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Find a great rate on your personal loan

A personal loan is typically an unsecured loan that offers you access to cash that can be used towards debt consolidation, home improvements, or typically whatever else you need money for. Personal loans are generally offered with fixed interest rates that are lower than other financing options, allowing for a straightforward repayment process.
In this guide, you can compare personal loans from some of the top lenders in the industry, see who we rated as the best for different credit tiers, and find answers to some of the most common questions for borrowers.
On this page:
Personal Loan Comparison Table
Best Personal Loans (Based on Editorial Ratings)
How to Apply for a Personal Loan
How to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates
Compare Personal Loan Companies
Simplify your personal loan search by comparing personal loan companies by rates, terms, minimum credit scores, and more. Click on the “Lender Details” option below each button to find additional lender information.
CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL INCOME
LOAN AMOUNT

5.34%-16.99%Estimated APR
2 to 7 Years*Loan Terms
660Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

6.79%-20.39%2Estimated APR
3 to 7 YearsLoan Terms
680Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

5.99%-29.99%Estimated APR
3 to 5 YearsLoan Terms
640Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

5.74%-16.49%1Estimated APR
2 to 7 YearsLoan Terms
660Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

6.95%-35.99%4Estimated APR
3 or 5 Years4Loan Terms
640Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

7.99%-35.89%Estimated APR
3 or 5 Years5Loan Terms
620Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

4.99%-29.99%Estimated APR
2 to 5 YearsLoan Terms
640Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

6.95%-35.89%Estimated APR
3 to 5 YearsLoan Terms
600Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

9.95%-35.99%Estimated APR
2 to 5 YearsLoan Terms
580Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

8.69%-29.99%Estimated APR
3 or 5 YearsLoan Terms
620Min. Credit Score
Check Rate

Lender Details

Best Personal Loans for 2019
Below are reviews of LendEDU’s picks for the best personal loan companies. You can find information about interest rates, term lengths, fees, and more in the reviews below.
The following eight companies are the highest rated based on our Editorial Ratings. These ratings are in no way affected by compensation and are strictly based on the details and competitiveness of the products offered. In order to make the list, lenders must also offer personal loans in at least 40 states and must not require borrowers to be a member of the bank or credit union.
Here are our choices for the best personal loans by credit tier. Click an option below to learn more about the lenders in that tier.
Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit (690 – 850): LightStream, SoFi, and Citizens Bank
Best Personal Loans for Average Credit (630 – 689): Marcus, FreedomPlus, Payoff
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit (550 – 629): OneMain Financial, Avant
Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit
Credit range: 690 to 850
The personal loan lenders in this category will typically only accept borrowers with excellent credit or good credit. If you fall into this range, you may be able to find a loan with the best rates and friendliest repayment terms in the industry.
LightStream
What we like: Beat any qualifying rate

Editorial Rating (4.62 / 5.0)
(Details)

Minimum annual income of $45,000
$100 satisfaction guarantee on your experience
Rate Beat Program (0.10% below competitor rates if terms are met)
AutoPay discount of 0.50%
Check Rate

Estimated APR
5.34% – 16.99%
Loan Terms
2 to 12 years*
Loan Amounts
$5,000 – $100,000
Origination Fee
None
Time to Fund
As soon as the same day

Show Disclaimer
More About LightStream
LightStream targets highly qualified borrowers which means it routinely offers some of the lowest personal loan rates available – but only to a subsection of online loan-seekers. Your actual APR will be determined after a thorough review of your application. LightStream loans can be used for virtually any purpose, as stated on the company’s website. Loan terms for all purposes outside of home improvement have a maximum loan term of 7 years.
If you don’t qualify for an unsecured loan through LightStream, you may be able to take out a secured loan for the purchase of a new, used, or classic car.
After receiving a loan, if you are not satisfied, you can complete a questionnaire and receive $100. This guarantee expires 30 days after receiving your loan.
LightStream is so confident in their product that they have a Rate Beat Program in which they offer to beat a competitor’s published rate by 0.10% if certain conditions are met (see site for details).
Since the loan application process is entirely online, borrowers don’t have to travel to a physical branch of LightStream’s parent company, SunTrust Bank, to fill out an application.
SoFi
What we like: Career coaching

Editorial Rating (4.45 / 5.0)
(Details)

Minimum Annual Income of $50,000
Unemployment protection program
Pre-qualify for rates with no commitment
AutoPay discount of 0.25%
Check Rate

Estimated APR
5.74% – 16.49%1
Loan Terms
2 to 7 years
Loan Amounts
$5,000 – $100,000
Origination Fee
None
Time to Fund
7 days on average

