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Personal Loans

Best Personal Lines of Credit

A personal line of credit combines a personal loan’s spending power with a credit card’s flexibility. It can be a smart way to pay for various expenses, including home improvements, weddings, or other major expenses.

Our picks for the best personal lines of credit were selected following an evaluation of interest rates, borrowing limits, repayment terms, and borrower reviews from lenders.

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best for credit card consolidation
4.6
Best for no annual fees
4.4
Best for a large line of credit
4.0
Best for added benefits
3.9

Reviews of the 4 best personal lines of credit

Here are our reviews of the best personal lines of credit, explaining how each excels at meeting specific borrower needs.

  • Best for credit card consolidation: Tally
  • Best for no annual fees: U.S. Bank
  • Best for a large line of credit: Truist
  • Best for added benefits: Elastic

Tally

Best for Credit Card Consolidation

4.6 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why Tally is one of the best

Tally is a credit card manager designed to help you consolidate debts and save money on interest. When you get a personal line of credit with Tally, the money is used to pay off existing credit card balances. Payments automatically go to the cards with the highest APRs first.

According to Tally’s website, the average user saves $4,300 in interest over seven years. These are unsecured personal lines of credit, meaning no collateral is required. You can also learn how much funding you might qualify for without a hard credit check. 

  • Immediately pays off your credit card debt
  • Refill your line as you pay off some of your balance
  • Check your eligibility without affecting your credit
  • Limited details on eligibility requirements
  • Charges an undisclosed annual fee
Rates (APR)5.59%16.99%
Loan amountsDepends on your outstanding credit card debt
Repayment termsNo set term length
Eligibility requirements
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Minimum income: Not disclosed
  • States: Not disclosed
  • Other requirements: You must be at least 18 years old with a credit card

U.S. Bank

Best for No Annual Fee

4.4 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why U.S. Bank is one of the best

U.S. Bank offers personal loans and unsecured personal lines of credit. You can get up to $25,000, and personal line of credit rates are competitive. If you’re getting a personal line of credit for emergencies, you can link it to your U.S. Bank checking account for easy transfers. You can also use it as backup overdraft protection for your checking account.

The lack of an annual fee is a standout benefit offered by U.S. Bank as most other lines of credit come with an annual maintanence fee. Once approved, you can manage your credit line at ATMs, online, through the U.S. Bank mobile app, at a branch, or using personal access checks. 

  • Offers multiple lines of credit for different uses
  • Doesn’t charge an annual fee
  • Check your eligibility without affecting your credit
  • Must have a U.S. Bank checking account to be eligible
Rates (APR)12.50% – 22.50% (as of 06/14/2024)
Loan amountsUp to $25,000
Repayment terms1 – 7 years
Eligibility requirements
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Minimum income: Not disclosed
  • States: All 50 states and D.C.
  • Other requirements: Must be a U.S. Bank checking account client

Truist

Best for Large Lines of Credit

4.0 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why Truist is one of the best

Truist offers several personal lines of credit to meet different needs. The amount you can borrow depends on the credit line that you choose. Here’s how funding limits compare.

  • Unsecured personal lines of credit: Borrow up to $50,000
  • Secured personal lines of credit: Credit lines start at $25,000
  • Ready Now lines of credit: Borrow $300 to $7,500
  • Physician lines of credit: Borrow up to $100,000

Truist is one of the best personal lines of credit options if you need to get a larger credit line and you’re looking for competitive rates. There are no application or cash advance fees. 

If you have a Truist bank account, you can apply for a personal line of credit by phone. Otherwise, you’ll need to visit a Truist branch to apply. The bank does not specify a minimum credit score required for approval.

  • Choose between secured or unsecured lines of credit
  • No application or cash advance fees
  • Same-day funding available in select cases
  • Check your eligibility without affecting your credit
  • Can’t check your eligibility with a soft credit check
Rates (APR)Starting at 13.69% (as of 06/14/2024)
Loan amounts$5,000 – $50,000
Repayment termsNot disclosed
Eligibility requirements
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Minimum credit score: Not disclosed
  • Minimum income: Not disclosed
  • States: All 50 states and D.C.

Elastic

Best for Added Benefits

3.9 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why Elastic is one of the best

Elastic offers access to a smaller personal line of credit. You can borrow $500 to $4,500 to cover emergencies or day-to-day costs, with funding available as soon as the next day following approval.

You might consider Elastic if you need funds fast and have a bank account. You’ll need a checking account to receive proceeds from your line of credit.  

Rather than charging interest, Elastic charges a cash advance fee and a carried balance fee to access your line of credit. The cash advance fee ranges from 5% to 10% and the carried balabce fee is $5 to $350, depending on how often you make payments.

