Personal Loans

If you want to consolidate high interest rate credit card debt, a personal loan could be a good solution. With a personal loan, cash is typically deposited into your bank account, which means you can use the loan for any purpose. With the rise of online lenders, shopping for a personal loan has never been easier.

You can use our tool below to find the best deal. To learn more about personal loans, Click here.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Some of the offers below are from our partners.

Advertiser Disclosure

Compare Multiple Offers in MinutesLendingTree
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range As low as 3.99%
Origination FeeVaries
Credit ScoreMinimum 500 FICO®Minimum Credit Score

SEE OFFERS

on LendingTree’s secure website

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.

Advertiser Disclosure :

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).

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LightStream
Terms of Loan24 to 144 *months
APR Range 3.99% *
To
16.99%

with AutoPay
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit ScoreNot specifiedMinimum Credit Score

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

Pros:

  • Rates on fixed loan as low as 3.99% APR
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalties
  • Rate Beat Program
  • $100 Guarantee Program

Cons:

  • Strict approval process
  • Cannot change payment date on loan
  • Loans cannot be used for college expenses or refinancing student loans

Lightstream should be a first choice for those who have excellent credit and are looking for a personal loan. They offer some of the best rates available and they have unique programs that help guarantee you get the best rate possible and have a great experience.

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 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.

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Upstart
Terms of Loan36or60 months
APR Range 4.73%
To
35.99%
Origination Fee0.00% - 8.00%
Credit Score620Minimum Credit Score

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

Pros:

  • No prepayment penalty
  • Your education and career play a big role in determining your rate
  • Borrowers can possibly get funds the next day if loan is accepted by 5 p.m. EST (not including weekends or holidays)
  • Only a soft pull is required to determine rates

Cons:

  • Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa, and some states require minimum loan amounts
  • Origination fees can range from 0.00% - 8.00%
  • Strict policy regarding past credit history (no bankruptcies or delinquencies and less than 6 inquiries on credit report in past 6 months)
  • Cosigners are not allowed
  • Fees for late payments and check refunds

Upstart can be a good choice for borrowers who may need a relatively large sum of money. Borrowers can request funds of $1,000-$50,000 with the option of 36 or 60 months to pay off the loan.

Advertiser Disclosure :

We'll receive a referral fee if you apply for this loan. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

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Upgrade
Terms of Loan36 or60 months
APR Range 4.73%
To
35.99%
Origination Fee1.50% - 6.00%
Credit Score620Minimum Credit Score

Upgrade is an online lender that offers fairly priced personal loans for a term of either 36 or 60 months.... Read More .

Pros:

  • No prepayment penalty
  • Checking your rate online doesn’t disrupt your credit
  • Money can be received within a day of clearing all necessary verifications
  • Offers free Credit Health tool, and you don’t have to be a borrower to access it

Cons:

  • You must sign up for autopay to receive the lowest rates
  • All loans are subject to origination fees of 1.50% - 6.00%
  • $10 late fee can be charged after 15 days of due date
  • Non-refundable $10 fee for any declined payment
  • Loans are not offered in certain states

Upgrade is the right choice for those looking to qualify for a personal loan fast. It allows more money to be borrowed than some other competitors (up to $50,000) and offers convenient tools to help keep an eye on your credit health.

Advertiser Disclosure :

The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early.

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Payoff
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 5.99%
To
24.99%
Origination Feeup to 5.00%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

Payoff is a financial services firm that offers personal loans mainly to help consolidate credit card debt.... Read More

Pros:

  • Check rates without hurting your credit score
  • Fast and easy online application
  • No prepayment penalties or late fees
  • Option to change payment due date

Cons:

  • Maryland residents have a loan minimum of $6,100
  • Loans are not offered in several states
  • Payoff loan is tailored mainly for consolidating credit card debt and not other financial needs
  • Origination fees can range from up to 5.00%
  • Only one Payoff loan is allowed at a time
  • Must have at least 3 years of good credit with no delinquencies

Payoff is an excellent option for those who have good credit, are interested in using a personal loan to consolidate various credit card debts into one monthly payment and want a variety of repayment options

Advertiser Disclosure :

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.

