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Personal Loans

How to Get a $15,000 Personal Loan

There are a variety of banks, credit unions, and online lenders that offer $15,000 personal loans to qualifying borrowers. Before a lender approves a $15,000 personal loan, it will review your credit, income, and other financial factors. Some lenders accept lower credit scores than others, but having a strong score will help you qualify for the best rates and lowest loan fees. 

Applying with a cosigner or collateral may also help you secure a better interest rate, though most personal loans are unsecured. If you’re looking for a $15,000 personal loan, read about your options, including how to apply and the top lenders we recommend. 

What lenders offer personal loans for $15,000? 

A $15,000 personal loan is available with most loan providers, though you’ll need to meet eligibility criteria to borrow. Some of these eligibility requirements include a minimum credit score, a stable source of income, and an acceptable debt-to-income ratio. 

As personal loan limits vary by lender, you’ll also find different annual percentage rates (APRs). Rates typically range from around 7% or 8% APR up to 36%. Borrowers with the strongest financial profile, particularly the best credit, tend to qualify for lower rates. 

Even if your credit isn’t strong enough to access the best rates, a $15,000 personal loan may still be more affordable than a payday loan or other option from a predatory lender. Payday loans can be exceptionally expensive, sometimes having APRs as high as 400%

Here are five lenders we recommend for a $15,000 personal loan. 

LenderRates (APR) Loan amounts
Credible7.49%35.99%$600 – $200,000
LightStream7.49% – 25.49%$5,000 – $100,000
SoFi8.99% – 29.99%$5,000 – $100,000
Upgrade8.49% – 35.99%$1,000 – $50,000
Upstart7.8% – 35.99%$1,000 – $50,000

Credible: Best marketplace

LendEDU rating: 5.0 out of 5

  • Comprehensive comparison of personalized loan offers from multiple lenders in minutes
  • No fee to use the platform
  • Checking rates doesn’t affect your credit score

Credible stands out as the premier marketplace for those seeking a $15,000 personal loan due to its user-friendly platform that aggregates personalized offers from various lenders, making it simple for borrowers to compare rates and terms. 

This feature is useful for borrowers looking to secure the best possible deal without visiting multiple lenders, saving time and effort. 

Credible’s transparent approach ensures users can make informed decisions without worrying about hidden fees or impacts on their credit scores from preliminary checks.

LightStream: Best for excellent credit

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Low interest rates for borrowers with strong credit profiles
  • No fees or prepayment penalties
  • Unique “Rate Beat” program

LightStream is ideal for borrowers with FICO scores at or above 740. It provides some of the most competitive interest rates for personal loans. 

The absence of fees and prepayment penalties makes LightStream an attractive option for borrowers aiming to minimize costs over the loan term. 

Its Rate Beat program, which promises to beat any qualifying interest rate from another lender, underscores LightStream’s commitment to offering the best value, making it an exceptional choice for those with stellar credit histories seeking affordable loans. 

Because LightStream doesn’t allow borrowers to prequalify to see rates, we recommend that borrowers with excellent credit who are confident they’ll be approved consider this lender.

SoFi: Best for good credit

LendEDU rating: 5.0 out of 5

  • Offers competitive rates and terms for borrowers with good to excellent credit
  • Membership benefits include financial coaching and unemployment protection
  • No fees required

SoFi distinguishes itself by being not just a lender but a financial community, offering $15,000 personal loans at competitive rates for those with credit scores of 670 and above. 

Beyond just loans, SoFi provides its members with numerous benefits, such as access to financial advisors and estate planning. 

This holistic approach to lending makes SoFi an excellent choice for individuals with good credit looking for more than just a loan.

Upgrade: Best for fair credit

LendEDU rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Reasonable rates for borrowers with fair to good credit
  • Access to credit health tools and hardship plans
  • Unsecured and secured loan options

Upgrade fills a vital niche by catering to individuals with credit scores of 580 to 669 with reasonable terms. What sets Upgrade apart is not only its accessibility to a wider range of credit profiles but also its commitment to helping borrowers improve their financial health. 

