Best Egg Review - My Experience Applying For A Loan From Best Egg
Best Egg is an online loan marketplace enabling you to apply with several lenders with a single loan application. They target those with average credit or better, with the general credit score minimum of 660. Interest rates are a little bit lower than is typical for personal loans, but the origination fee is a little bit higher. They also have stiff income requirements, with the minimum income of $50,000. And though the normal maximum loan amount is $35,000, you can qualify for a higher amount with a minimum income of $100,000, and a higher credit score (700+).
- Average credit
- Solid income
- Better rates
- Competitive offers
- Multiple lenders
Best Egg is a great option for getting a personal loan. But they have a strict lending guidelines to keep their rates competitive.
Back in 2011, a woman by the name of Lori Volk was 50 years old.
She had two kids in college and one finishing high school.
She was also let go from her part-time job doing coordination for substitute teachers within the local school district.
She had no clue how she was going to pay for her kids’ college, let alone keep herself afloat.
But she made a mean Lemonade.
She used to joke about selling this specialty lavender lemonade she’d made for her kids to sell in their driveway years ago.
Until someone at the school wanted to sample it.
After everyone at the school loved it, she decided it was time to roll the dice a bit.
Yahoo! Finance tells the rest of the story best:
Four months later, bottles of Lori’s Original Lemonade appeared on the shelves of two local stores, and the momentum built from there. Eventually, Volk’s lemonade made its way into Whole Foods stores throughout Southern California, and grocer Vons put it on shelves in 352 of its stores. Lori’s Original Lemonade now appears in about 800 stores in several states, including Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.
Guess how Lori got started?
With a $5,000 personal loan.
Now, not everyone’s dreams can be made true by taking out a small loan—but Lori is just another in the many success stories we’ve seen from people who need a little boost, have a clearly defined plan, and take action on it.
In this article I want to share with you one of our favorite online loan providers—Best Egg.
Best Egg is strict about who they give loans to, which has helped them become wildly successful. Whether you’re looking to pay off your debt or start a business like Lori, Best Egg can help. Let’s get into it.
What is Best Egg?
Officially launched in 2014 and backed by a company called Marlette Funding, LLC, Best Egg is an online lending platform that provides fast personal loans for anything from home improvement to debt consolidation to medical bills.
If you need to borrow money, Best Egg can help. As they say on their website:
For those who want to make a change in their lives, Best Egg can be a simple solution to achieving your financial goals—and we make the process of applying for, getting approved, and servicing a personal loan seamless and hassle-free.
Best Egg has grown significantly since their opening in 2014. As of this writing, they’ve funded over $6 billion in loans and served over 420,000 individual customers. That’s massive. And they’re a well-respected company, too. Best Egg currently has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has over 1,700 customer ratings with close to a five-star rating.
How Best Egg works
Best Egg works by taking a quick application from you online, then presents you with several pre-qualified offers for you to choose from.
Assuming you qualify, you can then proceed with a full application (more on this below) and receive your funds within as little as one business day.
Who is Best Egg good for?
Best Egg is good for people who need to borrow money for a specific purpose and meet their minimum requirements. According to Best Egg, their customers:
- Have income and are looking to access additional money
- Want to make a change with their finances for the better
- Want to get money quickly to start making those changes now
- Want to get a loan without the hassle
That being said, Best Egg does have eligibility requirements.
Here are the minimum qualifications:
1. A credit score of 660
Best Egg prefers a credit score of over 700, but you can still qualify with a 660 or higher. Your credit score is one of the key metrics to evaluate your financial situation.
2. Three years of credit history
Best Egg prefers to lend to people who have had credit for at least a few years. If you haven’t established credit yet, don’t worry, we can teach you what you need to do. If you’re close to three years, here are some tips on maintaining a good score until you hit that point.
3. 40 percent (or lower) debt-to-income ratio
4. Income of at least $50,000
Best Egg prefers customers making at least $100,000+, but you can still qualify if you make at least $50,000 per year.
Who isn’t Best Egg good for?
Best Egg isn’t good for you if you’re not in a decent financial situation. As you can see with the minimum qualifications above, Best Egg doesn’t just loan money to anyone. The reason they’ve been successful is that they’re picky about who they lend money to.
They want their customers to have a basic understanding of financial responsibility and have a plan in mind about how they’re going to improve their financial situation.
Like they say on their site, “Best Egg is here to get you the money you need to get back to your life.” They want to help their customers, not just make a quick buck off of them. So if you don’t have a steady job with a solid income, you haven’t built credit, or your credit isn’t slightly above average, you might want to consider some other options.
Best Egg details and fees
Before you jump in and apply for a loan, there are a few things to know about the details of how Best Egg structures their loans. Here is the need-to-know information:
- Terms: 36 or 60 months.
- APR: 5.99 percent – 29.99 percent. While average loan rates would suggest most customers getting around a 15 percent APR, those with the best credit profiles can qualify for rates as low as 5.99 percent. For a personal loan rate, this is astounding.
