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Personal Loans

Bank of America Personal Loan Alternatives

Updated Dec 07, 2023   |   10-min read

Bank of America (BoA) offers a number of products to help you manage your financial life, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards. However, you won’t find personal loans at BoA. That’s not unusual. Plenty of other big banks haven’t ventured into the personal loan space. 

If you need to borrow for an emergency or a planned expense, you might consider other personal loan companies. We’ll help you find the best Bank of America personal loan alternative. 

In this guide:

Bank of America personal loan alternatives

We’ve researched five of our favorite alternatives to Bank of America for personal loans. Click the company name in the table below to find out more about why.

CompanyEditorial ratingBest forRates (APR)
SoFi5.0 out of 5Best for good credit8.99% – 25.81%
LightStream4.8 out of 5Best for excellent credit7.49%25.49%
Upgrade4.9 out of 5Best for fair credit8.49%35.99%
Upstart4.8 out of 5Best for thin credit6.40% – 35.99%
Credible5.0 out of 5Best marketplace5.20%35.99%

Sofi – Best for good credit

  • Rates (APR): 8.99% – 25.81%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Credit score: 660+

SoFi offers personal loans with flexible repayment terms. Loan rates are competitive, and borrowers can use multiple rate discounts to save on interest charges. 

You’ll need a good credit score to qualify, but you can easily check your rates online without affecting your credit. SoFi offers an unemployment protection benefit. If you lose your job, it will modify your payment plan and assist you in finding a new position. 

  • Credit score category: Good
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day
  • Origination fee: None
  • Discounts: 0.25% autopay; 0.25% direct deposit
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months

LightStream – Best for excellent credit

  • Rates (APR): 7.99%25.49%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Credit score: 660+

LightStream allows you to borrow more than many competitors, and the starting APR is among the lowest of all personal loans. LightStream provides a loan experience guarantee where you’ll get cash back if you’re unsatisfied with your borrowing experience.

However, only borrowers with good to excellent credit can qualify. You’ll need a minimum credit score of 660. Because LightStream doesn’t offer the option to prequalify with a soft credit check, we recommend this lender for borrowers who know they have excellent credit and are confident they’ll be approved for a personal loan.

  • Credit score category: Excellent, good
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Not available
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day 
  • Origination fee: 0%
  • Discounts: 0.50% autopay
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 144 months depending on the loan purpose

Upgrade – Best for fair credit

  • Rates (APR): 8.49%35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Credit score: 580+

Upgrade is a solid option for borrowers with bad or fair credit and those who need smaller loans because it has a lower minimum loan amount than most lenders. 

It also bases eligibility more on free cash flow than other lenders. You’ll need a minimum credit score of 580.

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the next day
  • Origination fee: 1.85% – 9.99%
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months

Upstart – Best for thin credit

  • Rates (APR): 5.20% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Credit score: 580+

Upstart is an online lending platform that partners with banks to provide personal loans you can use for almost anything. 

Upstart’s lending model considers education, employment, and many other variables when determining eligibility. This model leads to 27% more approvals and 16% lower rates than traditional models.

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as one business day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 12%
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Credible – Best marketplace

  • Compare real offers from one location
  • Get a $200 reward if another lender offers you a lower rate
  • Doesn’t affect your credit score

Credible offers a compelling alternative to Bank of America personal loans through its unique online marketplace. It allows you to compare personal loan offers from multiple lenders with just one application. The service is helpful for those seeking competitive rates and terms, offering an efficient way to find alternatives to Bank of America.

Credible’s broad network of lenders ensures a range of options for borrowers with various credit profiles. While specific qualifications vary by lender, the platform caters to a broad spectrum of credit scores.

  • Credit score category: Varies by lender, accommodating a wide range
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as one business day, varies by lender
  • Origination fee: Varies by lender, but several don’t charge one
  • Rates (APR): 6.40%35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $600 – $200,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 – 120 months

Want to compare additional options? Check out our guide to the best personal loans.

Other places to look for personal loans

You also have a host of other personal loan options; a wide array of financial institutions offer them. 

These include the following. Click the lender type in the table below to find out more about it.

AlternativeCredit score categoryProCon
Traditional banksGood to excellentMay offer low rates to borrowers with excellent credit. 

The option to apply at a branch.
It may take longer to get approved and receive loan funds. 
Online lendersBad to excellentOnline lenders can offer generous loan amounts with fast funding.Some online lenders charge origination fees or prepayment penalties.
Peer-to-peer lendersBad to excellentMay be easier for poor-credit borrowers to qualify. Interest rates can be high. 

No guarantee your loan request will be funded. 
Credit unionsGood to excellentCan offer competitive rates and excellent customer service. Not everyone qualifies to join a credit union. 

