$5,000 Personal Loan: How Can You Get One?

$5,000 Personal Loan: How Can You Get One?

You might be wondering how easy it is to get approved for a $5,000 personal loan. In most cases, the process is straightforward and no collateral is required — though you might pay more in interest if your credit is poor. Overall, a $5,000 personal loan is a good way to access cash for unexpected bills and necessary expenses.

Learn more about the typical terms and requirements for a $5,000 personal loan.

Pros of a $5,000 Personal Loan

A personal loan is money that you borrow from a bank, credit union, or online lender that you pay back in regular installments with interest, usually over about two to seven years. Personal loans have several advantages over high-interest credit cards, making them a good option for a variety of borrowers.

Popular uses for personal loans include consolidating debt, covering medical bills, and home repairs or renovations.

Recommended: 11 Types of Personal Loans

Flexible Terms

With $5,000 personal loans, you can choose the repayment terms to fit your budget. For example, you can opt for a longer repayment term with a higher interest rate but a lower monthly payment. Or you can choose a shorter repayment term with a lower interest rate and a higher monthly payment.

No Collateral

Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning you aren’t required to provide collateral to be approved. That said, using collateral on a personal loan can increase your approval odds, especially if your credit is poor. Doing so could result in a larger loan amount, lower interest rate, and better terms.

Fixed Payments

The interest rate on a $5,000 personal loan is usually fixed, meaning your payments will stay the same for the life of the loan. Fixed payments are typically easier to budget for.

Cons of a $5,000 Personal Loan

Small personal loans of $5,000 or so have disadvantages that should be considered before you apply.

Debt

You’ll be going into debt when you take out a $5,000 loan, which is the biggest downside. If you struggle to repay the loan, you can end up in a worse financial position than before you took it on.

Origination Fees

Personal loans can have many fees, including origination fees. This fee is separate from the interest the loan charges and has no direct benefit to you as the borrower.

Some origination fees can be high, up to 15% of the loan principal. Even just a 5% fee on a $5,000 loan is $250 — just to receive the money. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid loan origination fees.

Interest Rates

While personal loan interest rates are usually lower than credit cards’, they can cost you hundreds (or even thousands) over the life of the loan. A personal loan calculator can help you figure out the total interest you’ll pay.

Personal Loan Pros

Cons

Flexible terms: Choose the repayment terms that suit you. Debt: Personal loans increase your debt and the risks that come with it.
No collateral: Most personal loans are unsecured. Origination fees: Personal loans often have fees for borrowing money.”
Fixed payments: Payments stay the same for the life of the loan Interest: You’ll be charged interest, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Requirements for a $5,000 Personal Loan

Requirements for a $5,000 loan vary by lender. But in general, you should have at least Fair credit, which is a score of 580 or above. Lenders may also look at other factors, such as your income and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), during the application process.

Recommended: The Credit Score Required To Get a Personal Loan

$5,000 Personal Loan Terms

Repayment terms for a $5,000 personal loan are usually in the range of two to seven years. The length of the repayment term will play a role in determining the monthly payment amount and the interest rate.

Your credit score will also affect the interest rate. For example, the average interest rate for personal loans is 6.59% for those with Excellent credit. However, if you have Fair credit, the average jumps to 15.91%.

Payment on a $5,000 Personal Loan

The payment on a $5,000 personal loan depends in large part on the length of the loan term. For example, SoFi’s personal loan calculator estimates that the monthly payment for a two-year $5,000 personal loan ranges from $224 to $252. A $224 monthly payment over two years results in your paying $5,376 total: the $5,000 principal plus $376 in interest.

Increase the loan term to seven years, and you have a much lower monthly payment of $89 to $106. However, $89 paid over 84 months comes to $7,476. That’s a whopping $2,476 in interest for the same $5,000 principal.

The higher interest paid is due to both the longer repayment term and the higher rate that longer repayment terms usually come with.

