Earnest Personal Loan Review 2024

This review analyzes the personal loans from Earnest, including the interest rates, fees, borrowing amounts, and repayment terms.
Written by Shannon Lee
Financial Expert
Managing Editor

You might be familiar with Earnest as a lender who handled private student loans.

However, Earnest has now partnered with Fiona to work as a lender-matching service.

Though you can apply for a personal loan through Earnest, you will work with one of the company’s partners to sign the loan and make your payments. Here’s what you need to know about Earnest.

Earnest At-a-Glance

Earnest offers a variety of loan options that cater to different purposes, such as vehicle purchases, vacations, and home improvement projects.

Through a collaboration with Fiona, a service facilitating rate comparisons from various lenders, Earnest enables you to evaluate potential rates without undergoing a hard credit check. This approach ensures that you can review your options without any impact on your credit score.

Pros and Cons of the Earnest Personal Loan

Just as every loan company or lender-matching service has advantages, there are also some downsides. Understanding both can help you weigh what matters to you in your personal loan journey.

See Which Lenders Have the Best Personal Loan Rates

Finding the lender with the best rates and lowest fees is as simple as using our search tool. Compare personal loans and find the best rates being offered today.

Compare to Other Personal Loans

When you are looking into personal loans, it’s an excellent idea to shop around. To that end, here are some other personal loan options and how they compare to Earnest.

Lending Club

Lending Club offers loans for smaller amounts, from $1,000 to $40,000.

Terms range from 36 to 60 months (except for the smallest loans with a shorter term).

There is no prepayment fee, but there is an origination fee with loans through Lending Club.

You can get prequalified with no hard credit check, and co-borrowers are encouraged. This is currently not available in U.S. territories or Iowa.


If you don’t have the greatest credit, Avant might work for you.

Though most customers have credit scores between 600 and 700, the company doesn’t discount those with lower scores, especially if their income and other factors are good.

The maximum APR is on the higher side, which is a con, but a strong pro is the robust mobile app and the soft credit check. You can get loans from $2,000 to $35,000.


SoFi offers high loan amounts of $5,000 to $100,000. However, those with bad credit might not qualify for a loan at all, even with a high APR.

The loans are not available in Mississippi. Those who qualify for a loan can enjoy unemployment protection, career coaching, pertinent financial events, and a discount for autopay.

No joint loans are available.

Who Is an Earnest Personal Loan For?

This personal loan is for just about anyone, as the loan can be used for various things. As with most personal loan companies, you can use the loan for medical bills, emergency bills, home improvement, weddings, vacations, and other personal endeavors.

However, you can also find a loan for a vehicle, relocation, debt consolidation, and private student loans. Earnest also works with lenders that cater to those with bad to fair credit.

Top Features of the Earnest Personal Loan

Understanding the features of this personal loan service can help you decide if it’s right for you. Here’s what to expect from working with Earnest.

No Hard Credit Check

Apply once with Earnest to allow all lenders to see your information. This prevents the hassle of a credit score hit by various lenders, which could quickly lower your score. The soft credit check shows up on your credit report but has no bearing on that all-important number, thus allowing you to get more credit in the future.


Apply to many lenders immediately and see your potential rates within minutes. This allows you to weed through the ones that won’t accept you and get down to the ones that will. It also allows you to look at potential rates without hurting your credit score or making any promises.

The Potential for a Cosigner

If you want to add a cosigner, you can. You must have a cosigner who is a resident of the United States over the age of 18, with a minimum income of $35,000 per year and a minimum credit score of 650.

A Wide Range of Loan Amounts

The loans from most lenders go up to $50,000 (except for SoFi, which goes up to $100,000). Because Earnest works with such a vast pool of lenders, your options range from $1,000 for the smallest loan to $250,000. Remember that the highest amounts will likely require high income and top-notch credit scores.

Accepts Bad Credit

Since the company works with so many lenders, there is almost always a good match. Those with bad or fair credit or little credit history might still be able to get a loan by working with Earnest (especially if they choose the cosigner option).

How to Get Started

To apply for a loan through Earnest, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age or older at the time you apply.
  • Reside in one of the states Earnest covers (currently everywhere except Nevada, Puerto Rico, and other territories).
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident.

When you check your rates, you must provide basic information, such as your name and social security number.

Once approved and you choose a loan, that particular lender will tell you what you need to move forward. This usually requires proof of identity and location, proof of income, and a deeper look at your credit history.

Rating the Features

Understanding each feature of Earnest and its services is critical to knowing if you want to work with them.

Here’s how they fared concerning everything from customer service to access.

User Experience

Reviews of Earnest are fairly positive across the internet, suggesting that the company treats its customers well. A complaint to the Better Business Bureau was resolved quickly to the customer’s satisfaction, keeping with their A+ rating.

Signing up is easy and quick, with minimal information needed. The matching service is equally fast, letting you know within 60 seconds if you qualify for loans and which lenders might be interested in working with you.


There is no fee to use Earnest. Your chosen lender might have fees that will be disclosed when you sign the loan. This disclosure is required by law and may include late fees, early repayment fees, and more.


It isn’t easy to pin down rates for Earnest as the company works with many lenders. The rates also depend upon your credit score, how much you choose to borrow, your chosen term, and much more. Though rates change over time, the current potential rates range from 5.99% to 35.99% or higher. Fixed rates and variable rates are available.


Earnest has wide and varied options, as it works with many lenders. Most users who apply for a loan will find a lender that meets their needs.

Customer Support

There is no mobile app; all work with Earnest is done online. However, you can reach the company via email, 24/7 chat, and phone from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Remember that Earnest might be unable to assist with your loan, depending on the lender’s policies.


Earnest works with customers in every state except Nevada, and there might be some restrictions concerning loans for private student loan refinancing. Earnest isn’t available in any U.S. territory, including Puerto Rico.

Bottom Line

Earnest is great for those who want to look at a wide variety of options for personal loans while not affecting their credit score. 

This allows you to take the time to compare offers from various lenders before you make a move that would result in a hard credit check. 

Since so many options are available, those with bad or fair credit should feel free to see what is out there through Earnest and Fiona.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need collateral for a loan through Earnest?

No. These unsecured loans are based on your creditworthiness, income, and other factors. You will not be asked to provide collateral for an unsecured loan.

Can I use my loan for anything at all?

Though each lender is different, most of them will be clear that you cannot use a loan for anything illegal, and you can’t use it for school expenses. Look into the lender you choose to find out what is okay and what is not.

How soon can I get funding?

Though this depends upon your lender, most personal loans are available to customers within two or three days of completing all paperwork and other requirements. Some lenders can make those funds available during the same business day.

About Author
Shannon Lee
Shannon Lee, a versatile contributor to MoneyRates, is a freelance writer with a passion that spans over two decades. Her extensive writing portfolio encompasses a myriad of topics, ranging from personal finance and home improvement to education, relationships, and medical and health subjects. In addition to her prolific freelance career, Shannon is also a novelist. Shannon’s dedication to providing insightful and informative content makes her a valued voice in the world of personal finance.
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