Barclays is an established international banking institution with a presence in over 40 countries. But despite its strong global footprint, it currently offers one loan product for the U.S. market: a personal loan that’s available by invitation only. Those who receive an invitation to apply for a Barclays personal loan can expect a straightforward application process and minimal fees.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Product Specifications
APRs start at 4.99%
Get a rate quote without impacting your credit
Personal loans available by invitation only
Qualification requirements not disclosed
Maximum loan amount of $35,000
- Barclays is an established lender offering personal loans by invitation only.
- It offers a minimum loan amount of $5,000, and a maximum of $35,000.
- You can choose your payment due date with a personal loan through Barclays.
- Once approved, it could take a few business days to receive your loan proceeds.
- APR Range 4.99% - 20.99%
- Loan Amounts $5,000 - $35,000
- Loan Terms 36, 48 or 60 months
- Recommended Minimum Credit Score Not disclosed
- Average Origination Fee $0
- Late Fee $0
- No fees: The Barclays personal loan comes free of fees, meaning that, unlike some lenders, Barclays will not charge a penalty for late payments or prepayment. Notably, the personal loan has no origination fee. Other online lenders charge up to 6% for loan origination.
- APRs start at 4.99%: If you qualify for the low-end APR from Barclays, your rate could be lower than what you'll get from other lenders, including some online competitors. With LendingClub, for example, the starting APR is 7.04%, and Avant's lowest APR is 9.95%. (Rates accurate as of Jan. 6, 2022.)
- Get a rate quote without impacting your credit: Barclays allows you to lock in your APR and select your loan terms before you submit a loan application, and you won’t be subject to a hard credit pull until you actually apply for a loan. Avoiding a hard pull can save you from losing around five points off your credit scores.
Even if a lender doesn’t charge late fees, missing a loan payment can have a negative impact on your credit scores.
- Personal loans available by invitation only: At this time, you’ll have to receive an invitation to apply for a personal loan through Barclays. Invitations may be sent by mail and will include an invitation code, which is required in order to see rate quotes or apply for a personal loan.
- Qualification requirements not disclosed: Barclays doesn’t share much information about how to qualify for their personal loan product. Some third parties state that the credit requirement is 700 points or higher, however, this is not confirmed by Barclays.
- Maximum loan amount of $35,000: Barclays fails to compete with other lenders when it comes to the maximum amount you can borrow. Other lenders, including Sofi and LightStream, offer personal loans up to $100,000.
Barclays Bank Delaware (Barclays) is a major issuer of credit cards and loans. In the U.S., Barclays offers one loan product: a personal loan that’s available by invitation only. Those who receive a mailed invitation can visit a Barclays website to get a rate quote and apply.
Barclays' personal loan rates range from 4.99% to 20.99%, and loan amounts range from $5,000 to $35,000. Barclays does not specify what the loan can be used for, though debt consolidation seems to be an option. Those who wish to consolidate debt with their loan proceeds can have the funds sent directly to their creditors.
When it comes to fees, Barclays may be one of the best personal loans available, since the bank charges no origination, late payment, or prepayment fees. But it's hard to say who the loan is best for, since invitations are exclusive and requirements for loan approval aren’t disclosed upfront.
Barclays was established in London in the 1690s. The bank launched its first credit card, the Barclaycard, in 1966.
Barclays global headquarters is still in London, but it now serves 36 million customers across 40 countries. The bank's U.S. headquarters is in New York City.
For U.S. customers, Barclays offers a personal loan that’s available by invitation only. Other Barclays products for the U.S. market include savings accounts, CDs, and a large selection of co-branded rewards credit cards.
While Barclays is a well-established bank, its history may be of concern to potential borrowers. Over the last few decades, Barclays has been at the center of several financial scandals and has paid out multiple settlements for defrauding customers.
Types of Personal Loans Offered by Barclays
Barclays offers one personal loan product for the U.S. market. The personal loan is unsecured and has a fixed APR. All eligible uses aren’t disclosed, though debt consolidation seems to be an option. The bank makes debt consolidation more convenient by allowing borrowers to send loan funds directly to creditors.
Loan qualifications aren’t disclosed on the Barclays website, and applications for the loan are available by invite-only. According to third-party sources, Barclays requires credit scores around 700 or higher in order to qualify.
Time to Receive Funds
If your loan application is approved, you’ll receive the loan funds from Barclays within a few business days of accepting the bank’s offer. This is a typical timeframe compared to some online lenders, however, some do offer funding in as little as one business day.
You can choose to receive your personal loan from Barclays in one of three ways:
- Deposit to a U.S. checking account
- Deposit to a U.S. savings account
- Pay off up to five separate credit card balances through funds transfer to creditors
Barclays Personal Loan Features
Soft Pull for a Rate Quote
Barclays doesn’t do a hard credit pull until you decide to apply for a loan, which means you'll be able to see your APR without taking a hit to your credit. You can check your rate, lock in your APR, and choose your repayment term before applying. That saves you the headache of submitting an application, and possibly losing points on your credit score, while you decide if it's the right loan for you.
