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.

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Compare Multiple Offers in MinutesLendingTree
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 5.99%
To
35.99%
Origination FeeVaries
Credit ScoreMinimum 500 FICOMinimum Credit Score

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LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that they allow you to compare multiple, personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you can have your loan pre-approved without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender, but their service connects you with up to five offers from personal loan lenders.
OneMain Financial
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 16.05%
To
35.99%
Origination FeeVaries
Credit ScoreVariesMinimum Credit Score

OneMain Financial offers quick turnaround times and you can get your money the same day if you apply before noon. Interest rates are higher than other online lenders, especially for those with excellent credit, and you will need to visit a branch to get your loan.

Advertiser Disclosure :

Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

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LightStream
Terms of Loan24 to 144 *months
APR Range 3.09% *
To
14.24%

with AutoPay
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score680Minimum Credit Score

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on LendingTree’s secure website

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

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 under the invoicing option are 0.50% 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 3.09% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $291.21.

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Earnest
Terms of Loan36 to 60 months
APR Range 5.49%
To
18.24%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score660Minimum Credit Score

Instead of offering credit-based loans, Earnest has taken a very non-traditional approach and used a merit-based system. This is great for recent graduates and those that are just beginning to establish credit. In addition, they offer some of the most flexible terms among all personal loan lenders, allowing for borrowers to get a customized loan and repayment plan that fits their financial situation. Earnest is not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX.

Advertiser Disclosure :

Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

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Upgrade
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 5.96%
To
35.97%
Origination Fee1.00% - 6.00%
Credit Score620Minimum Credit Score

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Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.96%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.

Advertiser Disclosure :

The APR on your loan may be higher or lower. 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.

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Lending Club
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 5.98%
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 in the mid-600s.... Read More

Pros:

  • Apply Online. The entire LendingClub application process happens online. This saves you the hassle of filling out paperwork and visiting a local branch.
  • Marginally Lower Maximum Interest Rate. While it’s not much lower than Avant, 35.89% is technically lower than 35.99%. This is a $30 difference if you’re taking out a $30,000 loan. If you’re between the two, this may sway you to choose LendingClub.
  • Can Borrow Up to $40,000. LendingClub has the largest maximum loan amount of any of our recommended institutions for subprime borrowers. This allows you to borrow the amount you need. For larger loans, LendingClub’s maximum loan amount is the best option we found.

Cons:

  • High Upfront Fees. The maximum upfront fee is 6% compared to Avant’s 4.75%. If you are borrowing $40,000, that’s a potential difference of $500. The fee is a big deterrent that is something to consider based on how much money you plan on taking out.
  • High Interest Rates. While the interest rates are lower than Avant, 35.89% is still a high interest rate for the least qualified of borrowers. It’s important that you make all of your payments on time to avoid paying interest and damaging your credit score.

If you need money in a pinch, LendingClub is more likely to approve you than some traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Keep in mind if you’re looking to borrow a large sum, LendingClub offers the highest maximum loan amount ($40,000). However, pay careful attention to your interest rate and upfront fee as they can be extremely high. Don’t forget to use the personal loan calculator to check if you’re pre-qualified.

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

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RocketLoans
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 5.98%
To
29.99%
Origination Fee1.00% - 6.00%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

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on LendingTree’s secure website

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BestEgg
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 5.99%
To
29.99%
Origination Fee0.99% - 5.99%
Credit Score660Minimum Credit Score

People looking for a process that is fast and simple can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. The best features of Best Egg are their simple terms and competitive interest rates for those with a strong, positive credit history. While keeping things simple, they only offer payback terms of 3 or 5 years, which may not be the best fit for everyone.

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%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting 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 six 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. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. 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.

