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Personal Loans

Best Debt Consolidation Loans by Credit Score in 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Updated – December 20, 2019

Dealing with multiple loan payments can be a hassle. Even worse is having to pay high interest rates on one or more of your loans. A debt consolidation loan can be a great way to fix those problems by refinancing all your loans into one with a new rate and term.

Debt consolidation provides three benefits:

  1. Make payments simple: If you owe a lot of lenders and are having a tough time keeping track of all the payments, then consolidating will make your life easier. You’ll only owe one lender and have to keep track of one due date. There’s less of a chance of anything falling through the tracks.
  2. Lower your interest rate: This is where you have to run the numbers to see if debt consolidation makes sense for you. What’s the average interest rate you’re paying on your debt? If it’s quite high (which is likely if you have a lot of consumer debt), you may benefit from consolidating under better terms. Just remember to only use a personal loan if the interest rate is lower than the one you are already paying.
  3. Improve your credit score: If your credit cards are currently maxed out, your credit score will suffer. When you pay off your credit card debt with a personal loan, you will often receive a boost to your credit score, so long as you don’t start using your cards again.

But not all lenders will work with just anyone. Generally, you need to have a good credit score to qualify for the best interest rates on debt consolidation loans. Even then, some lenders offer better terms than others.

We searched through MagnifyMoney’s debt consolidation loan marketplace to identify the best lenders for you depending on whether you have excellent (700 and above), good (640-699), average (600-639) or poor (below 600) credit. To compare lenders evenly across the board, we assumed that you’re looking for a $10,000 loan and that you have a college degree. For each credit category, we picked the top two lenders who had the lowest APRs.

Here are the results from our analysis. If you’re in the market for a debt consolidation loan, it’s a good idea to customize your debt consolidation loan search so that you can find the best loan to help you get out of debt faster.

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.
LendingTree

As low as 3.99%

24 to 60

months

Minimum 500 FICO®

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Advertiser Disclosure.

Disclaimer

A Personal Loan can offer funds relatively quickly once you qualify you could have your funds within a few days to a week. A loan can be fixed for a term and rate or variable with fluctuating amount due and rate assessed, be sure to speak with your loan officer about the actual term and rate you may qualify for based on your credit history and ability to repay the loan. A personal loan can assist in paying off high-interest rate balances with one fixed term payment, so it is important that you try to obtain a fixed term and rate if your goal is to reduce your debt. Some lenders may require that you have an account with them already and for a prescribed period of time in order to qualify for better rates on their personal loan products. Lenders may charge an origination fee generally around 1% of the amount sought. Be sure to ask about all fees, costs and terms associated with each loan product. Loan amounts of $1,000 up to $50,000 are available through participating lenders; however, your state, credit history, credit score, personal financial situation, and lender underwriting criteria can impact the amount, fees, terms and rates offered. Ask your loan officer for details.

As of 17-May-19, LendingTree Personal Loan consumers were seeing match rates as low as 3.99% (3.99% APR) on a $10,000 loan amount for a term of three (3) years. Rates and APRs were based on a self-identified credit score of 700 or higher, zero down payment, origination fees of $0 to $100 (depending on loan amount and term selected).

4.99% - 16.79%*

with AutoPay

24 to 144*

months

Not specified

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66.

5.99% - 29.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details.

7.16% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

640

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

640

Minimum Credit Score

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99% to 29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99% that is deducted from loan proceeds. Any origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. The loan term and the APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit usage history and other factors. Additionally, the APR offered is impacted by your loan term and may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may result in an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding, LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least four months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000. Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

18.00% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Not specified

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. The lowest APR shown represents the 10% of loans with the most favorable APR. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.
Peerform

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

600

Minimum Credit Score

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

9.95% - 35.99%*

24 to 60**

months

600

Minimum Credit Score

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30.

Based on the responses from 11,574 customers in a survey of 210,584 newly funded customers, conducted from 1 Feb 2018 - 1 Aug 2019 95.05% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

Tower Federal Credit Union

8.74% - 11.74%

12 to 72

months

580

Minimum Credit Score

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Tower Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

Start Shopping Here – LendingTree

At LendingTree, you can make dozens of personal loan companies compete for your business with a single online form. When you fill out the form, LendingTree will do a soft pull – which means your score will not be negatively impacted. Dozens of lenders will compete and you may be matched with up to five different lenders who want your business. You may be able to compare and save in just a few minutes. We recommend starting here. You can always apply directly to other lenders – but many of the lenders we recommend already participate in the LendingTree personal loan online tool.

