Personal loans can be taken out for just about any need – making a down payment on a car, home improvement, covering a temporary business expense, or debt consolidation. The advantage of personal loans over credit cards is that personal loans frequently offer fixed interest rates. You may also qualify for personal loans in amounts that exceed your credit card limits.
Let’s look at some of the best personal loan lenders out there.
Best Personal Loan Lenders
|Lender||Rates||Loan Term (years)|
|Fixed: 9.95%+||2-5||Get Offers|
• $1,000 up to $35,000
• Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement and other uses
• Must be a resident in the US with a valid social security number
• Must have physical address - P.O. boxes are only accepted for military residences
|Fixed: 4.99%+||2-5||Get Offers|
• $10,000 up to $35,000
• Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, travel, medical expenses and other purposes
• Must be a resident in the US with a valid social security number
• Required documentation includes verified income and bank account, a valid ID and your signature
|Fixed: 5.99%+||3, 5||Get Offers|
• $1,000 up to $40,000
• Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations and other purposes
• Must be a US Citizen or Resident Alien with a valid social security number and physical address, currently residing in the US
• Must have valid government issued photo ID
|Fixed: 8.00%+||2-5||Get Offers|
• $5,000 up to $35,000
• Debt consolidation and credit card consolidation only
• Borrower cannot reside in DC, DE, IA, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, NE, NV, OH, OK, VA, VT, WA, WI, and WV
|Fixed: 5.99%+||3, 5||Get Offers|
• $2,000 up to $35,000
• Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses and other uses
• Must be a US resident with a bank account and social security number
• No collateral required – loans through Prosper are unsecured - you qualify for a loan based on your credit history
|Fixed: 7.37%+||3, 5||Get Offers|
• $1,000 up to $50,000
• Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase or other purposes
• Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident with a verifiable social security number
• Must have a bank account at a U.S. financial institution with a routing transit number
• Must have a full time job, full time job offer starting in six months or another source of regular income
READY TO find your loan?
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Full list of personal loan lenders
We recommend the lenders in the table above because we thoroughly evaluated them. However, our team also researched other institutions for people that want to consider all options before they begin the process of applying for a personal loan. You can find information on all lenders below.
This is a peer-to-peer lending platform which means you borrow from other people, not a bank or financial institution. Prosper allows you to borrow up to $35,000 with interests rates ranging from 5.99 percent to 35.97 percent, and you can choose to pay over three or five years.
This platform has been around for a while, and it has a solid track record. The downsides are that it can take a week or two to get your funds, and your credit rating must be fairly good (around 640).
With SoFi you can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 and interest rates are very favorable. The catch is that to qualify you must have a very good credit rating. You can choose between fixed and variable APRs which range from 4.04 percent to 9.99 percent, which are some of the lowest rates among personal loans.
If your credit score is a little weak, say around 600, you might try Peerform. This peer-to-peer lending platform offers decent interest rates even for those with lower credit ratings. You might have to wait longer than with other lenders, and the service isn’t available nationwide. You can borrow a maximum of $25,000. Take note that Peerform charges extra fees that other lenders do not collect.
This is another peer-to-peer lender that makes loans of up to $35,000. Lending Club is bigger than Prosper and a bit more flexible when it comes to credit scores as well. Depending on loan amount, credit rating, and terms you can get APRs of 5.99 percent to 32.99 percent.
This venerable name brings with it reliability and APRs ranging from 6.25 percent to 19.75 percent. You can borrow all the way up to $100,000, but you must have a healthy credit rating to qualify. If you don’t like borrowing online, Wells Fargo is probably your best bet, since they have physical locations where you can do business.
This is another lender that attracts people with less than ideal credit scores, and loan amounts can be anywhere from $1,000 to $35,000. The interest rates are higher — from 9.95 percent to 36 percent — but the tradeoff is you can get a loan with weak credit. With Avant, you can choose repayment terms from 24 to 60 months.
