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Loans Bad Credit Online – Loans Bad Credit Online – Chinese economy: Beijing’s war on the credit boom | Fintech Zoom

Like many small businesses across China, Zheng Weijun’s freight company had struggled to obtain credit from the state-dominated banking system. But in 2018 the 12-lorry business discovered Fincera, a peer-to-peer platform in Hebei province that collected money from retail investors starved of returns and channelled it to borrowers, mainly small trucking and logistics companies.

“We qualified for a Rmb200,000 [$31,000] loan and used it to expand the business,” Zheng says, adding that Fincera charged his company 9 per cent interest annually. “The traditional financial system does not reach down to us.”

Just a year later, however, the credit dried up after Hebei police accused Fincera of “illegal fundraising” — something it denies. “The government shut it down and offers no alternative,” Zheng complains, adding that his company’s recent loan applications have been rejected by state banks. “How are we to judge whether a [P2P] platform is good or bad? We only care that Fincera was willing to offer us a loan.”

Fincera’s founder and chair, Li Yonghui, was detained by police in December 2019 and is awaiting trial. The platform’s operations — it had Rmb9bn under management — are now in limbo, with investors unable to get their money back and borrowers unsure of how to repay their loans.

Li Yonghui, chair of Fincera, a peer-to-peer lender in Hebei province, was detained in 2019 and is awaiting trial. The Chinese government shut down Fincera leaving investors unable to get their money back and borrowers unsure of how to repay their loans © REUTERS

A former Fincera employee, who asked not to be named, argues that “there were no issues” at a platform that was delivering credit to a neglected sector of the Chinese economy. “They completely shut down the business anyway,” he says. “Accounts and systems were frozen, no one could manage anything. The police just took control and asked borrowers to pay the money back, but they are not going to be able to devote much manpower to that.”

Fincera, its clients and investors are collateral damage in a wide-ranging crackdown on financial risk waged by President Xi Jinping and vice-premier Liu He, the Chinese Communist party’s most powerful financial official, for the past five years. While the US is pledging to “go big” as its economy comes out of the pandemic crisis, China’s leaders are focused on the threat of excessive risk-taking in the financial system.

The campaign initially focused on P2P platforms and other components of China’s once rampant shadow banking sector — the off-balance sheet activities that financial institutions used to funnel credit to borrowers, especially those in the private sector who found it difficult to borrow directly from banks. It has since been extended to internet finance and property.

Some analysts warn that in curbing the credit-fuelled excesses of the past decade, Xi and Liu risk an overcorrection that could stifle innovative areas of financial activity and, ultimately, economic growth. From 2016 to 2019, the average annual increase in China’s corporate bankruptcies exceeded 30 per cent.

President Xi Jinping, right, and vice-premier Liu He. Some analysts warn that in curbing the credit-fuelled excesses of the past decade, Xi and Liu risk stifling innovative areas of financial activity and economic growth © Jason Lee/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

“China achieved tremendous catch-up growth by allowing market forces to play a larger role and by changing the incentives driving individual and entrepreneurial behaviour,” says Diana Choyleva, chief economist at Enodo Economics in London. “Top-down party control has been a drawback, not an engine, for growth.”

Zhu Ning, deputy dean at the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, argues that Liu’s approach is necessary to disabuse people of the notion that the government will bail out everyone from individual investors to large banks and bond issuers when their bets go awry.

“The attempt to deleverage and rid the financial system of prevalent government guarantees may induce undesirable consequences and market panic,” he says. “But it is more of a trade-off between short-term and long-term goals . . . China has to work hard on preventing potential risks from interrupting its growth trajectory and sustainability in the long run.”

‘Borrowed money must be repaid’

During Xi’s first term in power, Liu operated in the shadows as one of the president’s most trusted advisers. Yet, even before he became a vice-premier and was promoted to the Communist party’s politburo in March 2018, Liu wielded far more power over financial and economic policy than the country’s premier, Li Keqiang — who is nominally responsible for the economy. Liu’s expansive portfolio now stretches as far as trade negotiations with both the US and EU.

“It is necessary to establish good standards of behaviour, psychological guidance and supervision,” he said in May 2018, shortly after his promotion, “so that society understands borrowed money must be repaid, investment entails risk and those who do evil things will have to pay a price”.

