Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as "Credible."

A personal loan can be used to cover almost any personal expense, such as a major purchase or an unexpected emergency. Additionally, many lenders offer quick funding — which could make a personal loan a good option if you need fast access to cash.

Here’s how to apply for a personal loan:

  1. Know your credit score
  2. Check if you can get prequalified for loans from multiple lenders
  3. Complete your loan application
  4. Close the loan and receive your funds
  5. What to do if your loan application is denied

1. Know your credit score

When you apply for a personal loan, the lender will review your credit to determine your creditworthiness. You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to qualify. A good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher.

Keep in mind: There are also several lenders that offer personal loans for bad credit, but these loans usually come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans.

Your credit will also impact the kind of rates you’re offered. In general, the higher your credit score, the better your rate will be. Having good credit can also make it easier to borrow larger amounts.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to check your credit before you apply so you’ll know where you stand.

Tip: You can use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureau to potentially boost your credit score.

Learn More: Personal Loan Calculator: See Your Payments On a Loan

2. Check if you can get prequalified for loans from multiple lenders

It’s important to shop around and compare as many personal loan lenders as possible. This way, you can find a loan that suits your needs.

Many lenders provide the option to prequalify for a loan. This gives you the option to see your personalized rates from a lender before applying. In most cases, this only requires a soft credit check that won’t hurt your credit — for example, you can compare your prequalified rates from Credible’s partner lenders with no impact on your credit.

Compare Rates Now

There are several points to consider as you compare personal loan options, including:

  • Interest rate: Your loan interest rate will play a major role in determining your overall loan cost. There are a few factors that will impact the rates you’re offered, such as your credit and the repayment term you choose.
  • Repayment terms: You’ll typically have one to seven years to repay a personal loan, depending on the lender. It’s usually best to choose the shortest term you can afford to keep your interest costs as low as possible. Many lenders also offer lower rates to borrowers who opt for shorter terms.
  • Loan amounts: With a personal loan, you can generally borrow $600 to $100,000 or more, depending on the lender. Be sure to borrow only what you need to keep your future repayment costs manageable.
  • Fees: Lenders sometimes charge fees on personal loans — such as origination fees or late fees — that can increase your total loan cost.
  • Time to fund: It usually takes about one week to get your funds if you’re approved. There are also some lenders that offer faster loan funding, which could be helpful if you need your money quickly.

Once you’ve compared lenders, pick the loan option that best suits your needs.

3. Complete your loan application

After you’ve chosen a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation — such as pay stubs or tax returns.

If you work with an online lender, this process is handled completely online. Because of this, online lenders tend to be the fastest option for getting a personal loan. If you want to take out a personal loan with a traditional bank or credit union, you might be required to visit a branch in person.

Keep in mind: Prequalification offers don’t last forever. If you’ve been prequalified for a loan and decide to move forward with the application process, you’ll likely need to do so within a few days to a couple of weeks.

Check Out: Best Personal Loans for Borrowers With Good Credit

4. Close the loan and receive your funds

After you submit your application and documentation, you’ll need to wait for an approval decision. With an online lender, you could get a decision in just a few minutes. But in other cases, it might take up to a week, such as if your application requires further review.

If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so the funds can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval.

Tip: If a lender approves you for a loan, make sure to carefully go over the terms before you agree to them. This way, you can avoid any surprises.

Loan repayment process

After you get your loan funds, you’ll begin the loan repayment process. It’s important to make each of your payments on time to avoid potential late fees.

Keep in mind that by paying your loan on time, you can also establish a positive payment history — which could help improve your credit over time.

Tip: Consider signing up for autopay to avoid missing any payments in the future. Many lenders offer a rate discount to borrowers who opt for automatic payments — typically 0.25%.

Learn More: Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit

What to do if your loan application is denied

If you apply for a loan and are denied, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck — you might still be able to qualify for a personal loan in the future.

Tip: Your first step should be reviewing why the lender denied your application. For example, you might have been turned down because of a low credit score or insufficient income. By understanding why the lender denied your application, you’ll be able to see what you need to work on to potentially get approved.

Here are some further options to consider:

  • Review your credit report. If there are any errors that are dragging down your credit score, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureau to possibly boost your score.
  • Find a cosigner. If you’re struggling to get approved for a personal loan, applying with a creditworthy cosigner could improve your chances. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do. Having a cosigner might also get you a better interest rate than you’d get on your own.
  • Apply for a smaller loan amount. Lenders want to see that you can afford to repay your loan — which is why you might get denied for a large loan amount if you have insufficient income. In this case, consider applying for a smaller loan amount that’s more manageable.
  • Shop around with additional lenders. Just because one lender turned you down doesn’t mean that all lenders will. For example, if you were denied because of a lower credit score, you’ll likely have an easier time getting approved by lenders that specialize in working with borrowers who have poor or fair credit.

If you’re ready to apply for a personal loan, remember to shop around and compare as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for your situation. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.

LenderFixed ratesLoan amountsMin. credit scoreLoan terms (years)Cosigners allowed?