Top $5,000 Personal Loan Lenders

There are many online lenders that offer $5,000 personal loans. Personal loan amounts can range from $1,000 up to $100,000. However, the requirements will be different for larger loan amounts. For instance, the credit score required for a $10,000 personal loan is 640, compared to 580 for a $5,000 loan. For a $50,000 personal loan, the credit score requirement jumps to 660.

Here are seven of the top lenders we find by searching online, along with their terms for a $5,000 loan:

1. LightStream

LightStream is a division of Truist Bank and offers some of the best APRs for $5,000 personal loans. APRs can be as low as 3.99% — the lowest on this list. While the exact APR will vary with your credit, LightStream has some of the lowest fees overall, charging no fees to use its services. There is also a 0.50% discount for enrolling in autopay.

2. Discover

Discover offers personal loans with competitive rates and flexible terms. APRs on Discover personal loans range from 5.99% to 24.99%. Terms range from 36 to 84 months with no origination fees.

3. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers personal loans of up to $40,000. APRs start at 6.99%, with repayment terms ranging from 36 months to 72 months. There are no origination fees, and there is a 0.25% discount for enrolling in autopay.

4. Best Egg

Best Egg offers personal loans of up to $50,000 and competitive interest rates. Loan terms are from 36 months to 60 months. However, Best Egg does charge an origination fee of at least 0.99% of the loan amount.

5. PersonalLoans.com

PersonalLoans.com does not lend money itself but instead connects you with lenders in its network or another third-party lender network. Personal loans from its lenders have competitive APRs, ranging from 5.99% to 35.99%. It has flexible repayment terms as brief as three months and up to 72 months. Most of the lenders in its network charge origination fees.

6. CashUSA

CashUSA offers personal loans of up to $10,000 with a competitive APR that starts at 5.99%. It has flexible payment terms which start at three months and can be as long as 72 months. Applying for a personal loan on CashUSA.com is simple, and you can have money as soon as the next day.

7. Happy Money

Happy Money offers the Payoff Loan, branded specifically as a personal loan meant for paying off credit card balances. Given that credit cards can have high APRs, Happy Money’s starting APR could be a good choice. Its term is from 24 to 60 months, and origination fees are included in the APR.

Lender

APR

Term

Origination Fee

LightStream 3.99% – 19.99% 24 – 84 months $0
Discover 5.99% – 24.99% 36 – 84 months $0
Marcus by Goldman Sachs 6.99% – 19.99% 36 – 72 months $0
Best Egg 5.99% – 35.99% 36 months or 60 months 0.99% – 5.99% of loan amount
PersonalLoans.com 5.99% – 35.99% 3 – 72 months 1% – 5% of loan amount
CashUSA 5.99% – 29.99% 3 – 72 months Varies
Happy Money 5.99% – 24.99% 24 – 60 months Included in APR

The Takeaway

Many lenders offer $5,000 personal loans with competitive APRs and flexible terms. However, you are still charged interest and often additional fees, so you’ll want to shop around for the best deal you qualify for.

If you find yourself in need of quick cash, consider SoFi Personal Loans. SoFi has a competitive APR that starts at 6.99% for loans up to $100,000. There are no origination fees or hidden fees of any kind.

You can check your rate in 60 seconds without affecting your credit score, and get your loan funded as soon as the same day you’re approved.

FAQ

What credit score do I need for a $5,000 personal loan?

In most cases, the credit score needed for a personal loan is at least 580, considered a Fair credit score. If your score is lower than that, your borrowing opportunities will be limited. Lenders may also look at other factors, such as your income and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), during the application process.

How much is the monthly payment for a $5,000 personal loan?

The amount you pay per month depends on the loan amount, the APR, and the length of the loan. You can opt for a longer repayment term with a higher interest rate but a lower monthly payment. Or you can choose a shorter repayment term with a lower interest rate and a higher monthly payment.