The P2P industry was just one of Liu’s many targets after its meteoric growth — and the collapse of some platforms — raised concerns about the sector’s stability. In the four years to May 2018, outstanding P2P loans soared from just Rmb30.9bn to more than Rmb1tn, according to Wind, a Chinese data provider. By the end of 2019 that figure had more than halved, to Rmb492bn.

Line chart of Value of outstanding peer-to-peer loans in China (Rmb bn) showing The rise and fall of Chinese P2P loans

In addition to targeting P2P platforms such as Fincera, authorities ultimately reporting to Liu have ordered sweeping investigations into the shadow banking sector, overseas investments by some of the country’s largest private-sector conglomerates and large bond issuers responsible for a series of high-profile defaults late last year.

Most recently, Xi and Liu, who also heads the powerful Financial Stability and Development Committee that oversees the central bank and China’s banking and securities regulators, have made global headlines by training their sights on Jack Ma’s Ant Group, China’s largest fintech company.

On Monday, Xi chaired a high-profile meeting that increased the pressure on Ant and other internet platforms. According to state media, the party’s central finance and economics committee warned that “some platform companies are developing in non-standard ways that present risks . . . It is necessary to accelerate the improvement of laws governing platform economies in order to fill in gaps and loopholes in a timely fashion.”

Ant Group headquarters in Hangzhou. Ant’s $37bn initial public offering was scrapped just days after Liu’s financial stability committee warned of ‘the rapid development of financial technology and innovation’ © Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

The outcome of the dramatic crackdown on Ma’s empire and the fintech industry will be a defining moment for the party’s relationship with the private sector, especially as Xi prepares to begin an unprecedented third term in power in 2022.

Ant’s $37bn initial public offering, which would have been the world’s largest had it proceeded as scheduled last November, was scrapped just days after Liu’s financial stability committee warned that “with the rapid development of financial technology and innovation, it is necessary to strengthen supervision in order to effectively guard against risks”. Alibaba, Ma’s ecommerce group, is the subject of a parallel anti-monopoly investigation launched by China’s market regulator.

Not even the all-important property sector, a critical motor for the world’s second-largest economy, has been spared. In November, Guo Shuqing, head of the banking regulator and also the central bank’s top party official, said the real estate industry was the country’s biggest “grey rhino in terms of financial risks”, accounting for about 40 per cent of total bank lending. The pronouncement followed concerted efforts by Chinese regulators to enforce “red lines” aimed at curtailing developers’ leverage.

Chen Long at Plenum, a Beijing-based consultancy, says the real estate market is “the only major bright spot” in otherwise “mediocre” post-pandemic consumption, with property sales now on their strongest run in five years. But, adds Andrew Polk at the advisory group Trivium in Beijing, a reckoning is coming: “One consistently winning bet has been that if Guo calls out a problem, it gets addressed.”

Column chart of Value of outstanding products at year-end (Rmb tn) showing Wealth management products exceeded Rmb30tn before China's crackdown

Financial risk as ‘national security’

In the spring of 2016 an anonymous article by “an authoritative person” was published on the front page of the People’s Daily — the party’s flagship newspaper. It warned about the dangers of the country’s rising debt levels in part due to a Rmb4tn stimulus programme launched in the wake of the global financial crisis. The mysterious author was Liu. A year later, Xi officially designated financial risk as a matter of “national security”.

Such views help explain why the Chinese government’s fiscal and economic response to the coronavirus pandemic has been relatively restrained. Beijing did let overall debt levels climb and tolerated a bigger budget deficit last year. But even as economic output fell almost 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 — the first year-on-year decline in decades — it still shunned “helicopter money” largesse and other forms of financial support showered by other governments on their citizenry.

At the annual session of China’s parliament, which closed on March 11, the government also signalled its intention to rein in most of the support measures it authorised last year to help weather the pandemic.

“Last year the economy was driven primarily by the traditional levers of infrastructure and real estate investment, which hit record levels,” says Jeremy Stevens, chief China economist for Standard Bank. “Policymakers, loath to go down this path, felt they had no choice.