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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

Even with a credit score of 600, you still might be able to secure a loan through Peerform. This peer-to-peer lender gives you a customized grade based on your credit score, allowing for you to easily see the rate that you can obtain. While Peerform is great for those with less than stellar credit, you more than likely will be able to find better rates elsewhere.
LoanDepot
Terms of Loan36 or 60 months
APR Range 6.17%
To
29.00%
Origination Fee1.00% - 5.00%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

LoanDepot offers personal loans that carry no prepayment penalty and a 15-day grace period. They offer some of the lowest APRs available on personal loans that can go up to $35,000. While these loans and rates are available for most areas, there is a lot of fine print and you may find that loans are not available in your location based on the rate that you receive.
Sponsored SoFi
Terms of Loan36 to 84 months
APR Range 6.20%
To
15.37%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit ScoreNo Minimum FICO Score ?Minimum Credit Score

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More

Cons:

  • Excellent Credit RequiredSoFi is a tough underwriter and is targeted consumers with prime and super-prime credit histories. If you don’t have a great credit history, you will find it very difficult to get approved.
  • Documentation RequiredAs a responsible lender, SoFi will probably ask for documentation to verify your income and employment. Credit card companies might not need proof of income, but SoFi probably will. If you are a freelancer or self-employed, you should be prepared to provide lots of evidence to substantiate your income.
  • No “Next-Day” FundingSome lenders promise speed. SoFi offers a much lower rate and better service to people who meet their stringent lending criteria. That means it could take a few days (or longer) to get your funding. But we recommend patience: lenders that offer speed tend to charge higher interest rates.
  • No Co-Signer CapabilityMany couples manage their finances as a joint household. You can only get a full picture when you include both individual’s income and debt. Unfortunately, only one person can apply for a SoFi personal loan.

If you can get approved, it will be hard to beat SoFi’s personal loan. With no origination fees, very low interest rates and big loan amounts available, SoFi has one of the best products on the market. You can check to see if you will be approved (and your rate) without hurting your score – so there is no harm in seeing if you can get approved.

Advertiser Disclosure :

Fixed rates from 6.199% APR to 15.365% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.145% APR to 14.685% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of June 15, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.145% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.97% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. AutoPay is not required to obtain a loan.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK, OK, and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, KS, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, OK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

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PenFed Credit Union
Terms of Loan60 months
APR Range 6.49%
To
0.00%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score700Minimum Credit Score

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) offers personal loans with terms up to 5 years and maximum loan amounts of $25,000. The loan requires no collateral and they don’t have any origination fees, application fees, or early prepayment penalties. You will need to join Pentagon Federal Credit Union before you are able to apply for a personal loan.
Santander
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. In order to get your personal loan, you actually need to sign your loan documents at a local branch. While this gives you the familiarity and security of working with a traditional bank, these loans are only available in select areas where branches are located.
Discover Personal Loans
Terms of Loan36 to 84 months
APR Range 6.99%
To
24.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score660Minimum Credit Score

Discover’s personal loan gives you all the benefits that come with a traditional lender – fixed rates, availability in all 50 states, and flexible payment options. In fact, you can get up to 84 months to repay your loan, which is one of the longest repayment terms available. Discover does have a more in-depth application process than others and you may need to speak with a loan specialist to qualify.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
Terms of Loan36 to 72 months
APR Range 6.99%
To
24.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit ScoreVariesMinimum Credit Score

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information.... Read More

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.

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Wright-Patt Credit Union
Terms of Loan60 months
APR Range 7.99%
To
17.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score710Minimum Credit Score

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With no annual fee, low fixed rates, and terms up to 60 months, Wright-Patt Credit Union offers personal loans that are great options for those looking to work with a credit union. There is no collateral requirement for these loans, though, you do need to be a member of the credit union in order to complete your application.
Payoff
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 8.00%
To
25.00%
Origination Fee2.00% - 5.00%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

The entire goal of Payoff is to help you pay down your debt and they typically don’t like being described as a loan company. They offer a quick, easy, and digital process for getting a personal loan and consolidating your credit card debt. If you have poor credit, little credit, or are continuing to take on more debt every month, you will find it difficult to get approved.