How can you get a $5,000 personal loan?

Online lenders tend to offer your best chance of approval, especially those that work with lender networks. This is because you can apply to more than one lender at a time.


Photo credit: iStock/SDI Productions
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, products, or companies 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.
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Exploring the Pros and Cons of Personal Loans

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Personal Loans

A personal loan is a strong option when you need to borrow money to cover a medical bill or home repair, or to consolidate debt. But before you decide that a personal loan will meet your needs, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages that come along with them.

We’ll do a deep dive into interest rates, borrowing limits, fees and penalties, and lender requirements to get the best terms.

What Are Personal Loans?

A personal loan is money that you borrow from a bank, credit union, or online lender. It’s an installment loan, so you agree to repay the loan principal and interest at regular intervals — usually monthly.

When you apply for a personal loan, your lender will run a credit check, which will help determine your interest rate. Generally speaking, borrowers with higher credit scores have a better chance of being offered lower interest rates. The higher your interest rate, the more money it will cost you to borrow.

Recommended: 11 Types of Personal Loans

The Benefits of Personal Loans

Personal loans are a flexible option for borrowers looking to accomplish a variety of goals, from consolidating other debts to remodeling their home. Here’s a look at some of the advantages.

Comparatively Low Interest Rates

Personal loans offer relatively low interest rates when compared to other methods of short-term borrowing. The average personal loan interest rate is 9.41% according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve. Credit cards by comparison have average interest rates of 14.56% and up, and a personal line of credit can have interest rates that vary between 9.30% and 17.55%.

Some forms of predatory short-term lending, such as payday loans , can charge the equivalent of many times these rates to borrow.

Average Interest Rates

Personal Loans 9.41%
Credit Card 14.56%
Personal Line of Credit 9.30% – 17.55%

Comparatively High Borrowing Limits

Small personal loans are usually for amounts of $3,000 or less. (Smaller loans often come with lower interest rates.) However, some lenders will offer loans of up to $100,000 to cover major expenses and life events, which may be quite a bit more than other credit options.

The average credit limit for credit cards, by comparison, is $30,365, according to credit reporting bureau Experian. Personal lines of credit have a range of limits from $1,000 to $100,000, similar to the range offered by personal loans.

Borrowing Limits

Personal Loans Up to $100,000
Credit Card Average limit of $30,365
Personal Line of Credit Up to $100,000

Personal Loans Can Be Used for Many Things

Some types of loans must be used for designated purposes. Auto loans must be used to buy a car, and a mortgage must be used to finance a house. Personal loans, on the other hand, have few restrictions on how you must use the money, and you can generally use it for any purpose.

Recommended: Common Uses for a Personal Loan

No Collateral Necessary

Unsecured personal loans are the most common type of personal loans. They are not backed by collateral, such as your car or home.

Some personal loans are secured, and require you to borrow against the equity in your personal assets, like a home or your savings. With a secured vs. unsecured personal loan, the lender can seize your property if you default, selling it to recoup their loss. As a result, secured loans present less risk for the lender and often come with lower interest rates than unsecured loans.

Simple to Manage

You can use personal loans to consolidate other, higher-interest debt, for example, by paying off the balance on several high-interest credit cards. A single personal loan can offer cheaper interest, lowering the cost of your debt over time. And it may be easier to manage, since you only have one bill to pay each month.

Can Help Building Credit

Your lender will likely report your personal loan and payment history to the three credit reporting bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. In fact, 35% of your FICO® score — the most commonly used credit score — is determined by your payment history. You can build up a strong credit history over time merely by avoiding late or missed payments.

The Disadvantages of Personal Loans

Without properly weighing the potential disadvantages, personal loans can be a bad idea for some borrowers.

