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Discover Personal Loans: 2018 Review

June 18, 2018
Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

5.0 stars out of 5

NerdWallet rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Good for: Good credit, debt consolidation

Discover lends to good-credit borrowers who want to consolidate debt or cover major expenses, such as home improvements and repairs.

Discover personal loans may be a good fit if you:

  • Have good credit scores. The lender’s minimum requirement is 660, but its borrowers’ average is 747.
  • Need discipline paying off debt. Discover can pay off your creditors directly if you’re consolidating debt; not all lenders offer that.
  • Want to track your credit score. The lender gives everyone free access to their FICO credit score, and personal loan borrowers can track their credit scores and see a snapshot of their credit history online.

Discover loan rates and terms

Loan amounts$2,500 - $35,000
Typical APR6.99% - 24.99%
Origination feeNone
Time to fundingNext day, up to a week
Repayments3 - 7 years
Soft credit check?Yes
How to qualify
  • Minimum credit score required: 660, but borrowers' average score is 747
  • Minimum gross income required: $25,000, but typically much higher
  • Minimum credit history: Not provided
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not provided
Best forBorrowers with good credit, debt consolidation
Compare rates on NerdWallet. Click to see estimated rates from multiple lenders.

Discover personal loan review

To review Discover, 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 personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

Americans who are struggling to pay down debt are the core of Discover’s personal loans business, says Dan Matysik, vice president of the company’s personal loans division.

While Discover loans can be used for other purposes, they work particularly well for debt consolidation because of low rates, direct payment of creditors and flexible repayment terms. If you get a loan for consolidation, you must use at least 70% toward paying off debt.

Borrowers have the option of changing the payment due date if the loan payments no longer fit into their budget. You can change the due date twice during the lifetime of the loan, with a minimum of one year between changes.

Deferred payments may be offered to borrowers who have trouble making payments. The company provides free tools to manage debt and estimate monthly payments on its personal loans website.

Loan example: For a borrower with excellent credit, a $20,000 loan with a repayment term of 60 months at 13.9% APR would carry monthly payments of $464, according to NerdWallet’s personal loan calculator.

How Discover loans compare



6.99% - 24.99%

Min credit score


Best for

Good credit, debt consolidation


4.99% - 29.99%

Min credit score


Best for

Good credit, co-signers


7.24% - 24.24%

Min credit score

Typically above 660

Best for

Good credit, debt consolidation

Compare rates on NerdWallet. Click to see estimated rates from multiple lenders.

FreedomPlus and Wells Fargo also offer good-credit borrowers the option to pay off creditors directly. Wells Fargo offers higher loan amounts and a similar APR range to Discover, while FreedomPlus is a better choice if you don’t qualify for a loan on your own and need a co-signer.

How to apply for a Discover loan

You can fill out an application on Discover’s website or over the phone. Discover conducts a soft credit check to see if you qualify for a loan. Once you proceed with your application, you will be subject to a hard credit check, which can temporarily lower your credit scores. It reports payments to all three credit bureaus.

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Click the button below to see estimated rates from multiple lenders on NerdWallet.


Before you shop for a personal loan:

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. We only review lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

5 stars out of 5— Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5— Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5— Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5— Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5— Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5— Poor; proceed with great caution

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