The annual session of the Chinese parliament at which the government announced it was to rein in most of the support measures that started last year in response to the pandemic © Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

“[They] know this comes at the expense of tomorrow’s growth, reinforces structural imbalances in the economy and exacerbates over-reliance on credit and infrastructure,” he adds. “China had an already stressed financial system to boot — a reality exacerbated by [aggressive] bank forbearance and lending last year.”

One prominent Chinese financier, who advises the government on policy issues, says he avoided the Ant IPO because of this larger policy backdrop. “To me it was very clear a year ago that [tougher fintech] regulation was just around the corner — capital requirements, licensing for taking deposits and a much lower interest rate ceiling for online consumer lenders,” the financier says.

“Five years ago everybody was talking about shadow banking,” he adds. “Who is talking about shadow banking now? Thousands of P2P lenders have disappeared. It was a long, multiyear process. It is not overnight that this happened.”

When regulators began attacking the shadow banking sector in 2017, the outstanding amount of wealth management products was estimated at Rmb29tn or 40 per cent of gross domestic product, according to official data. At the end of 2020 they were estimated to be worth Rmb25.9tn. But the crackdown made it even harder for smaller, private sector companies, such as Zheng’s trucking business, to access desperately needed credit. China’s private sector accounts for 80 per cent of China’s urban employment and 60 per cent of economic output.

“Squeezing P2P lenders and the shadow banking sector does constrain lending to the private sector,” says Eswar Prasad at Cornell University. “China,” he adds, “seems to take the path of giving innovators a lot of room and then cracking down hard when they grow too powerful or the risks become too large to ignore.” 

Jack Ma, head of Ant Group, made a speech criticising Xi and Liu’s orthodox attitude to financial risk two weeks before Ant’s IPO was abruptly cancelled by the authorities © Aly Song/Reuters

Ma risks it all

Many believe Jack Ma sealed his own fate with a speech on October 24 — a fortnight before Ant’s IPO was abruptly cancelled — when he seemed to criticise Xi and Liu’s financial risk orthodoxy as a penny-wise, pound-foolish strategy. “Very often an attempt to minimise risk to zero is the biggest risk itself,” the entrepreneur said.

The first sign that the Ant IPO might be in trouble came on October 31. And it came via Liu. His Financial Stability and Development Committee declared that “with the rapid development of financial technology and innovation, the relationship between development, stability and security must be properly handled”. Within days top regulators rolled out strict new rules that would curb Ant’s profitability, summoned Ma and senior Ant executives to emergency meetings, and cancelled Ant’s IPO at the direction of Xi.

The committee added that “regulators must do their work conscientiously and treat similar businesses and institutions equally” — a recognition of the longstanding complaints by China’s largest state-owned banks that Ant and other private-sector fintech competitors were benefiting unfairly from a supervisory regime that holds state banks to higher regulatory standards.

Xi has also been clear that his vision is of a future in which ever “stronger, bigger and better” state-owned enterprises continue to dominate the commanding heights of the world’s second-largest economy.

“Security and development are now seen as inextricably linked and security trumps all other considerations,” Choyleva says. “Xi’s focus has been on identifying and pre-empting security challenges rather than [waiting to] deal with them once they arise.”

China’s private sector accounts for 80 per cent of urban employment and 60 per cent of the country’s economic output © Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Continuing crusade

For its advocates, the fate of Fincera is an example of the excesses of Liu’s war on risk, especially when vague signals from Beijing — in this case about the dangers of P2P lending platforms — are taken to extremes by local officials.

Fincera was the largest P2P platform in central Hebei province, an industrial powerhouse with a population of 75m people. In July 2018, Hebei officials ordered by Beijing to investigate the sector said they had found no irregularities at the platform.

“That made us feel really comfortable,” says one retail investor whose family invested almost Rmb10m in Fincera at the time. “The government said ‘calm down, Fincera is legal’.”

A year later, however, Hebei officials resumed their investigation of Fincera and other P2P companies in the province as part of Liu’s broader crackdown on the sector. “Fincera has been subjected to countless investigations led by the Hebei Financial Bureau,” Li, the company’s chair, said in a social media post in July 2019. He added that his company “satisfies all centrally issued regulations” and is “operationally sound”.

