Shopping for a loan with Credible is like shopping for flights online: easy and low-risk

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Credible is an online marketplace that's trying to simplify the process of shopping for loans and credit cards.

We all love to save money on the things that we buy. And when it comes to groceries, clothes, or electronics, the average person knows exactly how to shop for the best deal.

When it comes to shopping for loans, though, many of us feel a bit more intimidated. Either we don't know where to start or we simply don't feel like dealing with the grueling process of contacting multiple lenders to get quotes.

But Credible is an online marketplace that's trying to simplify the process of shopping for rates on loans and credit cards. Its comparison tools could not only save you time, but could help you save a lot of money as well. To learn more, continue reading our full Credible review.

How does Credible work?

It's important to point out that Credible is not a lender. Instead, it's a middleman that connects lenders with borrowers.

Credible originally made a name for itself as one of the first marketplaces to compare student loan refinance lenders. But it has expanded its services over time. Now, you can use Credible to shop for:

  • Student loan refinancing
  • Private student loans
  • Mortgages
  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Personal loans
  • Credit cards

One form, multiple quotes

Most of us know that shopping around with multiple lenders is a good idea. But the thought of having to fill out separate applications with each lender can feel daunting.

Credible solves this problem by providing one form for borrowers to fill out. Then, it sends that single form to each of its partners. I tested out Credible's student loan refinancing form and found it to be simple and streamlined.

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Credible

Credible says that most people are able to complete the form in about two minutes. That's exactly how long it took me to fill it out. And it only takes a few more minutes to start getting your personalized rates.

Comparing rates

Credible stresses that when you receive a prequalified quote from one of its partners, it will be a real interest rate based on your personal information, not just a general range. And Credible is so confident in its rates, it will give you $200 if you find a better rate somewhere else.

If you receive multiple quotes, you'll want to take your time comparing the rates and terms. If you're happy with what you see from a particular lender, you can move forward with filling out the full loan application.

On its FAQ page, Credible explains that not everyone will receive prequalified quotes. And there are no guarantees that the rates you prequalify for will be the rate you're quoted in your final offer.

Lenders decide if they want to make a formal offer (and at what interest rate) after collecting more financial information and processing your full application.

Will using Credible hurt my credit score?

One of the great things about shopping for rates with Credible is that it will have no effect on your credit score. Credible only needs to perform a soft credit inquiry to show you your personalized rates.

However, if you decide to move forward with submitting a full application with a lender, they will perform a hard credit inquiry at that time. And submitting a credit card application will result in a hard credit inquiry as well.

Does Credible charge fees for using its service?

Credible does not charge users any fees whatsoever for using its comparison tools. In most cases, partners pay a referral fee for each borrower Credible sends their way.

Whether or not you're charged an origination fee or other fees on your loan will depend on the lender that you choose. However, for its student loan refinancing product, Credible does say that none of its partners charge origination fees or prepayment penalties.

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Credible

Who is eligible to use Credible?

Credible does not publish any minimum credit score or income criteria. Instead, it encourages everyone to fill out its form to see if they're eligible for a prequalified rate.

But Credible does say that most of its partners are looking for borrowers who are at least 18 years old and United States citizens (with a valid Social Security number). Credible also notes that student loan refinancing lenders typically look for a credit score between 670 and 700.

Trying to refinance your student loans if you didn't graduate from college can be difficult. But Credible says that some of its lenders will, in fact, work with non-graduate borrowers.

Does Credible allow cosigners?

Yes, you can add a cosigner to your Credible application if you can't qualify on your own due to poor or damaged credit. Any adult US citizen or permanent resident can act as your cosigner.

If you'd like for your cosigner to be released down the road, that is possible with some of Credible's partners. If that's a priority for you, you'll want to make sure the specific lender you're considering allows cosigner release before you sign on the dotted line.

Credible's marketplace is impressive. But it's not quite a one-stop shop.

Overall, Credible is a fantastic tool that's simple and free to use. And it has built up an amazing list of partner lenders and banks. By using its comparison tools, you could cut your loan-shopping time in half, if not more.

But it's important to point out that not every major lender is currently a Credible partner. For example, in the student loan refinancing space, Earnest, CommonBond, and Laurel Road are just three top lenders that aren't available on the platform.

Similar examples could be given for each of the site's loan products. Yes, Credible can help you get a big head start on your loan or credit card shopping. But you'll still want to compare its rates with other top online lenders, and maybe even a few community banks and credit unions as well.

Shop for a loan with Credible today and find your best rate »

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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