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Best Unsecured Loans of February 2024

Unsecured loans can be used for almost anything — we evaluated the best based on a range of factors like APR, credit requirements, loan amounts, and repayment terms.

Author
By Hilary Collins

Written by

Hilary Collins

Writer

Hilary Collins is a finance writer and editor. She loves taking topics that could be dry and complicated and turning them into engaging stories with actionable takeaways.

Edited by Meredith Mangan

Written by

Meredith Mangan

Senior Editor

Meredith Mangan is Credible's Senior Editor for Personal Loans. Since 2011, she’s helped steer content creation in the areas of mortgages and loans, insurance, credit cards, and investing for major finance verticals, including Investopedia, Money Crashers, and The Balance.

Updated February 14, 2024

Editorial disclosure: Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances.

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An unsecured personal loan is an installment loan offered by a bank, credit union, or other lender that isn’t backed or “secured” by any asset, such as your home or car. Instead, these loans are approved based on how likely the lender thinks you are to pay the loan back, which it determines by considering your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, income, and other factors.

Compare unsecured loan rates of February 2024

Advertiser Disclosure
4.24.2

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

7.49% - 25.49%

Loan Amounts

$5000 to $100000

Min. Credit Score

700

on Credible’s website

View Details

3.93.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

7.80% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

620

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.44.4

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

-

Loan Amounts

$2500 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

660

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.64.6

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.49% - 17.99%

Loan Amounts

$600 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

760

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.54.5

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.49% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.94.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.99% - 29.99%

Loan Amounts

$5000 to $100000

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

on Credible’s website

View Details

44

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

8.99% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$2000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

on Credible’s website

View Details

44

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

9.57% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

660

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.34.3

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

11.69% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

560

on Credible’s website

View Details

44

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

-

Loan Amounts

$20000 to $200000

Min. Credit Score

660

on Credible’s website

View Details

3.93.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

18.00% - 35.99%

Loan Amounts

$1500 to $20000

Min. Credit Score

540

on Credible’s website

View Details

All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | SoFi Disclosures | Read more about Rates and Terms

Best unsecured loans

Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, with some of the more common being emergencies, medical expenses, home improvement projects, and debt consolidation. We reviewed over 20 lenders and considered interest rates, loan terms, loan amounts, credit requirements, time to fund, and more to determine the best unsecured loans of 2023.

personal loans for excellent credit

SoFi

4.9

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

8.99 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$5000 to $100000

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros and cons

More details

Best Credit Union for Personal Loans

PenFed

4.6

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

8.49 - 17.99%

Loan Amount

$600 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

760

Pros and cons

More details

personal loans for fair credit

Upgrade

4.5

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

8.49 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

Pros and cons

More details

Low interest rate personal loans

Discover Personal Loans

4.4

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

-

Loan Amount

$2500 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

660

Pros and cons

More details

debt consolidation loans for bad credit

Universal Credit

4.3

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

11.69 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

560

Pros and cons

More details

home improvement loans

LightStream

4.2

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

7.49 - 25.49%

Loan Amount

$5000 to $100000

Min. Credit Score

700

Pros and cons

More details

High Close Rates if Pre-approved

Best Egg

4

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

8.99 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

600

Pros and cons

More details

Large personal loans

BHG Money

4

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

-

Loan Amount

$20000 to $200000

Min. Credit Score

660

Pros and cons

More details

personal loans for bad credit

OneMain Financial

3.9

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1500 to $20000

Min. Credit Score

540

Pros and cons

More details

Fast personal loans for all credit types

Upstart

3.9

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

7.80 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1000 to $50000

Min. Credit Score

620

Pros and cons

More details

online experience

LendingClub

4

Credible Rating

on Credible’s website

Est. APR

9.57 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1000 to $40000

Min. Credit Score

660

Pros and cons

More details

Methodology

Credible evaluated the best personal loan lenders for unsecured loans based on factors such as minimum and maximum interest rates, maximum loan amount, funding time, loan terms, fees, discounts, credit and income requirements, and whether cosigners are accepted. Credible’s team of experts gathered information from each lender’s website, customer service department, directly from our partners, and via email support. Each data point was verified by a third party to make sure it was accurate and up to date.

