Many times when a loan agreement is entered, the terms are less-than-ideal for the borrower. This can be due to many factors such as urgency, limited options, or current creditworthiness. Whether it’s refinancing these types of loans or securing new loans, Credible aims to be the solution.
What Is Credible?
Credible is an online marketplace that provides borrowers with competitive, personalized loan offers from multiple, vetted lenders in real-time. Though not a lender itself, it is a platform that specializes in quick comparison shopping of a variety of consumer loan products. A streamlined prequalification process delivers rates from lenders instantly.
Founded in 2012, Credible has since built out a service that, not only seamlessly connects borrowers with customized rates and lenders, but also provides educational content on core lending and borrowing topics. Between the educational content and products, they have become a near one-stop-shop for borrowers.
Overall Rating – 4.6 ★ / 5 ★
Credible seamlessly delivers on customer experience, ease of use, and simplicity. The ideal user of Credible will be someone that is interested in quickly exploring and comparing many options. This could be especially useful for those looking to consolidate or refinance loans and prioritize low rates. The broad range of lenders are able to quickly cater to competitive rates and terms to a spectrum of unique borrowers.
There is some downside to the quick and easy comparison tools and all of the different options provided. If you’re someone who likes to know all the details before moving forward, the selection dashboard may not have all the information desired. That being said, Credible does make a substantial effort to provide informative articles and lender reviews within the website to be referenced.
- Free and easy to use
- Access to multiple loan types
- See prequalified rates without a hard-credit check
- Quick comparison of rates from multiple lenders
- Doesn’t sell your information
- Potentially limited selection of lenders
- Additional research may be needed
Products – 4.5 ★ / 5 ★
The focus of the service is to provide loan options for consumers looking for a variety of solutions. Lending partners go through a vetting process to ensure they are a good fit for the platform in terms of pricing, transparency, and trustworthiness. These lending partners include some of the most popular and trusted in the industry such as: College Ave, Citizens Bank, Sallie Mae, SoFi, Lending Club, Avant, and Prosper. This large network of lenders are easy to sift through and compare all in one view.
Credible provides loan solutions for a variety of different purposes:
Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing
Private student loans can be compared on their site by completing the two-minute prequalification process. Although federal loans can only be secured through a school’s financial aid office, Credible can also help with refinancing federal, ParentPLUS, and private student loans. One other positive note to add is that, per their website, partners offering student loans and student loan refinancing on Credible’s site do not charge prepayment penalties, service fees, or origination fees.
Loans are available for credit card consolidation, home improvement, moving costs, wedding expenses, vacations and many other financial goals. Lenders in the Credible marketplace offer personal loans to qualified borrowers up to $100,000, though the typical amount is around $40,000.
Mortgages & Mortgage Refinancing*
The entire origination process from rate comparison up to closing, and even refinancing, can all be done on Credible. The end-to-end experience is provided using “Smart Technology” to streamline questions and automating the document upload process – and status updates are given every step of the way.
*Disclosure: Mortgages through Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS ID #1681276 located at 22 4th St., 8th floor. San Francisco, CA 94103
Credible also offers a surprisingly easy-to-navigate and robust view for comparing a variety of credit cards. The credit card options can be refined by the features most desired, such as: cash back and travel rewards, zero annual fee, welcome offer, and no foreign transaction fee.
Ease of Use – 4.8 ★ / 5 ★
While providing a decent selection of core financial products, none of the usability of the platform was sacrificed. It is easy to determine which products are offered and how to effectively navigate the site. If any assistance is needed with product details or the application process, we found the customer support to be very responsive and knowledgeable.
The overall application process was quicker than expected, here is a breakdown of it:
First, select your product. Different loans through the site will require unique information to achieve the most accurate rates. With all product options, the minimum that needs to be provided is:
- Borrowers name
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Employment information
- Education background
- Annual income
- Estimated annual expenses
- Requested loan amount
Finally, an account is made and approval is asked in order to perform a soft credit inquiry. This means comparison and rate checking can all be done without any impact on a consumer credit score. Of course, once a particular lender is selected, a hard credit check will be performed as a prerequisite for securing any type of loan.
