Credible Review - Your One-Stop-Shop For Loan Comparisons
Credible is one of the most popular loan portals online today. It is a free tool that specializes in finding borrowers private student loans, student loans refinancing, mortgages, and personal loans for the most competitive rates.
- Comparison shoppers
- Low rate seekers
Credible is known to be the go-to solution for people looking to get lower rates on their student loan refinancing, private student loans, personal loans, mortgage loans, and more.
Picture this. You’re fresh out of college, ready to take on the world, and full of bright, hopeful ambition for your future. That zest for adventure lasts right up until you get your first student loan payment request. Your carefree attitude towards life inversely proportionally shrinks as your student loan payments climb.
Or maybe you haven’t even gotten to that stage of the game. Maybe you’re still looking to pay for college, desperate for a student loan approval. But where do you start? How much do you take out? And how do you find competitive rates?
Or maybe you’re ready to buy a house and you want a quick, easy way to get multiple quotes. Shopping multiple lenders takes time, but it’s important to ensure you get the best rate.
Or maybe you want funds for something like a wedding, an event, or much-needed home improvement. Regardless of the situation, this is where Credible steps in.
A lending marketplace, Credible offers people a quick, easy, and most importantly, reliable venue for comparing loan quotes from top name lenders. I’d seen quite a lot of talk about the company for a few years now, so I decided to test drive Credible’s platform to see if it lived up to the hype.
Here’s what I found out.
What is Credible?
Credible has been around since 2012. It offers students and consumers the ability to easily compare loan quotes in real-time for things like private student loans, student loans refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards.
The thing people like the most about this service (aside from the fact that it’s free) is that it makes comparing rates so simple.
How does Credible work?
Credible is an online marketplace, and works just like a traditional one, only a lot simpler, cleaner, and more convenient.
Borrowers can enter their information into the system and receive price quotes from several lenders simultaneously. They can then compare these personalized loan quotes to find the best option for them.
Here’s how it works:
Fill out the online application form
This is great because everything is done online – a major plus – and the questions are all basic and easy to answer. Also, Credible’s application form only takes around two minutes to complete.
Get actual rates
These are real quotes, not general estimates based on the current rate. The quotes you receive will be based on your credit profile. Also, the information is updated and checked in real-time. So, the quotes you receive are accurate and up to date.
Compare the various student loan offers you are presented with
This is the best part of using Credible. You have several offers spread out before you in an easy comparison format, so you can see which one has the lowest APR, most flexible repayment terms, or the lowest fees.
Something neat about this service is how fast everything happens. As mentioned, the online process means no long waits in line, no sitting around in an office, and no annoying hard sells from an agent. Plus, Credible delivers multiple offers within two minutes. So, you’re saving a ton of time filling out application forms too.
Comparison shopping is really easy with this smart online tool. But the great thing about Credible isn’t even the ease of use. Rather, it’s what happens if you get stuck in the comparison stage. If you can’t decide between several offers, or if you can’t even decipher the differences, Credible has a dedicated Client Success Team with financial experts on call.
These pros will help you understand the offers you’re being given, clarify the strengths and weaknesses of each quote and brand, and help you come to the right lender for you.
Connect with your lender for the hard credit pull
When you’ve chosen a loan, you’ll upload the rest of your personal details, including bank account information and employment pay stubs. Credible has a good import tool that makes this stage much faster than it is with other lending portals I’ve tried.
This is the more thorough application process, and it’s when the hard credit pull will be done as well. Assuming everything checks out, Credible borrowers usually have their final offer within a single business day (from the final information upload stage). So, you could potentially have this process wrapped up in no time.
What’s worth noting here is that although you are able to get quotes from multiple lenders, at this point, none of your personal information is being shared with anyone else. This is important unless, of course, you enjoy getting those fabulously frustrating solicitation calls from every lender in the network. It’s also good to know that checking your rates with Credible has no effect on your credit score.
How much does Credible cost?
The real selling point for many students and borrowers is the cost. Credible is a TOTALLY FREE service to use!
You can apply for, compare, and complete the entire borrowing process through the system without paying anything. Credible doesn’t charge any service fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties.