Higher Interest Rates Than Some Alternatives

Personal loans may carry higher interest rates than some alternatives. For example, if you’re looking to remodel your home, you might consider taking out a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

A home equity loan uses your home as collateral. As of June 2022, the average interest rate on a 10-year fixed home equity loan was 6.02%. A home equity line of credit, is a revolving credit line that uses your home as collateral. Borrowers with good credit can qualify for interest rates ranging from 3% to 5%. Those with below-average credit are likely to receive interest rates that range from 9% to 10%.

Fees and Penalties

Some lenders may charge fees and penalties in association with personal loans. For instance, an origination fee helps pay for the processing of your loan application and is usually equal to a percentage of the loan amount. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid origination fees.

Lenders may also charge prepayment penalties if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule, to make up for profit they are losing on interest payments.

Can Increase Debt

Take out a personal loan only if you are sure you can pay it off and it makes financial sense. For example, a home remodel could increase the value of your home, and consolidating credit card debt could save you money in interest payments.

Avoid taking out a loan that is for more money than you need to avoid the risk of taking on more debt than necessary.

Alternatives to Personal Loans

In addition to personal loans, you may wish to explore other forms of credit that can help you finance big and small expenses.

•  Credit cards allow users to make purchases using credit, which they pay back at the end of each billing cycle. Borrowers must make minimum payments and owe interest on any balance they carry from month to month.

•  A personal line of credit (PLOC) is similar to a credit card. It allows you to tap your credit line as needed. Credit is replenished when you pay back your loan.

•  A home equity loan uses a borrower’s home as collateral. The value of the property determines the loan amount.

•  A home equity line of credit is a revolving source of credit, like credit cards and PLOCs. As with home equity loans, HELOCs use the borrower’s home as collateral.

Exploring Personal Loans Further

A personal loan is a type of installment loan, usually unsecured, that allows you to use the money for a variety of unexpected expenses. Borrowers with higher credit scores have a better chance of being offered lower interest rates. This is important because the higher your interest rate, the more money it will cost you to borrow. Also, some lenders charge extra fees and penalties.

If you’ve explored your options and decide that a personal loan is right for you, it’s wise to shop around to find the right loan. Consider personal loans from SoFi, which offers loans of up to $100,000 with no fees. Check SoFi personal loan rates and your own personal loan rate. Borrowers may receive funding as quickly as the same day it is approved.

Compared with high-interest credit cards, a SoFi Personal Loan is simply better debt.

FAQ

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is a loan you receive from a bank, credit union, or online lender. Borrowers pay back the principal and interest in regular installments.

What can you use a personal loan for?

Personal loans have few usage restrictions. You can use them for everything from covering an unexpected medical bill to remodeling your kitchen.

How much money can you get from a personal loan?

Personal loan amounts may range from a few hundred dollars up to $100,000 from some lenders.

Photo credit: iStock/Anchiy
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, products, or companies 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.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

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.
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Pawnshop Loan: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Pawnshop Loan: What Is It & How Does It Work?

If you’re strapped for cash and have a hard time qualifying for traditional loans, or you live in an underbanked area, you may be considering a pawnshop loan. They appear to be a convenient option — consider that there are 10,000 pawn shops currently operating in the country — but they can also come with significant disadvantages, including high fees.

Before putting your valuables down in pawn, learn more about what pawnshop loans are and how they work.

What Is a Pawnshop Loan?

A pawnshop loan is a secured, or collateralized, loan. To borrow the money you must produce an item of value as collateral – such as a piece of jewelry, a musical instrument, electronics, or an antique – that provides backing for the loan. You and the seller agree to a loan amount and a term. If you don’t pay back the loan within the agreed amount of time, the pawnshop can sell the item to recoup the amount of the loan.

Pawnshops will typically offer you 25% to 60% of the resale value of an item. The average size of a pawnshop loan is $150 over the course of 30 days.

Aside from the need for collateral, there are few other requirements to qualify for a pawnshop loan. You typically don’t need to prove your income or submit to a credit check.

