has one.

Then there are involuntary liens, which can be frightful. Think tax liens, mechanic’s liens, creditor and child support liens.

What Is a Mortgage Lien?

Mortgage liens are part of the agreement people make when they obtain a mortgage. Not all homebuyers can purchase a property in cash, so lenders give buyers cash upfront and let them pay off the loan in installments, with the mortgage secured by the property, or collateral.

If a buyer stops paying the mortgage, the lender can take the property. If making monthly mortgage payments becomes a challenge, homeowners would be smart to contact their loan servicer or lender immediately and look into mortgage forbearance.

Mortgage liens complicate a short sale.

They will show up on a title report and bar the way to a clear title.

Recommended: Tips When Shopping for a Mortgage

Types of Mortgage Liens

Generally, there are two mortgage lien types: voluntary and involuntary.


Homeowners or homebuyers agree to a voluntary, or consensual, lien when they sign a mortgage. If a homeowner defaults on the mortgage, the lender has the right to seize the property.

Voluntary liens include other loans:

•  Car loans

•  Home equity loans

•  Reverse mortgages

Voluntary liens aren’t considered a negative mark on a person’s finances. It’s only when they stop making payments that the lien could be an issue.


On the other side of the coin is the involuntary, or nonconsensual, lien. This mortgage lien type is placed on the property without the homeowner’s consent.

An involuntary lien could occur if homeowners are behind on taxes, HOA payments, or mortgage payments. They can lose their property if they don’t pay back the debt.

Property Liens to Avoid

Homeowners will want to avoid an involuntary lien, which may come from a state or local agency, the federal government, or even a contractor.

Any of the following liens can prohibit a homeowner from selling or refinancing property.

Judgment Liens

A judgment lien is an involuntary lien on both real and personal property and future assets that results from a court ruling involving child support, an auto accident, or a creditor.

If you’re in this unfortunate position, you’ll need to pay up, negotiate a partial payoff, or get the lien removed before you can sell the property.

Filing for bankruptcy could be a last resort.

Tax Liens

A tax lien is an involuntary lien filed for failure to pay property taxes or federal income taxes. Liens for unpaid real estate taxes usually attach only to the property on which the taxes were owed.

An IRS lien, though, attaches to all of your assets (real property, securities, and vehicles) and to assets acquired during the duration of the lien. If the taxpayer doesn’t pay off or resolve the lien, the government may seize the property and sell it to settle the balance.

HOA Liens

If a property owner in a homeowners association community is delinquent on dues or fees, the HOA can impose an HOA lien on the property. The lien may cover debts owed and late fees or interest.

In many cases, the HOA will report the lien to the county. With a lien attached to the property title, selling the home may not be possible. In some cases, the HOA can foreclose on a property if the lien has not been resolved, sell the home, and use the proceeds to satisfy the debt.

Mechanic’s Liens

If a homeowner refuses to pay a contractor for work or materials, the contractor can enforce a lien. Mechanic’s liens apply to everything from mechanics and builders to suppliers and subcontractors.

When a mechanic or other specialist files a lien on a property, it shows up on the title, making it hard to sell the property without resolving it.

Lien Priority

Lien priority refers to the order in which liens are addressed in the case of multiple lien types. Generally, lien priority follows chronological order, meaning the first lienholder has priority.

Lien priority primarily comes into play when a property is foreclosed or sold for cash. The priority dictates which parties get paid first from the home’s sale.

Say a homeowner has a mortgage lien on a property, and then a tax lien is filed. If the owner defaults on their home loan and the property goes into foreclosure, the mortgagee has priority as it was first to file.

Lien priority also explains why lenders may deny homeowners a refinance or home equity line of credit if they have multiple liens to their name. If the homeowner were to default on everything, a lender might be further down the repayment food chain, making the loan riskier.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

How to Find Liens

Homeowners or interested homebuyers can find out if a property has a lien on it by using an online search. Liens are a public record, so interested parties can research any address.

For a DIY approach:

•  Search by address on the local county’s assessor or clerk’s site.

•  Use an online tool like PropertyShark.

Title companies can also search for a lien on a property for a fee.

If sellers have a lien on a property they’re selling, they’ll need to bring cash to the closing to cover the difference. If the seller doesn’t have enough money, the homebuyer is asked to cover the cost, or they can walk away from the deal.

