Installment Loans From Direct Lenders: All You Need To Know




Need funds to make a large home purchase? Or, maybe you need it to pay for your education? Luckily, there’s a type of loan specifically made for the purpose of making large purchases, called an installment loan.

Installment loans can be borrowed and then paid back over a fixed number of months or even years. The timeline is usually decided by the lender but some lenders may even allow the borrower to pitch in. Also, not all installment loans are ‘large’ as some companies now even offer smaller installment loans.

Benefits of Installment Loans

Installment loans are very versatile and it is best to turn to a direct lender when you need one. Working with a direct lender removes the risk of errors and offers more clarity.

Here are some of the main pros of direct lender installment loans:

  • Clear and Easy Repayment Terms 

Most people borrow installment loans from direct lenders because they’re on a tight budget. Hence, knowing how much money you have to give back to the lender will help you be more mindful of your spending habits.

Additionally, installment loans direct lenders provide borrowers with a fixed repayment plan, which makes it easy to make payments. Moreover, some may even be offering flexible terms. 

  • Pre-Decided Interest Rates

Predictability plays an important role when it comes to borrowing loans. The more predictable everything is, the easier it is to plan out your expenses.

Most installment loan direct lenders provide borrowers with fixed interest rates, thus adding another layer of comfort as borrowers are put at ease with the fact that interest rates will remain the same.

Versatile Uses

Installment loans have versatile uses, another reason why so many people opt for them. Borrowers can take up to $50,000 and even more based on factors such as one’s credit score, income, state, and chosen provider.

For example: with an auto loan, you may purchase a car. You may even apply for a mortgage loan that will allow you to pay off your mortgage. There are plenty of things that you can use an installment loan for. 

On the other hand, most other types of loans are limited to what they can be used for and are not as versatile as installment loans.

  • Effective Way to Build Credit

If you’ve found yourself on the bad side of credit scores, installment loans can be your way out. Most lenders report all details about your credit history to one or more credit bureaus. Being efficient can help boost your score.

Installment Loans Direct Lenders – Top 4 Installment Loans Direct Lenders

When applying for an installment loan, it is better to look for direct lenders. 

Other than being legit, direct lenders are a lot more flexible when it comes to credit score requirements and take other factors such as income, current debt, and employment history into consideration while deciding on a loan request.

Here are some of the best places for guaranteed installment loans direct lenders only:

  1. LightStream

LightStream offers loan amounts of up to $100,000, which makes it a good option for people looking for large sums. 

Loans offered by LightStream can be used to make large purchases such as homes and vehicles. You can even use it to cover medical expenses and other loans (debt consolidation). 

The minimum loan amount offered is $5,000, which is also great for small jobs. To qualify for a loan, borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 660, which is a reasonable score.

On average, installment loans at LightStream are available for terms ranging from 2 to 7 years. However, depending on the purpose, the term can be extended – up to 12 years. Those who sign up for autopay on LightStream are offered APRs between 3.99 and 19.99 percent. 


Those who do not use autopay are subjected to APRs 0.50 percent higher. Again, the APR rate depends on the borrower’s credit score, as well as the loan purpose.

LightStream does not charge origination fees or late fees. However, those who make late payments are subjected to higher interest rates.

Those who want to pay off their loan amount before the provided date are allowed to do so without any additional charges.

Customer service at LightStream is close to perfect. The network offers $100 to those who have signed up for a loan but have filed a complaint within 30-days due to poor conduct or dissatisfactory service.

There are the pros and cons of choosing LightStream:


  • No additional charges such as late or origination fees
  • Up to $100,000 available to those with excellent credit scores
  • Low APRs for those signing up for autopay
  • A $100 money-back guarantee in case of customer dissatisfaction


  • No option for pre-qualification

LightStream is the number one option for most borrowers as it’s affordable and user-friendly. Plus, it is available in all 50 states. 

Marcus has made its name in the list of the best installment loans direct lenders because it allows borrowers to choose their own term saccording to their financial situation. 

While Marcus has not disclosed its minimum required credit score, reports suggest that you need a credit score of 660 to get good numbers.

Marcus offers an impressive loan range of $3,500 to $40,000. However, getting a large sum approved can be a little tricky with Marcus as it requests documents showing your ‘need’ and ability to pay it back. 

Also, loans from Marcus can only be used for personal purposes such as vacations, debt consolidation, and home improvements. The loan cannot be used for business purposes or for the purpose of purchasing a home.


Marcus is one of the few lenders offering highly flexible loan terms. On average, the loan terms are between 3 to 6 years. However, remember that rates may increase for those who choose longer terms.

Loans at Marcus have fixed APRs between 6.99 to 19.99 percent. Similar to other lenders, Marcus also offers a 0.25 percent discount to applicants with autopay.

There are plenty of perks for those who make their payments on time, but the best one is the payment deferral option reward. If you pay your loan on time for a period of 12 or more months, you will have the option to defer or extend your loan term by a month without additional charges.

