The bottom line:
With zero fees and customizable repayment terms, Marcus offers one of the best personal loans for borrowers who want to consolidate debt.
Pros & Cons
- No fees.
- Rate discount for autopay.
- Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
- Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
- No co-sign or joint loan option.
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Full Review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Editor's note: As of January 6, 2023, Marcus no longer provides new personal loans. The lender will continue to service existing personal loans.
Marcus is the online-only consumer banking and lending arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs. It offers unsecured personal loans with zero fees for borrowers with excellent credit.
Marcus stands out for its unique features like customizing your monthly payment amount and term, and the option to defer a payment without paying interest.
» MORE: Best bank loans
Table of Contents
Marcus personal loans at a glance
Minimum credit score
6.99% - 24.99%.
Origination fee: None.
Late fee: None.
$3,500 to $40,000.
3 to 6 years.
Time to fund after approval
1 to 4 business days.
Loans available in all U.S. states and territories.
Where Marcus stands out
No fees. Marcus doesn't charge fees on its personal loans, including origination, prepayment or even late fees. However, if you miss a payment, you must still pay the interest that accumulates during this period, and late or partial payments may be reflected on your credit report.
Direct payment to creditors. The lender will pay your creditors directly if you get a loan for debt consolidation. This direct pay feature is free and can apply to credit cards and retail cards (for a maximum of 10 cards total) and other personal loans.
» MORE: Best debt consolidation loans
Customizable payment and term. Marcus offers customizable payment terms and amounts to find the best fit for you. Borrowers input their loan amount and credit score, and Marcus will show options based on either a desired monthly payment amount or length of term. But keep in mind a lower monthly payment or longer length of term can mean a higher overall cost for the loan.
Payment deferral option. After making 12 consecutive monthly payments, you can defer one payment as long as you've made all your prior payments in full and on time. Deferring a payment extends the loan term by one month. You won't be required to pay interest while your payment is being deferred.
» MORE: Best personal loans
Where Marcus falls short
No co-signed, joint or secured loan options. Marcus offers only unsecured personal loans, meaning there’s no option to add a co-borrower or secure the loan with collateral in order to get a more competitive rate or be approved for a larger amount.
Limited customer service channels. Marcus encourages customers to get in contact via phone, and loan specialists are available seven days a week with extended business hours. Unlike some lenders, however, Marcus doesn't offer a chat tool for prospective borrowers or a social media account dedicated solely to customer service.
» MORE: Best good-credit lenders
How to qualify for a Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loan
Marcus doesn’t disclose many borrower requirements, but here are a few must-haves to qualify:
Minimum credit score: 740.
Must show ability to repay the loan, through income from employment, self-employment or other sources.
Must provide a Social Security number and Individual Tax ID number.
Before you apply
Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.
Gather your documents. Marcus requires proof of income, which can be a W-2 or paystub, as well as proof of address and a Social Security number. Having these documents handy can speed the application process.
How to apply for a Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loan
Here are the steps to apply for a Marcus by Goldman Sachs loan.
Pre-qualify on Marcus by Goldman Sachs’s website. You’ll be asked how much you want to borrow and what the funds are for, as well as some personal information like your name, birthdate and address. Then, the lender will ask for information about your sources of income. There’s no hard credit pull at this stage.
Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Once you accept a loan offer, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application. This could require more documents, like W-2s, pay stubs and bank statements to confirm the information you gave during pre-qualification. Marcus will also do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Marcus reports payment to all three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.
Compare Marcus by Goldman Sachs to other lenders
Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs vs. SoFi
Marcus and SoFi are both no-fee lenders for borrowers with good and excellent credit. SoFi offers a wider range of loan amounts than Marcus and the option to add a co-signer to the loan. But Marcus has a lower minimum loan amount for borrowers looking for a smaller loan.
» MORE: Read our review of SoFi
Marcus by Goldman Sachs vs. LendingClub
Like Marcus, LendingClub is a good option for debt consolidation. LendingClub offers personal loans for fair- and good-credit borrowers and a wide range of loan amounts. But Marcus has no fees, unlike LendingClub, which charges an origination fee.
» MORE: Read our review of LendingClub
How we rate Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans
NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:
A previous version of this review misstated information about proof of income and photo ID. Marcus does not require proof for all income sources nor does it require a photo ID to qualify for a loan. This article has been corrected.
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NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.
This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.