How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan (June 2024 Guide) (2024)

Why You Can Trust the MarketWatch Guides Team

Here’s a breakdown of how we reviewed and rated top personal loan providers


Providers RatedOur team researched more than two dozen of the country’s most popular personal lenders, including large online companies like SoFi, big banks like Wells Fargo, and peer-to-peer lenders like Upstart.


Data Points AnalyzedTo create our rating system, we analyzed each personal loan company’s disclosures, licensing documents, marketing materials, sample loan agreements and websites to understand their loan offerings and terms.


Loan Features TrackedOur team regularly collects data on each company’s loan offerings and terms, such as minimum and maximum loan amounts, origination fees and discounts.


Professionals ConsultedBefore we began our research process, we consulted with financial advisors and industry experts to ensure our evaluations covered the banking product aspects that matter most to potential customers.

How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan

We at the MarketWatch Guides team have researched the top picks for $50,000 loans and will help you understand how to qualify for them, step-by-step.

Is a personal loan really your best choice? Consider alternatives such as home equity loans or HELOCs, as well, comparing interest rates and terms before you decide.

If you decide to go with a $50,000 personal loan, we’ve researched dozens of the country’s top lenders to narrow down our top picks.

You’ll need to meet credit score, income and debt criteria for your lenders.

Narrow down your list to three or four lenders you think you’ll qualify for and check their rates and terms without impacting your credit score.

When you’ve found your top lender, use their online application to apply. Most lenders can fund your loan within one to three business days.

The Best Lenders for a $50,000 Personal Loan

Our top choices all have flexible terms, straightforward application processes, quick approval times and a variety of loan options to cater to different needs. Most importantly, they offer competitive annual percentage rates (APR). APRs show the true cost of the loan, measuring both interest rates and fees.

  • LightStream: Our top pick
  • SoFi: Best customer service
  • PenFed: Best for small loans
  • Upstart: Best for bad credit
  • U.S. Bank: Best for loyal customers
  • Upgrade: Best discounts
  • Wells Fargo: Best for in-person service


Our Top Pick

How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan (June 2024 Guide) (1)


Affordability: 33/35
Loan Features: 29/35
Customer Experience: 18/20
Company Reputation: 10/10

Interest Rate (APR)8.99% to 25.99%Term Options24 months to 144 monthsLoan Size Offered$5k to $100k

Why We Like LightStream

We like LightStream for its low rate guarantee and straightforward, customer-friendly approach to lending. It offers an unmatched combination of affordable interest rates, wide range of loan terms and no fees.

LightStreamis known for competitive interest rates and its “Rate Beat Program,” which offers to beat any qualifying competitor’s APR quote by 0.10%.

Pros & Cons

Pros Competitive interest rates: LightStream has some of the lowest rates in the industry for qualified borrowers, starting at under 9%. No fees: There are no origination fees, prepayment penalties or other hidden fees required. Flexible loan terms: Terms range from two to 12 years, the widest range on this list. Quick funding: There’s a streamlined online application and same-day approval and funding for eligible applicants, the fastest funding time of our top picks. Cons No in-person branches: LightStream operates solely online, which may be inconvenient if you prefer to bank in person. No pre-approval: Finding out the rate you’ll receive requires a hard credit inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score.

LightStream Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a LightStream loan, you will need a good to excellent credit score, which typically means 670 and above,according to credit scoring company FICO. Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit may find it challenging to be approved.

The company states on its website that excellent credit is required to get the lowest advertised rate, but it also reports that at least 33% of approved applicants from the first quarter of 2024 qualified for the lowest rate.

When evaluating applications, LightStream also considers factors such as income, employment history, credit history,the reason you’re taking out a loan (loan purpose)and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which is the sum of your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income.

Editor’s Take

The “Rate Beat” program is what really stands out here. If you have excellent credit, this almost guarantees that you’ll get the best deal with LightStream.



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Affordability: 30/35
Loan Features: 29/35
Customer Experience: 19/20
Company Reputation: 10/10

Interest Rate (APR)8.99% to 29.49%Term Options24 months to 84 monthsLoan Size Offered$5k to $100k

Why We Like SoFi

We likeSoFibecause of itsuser-friendly online platform and uniqueset ofcustomer benefit programs – including career counseling, financial planning and access to exclusive events.

The company also may pause your payments if you lose your job, helping you get back on your feet financially.

Pros & Cons

Pros Customer service programs: SoFi calls its customers “members,” and offers them an unparalleled slate of options, from career coaching to loan forbearance if they lose their jobs. Competitive interest rates: Rates range from 8.99% to 29.49%, as of this writing No fees: No required origination fees or prepayment penalties Robust mobile app: Easily manage accounts and access financial planning tools Cons May not offer the lowest rates for all borrowers: Those with excellent credit may find lower rates elsewhere. No in-person support: SoFi is an online-only bank, so you are limited to online or phone support for your loan.

SoFi Eligibility Requirements

SoFi’s eligibility requirements vary depending on the type of loan, but in general, the lenderlooks for applicants with a strong credit scoreof670 or higher.

SoFi also considers factors likefinancial history, employment history, DTI ratio and loan purpose in its approval process.

Only SoFi’s two-year term loans qualify for its lowest rates, with the minimum APY increasing as your term increases unless you opt for origination fees. Origination fees are not required, but they will get you better rates.

Editor’s Take

If you’re relatively young or just starting out in your career, SoFi’s membership model is really attractive. This bank’schecking and savings accountis also top-notch.

PenFed Credit Union

Best for Small Loans

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Affordability: 35/35
Loan Features: 24/35
Customer Experience: 17/20
Company Reputation: 10/10

Interest Rate (APR)7.99% to 17.99%Term Options12 months to 60 monthsLoan Size Offered$600 to $50k

Why We Like PenFed

PenFed, short for Pentagon Federal Credit Union, is a top pick because it’sone of the largest U.S. credit unions with membership that is open to everyone in the country.

PenFed really shines on smaller loans – offering loans as small as $600 – but remains a solid choice for a larger loan as well.

It’s also got competitive loan rates and the lowest maximum APY on our list.

Pros & Cons

Pros Attractive interest rates: PenFed has competitive interest rates between 7.99% and 17.99% as of this writing. No origination fees: There are no origination fees required on PenFed’s personal loans. Financial hardship protection: The financial hardship program can temporarily pause payments for applicable customers. Co-signers welcome: PenFed allows co-borrowers, which may help you qualify for a better rate. Cons Limited branch network: PenFed doesn’t have many physical branches, so it may be challenging to bank in-person. Potentially lengthy approval process: The approval process for a PenFed personal loan may take some time, especially if additional documentation is required.

PenFed Eligibility Requirements

A membership with PenFed will be automatically created for you once you’re approved for a loan.

The minimum credit score for PenFed loans is 650, and having a higher credit score can help you qualify for better loan terms and lower interest rates.

PenFed also looks at income, employment, DTI ratio and the loan purpose in its approval process.

Editor’s Take

A $50,000 loan is at the top of the credit union’s range, which could make it harder to qualify for if you’re not already a PenFed member.


Best for Bad Credit

How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan (June 2024 Guide) (4)


Affordability: 28/35
Loan Features: 25/35
Customer Experience: 17/20
Company Reputation: 10/10

Interest Rate (APR)7.80% to 35.99%Term Options36 months or 60 monthsLoan Size Offered$1k to $50k

Why We Like Upstart

Upstart is an online lending platform that uses artificial intelligence to assess borrowers’ creditworthiness and offer personal loans.That makes it our top choice for people with poor or limited credit. This underwriting model may allow you to be approved, if you can show your financial strength in other ways.

Pros & Cons

Pros Quick funding: Upstart’s technology allows for quick loan approval, often within minutes, allowing some borrowers access to funds as soon as the next business day. Customized rates: The lender tailors loan offers to each borrower’s unique profile, which can lead to more personalized terms and rates. Transparency: Upstart is known for its transparent loan terms and fees, making it easier for borrowers to understand the cost of their loans. Cons Higher interest rates: Borrowers with excellent credit may find lower interest rates elsewhere, as Upstart’s rates can be higher than those of other lenders – up to a maximum of 35.99%. Origination fees: Upstart may charge an origination fee of up to 12%, the highest on this list. No joint applications: Upstart does not offer joint loan applications for co-borrowers looking to apply together.

Upstart Eligibility Requirements

While other lenders may look at your credit score first, Upstartaddsmore weight to factors like education, income, employmentandjob history,when it reviews your application.

A minimum credit score of 300 is typically required,although it will accept applications with insufficient history to generate a score. Keep in mind thatUpstartalso considers yourcredit historyand DTI ratio.

Editor’s Take

Upstartopened upits loan approval algorithm to regulators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who were then able to determine that Upstart’s claims are accurate. I’ve never heard of this happening before in the industry.

U.S. Bank


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Affordability: 34/35
Loan Features: 28/35
Customer Experience: 12/20
Company Reputation: 5/10

Interest Rate (APR)8.74% to 24.99%Term Options12 months to 84 monthsSize Offered$1k to $50k

Why We Like U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is a top pick becauseof its vast network of branches and a variety of personal loan options.

With competitive interest rates and a range of terms, U.S. Bank is a solid choice, especially if you’re already a customer.

People with U.S. Bank checking accounts get dramatically better terms on their personal loans, so we recommend this lender to people who already have an account with the bank.

Pros & Cons

Pros No fees or penalties: U.S. Bank doesn’t charge origination fees or prepayment penalties. Autopay discount: Borrowers can reduce their annual percentage rate (APR) by 0.50% through U.S. Bank’s autopay discount that pulls funds directly from their checking or savings account. Quick online application: Applicants can complete their online application and receive approval within minutes. U.S. Bank existing customers can sometimes receive their funds on the same day. Cons Limited availability: U.S. Bank’s personal loans are not available in all states and may require borrowers to go into a branch to complete their application. No prequalification: U.S. Bank does not offer online prequalification. You must submit a full application and undergo a hard credit check to find out your rate. Penalty for non-customers: Non-customers can only borrow up to $25,000 for a maximum of 60 months, instead of $50,000 for 84 months for customers.

U.S. Bank Eligibility Requirements

U.S. Bank typically looks for borrowers with a good to excellent credit score of660 or above for existing customers and 770 or higher if you’re not a U.S. bank customer.

Additionally, applicants must provide proof of income, employment history and DTI ratio.

U.S. Bank states on its website that its lowest APR is reserved for loans of $10,000 or higher, terms of 12-36 months and credit scores of 800 and above, including discounts.

Editor’s Take

If you already have a checking account with U.S. Bank, it’s a no-brainer to apply for your personal loan there first.



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Affordability: 22/35
Loan Features: 28/35
Customer Experience: 18/20
Company Reputation: 10/10

Interest Rate (APR)8.49% to 35.99%Term Options24 months to 84 monthsLoan Size Offered$1k to $50k

Why We Like Upgrade

Upgrade is a reputable online lending platform that offers personal loans and credit lines toborrowers with less-than-stellar credit.

Upgrade presents standard unsecured personal loan options and secured loan options (where you use a paid-off vehicle as collateral) to offer you better rates.

We likeits user-friendly online application process,wide range of loan options and customer discounts,which includean autopay discount, a discount for consolidating debt, and a bonus for opening up an Upgrade checking account.

Pros & Cons

Pros Direct creditor payments: Upgrade offers the convenience of making direct payments to creditors when using a personal loan for debt consolidation. Discount opportunities: Upgrade offers various discounts, including an autopay discount, creditor payment discounts and eligibility for additional discounts with an Upgrade checking account. Co-applicants accepted: Upgrade allows you to apply for a loan with a co-applicant. Cons Origination fees: All Upgrade loans have an origination fee of between 1.85% and 9.99%, which raises the total cost of borrowing. Late payment fee: Upgrade imposes a $10 fee for late payments, which borrowers should be aware of to avoid unnecessary charges.

Upgrade Eligibility Requirements

Upgrade typically requires borrowers to have a minimum credit score ofaround560 to be eligible for their loans.

Upgrade considers your credit usage and payment history in its approval process, along with your loan amount and term.

Editor’s Take

Upgrade is almost always tagged as a lender for bad credit, but it’s also worth a look if you have good credit. I spoke with the company CEO, who told me that their internal data finds that they often have better rates for all credit tiers. “We know that we generally have lower rates than other lenders,” he told me.

“Upgrade has been the fastest-growing personal loan issuer in the US in the last six years, which would have been impossible to achieve if our rates were worse than our competitors.”

Wells Fargo

Best for In-Person Service

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Affordability: 35/35
Loan Features: 26/35
Customer Experience: 17/20
Company Reputation: 0/10

Interest Rate (APR)7.49% to 23.24%Term Options12 months to 84 monthsLoan Size Offered$3k to $100k

Why We Like Wells Fargo

Apart from beingone of the largest banks in the U.S. and serving millions of customers nationwide, Wells Fargo has competitive interest rates and generous loan sizes — up to $100,000.

We like the bank for its wide range of personal loan options and vast network of branches, and consider it a top pick for customers who prefer face-to-face interactions.

It’s one of the few lenders where you can actually apply for the loan in person.

Pros & Cons

Pros Relationship discount: When you set up automatic loan payments from your Wells Fargo checking account, you become eligible for an interest rate reduction ranging from 0.25% to 0.50%. No origination fees: Wells Fargo does not impose any origination fees. The amount you see in your loan offer is the exact amount you’ll receive if you accept it. Rapid funding: You should get your loan money on the same or the next business day after approval. Cons Must be a customer: To qualify for a Wells Fargo personal loan, you must have had a Wells checking account for at least a year. Fees: Wells Fargo may charge late fees and other fees associated with personal loans. Limited availability: Wells Fargo personal loans may not be available in all areas, so check if they operate in your region.

Wells Fargo Eligibility Requirements

Wells Fargo applicants must have a Wells Fargo account that’s at least a year old and typically need a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

You must provide contact information, documentation of your credit history, income and employment status, DTI ratio and loan purpose when you apply.

Our team’s Wells Fargo review dives deeper into the bank.

Editor’s Take

Again, if you already have a checking account with Wells Fargo, it’s worth a look for your personal loan. If you don’t, though, it’s not worth opening a checking account just to apply for a personal loan there.

How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan

To make the most informed choice, you should thoroughly understand the application process for a $50,000 personal loan.

Applying for a $50,000 Personal Loan

  1. Investigate lenders: Before applying for a personal loan, research and compare lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online providers. Look at factors including interest rates, repayment terms, fees, eligibility criteria. Todd Schwartz, founder of OppFi, recommends looking at customer reviews, “particularly those at third-party sites like Trustpilot and BBB. This shows how lenders or loan platforms treat their customers.”
  2. Seek prequalification: Some lenders offer prequalification. This usually involves a soft credit check (which doesn’t affect your credit score) to estimate your loan eligibility, including your potential loan amount and corresponding interest rate.
  3. Prepare required documentation: A variety of documents are typically required to apply for a personal loan, including:
    • Proof of income (pay stubs, tax returns or bank statements)
    • Proof of identity (driver’s license, passport or social security card)
    • Employment history and contact information
    • Credit history information, including your credit score
How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan (June 2024 Guide) (8)

William Gogolak

Assistant Teaching Professor,

Carnegie Mellon University

“Demonstrating a stable income and a strong earning capacity are significant factors in bolstering your application.”

  1. Submit your application: Once you’ve chosen a lender and gathered all necessary documents, you can start the application process. Most lenders offer online applications, making the submission process easy to complete. Be prepared for the lender to conduct a hard credit inquiry, which may temporarily drop your credit score.
  2. Underwriting and approval: After you submit your application, the lender will review your information, conduct a credit check and measure your ability to repay the loan. Depending on the lender, this process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. “Even though a lower score might not outright disqualify you, it could result in additional conditions such as higher interest rates if you do receive approval,” William Gogolak, Assistant Teaching Professor of Finance at Carnegie Mellon, said.If you are approved, you’ll receive a loan offer specifying the terms and conditions.
  3. Accept the loan offer: If you’re satisfied with the loan offer, you can formally accept it by signing the loan agreement. Review the terms carefully, including the interest rate, repayment schedule and any associated fees.
  4. Funding: Once you’ve accepted the loan offer and completed any additional verification steps, the lender will disburse the funds into your designated bank account. This process can vary in length depending on lender policies.
  5. Repayment: After receiving the funds, you’ll make regular payments according to the agreed-upon fee schedule. In a MarketWatch Guides survey, the most common repayment term on a $50,000 loan was three years.

Requirements for a $50,000 Personal Loan

To qualify for a $50,000 personal loan, borrowers typically need to meet several eligibility criteria. These requirements can differ depending on the lender, but the following factors generally are always taken into consideration.

Credit Score

A strong credit score is a fundamental prerequisite for securing a personal loan of this size. Most lenders prefer borrowers with a credit score in the good to excellent range (670 or higher), indicating a history of responsible financial management.

In our survey, applicants who got approved for $45,000 to $55,000 personal loans had a range of credit scores. Almost 60% had good to excellent credit scores, but a 21% had scores below 620. The average credit score was 685.

Income Level

Income level is another crucial factor. Lenders want to ensure that borrowers have a stable source of income to repay their loans. Christopher M. Naghibi, chief operating officer of First Foundation Bank, told MarketWatch Guides that the amount of expendable income you have is a key data point to show if you’re able to repay the loan.

“Your income from your job and your expenses on your credit report play a pretty big role,” he said. “It's really your cash flow that determines how much you can borrow.” The higher your income, the more likely you are to qualify for a larger loan.

Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio

Lenders will also evaluate your debt-to-income ratio, the percentage of your monthly income that goes toward paying existing debts. A lower DTI ratio (43% or less) is preferred as it shows your ability to handle additional debt and indicates a lower financial risk for the lender.

Borrowers with excellent credit scores, higher income levels and lower DTI ratios are more likely to secure a $50,000 personal loan with lower interest rates and more favorable terms. On the other hand, borrowers with lower credit scores, income levels or higher DTI ratios may still qualify but will likely face higher interest rates and stricter terms to mitigate lender risk.

Alternatives to a $50,000 Personal Loan

While a personal loan might seem ideal for obtaining $50,000, it may not be your best option. There are alternative lending options for securing $50,000 that may better suit your circ*mstances, including:

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A HELOC is a revolving line of credit (similar to a credit card) that allows you to borrow against your home’s equity. HELOC interest rates tend to be lower than those of personal loans. However, you must weigh the risks associated with using your home as collateral, as defaulting on payments could lead to foreclosure. Learn more about HELOCs here.

Home Equity Loans

Similar to a HELOC, a home equity loan allows you to borrow against your home's equity, providing you funds in a lump sum upfront at a lower interest rate. However, like HELOCs, home equity loans come with the risk of losing your property if you cannot repay the loan. Read more about home equity loans here.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is an online platform that connects borrowers with individual investors willing to lend them money. P2P lending tends to be more forgiving of those with bad credit compared to personal loan lenders, but interest rates are typically higher. To explore this option, sign up on a P2P lending platform, create a listing profile (providing details of your loan request) and wait for investors to fund your loan. Find out more about peer-to-peer lending here.

Things To Consider When Applying

Securing a $50,000 personal loan is a significant commitment. The decision-making process should not be taken lightly. Think carefully about the loan itself. The borrowed funds must be used responsibly for their intended purpose.

In our survey, the majority of borrowers used personal loans for home improvement projects, with debt consolidation and car financing taking the second and third spots.

You also need a solid repayment plan. Assess your current income, expenses and any existing debts. Ask yourself: Can I comfortably afford the monthly loan payments without straining my finances? In our survey, 78% of loan recipients never missed a loan payment, while 22% missed one or more. A detailed budget can help determine how a personal loan fits your financial picture.

Last, seek guidance from a financial advisor or expert to gain more insights into the application process and better understand a personal loan’s long-term financial implications. Their expertise can help you make a well-informed decision that will likely save you money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions about $50,000 Personal Loans

The time it takes to pay off a $50,000 loan depends on your term. When you apply for a personal loan, you’ll choose a repayment term, which is typically from 12 months to five years, and you’ll repay the same monthly payment each month until your loan is paid off. Usually, with longer terms, you’ll have smaller monthly payments but you’ll pay more in interest, which makes your loan more expensive.

In general, you need a credit score of 670 or higher to qualify for most personal loans, although some of our lenders (such as Upstart) will consider lower credit scores.

However, to secure a loan with the best terms and lowest interest rates, you’ll need a credit score of 725 or higher. Check with one of the credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian or TransUnion — to determine your current credit score. Remember that lenders also consider other factors such as your income, DTI ratio and employment history when determining eligibility.

The biggest personal loan you can get depends on your creditworthiness, income and lender policies. Personal loans typically range from a few thousand dollars to $100,000 or more for well-qualified borrowers. Some lenders may offer larger loans for specific purposes, such as home renovation or debt consolidation.

If you have good to excellent credit, online lenders make it very easy to get approved for a personal loan with their automated underwriting systems. Many lenders on this list can fund a personal loan within a day or two of your application.

If you have bad to fair credit, the easiest personal loan to get approved for may be a secured loan. A secured loan requires you to put up collateral, such as a paid-off vehicle or savings account, in order to qualify. These types of loans give a lender more security because if you miss a payment, the lender can take your collateral. Some secured loans, such as payday or title loans, can be considered predatory and charge you large fees and high interest rates. Avoid this type of loan if you can.

Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Personal Loans

Our team put together a comprehensive100-point rating systemto evaluate personal loan companies. We gathered data points from 28 of the most prominent lenders in the US and analyzed disclosures, licensing documents, sample loan agreements, marketing materials and websites. Our rating system takes into account four broad categories.

  • Affordability(35%): How expensive each company’s loans are to pay back.
  • Loan features(35%): The breadth of loan terms and features available to prospective customers.
  • Customer experience(20%): Ease of application, prequalification and customer service interactions.
  • Company reputation(10%): An exploration of lenders’ Better Business Bureau files, customer reviews and outstanding regulatory actions.

Our top-rated lenders may not be the best fit for all borrowers. To learn more,read ourfull personal loans methodology.

Editor’s Note: Before making significant financial decisions, consider reviewing your options with someoneyou trust, such as a financial adviser, credit counselor or financial professional, since every person’s situation and needs are different.

If you have feedback or questions about this article, please email the MarketWatch Guides team

How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan (June 2024 Guide) (9)

Laurie SepulvedaSenior Content Writer

Laurie Sepulveda is a Senior Content Writer who specializes in writing about personal finance. She’s lived, taught and written about personal finance for over a decade. Laurie lives in North Carolina with her family and spends her free time playing Wordle and dreaming about travel.

How To Get a $50,000 Personal Loan (June 2024 Guide) (10)

Andrew DunnSenior Editor

Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than a decade of experience in the business and finance arena. Before joining our team, Andrew was a reporter and editor at North Carolina news organizations including The Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington. In those roles, his work was cited numerous times by the North Carolina Press Association and the Society of Business Editors and Writers. Andrew completed the business journalism certificate program from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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