We recommend FreedomPlus to borrowers who want to consolidate more than $10,000 in credit card debt. The company does not make loans under $10,000, but it is one of the few online lenders that can pay your creditors directly. We also think FreedomPlus is a good choice for those with fair to average credit who may have trouble qualifying elsewhere. The minimum credit score needed to qualify at FreedomPlus is 600. Because FreedomPlus takes a “relationship” approach to lending, you will need to schedule a phone call to complete the application process.
- Review: Should You Apply?
- Eligibility Criteria
- Personal Loan Terms and Requirements
- Application Process
- How Does FreedomPlus Compare to Other Lenders?
FreedomPlus Personal Loan Review: Should You Apply?
A personal loan from FreedomPlus makes the most sense for borrowers who want to consolidate a fair amount of debt, particularly if they want to pay their creditors directly. We also think FreedomPlus is a good choice for borrowers with fair to average credit.
|Good for...||Bad for...|
One thing we like about FreedomPlus is that the company is very clear on what it takes to qualify for its lowest rate. Assuming a $15,000 two-year loan, borrowers will need to have excellent credit, which is a FICO score of 720 or above, and be eligible for at least two rate discounts. One discount comes from adding a co-borrower who has sufficient income to support repayment. Another discount is given when you use at least 50% of the loan to directly pay off creditors. Very few online lenders allow borrowers to directly pay their creditors, so the fact that FreedomPlus rewards borrowers for doing so makes it an attractive choice for debt consolidation. The final discount is applied if you show proof of having at least $40,000 in retirement savings.
FreedomPlus requires all applicants go through a phone screening with a lending specialist after submitting an application, which—depending on your perspective—can either be reassuring or inconvenient. The lender requires every applicant have a 15 to 20 minute phone call to verify information in the application, answer questions and see which rate discounts may apply. According to the company, the phone call lets the company take a holistic approach to lending, rather than solely relying on credit history to make a decision. In our opinion, the phone call can be helpful for borrowers who don’t like the idea of an impersonal online lending experience.
Regardless, you may need to make a call as the company does not include all relevant information on its website. We were not able to find information about what criteria you need to meet to qualify, in which states FreedomPlus is available and what other fees the company charges (besides origination and prepayment fees). We had to call to get this information, but we found that the customer service representative was happy to answer our questions.
While FreedomPlus does not charge prepayment fees, it’s not the best choice for borrowers who are looking to avoid fees. There are origination, late payment, returned payment and check processing fees on every loan.
Finally, FreedomPlus does not make loans under $10,000, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if you need less than this. We recommend borrowers consider Upstart and Lending Club, which both make loans starting at $1,000.
To be eligible for a FreedomPlus personal loan, you must meet the following criteria:
|Minimum Criteria||Recommended Criteria|
FreedomPlus is not available New York, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Maine, Kansas, Hawaii, Colorado or Connecticut.
FreedomPlus Personal Loan Terms and Requirements
FreedomPlus makes unsecured personal loans up to $35,000 with terms from two to five years.
|Loan Amount Range||$10,000 - $35,000|
|APR Range||4.99% - 29.99%|
|Loan Terms||2 to 5 years|
|Direct Payment to Creditors||Yes|
You’ll need to submit an application on the company’s website. To begin, you’ll need to enter information about how much you want to borrow, how you plan to use the money, what your credit score is and what state you live in. The company will then let you know if loan offers are available in your state. If they are, you will need to complete the application with information about your employment status, income, address, housing payments, Social Security Number and other personal information.
|Application Process||Online with a mandatory phone screening|
|Time to Get Funds||2+ days|
Once your submit your application, you will be required to have a phone call with a lending specialist. The purpose of the phone call is to verify information provided in the application, answer any questions you may have and see which discounts may apply. According to the company, the underwriting process is manual, meaning that an individual will evaluate your loan application and then make a decision. You will get a credit decision within a few hours, and once you sign and upload your documents, funds will be available in as fast as 48 hours.
How Does FreedomPlus Compare to Other Lenders?
If you’re in the market for a personal loan, it’s usually a good idea to shop around to find the best deal. We compare some other options below.
FreedomPlus vs. Lending Club
Lending Club and FreedomPlus have very similar rates and loan terms, so we’d recommend checking your rate at each company. However, we would recommend Lending Club if you need a smaller loan and FreedomPlus if you have a lower credit score as Lending Club requires a minimum FICO score of 640 to qualify. Borrowers will also need a debt-to-income ratio under 31% to qualify at Lending Club. To improve approval odds, we recommend borrowers try to match or exceed the average Lending Club borrower profile: a 700 credit score, annual income of $76,000, 17 years of credit history and a debt-to-income ratio under 20% (excluding housing). One downside to Lending Club is that because the company is a marketplace lender, the funding process will likely take at least one week or more.
- APRs: 5.99% - 35.89%
- Terms: 3 or 5 years
- Amounts: $1,000 - $40,000
- Origination fee: 1% - 6%
FreedomPlus vs. Discover Personal Loans
Like FreedomPlus, Discover gives borrowers the option of paying their creditors directly and offers loans up to the same amount. In most situations, we suggest borrowers check their rate with both lenders to see who can give them the better deal. However, if you are likely to qualify for the lowest rate at FreedomPlus, go with them as this is a full two percentage points lower than the lowest rate at Discover. On the flip side, we recommend Discover for borrowers who want terms longer than five years as you can borrow money for up to seven years at Discover. To qualify at Discover, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old and has household income of $25,000 per year. We recommend borrowers have good to excellent credit history and low debt-to-income ratios to improve their chances.
- APRs: 6.99% - 24.99%
- Terms: 3 to 7 years
- Amounts: $2,500 - $35,000
- Origination fee: None
FreedomPlus vs. Upstart
Choose Upstart over FreedomPlus if you need more than $35,000. While Upstart has comparable rates to those at FreedomPlus, you can borrow up to $50,000. One major advantage of Upstart is that you can use your loan to pay for college, grad school or a course/bootcamp. Most personal loan companies restrict you from using funds for postsecondary education. To qualify at Upstart, borrowers must have a regular source of income (or a full-time job offer starting in six months), a credit score of 620 or higher, low debt-to-income ratio, and no recent derogatory marks or inquiries on your credit report. We recommend borrowers have scores of at least 660 with several years of credit history to increase their odds of getting approved.
- APRs: 7.37% - 29.99%
- Terms: 3 or 5 years
- Amounts: $1,000 - $50,000
- Origination fee: 1% - 6%