Five months later, Li took his daily pre-dawn walk and never returned. On the same day, busloads of police descended on Fincera’s offices in Hebei and Beijing.

“It was basically all of my family’s savings,” says the investor, who asked not to be identified and now cannot get her money back. She fears she will have to sell her apartment: “We have become economic refugees.”

Such pain, however, is unlikely to deter Liu and his lieutenants from carrying on their crusade.

“We will continue to see a sustained focus on risk,” says Prof Prasad. “Even when they manage to control one aspect of leverage in the economy, it just pops up somewhere else. It’s a never-ending battle.”

Additional reporting by Xinning Liu, Sherry Fei Ju and Sun Yu in Beijing

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Cleaning up your credit safely

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TUCSON, Az. (KGUN) — Americans who are dealing with financial hardship because of job loss and aftermath caused by the pandemic could be struggling to make ends meat and in some cases they might be racking up credit card debt or they’re simply late on paying bills.

KGUN 9 caught up with Sean Herdrick with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona who says there are ways to get your credit fixed but you have to be careful about who’s handling your situation because they can take your money and leave you with bad credit.

“To see how many 1-star ratings there are for credit companies is frightening. They promise you they will do all of this stuff for your credit, get things taken off. Negotiate with your creditors. They’ll ask for a fee up front, you send them the fee and they never come back to you,” Herdrick said.

According to the BBB you can check their website to find out details about how a company operates. And while there are three common ways to fix your credit. It’s also a good idea to get schooled on extra fees.

“We vet the companies we accredit and if you find an accredited credit business chances are they’re doing a good job and they’re going to help you out. Credit counseling and that’s probably the best way. There’s also debt relief or settlement companies where they offer to settle your debts for you or come up with a plan to do that and a debt consolidation company they will offer a loan at a lower interest rate to help pay off all of your debts at once,” Herdrick said.

The U.S Department of Commerce released data that says Americans are spending their stimulus checks on clothing and sporting goods while others are using it for bills to fend off financial ruin and get their credit back on track.

“Do your research make sure the company you hire can give you what you need,” Herdrick said.

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Taking A Joint Home Loan Can Benefit You. Here’s Why – Forbes Advisor INDIA

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In India, buying a home is mostly the single largest investment made by an individual during their lifetime. As our families expand, we plan for the future and plan to invest in bigger homes that can comfortably accommodate and protect a growing family. However, such dream houses come at a significant cost, warrant access to huge funds, and hence, require key financial planning.

In most cases, individuals need to opt for home loans to fulfil the cost obligation associated with buying a house. Considering the amount and type of loan taken, there are certain eligibility criteria that one needs to be aware of before initiating applications. 

At the time of taking a home loan, your lender or you may wish to add another applicant, also called co-applicant, to your home loans for various reasons and the structure of having a co-applicant is referred to as a joint home loan. 

Let’s understand when and why should you take a joint home loan. 

Role of a Co-applicant in a Joint Home Loan

A lender while considering applications simply wants to check if the borrower can repay the home loan along with their household expenses and existing loans. Therefore, while calculating your eligibility they generally keep aside a certain fixed portion of your income that covers your existing expenses. An individual’s eligibility is decided on the basis of the discretionary amount left post calculating their interest repayments and monthly instalments. 

In a joint home loan, you can add another co-applicant or applicants who becomes liable to pay the home loan along with the primary applicant. Liability of the loan is a collective responsibility on both or all the co-applicants as well. Generally, immediate family members, including father, mother, spouse, children, and brother, are most eligible to become co-applicants in joint home loans. 

With such arrangements the question that mostly arises is whether the co-applicant is also the co-owner of the home being considered. Co-applicant or co-applicants may or may not be the co-owner of the property, however they have a liability to pay back the loan. The co-owner of the property is a joint owner along with other owners. 

As a safeguard and prudent underwriting practice, lenders ask all co-owners to also become co-applicants in home loans, however, the reverse need not be true. This is a decision the pros and cons of which should be carefully considered by the primary applicant while choosing joint home loans.