How to compare unsecured personal loans

There are several factors you should consider to make sure you’re getting the best personal loan for you:

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): One of the biggest things to consider is the APR, which determines how much borrowing will cost you. The APR takes both the interest rate on the loan and any upfront fees into account, such as an origination fee. APRs can vary widely, depending on your credit score, overall financial situation, and the lender.
  • Fees: Many lenders charge an origination fee, usually calculated as a percentage of the total loan amount and automatically subtracted from the amount that’s disbursed to you. Some other fees might include a documentation fee, optional credit or disability insurance, and late fees.
  • Loan term: The term of the loan refers to its length, or how long it will take you to pay it back off. Generally, a shorter loan term means a lower interest rate, lower total cost, and higher monthly payments. Personal loan repayment terms generally run from 1 to 7 years, but some lenders may offer longer terms, depending on the loan’s purpose.
  • Loan amount: We reviewed lenders that offer loans as low as $600 up to $200,000. If you need a loan amount under $2,000 or above $50,000, be sure to only consider lenders that offer what you need. Avoid taking out more than you need, as this can significantly increase the cost of your loan.
  • Monthly payment: When selecting a loan, make sure the monthly payment fits comfortably within your budget. While you want to pay the lowest interest rate and the fewest fees, you don’t want to hurt or even ruin your credit by missing payments or defaulting on a loan you can’t repay.
  • Funding time: If you need a quick personal loan, compare loan funding times between lenders — that is, how long it’s likely to take from the approval of your application to the disbursement of funds to your account. This can vary widely from lender to lender, but many offer funding within 1 to 3 business days, and some offer same-day funding.
  • Customer experience: Make sure that any lender you choose has readily available customer service and convenient payment options that work for you. For example, if you prefer to transact from your phone, make sure the lender has a mobile app to your liking.
  • Lender reputation: Look at online reviews, check with your state’s regulatory agency, and look the company up with the Better Business Bureau. It’s likely you’ll see complaints for any lender, but if the same issues come up repeatedly, it could be a red flag.

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Eligibility requirements for unsecured personal loans

When you apply for a loan, you’re not just analyzing lenders — they’ll analyze you, too. Here are some of the things lenders will look at and ask for when they’re reviewing your loan application:

Your credit score and history

This is one of the most important factors a lender considers. Your credit score is a number that reflects your financial history, including your payment history, current debts, how much credit you’ve used vs. how much you have available, and how many new applications for credit you’ve made.

A high credit score means that lenders generally consider you a low-risk person to lend to — someone who pays their bills on time, has had accounts in good standing for a long time, doesn’t use too much of their available credit, and hasn’t been opening a flurry of new accounts. Lenders typically offer borrowers with high credit scores the lowest interest rates.

Debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a simple equation of how much of your monthly income goes to repaying debt. You can calculate it by adding up all your minimum monthly payments, then dividing that number by your monthly gross income. A debt-to-income ratio of 36% or less is considered good, though some lenders will accept a higher DTI.

Employment and income

Lenders generally need to know you have an income and a job. They may request pay stubs, bank statements, or tax returns to verify your income. You should have enough income to comfortably make loan payments in addition to the payments you already have.

Loan amount

The total dollar amount you’re seeking needs to be in line with what you’re capable of paying back. If lenders don’t think it is, they may deny your application or approve you for a smaller loan amount. Make sure you’re not asking to borrow more money than you really need, or are able to pay back.

How to improve your chance of approval

If you’re concerned about getting approved or have had trouble doing so, these steps may help:

  • Add a cosigner: Getting a personal loan with a cosigner with a strong credit history and low DTI can help you qualify for a loan. This is because the cosigner agrees to be responsible for your loan if you miss payments. Before you ask someone to cosign a loan with you, make sure you can afford the payments for the term of your loan. It can be incredibly damaging to your relationship if your cosigner is forced to cover your loan.
  • Boost your income: If possible, improve your debt-to-income ratio by increasing your income. Seek a higher-paying job and consider gig or freelance work to supplement your earnings.
  • Pay off debt: Another way to improve your chance of qualifying is to reduce your DTI by paying off smaller, existing debts. This, like many other credit-boosting measures, may take time and requires that you’re able to wait to take out a loan.
  • Improve your credit: It’s always good practice to pay bills on time and reduce your debt load because it can have a dramatic effect on your credit score over time. A quicker way to improve your credit could be to pay for a service that reports payments like rent, utility, and your phone bill to the bureaus, such as Experian Boost and Self.
  • Get a secured loan: If you attach collateral, such as your car or home, to secure the loan, it could help you qualify, as it gives the lender greater peace of mind that you’re committed to making payments. It also means your lender can seize or put a lien on your collateral if you don’t make payments or default. Having this option also reduces lender risk.