Show Disclaimer
More About SoFi
Since beginning in 2011, SoFi (or Social Finance) has grown into one of the best loan companies in the nation. SoFi offers personal loans for credit card consolidation, home improvements, relocation assistance, medical procedures, and more. The lender also offers both fixed and variable annual percentage rates (APRs).
The loan application process is fairly straightforward. You can prequalify for a loan with a soft credit pull in 2 minutes with no commitment. When ready, you can complete your online application with the help of SoFi consultants that will require a hard credit pull. Funds can be expected within a few days after finalizing some additional agreements with the lender.
A unique perk offered by SoFi is their unemployment protection program. If borrowers lose their jobs and sources of income, they will be eligible for this program. SoFi temporarily halts payments until the borrower can find a new job. Additionally, SoFi even helps its customers find new opportunities in the workplace.
Citizens Bank
What we like: Great customer service

Editorial Rating (4.43 / 5.0)
(Details)

Minimum annual income of $24,000
Loyalty discount reduction of 0.25%
No collateral required
AutoPay discount of 0.25%
Check Rate

Estimated APR
6.79% – 20.39%2
Loan Terms
3 to 7 years
Loan Amounts
$5,000 – $50,000
Origination Fee
None
Time to Fund
3+ days on average

Show Disclaimer
More About Citizens Bank
Unlike many other lenders, Citizens Bank has physical branch locations throughout the country, but consumers can also complete applications completely online if they’d like. Their website claims that approved borrowers can expect their funds within 2 business days.
Citizens Bank offers tools along the way to help you with the process. These tools include a personal loan calculator to determine your monthly payments and potential interest rate, as well as repayment examples based on current rates.
Citizens Bank also allows applicants to add a cosigner, which is uncommon for online personal loan lenders. If rejected when applying alone, potential borrowers can reapply with well-qualified cosigners.
Citizens Bank also offers a smartphone app for users to keep up with their loans on-the-go.
Best Personal Loans for Average Credit
Credit range: 630 to 689
The personal loan lenders in this category will typically only accept borrowers with average credit and above. If you fall into this range, you likely won’t receive rates similar to the excellent and good credit range, but you can still receive competitive rates and repayment terms.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
What we like: No fees

Editorial Rating (4.32 / 5.0)
(Details)

Minimum annual income of $25,000
No late payment fees
Personal loan calculator to see your savings
On-time payment reward
Check Rate

Estimated APR
6.99% – 24.99%
Loan Terms
3 to 6 years
Loan Amounts
$3,500 – $40,000
Origination Fee
None
Time to Fund
1 to 4 days

Show Disclaimer
More About Marcus
Marcus Personal Loans is a division of Goldman Sachs bank, one of the largest and oldest banks in the U.S. Marcus offers personal loans for debt consolidation, home improvement, weddings, moving and relocation, vacation, and more.
Marcus performs an initial soft credit check to provide you with prequalified personal loan offers. If you see a loan you like, you can submit a full loan application and the lender will perform a hard credit check to confirm your eligibility and rate.
Another feature of Marcus Personal Loans is that they allow borrowers to choose their monthly payments and loan amounts. This allows borrowers to better customize their loans so that it’s right for them and their lifestyle.
While there are no late payment fees with Marcus, you will still accumulate interest if you do not make payments. This will cause your final payment to be larger than previously agreed upon.
FreedomPlus
What we like: Human engagement during application

Editorial Rating (4.24 / 5.0)
(Details)

Max loan amount equal to 35% of gross income in a given year
Speak to a loan consultant for help with your application
Loans can be used for a wide range of needs
Check Rate

Estimated APR
4.99% – 29.99%
Loan Terms
2 to 5 years
Loan Amounts
$7,500 – $35,000
Origination Fee
0% – 5% of loan amount
Time to Fund
3 – 5 days after approval

Show Disclaimer
More About FreedomPlus
FreedomPlus takes pride in offering borrowers the opportunity to speak directly with a loan consultant prior to submitting an application. Their model is focused on providing transparency to borrowers so that a loan from FreedomPlus can be “the smart way to meet your financial needs.”
The repayment process is straightforward as borrowers will have fixed monthly payments and the ability to choose their own payment date. Unfortunately, FreedomPlus does charge some fees that are worth considering when deciding if they are the best option for you.
Payoff
What we like: Job loss support

Editorial Rating (4.08 / 5.0)
(Details)

Must have a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less
Must have 3 years of a good credit history
Designed to help boost your FICO score
Loans are designed to help eliminate high-interest credit card debt
Check Rate

Estimated APR
5.99% – 24.99%
Loan Terms
2 to 5 years
Loan Amounts
$5,000 – $35,000
Origination Fee
0% – 5% of loan amount
Time to Fund
2 to 7 days