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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Tower Federal Credit Union
Terms of Loan12 to 72 months
APR Range 8.74%
To
11.74%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score580Minimum Credit Score

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Tower Federal Credit Union offers both personal lines of credit and more common signature loans that feature a fixed term. Their signature loans and personal lines of credit can be used to purchase anything and their lines of credit can even be used as overdraft protection to protect your Tower checking accounts from overdraft fees.
USAA Bank
Terms of Loan12 to 84 months
APR Range 8.99%
To
10.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score700Minimum Credit Score

USAA offers a personal loan for members with low, fixed interest and protections to fall back on if you get behind in payments. To qualify for this loan and other banking products at USAA you must be military or federal government affiliated. There are no application fees and you can get your funds as early as the next day.
Affinity Federal Credit Union
Terms of Loan60 months
APR Range 9.00%
To
18.00%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score525Minimum Credit Score

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Affinity Federal Credit Union offers personal loans that come with no origination fees, no prepayment penalties, and low fixed rates. Their maximum loan amount is only $15,000 and their longer repayment term is 4 years, making this a better option for those that need a smaller loan and expect to pay it back in less than 4 years.
Apple Federal Credit Union
Terms of Loan60 months
APR Range 9.24%
To
16.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score560Minimum Credit Score

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Apple Federal Credit Union offers a variety of benefits that are included with their personal loans, including no early payoff penalties, lump-sum funding- fixed rate payments, and maximum loans amounts of $50,000. They offer an easy application process that also features a quick turnaround time on getting your loan.
Upstart
Terms of Loan36 to 60 months
APR Range 9.57%
To
29.99%
Origination Fee0.00% - 8.00%
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

Upstart’s initial focus was to help recent graduates that were struggling with debt, but they have expanded to provide options for those with strong credit profiles as well. They have a unique algorithm that takes into account things such as education, career, job history, and standardized test scores, but you will still need a minimum FICO score of 640.

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

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Avant
Terms of Loan24 to 60 months
APR Range 9.95%
To
35.99%
Origination Fee4.75%
Credit ScoreVariesMinimum Credit Score

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If you want a speedy process with your personal loan, you can’t go wrong with Avant, who could get you your loan as soon as the next business day. In terms of rates, qualifications, and repayment terms, Avant keeps things the same as most other lending options, though, it is important to shop around to secure the best offer. Avant is available in all states except: Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, and Vermont. For 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."

Advertiser Disclosure :

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

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SAFE Credit Union
Terms of Loan36 months
APR Range 9.99%
To
14.99%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score600Minimum Credit Score

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People who have used SAFE Credit Union have commented on the friendly staff, excellent customer service, and the ease of setting up accounts and getting the money that they need. SAFE Credit Union offers a special program for those that are using their personal loan to make Green updates to their home, offering lower interest rates and longer terms.
Northwest Federal Credit Union
Terms of Loan84 months
APR Range 11.40%
To
18.00%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score581Minimum Credit Score

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Northwest Federal Credit Union offers personal loans that have terms of up to 7 years, which is perfect for those looking to minimize their monthly payments associated with repaying the loan. Northwest also offers personal lines of credit with credit limits of up to $15,000 and low variable rates, which can provide borrowers with a large amount of flexibility.
Chartway Federal Credit Union
Terms of Loan60 months
APR Range 11.99%
To
16.50%
Origination FeeNo origination fee
Credit Score640Minimum Credit Score

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Chartway Federak Credit Union offers a wide variety of different personal loan options, though, since they are a credit union, you will need to become a member before you can apply. They offer fixed payment loans with terms up to 60 months, but they also offer personal lines of credit that are revolving and have no term limits and require no collateral.
LendingPoint
Terms of Loan24 to 48 months
APR Range 15.49%
To
34.99%
Origination FeeFee Varies
Credit Score585Minimum Credit Score

LendingPoint offers personal loans for a wide variety of reasons, including paying for home repairs, consolidating credit card debt, or to make a large purchase. Their online process can help you to quickly apply for a personal loan, get qualified, and receive funding. While their interest rates can be higher than others, they do offer fast approval and can transfer funds to your bank account in 24 hours.

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

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Shopping for Personal Loans

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.  

Branch Based Consumer Finance Companies

The branch based consumer finance businesses are Springleaf and One Main Financial. However, they are now one company, because Springleaf bought One Main (and will use the One Main name going forward). The advantage of these businesses is that you can visit a branch and get you money on the same day. Unfortunately the interest rates tend to be much higher. If you are willing or able to wait for your money and shop online, you will likely get a much better deal by going online. And some online lenders are even able to get you the money within 1 business day. Avant and Lightstream, for example, offer rapid loan disbursement if you have all of your documentation and information available.  

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?