Through tools that monitor credit and the availability of hardship plans for those facing financial difficulties, Upgrade supports its customers throughout the life of their loan. This focus on financial empowerment and flexibility makes Upgrade a standout choice for those with fair credit seeking to borrow.

Upstart: Best for little-to-no credit

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Uses artificial intelligence to evaluate borrowers, considering factors beyond credit scores
  • Suitable for borrowers with new or limited credit histories
  • Check your rates with no impact on your credit score

Upstart is revolutionizing the personal loan process for individuals who don’t have sufficient credit for many conventional lenders. 

By employing artificial intelligence to assess creditworthiness, Upstart looks beyond traditional credit scores to include educational and employment history, opening up opportunities for many borrowers. 

Upstart’s minimum credit score requirement is 300—the lowest possible. This innovative approach facilitates access to credit for newer borrowers and can offer more favorable rates based on their broader personal profiles. 

Upstart’s inclusive strategy makes it the ideal platform for those with limited credit history aiming to secure personal loans.

How to get a $15,000 personal loan

The specific process for getting a $15,000 personal loan may vary by lender, but these are the typical steps you’ll need to take: 

  1. Check your credit score: A good credit score (670 or higher) will help you access the best rates, though it’s still possible to qualify for a $15,000 personal loan with a lower score. You can check your credit at or with a free credit monitoring service. Some credit card companies also provide free credit scores. 
  2. Research lender requirements: Plenty of lenders offer $15,000 personal loans, so shop around to find ones that would be a good fit for your finances. Find out what each lender requires regarding credit, income, and debt-to-income ratio if available. 
  3. Prequalify for personal loans: Many lenders let you prequalify for a personal loan online, which means you can review your rates and loan offers without impacting your credit. This process only takes a minute or two and is useful in loan shopping. 
  4. Compare loan offers: As you compare offers, keep an eye on APR, loan fees, and repayment terms. Look for an affordable loan offer that will cost you the least in interest and fees over the long run. 
  5. Pick a loan and apply: Once you’ve found a $15,000 personal loan offer that works for you, your next step is to fill out an official loan application. You’ll provide your details and upload any required documentation. This might include pay stubs, W-2s, and a copy of your ID. 
  6. Receive your loan funds: Some lenders can approve your application and fund your loan within a day or two, while others may take a few days or weeks. Depending on your preference, the lender may deposit the funds in your bank account or send you a check. Some can also pay off their creditors directly if they use the loan to consolidate debt. 

How to repay a $15,000 personal loan 

Personal loans usually require you to make payments monthly. Repayment terms vary, but you can often choose a term of one, three, five, or seven years. 

The term you choose will directly impact your monthly payments and long-term loan costs. A longer term, for example, will have more affordable monthly payments but cost more in interest overall. A shorter term will have higher monthly payments but lower interest charges. 

Most lenders don’t charge a penalty for prepayment, so you may also choose to pay off your loan ahead of schedule. Making extra payments on your loan’s principal balance can help you get free of debt and save money on interest charges. 

What are the payments on a $15,000 personal loan?

The payments on a $15,000 personal loan primarily depend on your interest rate and repayment terms. Consider this example of a $15,000 loan with a 12% interest rate on different terms: 

Repayment termMonthly paymentsTotal interest charges 
1 year $1,333$993
3 years $498$2,936
5 years $334$5,020
7 years $265$7,242

Your interest rate also impacts your payments. Here’s how much that same $15,000 loan with different interest rates would cost (assuming a five-year term). 

Interest rate Monthly paymentsTotal interest charges 
12%$334 $5,020
25%  $440$11,416
36%   $542$17,520

Some lenders also charge loan origination fees that can affect your loan costs. Depending on the lender, this fee may range from 1% to 12% of your loan amount. On a $15,000 personal loan, that fee might cost between $150 and $1,800. 

Pros and cons of a personal loan for $15,000 

Using a personal loan to take out $15,000 has pros and cons. Consider both before you borrow. 


  • May have a competitive interest rate

    A personal loan may be more affordable than alternative financing options, such as a credit card. According to the Federal Reserve, the average rate on a two-year personal loan is 12.35%, while the average APR on a credit card is 21.47%.