Show Disclaimer
More About Payoff
Payoff offers a personal loan designed to help borrowers eliminate credit card debt. Their loan allows you to consolidate multiple high-interest credit card balances into one monthly payment with a fixed interest rate.
Something that makes Payoff unique amongst other personal loan lenders is the transparency around their approval criteria. In order to be approved for a loan you will need a FICO score of 640 or higher, a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less, and 3 years of good credit amongst other criteria.
If you are looking for a personal loan to help you repay high-interest credit card debt, then Payoff may be a good option.
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit
Credit range: 550 to 629
The personal loan lenders in this category provide bad credit loans to borrowers with below average credit and above. If you fall into this range, you likely won’t receive the best personal loan rates, but these lenders are usually aware of the need for borrowers to rebuild credit and look to help you with that. These lenders also provide customer service to help borrowers with any repayment struggles.
OneMain Financial
What we like: Same day funding

Editorial Rating (4.33 / 5.0)
(Details)

No minimum annual income
Have local branches to allow for in-person discussions
Offer both secured or unsecured personal loans
Get an idea of your estimated monthly payment with their calculator
Check Rate

Estimated APR
16.05% – 24.99%
Loan Terms
2 to 5 years
Loan Amounts
$1,500 – $30,000
Origination Fee
None
Time to Fund
Same day

Show Disclaimer
More About OneMain Financial
OneMain Financial offers personal loans for those with bad credit. The ability to meet loan specialists in person at a branch can be useful for those looking for a more personal experience.
If approved for a personal loan through OneMain Financial, you will have to visit a branch to verify your information and discuss the next steps. Though this step may be unappealing for those looking to complete the process online, you could get your money the same day if approved by noon.
Naturally, interest rates are higher than other lenders due to the risk of lending to borrowers with lower credit scores. However, the lack of fees attached to their loan product is a plus.
Avant
What we like: No minimum credit score

Editorial Rating (3.93 / 5.0)
(Details)

No minimum income requirement
Check loan options with a soft credit pull
Mobile app to keep up with your loan
Financial tools to stay up to date on your loan
Check Rate

Estimated APR
9.95%-35.99%*
Loan Terms
2 to 5 years
Loan Amounts
$2,000 – $35,000
Origination Fee
Up to 4.75% of loan amount
Time to Fund
2 days on average

Show Disclaimer
More About Avant
Founded in 2012 and previously known as AvantCredit, Avant has provided access to over $4 billion in personal loans to date. It has built a proprietary formula to judge a borrower’s creditworthiness by utilizing advanced algorithms and analytical tools.
A personal loan through Avant can be used for debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchases, and more. The loan application process is fairly straightforward. You can check your personal loan options in a few minutes without affecting your credit score. If you like the terms offered, you can e-sign and the funds can be deposited into your account as soon as the next business day following a hard credit pull.
How to Apply for Personal Loans
Applying for personal loans online has become much easier these days. With an emphasis on consumer convenience, many of the best personal loan companies have focused on cutting the time and difficulty of their applications.
Approval Criteria
Each lender has slightly different approval criteria, but most personal loan lenders will look at your credit report and income. The higher your credit score and income, the more likely you are to get approved for a loan.
Online personal loan companies tend to approve borrowers who don’t have ideal credit scores more often than large banks will. Part of this has to do with a trend towards using additional criteria outside of just using credit profiles. Additional criteria may include your education, area of study, and job history, among other considerations. Online personal loan companies like SoFi and Earnest use cash flow, savings, income potential, and employment history on top of a FICO credit score to determine their lending decisions.
If you are a U.S. citizen you likely won’t have an issue applying with any of these lenders, but for non-U.S. citizens there may be certain visa or green card requirements to be eligible for a loan.
Information You’ll Need When Applying
When applying for the best online loans, you will need to provide the lender with certain information.
For lenders with alternative credit models, that might include additional information like your education or your employment history. In general, though, you will likely need the following information:
Identification – A driver’s license, Social Security card, or passport.
Proof of Income – If you have an employer, you will need your W-2 forms and pay stubs. If you’re self-employed, you will need your tax returns or bank statements.
Verification of Address – You need an official piece of mail like a utility bill with your address on it or a copy of your lease or deed.
Social Security Number
Monthly Expenses and Current Debt
Gross Income
Previous Addresses
What Can a Personal Loan Be Used For?
A personal loan can be a great financial tool for those in need of quick funding for any kind of purchase, of most amounts. Before taking out your loan, it is important to understand what your monthly payments will be and to have a plan for repayment.
Here are some common uses of a personal loan:
Debt Consolidation
Medical Bills
Home Improvements
Buying or repairing a vehicle
Moving Expenses
Wedding Expenses
Vacation
And more
The most common personal loans taken out are debt consolidation loans, which are used to consolidate certain kinds of debt like credit card debt, for example. Debt consolidation loans are the most common loan because repaying multiple forms of debt can be difficult and lead to missed payments. Consolidating your debt into one loan allows you to focus on one monthly payment.
How to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates
When it comes to borrowing, one of the most important things to be aware of is the interest rate that you’ll be charged. Your interest rate is the percentage that you will be required to pay on the principle of your loan. Lenders determine the interest rate by calculating how big of a risk they believe you will be. If you’re seen as being highly likely to repay your loan, you will receive a lower interest rate, whereas if you’re seen as being less likely to repay your loan, you will have a higher interest rate.
The lower the interest rate you’re charged, the less you’re likely to pay over the life of your loan. A lower rate will make it easier for you to meet your repayment requirements. The best personal loans you can get have the lowest interest rates.
It is important to note that while interest rates are calculated on an annual basis, they are annualized over the year and charged on a monthly basis.
How to Get the Lowest Rate on Your Personal Loan
Here are a few things that will help you get the lowest personal loan rates:
A High Credit Score
One of the biggest determiners of your interest rate is your credit score. If you have a high credit score, then you will likely qualify for a low interest rate. If you don’t have a great credit score, you may want to work on improving it before applying for a loan.
Having a Cosigner
If you don’t have great credit, you can potentially get a lower interest rate if you have a friend or family member with good credit that will cosign your loan.
A cosigner offers a fallback option for a lender if you, the primary borrower, fails to make on-time payments.
A Stable Income
Even if you have good credit, you will likely find it difficult to get a low interest rate if you don’t have a steady job or source of income. Having a steady job and source of income allows you to show the lender that you will be able to afford future payments.
A Short Term Length
When you take out a loan, you often have a choice about how quickly you repay it – this is called the term length. Lower term lengths usually allow for lower interest rates since it will be easier for the lender to review your immediate financial future with the information on your application rather than trying to foresee multiple years from now.
Risks of Personal Loans
While personal loans can be helpful in the situations discussed above, there are certain risks to consider.
You’ll Have to Meet Your Monthly Payments
Like most loans, you’ll have to repay the money you borrow with interest. This means that you’ll end up paying more than you originally took out, typically in monthly, required installments.
If you miss your payments, you may be charged late fees or your loan could go into default which could wreak havoc on your credit score and cause the debt collectors to start calling. Eventually, your wages could be garnished or a lien could be placed against your home.
How to Minimize the Risk of a Missed Payment
Before you take out a personal loan, be sure to know what your monthly payment will be and have a plan for how that payment will fit into your budget. If you’re not sure if you can afford repayment, it’s probably in your best interest to not take out the loan.
Hard Credit Check
Before you are fully approved for a personal loan, most lenders will perform what is called a hard credit check to ensure that you are eligible. This is also used to determine your repayment terms. Unlike soft credit pulls – which lenders will often do to prequalify you for their loans – hard pulls will ding your credit score.
While this isn’t too substantial, it could affect your eligibility or interest rates on financial products that you’re planning to apply for in the near future.
How to Minimize the Effect on Other Products
If you are looking to apply for a mortgage, auto loan, or another larger loan, it may be in your best interest to wait until after you are approved for that loan before applying for a personal loan.
However, make sure to determine which product is the most important, and urgent, to keeping you in good financial standing.
Unexpected Upfront Fees
At LendEDU, we do our best to find and disclose all personal loan fees from our partners to our readers. There are many lenders, though, that will try to hide fees that increase the true cost of their loans.
These fees could end up costing you a significant amount of money and if you are unaware of them when you take out your loan, you may not be able to afford repayment as planned.
How to Minimize the Risk of Unexpected Upfront Fees
Before applying for any personal loan, be sure to read the fine print and figure out any and all fees that will be charged. It doesn’t hurt to compare company information across multiple reviews either.
Prepayment Penalties
Just as some lenders charge fees when you take out your loan, other lenders may charge fees during repayment. The most common fee while making loan payments is a prepayment fee for paying off your loans early.
Some lenders charge this kind of fee because they hope they will make money on your loan by the interest payments you make. If you pay off your loan early, they make less in interest.
How to Minimize the Risk of Prepayment Penalties
Before you take out your personal loan, be sure to know if it comes with prepayment fees. We typically suggest to avoid personal loans with prepayment penalties because you shouldn’t be penalized for making what is usually considered a smart financial decision.
Predatory Lenders
There are some lenders out there who charge very high interest rates and unfair repayment terms. These are typically payday, title, and pawnshop loans.
These loans usually will end up costing you a significant amount of money compared to other companies. In addition, predatory lenders expect you to repay the loan in a very short amount of time and there are often many hidden fees included.
How to Minimize the Risk of Predatory Lenders
In short, it is in your best interest to avoid these predatory lenders at all costs. To do so, make sure you compare multiple personal loan companies with guides like ours to ensure you are only considering the best personal loan companies who are known to be trustworthy lenders.

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