How Can Liens Affect Your Mortgage?

An involuntary lien can affect homeowners’ ability to buy a new home, sell theirs, or refinance a mortgage. Lenders may deem the homeowner too big a risk for a refinance if they have multiple liens already.

Or, when homeowners go to sell their home, they’ll need to be able to satisfy the voluntary mortgage lien or liens at closing with the proceeds from the sale. If they sell the house for less than they purchased it for or have other liens that take priority, it may be hard to find a buyer willing to pay the difference.

Liens can also lead to foreclosure, which can impede a person’s chances of getting a mortgage for at least three to seven years.

How to Remove a Lien on a Property

There are several ways to remove a lien from a property, including:

•  Pay off the debt. The most straightforward approach is to pay an involuntary lien, or pay off your mortgage, which removes the voluntary lien.

•  Ask for the lien to be removed. In some cases, borrowers pay off their debt and still have a lien on their property. In that case, they should reach out to the creditor to formally be released from the lien and ask for a release-of-lien form for documentation.

•  Run out the statute of limitations. This approach varies by state, but in some cases, homeowners can wait up to a decade and the statute of limitations on the lien will expire. However, this doesn’t excuse the homeowner from their debt. It simply removes the lien from the home, making it easier to sell and settle the debt.

•  Negotiate the terms of the lien. If borrowers are willing to negotiate with their creditors, they may be able to lift the lien without paying the debt in full.

•  Go to court. If a homeowner thinks a lien was incorrectly placed on their property, they can file a court motion to have it removed.

Before taking any approach, you might consider reaching out to a legal professional or financial advisor to plan the next steps.

Recommended: Home Loan Help Center: Tips, Tools, and Education for Home Buyers

The Takeaway

Mortgage liens can be voluntary and involuntary. Many homeowners don’t realize that the terms of their mortgage include a voluntary lien. It’s involuntary liens they would be smart to avoid.

Mortgages can be complicated, but SoFi is here to make things simple. If you need a mortgage on a primary home or investment property, a jumbo loan, a refinance, or home equity loan, get pre-qualified painlessly with SoFi.

Explore the advantages of SoFi fixed rate mortgages and find your rate.


What type of lien is a mortgage?

A mortgage lien is a voluntary lien because a homeowner agrees to its terms before signing the loan.

Will having a lien prevent me from getting a new loan?

Some liens can keep people from getting new loans. Lenders are unlikely to loan applicants money if they have multiple liens.

Is it bad to have a lien on my property?

A mortgage lien is voluntary and not considered bad for a borrower. But an involuntary lien prohibits owners from having full rights to their property, which can include selling the home.

How can I avoid involuntary liens?

Homeowners can avoid involuntary liens by staying up to date on payments, including property taxes, federal income taxes, HOA fees, and contractor bills.

Can an involuntary lien be removed?

Yes, an involuntary lien can be removed in several ways, including paying off the debt, filing bankruptcy, negotiating the debt owed, and challenging the lien in court.

Photo credit: iStock/adaask
SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Read more
How to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage in 15 Years

How to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage in 15 Years: Tips and Tricks

Want to know how to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years? A homeowner can use one of a few strategies to pay off a home loan early and save a boatload of interest.

Here’s what you need to know about how to pay a 30-year mortgage in 15 years and what to consider before you do.

Paying Off a 30 Year Mortgage Faster

When you start paying on a 30-year mortgage, most of your payment will go toward interest rather than the principal (the amount you borrowed). This makes it hard to pay down your mortgage and build equity.

Over time, the percentage of your payment that goes toward interest vs. principal will change. Toward the end of your 30-year loan, you will pay more toward the principal than interest. This is what’s known as mortgage amortization.

Instead of following the amortization schedule, paying more on your mortgage — in one way or another — will reduce the principal more quickly, which means you’ll pay less interest on your loan.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster?

Paying off your mortgage faster may give you a sense of accomplishment and save you a lot of money in interest charges, but if it takes you further away from your financial goals, it may not be worth it to you. Consider what you value most before deciding to put extra money toward paying off your mortgage.

Recommended: Is is Smart to Pay Off a Mortgage Early?