Why Choose a Joint Home Loan Over Any Other Loan 

There are a number of additional advantages in considering taking a joint home loan as compared to an individual home loan. These include higher loan amount eligibility, lower interest rates and other income tax benefits. 

Higher Loan Amount Eligibility: When you add an income-earning co-applicant to a loan, the lender considers the income level of all the applicants and calculates an eligibility amount higher than that of only one individual applying for a home loan. This allows applicants or families to take a larger home loan amount or purchase a more aspirational home since the room for increasing an applicant budget is possible. 

Lower Interest Rates: In order to avail lower interest rates individuals can add their spouses or mother as co-applicants for a joint home loan and as a joint property owner. This is useful as most lenders in India offer a lower rate of interest to women borrowers. It is up to 10 to 25 basis points lower than the interest rate for male borrowers. 

Tax Benefits: Tax benefits can be enjoyed by all the co-applicants separately. For this to happen, co-applicants should be property owners as well and should contribute to the payment of monthly instalments towards the repayment of the home loan. 

Income Tax benefits that are available to the all co-applicants include: 

  • Benefit under Section 80 C of the Income-Tax Act for the loan’s principal payment up to a maximum limit of INR 1.50 lakh per year. 
  • Benefits under Section 24 of the Income-Tax Act for interest paid on a home loan up to INR 2 lakh per year. 
  • In a joint home loan, both the applicants can claim the above amounts individually and use this as an effective tax planning tool

Co-applicants and first-time loan applicants can utilise the joint home loan as a great tool to improve their credit score, thereby easing the process for future loan applications as and when required for various other purposes. 

Necessary Documents Needed for a Joint Home Loan

Documentation is the most cumbersome and tiring part of taking any loan. However, it is a critical part of any lender’s operations as they would want to make sure that their borrower meets income eligibility and supporting documents are provided. 

There are a number of regulatory guidelines for the know your customer (KYC) and property-related documents, where it is imperative that all accurate documentation is shared to avoid unnecessary rejections and thereby delaying the availability of funds. 

For any home loan, typically an applicant needs to provide the following: –

  • KYC documents which include:
    • Identity Proof
    • Address Proof 
  • Income proof documents including but not limited to:
    • Salary slips, Form 16 issued by your employer or
    • Income tax returns (especially for self-employed) of the last three years
  • Property related documents such as: 
    • Agreement to sell, a sale deed or a registry 
    • Previous sale deed for the property (typically all transactions done on that property in the last 13 years) 
    • Few property or location-specific documents like a no-objection certificate (NOC) from relevant authorities or from your bank if the project is funded by any financer in case you are buying new property from a builder.

All applicants need to provide their KYC documents regardless of whether they earn an income or not or whether they even co-own the property. 

If you are applying for a joint home loan mainly for higher eligibility wherein the income of other applicants also needs to be considered, then income documents of all the applicants will be required to be shared with the lender in addition to KYC documents.  

If your purpose is to save on stamp duty charges by adding a female member of the house as a co-owner of the property, then you must make sure that the draft agreements and final sale deed or the registry documents have relevant members stated clearly as co-owners. 

If you are a nonresident Indian (NRI), you can issue a registered power of attorney (POA) in favour of a trusted family member for them to execute the necessary documentation on your behalf. However, you must ensure that the exact purpose of the required transactions are mentioned in the POA, thereby easing the process for compliance and reducing chances of rejection.

Factors to Consider Before Applying for a Loan

Before even applying for a joint loan, it is important to fully understand the lenders’ conditions, which differ depending on the provider you’re considering to approach. 

Lending Conditions

  • If the property has co-owners, in such a case, the lender, in all likelihood, insists all co-owners to become co-applicants as well. 
  • The lender may also insist any or one of your family members become co-applicants in the case of an NRI loan. 
  • If you have given the power of attorney to any of your family members, the lender is likely to insist one of the family members is available in the country as co-applicant for follow-ups and communication purposes to minimize repayment risks.

Credit Score Reports

It is always better to check your and the other co-applicant’s credit score and bureau report prior to applying. This will help to ensure that you are aware of all your past and current loans along with their performance over time. 

In some cases, if it is observed that you may have an old credit card with some minor payment overdue or incorrect reporting by any financial institution, it may lead to the possibility of hampering your overall credit score, reducing the chances of approval.