Recommended: Loans Based on Income

How Do Pawnshop Loans Work?

Pawnshops don’t charge interest on the loans they offer. However, the borrower is responsible for paying financing fees that can make the cost of borrowing higher than other loan options.

Regulations around what pawnshops can charge vary by state, but you could end up paying the equivalent of many times the interest charged by conventional loans.

Say you bring in a $600 guitar to a pawnshop, and they offer you 25% of the resale value, or $150. On top of that, let’s say the pawnshop charges a financing fee of 25%. That means you’ll owe $37.50 in financing fees, or $187.50 in total.

If you agree to the loan, the pawnbroker will typically give you cash immediately. They’ll also give you a pawn tick, which acts as a receipt for the item you’ve pawned. Keep that ticket in a safe place. If you lose it, you may not be able to retrieve your item.

You’ll usually have 30 to 60 days to repay your loan and claim your item. According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, 85% of people manage to do this successfully. When a borrower pays off a pawnshop loan, they can retrieve the item they put in pawn. For those who don’t, the pawnshop will keep the item and put it up for sale. There is no other penalty for failing to pay off your loan, but you do lose your item permanently.

Recommended: Can You Get a Loan Without a Bank Account?

The Pros and Cons of Pawnshop Loans

In general, it’s best to seek traditional forms of lending, such as personal loans, if you can: They tend to be cheaper and help you build credit. However, if you need cash the same day and you don’t qualify for other loans, you might consider a pawnshop loan. Carefully weigh the pros and cons to help you make your decision.

Pros of a Pawnshop Loan

•  Access to cash quickly. When you agree to a pawnshop loan, you can typically walk out with cash in hand immediately.

•  No qualifications. The ability to provide an object of value is often the only qualification for a pawnshop loan.

•  Failure to pay doesn’t hurt credit. While you will certainly lose the item that you put in pawn if you don’t pay back your loan, there are no other ramifications. Your credit score will not take a hit.

•  Loans aren’t sent to collections. If you don’t pay back your loan, no collections agency will hound you until you pay.

Recommended: How Do Collection Agencies Work?

Cons of a Pawnshop Loan

•  High fees. The financing fees associated with pawnshop loans can be much more expensive than traditional methods of obtaining credit, including credit cards and personal loans. Consider that the average interest rate on a personal loan is 9.41% as of February 2022, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, whereas pawnshop financing fees could range from 12% to 240% or more.

•  Loans are relatively small. The average size of a pawnshop loan is just $150. If you need money to cover a more costly expense, you may end up scrambling for cash elsewhere.

•  You won’t build credit. Pawnshop loans are not reported to the credit reporting bureaus, so paying them off on time doesn’t give you credit score a boost.

•  You may lose your item. If you can’t come up with the money by the due date, you’ll lose the item you put in pawn. (Same if you lose your pawn ticket.)

Pros and Cons at a Glance

Pros

Cons

Quick access to cash. Financing fees can range from 12% to 240% and contribute significantly to the cost of the loan.
No qualifications, such as credit check or proof of income. Pawnshop loans aren’t reported to the credit reporting bureaus, so they won’t help you build credit.
Failure to pay doesn’t hurt credit. If you fail to pay back your loan on time, or you lose your pawn ticket, you can’t reclaim your item.
Loans can’t be sent to collections. Loans are relatively small, just $150 on average.

What Is a Pawnshop Title Loan?

A pawnshop title loan is a loan in which you use the title of your car as collateral for your loan. You can typically continue driving your vehicle over the course of the loan agreement. However, as with other pawnshop loans, if you fail to repay your loan on time, the pawnbroker can seize your car.

Typical Requirements to Get a Loan Through a Pawnshop

There are typically few requirements to get a pawnshop loan, since the loan is collateralized by the item you put in pawn and the pawnbroker holds on to that item over the course of the loan. However, pawnbrokers do want to avoid dealing in stolen goods, so they may require that you show some proof of ownership, such as a receipt.

