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Updated on Thursday, January 31, 2019
When life happens, debt can quickly spiral out of control. From medical bills to unexpected moving expenses, finances can get overwhelming if you don’t manage them. In fact, the worst thing you can do is not do anything about your debt.
A personal loan is one way to get a handle on your finances. Before online lenders came onto the scene, it was more difficult to shop around for personal loans, as traditional banks typically perform only hard inquiries when checking your interest rate. Each inquiry hurts your credit score by 10 points or more, so the stakes are high when shopping for a lender. But without the overhead costs of branches, online lending companies are able to pass on the savings to borrowers. Many online lending companies will perform a soft credit pull during the pre-approval process, which means you can get a preview of what loan terms you may qualify for.
If you’ve determined that a personal loan is the right decision, and you have a good credit score, below are a few options to consider.
LendingTree’s personal loan tool is a great place to start if you’re looking to compare loan terms and rates from multiple lenders. After filling out one short form, LendingTree will perform a soft pull so your score is not affected, and match you with up to five loan offers from different lenders.
As low as 2.49%
Minimum 500 FICO®
24 to 60
LendingTree is not a lender. 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. Terms Apply. NMLS #1136.
As of 17-May-19, LendingTree Personal Loan consumers were seeing match rates as low as 2.49% (2.49% APR) on a $20,000 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). Terms Apply. NMLS #1136
As the online lending division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream offers some of the best rates and terms on personal loans. The caveat: you have to have a good to excellent credit score. The other downside is that LightStream does not perform soft credit pulls.
While its application process and criteria for approvals are strict, LightStream guarantees to beat rates from other lending companies with its Rate Beat program and rewards customers with cash through its Loan Experience Guarantee program.
24 to 144*
No origination fee
LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More
*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points 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 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.
The fine print
Prime borrowers have a great option in LightStream, which offers rates starting at 3.99% and going up to 19.99%. The lender promises to beat the APR of other lenders by 0.10%, granted the competitor is offering the same loan amount, term, purpose and payment method.
For borrowers who link their bank account with their loan for auto payment, LightStream also offers a 0.50% rate discount (included in the lowest rate of 3.99%). Loans are offered from 24 to 144 months and there is no origination fee or prepayment penalties.
While there is no listed minimum score to work with LightStream, the lender is upfront about requiring borrowers to have many years of good credit history that includes a variety of accounts (credit cards, installment loans and mortgages), a pattern of on-time payments and contributions to savings.
A personal loan from LightStream can be used for almost anything, such as adoption fees, debt consolidation,dental work, IVF/fertility treatments and weddings. The exceptions are post-secondary education and anything business-related, like a commercial vehicle.
- Rates as low as 3.99% on fixed loan
- No origination fee or prepayment penalties.
- Promises to offer the best rate (loan terms must be identical)
- A 0.50% rate discount for autopay
- Same day funding available
- No soft pull to check rates
- Strict approval process
- Unable to change payment date
- Loans cannot be used for refinancing student loans or college education
LightStream is a good option for those looking for the convenience of an online lender but also want the assurance of a traditional bank. The lender guarantees a satisfactory customer experience with its Loan Experience Guarantee program.
When Quicken Loans, the largest mortgage lender in the U.S., expanded into personal loans in 2015, RocketLoans was launched as its personal loan business arm. The online lender prides itself on short approval times and a user-friendly lending platform.
Minimum Credit Score
36 or 60
1.00% - 6.00%
on LendingTree’s secure website
Rocketloans is a digital finance business that is part of the Quicken Loans family. ... Read More
The fine print
Borrowers must have a minimum FICO credit score of 640, a credit history of two years, have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40% (excluding mortgage) and 70% (including mortgage), and make at least $24,000 per year. You must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska) and reside in the U.S.
A personal loan from RocketLoans is between $2,000 to $45,000 with an APR as low as 7.16% (with autopay discount) and as high as 29.99%. Borrowers can use their loan for anything and must pay it back in 36 or 60 months. Once approved, borrowers can get up to $25,000 during the same business day.
The caveat: RocketLoans charges a few fees: a one-time, non-refundable origination fee (1.00% - 6.00% of loan amount), a late fee of $15 if the payment is more than 10 days late and a fee of $15 if the payment is returned for insufficient funds.
- Same-day lending (up to $25,000)
- Soft credit pull available during pre-qualifications
- Loan can be used for anything
- Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00%
- Late payment fee: $15 per occurrence
- Payment return fee: $15 per occurrence
RocketLoans is a digitized, easy-to-use option. Borrowers can get their loan term and rate in just a couple of minutes.
Payoff is a financial wellness company that develops products and services using science, psychology and technology. As such, customers have access to tools that assess their personality, stress level and cash flow to help them better understand their financial habits and health. Launched in 2011, the company works with financial institution lending partners and is designed for borrowers who want to consolidate and pay off credit card debt. Payoff’s team is made up of financial services professionals, research and clinical psychologists, data scientists and neuroscientists.
Minimum Credit Score
24 and 60
up to 5.00%
Payoff is a financial services firm that offers personal loans mainly to help consolidate credit card debt.... Read More
All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
The fine print
A personal loan acquired through Payoff is between $5,000 to $35,000 and has an APR starting at 5.99% and goes up to 24.99%. Borrowers have 24 and 60 months to pay the loan back and a support team checks in every quarter during the first year to make sure new customers have what they need to succeed.
Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 640, a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50% and three years of good credit history which includes at least two open lines of credit showing on-time payments. There must not be any current delinquencies and applicants cannot have opened a personal installment loan within the past 12 months. Payoff loans are not available to borrowers residing in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio and West Virginia. There are minimum loan amounts for borrowers living in New Mexico ($5,100) and Maryland ($6,100).
Payoff does a soft credit pull during the pre-approval process. If applicants want to move forward, there is a one-time origination fee (up to 5.00%). Otherwise, Payoff does not charge any late or prepayment fees.
Since its aim is financial wellness, Payoff provides free FICO score updates to borrowers every month. If you lose your job, Payoff promises to work with you on monthly payments.
- Tools that assess habits and health for overall financial wellness
- No late or prepayment fees
- Soft Pull
- Free FICO score updates monthly
- Job loss support
- Origination fee (up to 5.00%)
- Must have at least a 640 credit score
For those looking to pay off credit card debt and want to understand their spending habits for a healthier financial future, Payoff offers a lot of tools to make this possible.
The leadership team at Best Egg reads like an All-Star roster from big financial institutions like Barclays, CitiGroup and Merrill Lynch. Backed by Marlette Funding, LLC, Best Egg was launched in 2014 and has since funded over $6 billion in personal loans.
Minimum Credit Score
36 or 60
0.99% - 6.99%
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% - 6.99% 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. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500; New Mexico and Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $50,000. 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.
The fine print
If you’re a high-earner, have a credit score of at least 660, and need a small amount of money quickly, Best Egg may be a good option for you.
What makes the company different from other lenders offering personal loans is that you can take two loans out at once with Best Egg as long as the first is at least six months old, in good standing and both loan amounts do not exceed $50,000. Best Egg offers loans between $2,000 to $35,000 with an APR starting at 5.99% and up to 29.99% for fixed terms of 36 or 60 months. However, you need to have a FICO score of at least 640 and have an annual income of $100,000 to get the lowest rate.
For borrowers who are interested in a loan with Best Egg, a soft pull will be performed which does not hurt your credit. If you go forward with the loan process, you may be asked to submit proof of income and a utility bill to confirm residence. Best Egg’s customers are asked for no more than two documents, on average, during the application process. If approved, borrowers can receive their funds as soon as one business day. In fact, about 50% of Best Egg borrowers get their loans the next business day. Best Egg charges an origination fee (0.99% - 6.99%) that is taken out of the total loan amount, a late fee of $15 once you’re three days past the due date, a $15 returned payment fee and a $7 payment process fee for each payment to borrowers not enrolled in autopay. There is no prepayment penalty.
- Access to funds quickly
- Borrowers can take out a second loan
- No prepayment fee
- Origination fees (0.99% - 6.99%)
- Late payment fee
- Income requirement of at least $50,000
- No co-borrowers.It does not allow for joint applications
Best Egg is a good option for middle-to-high-income earners who need access to a small amount of money quickly.
Peerform is a peer-to-peer lending model founded by Wall Street executives in 2010 and acquired by New York-based Versara Lending in 2016. The platform matches borrowers with loans issued by individuals and corporations.
The fine print
Borrowers must have a debt-to-income ratio below 40%, have at least one revolving account such as a credit card, and no current delinquency or a bankruptcy, court judgment, tax lien or non-medical-based collections from the past year.
Peerform offers loans from $4,000 to $25,000 for three or five years. Loans come with APRs as low 5.99% and as high as 29.99%. The caveat here is that Peerform does not guarantee that loans will be fully funded and even so, it may take up to two weeks for borrowers to get their funds. Borrowers have the option of declining the loan if it is not funded by at least $4,000 and more than 60% of the requested amount within two weeks.
Borrowers cannot use funds to refinance student loans. There are fees associated with a Peerform loan, including $15 for payments past 15 days from the due date, $15 on returned payments and a one-time origination fee (1.00% - 5.00% of loan) that is subtracted from the total loan amount. A personal loan from Peerform is not available for borrowers living in Connecticut, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia or Wyoming. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and a resident in the U.S. (or 19 for those living in Nebraska or Alabama).
- Loans for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit
- Can make a late payment up to 14 days past due date without paying a fee
- Can accept or decline a partially-funded loan
- No prepayment penalty
- Soft Pull available for pre-approvals
- Fees: origination, late payment, returned payment
- May take up to 14 days to receive funding
- Does not guarantee complete funding
Peerform is a good option for those who prefer a peer-to-peer lending model where they can choose to borrow from individuals and corporations.
Lenders were selected from MagnifyMoney’s personal loans comparisons page when sorted by borrowers looking for $10,000 with good credit who hold a college degree. They were narrowed to the top five picks based on lowest APR.