Other traditional banks

Other traditional banks offer personal loans. These include big banks as well as local and regional banks.

Brick-and-mortar banks can offer reasonable interest rates if you have a good credit score. Some may offer a relationship rate discount as a reward for being a loyal customer. You might also appreciate being able to visit or call a local branch when you have questions or need help. 

But be aware that some banks take longer to approve funding than online lenders. For example, instead of same-day funding, you might wait five to seven business days. Traditional banks can also have more stringent qualifying requirements, which could make it harder to get approved if you have a lower credit score or a shorter employment history. 

Online lenders

Online lenders can offer unsecured personal loans in amounts as high as $100,000. Certain lenders will let you apply for a loan online and get funding the same day you’re approved. 

You might opt for an online lender if you have less-than-perfect credit because it may be easier to qualify. Many online lenders will let you check your rates without affecting your credit. Just be sure to read the fine print to understand what fees you might pay; some online lenders charge origination fees or prepayment penalties. 

Peer-to-peer lenders

Peer-to-peer lending marketplaces such as LendingClub help connect people who need to borrow money with investors who are interested in funding loans. You submit your information, the marketplace checks your credit report and other financial details, and it posts your loan for investors to fund. 

A peer-to-peer loan might be an attractive option if you can’t qualify for a personal loan elsewhere because of your credit score. You also have flexibility in loan terms and borrowed amounts with peer-to-peer lenders. However, if your loan request isn’t funded in full, you won’t be able to borrow. 

Credit unions

Credit unions are nonprofits. Unlike banks, their goal isn’t to make money for shareholders. They might offer lower personal loan rates and charge fewer fees than other lenders. 

To get a loan from a credit union, you first need to become a member. You may need to qualify for membership based on where you go to school, membership in a particular group, your profession, or where you live. 

Some credit unions let anyone join, but not all do. So if you plan to take out a loan from a credit union, be sure you meet the membership requirements first. 

Find personal loans by credit score

Lenders use different factors to approve borrowers for personal loans, but credit scores are often at the top of the list. Narrowing down your search for a personal loan by credit score category can make it easier to find the right loan.

If you haven’t checked your credit score recently, you may want to do that first so you have an idea of what kind of loans you’re most likely to qualify for. Remember, credit scores operate on a range, and where you land in that range can determine which of the following you have the best chances of being approved for.

Gauge showing a score of 670 - 799 as a good credit score

See more:

Why does the difference matter? It all comes down to interest rates. The better your credit scores are, the more likely you are to qualify for the most favorable personal loan rates. 

What kind of Bank of America loans are available?

Bank of America doesn’t offer personal loans. But if you were hoping to borrow for a home or a car, or if you have enough equity in your home, you could consider the following Bank of America products. Note that Bank of America also doesn’t offer student loans.

  • Mortgages & mortgage refinancing: Bank of America offers mortgages to purchase a home as well as home refinance loans to save on your mortgage. The house you buy or own will serve as collateral for the loan, and the interest you pay should be tax-deductible up to federal limits.
  • Home equity lines of credit: When you want to borrow against the equity in your home, Bank of America has you covered. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) can allow you to tap into the equity you’ve built in your property for home improvements or other purchases. Read our full Bank of America HELOC review.
  • Auto loans: Car loans are also secured loans because the car acts as collateral. The interest rate on a car loan can be lower than the rate on a personal loan because the loan is secured.
  • Credit cards: Though not a loan, Bank of America offers many credit cards you may be interested in.

Those with a Bank of America checking account they make regular monthly deposits into have one more option: Balance Assist is a small-dollar loan to help you meet short-term needs. You can apply online to borrow up to $500 if you meet the eligibility requirements. 

Balance Assist is designed to help you manage temporary cash flow gaps. If approved, you’ll pay back what you borrow plus a $5 fee in three equal monthly installments. Bank of America checks your credit for approval, but a positive banking history could help outweigh a low or nonexistent credit score. 

Recap of Bank of America personal loan alternatives

The Bank of America personal loan alternatives we discussed could help you to borrow for debt consolidation, home improvements, or virtually any other financial need. When you’re searching for a personal loan, be sure to consider all the eligibility requirements, including credit scores. 

A rate quote can give you an idea of what rates and loan terms you’re most likely eligible for. We prefer lenders that allow you to check rates without affecting credit scores for most borrowers. A hard credit check can stay on your credit report for around two years.

SoFi, Upgrade, and Upstart offer soft credit checks.

LenderRates (APR)Minimum credit score
SoFi8.99% – 25.81%660View rates
LightStream7.49%25.49%660View rates
Upgrade8.49%35.99%580View rates
Upstart6.40% – 35.99%580View rates
Credible5.20%35.99%No minimumView rates