Pros and Cons of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

Paying off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years has benefits, but in some cases, it may not make sense to. Consider these pros and cons.



Higher monthly payment
Own your home outright soonerYou will lose the home mortgage interest tax deduction (if you itemize)
Ultimately no mortgage payment
Build equity fasterLess money available for retirement, higher-interest debt, a rainy day fund, etc.
Save money on interestGains by investing could trump interest saved

Factors to Consider Before Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster

While paying off your mortgage early — a few zealous borrowers aim to pay off a mortgage in five years — can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest, the lost opportunities from not having money readily available for other things could be more valuable. Think about:

•   Have I been contributing enough to my retirement plans as an employee?

•   Have I been funding retirement as a self-employed person?

•   Do I have three to six months of expenses, or more, if my personal situation calls for it, in an emergency fund?

•   Am I able to secure a lower rate or shorter term for a refinance to pay off my mortgage faster? Would a cash-out refinance make sense?

•   Do I have higher-interest debt like credit card debt or student loans I should tackle first?

•   Have I set up a college fund for the kids?

•   Does my mortgage carry a prepayment penalty (unlikely for loans originated after January 2014)?

How to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage Faster

There are at least three methods to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years if that’s your goal.

Make Extra Principal Payments

Paying more toward principal is the primary way to pay off a 30-year mortgage early.

Here’s an example of how interest adds up: Assuming you buy a $350,000 house and put 10% down on a 30-year mortgage at 5.5%, this mortgage calculator shows that total interest will be $328,870. Even by the 120th payment, you will have paid only $55,000 of the $315,000 principal and will have paid nearly $160,000 in interest.

Putting just $200 more per month toward principal, you’d save $80,837 in interest and pay off the mortgage six years and four months earlier.

Switch to Biweekly Payments

Biweekly payments are half-payments made every two weeks instead of a full payment once a month. Making biweekly payments instead of monthly payments results in one additional payment each year.

Using the example above, making one full, extra mortgage payment each year will reduce the amount of time it takes to pay off your 30-year mortgage by five years.

Look Into Refinancing

Refinancing your loan into one with a lower interest rate and/or a shorter term can help you pay off your mortgage faster. A shorter term usually comes with a lower interest rate, so you’re saving on interest while also paying your mortgage off sooner than 30 years.

Refinancing to a lower interest rate will reduce your monthly mortgage payment, so if you continue to make the higher payment, you’ll pay your mortgage off faster.

Recommended: Mortgage Questions for Your Lender

The Takeaway

There are a few ways to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years. Paying off your mortgage early will result in substantial interest savings, but the tradeoff for many borrowers is not having extra money to put toward retirement and other purposes.

Whether you’re on the path to paying off your mortgage or shopping for a new mortgage, SoFi is here to help. SoFi offers traditional refinancing and cash-out refinancing. SoFi Mortgages come with competitive rates, flexible terms, and Mortgage Loan Officers who can help.

Take a look at SoFi home mortgage loans, and then get your own rate quote.


Is it cheaper to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years?

The amount of interest you’ll save by paying off your mortgage in 15 years instead of 30 is substantial.

Why shouldn’t you pay off your mortgage early?

Homeowners who haven’t fully funded their retirement accounts, who don’t have an emergency fund, or who have other debt with high interest rates may not want to pay off a mortgage early. Also, those who think they can earn a better return on their money with investments may not want to pay off their mortgage early. (They need to keep in mind that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.)

How do you pay off a 30-year mortgage in half the time?

Paying more toward the principal early in the mortgage can help you cut the amount of time you spend paying on your mortgage in half. The good news is you don’t have to make double payments to cut the amount of time you pay on your mortgage in half. Because each payment will reduce the principal, you will pay less overall.

Are biweekly mortgage payments a good idea?

Biweekly mortgage payments, or half-payments made every two weeks, will add a full mortgage payment every year. Using this method can take a few years off your mortgage.

Photo credit: iStock/everydayplus

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Read more
Prime Loan vs Subprime Loan: What Are the Differences?

Prime Loan vs Subprime Loan: What Are the Differences?