Next, a number of rates with associated lenders, terms, and other valuable information, are shown in a dashboard view to compare and select from. The tools on this page are user-friendly and are easily navigable. Loans can be filtered based on type, such as fixed or variable, and sorted by rate monthly payment, term, loan amount, and lifetime interest. In some settings, there are also some useful tools to estimate savings. Providers, interest rates, and payment amounts vary depending on your situation.
After narrowing down the choices based on what you’re looking for, a loan is selected and applied for through the lender. For credit card and personal loans this is done on the lender/credit card issuer’s site. For student loans, student loan refinancing and mortgages, the entire application process is completed on Credible, streamlining the process for you. Although it’s not completely necessary as all Credible partners are vetted for trustworthiness, it is recommended that a few extra steps of research be put in prior to moving forward. A new feature to Credible’s website is a review of each of the lenders that you may have seen in this prequalification process. Lenders can also be researched online by searching for user reviews, product reviews, and visiting their website.
With any loan, we always recommend doing your research and knowing exactly what you’re signing up for. There are many lender specific conditions outside of Credible’s control. Lenders are responsible for verifying documentation, performing a hard credit inquiry, and underwriting. A loan offer can be received in as little as 1 business day.
Pricing – 5 ★ / 5 ★
One of the best features of Credible is that, just like Savology, the platform is free for the customer to get prequalified. Everything that can be done on their site, applying, comparing, and selecting a loan, has no cost and there are no fees unless you choose borrower-paid compensation (as opposed to lender paid compensation) when obtaining a mortgage. Credible is paid through business partnerships with lenders if a loan is closed through the use of their site.
How do their rates compare?
Since Credible doesn’t originate their own loans, they are incentivized to provide unbiased support. In an effort to provide the most accurate rates, credit scores, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and educational background are considered. A co-signer can be added to find the best rate and increase the chances of approval.
In our experience, the rates that were provided during comparison shopping were similar to those on the lenders site. The added benefit is that you get to compare all of these rates across providers simultaneously without going to each lender separately. Also, going directly to the lender may involve a more extensive process, requiring a hard-credit inquiry and likely validating income and other pieces of information. Furthermore, rates are time-sensitive, and may need to be quickly acted on to be locked in.
Trustworthiness – 4.2 ★ / 5 ★
Credible’s service doesn’t come at a cost to you later down the road either. According to their privacy rules, they will never share your information without your permission. After filling in an online application more than 10 days ago, no spam mail or calls had been received. However, subsequent email reminders to continue the application process from Credible did come through every few days. While this may not be considered spam and can be helpful, it may not be preferred by everyone, but you can always opt-out of these emails.
Credible also has a Best Rate Guarantee for personal loans and student loan refinancing to suggest to borrowers that they will back their claims of having low rates. If a better student loan refinancing or personal loan rate is found (and closed) elsewhere, they’ll give you $200 (Terms and Conditions apply). Even though we haven’t found rates better anywhere else anyway, and the guarantee satisfaction process seems a little impractical, this is a nice gesture and shows confidence in their ability to deliver on their promise.
It’s also nice to know that what you’re inputting into their site is kept secure. Credible’s website and representatives list their use of SSL certificates and a 256-bit security system as a point of pride. 256-bit encryption is one of the most secure methods for protecting user data. These are industry-standard, especially in dealing with sensitive customer information.
All-in-all, Credible is able to deliver on its promises and integrates a high level of transparency and simplicity to an otherwise complex financial solution. Credible seamlessly delivers on customer experience, ease of use, and simplicity in a loan marketplace. Customers agree to this and subsequently have reported an A+ on BBB and 4.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot in favor of Credible.
This review is provided by and expresses the opinions of Savology to help users make informed financial decisions. Savology does not receive compensation for its product or provider recommendations but views such recommendations as an important part of helping people progress toward financial security.