Alternative Loan Options

There are a number of benefits of personal loans that make them a good alternative to pawnshop loans. Personal loans are usually unsecured, meaning there is usually no collateral for a personal loan. Lenders will typically run a credit check, and borrowers with good credit scores usually qualify for the best terms and interest rates. That said, some lenders offer personal loans for people with bad credit.

If you qualify for a personal loan, the loan amount will be given to you in a lump sum, which you then repay over a course of monthly installments. The money can be used for any purpose.

Personal loans payments are reported to the credit reporting bureaus, and on-time payments can help boost your credit score.

The Takeaway

If you only need a small amount of money, you don’t qualify for other credit, or if you’re looking for a loan without a bank account, you may consider a pawnshop loan. Just beware that they are potentially costly alternatives to other forms of credit.

Consider a personal loan option from SoFi, which offers a low fixed rate for those who qualify.

Compared with high-interest credit cards, a SoFi Personal Loan is simply better debt.

FAQ

How is a loan obtained through a pawnshop?

To borrow money from a pawnshop you must present an item of value that can act as collateral for the loan. The pawnbroker may then provide a loan based on the value of that item.

What happens if you don’t pay back your pawnshop loan?

If you fail to pay back your pawnshop loan on time, you won’t be able to reclaim your item, and the pawnshop will sell it to recoup their losses.

What’s the most a pawnshop loan will pay?

On average, a pawnshop will loan you about 25% to 60% of an item’s resale value, and the average pawnshop loan is $150 over 30 days.


Photo credit: iStock/miriam-doerr
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.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

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.
Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.
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Guide to Prime Loans

You may have heard that the better your credit score, the better your potential loan rates and offers may be. Why is that? That’s because your credit score determines your creditworthiness. A good credit score may qualify you for what’s known as a prime loan.

Here, what a prime loan is and how it works.

Understanding a Prime Loan

To understand a prime loan, it’s important to understand the prime rate. The prime rate is established by banks as the interest rate given to prime customers. This number is based on the federal funds rate set by the Federal Reserve.

When interest rates are low, the prime rate across banks will be low. But if the Fed raises interest rates, rates across banks — even for prime borrowers — will also increase.

This matters when you’re considering a fixed-rate loan, like a mortgage or a personal loan. Lower interest rates now mean that you will lock in a lower rate for the life of your loan. But prime rates also extend to variable-rate debt, like credit card debt or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Prime Loan Borrowers

When the bank sets its rates, they set a prime rate as the basis of their loan rates, which may be higher or lower based on the creditworthiness of each applicant. The prime rate is set considering the Federal Reserve rates, as well as other factors including the bank’s own desired return on the loan. But in general, prime rates are very similar, if not identical, between major banks.

According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), borrowers with a credit score of 660 to 719 generally receive prime rates. Borrowers with scores above 720 are considered “super-prime” borrowers, and will receive even more favorable interest rates. The interest rates for super-prime borrowers will be lower than the prime rate.

Here are the rate categories for borrowers:

Category

Credit Score

Deep subprime Below 580
Near prime 620 to 659
Prime 660 to 719
Super prime Above 720

Knowing your credit score can help you assess the category you will fit in.

Prime Loan Rates

As mentioned above, prime loan rates are set by the bank and change based on the federal fund rate. When the federal fund rate moves, so will the prime rate. As of this writing, the prime rate is 4.75%, according to the Wall Street Journal.

So does this mean that any loan you apply for will have a 4.75% interest rate? No. APR rates will vary based on the type of loan you apply for. Banks may have their own formula but there are some rules of thumb.

For example, credit card interest rates are generally set at “prime + 13.99%.” As the prime rate changes, so will your interest rate. But in general, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be.

Prime Loan Example

How Does the Prime Loan Rate Affect You?

