Achieve is an online personal finance company. Achieve debt consolidation loans can help people reduce their interest payment so they can pay off their debts sooner. Their loans are made in partnership with Cross River Bank, which is a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank. They are a legitimate and regulated lender. They have 20 years of experience in consumer finance and they’ve provided over $7.5 billion in loans to over 400,000 customers.
In addition to personal and debt consolidation loans, they also offer debt resolution and home equity loans.
Why use Achieve for debt consolidation
There’s nothing special about Achieve’s debt consolidation loans and you should only use them if their loan fits your needs.
Here’s what’s really important. Regardless of the lender you choose, there’s only one good reason to consolidate your debt. I’ll get to that in a second. Here are some things you may have heard that are not reasons to consolidate your debt.
1) Debt consolidation will simplify your debt payments. This is true, but it’s a small side benefit and not a reason for debt consolidation.
2) You can lower your monthly payments. Again this is true. It’s also usually a bad idea. By lowering your payments, you’re likely extending the amount of time you’ll be in debt. And probably paying more interest in the long run. Not a good strategy.
3) Debt consolidation gets you out of debt. This is not true. It pays off your current debts, but creates a new one. You have to pay off the loan if you want to be out of debt!
The reason to get a debt consolidation loan is to reduce your interest expense and get out of debt faster.
Achieve debt consolidation loan
Achieve offers loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 with terms ranging from 2 to 5 years.
Achieve, like most lenders who offer debt consolidation, charges an origination fee on their loans. The fee ranges from 1.99% up to 5.99%. You can expect the rate to be higher on smaller loans.
They do not charge a prepayment fee on their loans and the website says no hidden fees. This likely means only that there are no other fees required with the loan.
They do not mention things like late payment fees or NSF fees. These are punitive fees and not part of the loan. Therefore, since they don’t specifically mention these fees, you can expect them if you run into trouble repaying your loan.
Achieve APRs range from 7.99% to 35.99%. They say in the fine print that in order to qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit, a loan amount of $12,000 or less, and a term of 24 months. The only way to know what rate they will offer you is to apply. Fortunately, they do offer a pre-qualification application that won’t affect your credit score.
How do Achieve debt consolidation loans work?
Achieve debt consolidation loans work like any other personal loan. You will need to submit an application first. After approval and verification of your identity, they will either send the money directly to you or pay off your creditors for you. For debt consolidation loans, they offer you a rate discount if you let them pay your creditors directly!
They also offer rate discounts if you add a qualified co-borrower to your loan or if you can show proof of sufficient retirement funds in a 401k, IRA, ROTH IRA or Thrift Savings Plan.
Will applying with Achieve affect my credit score?
The initial application process with Achieve uses a soft credit inquiry to let you check your rate and that does not impact your credit score. If you decide to move forward after that, a hard inquiry will be posted to your credit report and this usually causes a small drop in your credit score. The impact is usually short lived, just a few months.
What credit score do I need to get a loan with Achieve?
Achieve requires a minimum credit score of 620. That’s a lower minimum than most personal loan lenders! But having a 620 or even a 720 credit score, does not guarantee approval. They will also review things like your debt to income ratio and your overall credit history.
What to do before borrowing from Achieve
Here are the 5 steps you should take before taking a debt consolidation loan with Achieve
Step 1: Determine how much you need to borrow. You need to look at your outstanding debts and decide which ones it makes sense to consolidate. Add up the outstanding balances to see how big of a loan you need.
Step 2: Determine the APR you need for this to make good financial sense. You don’t want to increase your interest expense when using a debt consolidation loan.
Note: Steps 1 and 2 really go together
There’s no rule that you have to consolidate all of your debts when doing a debt consolidation loan. You may look at consolidating different debts and determine the amount and APR you need for each. The easiest way to do this is to create a quick list each of your creditors, the amount you owe, and the interest rate. While your at it, I would also recommend adding the monthly payment and how long it will be before the debt is paid off. These things are useful for other decisions, including step 3.
Step 3: It’s the B word… You have to make a budget! No one likes budgeting but planning your monthly expenses will ensure that you are paying down your debt without adding new debt. If you struggle with this you may consider working with a financial coach.
Step 4: Minimize the use of your credit cards. You shouldn’t close them but here’s what I suggest. First, only pay for your recurring monthly expenses with them and second set them on autopay to pay the balance in full each month. This keeps them in good standing for your credit score and prevents the balances from creeping up again. That’s an easy trap to step into and one you want to avoid!
Step 5: Shop around! You need to shop around for the best loan offers. Before applying you should check that the lender uses a soft inquiry pre qualification program, like the one Achieve uses.
Better yet, you can also use a loan matching program like ours at The Yukon Project. We have a network of over 40 lenders using soft credit inquiries with just one application. This will let you get as many loan offers as possible without a lot of work. That way you can choose the lender that offers the best loan for you! I’ve put the link in the description below!
Is taking a debt consolidation loan with Achieve a good idea?
Taking any debt consolidation loan depends on your financial situation! If the loan is going to save you money on interest, help you pay more to principal each month, and get you out of debt faster then yes. But do the math first!
Consider your effort as well. If you look at your debts and loan offers and think it’s only going to save you $50 then maybe it’s not worth it. But if you’re one of the millions of people who could save $1000 or more in interest over the next 3 years, then it’s probably a good move for you.
Summing up Achieve debt consolidation loans!
- They offer loans to people with credit scores of 620 and higher
- Their loan amounts vary from $5,000 to $50,000 with terms ranging from 2 to 5 years
- They charge origination fees but no other fees on the loan.
- The have APRs that range from 7.99% to 35.99% though most people will not get 7.99%
- Lastly you should check your interest rate with multiple lenders before taking a loan with Achieve!