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Whether you’re moving across the country for a new job, renovating your home, or facing a sudden expense, there are times in your life when you might have to borrow money.
If you need to take out a large personal loan — such as a $20,000 loan — it’s important to carefully consider as many lenders as possible to find a loan that fits your needs.
Here’s what you should know before getting a $20,000 loan:
- Where to get a $20,000 loan
- What to consider before applying for a $20,000 loan
- How to qualify for a $20,000 personal loan
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 — the websites of online lenders are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Plus, online lenders can offer more competitive rates and sometimes even get you your loan amount more quickly (some the next business day).
The personal loan companies in the table below are all approved Credible partners. You can request rates from all of these partner lenders by filling out just one form and without undergoing a hard credit check.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts||Min. credit score|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**||550|
|6.79% - 17.99% APR||$5,000 to $35,000||740|
|5.99% - 29.99% APR||$2,000 to $50,000||600|
|6.99% - 24.99% APR||$2,500 to $35,000||660|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$7,500 to $50,000||Not disclosed by lender|
|10.68% - 35.89% APR||$1,000 to $40,000||600|
|15.49% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $36,500||580|
|2.49% - 19.99% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||660|
|6.99% - 19.99% APR1||$3,500 to $40,0002||660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)
|18.00% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000||None|
|5.99% - 24.99% APR||$5,000 to $40,000||640|
|5.99% - 17.99% APR||$600 to $20,000 |
(depending on loan term)
|6.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $40,000||640|
|5.99% - 18.83% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||Does not disclose|
|8.93% - 35.93% APR7||$1,000 to $20,000||580|
|5.94% - 35.97% APR||$1,000 to $50,000||580|
|6.46% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005||580|
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 nonprofit organizations, credit unions often provide lower rates to their members.
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: 13 Adoption Loans and Grants to Consider
$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:
- Best Egg offers loans up to $35,000 and repayment terms up to five years. If you’re looking for debt consolidation loans, Best Egg could be a good choice.
- 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. You can borrow up to $40,000 with LendingClub.
- OneMain Financial provides small loans to 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.
- Prosper offers loans from $2,000 up to $40,000. Getting a loan from Prosper could be a good choice for home improvement loans or loans for other personal expenses.
- Upgrade works with borrowers who have credit scores as low as 580, which could make them an especially good option to consider if you have bad credit. With Upgrade, you can borrow up to $35,000.
- 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. You can borrow up to $50,000 with Upstart.
Before you borrow, 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 $20,000 loan
Make sure you do your homework and find a personal loan lender who’s offering the loan terms and rates that are best for you:
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 two 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) with your interest rate.
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 could 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
- 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.
Check Out: How to Build Credit Fast
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.
- Credit score: You’ll generally need good to excellent credit 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 new credit.
- Income: You’ll typically need to show a steady source of income, generally with pay stubs or tax returns.
- Cosigner: If you don’t meet a lender’s requirements on your own, you might still qualify if you have a creditworthy cosigner willing to apply with you. Keep in mind that only a limited amount of lenders permit cosigners on personal loans, though.
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.
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About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% 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 8%. 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.