You might associate Discover with credit cards, but the company is also a major lender of unsecured personal loans. With a convenient online application, flexible repayment options, and competitive interest rates, it’s a strong contender for anyone seeking a personal loan.
This lender mainly caters to those with good to excellent credit in search of debt consolidation loans. First, learn more about who qualifies, how to apply, and what to expect once you take out a loan with Discover. Then, decide if it’s a good choice for you.
Discover Personal Loans
While not the highest loan size you’ll find, Discover offers loan amounts from $2,500 up to $35,000 with terms up to seven years. Personal loan rates vary between 6.99% and 24.99% APR.
All Discover personal loans are fixed-rate, so there’s no need to worry about your monthly payment amount changing at any point. They’re also all unsecured loans, meaning you don’t have to put up any collateral.
A unique feature about Discover loans is that the company offers a broad range of repayment terms, starting as early as 36 months and going all the way up to 84 months.
That leaves you with plenty of options, whether you want to quickly repay a small loan or spread out a larger loan amount over an extended period of time.
Another bonus from Discover is that there is no origination fee or prepayment penalties. Plus, you can use the loan proceeds for various reasons, including debt consolidation, major purchases, and life events. Discover also has repayment assistance programs if you face a temporary financial hardship.
Some requirements include a minimum credit score of 660 and a minimum household income of $25,000. However, the average loan customer’s score is 750 — nearly 100 points above the stated minimum, which means you will probably need to have good credit.
To qualify for a Discover personal loan, borrowers must meet the following criteria:
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- At least 18 years old
- Minimum annual household income of $25,000
- Credit score of 660 or above
Other factors, of course, are weighed heavily during the application process. In addition to your credit score and annual income, Discover also looks at your credit history, activity, and inquiries to determine whether you’re approved and what kind of loan rate you’ll receive.
Discover Application Process
Discover offers a convenient same-day decision, so you don’t have to wait to find out whether or not your personal loan application has been approved. In addition, you can apply for a personal loan either online or by phone, even if you’re not a current customer.
Start by entering your desired loan amount and the repayment terms you’re interested in. You can get an estimate of your offered rates at this point, with Discover only completing a soft credit pull when doing the credit check.
If you like the interest rates and loan terms you receive, you can formally apply for the loan by entering your basic personal and financial information. However, Discover will perform a hard credit check at that point, which may slightly affect your credit score.
You may also receive a call from a loan specialist to verify your information and finalize your offer. It’s easy to be approved for a Discover personal loan on the same day you apply, as long as your application materials are complete and accurate.
Once You’re Approved
After you sign the loan agreement, Discover will transfer the funds to your bank account on the next business day. However, it might take a little longer to actually receive the money in your account. It just depends on your bank.
Depending on what day of the week you submit your application and how you want your funds disbursed, the entire process can take as long as seven days to receive your money.
Once your loan has gone through, you can enroll in Discover’s autopay program for free. This service allows your loan payments to be automatically debited from your chosen account on the loan’s due date each month.
If you make a late payment, Discover will charge you a hefty late fee of $39, so make sure you submit your payment on time each month.
Unlike many other lenders, Discover doesn’t charge a check processing fee. Your other payment options include submitting the balance online or over the phone.
All of your on-time payments are reported to the major credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, giving your credit score a bump just by repaying your loan on time.
Discover Special Features
When you take out a loan from Discover, you don’t have to worry about suffering from borrower’s remorse. If you’re unsatisfied with your loan or change your mind for some reason, Discover also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its personal loans. You can return the loan funds within 30 days without paying any interest.
You also get some flexibility even when you complete the loan process by being able to change your payment due date up to two times throughout the life of your loan.
However, you do have to wait at least one year between the two updates. Nevertheless, this can be a great feature to take advantage of in case your cash flow calendar changes at any point.
A final service offered by Discover is for borrowers using their loan funds to consolidate debt. Discover can pay off your creditors on your behalf, creating a smooth and streamlined process that gets the job done quickly.
Over half a million borrowers have used Discover for their personal loans. And unlike many other online lenders, Discover loans are available in all 50 states. In addition to personal loans and credit cards, Discover also offers saving products, mortgages, and student loans.
Discover Personal Loan Reviews
One of the best ways to research online personal loan lenders is by reading third-party reviews. You can find out what actual customers are saying about them before you choose to do business with them.
Discover currently has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+, indicating excellent customer service. They also have very few complaints. You can find more Discover Personal Loan reviews at other review sites as well.
Things to Consider Before Taking Out a Discover Personal Loan
Don’t jump into any personal loan without first conducting a little bit of research. Here are a few tips to consider before applying for a Discover loan.
Look at Your Credit Profile
Discover personal loans do require at least a fair credit score, if not higher. So if you’re new to establishing credit or have had a rocky financial past, a Discover loan may not be your best bet. However, since you can get pre-approved with just a soft credit check, you can see if you qualify without affecting your credit.
If you do get approved, there are plenty of great features to help keep your finances on track and continue building your credit score on an upward trajectory.
Take advantage of Discover’s autopay to keep up with your monthly payments on time. For example, if you change jobs and get a new payday, don’t forget to switch your loan’s due date rather than struggle to make your payments on time.
Consider How You Utilize Your Debt
Many borrowers use their Discover personal loans to pay off credit card debt. Discover offers competitive rates for borrowers with high credit, particularly compared to credit card APRs. Additionally, there’s also the benefit of having your creditors paid off for you.
But before you choose a loan for debt consolidation, think about how you got into debt and how you’ll stay out once you pay off your loan.
A lot of people find themselves in debt because of exorbitant medical bills or a period of unemployment. In those instances, it’s no surprise that each month’s bills could outweigh your income. But if you’re in debt because of your spending habits, it’s time to make a change.
Start by getting rid of your credit cards. The last thing you want to do is consolidate your debt just to start charging up more on top of paying off your personal loan.
Don’t set yourself up for failure; instead, create an environment that helps you succeed and avoid getting into the cycle of debt again.
Shop Around for the Best Personal Loan
The great thing about pre-approvals, including the ones provided by Discover, is that you can shop around for personal loans without hurting your credit scores. Take advantage of these offers so that you have a wide variety of loan options to choose from.
Different lenders cater to different types of borrowers based on the type of loan or your credit history. Compare loan terms, loan rates, origination fees, and customer service reviews. It’s wise to shop around to find the best lender for your situation.
Even on a time crunch, you can get several loan offers within minutes of each other. So those spare moments are definitely worth the extra effort, especially when you consider how much a fraction of an interest rate can save you over the life of a loan.
Check out our other personal loan reviews below to continue exploring your options.