- Loan amounts: $2,000 – $35,000. You have to request a minimum of $2,000 but can go all the way up to $35,000. This is a nice option if you have major expenses to pay for or multiple credit card balances to consolidate. One thing to note—Best Egg will allow you to have more than one loan with them, as long as the total doesn’t go over $50,000 (this is uncommon with most personal loan lenders).
- Credit impact: Soft pull to pre-qualify, hard pull for full application.
- Origination fee: 0.99 percent – 5.99 percent. This is going to be based on your creditworthiness. An origination fee is the cost a lender charges to fund a loan and is one of the primary ways banks make money. A word of caution here: This can get pretty expensive, depending on how much you’re borrowing. For example, a 5.99 percent origination fee on a $30,000 loan is $1,797. Note: Best Egg also deducts the origination fee from the amount you borrow, so you might need to borrow a little more if you need an exact amount.
- Prepayment penalty: None. Some lenders, especially ones with defined term lengths such as Best Egg, will charge a fee when you pay your loan off early—Best Egg does not do this.
- Late fee: $15. If you make a payment that is at least three days past your due date, you’ll be charged a $15 late fee. Obviously, if you go past three days, it can have an impact on your credit score, so be conscious of making on-time payments.
- Payment processing fee: $7, if you aren’t on autopay. If you enroll in autopay with Best Egg, which I highly recommend, you can avoid a $7 payment processing fee. To me, it makes no sense to pay this for making a payment, and Best Egg is encouraging you to use autopay by putting this charge in place.
- Payment return fee: $15. If you have insufficient funds or if your payment gets returned for any reason, you’ll be hit with a $15 charge.
My experience with the application process
The application process with Best Egg is really easy to get started. In fact, I started the process and got to the point of putting in my social security number in about one minute. If you have an offer code, you can input that with your email address (some customers get specialized offers):
If not, you can just input your email address and start the process:
From there, you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this:
You’ll enter the following:
- Loan reason (i.e. credit card consolidation)
- Amount needed
- First name
- Last name
- Street address
- Zip code
- Date of birth
After you consent and click continue, you’ll be taken to a second screen which will give Best Egg a few more bits of needed information to provide you with some pre-qualified offers:
On this screen you’ll enter the following:
- Employment status (i.e. salaried employee)
- Individual gross annual income
- Household income
- Social security number (*note: the site is secure and this is needed to provide you with accurate offers)
- Credit card cash advances taken in the last 6 months (taking a lot of cash off of credit cards may signify financial stress)
- Home type (i.e. own or rent)
- Monthly housing payment (mortgage or rent)
- Phone number (they will follow up with you)
After that, click “check my rates” and you’ll be presented with pre-qualified offers to select from. I obviously didn’t proceed with the application here since this was just for demonstration purposes.
At this point, you will select your pre-qualified offer and move forward to do a full application. Remember, this is the point at which a hard pull will take place and your credit score will be impacted. This is the only way to get a loan fully approved and funded, though, so just make sure you are selecting the correct loan you want and you’re prepared to take on the balance and make payments.
Pros & Cons
- Lower rates — Interest rates are somewhat lower than is typical for online lenders
- Loan amounts — You can get higher loan amounts with a higher income and credit score
- Reputation — Company has a strong reputation
- Strict qualification — Credit and income qualification are more strict than other loan sources
- Availability — Not available for borrowers with below average credit
- Not direct — Not a direct lender
How does it compare to other personal loans?
With the minimum qualifications and pre-defined loan terms, Best Egg just may not be for you. If that’s the case, here are a few other options for you to consider:
The Prosper Marketplace was the first peer-to-peer lending platform to come onto the scene and is now a thriving marketplace for personal loans.
Prosper is different than Best Egg in that it’s a P2P lending platform—meaning you’d borrow money from other people instead of a lending institution such as a bank. P2P has grown in popularity as a way for “lenders” to invest their money—by loaning it to other people.
EVEN Financial is similar to Best Egg in that it will provide you with pre-qualified offers after giving some basic information.
EVEN acts as a conduit between you and other lenders and will provide loans up to $100,000 with rates as low as 4.99 percent. Their terms range from 24 to 84 months, so you have some flexibility there.
Lending Tree has been around for a while and has a great reputation. They offer all types of loans, including mortgages and personal loans.
For personal loans, you can borrow up to $35,000. After entering some basic information, you’ll be presented with several offers from a variety of lenders. This is a lot like Best Egg, but their application process is a little wonkier and you may get better (or worse) rates. I’d suggest trying both.
While Best Egg has some downsides, overall it’s a great option for getting a personal loan. I appreciate how strict they are with some of their lending guidelines because it keeps their rates competitive and allows them to be more successful.
So if you meet the qualifications and you’re looking for a loan—definitely give them a shot. Considering there’s no impact to your credit score when you get a pre-qualified offer, it’s worth your time.