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Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review – Fixed Rate, No Fee Personal Loans

At a Glance
4.2 / 5
Rating

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

  • Account Types: Personal loans (unsecured), savings account, CDs
  • Loan Terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Loan Size: $3,500 to $40,000
  • CD Terms: 6 months to 6 years
  • Loan Rates: About 6.99% to 24.99% APR (subject to change with prevailing interest rates)
  • Origination Fee: None
  • Savings Account Yield: 1.95% APY
  • CD Yields: 0.60% APY to 3.15% APY

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is a fixed-rate, no-fee, unsecured personal loan provider positioned as a straightforward and potentially lower-cost alternative to credit cards. Its biggest selling point bears repeating: Loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® never carry fees, ever.

You can borrow up to $40,000 in a single loan from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, much higher than credit limits allowed by most entry-level cash back credit cards and bank-issued unsecured personal loans. Though loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® have multiple use cases, they’re particularly useful for consumers looking to get a handle on high-interest debts without enduring arduous periods of credit counseling.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® does have fairly strict underwriting requirements, rendering its loan options unsuitable for consumers who might qualify for secured credit cards. And the company doesn’t make secured loans. If you have substantial equity in your home or another major tangible asset, you’ll likely qualify for a lower rate by borrowing against it – for example, with a home equity loan or line of credit.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® also offers high-yield savings accounts and CDs. You don’t have to be a loan customer to open a deposit account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs®.

Not sure whether a loan from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is the right choice to address the financial pressures you’re currently facing down? Read on to learn more about these loans’ features, advantages, drawbacks, and overall suitability.

Key Features

Loan Size and Use

Loan principals range from $3,500 to $40,000. You can request any amount within this range, but your borrower profile and intended loan use may affect your upper borrowing limit. Featured use types include debt consolidation, credit card consolidation, and home improvement.

Loan Terms

Loan terms range from 36 to 72 months. Longer-term loans generally have lower monthly payments, though you’ll likely pay more interest over the life of the loan. Longer-term loans are reserved for Marcus’s most creditworthy borrowers.

Loan Rates

Rates on loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® range from 6.99% to 24.99% APR. Your rate will depend on your credit score and other factors specific to your financial situation. Once established, it remains fixed for the entire term. Lower rates are reserved for Marcus’s most creditworthy borrowers.

Credit Requirements

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® generally requires a minimum FICO score of 660. Loans aren’t designed for credit-impaired borrowers.

Application Process

The Marcus by Goldman Sachs® application process is relatively straightforward:

  • Complete a basic prequalification questionnaire that should take just a few minutes
  • Specify how much you’d like to borrow and what you intend to use the loan for
  • Marcus conducts a preliminary credit check that doesn’t affect your credit score
  • Marcus assembles a range of loan options for you, each with a different monthly payment determined by rate and term length
  • Choose the loan option that best fits your needs – for instance, a longer term for a lower monthly payment, or a shorter term for a quicker payoff with less lifetime interest charged
  • Provide additional information, including proof of income and identity verification, and submit your application (this will affect your credit score)
  • Log into your online account to check your application status
  • Marcus gets back to you with an up-or-down decision within one to two business days
  • Complete, e-sign, and submit your loan documents
  • Marcus deposits your loan principal into your bank account within two business days

Restrictions and Availability

By law, you can’t refinance or consolidate student loan debt with your loan from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®.

Per company policy, you can’t have more than one outstanding loan at once. If you’d like to apply for a second loan, you need to pay off your original loan first.

Loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® are available to U.S. consumers aged 18 and older in most states and the District of Columbia. Certain states have higher age requirements – for instance, it’s 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico. Loans aren’t available in Maryland.

Payment Options

You can make payments on your loan via automatic direct debit (AutoPay), manual phone or online payments, and mailed check. When paying by check, you need to allow sufficient time for the payment to reach Marcus’s processing facility before the due date.

Customizable Payment Date

You can choose your preferred payment date during the application process. Marcus by Goldman Sachs® allows you to change it up to three times during your loan term.

On-Time Payment Reward

When you make 12 consecutive on-time payments, you’re rewarded with an on-time payment reward: a one-month payment deferral that you can use at your leisure, whenever you could use the financial breathing room. Each additional 12-month stretch of on-time payments earns you another one-month deferral. There’s no limit to the number of deferrals you can earn over the life of your loan.

Savings Products

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers 2 high-yield savings products:

  • Savings Account: This account yields 1.95% APY on all balances above $1. There’s no minimum deposit or balance requirement. By law, savings account holders are limited to 6 withdrawals per statement cycle.
  • Certificates of Deposit: Marcus by Goldman Sachs® CD terms range from 6 months to 6 years. Yields rise in direct proportion to term, from 0.60% APY on the 6-month product to 3.15% APY on the 6-year product. The minimum deposit and minimum balance to earn interest is $500 on all terms. Penalties for early withdrawal of principal range from 90 days’ interest on CDs with terms of 12 months or less to 365 days’ interest on CDs with terms longer than 5 years.

You don’t need to have an existing loan account to apply for a savings account or CD with Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. The application process is streamlined for loan customers, but it’s not particularly onerous even for first-timers.

Customer Service

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® has a customer service hotline for loan and savings account customers available Monday through Friday, from 8am to 10pm Eastern, and Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 7pm Eastern.