LendingTree
APR

As low as 3.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO®

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Advertiser Disclosure

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.


A Personal Loan can offer funds relatively quickly once you qualify you could have your funds within a few days to a week. A loan can be fixed for a term and rate or variable with fluctuating amount due and rate assessed, be sure to speak with your loan officer about the actual term and rate you may qualify for based on your credit history and ability to repay the loan. A personal loan can assist in paying off high-interest rate balances with one fixed term payment, so it is important that you try to obtain a fixed term and rate if your goal is to reduce your debt. Some lenders may require that you have an account with them already and for a prescribed period of time in order to qualify for better rates on their personal loan products. Lenders may charge an origination fee generally around 1% of the amount sought. Be sure to ask about all fees, costs and terms associated with each loan product. Loan amounts of $1,000 up to $50,000 are available through participating lenders; however, your state, credit history, credit score, personal financial situation, and lender underwriting criteria can impact the amount, fees, terms and rates offered. Ask your loan officer for details.

As of 17-May-19, LendingTree Personal Loan consumers were seeing match rates as low as 3.99% (3.99% APR) on a $10,000 loan amount for a term of three (3) years. Rates and APRs were based on a self-identified credit score of 700 or higher, zero down payment, origination fees of $0 to $100 (depending on loan amount and term selected).

Best debt consolidation loans for excellent credit

LightStream

APR

4.99%
To
16.79%*

with AutoPay

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

24 to 144*

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66.

What we like

If you’ve managed your credit well and have the credit score to prove it, LightStream can be a great option to consolidate your debt. It has some of the lowest interest rates out there — as low as 4.99% APR (that’s with a 0.50% auto-pay discount).

Going along with those low interest rates are low fees. LightStream doesn’t charge any fees at all, including origination fees or prepayment fees. The company offers loan terms from 24 to 144 months. While it’s generally best to pay off your debt as quickly as possible, sometimes having a longer-term loan makes sense, and many other lenders don’t offer loans for as long as 12 years.

The final thing we like about LightStream is that it’s quick to fund your loan. If you are approved for a loan on a business day before 2:30 p.m. Eastern time and provide the company with your bank account details, you can have your loan funded on the same day you are approved.

What could be better

If you’re trying to take advantage of the 0.50% auto-pay discount, you’ll need to set this up before your loan is funded. You won’t qualify for this interest rate discount if you do it after the fact.

Additionally, the company makes it a bit difficult if you’re trying to pay your loan off early. If you want any extra payments to go toward the principal (and not interest), you’ll have to schedule your extra payment to occur on the same day as your normal monthly payment. There’s no other way to specify that you want extra payments to go toward your principal balance.

Credit history required

LightStream doesn’t say what kind of credit history you need to qualify for a loan. But the company does describe those with excellent credit (and thus the best odds for approval at the lowest rates) as people with five or more years of credit history.

Fees and fine print

LightStream is a great option for folks who qualify for these loans because the company does not charge any fees at all. This means no origination fees or prepayment penalties. If you miss a payment, it’s not totally free because the company could report that to the credit bureaus, which could harm your credit score.

FreedomPlus

APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

With a personalized application process that includes a phone interview, FreedomPlus gives people with below average credit a shot at getting approved for a personal loan.... Read More


All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details.

What we like

FreedomPlus also offers some of the lowest personal loan rates in our marketplace. Those rates are running as low as 5.99% APR.

Another thing we like about FreedomPlus is that it offers multiple different interest rate discounts. The lender doesn’t specify the amounts, but you can get discounts for three things:

  • If you have a co-applicant for your loan
  • If you use at least half of your loan to pay off high-interest credit card debt (FreedomPlus will pay it for you)
  • If you have at least $40,000 in retirement savings

These discounts may (or may not) make your interest rate better than what you could get with other lenders. But at least the company is rewarding customers for good financial behavior, such as paying off high-interest debt and saving for retirement.

What could be better

Unfortunately, FreedomPlus doesn’t operate in all states. Even in some of the states in which it does operate, there are state-specific minimums: $6,500 in Massachusetts, $5,500 in Ohio, $10,500 in Arizona and $3,500 in Georgia.

We also don’t like that FreedomPlus has a narrower range of terms than LightStream. You can only choose from a term length between 24 and 60 months.

Further, FreedomPlus doesn’t provide a lot of information on its website. Rather, the company directs you to contact it for more details. That could be inconvenient if you’re shopping lenders. It also puts you in a high-pressure sales situation since you must speak with someone to get the relevant details unless you’re comfortable blindly applying for a loan.