  • Can spread out repayment over several years

    Depending on the lender, you may be able to choose a loan term as long as five, seven, or even 12 years.

  • Funds can be used for almost any purpose

    Personal loans are an extremely flexible form of financing for almost any expense. They can also help you consolidate high-interest debt.


  • Eligibility requirements may be tough to meet

    Most lenders require fair or good credit to qualify for a personal loan. Although some lenders accept lower scores, they charge higher rates and fees.

  • Some lenders charge origination fees

    Borrowers with weaker credit may have to pay a personal loan origination fee, costing up to 12% of the total loan amount.

  • Missing payments can damage your credit 

    If you miss payments on your $15,000 personal loan, the lender can report this to the credit bureaus, which would damage your credit. 

Ask the expert

Rand Millwood


Assuming you have the cash flow to cover the personal loan payment, the loan amount itself is less of a factor than the reason. As long as you are taking the loan to consolidate and easily pay down current debt, reduce interest costs associated with new debt (vs. a credit card as an example), or improve your financial situation (i.e., home improvement or employment improvement), these kinds of loans are typically better than a lot of other options.

Other ways to borrow $15,000

An unsecured personal loan may not be your only option for borrowing $15,000. Here are some alternatives to consider: 

  • 0% APR credit card: Creditworthy borrowers may qualify for a credit card with a 0% APR promotional period that spans a year or longer. If your credit limit allows, you could charge $15,000 to your card and avoid interest charges if you pay off the balance before the promotional period ends. If you still carry a balance after that time, you could face hefty interest charges. 
  • Home equity loan or HELOC: Homeowners with sufficient home equity may qualify for a home equity loan or HELOC. Both these financing options can have competitive interest rates, but they may come with closing costs and a lengthy borrowing process that spans several weeks. You also risk losing your home to foreclosure if you default on your home equity loan or HELOC. 
  • Secured personal loan: Some lenders offer secured personal loans requiring you to pledge collateral. Backing your loan with collateral could result in a higher loan amount and lower interest rate. However, the lender can take your collateral if you fall behind on your loan. 
  • Cosigned personal loan: Applying for a $15,000 personal loan with a cosigner could help you get a better rate (or qualify in the first place) if your credit is weak. Make sure to pay back the loan on time, though, or both your and your cosigner’s credit could get damaged. 


What is the minimum credit score required to qualify for a $15,000 personal loan?

Credit score requirements can vary by lender. However, many lenders prefer to see at least a fair credit score—often around 660—to qualify for a $15,000 personal loan. It may also check the debt-to-income ratio and other details of your financial position.

Can I apply for a personal loan if I’m self-employed or have irregular income?

Yes. Many lenders are willing to work with self-employed individuals. However, prepare to show proof of a reliable income stream, such as bank statements or tax returns. The lender wants to ensure you can repay the loan in full.

How long does it take to receive the funds once I’m approved for a personal loan?

The time it takes to receive loan funds can vary by lender. In many cases, once approved for a personal loan, you can expect the funds to be deposited into your account within one to seven business days.

Are there any restrictions on how I can use a $15,000 personal loan?

Generally, there are minimal restrictions on using a personal loan. Whether for home improvements, consolidating debt, or covering an emergency expense, the choice is yours. However, using the loan money responsibly and for the purpose stated in your application is important.

What happens if I miss a payment on my personal loan?

If you miss a payment on your personal loan, your lender might charge a late payment fee, and it could harm your credit score. If you can’t make a payment, contact your lender as soon as possible to explore options, such as payment extensions or refinancing.

Can I pay off my personal loan early, and are there any penalties for doing so?

In many cases, you can pay off your personal loan early. While uncommon, some lenders may charge a prepayment penalty—a fee for paying off your loan before the scheduled end date. Always check the loan agreement details and ensure you know of any such penalties before establishing a repayment plan.

How do lenders determine the interest rate for a $15,000 personal loan?

Your credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio determine interest rates on personal loans. Lenders use these factors to gauge your ability to repay the loan. Higher-risk borrowers, such as those with lower credit scores or irregular income, may pay higher interest rates.