Of course, you’ll need to pay the lender for the loan along with any fees that those lenders charge. But what is also encouraging is that Credible only partners with student loan and student loan refinancing lenders that also don’t charge origination, service, or prepayment penalty fees.
Some personal loan lenders charge an origination fee, though, so I’d definitely say to watch out for this. Credible makes a note of clearly stating when a lender charges this fee when you receive a quote. There may be added fees and charges that push the overall value of this particular loan offer way down to the bottom of the list. Also, make sure you take fees into consideration when calculating the overall savings you intend to have from taking out the loan.
Credible is easy to work with and works with a lot of reliable lenders like College Ave, Citizens Bank, Sallie Mae, Discover, SoFi, and The College Investor.
Additionally, Credible has a few interesting features worth pointing out, including:
Best Rate Guarantee
Credible actually guarantees to find the lowest rate for you. If you find a better rate than the one that Credible offers you, you’ll receive $200 for your troubles. Nice! All bonus payments are by gift card. See terms
Student loan refinancing
You can refinance all types of student loans, including federal, private, and ParentPLUS loans, though people will generally want to refinance their private student loans.
Obviously, the goal here is to pay less than you are currently by either lowering your monthly payments or (better yet) your interest rate.
Private student loans
Credible partners also offer a range of student loan options, including fixed and variable rate private loans. These loans can cover most or even all of your student expenses, including books, dorms, transportation, and food.
What I like about Credible for private student lending is the flexibility in repayment terms. Lenders offer a range of options, including deferred payments, interest-only payments, and flat rate payments.
Something else that Credible does really well with its private student loans is the cosigner addition. You can easily add a cosigner to your application, which can land you a lower interest rate on your loan and a greater likelihood for approval. Credible will even let you compare different cosigners to see which one will get you the best rates. That’s an impressive feature.
Credible lenders also offer personal loans that you can use for anything you want from home renovations to a dream vacation or your parents’ 70th birthday bash.
Loan amounts range from $1,000-$50,000 and offer interest rates starting at 4.99% APR (with AutoPay), See Terms*. Borrowers can expect to get repayment terms ranging from two to eight years.
Ready to buy a house? Credible can help out there, too. Start your home buying journey with Credible’s streamlined pre-approval process. In just three minutes, you can get a pre-approval letter that will tell you exactly how much home you can afford. You’ll be presented with offers from multiple lenders with just one quick application.
Once you’ve found a home, you can come back to Credible and submit your documentation to finalize your loan application. On the day of closing, a representative of the lender will often meet you at closing. Aside from closing, the rest of the loan process happens completely online
Another area of financial assistance Credible offers is mortgage refinancing. The marketplace works with big names like LoanDepot, Quicken Loans, and Caliber Home Loans, and provides both fixed and adjustable rate refinancing as well as cash-out refinancing.
Credible credit cards
Finally, Credible also has a handy credit card comparison tool. This is particularly useful if you are looking to find a specific type of credit card and want to get the best rates possible.
So, let’s say you want to find a credit card with the biggest rewards program, the longest zero-interest balance transfer offer, or the best travel rewards program, just fill out your preferences to quickly compare one to another. You can also filter the selections based on credit score or other criteria.
My experience using Credible
Signing up for an account with Credible took less than a minute, and filling out the application form was under two minutes, so this isn’t a big-time investment.
After filling out the application, I got 12 loan quotes from some big names, like Citizens Bank and EdvestinU. I clicked on the Citizens Bank rate quote to get a little more information since that had the lowest APR.
Credible did a great job of giving lots of information in the drop-down screen, while keeping the comparison screen info to a minimum for easy comparisons.
I also loved how transparent and jargon-free the experience was. A lot of times, people can get lost in the industry language that gets thrown around these finance sites. Credible does a great job of explaining everything.
But what really sold me was the customer care. Whatever question I had, Credible was there to answer it with patience and industry expertise. They walked me through the full process from start to finish.
It was all very impressive and has made me a fan.
Who should use Credible?
Credible is a good option for several types of borrowers, and it might be a good option for you if you are:
Someone who has a private student loan with a high interest rate
Student loans can often come with high interest rates, making the overall cost of the loan more than necessary. Lowering your rates will allow you to pay off your loan faster and pay less over the life of the loan.