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How to get an unsecured personal loan

Consider these steps when getting an unsecured personal loan:

  1. Check your credit: Check your credit report first. If you note any errors, report them to the credit bureaus immediately, and wait for your score to reflect the changes before you apply. Knowing your credit score is also a good way to eliminate certain lenders, since most have minimum credit score requirements.
  2. Compare lenders: Shop around to compare interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and payment terms. Comparing APR ranges is a good way to start this process. Try to find each lender’s minimum credit score requirements as well.
  3. Prequalify: Once you’ve determined which lenders look good, prequalify with those that will let you. Prequalification provides an estimate of the APR, loan amount, and loan terms you might qualify for, without hurting your credit score. Note that a hard credit pull — which does affect your score — will follow when you submit a formal application. Prequalification is not an offer of credit, and final rates may be higher.
  4. Apply for a loan: When you have found the best option, submit an application. Expect to provide government ID, proof of income, and other documentation to support your application.
  5. Finalize loan and begin payments: Once approved, you’ll need to sign the paperwork prior to disbursement — make sure you read and understand the fine print before signing. Once you receive the money, you’ll begin making payments. Consider setting up automatic payments to help prevent missed payments, late fees, and damage to your credit score.
tip Icon

Tip

Use a personal loan marketplace to get a quick snapshot of rates and terms on personal loans. You can often prequalify with multiple lenders as well.

Pros and cons of unsecured loans

Compared to secured loans, unsecured loans have upsides and downsides. Here are some of the major ones to consider:

Pros:

  • No risk of losing your collateral: With an unsecured loan, you’re not pledging your home, car, or other asset, which means your lender can’t take it if you don’t make your payments.
  • Simplified process: Without the need for collateral, the application process is based solely on your credit profile, which makes it faster.

Cons:

  • APRs may be higher: Since the lender has no collateral to back the loan, it may perceive it as riskier than a secured loan, which usually means a higher interest rate and possibly higher fees.
  • More difficult to qualify for: Without the backing of collateral, it may be difficult to get approved for a personal loan with an attractive interest rate, or get approved for one at all.

Differences between secured and unsecured loans

The difference between secured and unsecured loans is that the former are “secured” by an asset that you own. In essence, with a secured personal loan you are pledging something to the lender that it can claim if you don’t meet your end of the bargain. They are often backed by a home, a car, or sometimes a financial asset, like a bank account or certificate of deposit.

In contrast, unsecured loans don’t have any such backing. And while that makes the loan process simpler and doesn’t risk your possessions, unsecured personal loans often have higher interest rates than secured personal loans.

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FAQ

Can you get an unsecured loan with bad credit?

It may be challenging to get an unsecured loan if you have bad credit, but it’s possible. Personal loans for bad credit often feature high interest rates and higher fees, so be sure the cost makes sense before applying. Some lenders may allow you to add a cosigner to the loan, which means you’d use their good credit to qualify.

What are the different types of unsecured loans?

Common types of unsecured installment loans include personal loans and student loans. Other debts that are unsecured include most credit cards, medical debt, and business loans, as well as rent, cellphone, and utility bill payments if you’re late.

What are the common uses for unsecured loans?

Unsecured loans are often used to consolidate debt, renovate homes, pay for medical bills, fund weddings and vacations, and more. There are very few restrictions on what personal loans may be used for. However, you can’t use them to pay tuition costs or for a down payment on a home.

Meet the expert:
Hilary Collins

Hilary Collins is a finance writer and editor. She loves taking topics that could be dry and complicated and turning them into engaging stories with actionable takeaways.