Best Personal Loans for 2019

Mike Brown
Mike Brown
Updated: August 1, 2019

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A personal loan is typically an unsecured loan that offers you access to cash that can be used towards debt consolidation, home improvements, or typically whatever else you need money for. Personal loans are generally offered with fixed interest rates that are lower than other financing options, allowing for a straightforward repayment process.

In this guide, you can compare personal loans from some of the top lenders in the industry, see who we rated as the best for different credit tiers, and find answers to some of the most common questions for borrowers.

On this page:

Compare Personal Loan Companies

Simplify your personal loan search by comparing personal loan companies by rates, terms, minimum credit scores, and more. Click on the "Lender Details" option below each button to find additional lender information.

LightStream

4.99%-16.99%

APR Range

2 to 7 Years*

Loan Terms

660

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Rate Beat Program available
  • Accepts joint applications for every loan type
  • LightStream has one of the highest loan limits; allowing borrowers take out up to $100,000
  • Zero origination, prepayment penalties, or late fees
  • Plants a tree for every loan

Additional Information

See our LightStream Personal Loans Review

*Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 6.14% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.85. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved. SUNTRUST, LIGHTSTREAM and the LightStream logo are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust Bank.

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan Maximum$100,000
Time to FundingAs soon as the same day3
Min. Annual IncomeNone
Min. Credit HistoryNone
State RestrictionsAvailable in any state
Origination FeesNone
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late FeesNone
SoFi

5.74%-16.99%1

APR Range

2 to 7 Years

Loan Terms

660

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • SoFi has one of the highest loan limits; allowing borrowers take out up to $100,000
  • Unemployment protection is available for up to 12 months
  • Access to member perks including exclusive events, SoFi wealth advisors, and career planning
  • Zero origination, prepayment penalties, or late fees

Additional Information

See our SoFi Personal Loans Review

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan Maximum$100,000
Time to Funding7 days on average
Min. Annual IncomeNo Minimum
Min. Credit HistoryNo Minimum
State RestrictionsNot available in MS
Origination FeesNone
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late FeesNone
Credible

4.99%-35.99%

APR Range

2 to 7 Years

Loan Terms

580

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Compare rates from multiple lenders in 2 minutes
  • Consolidate credit cards or other debt to a lower rate
  • Checking rates won’t affect your credit
Loan Minimum$1,000
Loan Maximum$100,000
Time to Funding2 business days on average
Min. Annual IncomeNone
Min. Credit HistoryNone
State RestrictionsAvailable in any state
Origination FeesVaries
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late FeesVaries
Prosper

6.95%-35.99%4

APR Range

3 or 5 Years4

Loan Terms

640

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Prosper was founded in 2006 and has funded more than $12 billion in loans
  • Receive funds in less than a week after approval
  • No prepayment penalty

Additional Information

See our Prosper Personal Loans Review

Loan Minimum$2,000
Loan Maximum$40,000
Time to Funding1 - 3 days after approval
Min. Annual IncomeNone
Min. Credit HistoryNone
State RestrictionsNot available in IA, ND, WV
Origination Fees2.4% - 5% of the loan amount
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late Fees$15 or 5% of the payment due
Upgrade

7.99%-35.89%

APR Range

3 or 5 Years5

Loan Terms

620

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Access to free credit monitoring, a credit simulator, and free educational resources
  • Upgrade may allow you to temporarily reduce your monthly payments due to hardships
  • Funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications
  • No prepayment penalties

Additional Information

See our Upgrade Personal Loans Review

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 7.99%-35.89%. All loans have a 1.5% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. 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. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent electronically to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC.

Loan Minimum$1,000
Loan Maximum$50,000
Time to FundingOne business day
Min. Annual IncomeNone
Min. Credit HistoryTypically 3 years
State RestrictionsNot available in CT, CO, IA, MD, VT, WV
Origination Fees1.5% - 6% of the loan amount
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late FeesUp to $10
Earnest

6.99%-18.24%

APR Range

3 - 5 Years

Loan Terms

680

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Choose your preferred monthly payment amount
  • Make extra or early payments without fees
  • No origination fees or fees of any kind

Additional Information

See our Earnest Personal Loans Review

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan Maximum$75,000
Time to Funding3 days on average
Min. Annual Income20,000
Min. Credit HistoryN/A
State RestrictionsNot available in AL, DE, KY, NV, or RI
Origination FeesNone
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late FeesNone
FreedomPlus

5.99%-29.99%

APR Range

2 to 5 Years

Loan Terms

640

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Ability to lower interest rate by adding a cosigner
  • Direct pay discount allows you to lower your interest rate when your loan is issued directly to the creditor
  • FreedomPlus may offer you a lower interest rate if you have retirement savings of $40,000 or more

Additional Information

See our FreedomPlus Personal Loans Review

Loan Minimum$7,500
Loan Maximum$35,000
Time to Funding3 - 5 days after approval
Min. Annual IncomeNone
Min. Credit HistoryTypically 7 years
State RestrictionsNot available in CO, CT, HI, KS, ME, NH, ND, NY, OR, RI, VT, WV, WI, WY
Origination Fees0% - 5% of the loan amount
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late Fees$15 or 5% of past due amount
LendingClub

6.95%-35.89%

APR Range

3 to 5 Years

Loan Terms

600

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Founded in 2007, LendingClub is the largest online lender for personal loans in the U.S.
  • Ability to add a cosigner
  • Borrowers facing hardship have the option to make interest-only payments for three months
  • No prepayment penalties

Additional Information

See our LendingClub Personal Loans Review

Loan Minimum$1,000
Loan Maximum$40,000
Time to FundingAs few as 3 days
Min. Annual IncomeNone
Min. Credit HistoryNone
State RestrictionsNot available in IA
Origination Fees1% - 6% of loan amount
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late Fees5% of the unpaid amount or $15
Upstart

8.69%-29.99%

APR Range

3 or 5 Years

Loan Terms

620

Min. Credit Score

What we like

  • Upstart considers factors other than your credit score when assessing your loan application
  • Accepts applicants with a part-time job or a job offer letter
  • Receive funds as quick as next day after approval
  • No prepayment penalties or hidden fees

Additional Information

See our Upstart Personal Loans Review

Loan Minimum$1,000
Loan Maximum$50,000
Time to FundingTypically one day
Min. Annual IncomeNone
Min. Credit HistoryNone
State RestrictionsAvailable in any state
Origination Fees0% - 8% of the loan amount
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Late Fees$10 after 15-day grace period

Best Personal Loans for 2019

Below are reviews of LendEDU's picks for the best personal loan companies. You can find information about interest rates, term lengths, fees, and more in the reviews below.

The following eight companies are the highest rated based on our Editorial Ratings. These ratings are in no way affected by compensation and are strictly based on the details and competitiveness of the products offered. In order to make the list, lenders must also offer personal loans in at least 40 states and must not require borrowers to be a member of the bank or credit union.

Here are our choices for the best personal loans by credit tier. Click an option below to learn more about the lenders in that tier.

Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit

Credit range: 690 to 850

The personal loan lenders in this category will typically only accept borrowers with excellent credit or good credit. If you fall into this range, you may be able to find a loan with the best rates and friendliest repayment terms in the industry.

LightStream

What we like: Beat any qualifying rate

LightStream

Editorial Rating (4.62 / 5.0)

  • $100 satisfaction guarantee on your experience2
  • Rate Beat Program available
  • AutoPay discount of 0.50%
APR Range

4.99%-16.99%

Loan Terms

2 to 12 years*

Loan Amounts

$5,000 - $100,000

Origination Fee

None

Time to Fund

As soon as the same day3

*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 9.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $319.58. LightStream disclosures here.

Show Disclaimer
More About LightStream

LightStream targets highly qualified borrowers which means it routinely offers some of the lowest personal loan rates available – but only to a subsection of online loan-seekers. Your actual APR will be determined after a thorough review of your application. LightStream loans can be used for virtually any purpose, as stated on the company's website. Loan terms for all purposes outside of home improvement have a maximum loan term of 7 years.

If you don’t qualify for an unsecured loan through LightStream, you may be able to take out a secured loan for the purchase of a new, used, or classic car.

After receiving a loan, if you are not satisfied, you can complete a questionnaire and receive $100. This guarantee expires 30 days after receiving your loan.

LightStream is so confident in their product that they have a Rate Beat Program in which they offer to beat a competitor’s published rate by 0.10% if certain conditions are met (see site for details).

Since the loan application process is entirely online, borrowers don’t have to travel to a physical branch of LightStream’s parent company, SunTrust Bank, to fill out an application.

SoFi

What we like: Career coaching

SoFi

Editorial Rating (4.45 / 5.0)

  • Minimum Annual Income of $50,000
  • Unemployment protection program
  • Pre-qualify for rates with no commitment
  • AutoPay discount of 0.25%
APR Range

5.74%-16.99%1

Loan Terms

2 to 7 years

Loan Amounts

$5,000 - $100,000

Origination Fee

None

Time to Fund

7 days on average

Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 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 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% 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.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

Show Disclaimer
More About SoFi

Since beginning in 2011, SoFi (or Social Finance) has grown into one of the best loan companies in the nation. SoFi offers personal loans for credit card consolidation, home improvements, relocation assistance, medical procedures, and more. The lender also offers both fixed and variable annual percentage rates (APRs).

The loan application process is fairly straightforward. You can prequalify for a loan with a soft credit pull in 2 minutes with no commitment. When ready, you can complete your online application with the help of SoFi consultants that will require a hard credit pull. Funds can be expected within a few days after finalizing some additional agreements with the lender.

A unique perk offered by SoFi is their unemployment protection program. If borrowers lose their jobs and sources of income, they will be eligible for this program. SoFi temporarily halts payments until the borrower can find a new job. Additionally, SoFi even helps its customers find new opportunities in the workplace.

Citizens Bank

What we like: Great customer service

Citizens Bank

Editorial Rating (4.43 / 5.0)

  • Minimum annual income of $24,000
  • Loyalty discount reduction of 0.25%
  • No collateral required
  • AutoPay discount of 0.25%
APR Range

6.79%-20.39%2

Loan Terms

3 to 7 years

Loan Amounts

$5,000 - $50,000

Origination Fee

None

Time to Fund

3+ days on average

Fixed interest rates from 7.29% - 20.89% (7.29% - 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 6.79%-20.39% (6.79%-20.39% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

LOYALTY DISCOUNT: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.

AUTOMATIC PAYMENT DISCOUNT: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

Personal loans must not be used for educational expenses or as a small business loan.

Show Disclaimer
More About Citizens Bank

Unlike many other lenders, Citizens Bank has physical branch locations throughout the country, but consumers can also complete applications completely online if they'd like. Their website claims that approved borrowers can expect their funds within 2 business days.

Citizens Bank offers tools along the way to help you with the process. These tools include a personal loan calculator to determine your monthly payments and potential interest rate, as well as repayment examples based on current rates.

Citizens Bank also allows applicants to add a cosigner, which is uncommon for online personal loan lenders. If rejected when applying alone, potential borrowers can reapply with well-qualified cosigners.

Citizens Bank also offers a smartphone app for users to keep up with their loans on-the-go.

Best Personal Loans for Average Credit

Credit range: 630 to 689

The personal loan lenders in this category will typically only accept borrowers with average credit and above. If you fall into this range, you likely won't receive rates similar to the excellent and good credit range, but you can still receive competitive rates and repayment terms.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

What we like: No fees

Marcus

Editorial Rating (4.32 / 5.0)

  • Minimum annual income of $25,000
  • No late payment fees
  • Personal loan calculator to see your savings
  • On-time payment reward
APR Range

6.99%-24.99%

Loan Terms

3 to 6 years

Loan Amounts

$3,500 - $40,000

Origination Fee

None

Time to Fund

1 to 4 days

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.

Show Disclaimer
More About Marcus

Marcus Personal Loans is a division of Goldman Sachs bank, one of the largest and oldest banks in the U.S. Marcus offers personal loans for debt consolidation, home improvement, weddings, moving and relocation, vacation, and more.

Marcus performs an initial soft credit check to provide you with prequalified personal loan offers. If you see a loan you like, you can submit a full loan application and the lender will perform a hard credit check to confirm your eligibility and rate.

Another feature of Marcus Personal Loans is that they allow borrowers to choose their monthly payments and loan amounts. This allows borrowers to better customize their loans so that it’s right for them and their lifestyle.

While there are no late payment fees with Marcus, you will still accumulate interest if you do not make payments. This will cause your final payment to be larger than previously agreed upon.

FreedomPlus

What we like: Human engagement during application

FreedomPlus

Editorial Rating (4.24 / 5.0)

  • Max loan amount equal to 35% of gross income in a given year
  • Speak to a loan consultant for help with your application
  • Loans can be used for a wide range of needs
APR Range

5.99%-29.99%

Loan Terms

2 to 5 years

Loan Amounts

$7,500 - $35,000

Origination Fee

0% - 5% of loan amount

Time to Fund

3 - 5 days after approval

Annual Percentage Rates, terms of loan and monthly payments presented are estimated based upon analysis of information you entered, your credit profile and/or available rate information from lenders. While efforts have been made to maintain accurate information, the loan information is presented without warranty and the estimated APR or other terms presented do not bind any lender. Lenders generally have a range of available APRs (for example, a lender's range might be 5% to 36%) and only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actual APR will depend upon factors evaluated at the time of application, which may include credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. When evaluating offers, please review the lender's Terms and Conditions for additional details.

Show Disclaimer
More About FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus takes pride in offering borrowers the opportunity to speak directly with a loan consultant prior to submitting an application. Their model is focused on providing transparency to borrowers so that a loan from FreedomPlus can be “the smart way to meet your financial needs.”

The repayment process is straightforward as borrowers will have fixed monthly payments and the ability to choose their own payment date. Unfortunately, FreedomPlus does charge some fees that are worth considering when deciding if they are the best option for you.

Payoff

What we like: Job loss support

Payoff

Editorial Rating (4.08 / 5.0)

  • Must have a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less
  • Must have 3 years of a good credit history
  • Designed to help boost your FICO score
  • Loans are designed to help eliminate high-interest credit card debt
APR Range

5.99%-24.99%

Loan Terms

2 to 5 years

Loan Amounts

$5,000 - $35,000

Origination Fee

0% - 5% of loan amount

Time to Fund

2 to 7 days

Annual Percentage Rates, terms of loan and monthly payments presented are estimated based upon analysis of information you entered, your credit profile and/or available rate information from lenders. While efforts have been made to maintain accurate information, the loan information is presented without warranty and the estimated APR or other terms presented do not bind any lender. Lenders generally have a range of available APRs (for example, a lender's range might be 5% to 36%) and only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actual APR will depend upon factors evaluated at the time of application, which may include credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. When evaluating offers, please review the lender's Terms and Conditions for additional details.

Show Disclaimer
More About Payoff

Payoff offers a personal loan designed to help borrowers eliminate credit card debt. Their loan allows you to consolidate multiple high-interest credit card balances into one monthly payment with a fixed interest rate.

Something that makes Payoff unique amongst other personal loan lenders is the transparency around their approval criteria. In order to be approved for a loan you will need a FICO score of 640 or higher, a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less, and 3 years of good credit amongst other criteria.

If you are looking for a personal loan to help you repay high-interest credit card debt, then Payoff may be a good option.

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit

Credit range: 550 to 629

The personal loan lenders in this category provide bad credit loans to borrowers with below average credit and above. If you fall into this range, you likely won't receive the best personal loan rates, but these lenders are usually aware of the need for borrowers to rebuild credit and look to help you with that. These lenders also provide customer service to help borrowers with any repayment struggles.

OneMain Financial

What we like: Same day funding

OneMain Financial

Editorial Rating (4.33 / 5.0)

  • No minimum annual income
  • Have local branches to allow for in-person discussions
  • Offer both secured or unsecured personal loans
  • Get an idea of your estimated monthly payment with their calculator
APR Range

16.05%-24.99%

Loan Terms

2 to 5 years

Loan Amounts

$1,500 - $30,000

Origination Fee

None

Time to Fund

Same day

Annual Percentage Rates, terms of loan and monthly payments presented are estimated based upon analysis of information you entered, your credit profile and/or available rate information from lenders. While efforts have been made to maintain accurate information, the loan information is presented without warranty and the estimated APR or other terms presented do not bind any lender. Lenders generally have a range of available APRs (for example, a lender's range might be 5% to 36%) and only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actual APR will depend upon factors evaluated at the time of application, which may include credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. When evaluating offers, please review the lender's Terms and Conditions for additional details.

Show Disclaimer
More About OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial offers personal loans for those with bad credit. The ability to meet loan specialists in person at a branch can be useful for those looking for a more personal experience.

If approved for a personal loan through OneMain Financial, you will have to visit a branch to verify your information and discuss the next steps. Though this step may be unappealing for those looking to complete the process online, you could get your money the same day if approved by noon.

Naturally, interest rates are higher than other lenders due to the risk of lending to borrowers with lower credit scores. However, the lack of fees attached to their loan product is a plus.

Avant

What we like: No minimum credit score

Avant

Editorial Rating (3.93 / 5.0)

  • No minimum income requirement
  • Check loan options with a soft credit pull
  • Mobile app to keep up with your loan
  • Financial tools to stay up to date on your loan
APR Range

9.95%-35.99%*

Loan Terms

2 to 5 years

Loan Amounts

$2,000 - $35,000

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75% of loan amount

Time to Fund

2 days on average

* The actual loan amount, term, and APR amount of loan that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and state law. Minimum loan amounts vary by state. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

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.

Show Disclaimer
More About Avant

Founded in 2012 and previously known as AvantCredit, Avant has provided access to over $4 billion in personal loans to date. It has built a proprietary formula to judge a borrower’s creditworthiness by utilizing advanced algorithms and analytical tools.

A personal loan through Avant can be used for debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchases, and more. The loan application process is fairly straightforward. You can check your personal loan options in a few minutes without affecting your credit score. If you like the terms offered, you can e-sign and the funds can be deposited into your account as soon as the next business day following a hard credit pull.


How We Chose the Best Personal Loan Companies

In order to find the best personal loans, our Editorial Team spent over 50 hours analyzing 37 different companies for 21 data points.

We sorted each company into a credit rating category based on their eligibility requirements, and we rated each company relative to other companies in their category.

We only included lenders that offer loans to consumers in at least 40 states and we excluded companies that require any sort of membership to be eligible for a loan.

Lenders were rated based on five categories: Product Information, Fees, Eligibility & Application, Customer Support, and Discounts & Benefits.

We analyzed multiple data points for each category and weighted each data point according to its importance. To come up with the overall rating for each lender, we found the weighted average of each category score. We gave more weight to categories we deemed most important.

See the Description of Rating Categories below for more information.

– Our highest recommendation; the top tier option for consumers
– Excellent selection for consumers
– Average selection for consumers
– Below average selection for consumers
– Poor selection for consumers

Data Points & Weightings of Rating Categories

Product (37.5%): Interest Rates (60%), Term Lengths (20%), Loan Amounts (10%), Deposit Time (10%)

Eligibility/Application (10%): Soft-Credit Pre-Approval (50%), State Availability (30%), Allows for Co-Applicants (20%)

Discounts/Benefits (12.5%): Discounts (50%), Benefits (50%)

Customer Service (17.5%): Ways of Contact (50%), Better Business Bureau Rating (25%), Trustpilot Rating (25%)

Fees (22.5%): Origination Fees (50%), Late Fees (20%), Prepayment Penalty (20%), Check Fees (10%)

What to Look for in the Best Personal Loan

In order to find the best personal loan, there are certain things you should consider. While the best loan for you will depend on your personal situation, here are some common things to watch out for:

  • Interest Rates: Look for personal loans with the lowest interest rates. The rate will have the biggest influence over the total cost of the loan, so it’s important to shop around for the lowest rate.
  • Origination Fees: This fee is charged when you take out a personal loan and is calculated as a percentage of the total loan amount. Many of the best personal loans don’t have any origination fees, but some do. If there is one, be sure to consider it when calculating your total loan cost.
  • Prepayment Penalties: This fee is charged if you pay off your loan early. Like origination fees, most of the best personal loan companies don’t charge prepayment penalties. If you anticipate that you’ll want to pay off your loan faster than your term length requires, be sure to find a lender that doesn’t charge prepayment penalties.
  • Other Fees: Some lenders may charge other fees such as late payment fees or fees for paying with a check. Make sure to consider these fees before deciding on which personal loan is best for you.
  • Repayment Terms: Lenders usually allow you to choose from a range of repayment terms. This is the amount of time you will have to make monthly payments for. Shorter term lengths result in higher monthly payments but more interest saved over time, and vice-versa for longer repayment terms. Make sure the lender you choose has a repayment term that will result in a monthly payment that fits your budget.
  • Available Discounts: Many lenders offer interest rate discounts to help reduce the total cost of the loan and to promote financially healthy behaviors. Most often, lenders will offer a rate discount (typically 0.25%) for setting up automatic payments. Other lenders may offer discounts for other things such as having a bank account with the lender.
  • Soft Credit Check for Pre-Approval: Many lenders allow you to see interest rate quotes after they do a soft credit check. This won’t affect your credit score like a hard credit inquiry will, so you can shop around for rates without worrying about your credit taking a hit. Note that most lenders will perform a hard credit inquiry later on in the application process to determine if you are definitely eligible and what your rate will be.
  • If Co-Applicants/Cosigners Are Allowed: If you are not eligible for a personal loan on your own or would like to share the repayment responsibility with someone else, you should look for a lender that allows you to add a co-applicant or cosigner to your application. Check out our pages to learn more about personal loans with a co-applicant or personal loans with a cosigner.
  • Time to Funding: It will take each lender a different amount of time to process your application and disburse your funds to your bank account. If you need money sooner, be sure to choose a lender with a short funding time.
  • Customer Reviews: It’s often valuable to read customer reviews and complaints on external sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot to see if there are any common issues with the companies you are considering that could negatively affect you.

How to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates

When it comes to borrowing, one of the most important things to be aware of is the interest rate that you'll be charged. Your interest rate is the percentage that you will be required to pay on the principle of your loan.

The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll pay over the life of your loan (assuming you make all of your monthly payments).

Lenders determine the interest rate by calculating how big of a risk they believe you will be. If you’re seen as highly likely to repay your loan, you will receive a lower interest rate.

Steps to Getting the Lowest Rate on Your Personal Loan

Here are a few things that will help you get the lowest personal loan rates:

Increase Your Credit Score

One of the biggest determiners of your interest rate is your credit score. If you have a high credit score, then you will likely qualify for a low interest rate. If you don't have a great credit score, you may want to work on improving it before applying for a loan.

Use a Cosigner or Co-Applicant

If you don’t have great credit, you may get a lower interest rate or gain eligibility if you have a creditworthy friend or family member that will sign up as a cosigner or co-applicant on your loan.

A cosigner or co-applicant offers a fallback option for the lender if you fail to make payments, so they are often willing to give you a lower rate.

Have a Stable Income

Even if you have good credit, you will likely find it difficult to get a low interest rate if you don't have a steady job or source of income. Having a job or steady source of income allows you to show the lender that you will be able to afford future payments.

Choose a Short Term Length

When you take out a loan, you often can choose how long you want your loan term to be. Shorter term lengths usually come with lower interest rates since it will be easier for the lender to project your immediate financial future.

Information You’ll Need When Applying for a Personal Loan

When applying for a personal loan, you will need to provide the lender with certain information. Most often, you will need the following information:

  • Identification: A driver’s license, Social Security card, or passport
  • Proof of Income: If you have an employer, you will need your W-2 form and pay stubs. If you're self-employed, you will need your tax returns, bank statements, and possibly a profit and loss statement.
  • Verification of Your Address: You need an official piece of mail like a utility bill with your address on it or a copy of your lease or deed.
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Monthly Expenses and Current Debt
  • Previous Addresses

Reviews of Personal Loan Companies

Here at LendEDU, we have reviewed almost all of the most popular personal loan companies. Below are links to our reviews of these companies broken out by credit category and ranked according to our editorial ratings.

Good Credit Personal Loan Companies

  1. LightStream
  2. SoFi
  3. Citizens Bank
  4. Navy Federal Credit Union
  5. Earnest
  6. M&T Bank
  7. USAA
  8. PNC
  9. TD Bank
  10. Citibank
  11. Wells Fargo
  12. Santander
  13. GreenSky Home Improvement
  14. American Express NextStep
  15. Best Egg
  16. Prosper

Fair Credit Personal Loan Companies

  1. Digital Federal Credit Union
  2. Marcus
  3. FreedomPLUS
  4. Payoff
  5. Upgrade
  6. PenFed Credit Union
  7. Regions Bank
  8. Upstart
  9. LendingPoint
  10. LendingClub

Bad Credit Personal Loan Companies

  1. OneMain Financial
  2. Oportun
  3. Avant
  4. Mariner
  5. LoanMe
  6. Stilt
  7. OppLoans
  8. Personify Financial
  9. MoneyKey
  10. LendUp
  11. RISE Credit

Personal Loan Resources

If you want to learn more about how personal loans work and best practices for using them, check out some of our resources below.

Personal Loan Types & Uses

Personal Loan Information