LendingTree vs LendingClub - Which is the Better Loan Company?
Discover vs. Guide to Lenders: Battle for the Best Personal Loans Company
Discover, a reputable credit card company, and GuidetoLenders, a loan marketplace, both offer reliable personal loan options. The question most borrowers are faced with is which option is the best one for their particular financial situation. Here’s an in-depth look at each loan provider, its strengths and weaknesses, rates and terms and application process.
1. Application Process
GuidetoLenders has an online application process that can be completed in under 5 minutes. The form asks all the typical questions like the amount of the loan you are requesting, length of contract, and contact information. From there, your application is filtered through GuidetoLenders.com’s 150+ lender network including major names like Wells Fargo and SoFi to find the best matches for your circumstances. The top 5 lenders are chosen, and your application is automatically sent out to these companies. The lenders will contact you directly to make offers, at that point, and arrange your loan upon acceptance. GuidetoLenders.com’s role in the process ends when it sends out your application. Many borrowers prefer this type of process because it gives them access to a wider range of lenders with one single application rather than having to fill out multiple forms with the same information for each lender.
Discover is a direct lender, so you are dealing directly with the source of your loan. It also has an easy online application process that takes minutes and has pretty much the same questions as everyone else. When applications are filled out properly, Discover offers same day approval and next day transfer of funds for loans that are accepted.
While the process itself is smooth and fast enough, Discover is only one lender, while GuidetoLenders opens up borrowers’ opportunities to tens of lenders at one time.
2. Lending Terms
Before accepting a loan, you should weigh the loan terms to see which is the most favorable for your situation. Good loan terms will make all the difference between fast and affordable loan repayments and spiraling further into debt.
As a lenders exchange, GuidetoLenders doesn’t have its own loan terms. Rather, each lender within its network will provide their own terms based on various factors. Terms from GuidetoLenders fall within the ranges of:
- Loan amounts: $1,000-$40,000
- Loan repayment contract lengths: 24 months - 84 months
- APR: no minimum is stated, but there is generally a maximum of 35.99%
Conversely, Discover is a direct lender, so the terms are upfront and transparent within its website. Additionally, Discover offers highly competitive terms including:
- Loan amounts: $2,500-$35,000
- Loan repayment contract lengths: 36 months - 84 months
- APR: Fixed interest rates ranging from 6.99%-24.99% (one of the lowest in the industry)
However, exact terms will vary depending on how much you’re asking for and how long of a contract you are taking out. As a prominent direct lender, Discover affords its customers better rates than most.
GuidetoLenders has a wide network of lenders, so borrowers of nearly every type can find a suitable loan. Anyone applying for a loan must be US citizens over the age of 18 with a verifiable bank account and steady income. From there, individual lenders may tack on additional requirements, but these are generally what you will find from GuidetoLenders applications.
Discover, on the other hand, has much stricter eligibility requirements. In addition to the usual 18+ years, valid bank account, and citizenship, it requires applicants have a government ID, and takes debt income ratio, credit score, and credit history heavily into consideration. Something unique about Discover is that it is available in all 50 states.
While Discover states that it accepts customers with credit scores as low as 660, the average borrower has a 750 credit score, which is extremely high for many lending options. Another average that’s higher than most is the average borrower’s annual income rate. According to the terms of service, Discover borrowers should ideally make a minimum of $25,000, though typically, they make even more than that.
With such a high credit score consideration, GuidetoLenders is a shoo-in for winning this category.
4. Additional Fees/Price Comparison
Discover is somewhat unique in that it doesn’t charge any fees, a major benefit that could result in savings as high as several hundreds of dollars in loan payments. One negative to its fees policy is the late fee charges, however. In keeping with traditional credit card companies, Discover charges an exorbitant amount for tardy payments - $39 - compared to competition like SoFi which charges a mere $5.
There are no definitive guidelines for GuidetoLenders fees because the majority of fees are generated from the lenders themselves. Therefore, these terms change along with loan terms. However, GuidetoLenders does not charge an origination or finder’s fee for connecting borrowers to its lenders.
5. Platform Features
GuidetoLenders has an easy to use online platform that lets borrowers apply, check credit score, browse potential lenders and rates, and learn about financial choices. It offers borrowers many of the standard tools such as calculators and informative articles about loans, debt, and refinancing.
Discover offers many other features that put them ahead of the competition. In addition to smart choices like automatic payments to help avoid late payment fees, a helpful FAQs section, and a comprehensive online library filled with articles to help borrowers get a better handle on financial literacy and smarter debt management, Discover also has monthly loan payment and debt consolidation calculators. These simple tools help customers calculate how much they’ll save utilizing a loan based on their terms. Additionally, Discover offers an easy online system for fast and easy payments.
6. Other Considerations
There are other factors to weigh when choosing the best personal loan service. For example, good customer support is vital to a user’s experience. Discover only has phone support. This may be a result of having been in business so long (and not updating its services as per modern availability and demands), but either way, it’s an unusual disadvantage that they would do well to upgrade, providing email and even live chat like many of the other lending services. GuidetoLenders has both an online contact form and telephone support.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Discover has 2 features that really make it shine. The first is known as its green loans option. This is a type of loan borrowers that can take out for eco-friendly additions or improvements to their current home. Additions such as solar panels or geothermal units to reduce energy consumption, are the type of things that might fall into this category. Terms and rates are more competitive for these green loans because they are furthering resource awareness.
The second prominently outstanding feature is Discover’s 30-day money back guarantee. If borrowers want to renege on their loan, they can do so for 30 days from the time of signing the contract without any penalties whatsoever and without paying any interest. This is something truly outstanding for this industry.
And the Winner Is...
Making a comparison between these two parties is difficult. GuidetoLenders and Discover offer unsecured personal loans in addition to other types of loans such as refinances, mortgages, and student loans. However, since Discover is an independent lender and GuidetoLenders is a lending marketplace, the two have disparate features and services.
GuidetoLenders is good for borrowers who don’t have great credit scores or history, or for those who want to have a variety of options to choose from. Discover generally has very good reviews on the internet, showing positive customer experience. This lending agency is good for borrowers who are looking for flexible repayment options and have great credit or want a more direct way of paying off creditors.
While both are good options, we have to go with Discover as the overall winner. This company offers better terms, more flexibility, and more reputability, something that’s really important when dealing with finances.