When making loans, this unique lender looks into other factors beyond credit scores such as education level and career path. With Earnest, you can borrow up to $50,000 with APRs of 4.25 percent to 9.25 percent. One limitation is that the maximum loan term is only 3 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much will I qualify for on a personal loan?
- What is the average interest rate on a personal loan?
- How do I find the best personal loan for me?
- How can I get a low-interest personal loan?
- How can I improve my credit score?
How much will I qualify for on a personal loan?
The personal loan amount you qualify for will be based on the loan amount you apply for, as well as factors that affect your ability to repay the amount.
Your debt-to-income ratio, credit score, and credit history will all be considered before the lender approves you for a personal loan. If you have a good history of paying off your credit cards and loans, along with a credit utilization ratio that shows your ability to manage debt, you could qualify for a higher loan amount at a lower interest rate
If you’re applying for a personal loan, and you have poor credit, your chances of being approved are lower. If you are approved, you’ll likely be approved for a loan with a higher interest rate.
What is the average interest rate on a personal loan?
Unlike federal student loans, which come with fixed interest rates, there’s no set interest rate on personal loans. This is why it’s important to shop around, as different lenders will offer you different interest rates, based on their underwriting models.
The average interest rates in 2017 range between 10% and 28%. However, the interest rate you receive on a personal loan is dependent on a number of factors, one of which is your credit score. Other factors like the length of the loan, the amount you are borrowing, and the lender you’re borrowing the loan from will also be taken into account.
Using a lender marketplace like Credible can help you quickly compare the interest rates being offered by multiple, vetted lenders —including Avant, LendingClub, PAVE, Prosper and Upstart — without affecting your credit score.
How do I find the best personal loan for me?
Before you begin searching for the best bank for personal loans, consider these final tips:
- Always shop around: Compare options from multiple lenders before you make a final decision to ensure that you choose the best option for your financial situation
- Watch out for fees: Some lenders charge origination fees, or fees for late payments. The kind of fees you don’t want is the prepayment fee for paying off your loan early
- Consider the loan term: The longer your loan term is, the lower your monthly payments will be since you’ll have more time to pay off your debt. But remember that stretching out your loan term will also mean that you’ll pay more across the life of the loan since your interest will keep accruing
- Watch out for scams: Always verify that you’re dealing with an official lender. Never pay any money or divulge sensitive information to anyone online, unless you’re sure they’re a legitimate lender
Make sure you also consider your reasons for taking out a personal loan, and whether you actually need one. In many cases, people use personal loans to consolidate high-interest credit card debt or to pay for personal expenses.
While personal loans can be helpful, you should always remember that even the best personal loans are still a form of debt.
How can I get a low-interest personal loan?
The most important thing to remember as you begin your search for the best loan companies is that you have options.
It’s usually a good idea to compare loan offers and terms from multiple lenders before coming to a decision. A lending marketplace like Credible is the perfect resource for comparing rates from a variety of lenders.
How can I improve my credit score?
Consider some of these methods for quickly improving your credit score:
- Monitor your credit reports and correct identified errors: Different credit bureaus rely on different credit scoring models and produce different credit reports. Because of this, there can sometimes be errors in one or more of your credit reports. You can keep track of these issues by obtaining a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau every 12 months — the official site to request the reports is AnnualCreditReport.com. Make sure to quickly report any errors to the credit bureau
- Avoid late payments: It’s important to always try to make payments on time. If you do happen to miss a payment, speak directly with your creditors and explain the situation. In some cases — for instance, if this is your first transgression —you might be able to get them to remove a late payment or two, if you agree to make those payments on the spot. Make sure you document this agreement in writing with the creditor
- Keep your credit utilization low: Another factor that can affect your credit score is your credit utilization — how much of your available credit you are using. If you have a credit card with a $3,000 limit, for example, and you are carrying a balance of $1,500, you’re utilizing 50% of that card’s limit
- Keep track of your credit cards: If you have a number of different credit cards, take a look at your limits and make sure you’re not maxing out any of your cards. If you don’t have a credit card, remember that getting a secured credit card or a student card can help you build your credit