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Features of small personal loans:

  • Usually $3,000 or less
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • Used to cover small, unexpected costs

Personal loans are great for covering unexpected expenses, but you don’t always have to borrow a large amount. Getting a small personal loan might be necessary if you don’t have any reserved cash or emergency savings to cover certain costs.

In this post:

Small personal loan lenders

Not all personal loan lenders offer small dollar loans, and some that do might charge higher interest rates or more fees. See the table below for our list of lenders who offer small personal loans.

LenderRatesMinimum loan amount 
avant

View details
Fixed: 9.95% - 35.99% APR$2,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 2 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $35,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a resident in the U.S. with a valid Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)

Key benefits
• Fast online process, with e-signed contract
• Receive funds as soon as next business day (if approved by 4:30pm CT, Monday through Friday)
• Options for borrowers with less than perfect credit (most of Avant’s customers have credit scores in the 600 to 700 range)

Avant personal loans review

best egg

View details

Fixed: 5.99% - 29.99% APR$2,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 or 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $35,000

Loan uses
• Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident Alien
• Can't be a resident of IA, VT, or WV

Time to get funds
• As soon as 1 - 3 business days after successful verification

Key benefits
• Choose your payment date
• You can have up to two Best Egg loans at the same time

Best Egg personal loans review

lendingclub

View details
Fixed: 6.95% - 35.89% APR$1,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $40,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien with a valid Social Security number and physical address, currently residing in the U.S.

Time to get funds
• Usually takes about 7 days

Key benefits
• The amount you pay will never increase

LendingClub personal loans review

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lendingpoint

View details
Fixed: 9.99% - 35.99% APR$2,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 2 - 4 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $25,000

Loan uses
• Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a verifiable Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as the next business day

Key benefits
• Available to "near prime" borrowers with credit scores as low as 585
• Streamlined approval and application process
• No prepayment penalty

LendingPoint personal loans review

prosper

View details
Fixed: 6.95% - 35.99% APR$2,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $40,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. resident with a bank account and Social Security number

Time to get funds
• On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer

Key benefits
• All loans through prosper are unsecured (no collateral required)
• Loan review process usually completed in 7 business days or less

Prosper personal loans review

upstart

View details
Fixed: 7.99% - 35.89% APR$1,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $50,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Borrower can't be a resident of CT, CO, IA, MA, MD, VT, or WV

Time to get funds
• Within a day of clearing necessary verifications

Key benefits
• Free credit monitoring
• Free educational resources that can help borrowers

Upgrade personal loans review

upstart

View details
Fixed: 8.89% - 35.99% APR$1,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $50,000

Loan uses
• Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a verifiable Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as 1 - 3 business days

Key benefits
• Can apply for a second loan after making six on-time monthly payments ($50,000 maximum principal on all loans)

Upstart personal loans review

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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | Read more about Rates and Terms

Lenders who offer small loans as low as $1,000

LendingClub

Since loans at LendingClub start as low as $1,000, you can use your small personal loan for any little cost you need to cover.

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $40,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien with a valid Social Security number and physical address, currently residing in the U.S.

Time to get funds
• Usually takes about 7 days

Key benefits
• The amount you pay will never increase

LendingClub personal loans review

Upgrade

Loans at Upgrade can get as low as $1,000. With loan terms at three or five years, it makes monthly payments manageable so you won’t fall behind.

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $50,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Borrower can't be a resident of CT, CO, IA, MA, MD, VT, or WV

Time to get funds
• Within a day of clearing necessary verifications

Key benefits
• Free credit monitoring
• Free educational resources that can help borrowers

Upgrade personal loans review

Upstart

A minimum Upstart loan is $1,000 and you can get your money as soon as one to three business days.

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $50,000

Loan uses
• Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a verifiable Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as 1 - 3 business days

Key benefits
• Can apply for a second loan after making six on-time monthly payments ($50,000 maximum principal on all loans)

Upstart personal loans review

Lenders who offer small loans as low as $2,000

Avant

A small loan from Avant starts at $2,000 and you can receive funds as soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday). It’s a good option if your credit score isn’t great but still need to borrow money.