Labels like prime and subprime help denote loans that are designed for people with different credit scores. Prime loans are built for borrowers with good credit, while subprime loans are designed for those with less-than-perfect credit. While subprime loans can help this group finance big purchases like a home or a car, they also come with potentially significant downsides.

Here’s a look at what you need to know about prime and subprime loans to help you make better borrowing decisions.

Prime Loan vs Subprime Loan

When you’re shopping for a loan, lenders will consider your credit history to help them determine how much default risk they’d be taking on were they to loan you money.

Your credit score is a three-digit representation of your credit history that lenders use to understand your creditworthiness. While there are different credit scoring models, the FICO® score is one of the most commonly used. Lenders and other institutions may have varying models for which credit scores determine prime vs subprime loans.

For example, Experian, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, defines a prime loan as requiring a FICO score of 670 to 739. With a score of 740 or above, you’re in super prime territory. Borrowers with a FICO score of 580 to 669 will likely only qualify for subprime loans.

Here are some key differences between the two that borrowers should be aware of.

Interest Rates

Borrowers with lower credit scores are seen as a greater lending risk. To offset some of that risk, lenders may charge higher interest rates on subprime loans than on prime loans.

What’s more, many subprime loans have adjustable interest rates, which may be locked in for a short period of time after which they may readjust on a regular basis, such as every year. If interest rates are on the rise, this can mean your subprime loan becomes increasingly more expensive.

Down Payments

Again, because subprime borrowers may be at a higher risk of default, lenders may protect themselves by requiring a higher down payment. That way, the borrower has more skin in the game, and their bank doesn’t need to lend as much money.

Loan Amounts

Subprime borrowers may not be able to borrow as much as their prime counterparts.

Higher Fees

Fees, such as late-payment penalties or origination fees, may be higher for subprime borrowers.

Repayment Periods

Subprime loans typically carry longer terms than prime loans. That means they take longer to pay back. While a longer term can mean a smaller monthly payment, it also means that you may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan.

Prime Loan vs Subprime Loan: What Type of Loans Are They?

Prime and subprime options are available for a variety of loan types. For example, different types of personal loans come as prime personal loans or subprime personal loans \. When you’re comparing personal loan interest rates, you’ll see that prime loans offer lower rates than subprime. Common uses for personal loans include consolidating debt, paying off medical bills, and home repairs.

You can also apply for prime and subprime mortgages and auto loans. What is considered a prime or subprime score varies depending on the type of loan and the lender.

Recommend: How to Get Approved for a Personal Loan

Prime Loan vs Subprime Loan: How to Get One

By checking your credit score, you can get a pretty good idea of whether you’ll qualify for a prime or subprime loan. That said, as mentioned above, the categories will vary by lender.

The process for applying for a prime or subprime loan is similar.

Get Prepared

Lenders may ask for all sorts of documentation when you apply for a loan, such as recent paystubs, employer contact information, and bank statements. Gather this information ahead of time, so you can move swiftly when researching and applying for loans.

Research Lenders

Banks, credit unions, and online lenders all offer prime and subprime loans. You may want to start with the bank you already have a relationship with, but it’s important to explore other options too. You may even want to approach lenders who specialize in subprime loans.

To shop around for the best loan, you may want to apply for a few. That way you can see which lender can offer you the best terms and interest rates. Applying for credit will trigger a hard inquiry on your credit report, which will temporarily lower your credit score.

Consider a Cosigner

If you’re having trouble getting a subprime loan, you may consider a cosigner with better credit, often a close family member. They will be on the hook for paying off your loan if you miss any payments, so be sure you are both aware of the risk.

Subprime Loan Alternatives

There are alternatives to subprime loans that also carry a fair amount of risk. Some, like credit cards, are legitimate options when used responsibly. Others, like payday loans, should be avoided whenever possible.

Credit Cards

Credit cards allow you to borrow relatively small amounts of money on a revolving basis. If you pay off your credit card bill each month, you will owe no interest. However, if you carry a balance from month to month, you will owe interest, which can compound and send you deeper into debt.

Predatory Loans

Payday loans are a type of predatory loan that usually must be paid off when you receive your next paycheck. These lenders often charge high fees and extremely high interest rates — as high as 400%, or more. If you cannot pay off the loan within the designated period, you may be allowed to roll it over. However, you will be charged a fee again, potentially trapping you in a cycle of debt.