The prime loan rate affects everyone. From buying a car to buying a house to opening a credit card, the prime loan rate will determine how much interest you’ll pay. You may be more vulnerable to prime loan rate fluctuations if you have a lot of variable interest loans, like credit card debt. As the prime rate climbs, so too might the APR of your cards. When you see a prime rate hike, it can mean that your APR will quickly rise as well.

Conversely, when the prime rate falls, some people use that time to refinance a mortgage or lock in a rate for a loan, like a personal loan or an auto loan.

Because the prime rate affects credit cards, some people who carry a high credit card balance who have good credit may consider using a personal loan to consolidate their credit card debt. This is one way to use a personal loan to pay less overall interest, depending on the rates offered.

What Is the Difference Between a Prime Loan and Subprime Loan?

There are a few differences between a prime loan and subprime loan. Not only do prime loans have the most favorable interest rates, but they also may affect how large a loan you can take, among other things. Here, some differences between a prime loan vs. a subprime loan.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are one of the most obvious differences between a prime and subprime loan. But even within categories, like a prime borrower, there may be subcategories that receive different interest rate offers. For example, a prime borrower with a credit score near super-prime territory may receive more favorable rates than a borrower whose credit is close to subprime.

Repayment Periods

A subprime borrower may also have fewer options when it comes to repayment periods. They may have a shorter repayment period at a higher interest rate than a prime borrower.

Down Payments

A prime borrower may have a low, or no, down payment required for a loan. But subprime borrowers may have to make a larger down payment to qualify for a loan. This is especially true for loans like car loans or mortgages.

Loan Amounts

Prime borrowers may have access to greater loan amounts than subprime borrowers.

Fees

Non-prime borrowers may also have to pay more loan fees than a prime borrower. This may be due to the types of loans they can access. If they can’t get a loan from a traditional bank, a subprime borrower may seek payday loans or other loans that require fees. Different types of personal loans besides loans offered by traditional banks may include payday loans, hard money loans, and other loans that may require collateral, or have high fees and interest rates.

What Do You Need To Qualify for a Prime Loan?

Your credit score will determine what type of loan is offered to you. But a lender will take other details into consideration, including your credit history and employment status. But a good rule of thumb is to make sure your credit score is as high as possible before you apply for a loan to receive the most favorable terms.

The Takeaway

The prime rate is out of your control. But so much of your interest rate is under your control, including your credit score. Building your credit score can help you have the most competitive loan options, whether you’re researching personal loans, credit card offers, mortgages, or refinancing your student loans.

If you’re applying for a personal loan, personal loan approval tips include assessing your credit score. If it’s not where you’d like it to be, you might want to consider building your credit before applying for a personal loan. Subprime personal loans may exist, but they may be for lower amounts at higher interest rates than ones offered for prime borrowers.

Rates may be different across banks so it’s worth comparing personal loan interest rates. You can check your rate for personal loans without it affecting your credit score. Doing so can help you determine the types of loan rates, as well as amounts, you may be eligible for.

Check your personal loan rate from SoFi here.

FAQ

What does prime mean in loans?

Prime in loans means the borrower is considered a low lending risk. The bank will set a prime rate that will then be the basis for interest rates across lending products, including mortgages, car loans, personal loans, and credit card offers.

Is there a difference between prime loans and subprime loans?

Yes. Prime loans are given to people whose credit scores generally fall into a 660 to 719 range. (Borrowers with credit scores above that are considered superprime borrowers and may be given even more favorable rates.) But there are also categories within the prime range — people with higher credit scores may get a lower rate than people with lower scores, even if their scores fall into the “prime” category.

In addition to interest rates, prime borrowers may also have longer repayment period options, more access to credit, lower fees, and a smaller down payment obligation than subprime borrowers.

What is the current loan prime rate?

The current loan prime rate is 4.75%.


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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, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

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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.

Pros Cons

•   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.

Pros Cons

•   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.

FAQ

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.
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