Guide to Lenders vs. Even Financial: Which Personal Loans Marketplace is Better?
Few people enjoy having to go to a bank to arrange a loan, but now you can compare loan terms and rates, request approval for a personal unsecured loan, and get a range of offers, all within a few minutes and without leaving your couch.
There are lots of online personal loan aggregators offering to help connect you with the loan that suits you best. Even Financial and Guide to Lenders are two of the many online loan marketplaces available. Read our head-to-head comparison of their loan terms and eligibility requirements, application process, customer service, and fees so that you can make an informed decision about which one to use.
Pros and Cons
Guide to Lenders Specifics
- Loan Amount: up to $40,000
- APR: 4.93% - 35.99%
- Loan Term: 24-84 months
Guide to Lenders is a personal loan platform that specializes in peer-to-peer lending. It does not lend the money itself. Instead, it shares your single application form with multiple direct lenders, both individuals and companies, who then respond to you with its loan offers. The advantage is that you get to review plenty of different loan offers and compare the APR rates, repayment periods, and other details so you can choose the option that best suits your circumstances. It also saves you time shopping around for different loan quotes.
Guide to Lenders lets you borrow money for any purpose you’d like, whether you want to consolidate credit card debt or cover a large purchase. You can borrow any amount between $1,000 and $40,000, with APR rates that begin at 4.93% and terms from 2-7 years. The lower loan amounts and repayment periods make Guide to Lenders ideal for borrowers who need short-term financing but want to compare their options. It’s also best for borrowers with lower credit ratings, who are guaranteed to find a loan solution.
Even Financial Specifics
- Loan Amount: up to $100,000
- APR: 4.99% - 35.99%
- Loan Term: 24-84 months
Even Financial is an algorithm-based loan marketplace that connects trusted professional loan companies with borrowers. Even Financial shares your simple application form and a soft credit check with a number of loan companies at once, saving you time writing the same information in multiple forms. When you receive loan offers, compare the terms and conditions before choosing the one that is best for you.
You can borrow for any object, such as to pay for a large purchase or consolidate your existing debt. Loan amounts between $1,000 and $100,000 are available through Even Financial. APR rates begin at 4.99% with terms of 24-84 months, although borrowers with credit scores under 580 might not be able to get the most favorable rates. Even Financial is best for borrowers with good or excellent credit scores who need access to larger sums of money.
The following information needs to be provided to each lender:
Borrowers are led step-by-step through questions about the purpose and amount of the loan, credit rating, employment status, and annual income as well as personal contact details. Guide to Lenders performs a quick soft credit check which doesn’t affect your credit rating, and then sends it all to all the lenders on its platform. Within minutes you’ll receive pre-approved loan offers and can compare terms and conditions on Guide to Lenders’ platform. Once you choose an offer, you’ll be taken to the lender’s own website to complete its more detailed application form. The lender will then run a hard credit check and give you a final loan offer, which might be a little different to the first one it sent you, and you can decide whether or not to go with it.
The marketplace presents you with a short and simple form that asks your date of birth and social security number, how much you want to borrow and for what purpose, your employment status, credit score, homeowner status, and annual income. Even Financial will run a soft credit check (which doesn’t harm your credit rating) and share both the form and the credit check with the trusted lenders on its platform. You’ll start receiving pre-approved loan offers and static loan rates within a few minutes. You can compare it side-by-side using Even Financial’s algorithm to calculate your estimated monthly repayments for each option. When you’ve decided which offer to accept, you’ll visit the lender’s website where you’ll be asked some more questions and go through a hard credit check before receiving a final loan offer.
Winner: Guide to Lenders
Neither Guide to Lenders nor Even Financial is a direct lender, so the exact loan terms differ. However, the range of terms is remarkably close, with both offering APR rates of between 4.99% and 35.99% and repayment periods from 24 to 84 months.
There does seem to be more competition between the lenders on Guide to Lenders’ peer to peer lending platform, which could force down the rates and bring you better APR amounts overall. Guide to Lenders is also more accommodating to borrowers with poor credit. On the other hand, Even Financial’s higher maximum loan amount of $100,000 is way beyond Guide to Lenders’ maximum of $40,000. If you need a larger amount and have perfect credit, you’ll do better at Even Financial, but borrowers whose needs are more modest could find the best loan terms at Guide to Lenders.
Winner: Guide to Lenders
Guide to Lenders asks that you verify that you are over 18 and a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify for a personal loan. You'll need to have your own bank account and show a steady source of income. Beyond that, its eligibility requirements are pretty modest. You don’t need to have any particular credit rating in order to qualify or any specific annual income threshold.
Even Financial has similar requirements. You'll need a social security number and to be over 18 as well as having your own personal bank account. Even Financial has no minimum annual income or credit rating.
Additional Fees and Pricings
Neither Guide to Lenders nor Even Financial charges any fees for their service. Both platforms get their money from the lenders themselves, not from the borrowers who use the site to access a loan. Some of the lenders do charge what’s called an origination fee, which should be clearly displayed when you move to that lender’s website and is usually included as part of its APR rates.
Guide to Lenders gives its customers an extensive set of educational services so that you can learn more about personal loans, mortgages, unsecured loans, and personal finance in general. Specific customer support is only available by opening an email ticket, but its responses are fast and informative, usually within one business day. The website is not easy to navigate, though, and the FAQ page is hard to find.
Even Financial offers fast customer support through email, phone, or live chat. The website is straightforward and well laid out, with a helpful FAQ page. Even Financial also has an extensive blog with plenty of useful information about personal finance issues.
Winner: Even Financial
Both Guide to Lenders and Even Financial are transparent about what data it gathers and have similar privacy policies. The company promises that none of your personal details will be shared with anyone apart from its authorized business partners and that it won’t sell your data to any third party. Both platforms also use 256-bit SSL encryption to protect your data from hackers.
It’s a neck and neck battle. Both personal loan platforms offer a high level of security, a fast and simple online application process, zero fees, and remarkably similar loan terms, repayment periods, and eligibility requirements. However, although Even Financial offers a higher maximum loan amount, we consider that Guide to Lenders comes out slightly ahead.
Guide to Lenders has a better range of options for borrowers with fair or poor credit and a more intuitive application process. It also is likely to deliver slightly lower APR rates overall, since the peer to peer lending market encourages competition between direct lenders in order to get your business.
To learn more about either of these loan marketplaces or other lenders, read our in-depth reviews.