The Takeaway

Subprime loans can be a relatively expensive way to take on debt, especially compared to their prime counterparts. If you can, you may want to wait to increase your credit score before taking on a subprime loan. You can do so by always paying your bills on time and by paying down debt. That said, in some cases, taking on a subprime loan is unavoidable — you may need a new car now to get you to work, for example — so shop around for the best rates you can get.

If you’re paying more than 20% interest on your credit cards, a personal loan could be a great way to consolidate that high-interest debt. Borrow up to $100K with fixed rates and low APRs for those who qualify, and you could start paying a lower fixed monthly payment.

Explore personal loans of $5,000 to $100,000 from SoFi with no hidden fees.


Why are subprime loans bad?

Subprime loans are not necessarily bad. However, these loans charge higher interest rates and fees than their prime counterparts. Borrowers may also be asked to put down a higher down payment, and they may be able to borrow less.

What is the difference between subprime and nonprime?

Nonprime borrowers have credit scores that are higher than subprime but lower than prime.

What type of loan is a subprime loan?

A variety of loan types may include a subprime category, including mortgages, auto loans, and personal loans. All loans in the subprime category likely have higher interest rates and fees.

Photo credit: iStock/Nikola Stojadinovic

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Read more
Getting a $3,000 Personal Loan

Getting a $3,000 Personal Loan

The funds from a personal loan can be used for anything, from paying off high-interest credit card debt to buying a new spinning bike. But how hard is it to qualify for a $3000 personal loan? And what if you have bad credit?

Online lenders tend to cater more to borrowers with bad credit. They will also charge higher interest rates and financing fees because a borrower with bad credit is considered higher risk.

Read on to find out how to get a personal loan, what credit score you need for a personal loan, and where to go to get a loan if you have bad credit.

Can I Get a $3,000 Personal Loan with Bad Credit?

A personal loan is money borrowed from a bank, credit union, or online lender. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000, and the principal is paid back with interest in fixed monthly payments, typically over two to seven years. Personal loans are flexible, meaning they can be used for any purpose, from a cross-country move to home improvements.

Getting approved for a personal loanthat is $3,000 with bad credit may mean you have to jump through a few hoops to qualify. What is bad credit? According to FICO, someone with a score of 580 or below is considered a credit risk.

When calculating an individual’s credit score, FICO and other rating agencies will look at whether you pay bills on time, how long you have held credit lines or loans, your debt profile, how often you use credit, how often lenders have pulled your credit report, and your history of bankruptcy or foreclosure.

A low credit score indicates that you could be at a higher risk of defaulting on a loan. To compensate for that risk, a lender may charge you a higher interest rate for a loan or credit card, or you may have to put down a deposit.

What Is the Typical Credit Score Required for a $3,000 Personal Loan?

Since $3,000 is not a large loan amount, a credit score between 610 and 640 should suffice for an “unsecured” personal loan (a loan with no collateral). The higher your credit score, the less interest you will pay.

Benefits of a $3,000 Personal Loan

The benefits of a $3,000 personal loan include flexibility and predictability. The loan can be used for anything you need, and the payments will be the same each month until the loan is paid off.

Interest Rates and Flexible Terms

The interest rate for a personal loan will be fixed for the term of the loan, and the repayment terms are flexible, ranging between one and 10 years. Personal loans typically have a lower interest rate than a credit card, and the rates are even better if you have excellent credit. You might also be able to borrow more using a personal loan versus a credit card.

No Collateral Required

An unsecured personal loan does not require any collateral. Some loans require the borrower to use their car or home as an asset to guarantee the loan. The interest rate may be a little higher for an unsecured loan than it would be for a secured loan because the lender assumes more risk, but you won’t risk your car or home if you default.

Recommended: Secured vs. Unsecured Personal Loans

Fixed Monthly Payments

A personal loan will have fixed monthly payments for the life of the loan, which makes budgeting for bills easier.

Cons of a $3,000 Personal Loan

A personal loan might not be the best option depending on your situation and the loan’s purpose. Here are some of the downsides to a personal loan.

Debt Accumulation

Many people use personal loans to pay off credit card debt because the interest paid on a credit card is generally more than the interest paid on a loan. However, this can be a double-edged sword if they end up with a higher credit limit and the ability to rack up even more debt.