No Fees for Borrowing
The Barclays personal loan has no fees whatsoever, which can mean big savings for borrowers. In addition to charging interest, other lenders may charge a prepayment fee, which is a charge for paying more than your required monthly amount, as well as a fee for late-payments and an origination fee. All of these charges are worth taking into consideration before you apply for any financing, since they can make it expensive to borrow money.
Competitive APR Range
Barclays offers APR ranging from 4.99% to 20.99% (as of Jan. 6, 2022). While the high-end APR might be a deterrent for borrowers, it’s still lower than some of Barclays’ competitors. A personal loan from LendingClub can range as high as 25.89% APR, and loans from Avant and Prosper can come with APRs up to 35.99%.
From application to loan repayment, the borrowing experience with Barclays is all digital. The bank has no physical branches and applications are only accepted online. Loan statements are paperless. Borrowers will need to log into the website for account access since the Barclays mobile app is only available for savings and credit card customers.
Apply for a Barclays Personal Loan
If you receive an invitation, you can visit the web address listed on your invitation and complete an application in as little as a few minutes. Follow these steps to apply:
- Check your rate: Click the “Check your rate” button, then enter your invitation code and last name to view a rate quote.
- Select your loan term: Choose your repayment term (either 36, 48, or 60 months). Then you’ll see your rate, a quote on your loan amount, and your estimated monthly payment amount.
- Apply for your loan: To apply, you’ll need to provide your name, address, contact information, Social Security number, employment information, and financial background information.
Additionally, you’ll be required to upload requested documents, which you can do through Barclays online Application Center.
Once you submit your application, Barclays will conduct a hard credit pull to determine your loan amount and monthly payment. In some cases, Barclays will let you know if you’re approved within the same day, however, most loan decisions take a few days.
Can I Refinance a Personal Loan With Barclays?
Personal loan refinancing is not available through Barclays.
If you’re refinancing a loan, pay attention to fees. Between application fees, origination fees, and more, a refinance may not actually save you money on your loan repayment.
Barclays offers customer support over the phone every day. To speak to a Relationship Manager, contact the Barclays call center at 888-710-8756 on weekends or weekdays, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.
There’s room for improvement in Barclays’ customer service experience. The bank’s rating on Trustpilot is just 2 out of 5 stars, and several complaints mention problems with account access and poor customer service.
Consumer Affairs (CA) rates Barclays a 3.5 out of 5 stars, with a noted drawback being limited customer support. However, it's worth noting that Ally Bank, another online bank and “top pick” of CA, is rated just 3.6 out of 5 stars.
Barclays' recent legal troubles may also raise red flags for customers. The bank has paid out multiple settlements, including one for $2 billion in 2018, for suits related to defrauding individual customers and investors.
Personal loan customers can log into the Barclays website to view their account history and loan balance, as well as make payments or set up automatic payments. Barclays does not issue paper statements or provide loan account management through its mobile app.
How Barclays Compares to Other Personal Loan Companies
Barclays personal loan product has a lot of standout features. The bank charges no fees and its rates are lower than some competitors. But Barclays personal loan is an elite product, which means it may be difficult to qualify for.
Not only do you need an invitation to apply, but you may need a credit score of 700 or higher in order to be approved. If your scores are below 700, consider another lender like Prosper, which requires just 640 or higher. You could also try Avant, which works mainly with borrowers in the 600 to 700 credit score range.
If you’re curious about other options, here’s a look at how Barclays compares to SoFi, another online lender offering personal loans:
Barclays vs. SoFi
Both Barclays and SoFi offer personal loans online, with no fees for borrowing. Here’s a look at how some of their features compare:
- Borrow up to $35,000 through Barclays or up to $100,000 through SoFi
- Unlike Barclays, SoFi accepts “co-borrowers,” or joint applications, which can be useful if you’re working on building credit
- SoFi’s Unemployment Protection can provide up to 12 months of loan forbearance for those who qualify
While these two companies offer nearly identical APR ranges, SoFi provides a very different experience for borrowers. It offers a mobile app that can be used for managing loans, a variety of complimentary services, discounts and bonuses for members, and better customer service ratings.
Read the full SoFi personal loans review.
For those who receive an invitation, there are good reasons to consider a personal loan from Barclays. Rates are competitive and the lack of fees can amount to significant savings when compared with other lenders.
But even if you do qualify for a loan through Barclays, you may still want to consider other lenders. Not only can you find a number of online lenders with no fees, faster funding times, and more transparent requirements, but you may also find a lender with a better track record when it comes to putting customers first.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.
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