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promise_logo_horizontal_02Promise Financial is an online lender that markets loans for special occasions such as weddings or for buying an engagement ring.

Promise is a good fit for people who:

  • Have good credit scores. The minimum required score for an individual applicant is 620, although borrowers have an average score of 680, the company says.
  • Can get a co-signer with good credit. Some applicants who don’t qualify on their own may be able to add a co-signer. The co-signer needs to have a score of 660 or higher and at least five years of credit history, while the borrower can have a score as low as 580.
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio below 35% for an individual applicant or below 40% for those with co-signers.

Detailed Promise Financial personal loan review

To review Promise Financial, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives, viewed the online loan application process with sample data and compared the lender with others that seek the same customers or offer a similar product.

How to apply

Minimum requirements

Lending terms

Fees and penalties

Learn more about personal loans

New Jersey-based Promise Financial partners with more than 350 wedding venues across the country, so you may run across it when you’re scoping out locations for the big day.

The loans are advertised for weddings, engagement rings and other life events, but as with most personal loans, you can use the money for any purpose.

Most Promise Financial borrowers use their loan to finance a big, one-time expense, but 10% to 20% use it to consolidate debt, CEO Josh Jersey says.

If you apply and don’t qualify for a loan, you may be able to add a co-signer with good credit. There are other lenders that allow co-signers, so it’s worth shopping around to see if you can get a lower rate.

Promise’s loan amounts, interest rates and fees are comparable to those at most other online lenders. Its special occasion loan doesn’t come with any special rates or perks.

NerdWallet recommends saving up money instead of taking a wedding loan. But if you’re considering such a loan, check out other lenders to compare rates. Every lender’s underwriting criteria are different, so rates can vary a lot. Most, including Promise, will let you see your rate with only a soft credit check that doesn’t affect your credit score.

How to apply for a Promise Financial loan

  1. Fill out the application on Promise Financial’s website. You’ll be asked to provide basic personal information, including your Social Security number. Promise pulls your credit report from credit bureau TransUnion; this is a hard credit check. promise-1
  1. If you qualify, you’ll get one or more loan offers, and you can choose which one you want. Promise also will tell you if you need to add a co-signer. promise-2
  1. If you need a co-signer, Promise generates an invitation link to send to that person.promise-4
  1. If you’re approved, you have to provide documents to verify your identity, income and bank details. After verification, you’ll get the money, minus an origination fee. You can make loan payments online. Promise will report your payments to all three credit bureaus.

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Minimum requirements for a Promise Financial loan

Minimum credit score required:

  • 620 for an individual.
  • 580 for an individual with a co-signer.
  • 660 for a co-signer.

Minimum gross income required: None.

Minimum credit history:

  • Two years for an individual.
  • Six months for an individual with a co-signer.
  • Five years for a co-signer.

Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 35% or less for an individual and 40% or less with a co-signer.

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Promise Financial’s lending terms

Annual percentage rate range: 6.99% to 29.99%.

Minimum loan amount: $ 3,000.

Maximum loan amount: $ 35,000.

Loan duration: Three years.

Time to receive funds: Typically next day.

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Promise Financial’s fees and penalties

Origination fee: 1% to 6%.

Prepayment fee: None.

Late fee: Greater of 5% of payment or $ 15 after 15-day grace period.

Personal-check processing fee: None.

Other fees: $ 15 returned payment fee.

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Before you take a personal loan

Consider other debt consolidation options

Check your credit report and score

Learn how personal loans work

Calculate payment scenarios

Have a plan for getting out of debt.

Amrita Jayakumar is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @ajbombay.

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