Someone who wants to pay off their federal student loans faster
Someone with an IBR, PAYE, or RePAYE loan, for example, will have their monthly payments tied to their income. However, income-driven loans can end up costing you a lot in interest payments over time.
If you can afford to pay it off faster, it’s always best to get rid of your student debt ASAP. Many of these loans come with caveats that don’t allow you to increase your monthly payment or tie you to a specific payment plan. But if you take out a new loan, you can repay the entire thing in one lump sum, and then save yourself the additional, not to mention drawn out, interest charges.
Just remember that when you pay off your federal student loans faster, you may be disqualifying yourself from certain privileges. So, check out your loan terms before signing up for a private loan.
Those looking to check mortgage rates
What’s great about Credible is they help start the rate shopping process. Since it’s free to use Credible, there’s absolutely no harm in seeing what your mortgage rates may look like through a variety of lenders. In fact, it takes just a few minutes!
Students who have debt on multiple credit cards
Paying off your credit card debt by condensing it into a single monthly payment is more manageable and more financially sound than paying multiple, high-interest credit card bills each month.
Who is Credible not ideal for?
Credible isn’t the right choice for everyone. Here’s who should not bother with this service:
Students with small amounts of debt
Credible doesn’t have much in the way of eligibility requirements. It leaves that kind of technical detail to the lenders. However, none of the lenders within the Credible network will work with anyone with less than $5,000 of student loan debt.
Pros & cons
- Best Rate Guarantee — The Best Rate Guarantee ensures that you’ll get the lowest rates anywhere, whether it’s from Credible directly or from a competitor.
- Single application form — Credible makes easy work of the application process by sending a single application out to multiple lenders. You take two minutes to fill out one form and get back several responses.
- Personal information is not shared — This might be the biggest perk! Credible reserves your private information and only sends it out to the lender that you approve.
- No fees — Credible is completely free to use. Plus, Credible lenders usually don’t charge origination, service, or early payment fees. And many lenders also offer auto-pay discounts.
- Limited lending opportunities — Because you are working with a specific marketplace (i.e., Credible), your loan options are limited to the lenders within this network. Credible has a pretty extensive network of lenders, but it’s not every lender. If you prefer having all of the options available to you, this might not be your ideal solution.
- Lender fees may apply — While Credible itself does not charge for its services, some of the lender partners will. Because of this, you need to be extra careful to pay attention to the fine print on any contract before signing up with a lender.
Credible vs. competitors
Credible is a great choice for comparison shopping, but it’s not the only loan marketplace. Here are a few competitors worth mentioning:
Credible Fiona Monevo
Loan amount $1,000-$100,000 $1,000-$250,000 $1,000-$100,000
Repayment terms 2-7 years 6 - 144 months 12 - 144 months
Turnaround time From 1 business day Varies by lender Varies by lender
Fiona is a loan marketplace, much like Credible, that lets you compare multiple loans from a variety of lenders all from one simple rate chart. Simply answer a few basic questions about the purpose of your loan, how much you’d like, and your estimated credit score, and Fiona will show you a bunch of options.
Fiona wins when it comes to its user experience. It really doesn’t get much faster, plus, you’ll have all of the loan terms outlined for you, including your monthly payments, term length, and APR. And the cherry on top is that Fiona is completely free to use!
Monevo also operates in much the same way as Credible and Fiona. Answer a few basic questions, and Monevo will grab quotes from over 30 of their lending partners, so you’ll really be able to see almost all of your options. With terms ranging from 12 months all the way to 144 months, you’ll have a huge number of loans to choose from.
Monevo is also free to use and takes just seconds to get you all of your offers. Using all three of these aggregators to begin your loan search is a great idea. Between all of them, you’ll get a sense of what you qualify for.
Credible won my esteem by providing a fast and simple tool for comparing loan quotes in real-time. If you are looking to take out a private student loan, refinance a current student loan or mortgage, or take out a personal loan, definitely check out Credible. After all, it’s free, so you’ve got nothing to lose and in my mind – everything to gain.