Loan terms
• 2 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $35,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a resident in the U.S. with a valid Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)

Key benefits
• Fast online process, with e-signed contract
• Receive funds as soon as next business day (if approved by 4:30pm CT, Monday through Friday)
• Options for borrowers with less than perfect credit (most of Avant’s customers have credit scores in the 600 to 700 range)

Avant personal loans review

Best Egg

A Best Egg loan starts as low as $2,000 and has repayment terms of three or five years. You can get your money as soon as one to three business days after successful verification and have the chance to choose the repayment date that works best for you.

Loan terms
• 3 or 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $35,000

Loan uses
• Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident Alien
• Can't be a resident of IA, VT, or WV

Time to get funds
• As soon as 1 - 3 business days after successful verification

Key benefits
• Choose your payment date
• You can have up to two Best Egg loans at the same time

Best Egg personal loans review

LendingPoint

Loans at LendingPoint start at $2,000 to $25,000. But you can get your money as soon as the next business day and near-prime credit scores qualify.

Loan terms
• 2 - 4 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $25,000

Loan uses
• Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a verifiable Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as the next business day

Key benefits
• Available to "near prime" borrowers with credit scores as low as 585
• Streamlined approval and application process
• No prepayment penalty

LendingPoint personal loans review

Prosper

Small loans from Prosper start at $2,000 and the loan approval process will be, on average, within 5 days of accepting your offer.

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $40,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. resident with a bank account and Social Security number

Time to get funds
• On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer

Key benefits
• All loans through prosper are unsecured (no collateral required)
• Loan review process usually completed in 7 business days or less

Prosper personal loans review

Not all lenders have the same loan terms and requirements for borrowing money. If you’re going to get a personal loan online, try to compare them all first to see which one is right for you.

Small personal loans from banks and credit unions

Many local banks and credit unions offer personal loans, as well, but qualifications vary based on institution.

Credit unions, for example, may allow you to have a lower-than-average credit score to get a personal loan, but you usually have to be a member of the credit union for a certain period of time before qualifying.

Both big banks and small, local ones usually offer person loans as well. If you already belong to a bank, compare their interest rates, repayment terms, fees, and how much you can borrow with other places, like credit unions and online lenders.

Pros and cons of a small personal loan

There are some instances where borrowing a little bit of money is a good idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best decision.

A small personal loan is a good idea if:

  • You need the money soon as a one-time expense
  • You have the credit score to qualify for borrowing
  • You have room in your budget to afford repayment

A small personal loan may not work for you if:

  • You need ongoing cash instead of a one-off expense
  • Your credit score is too low to qualify
  • Your income and expenses don’t allow for any extra payments

Since not all personal loan lenders have the same lending terms, your qualifications may be different depending on the lender.

Personal loan alternatives

If you don’t qualify for a personal loan or you’re looking for other places to get money, you have a few other options to consider:

  • Payday alternative loans (PALs): While payday loans have short terms (like two to four weeks) and high interest rates, Payday alternative loans are small loans that are offered by credit unions. The National Credit Union Administration allows federal credit unions to offer loans from $200 to $1,000 with loan terms ranging from 1 to 6 months. But you have to be a member of the credit union for at least a month before applying.
  • Nonprofits and charities: Local nonprofits, charities, and religious organizations offer help to those who are financially struggling. These organizations can help with things like utilities, food, rent and other financial emergencies. Call 211 or check their resources to see if you qualify for help.
  • Credit cards: While pulling out the plastic is one of the most convenient options you have, there are a few caveats. There’s usually a fee for a cash advance depending on how much you withdrawal. Or if you pay for something with your credit card, you’ll face an interest charge if you don’t pay it off by the end of the billing cycle.
  • Friends and family: Asking for financial help is no easy task, but if you don’t have the credit score to get a personal loan or another alternative it can be a smart choice. If you go this route, make sure you have some sort of written agreement that details a repayment plan and what happens in case things don’t go according to plan. If you don’t have anyone to loan you money, consider asking those with solid credit scores if they can serve as a loan cosigner.

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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 24 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.

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