Credit history required

FreedomPlus generally requires you to have about three years worth of credit history to stand a good chance of being approved for a loan.

Fees and fine print

The company has a variable origination fee — between 0.00% - 5.00% — depending on your loan’s APR. If you make a late payment, you’ll pay either a flat $15 fee, or 5% of your payment amount, depending on whichever is greater. If the company processes a personal check, that’s another $15. If your monthly payment is returned, it’s yet another $15 fee.

Best debt consolidation loans for good credit

RocketLoans

APR

7.16%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

640

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Rocketloans is a digital finance business that is part of the Quicken Loans family. ... Read More

What we like

Even if you don’t have stellar credit, the interest rate that Rocket Loans charges isn’t bad (assuming you are offered a low-end rate). RocketLoans is charging between 7.16% and 29.99% APR. The high end is the same rate you may find on a high-interest credit card. If you fall into that interest rate band, it may be worth reassessing this lender.

RocketLoans is also fast at funding your loan. If everything matches up correctly among you, RocketLoans and the bank, you may be able to receive the money the same day.

What could be better

RocketLoans isn’t available in every state. If you live in Nevada, Iowa or West Virginia, you can’t use the company to consolidate your debt.

The company only offers two different term lengths — 36 or 60 months. You can pay it off sooner, of course, and there’s no penalty for doing so. But this means you’ll only get a maximum of two different options for a given loan amount, which may not fit your budget.

Credit history required

The company does not say what sort of credit history is required to get a debt consolidation loan.

Fees and fine print

RocketLoans charges three different fees:

  • Late payment fee: $15
  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00% of the loan amount
  • Returned check fee: $15

Best Egg

APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

People looking for a process that is fast and straightforward can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. ... Read More


The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99% to 29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99% that is deducted from loan proceeds. Any origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. The loan term and the APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit usage history and other factors. Additionally, the APR offered is impacted by your loan term and may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may result in an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding, LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least four months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000. Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

What we like

Best Egg has similar interest rates to RocketLoans, ranging from up to 5.99% to 29.99% APR. You can also take out loan amounts as small as $2,000 to consolidate your debt, which is a lot less than the minimum requirement for other lenders. Also, there are no prepayment penalties for paying off the loan early.

Heads-up, though: The minimum loan amount does vary by state, so it may be different depending on where you live. Georgia residents can’t take out loans of less than $3,000, Massachusetts residents must borrow at least $6,000, and New Mexico and Ohio residents must borrow at least $5,000.

What could be better

If you live in Iowa, Vermont or West Virginia, you’re out of luck when it comes to getting a BestEgg loan. That’s because the company doesn’t operate in those states.

You can take out a loan of up to $35,000 to consolidate your debt through BestEgg. That may sound like a good thing at first, but consider this: The company only offers you the choice of a three- or five-year term. If you take out a large amount of money, you’ll also need an equally high income to make those whopping payments. Instead, if you’re facing a large amount of debt, it’s worthwhile to also consider a lender that offers more options.

We also don’t like that BestEgg charges a $7 monthly payment fee unless you’re signed up for automatic payments. Signing up for auto-pay simplifies things for both you and the lender, but you shouldn’t be penalized if you’re not able to do that for some reason.

Credit history required

Unfortunately, BestEgg does not disclose this information.

Fees and fine print

Here’s a quick summary of the fees that BestEgg charges:

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%
  • Late payment fee: $15
  • Returned payment fee: $15
  • Payment processing fee for people not enrolled in auto-pay: $7

Best debt consolidation loans for average credit

OneMain Financial

APR

18.00%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 10.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

OneMain Financial offers quick turnaround times and you may get your money the same day... Read More


Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. The lowest APR shown represents the 10% of loans with the most favorable APR. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

What we like

If you like working with bankers in person, this might be a better option for you since you’ll be required to visit a OneMain Financial branch to get your money. This means that if you are approved by noon and can make it to a branch, you could get your money that day.

What could be better

On the flip side, visiting a local branch to complete the loan application process could be inconvenient if you live in a suburban or rural area and there aren’t any locations close to you. These loans are also very expensive.

We also don’t like that the company’s loan policies vary across the country depending on your state of residence. This makes it difficult to easily compare lenders without contacting OneMain Financial to get the most accurate information for your situation.

Credit history required

Your credit history is important to OneMain Financial. But the company itself doesn’t have any listed requirements. Rather, your credit history is taken into account along with your debt-to-income ratio and your ability to make the loan payments on time.