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
9.95% - 35.99% APR $2,000 to $35,000**5502, 3, 4, 5*No
  • Fixed APR: 9.95% - 35.99% APR
  • Variable APR: N/A
  • Min. credit score: 550
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000**
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, IA, HI, VT, NV NY, WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan servicer: Avant
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes
  • Min. Income: $1,200 monthly


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
7.29% - 17.99% APR $10,000 to $50,0007003, 4, 5, 6No
  • Fixed APR: 7.29% - 17.99% APR
  • Variable APR: N/A
  • Min. credit score: 700
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 6
  • Time to fund: Next business day
  • Fees: No prepayment penalty
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, self-employment, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
4.99% - 35.99% APR $5,000 to $35,0006003, 5No
  • Fixed APR: 4.99% - 35.99% APR
  • Variable APR: N/A
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as 1 - 3 business days after successful verification
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except DC, IA, VT, and WV
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan servicer: Best Egg and Blue Ridge Bank
  • Min. Income: None
  • Loan Uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
5.99% - 24.99% APR $2,500 to $35,0006603, 4, 5, 6, 7No
  • Fixed APR: 5.99% - 24.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Loan amount: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day after acceptance
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility:  Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan Uses: Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
7.99% - 29.99% APR $10,000 to $50,000Not disclosed by lender2, 3, 4, 5Yes
  • Fixed APR: 7.99% - 29.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as 2 business days
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: No
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, KS, NH, NY, ND, OR, VT, WV, WI, and WY
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: None
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, travel, medical expenses, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
7.04% - 35.89% APR $1,000 to $40,0006003, 5Yes
  • Fixed APR: 7.04% - 35.89% APR
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Time to fund: Usually takes about 2 days
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan servicer: LendingClub Bank
  • Min. Income: None
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
7.99% - 35.99% APR $2,000 to $36,5005802, 3, 4No
  • Fixed APR: 7.99% - 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $36,500
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except NV and WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: $20,000
  • Loan Uses: Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
3.99% - 19.99% APR $5,000 to $100,0006602, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
(up to 12 years for home improvement loans)
Yes
  • Fixed APR: 3.99% - 19.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*
  • Time to fund: As soon as the same business day
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except RI and VT
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Loan servicer: LightStream
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
6.99% - 19.99% APR1 $3,500 to $40,0002660
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)
3, 4, 5, 6, 7No
  • Fixed APR: 6.99% - 19.99% APR1
  • Min. credit score: 660
    (TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)
  • Loan amount: $3,500 to $40,0002
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Time to fund: Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as three days
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan servicer: Goldman Sachs
  • Min. Income: $30,000
  • Loan Uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchase, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
18.0% - 35.99% APR $1,500 to $20,000None2, 3, 4, 5Yes
  • Fixed APR: 18.0% - 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: None
  • Loan amount: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Must have photo I.D. issued by U.S. federal, state or local government
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
5.99% - 24.99% APR $5,000 to $40,0006002, 3, 4, 5
  • Fixed APR: 5.99% - 24.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as 2 - 5 business days after verification
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except MA, NV, and OH
  • Customer service: Phone, email, chat
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: None
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation and credit card consolidation only


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
5.49% - 17.99% APR $600 to $50,000
(depending on loan term)
6601, 2, 3, 4, 5No
  • Fixed APR: 5.49% - 17.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Loan amount: $600 to $50,000*
  • Loan terms (years): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund: 2 to 4 business days after verification
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
7.95% - 35.99% APR $2,000 to $40,0006403, 5No
  • Fixed APR: 7.95% - 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 640
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as one business day
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA, ND, WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: None
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
6.99% - 22.28% APR10 $5,000 to $100,000Does not disclose2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Yes
  • Fixed APR: 6.99% - 22.28% APR10
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Time to fund: 3 business days
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except MS
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses: Solely for personal, family, or household uses


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
8.93% - 35.93% APR7 $1,000 to $50,0005603 to 5 years 8No
  • Fixed APR: 8.93% - 35.93% APR7
  • Min. credit score: 560
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 3 to 5 years 8
  • Time to fund: Within one day, once approved9
  • Loan types: Debt consolidation, pay off credit cards, home improvements, unexpected expenses, home and auto repairs, weddings, and other major purchases
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: A U.S. citizen or permanent resident; not available in DC, SC, WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
5.94% - 35.97% APR $1,000 to $50,0005602, 3, 5, 6No
  • Fixed APR: 5.94% - 35.97% APR
  • Min. credit score: 560
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000*
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 5, 6
  • Time to fund: Within a day of clearing necessary verifications
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except West Virginia
  • Customer service: Email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes


Credible Rating
Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.
4.37% - 35.99% APR4 $1,000 to $50,00055803 to 5 years4No
  • Fixed APR: 4.37% - 35.99% APR4
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,0005
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 5 years4
  • Time to fund: As fast as 1 business day6
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: $12,000
  • Loan Uses: Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | 10SoFi Disclosures | Read more about Rates and Terms



About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 3.99%-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.

About the author
Emily Guy Birken
Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a Credible authority on student loans and personal finance. Her work has been featured by Forbes, Kiplinger’s, Huffington Post, MSN Money, and The Washington Post online.

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