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Best Egg
Terms of Loan36or60 months
APR Range 5.99%
To
29.99%
Origination Fee0.99% - 5.99%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

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

Pros:

  • Can see your rate with a soft pull
  • Will consider applicants with credit scores as low as 640
  • Offers very competitive interest rates
  • Fast application process and fast funding

Cons:

  • APR can be as high as 29.99%
  • It does charge origination fees

Best Egg offers competitive rates and a quick online process to get your loan. It is an excellent option for people with less than perfect scores.

Advertiser Disclosure :

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-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.

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Peerform
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 5.99%
To
29.99%
Origination Fee1.00% - 5.00%
Credit Score600Minimum Credit Score

SEE OFFERS

on LendingTree’s secure website

Read Full Review

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

Pros:

  • Minimum credit score of 600
  • Can see rate with a hard pull
  • Fast application process
  • Good rates for people with credit scores less than 700

Cons:

  • Rates as high as 29.99%
  • Charges origination fees of 1.00% - 5.00%
  • Not available in all states

Peerform is a great choice for people with lower credit scores that are have trouble getting approved for a personal loan. Peerform offers a quick application process and loans that often have lower rates than credit cards.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
Terms of Loan36 to 72 months
APR Range 5.99%
To
28.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit ScoreNot specifiedMinimum Credit Score

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More

Pros:

  • No origination fees
  • No late fees - You only pay interest for the additional days
  • Ability to defer payments after a year of on time payments
  • Wide range of repayment terms available between 36 to 72 months
  • Can see rates with a soft pull

Cons:

  • Rates up to 28.99%
  • No clear qualification information

Marcus is a great option if you have good credit and want to get a personal loan that has a lower rate. It is also a great option for those that want to work with a traditional lender.

Advertiser Disclosure :

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans).Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions. For New York residents, rates range from 5.99% to 24.99% APR.

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First Midwest Bank
Terms of LoanNot specified months
APR Range 6.65%
To
15.44%
Origination FeeNot specified
Credit ScoreNot specifiedMinimum Credit Score

With locations in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, First Midwest Bank is a great option for borrowers that are looking for personal loan and want the comfort of working with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank.... Read More

Pros:

  • Fast and convenient online loan application
  • Wide range of loan amounts & APRs
  • Flexible payment terms
  • Clear qualification information

Cons:

  • Not specified documentation fee
  • Not available in all states
  • Loan amounts limited to $25,000

First Midwest is a great option for those who have good credit or have been rebuilding their credit for more than five years as well as those wanting to work with a traditional lender.

Prosper
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 6.95%
To
35.99%
Origination Fee2.41% - 5.00%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers a quick and convenient way to get personal loans with fixed and low interest rates. ... Read More

Pros:

  • Minimum credit score of 640
  • Can see your rate with a soft pull
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Paying off a Prosper loan can reduce your APR on future Prosper loans

Cons:

  • Only 14 days to secure financing from peer lenders
  • Origination fee of 2.41% - 5.00%
  • APR varies from 6.95% – 35.99%

Prosper is a flexible alternative to traditional lenders and offers a platform that can help you to secure a loan that is funded by your peers.

Advertiser Disclosure :

For example, a three-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of AA would have an interest rate of 5.31% and a 2.41% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 6.95% APR. You would receive $9,759 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $301.10. A five-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of A would have an interest rate of 8.39% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 10.59% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $204.64. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. APRs through Prosper range from 6.95% (AA) to 35.99% (HR) for first-time borrowers, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC.

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LendingClub
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 6.95%
To
35.89%
Origination Fee1.00% - 6.00%
Credit Score600Minimum Credit Score

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More

Pros:

  • Can see your rate with a soft pull
  • Will consider applicants with credit scores as low as 600
  • Offers very competitive interest rates for people with scores below 700
  • The application process only take a few minutes

Cons:

  • Missed payments or items in collections will result in your application being rejected
  • Loan processing could take a week or more
  • APR can be as high as 35.89%
  • It does charge origination fees of 1.00% - 6.00%
  • Not available in Iowa or West Virginia

LendingClub will approve people with lower credit scores. If approved, the interest rates offered can be very competitive and the online application process is easy. This is a good first stop for anyone with a score of 600 or higher to find the best deal.