In India, there are primarily four credit bureaus via which you can check your credit report. Any bureau after paying relevant fees, which is about INR 500, will process your credit report. These credit bureaus include CIBIL, Equifax, CRIF Highmark and Experian.  

When to Avoid Taking a Joint Home Loan?

When a co-applicant already has significant loan obligations and is not left with sufficient income to be eligible for a higher home loan amount, it is generally advisable to reconsider taking a joint home loan and instead consider an individual home loan.

Healthy credit history is very important for lenders while considering applications and a co-applicant who has a bad credit history or poor track of repaying past loans is a major factor while assessing the eligibility of a new loan. 

If your income is sufficient to cover costs with no additional benefits available in terms of tax write-offs, it is suitable for you to avoid a joint home loan and keep the responsibility of your liability limited.

Joint home loans are also best avoided if there is a plan for taking on a larger liability or loan in the near future as the joint loan may impact the eligibility criteria of future loans due to existing liabilities.

Bottom Line

A joint home loan is a beneficial financial tool with the potential of helping the borrower secure higher loan amounts. 

It can aid individuals significantly improve their spending power and investing threshold while buying a larger and more comfortable home and at the same time keeping the primary applicant’s liabilities manageable by sharing the repayment burden with other co-applicants. 

If utilized correctly, it can help you enjoy higher tax benefits, while simultaneously reducing overall tax outgo on a yearly-basis. 

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Fixed-rate student loan refinancing rates inch up, but still hover near record low

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Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

The latest trends in interest rates for student loan refinancing from the Credible marketplace, updated weekly.  (iStock)

Rates for well-qualified borrowers using the Credible marketplace to refinance student loans into 10-year fixed-rate loans hit another low during the week of April 12, 2021.

For borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher who used the Credible marketplace to select a lender, during the week of April 12:

  • Rates on 10-year fixed-rate loans averaged 3.78%, up from 3.73% the week before and down from 4.81% a year ago. The record low for 10-year fixed rate loans was 3.71%, during the week of Feb. 15, 2021.
  • Rates on 5-year variable-rate loans averaged 3.26%, up slightly from 3.13% the week before and down from 3.28% a year ago. Variable-rate loans recorded a record low of 2.63% during the week of June 29, 2020.

Student loan refinancing weekly rate trends

If you’re curious about what kind of student loan refinance rates you may qualify for, you can use an online tool like Credible to compare options from different private lenders. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

Current student loan refinancing rates by FICO score

To provide relief from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, interest and payments on federal student loans have been suspended through at least Sept. 30, 2021. As long as that relief is in place, there’s little incentive to refinance federal student loans. But many borrowers with private student loans are taking advantage of the low interest rate environment to refinance their education debt at lower rates.

If you qualify to refinance your student loans, the interest rate you may be offered can depend on factors like your FICO score, the type of loan you’re seeking (fixed or variable rate), and the loan repayment term. 

The chart above shows that good credit can help you get a lower rate, and that rates tend to be higher on loans with fixed interest rates and longer repayment terms. Because each lender has its own method of evaluating borrowers, it’s a good idea to request rates from multiple lenders so you can compare your options. A student loan refinancing calculator can help you estimate how much you might save. 

If you want to refinance with bad credit, you may need to apply with a cosigner. Or, you can work on improving your credit before applying. Many lenders will allow children to refinance parent PLUS loans in their own name after graduation.

You can use Credible to compare rates from multiple private lenders at once without affecting your credit score.

How rates for student loan refinancing are determined

The rates private lenders charge to refinance student loans depend in part on the economy and interest rate environment, but also the loan term, the type of loan (fixed- or variable-rate), the borrower’s credit worthiness, and the lender’s operating costs and profit margin. 

About Credible

Credible is a multi-lender marketplace that empowers consumers to discover financial products that are the best fit for their unique circumstances. Credible’s integrations with leading lenders and credit bureaus allow consumers to quickly compare accurate, personalized loan options ― without putting their personal information at risk or affecting their credit score. The Credible marketplace provides an unrivaled customer experience, as reflected by over 4,300 positive Trustpilot reviews and a TrustScore of 4.7/5.

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