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Discover Personal Loans: 2018 Review

Nov. 30, 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.
4.5 NerdWallet rating

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 about 750.
  • Need help 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 personal loan rates and terms

discover-loans-3-450x58
Loan amounts$2,500 - $35,000
Typical APR6.99% - 24.99%
FeesOrigination: None

Late fee: $39
Time to fundingNext day, up to a week
Repayments3 - 7 years
Soft credit check?Yes
How to qualify
  • Minimum credit score required: 660; borrowers' average score is about 750
  • 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 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 want to pay down debt and save on interest 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.

Payment options: 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.

Discover also allows customers to make recurring payments on a weekly, bi-weekly or semi-monthly basis, in addition to its monthly autopay option.

Flexibility: 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 personal loans compare




FreedomPlus-logo-814x180

APR

6.99% - 24.99%





Min credit score

660





Best for

Good credit, debt consolidation



APR

7.93% - 29.99%





Min credit score

640





Best for

Good credit, co-signers



APR

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 personal 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:

NerdWallet’s ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to 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.

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