Advertiser Disclosure :

Our Commitment We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

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Santander Bank, N.A
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 6.99%
To
16.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score680Minimum Credit Score

Santander’s personal loan might be a great option for you if you want to work with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. ... Read More

Pros:

  • APR discount with autopay from any Santander bank checking account
  • No origination fee, closing costs or prepayment penalties
  • No application fee or annual fee

Cons:

  • No clear criteria available regarding eligibility requirements like credit score or debt-to-income ratio 
  • Higher APR if you don’t choose ePay
  • Not available in all states

If you live in areas where this loan is available and don’t mind using autopay for a lower rate, Santander could definitely be an acceptable choice for a personal loan.

Advertiser Disclosure :

To get a Personal Loan (“Loan”) with the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown, you must reside in MA, MD, RI, CT, NH, NJ, PA, NY,DE, ME, VT, or DC, meet our highest credit standards, and use automatic payment (ePay) from any Santander Bank N.A. checking account. Fixed loan APRs (with ePay) range from 6.99% to 16.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. The minimum Loan amount is $5,000 and the maximum is $50,000. The APR on the Loan will increase by 0.25 percentage points and the payment will increase, if ePay is not elected or is discontinued. APRs and other terms are accurate as of 10/01/2018 and may change thereafter. A Santander checking account is not required to qualify for a Loan, but use of ePay from a Santander checking account will result in an interest rate discount. Personal Loans cannot be used to finance post-secondary educational expenses. Loan accounts are subject to approval.

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Discover Personal Loans
Terms of Loan36 to 84 months
APR Range 6.99%
To
24.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit ScoreNot specifiedMinimum Credit Score

Discover is a financial services firm that offers credit cards, deposit accounts and personal loans. ... Read More

Pros:

  • Flexible repayment terms
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalties
  • Money can be issued in as little as the next business day after acceptance
  • Option to have Discover directly pay what you owe to creditors when consolidating debt

Cons:

  • A possible late fee of $39 can be issued if not paid by due date
  • Application process can be longer than others and requires you to speak with a loan specialist

Discover might be ideal for borrowers looking for a longer repayment term, which can be from 36 to 84 months. It offers personal loans in all states and complimentary credit checks so you can stay up to date with inquiries and your credit score. Its Credit Scorecard is available to anyone, not just borrowers.

Advertiser Disclosure :

Rates range from 6.99%-24.99% APR based on creditworthiness at application. Loans up to $35,000. Fast & Easy Process. Terms are 36 to 84 months. No prepayment penalty. This is not a firm offer of credit. Any results displayed are estimates and we do not guarantee the applicability or accuracy to your specific circumstance. Your APR will be between 6.99% and 24.99% based upon credit worthiness at time of application.

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Rocket Loans
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 7.16%
To
29.99%
Origination Fee1.00% - 6.00%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

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

Pros:

  • Funds may be sent the same day for applications completed by 1 p.m. EST up to $45,000 
  • Fast preapproval
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Possible 0.5% discount with autopay

Cons:

  • Limited loan terms compared with others (36 or 60 months)
  • Each loan is charged an origination fee between 1.00% - 6.00%
  • A $15 late fee and $15 return check fee can apply

RocketLoans could be a good fit for those who need money fast and have a minimum credit score of 640 or higher. It offers quick approval and has an easy-to-use online interface for an overall convenient and enjoyable experience.

Avant
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 9.95%
To
35.99%
Origination FeeUp to 4.75%
Credit ScoreVariesMinimum Credit Score

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

Pros:

  • Checking loan options will not hurt your credit
  • Funds can usually be sent to your bank account the next business day
  • Refinancing your loan can sometimes be available
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons:

  • Some states have a required minimum loan amount
  • Administration fee of up to 4.75%
  • Late fees can be tacked on if you miss a payment
  • Higher interest rates than other competitors

Avant might be a good fit for those in need of a personal loan but don’t have excellent credit, while those with better credit may want to look elsewhere because of the high rates.