Fees and fine print

There are no prepayment penalties with a OneMain Financial loan. The cost of origination or late fees varies depending on the state in which you live. You’ll need to contact OneMain Financial to get this information.

Peerform

Peerform
APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 5.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Even with a credit score of 600, you still might be able to secure a loan through Peerform. ... Read More

What we like

These loans come with low rates, starting at 5.99% APR. Peerform is also open with its pricing scheme, listing in detail the APR and origination fees that come along with each credit grade, which you can see here.

What could be better

Peerform is a peer-to-peer lender, which means that the company relies on regular everyday investors to fund your loan. You could view this as a good thing since it’s not some mega-corporation that’s getting rich off funding personal loans, but it also means that it could take a while (up to two weeks) for your loan to be fully funded by investors. It’s even possible that your loan listing could end without enough investors to fund your loan, which means you may be offered less money than what you sought — or you may not even receive a loan at all.

These loans are also a bit on the fee-heavy side. For example, the company is trying to push you toward digital payments, because it will charge you a $15 fee per payment if you choose to send in a check.

Credit history required

Like many lenders, Peerform does not detail exactly what type of credit history is required to get a loan. Rather, the company takes into account other factors — such as whether your credit score is above 600 — when deciding whether to create a listing for your loan.

Fees and fine print

Here is a summary of fees that Peerform charges on its personal loans:

  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 5.00%
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15
  • Late payment fee: $15 or 5% of the amount due, whichever is more
  • Check payment fee: $15 per check payment

Best debt consolidation loans for bad credit

Avant

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%*

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60**

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%**

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

Avant is an online lender that offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. ... Read More


*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30.

Based on the responses from 11,574 customers in a survey of 210,584 newly funded customers, conducted from 1 Feb 2018 - 1 Aug 2019 95.05% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

What we like

Avant does offer smaller loans than many other lenders. You can take out a loan starting at $2,000, ranging up to $35,000, depending on the state in which you live. That’s helpful if you’re trying to work your way out of just a few thousand dollars of debt.

You can also get your money relatively quickly if you are approved for a debt consolidation loan with Avant. If you finish the application process and are approved for a loan before 4:30 p.m. Central time on a weekday, you could have your money the next day.

What could be better

Avant’s rates, fees, loan amounts and loan terms are dependent upon the state in which you live, so you’ll need to check for yourself on its website. But for Illinois (where Avant is headquartered), we noticed that these loans do come with higher fees than normal. They also come with high interest rates, starting at 9.95% APR.

This isn’t unusual since Avant is willing to work with people with less-than-stellar credit scores. It does make it inconvenient for you because you’ll need to assess whether it’s cheaper to consolidate your debt with a personal loan rather than paying it off as is.

Once you add on the upfront administrative fee to the high interest rate, you may find that this loan isn’t a deal at all in the long run compared to what you’re currently paying. The only way to know is to do the math.

Credit history required

Again, Avant doesn’t disclose how long your credit history needs to be to get a loan with the company.

Fees and fine print

In Illinois, where Avant is based, you can expect to pay the following fees if you take out a debt consolidation loan:

  • Administrative fee: Up to 4.75% of the loan amount
  • Late fee: $25
  • Returned payment fee: $15

Tower Federal Credit Union

Tower Federal Credit Union
APR

8.74%
To
11.74%

Credit Req.

580

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

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on Tower Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Tower Federal Credit Union offers both personal lines of credit and more common signature loans that feature a fixed term. ... Read More

What we like

We like that there is a wide range of options for term lengths at Tower Federal Credit Union. You can choose from six different term lengths, ranging from one to six years. Having a wide range of options is good for you as a consumer because this effectively offers you up to six different monthly payment amounts that you can choose from to fit into your budget.

Rates for these loans are also relatively low. For example, if you opt for a one-year loan, rates start at 8.74% APR. Be warned: The longer your term length, the higher the minimum APR. If you instead opt for a six-year loan, rates instead start at 11.74% APR. At some point, you may need to reassess whether the interest rate you’re receiving is really lower than your current debts’ interest rate.

What could be better

Since this is a credit union, you’ll have a different working relationship. It’s not as simple as applying with any old online lender, getting the money, paying it back and having everything be all right.

First, you’ll need to join Tower Federal Credit Union. There are pretty strict membership requirements, but you can always join by making a minimum $35 donation to the TowerCares Foundation. You’ll need to deposit at least $15 in a savings account to establish your membership. Then, after you’ve applied and established your membership, you can apply for this loan.