Origination Fees and Penalties

Personal loans may come with significant fees and penalties that can drive up the cost of borrowing. An origination fee of up to 6% of the loan amount is not uncommon. If you decide to pay off the balance before the term ends, you may have to pay a penalty.

Interest Rates May Be Higher Than Other Options

This is particularly true for people who have a low credit score. In that case, a credit card might charge a lower rate than a personal loan.

If you have equity in your home, another option is a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Alternatively, a credit card balance transfer might charge a lower interest rate.

Where Can I Get a $3,000 Personal Loan?

You can get a personal loan from online lenders, commercial banks, and credit unions. Online lenders are super-convenient and fast. Loans are often funded within two days. You can also get pre-qualified and see your loan terms before you apply. An online lender might do a soft credit check before you accept the loan, but your credit rating will not be affected.

Credit unions may offer lower interest rates and more flexible terms for members. Federally chartered credit unions cap APRs at 18%, so borrowers with imperfect credit may receive lower rates than they would elsewhere. A history with a credit union might boost your eligibility.

A bank will typically require good credit to qualify for a personal loan. You may also need an account with the bank. Account holders are likely to qualify for the lowest interest rates and bigger loans. You may have to visit a branch and complete the application in person.

How to Apply for a $3,000 Personal Loan

1.   Check your credit score. You may find errors on your credit report that you can fix to boost your eligibility for lower-rate loans.

2.   Compare the terms and conditions offered by lenders. A personal loan calculator can help you determine what your payments will be.

3.   Pre-qualify if you can, because it won’t affect your credit score and will help you with your comparison.

4.   Consider using your car or other collateral to get a better rate with a secured loan.

5.   Use a co-signee (with good credit) to get a better rate. The co-signee’s credit rating is considered along with your own, but they must agree to pay the loan if you cannot.

6.   Gather the documents you need and apply to the best lender. Examples of documents you may be asked to provide are W-2s, paystubs, and financial statements.

$5,000 Personal Loan

Here’s an example of typical loan terms for a $5,000 personal loan. Rates are accurate at the time of writing for a loan through SoFi for someone earning around $50,000 with good credit.

•  The monthly payment on a two-year loan with an interest rate of 6.99% would be around $224.

•  The monthly payment on a three-year loan with an interest rate of 7.66% would be around $156.

•  The monthly payment on a six-year loan with an interest rate of 11.38% would be around $96.

$10,000 Personal Loan

The monthly payment on a personal loan of $10,000 at a 5.5% interest rate over a one-year term would be $858, with $300 in total interest paid over the life of the loan.

The Takeaway

A personal loan is a way to get flexible financing quickly. These loans can be used for any purpose, and the term of the loan can range from 12 months to 10 years. Banks, credit unions, and online lenders offer these loans at varying interest rates.

Personal loans are popular for people who want to consolidate their debt or pay off credit cards that charge a higher interest rate. The requirements for a loan depend on the lender, but a good credit score will give you a better rate. Alternatives to a personal loan are a HELOC, or a credit card balance transfer as long as the card charges a lower interest rate.

SoFi’s personal loans can help you consolidate credit card debt. The fixed interest rate is significantly lower than that on most credit cards.

Looking for a personal loan? With SoFi’s Personal Loans, there are no fees and no collateral required. Check out

SoFi’s personal loans—get your rate in just 1 minute!


What credit score is needed for a $3,000 personal loan?

According to FICO, someone with a score of 580 or below is considered a credit risk. A score of between 610 and 640 is typically required for an unsecured personal loan.

Is it possible to get a $3,000 loan with bad credit?

Some lenders, particularly online lenders, will extend personal loans to people with bad credit. However, the terms may include high interest rates. Many online lenders specifically target borrowers with bad credit.

What’s the monthly payment on a $3,000 personal loan?

The monthly payment on a $3,000 loan will depend on the lender, the loan term, and the interest rate. For example, the monthly payment on a two-year loan with an interest rate of 6.99% would be around $224.The monthly payment on a six-year loan with an interest rate of 11.38% would be around $96.

Photo credit: iStock/nortonrsx

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may 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 and may affect your credit.

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender