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Whether you’re moving across the country for a new job, renovating your home, or facing a sudden and significant expense, times may arise in your life when you need to borrow money.
If you need to take out a large debt — like a $20,000 personal loan — it’s important to carefully consider as many lenders as possible. That way, you’ll find the best loan for your situation.
Here’s what you should know before getting a $20,000 loan:
- Where to get a $20,000 loan
- How to get a $20K personal loan
- How to qualify for a $20,000 personal loan
- $20,000 loans for fair or bad credit
- What is the monthly payment on a $20,000 loan?
- What to consider before applying for a $20K loan
- How a personal loan will affect your credit score
Where to get a $20,000 loan
Below you’ll find some of your options when it comes to different types of personal loan lenders:
Getting a low-interest personal loan online is convenient — online lenders’ websites are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Plus, online lenders tend to offer more competitive rates than traditional banks and credit unions, and can often fund your loan as soon as the next business day after approval.
The personal loan companies in the table below are approved Credible partners. You can request rates from these partner lenders by filling out just one form and without undergoing a hard credit check.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts||Min. credit score||Check rates|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$10,000 to $50,000||Not disclosed by lender|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**||550|
|11.79% - 20.84% APR||$10,000 to $50,000||730|
|8.99% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $50,000||600|
|7.99% - 24.99% APR||$2,500 to $40,000||660|
|9.57% - 35.99% APR||$1,000 to $40,000||660|
|7.99% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $36,500||660|
|7.99% - 25.49% APR with autopay||$5,000 to $100,000||700|
|18.0% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000||None|
|11.52% - 24.81% APR||$5,000 to $40,000||640|
|8.49% - 17.99% APR||$600 to $50,000 |
(depending on loan term)
|6.99% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $50,000||640|
|9.99% - 35.99% APR||$3,500 to $40,000||640|
|8.99% - 25.81% APR10||$5,000 to $100,000||Does not disclose|
|7.9% - 29.99%||$2,000 to $25,000||660|
|11.69% - 35.99% APR7||$1,000 to $20,000||560|
|8.49% - 35.99% APR||$1,000 to $50,000||600|
|5.2% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005||620|
Some banks like Chase, Bank of America, and Capital One don’t offer personal loans, but other big banks like Citibank and Wells Fargo do. Most even offer an annual percentage rate (APR) discount if you set up automatic payments.
While some banks let you apply for loans online, others require you to apply in-person at a branch. You might also need to be an existing customer to be eligible for certain loans.
Credit unions can also be a good choice for personal loans. Since they’re not-for-profit organizations, credit unions often provide lower rates to their members.
Keep in mind that to get a personal loan from a credit union, you may have to become a member to qualify. Check with credit unions in your area and ask about membership requirements to see if you can join.
Many “all-access” credit unions have relaxed policies on membership — meaning you can become a member by making a small donation or joining an affinity group.
Check out: Penfed Personal Loans Review
How to get a $20K personal loan
If you’re ready to apply for a $20,000 personal loan, follow these five steps:
- Compare lenders: When looking for a $20,000 personal loan, make sure to shop around and compare as many lenders as possible. Consider not only interest rates and loan amounts, but also repayment terms and any fees the lender charges.
- Get prequalified: Many lenders offer the option to get prequalified for a personal loan. Getting prequalified doesn’t affect your credit score and gives you a more accurate idea of what rates and terms you qualify for.
- Compare loan options: After you’ve gotten prequalified with a few lenders, compare your loan options and choose the loan that best fits your needs.
- Submit an application: Once you’ve selected a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and provide any required documents, such as recent pay stubs or tax returns. The lender will review your application and get back to you with an approval decision.
- Get your funds: If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign a loan agreement so you can receive your funds. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually one week, but many online lenders are able to deposit your loan in one to three business days.
How to qualify for a $20,000 personal loan
A $20,000 loan is a significant amount of money. To qualify for a $20,000 loan, lenders will typically review the following eligibility criteria:
- Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Lenders will check your DTI ratio — which is the amount of debt you have relative to your monthly income — to see if you can comfortably afford your loan payments. You can lower your DTI ratio by repaying existing debt. A good DTI ratio is considered 40% or lower.
- Credit score: You’ll generally need good to excellent credit (scores from 640 and up) to qualify for a personal loan, though some lenders also provide options for borrowers with poor or fair credit. You can improve your credit score by making all of your monthly payments on time, paying down your existing balances, and avoiding applying for new lines of credit.
- Income: You’ll typically need to show a steady source of income, generally with pay stubs or tax returns. For example, to qualify for a personal loan from Discover, you’ll need a minimum household income of $25,000.
- Cosigner: If you don’t meet a lender’s requirements on your own, you might still be able to qualify by applying with a cosigner (or co-borrower) with good credit. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do. Just keep in mind that if you’re unable to keep up with your monthly payments, your cosigner (or co-applicant) will be on the hook for repaying your loan.
$20,000 loans for fair or bad credit
If you have fair or poor credit — generally meaning a credit score below 700 — you might think you’re ineligible for a loan.
However, there are several lenders that offer $20,000 loans that are willing to work with borrowers who have bad credit.
Here are a few options from our partner lenders:
Achieve, formerly known as FreedomPlus, offers personal loans from $10,000 to $50,000 with repayment terms from two to five years. The minimum credit score to qualify for a loan from Achieve is 620, making it a good option for borrowers with fair credit.
Avant offers personal loans to borrowers with credit scores as low as 580, making it an accessible option for borrowers with bad or fair credit. You can borrow $2,000 to $35,000 from Avant with repayment terms from two to five years and receive your funds as soon as the next business day after approval.
Best Egg offers loans up to $50,000 and repayment terms up to five years. If you’re looking for debt consolidation loans, Best Egg could be a good choice. The minimum credit score to qualify for a personal loan from Best Egg is 640.
Happy Money provides personal loans specifically to consolidate high-interest credit card debt, which can help you boost your credit score over time. Happy Money accepts credit scores starting at 640, and you can borrow $5,000 to $40,000 with repayment terms from two to five years.
LendingClub is one of the few personal loan lenders that allows applicants to apply with a cosigner, which could increase your chances of getting a loan as well as a lower interest rate. The minimum credit score to qualify for a loan from LendingClub is 600, and you can borrow up to $40,000 and repay your loan over three or five years.
LendingPoint offers personal loans that can be used for a variety of purposes, from debt consolidation to weddings or vacations. You can borrow $2,000 to $36,500 with LendingPoint and repay the loan over two to six years. The minimum credit score to qualify for a personal loan from LendingPoint is 600.
OneMain Financial doesn’t have a minimum credit requirement, making it a worthy option for borrowers with poor or no credit. With OneMain, you can borrow $1,500 to $20,000 — but keep in mind that higher loan amounts might require collateral. Collateralized or secured loans mean that you qualify to borrow thanks to an asset instead of your credit; the downside is that you could forfeit that asset, whether it’s savings or personal property, if you can’t repay your debt. Repayment terms for personal loans from OneMain Financial range from two to five years.
Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender that offers personal loans for borrowers with credit scores starting at 640. P2P lending is unique because it involves using an online platform that matches borrowers to investors willing to fund loans. The downside is that you may have to wait up to two weeks to be matched with an investor.
Getting a loan from Prosper could be a good choice for home improvement loans or loans for other personal expenses. You can borrow $2,000 to $50,000 and repay your loan over two to five years with Prosper.
Reach Financial offers personal loans to consolidate debt or refinance credit cards with the option to customize monthly payments. The minimum credit score to qualify for a personal loan from Reach is 600, and you can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 with repayment terms from two to five years.
Personal loans from SoFi range from $5,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms up to seven years, which can help you fit your loan payment more easily into your budget. SoFi also offers several borrower perks, such as unemployment protection and career coaching. SoFi doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but it will be tougher to get good rates with fair or poor credit.
Upgrade works with borrowers who have credit scores as low as 560, which could make it an especially good option to consider if you have bad credit. With Upgrade, you can borrow up to $35,000 and repay your loan over three or five years.
Upstart evaluates your education and job history in addition to your credit to determine eligibility, which means you might qualify even if you have little to no credit built. Minimum credit scores for Upstart loans start at 580, and you can borrow $1,000 to $50,000 with repayment terms from three to five years.
What is the monthly payment on a $20,000 loan?
Your monthly payment on a $20,000 loan will largely depend on two factors:
- Interest rate: This is the amount you’ll be charged monthly — essentially, it’s the fee you pay for borrowing money. If you qualify for a low interest rate, you’ll pay less each month than you would with a higher interest rate.
- Repayment term: Personal loan repayment terms typically range from one to seven years, depending on the lender. Choosing a longer term could get you a lower monthly payment — but this also means you’ll pay more in interest over time. It’s usually a good idea to pick the shortest term you can afford to keep your interest costs as low as possible. Many lenders also offer lower interest rates for shorter loan terms.
Before you take out a personal loan, it’s important to consider how much that loan will cost you over time — this way, you can be prepared for the roll of interest. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan.
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What to consider before applying for a $20K loan
Make sure you do your homework and find a personal loan lender that offers the loan terms and rates that are best for you. When comparing lenders, be sure to consider:
When evaluating your loan options, you’ll often have a choice of repayment terms, which is the length of time you’ll have to pay your loan back.
Typical repayment terms for personal loans are one to seven years.
Learn More: Long-Term Personal Loans
Savings by accelerating repayment on a $20,000 personal loan
The table below shows how selecting a loan with a shorter repayment term might save money on a loan if you’re willing to make a bigger monthly payment.
All of the loans are offered by the same lender, but you could get a lower interest rate and reduce your repayment costs overall with a shorter-term loan.
|Repayment term||Interest rate||Monthly payment||Total interest|
Choosing a shorter loan term might get you a lower interest rate — meaning you could reduce your overall repayment costs. Interest rates are hypothetical for purposes of illustration only.
Most personal loans are offered as fixed-interest-rate installment loans. But if you’re offered a variable-rate personal loan, just remember that your monthly payment can go up (or down) as your interest rate fluctuates.
The table below shows how much shopping around for a better interest rate could save money on a loan. All of the hypothetical loans in this table have the same loan repayment term, but the lenders are offering different loan rates.
|Interest rate||Monthly payment||Total interest||Total repaid|
Fees and discounts
Some lenders charge fees, which add to your overall loan cost. Common fees to look for include:
- Origination fees, which charge you a percentage of your loan amount before the loan is disbursed. This fee is deducted from your loan funds. Origination fees can range from 0% to 10% of your loan amount.
- Late and returned payment fees if you miss a payment or your payment is returned to you for insufficient funds.
- Prepayment penalties that apply if you decide to pay off your loan early.
If you’re applying for a loan, pay attention to possible discounts, too. Some lenders offer autopay discounts if you sign up for automatic payments or loyalty discounts if you’re an existing customer.
How a personal loan will affect your credit score
When you formally apply for a personal loan after getting prequalified, the lender will perform a hard credit check to confirm your eligibility. This could cause a slight drop in your credit score. But the effect is usually only temporary, and your score will likely bounce back within a few months.
Additionally, taking out a personal loan might actually help improve your credit score in the long run. This positive impact on your credit could end up outweighing any initially negative effects.
If you’re ready to find your $20,000 personal loan, be sure to shop around and consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.60%-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 10%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.