You’ll also need to maintain your bank account if you’re older than 22. If more than a year passes without any activity in the account and if your balance is less than $100, you’ll pay a $3 quarterly inactivity fee. So, you can see, going with a credit union may boost your odds of approval if you have a low credit score, but it’s certainly not without a great deal of work compared to a regular online lender.

Another downside of getting a personal loan with Tower Federal Credit Union is that there’s no way to know how much money you can take out without applying for the loan first. That’s because the credit union will offer you a range of borrowing limits based on your credit score and ability to pay, which it determines after you apply for a loan. This could be inconvenient if you go through all the hassle of applying for a loan only to find out the loan amount won’t work for you.

Credit history required

Tower Federal Credit Union will look at your credit when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. But it doesn’t detail what sort of credit history is required to be approved for a loan. Besides your credit history, it’ll also look at your ability to repay the loan.

Fees and fine print

If you make a late payment, you’ll pay a $20 fee. That’s just a touch higher than with other lenders. Additionally, you can make your monthly payment over the phone, but if you do so, there’ll be another $9 processing fee.
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3 reasons to use a personal loan to pay off debt

 

How to choose the right debt consolidation loan

To help ensure you select the best debt consolidation loan for your financial situation, consider these four tips:

  1. Do the math: See what a debt consolidation loan will cost you in the long run compared to your current debts. A debt consolidation loan may give you a lower payment or a lower interest rate, but if you choose a long-term loan, you may end up paying more in interest charges by the time your term ends. LendingTree, MagnifyMoney’s parent company, has a debt consolidation calculator so that you can run the numbers.
  2. Consider which types of debt you want to consolidate: Generally speaking, student loan debt is consolidated separately from your other types of debt, such as credit card debt, medical debt and auto loan debt.
  3. Consider whether other types of loans are right for you: Home equity lines of credit, home equity loans, personal lines of credit and 0% introductory APR credit cards are also reasonable options for debt consolidation.
  4. Check whether you’re applying for a secured or an unsecured loan: If it’s a secured loan (backed by an asset such as your car) and you fail to make your payments, the lender can repossess the item. Unsecured loans, on the other hand, aren’t backed by this kind of collateral, but often come with higher interest rates. Make sure you consider the trade-offs before you apply for the loan.

This article contains links to LendingTree, our parent company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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The Best Personal Loans for People with Bad Credit

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

If you have bad credit, it can be difficult qualifying for a personal loan. Some of the best personal loans for bad credit — defined here as a credit score below 640 — come from lenders who consider other information in addition to your credit score. These lenders might not offer the lowest interest rates or biggest loan amounts, but you won’t be automatically disqualified just because your credit is less than stellar.

Read on to learn about the personal loan products we selected.

The 3 best personal loans for bad credit

 

LendingPoint

Learn more

Peerform

Learn more

Upstart

Learn more

APR

9.99% - 35.99%

5.99% - 29.99%

6.46% - 35.99%

Terms

24 to 48 months

36 or 60 months

36 & 60 months

Loan amount

$2,000 - $25,000

$4,000 - $25,000

$1,000 - $50,000

Origination fee

0.00% - 6.00%

1.00% - 5.00%

Up to 8.00%

Credit score requirement

585

600

620

LendingPoint

LendingPoint offers personal loans for fair credit borrowers. Although loan amounts are restrictive, the lender has more repayment terms to choose from (though a shorter maximum term) compared to the other options included here. The funds can be deposited the next business day after loan approval, as well.

LendingPoint considers more than your credit score when reviewing your application. The lender looks at factors such as:

  • Job history
  • Income
  • Financial history
  • Credit behavior

When applying, you can expect LendingPoint to request additional documentation, such as proof of income and recent bank statements.

Peerform

Peerform is a peer-to-peer lending platform through which borrowers may access personal loans. These loans come with the lowest APR range and the lowest maximum origination fee among the personal loans we reviewed on the MagnifyMoney marketplace for borrowers with credit scores below 640. That means Peerform may be a good option for bad credit borrowers hoping to minimize their overall cost of borrowing.

Potential borrowers should know that the process of getting a loan through Peerform is different from getting a loan through a traditional lender. After you register on Peerform and select your loan terms, your loan inquiry will be listed on the Peerform platform. From there, investors can choose to fund your loan.

The minimum credit score requirement for Peerform is reasonable, at 600. But as with any unsecured personal loan, only the most creditworthy borrowers will qualify for the lowest interest rates. Further, the loan amounts are more restrictive than for those offered through Upstart and LendingPoint.

Upstart

Upstart’s APR range is slightly higher than the two competitors in our selection. This includes a higher cap on the origination fee. Although Upstart has a higher credit score requirement than Peerform and LendingPoint, the lender specifies on their website that it considers education and employment information in their underwriting.

Upstart offers the most generous loan amount range, potentially making them a good option if you want to borrow either very small amounts (less than $2,000) or large amounts (more than $25,000). Once your loan is approved and you accept it, you can receive funds as soon as the next business day.

How to compare and choose a personal loan

When comparing personal loans to find the best one for your financial situation, it’s important to read the fine print and make sure you understand each lender’s terms and conditions. The table below details important features to consider.

APR

APR (annual percentage rate) is the primary factor in determining how much your loan will cost over time.

Credit score requirements

Look for credit score requirements or a pre-approval tool to figure out your chances of approval before applying.

Loan amount

The loan amount determines how much money you can borrow, although only the most creditworthy borrowers will qualify for the highest loan amounts.

Loan term

The loan term determines how long you have to pay off your loan. The longer the loan term, the lower your monthly payments, but a long loan term also means paying more in interest.

Origination fee

Origination fees are charged by some lenders in order to process your loan, and they're typically deducted from your loan amount upfront.

Prepayment fee

Prepayment fees are charged if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule and should be avoided when possible.

Late payment fee

Late payment fees are charged if you miss a loan payment. Avoid these by always making payments on time.

Check processing fee

Many lenders charge a check processing fee if you choose to make your loan payments by physical check rather than electronically.

Loan restrictions

While personal loans are flexible, you can't always use them for any purpose. Check if there are restrictions on how you can use your funds.

The primary factors to consider are the APR — essentially the cost of your loan — as well as the loan term, loan amount and credit score requirements. If those factors match up with your needs, move on to considering other fees, such as origination fees, prepayment fees, late payment fees and check processing fees.

Finally, make sure that the personal loan you’re considering can be used for your needs. Some personal loans are geared toward paying off or consolidating debt, while others might be designed to pay for home improvements or a new car. By going through this checklist, you’ll be more likely to find a personal loan that’s the best fit for you.

The application process for a personal loan

  1. Determine your eligibility: Each of these lenders offer a pre-qualification tool that allows you to check what loan rates you might qualify for without impacting your credit. Use these tools to determine whether or not you’re eligible for the loan you need.
  2. Consider adding a cosigner: It’s easier to get a competitive interest rate for your credit profile if you can find a cosigner to lean on. However, this person will be held responsible for your debt if you can’t pay it off, so make sure you have a solid plan in place to repay your loan.
  3. Prepare your loan materials: To complete most loan applications, you’ll need to provide basic information like your full name, address and social security number, plus any documents required to verify your identity and income. These can include a driver’s license, passport, or government-issued ID, pay stubs, bank statements and information regarding your current debts if you’re consolidating.
  4. Complete the loan application: Once you’ve gathered the necessary materials, you can fill out your chosen lender’s online application form. You might receive a decision immediately, or the lender may ask to see additional materials to verify your income and identity. With peer-to-peer lending platforms, your loan will need to be funded by investors before you can receive your money.
  5. Add a bank account to receive your funds: If you’re approved, you’ll need to add and verify a bank account where you’d like your funds to be deposited. You’ll then receive your funds within one day to two weeks, depending on the lender.
  6. Follow up with lenders that reject you: If you’re rejected for the loan of your choice, it can be helpful to follow up with the lender and ask why. Their answer will provide guidance as to how you can improve your chances of approval.

Alternatives to a bad credit personal loan

  1. Ask for help from friends and family: The best alternative to a bad credit personal loan is borrowing from friends and family. Even if they charge you interest, you’re likely to save the most money with this method. Just make sure you have a plan to repay the loan, or you could risk destroying important relationships.
  2. Consider a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC): If you’re a homeowner who has paid off a portion of your home, you may be able to take out a loan against the equity in your house. Home equity loans and HELOCs tend to be easier to qualify for and offer lower rates because you offer your house as collateral. Just know that you risk losing your home if you don’t pay off the loan.
  3. Secured loan:Secured loans are backed by collateral as well, making it easier to qualify for lower interest rates. Aside from borrowing against your house, you can often borrow against other property such as a car or a boat, or even an upfront deposit. Again, you risk losing your collateral if you don’t pay off the loan on time.
  4. Charge a credit card: Credit cards can come with higher interest rates than personal loans depending on your credit. However, if you need money now and can’t qualify for lower interest rates, you might be better off charging a credit card. Make sure you pay off your balance diligently to minimize interest charges.

Improving your credit score for future loans

If you can’t get approved for the best personal loans for your credit profile, it might be worth trying to repair your credit before you borrow money. A better score will help you qualify for loans with better terms and lower interest rates.

While improving your credit takes time, you’re bound to see your credit score increase if you can consistently follow the steps below:

  1. Go through your credit report and dispute any errors
  2. Pay all of your bills on time, and make any late payments before your debt goes to collections
  3. Pay off debt, focusing on paying down high credit card balances first
  4. Consider applying for a secured credit card and using it responsibly and regularly

Methodology

Our selection of the best personal loan lenders for bad credit was based on offers listed on MagnifyMoney’s personal loan marketplace. Lenders were chosen on December 18, 2019 assuming:

  • Credit score of poor (below 640)
  • Loan amount of $5,000
  • Zip code 11220

Lenders were chosen based on APR ranges for each of the above credit score ranges. Ties were broken by assessing: 1) Origination fees 2) flexibility of term lengths. Lenders who do not specify credit score requirements on their website were excluded when assessing lenders for borrowers with poor credit.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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LoanMart Car Title Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

LoanMart
APR

30.00%
To
199.00%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

Up to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies by state

LEARN MORE Secured

on LoanMart’s secure website

LoanMart auto title loan details

Terms

Fees and penalties

  • Term lengths: Up to 60 months
  • APR range: 30.00% - 199.00%
  • Loan amounts: $2,600 - $50,000
  • Time to funding: As soon as 24 hours after submitting required documentation
  • Credit check:Poor-credit applicants will be considered
  • Origination fee: Varies by state
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: Varies by state
  • Other fees: DMV charges possible in some states

LoanMart product details

LoanMart offers auto title loans at a lower interest rate than most of its competitors, but they are still an expensive form of credit. To secure your loan, you will have to sign over the title of your vehicle as collateral. It’s easiest to do this if your car is paid off, but you may still qualify if you have a few payments left depending on your vehicle’s equity.

The APR you are charged will include any origination fees, as well as possible Department of Motor Vehicle fees, though these do not appear to be excessive. If the title is in your name and you’re looking to get a loan, LoanMart will contact the DMV on your behalf.

One of the most noteworthy things about LoanMart’s auto title loans is its terms. While many auto title loans require you to pay back your loan within a month, LoanMart gives you up to five years. Its term lengths are more in line with what you would find with an unsecured personal loan. And your car can be repossessed with an auto title loan, which makes unsecured personal loans preferable. Not everyone will qualify, though.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Not specified, though LoanMart says almost anyone can qualify for its car title loan
  • Minimum credit history: You can still qualify if you have poor credit or a bankruptcy on your record, but it will most likely to impact your APR
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

The primary thing you’ll need when applying for a car title loan from LoanMart is a vehicle. While your credit history will be evaluated, a bad credit history won’t necessarily disqualify you like it does with other lenders.

You must also be a resident in one of the states in which LoanMart issues auto title loans:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Utah

Applying for an auto title loan from LoanMart

  • Fill out an application: You can apply online, via phone (855-422-7412) or at a LoanMart location.
  • Receive a quote: Within an hour of submitting your application, you should receive a quote — if you’ve been approved — with the amount you are able to borrow.
  • Submit documentation: If you move forward, you will need to submit documentation to support your application. This includes a government-issued ID, your car title, proof of income and proof of residence.
  • Sign and cash: After you submit your documentation, you will sign the final paperwork. You can then choose to receive your money electronically, via paper check or in person at a LoanMart location. You may also be able to pick up your funds through MoneyGram at select Walmart locations.
Pros and cons of a LoanMart auto title loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Longer loan terms: LoanMart loans can be repaid over up to 60 months. Many car title loans are extremely short, ending within 15 to 30 days.
  • Lower APR: LoanMart’s APR offerings can be notably lower than other auto title lenders.
  • Quick turnaround: LoanMart will provide funding in as few as 24 hours if you submit the necessary documents and signatures by 2 p.m. Pacific time on a business day.
  • Credit reporting: LoanMart reports your payments to two of the three major credit bureaus: Experian and Equifax. This can help you rebuild a positive credit history.
  • Expensive form of borrowing:  Even the lowest APR available through LoanMart is higher than what you’re likely to be offered via an unsecured personal loan with another lender.
  • You could lose your car: If you can’t repay your loan, you could lose your vehicle.
  • Limited availability: LoanMart only issues title loans to residents in 7 states.
  • Amount you can borrow depends on your car: Newer cars with a clean title will yield a higher offer from LoanMart than a vehicle of an earlier model year with a rusted-out bottom. That’s good news if you have a newer vehicle, but potentially disappointing for everyone who does not.

Who’s the best fit for a LoanMart auto title loan?

If you have no other options and are determined to take out an auto title loan, LoanMart is one of your better options:

  • APRs are clearly advertised
  • APRs for qualified applicants can be lower than the competition depending on the state in which you live
  • Your credit history plays less of a role; if it’s poor, though, you’re likely to end up at the higher end of the APR range

Auto title loans are an expensive form of borrowing. While LoanMart can be preferable to other lenders in its space, that doesn’t change the fact that you should explore all other options before putting up the title of your car as collateral for fast cash.

LoanMart consumer reviews

Borrowers have ranked LoanMart a 4.3 out of 5 (53 reviews) on LendingTree, which owns MagnifyMoney. That ranking does include customers that have used its other products, such as personal loans or auto refinance.

Borrowers praised the ease of the application process with LoanMart, and the assistance provided by loan officers. Dan from Tucson, Ariz., wrote: “They were all very nice and the process moved very quickly. I had my loan in less than 24 hours. I would use them, again.”

Negative reviews cite not being approved after submitting documentation or rising APRs after documentation was reviewed. If you are applying for an auto title loan from LoanMart, be aware that your quote is not set in stone until after your loan officer has reviewed your documentation.

LoanMart FAQ

Yes. You don’t need to have to have a job to qualify for an auto title loan from LoanMart, but you need income. This income can potentially come from retirement, disability or Social Security benefits. You can also qualify with a cosigner.

If there is an “or” between the names on the title, you can apply like normal. If there is an “and” between your names, both of the owners will need to be on your LoanMart application. If your title reads “and/or,” you will need to contact LoanMart to guide you through the process.

You don’t need a bank account unless you are trying to prove self-employment income or you would like your funding deposited directly into your account.

Typically, your first payment is due 30 days after your funds are disbursed.

You can pay via the mobile app, online, with Automated Clearing House (ACH) auto payments, paper check via mail, over the phone or in person at a LoanMart location.

Worst-case scenario, your car is repossessed. But if you can’t make an on-time payment, LoanMart encourages you to contact them right away to work out an alternative.

Besides auto title loans, LoanMart offers high-interest, unsecured personal loans. LoanMart personal loans do not offer competitive terms.

You can spend this money on whatever you’d like. However, with the lowest possible APR at 30.00%, the bill or circumstance has to be dramatically dire to justify the costs of financing.

One may be requested if you take out a loan for $10,000 or more.

LoanMart subtracts the remaining balance on your traditional auto loan from the current market value of your vehicle if you still owe car payments.

Alternative loan options

LendingPoint

APR

9.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint is an online lender that targets borrowers with fair credit, and allows borrowing up to $25,000.... Read More

LendingPoint offers personal loans rather than title loans. These loans hands-down beat LoanMart loans, whether you’re considering a LoanMart personal loan or title loan.

LendingPoint’s APR offerings are substantially lower, and you can borrow a larger amount of money when compared to LoanMart’s unsecured personal loans — up to $25,000.

However, you do need to have a credit score of at least 585 to qualify for a loan from LendingPoint, where LoanMart’s credit requirements are more flexible (at a cost).

Upstart

APR

6.46%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 & 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Upstart is an online lender created by ex-Googlers.... Read More

Upstart connects borrowers with partner lenders for unsecured personal loans.

Again, unsecured loans are usually preferable to title loans, and Upstart’s rates are superior to LoanMart’s. It also allows you to borrow outside of the range offered by LoanMart. With Upstart, you can potentially borrow as little as $1,000 and as much as $50,000.

Upstart’s credit standards may be higher than LoanMart’s, but it does strive for some flexibility. Besides your credit score, Upstart looks at your:

  • Education
  • Area of study
  • Career history

LendingClub

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates.... Read More

LendingClub’s most comparable product to LoanMart’s auto title loans is its unsecured personal loans, which come with lower rates but higher credit standards.

LoanMart can get you your money in one day, while LendingClub will take at least four. LoanMart can also loan you up to $10,000 more than LendingClub. Regardless, there will be very few circumstances where it wouldn’t be worth applying with LendingClub for its competitive APRs.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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