Advantages

  1. No Fees, Ever. Marcus by Goldman Sachs® charges no fees, ever. The platform makes money from interest charges only. Apparently, that’s more than enough to cover its expenses. Needless to say, this is a welcome advantage over credit cards, which can charge hefty annual, late payment, and balance transfer fees – to name but a few.
  2. Rates Fixed for the Life of the Loan. Loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® have fixed rates for their entire terms – up to 72 months. That’s a big advantage over credit cards, whose rates typically vary with prevailing rates (LIBOR and other benchmarks).
  3. Higher Borrowing Limit Than Most Credit Cards. Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers higher borrowing limits than most entry-level and premium credit cards – up to $30,000 for qualified borrowers. This is great news for borrowers with substantial, if not overwhelming, debt loads.
  4. Choose From Multiple Loan Options. Once you’re prequalified for a loan, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® gives you multiple loan options from which to choose. You can pick the option with the optimal term length, monthly payment, and interest rate – whatever matters most. Other loan providers have a take-it-or-leave-it approach: If you don’t like their offers, you have limited recourse.
  5. Flexible Payment Options. You can make payments on your loan from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® by automatic debit, phone, online, or mail. You should find at least one of those amenable.
  6. On-Time Payment Reward for 12 Consecutive Payments. When you make 12 consecutive on-time payments, you get to defer one future payment – a great way to gain some financial breathing room in anticipation of a nice spring break trip or holiday shopping spree. There’s no limit to how many payment rewards you can earn over the life of your loan.
  7. Competitive Savings Options. While Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is known first and foremost for its loans, its high-yield savings accounts and CDs deserve a mention too. The high-yield savings account’s 1.95% APY goes toe-to-toe with the best online savings accounts on the market. The 5- and 6-year CDs’ yields are tough to beat, too.

Disadvantages

  1. Loans Require FICO Score of 660 or Higher. Marcus by Goldman Sachs® generally requires a FICO score of 660 or better. This is disqualifying for consumers with impaired credit – a common issue for those dealing with high debt burdens. Loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® are better suited to consumers whose debt troubles have yet to substantially impact their credit scores.
  2. Interest Rate Kicks in Right Away. Unlike credit cards with 0% APR balance transfer promotions, interest on loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® kicks in right away. It doesn’t matter if the loan’s regular APR is lower than a balance transfer credit card’s when said balance transfer card waives interest for 12, 15, 18, or even 21 months. If you’re confident that you can zero out your entire high-interest revolving debt load during this time frame, opt for a balance transfer card like Chase Slate® or Citi Simplicity.
  3. Only One Type of Loan Available. Marcus by Goldman Sachs® only really offers one type of credit product: an unsecured personal loan built for consolidating or refinancing higher-interest debt (though other uses are permitted). Most traditional banks and some online lenders have a wider range of credit options, including small business loans, credit cards, secured personal loans, home equity lines of credit, and more.
  4. No P2P Element. Loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® aren’t peer-to-peer (P2P). Unlike sharing economy platforms, such as Prosper and Lending Club, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® does not use funds supplied by individual investors to fund its loans. If a sense of community is important to you, or you’re interested in adding P2P loans to your investment portfolio, look to a reputable peer-to-peer platform.
  5. Can’t Refinance Student Loan Debt With a Loan From Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. Legally, you’re not allowed to refinance student loan debt with your loan from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. While this drawback isn’t unique to Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, it’s still an issue for prospective customers looking to manage or reduce crushing student debt burdens. If you’re in that camp, you’ll need to reach out to your lender or a company that specializes in student loan refinancing.
  6. Not Available to Maryland Residents. Loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® aren’t available to Maryland residents. That’s not a big deal if you live anywhere else in the United States, but if you live around Washington, D.C., Baltimore, or anywhere else in the Old Line State, you’ll need to look elsewhere for your unsecured personal loan.

Final Word

As we’ve seen, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® isn’t the only option for liquidity-seeking consumers. While every type of credit product has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, you owe it to yourself to remain educated about the possibilities – and cognizant of the risks associated with any loan or line of credit.

As you research your options and zero on in the right product for your needs, take a few minutes to review our tip sheet on using credit cards and credit card rewards responsibly. If you decide that Marcus by Goldman Sachs® isn’t the right loan product for you, check out our full lineup of credit card reviews. And, if you’re aiming to rebuild your credit with a secured credit card, our roundup of the best secured credit cards on the market might be of interest.

Verdict
4.2 / 5
Rating

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® loans are designed for borrowers who have relatively good credit, love straight talk, and hate tacky fees (though who doesn’t). For those who qualify, loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® have key advantages over credit card balance transfers – namely, higher borrowing limits and easier-to-understand terms. For those who don’t, high-yield savings products provide solace.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® isn’t ideal for consumers with modest debt loads that can be squared away before balance transfer cards’ 0% APR promotional periods end. Nor is it appropriate for consumers with significantly impaired credit or substantial student loan debt. And, for those seeking a one-stop deposit institution, the lack of checking accounts is problematic.

Key advantages include no loan fees, fixed rates for the life of all loans, higher borrowing limits than most credit cards, multiple loan options for each applicant, flexible payments, on-time payment rewards after 12 consecutive payments, and competitive savings products.

Notable drawbacks include strict underwriting requirements, no 0% APR interest period, one main type of loan, no P2P element, restrictions on refinancing student loan debt, and geographical restrictions.

Overall, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is a great resource for qualified borrowers with substantial, but not overwhelming, high-interest revolving debt burdens and no patience for nickel-and-diming or smoke-and-mirrors marketing. It’s also a great place to perk savings over the short to medium terms.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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