Advertiser Disclosure :

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC. *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 $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

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LendingPoint
Terms of Loan24 to 48 months
APR Range 9.99%
To
35.99%
Origination Fee0.00% - 6.00%
Credit Score585Minimum Credit Score

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

Pros:

  • Customers with fair to poor credit can qualify
  • Borrowers can apply with a  bankruptcy that was discharged 12 or more months prior
  • No prepayment penalty
  • It’s possible to get another loan at the same time

Cons:

  • Higher APR than other lenders
  • A 28-day payment schedule can make for inconsistent monthly due dates
  • Loans are not offered in certain states
  • Cosigners are not allowed

LendingPoint is a smart option for those with not-so-great credit who are looking for a personal loan to be used for a wide range of financial reasons. The application process is all done online and decisions are delivered fast.

Advertiser Disclosure :

We'll receive a referral fee if you apply for this loan. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

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OneMain Financial
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 18.00%
To
35.99%
Origination FeeNot specified
Credit ScoreNot specifiedMinimum Credit Score

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More

Pros:

  • Same-day funds when you get a prepaid debit card or check, up to $20,000
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Several locations across 44 states

Cons:

  • High rates up to 35.99%
  • 5% late payment penalty

If you have a lower credit score and are limited in your options to take out a personal loan, OneMain Financial could provide you with a solution. However, be sure you understand the loan terms and the full cost of the loan.

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.

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gplus-profile-pictureNick Clements

Compared to the complexity of credit cards, personal loans are much simpler products. You borrow a fixed amount of money for a fixed period of time. In most cases, the interest rate is also fixed. You know the interest rate before you sign the dotted line, and the proceeds are given to you in cash. Personal loans are becoming increasingly popular, because online personal loan companies are making the application process much simpler. 

Here are some of the advantages of a personal loan:

  • The proceeds are cash. You can only use a credit card where it is accepted. On certain projects, especially related to home improvement, it can be very difficult to find contractors who accept credit cards. Being able to write a check can be a big benefit.
  • Interest rates are usually much lower than credit cards. As you can see from the list of providers on this page, people with excellent credit can now borrow for as low as 4%, with no origination fee. But the savings are just as good for people with lower credit scores. Lending Club has shown that their interest rates are 31% lower than credit card rates, on average.
  • The application process is much simpler. With most online lenders, you can do a short application to see if you will be approved. This short application uses a “soft pull,” which means your credit score will not be hurt. You will be able to see your interest rate and the amount that you can borrow. That makes it very easy to comparison shop and find the best deal. And with most lenders, you are able to finish everything online.
  • You will not end up in debt for 30 years. With a credit card, far too many people end up paying just the minimum due. Most personal loans are 36 or 60 months. You would not be able to borrow for 30 years.
  • Personal loans help your score, especially if you are paying off existing credit card debt. 10% of the FICO score relates to having different types of credit, like a personal loan. In addition, by paying off your existing credit cards, you are reducing the utilization and improving the score.
  • You can prepay at any time, without a penalty.
  • Personal loan companies are willing to accept people with much lower credit scores, on average, than credit card companies. 

However, personal loans are not perfect. Here are some of the disadvantages:

  • The up-front fee, when charged, is not refundable. So, if your loan has a fee and you pay it off early, the APR (annual percentage rate) that you pay will end up much higher.
  • You will be tempted to use your credit cards again, once the personal loan is used to pay off the debt. Far too many people use a personal loan to consolidate debt, only to run up their credit card balances again.
  • Interest rates will vary depending upon your credit score. Borrowers with credit scores below 600 could end up paying very high interest rates. If you have a short-term emergency, a personal loan could fill that gap.
  • Many personal loan companies will ask for income verification. They will also complete employment verification. The increased documentation and verification requirements means that getting your personal loan can take a lot longer than applying for a credit card. 

When shopping for a personal loan, make sure you compare the APR of the different offers. The APR will include the interest rate and the fees. And you should only compare the APR at the same term.

There are many different places to shop for personal loans, and the choices for consumers continue to increase. Today you can find loans at traditional banks, credit unions, branch-based consumer finance companies and online startups. 

Personal Loans From Banks

In general, you should avoid personal loans from traditional banks. At most banks, you do not have the ability to check your interest rate without hurting your credit score. That is because banks (like Citibank) use a hard credit bureau inquiry when you apply for a loan. Each inquiry can result in a hit to your credit score of 10 points or more. In addition, banks tend to have higher interest rates. Wells Fargo, for example, does not even disclose the range of APRs that it will charge in its marketing. Banks have not been built to compete on price in personal loans, and you should beware before visiting a local branch. 

Personal Loans from Credit Unions

Credit unions tend to offer excellent interest rates. In the table of personal loan providers above, PenFed offers 9.99% interest rates on its loans. Credit unions can offer lower interest rates because they do not have shareholders. Instead, credit unions are owned by their members. However, credit unions do have some challenges. You have to join the credit union before applying. In the case of PenFed, that means you would need to make a contribution to a charitable organization and fund a savings account before you can apply for the loan. In addition, credit unions in general do not have the best digital experience. Some credit unions look like they are using web designs from the 1990s. If you already belong to a credit union, you should check with your local branch to see if they offer a personal loan. You may be pleasantly surprised by the rates. However, if you are not already a member, you may want to apply to one of the new online lenders first. 

Online Lenders

The Silicon Valley has been funding many "marketplace lenders." These are online businesses that are looking to shake up the consumer lending market in America. By creating digital-only businesses, they are able to keep their costs low. And their business model is simple. They want to give lower interest rates to borrowers and provider their investors with higher returns. And they are able to do this because of their low cost-base and superior analytics. Businesses like Prosper and Lending Club created this revolution. Recent businesses like SoFi and Earnest have built very impressive franchises as well. For consumers, this means that you might be doing business with a name you have never heard of before. However, you shouldn't worry about that. These businesses are looking to disrupt financial services and give you a much better deal in the process. It is a great time to be a consumer looking for a low interest rate, because these businesses are competing aggressively. If you look at the personal loan table above, you will see that the newest names have some of the lowest interest rates.

Even better, you can shop around for your rate without hurting your credit score. You should not worry about applying to as many of these lenders as possible, because you can find the best deal and your score will not suffer as a result.  

In Conclusion

Competition continues to heat up with personal loan providers. That is good news for borrowers. Just make sure you don’t borrow too much money. Only borrow what you need and keep that budget discipline.

If you have questions, you can set up a free consultation to discuss your options. You can arrange your appointment on our Customer Service page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Top 6 Personal Loans & Student Loans for Career Development

Posted on November 03, 2017 by Taylor Gordon

Updated November 03, 2017 A few years after graduating college you may find yourself in a weird spot. You don t want to go back to school for another degree in the traditional sense, but you want to pursue certification in an area like coding or UX design to give your resume a boost. Or maybe you want to get formal training in an entirely new field through intensive boot camp programs. Fortunately, there are options outside of going back to school that give us the opportunity to continue learning without committing to an entirely new degree. You can also find funding to...

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What Happens When You Borrow Money with a Personal Loan?

Do you need cash or want to refinance existing debt at a lower rate? Nick helps you understand if a personal loan might be right for your financial situation.

How it works

Personal loans are simple. A bank lends you money for a fixed interest rate, with a fixed payment, over a fixed period of time. Loans offer certainty without the complexity and potential traps of credit cards. Not to mention they cost a lot less. It can be a great solution for people who need to borrow cash, have been burnt by credit cards, or have already used all balance transfer offers available. Unfortunately, banks don’t like to offer loans. Why? They make a lot more money on credit cards! Fortunately, P2P lenders are offering great loan products with lower interest rates and a great digital experience. Follow the guidelines below to get yourself a healthy loan.

6 rules to get debt free

1

Come prepared with documents to prove your income.

This typically includes paystubs, 1040s, and tax returns.

2

Make sure you compare APR, not just interest rate.

APR includes the cost of the origination fee, which can be a big part of the loan.

3

Start the process at LendingClub and Prosper.

Shop around. Applying won’t hurt your score at most lenders.

4

Origination fees are usually financed, so always apply for the amount you want to borrow + the fee.

So if the fee is 3% and you want to borrow $100, then apply for $103.

5

Make sure there is no pre-payment penalty.

If you pay off the entirety of the loan early to save money, don’t let the bank charge you.

6

Beware the sale of expensive add-on insurance, and the use of a “pre-computed interest” contracts.

These are basically tricks banks use to squeeze more money out of you. We break them down HERE.

Do you have a question?