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Discover Personal Loan Review: Great for Debt Consolidation and No Origination Fees

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Discover personal loans can be used to finance projects of all kinds, but are ideal for people trying to get out of high-interest debt. Here, we'll examine how a Discover personal loan might help if an unexpected expense arises or you're hoping to consolidate high-interest debt. Our Discover Personal Loans review will also cover what we like about the lender and what we'd change if we could.

Discover Personal Loan

Logo for Discover Personal Loan
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
5.0/5
Minimum Credit Score
660
Loan Amounts
$2,500 - $35,000
APR Range
5.99%-24.99%
Term Length
36 - 84 months

Discover is a consumer-friendly lender that offers competitive rates to qualified applicants. Discover knows that financial decisions are complex; if you change your mind and return your loan within 30 days, it won't cost you a thing.

  • Competitive APRs
  • No origination or prepayment fees
  • Debt consolidation support
  • Long repayment term

No cosigners accepted

Full Discover Personal Loan Review

This personal loan is a good fit for: Those with strong credit scores looking for debt consolidation support and long repayment terms.

Pros

  • Competitive APRs
  • No origination or prepayment fees
  • Debt consolidation support
  • Long repayment term

Cons

  • No cosigners accepted

Personal loan calculator

Directions:

  • Enter the amount you plan to borrow in the "Loan Balance" box.
  • Enter the rate you expect to get in the "Interest Rate" box.
  • Either:
    • Enter the number of months you'd like to take to pay off the loan in the "Desired Payoff Timeframe" box.
      OR
    • Enter your desired monthly payment in the "Expected Monthly Payment" box.
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Top perks

Low APR: Discover's lowest APR is in line with several of our top lenders. Because of this, highly-qualified applicants can save money -- particularly those who plan to consolidate high-interest debt.

No origination fee or prepayment penalty: A lot of lenders make money upfront by charging a loan origination fee, which can be as high as 8% of the amount borrowed. Discover does not charge this fee -- and it also doesn't charge a prepayment penalty (a fee for paying off your loan early). This sets a good precedent as to how it treats borrowers. A couple of lenders don't even charge late payment fees, but Discover is not one of them.

Debt consolidation support: If you're approved for a debt consolidation loan with Discover, it will pay your creditors for you -- a nice perk. In addition, a Discover personal loan gives you a free credit scorecard that shows your FICO® Score, the number of recent credit inquiries, and more. It's a great way to watch your credit score improve as you take greater control over your debt.

Small loans available: Discover allows borrowers to take out loans for as little as $2,500. That's not the lowest loan amount, but it may be enough to cover unexpected expenses. Say your car breaks down and you don't want to borrow more than you need or can afford. Discover's relatively low minimum might help.

Flexibility: Discover offers personal loans for $2,500 to $35,000 with loan repayment terms of 36 to 84 months. This range allows you to target a specific monthly payment that you know you can afford. It also allows you to tackle large projects or small with the same ease of application.

Available for a variety of needs: Discover personal loans can be used for more than paying off high-interest debt. A Discover loan may also come in handy when it's time to pay off taxes or medical bills, finance home repairs, or pay for big-ticket items.

Getting a quote won't hurt your credit score: Discover can offer you a loan quote by conducting a soft credit check, which won't hurt your credit score. It's not until you accept the loan that it does a hard pull to verify your information.

What could be improved

Cosigners not accepted: The minimum household income required for a Discover personal loan is $25,000, and the minimum credit score is 660. However, neither of those minimums qualify you for the best personal loan interest rates. If you need a cosigner to qualify for better rates, make it point to look at other lenders.

Upper interest rate: Discover's upper interest rate is actually similar or even lower than many lenders, but it is a high rate, nonetheless.

How to qualify for a Discover personal loan

  • Have a FICO® Score of at least 660
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum income of $25,000
  • Be as least 18 years of age

Application process

You can apply for a Discover loan online or by phone.

  • Gather the documents you'll need: Social Security number, recent pay stubs, bank statements, and photo identification.
  • Enter some basic personal information and the amount of money you want to borrow. Discover will do a soft credit check, which will not affect your credit.
  • Take time to review the proposed interest rate and terms. If you decide they are acceptable, complete your loan application.
  • If you're approved, electronically sign the loan agreement and tell Discover where you want funds deposited. If you are using the loan for debt consolidation, provide Discover with the names of your creditors, the creditors' addresses, and your account numbers. According to Discover, it's able to make deposits as early as the next business day.

Alternatives to consider

Before you dive into any loan, do yourself the favor of comparing several lenders to find the one that works best for you. For example: 

  • SoFi personal loans require a minimum credit score of 680, but may offer lower interest rates and other loan terms from 24 to 84 months. SoFi is great for borrowers who need more substantial loans of up to $100,000. 
  • Avant loans are specifically designed for borrowers with poor credit scores (as low as 580). Still, if your credit is too low to qualify with another lender, Avant offers loans from $2,000 to $35,000 and repayment terms of 24 to 60 months.
As of Sep. 20, 2022
Lender
Rating
Min. Credit Score
Loan Amounts
APR Range
Next Steps
SoFi
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
5.0/5
680
$5,000 - $100,000
Fixed: 7.99-23.43% APR (with all discounts)
Avant
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5/5
580
$2,000 - $35,000
9.95% - 35.95%
Disclaimers

*SoFi Personal Loan Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 7.99% APR to 23.43% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 8/22/22 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

This personal loan is right for you if:

  • Your income and credit score are high enough to qualify for Discover's lowest interest rates.
  • You have high-interest debt to pay off and will benefit from a loan designed to walk you through the process.
  • You have an emergency and only need to borrow a small amount of money for a short time.

The decision to take out a personal loan can feel huge. Compare lenders, determine precisely what you want to do with the funds, and make a plan for repaying the loan as quickly as possible. The more thought you put into it, the happier you're likely to be with the experience.

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