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Sep 30 2017

FreedomPlus 2017 Review: Debt Consolidation Loans #consolidating #personal #debt


FreedomPlus Debt Consolidation Loans: 2017 Review

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NerdWallet rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Good for: Good credit, debt consolidation, co-signers

FreedomPlus is an online lender with an old-school, personalized touch: When you apply for a loan, you’ll have a 15- to 20-minute phone call with a company representative. This is a chance to discuss your debt situation and provide information that could lower your interest rate on a loan, such as having a co-signer or a retirement account.

“This sort of hands-on touch is clearly different from other lenders,” says Joseph Toms, president and chief investment officer at FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus can be a good fit if:

  • Your credit score is at least 640. FreedomPlus borrowers’ average score is 720.
  • You earn at least $30,000 a year
  • Your debt-to-income ratio is less than 40%. FreedomPlus borrowers’ average DTI is 20%.

FreedomPlus at a glance

Detailed FreedomPlus personal loan review

To review FreedomPlus, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives, completed the online loan application process with sample data, and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.

A typical FreedomPlus borrower, according to Toms, is in his or her mid-40s, with good credit, looking to consolidate credit card debt into a single fixed-rate loan. With FreedomPlus, there are a few options for getting discounts on your interest rate:

Co-sign discount: FreedomPlus encourages co-signers and rewards borrowers who have one by lowering the interest rate. For example, if you initially qualify for a loan at a 15.99% annual percentage rate, adding a co-signer might reduce that rate to 10.99%, Toms says.

Direct pay discount: FreedomPlus offers an option to have the money you borrow go directly to pay off creditors, a feature that few other online lenders offer. You don’t have to use this direct payment option, but doing so may improve your chances of successfully paying down your debt and could reduce your interest rate by one to three percentage points.

By comparison, Discover offers a direct payment option for its debt consolidation loans but doesn t reduce the interest rate for borrowers who choose to use it.

Retirement assets discount: FreedomPlus rewards applicants who are responsible about planning for retirement. Lenders don’t usually consider retirement assets as a factor when approving loans, “but we believe in planning, and we will reward borrowers [who have retirement asset plans] with a lower rate,” Toms says. For example, if you have retirement assets of roughly $40,000 or more, your rate could drop by two to four percentage points.

How to apply for a FreedomPlus loan

On the FreedomPlus website, you start by using a slider bar to select a loan amount between $10,000 and $35,000. You then enter your reason for the loan, your credit score range and your state, and click “Get My Loan.” Additional questions like name, email and employment status follow.

You can also apply on NerdWallet using the Apply now button below. NerdWallet’s lender marketplace checks multiple lenders including FreedomPlus and displays all the loans for which you qualify, based on your application. You can compare rates in one place, and applying won’t affect your credit score.

FreedomPlus loan requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrowers’ average score is more than 700
  • Minimum gross income: $30,000
  • Minimum credit history: Your file should show two or more active credit accounts (credit card, mortgage, student loan, etc.) or an account at least 3 years old
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40%

FreedomPlus lending terms

  • APR. 7.93% to 29.99%
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $35,000
  • Loan duration: Two to five years

FreedomPlus fees and penalties

  • Origination fee: 1.38% to 5%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of amount due after the 10-day grace period
  • Personal-check processing fee: $15
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15

Before you take a personal loan

Updated Feb. 27, 2017

Personal Loans Ratings Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings for personal loans awards points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no origination fees, payment options, short time to funding, interest rate caps of 36% and absence of prepayment penalties. Features are considered for their positive impact on consumers credit history and financial health. To ensure accuracy and consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Personal Loans Team.

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