Marcus is an additional charges-free direct lender and does not charge origination, late payment, or prepayment penalty fees.

Here are the pros and cons of choosing Marcus:


  • Direct payment is available for borrowers interested in debt consolidation
  • No additional fees
  • 9 repayment terms available for maximum flexibility
  • Payment deferral reward for borrowers making consistent payments


  • Limitations on how the money can be used

Consider Marcus if you have a decent credit score. It’s affordable and easy to apply for but applicants with a low credit score may get rejected.

LendingPoint is a top choice for borrowers looking for guaranteed installment from bad credit direct lenders. You only need a score of 600 or more to qualify. The range is impressive starting as low as $2,000 and going as high as $36,000. 

The loan term ranges from 24 to 60 months, where borrowers also have the option to select their own payment date, and the liberty to change the selected date once a year.

APRs at LendingPoint range from 7.99 to 35.99 percent, which is a little higher when compared to other lenders but still pretty good. 


LendingPoint also charges an origination fee between 1 and 7 percent. This fee is deducted from the loan amount. This can be a major con because most providers on this list do not charge an origination fee. Also, the final amount charged will largely depend on your credit score. On the plus side, there is no late fee or prepayment penalty. 

Borrowers who want to see whether they qualify for a loan or not can apply for prequalification and perform a soft credit check that will not affect their credit score. 

According to LendingPoint, an approval decision is made within seconds, and it takes 24 hours for the loan amount to be credited to your account. 

Here are the pros and cons of choosing LendingPoint:


  • Fast funding within 24 hours
  • Allows prequalification without affecting credit score
  • Option to choose and change the payment date
  • Excellent customer support


  • No autopay discount
  • A high origination fee of up to 7 percent

LendingPoint can be a great option for applicants with bad credit scores who need fast funding. 

OneMain Financial is another direct lender installment loan provider that caters to those with a bad credit score. The direct lender is available in 44 states and is known to be easy to work with.

Loans borrowed from OneMain can be used for almost all purposes except to pay for college or to start a business.

Loan amounts at OneMain vary by state but usually range from $1,500 to $20,000. The minimum loan amount is variable – starting from $2,100 in Alabama, $2,000 in North Dakota, and $2,000 in Ohio. Similarly, in North Carolina, the maximum loan amount is limited to $7,500.

There are 4 loan terms offered by OneMain: 24 months, 36 months, 48 months, and 60 months. Borrowers are allowed to pick a payment date of their choice when signing up for a loan. The only condition is that it has to be within 45 days of when the loan was first accepted.


Borrowers can also change their payment schedule twice during the term of their loan. OneMain charges APRs between 18 to 35.99 percent. The only way to get a lower APR is to have a good credit history, a stable income, as well as a moderately good financial situation.

Depending on the state laws, OneMain charges a flat or percentage origination fee of $25 to $500 or 1 to 10 percent of the borrowed loan amount. 

There are also other charges that most other lenders do not charge, including a flat fee or percentage fee of $5 to $30 or 1.5 to 15 percent in case of late payment.

You will also have to pay up to $50 if funds are returned due to insufficiency.

Here are the pros and cons of choosing OneMain:


  • Same-day funding is available
  • Suitable for people with a low credit score
  • Offers joint as well as secured loans
  • The minimum amount makes it attractive for people looking for a small loan


  • Additional charges such as late payment and origination fee

Despite high rates, OneMain Financial is a popular choice because it’s a well-known name with a good reputation. Consider it if you have a good score and urgency.

Oportun is a direct installment loan lender offering loans in 34 states. It offers small loan amounts to those with bad scores who need money fast. The best thing is that you do not need a specific credit score to qualify.

Borrowers are allowed to check their prequalification by performing a soft credit check. Opportunity offers loan amounts starting from $300 up to $10,000. Also, it gives the option to boost the amount to $20,000 but adding collateral such as a vehicle.

Secured loans have a term of 12 to 51 months, while unsecured loans have a term of 21 to 66 months. The minimum APR has not been specified on the Oportun website, but the maximum is 35.99 percent.


There are also additional payable charges such as an origination fee of up to $300 depending on the state. Borrowers are also charged a fee of $10 or 5 percent of their total loan amount in case they fail to make the payment within 10 days past the set date.

Here are the pros and cons of choosing Opportun:


  • Soft credit check for pre-qualification
  • Offers small loan amounts starting at $300
  • Borrowers with no credit score are also eligible
  • Offers both secure and unsecured loans


  • Only available in 34 states

Oportun can be a good choice for applicants with little to no credit history, however, beware that you will have to pay additional charges. 


That wraps up our list of the best installment loan from direct lenders. There’s more to borrowing an installment loan than just the loan amount. Check and compare APRs as well as payment terms to find the option that best fits your financial situation.

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