  • Funds available as soon as the next day
  • Access to financial tools like Credit Score Plus and Financial U
  • Check your eligibility without affecting your credit
  • The fee structure makes it difficult to predict costs
  • Not available in all 50 states
Rates (APR)None, payment based on fees
Loan amounts$500 – $4,500
Repayment termsNot disclosed
Eligibility requirements
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Minimum credit score: Not disclosed
  • Minimum income: Not disclosed
  • States: Not disclosed

How a personal line of credit works

A personal line of credit is a revolving credit line that allows you to borrow money up to the limit established by your lender. Your available credit can increase or decrease as you make withdrawals and payments. In that sense, personal lines of credit are similar to credit cards. 

You can reuse your credit for the duration of its “draw” period, which can last a few months or several years. After the draw period ends, your account enters repayment, and you can no longer use it for transactions. You’ll pay interest but only on the amount of your credit line that you use. 

A personal line of credit is best when you need access to a flexible amount of cash over an extended period. A personal loan won’t allow for long-term flexibility, and credit cards often carry lower credit limits, higher interest rates, and fees for a cash advance.

Understanding personal line of credit eligibility, rates, and limits

Like many financing options, personal line of credit eligibility and rates are based on several factors, including your credit history, credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio (DTI). As a general rule of thumb, a high credit score and a low DTI ratio will yield lower rates.

What credit score do you need to get a personal line of credit? It depends on the lender. Some lenders may accept borrowers with a score of 580 or better, while others expect you to have a score of 680 or higher. 

For perspective, below is a comparison of how “good” and “bad” credit scores compare, according to FICO.

Credit score rangeRating
<580Poor
580 – 669Fair
670 – 739Good
740 – 799Very Good
800+Exceptional

Do credit scores affect how much you can borrow with a personal line of credit? Possibly.

Lenders may be unwilling to approve larger amounts for those with lower credit scores because a larger credit line could mean higher risk to the lender. Even if you have good credit, getting a larger credit line may be difficult if you have a lower income or higher DTI ratio. 

Reviewing your credit scores and financial situation before you apply can give you a better idea of what kind of loan terms you might be eligible for. Assessing your credit, income, and existing debt is also helpful for weeding out lenders that may not be a good fit for you. 

How to identify the best personal line of credit for you

Here are some of the most important factors to weigh to find the right personal line of credit for you:

  • Interest rates: The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a pivotal aspect of any line of credit. Lower APRs mean you will pay less over the life of the loan. Rates vary widely based on your credit score, the lender, and market conditions, so comparing these across different lenders is important.
  • Fees: Be aware of any fees that might apply. These can include annual fees, origination fees, and charges for late payments or overdrafts. A line of credit that seems attractive at first glance may become less so once all the associated costs are considered.
  • Lender reputation and terms: Finally, consider the lender’s reputation and the flexibility of their terms. Look for lenders who offer clear, concise product information and have positive customer reviews. The line of credit terms should be flexible enough to meet your needs, including draw periods, repayment options, and the ease of accessing funds.

By carefully considering these factors, you can identify the best personal line of credit for your financial situation. Remember, the best choice is one that offers a low-cost way to borrow while providing the flexibility to meet your needs.

Common uses for a personal line of credit

A personal line of credit is often a good choice when you need quick access to a large amount of cash. Because a line of credit is flexible, it’s often best for expenses over an extended period or when you’re uncertain how much money you’ll need.

Deciding whether a personal line of credit is the right move can depend on several factors, including:

  • Your planned use of the money
  • How much it will cost you to borrow
  • What you need the funds for

Here are some examples of when you might rely on a line of credit versus other borrowing options. 

UsePays for
Home improvementsContractors, supplies, or other expenses
Debt consolidationPay off high-interest debts and streamline monthly payments
Medical expensesCover costs not covered by insurance
Wedding expensesCaterers, photographers, wedding staff, and decorations
Day-to-day billsFill the gaps between paychecks
Unexpected expensesCar repairs, vet bills, or other unplanned expenses

The pros and cons of a personal line of credit

Personal lines of credit can offer advantages and disadvantages to borrowers. Comparing the pros and cons can help you to decide if a personal line of credit makes sense. 

Pros

  • Funding is often quick, with credit line access available in just a few days. 

  • Personal lines of credit rates can be less than what you’d pay with a credit card.

  • Flexible access means you can borrow as needed and only pay interest on what you use. 

  • Depending on the lender, you may be able to get access to a large credit line.

  • Most personal lines of credit can be used to cover a wide range of expenses. 

Cons

  • Typically have higher interest rates than good credit personal loans and even some fair credit loans. .

  • Like with credit cards, a high balance can negatively impact your credit score.

  • Lenders may charge annual fees and other fees to withdraw cash from your credit line. 

Personal lines of credit can also have variable rates that will increase if the market rate goes up. This means your monthly payment may change each month. A personal loan is a better option if you prefer a predictable, fixed payment and rate.

Alternatives to a personal line of credit to consider

A personal line of credit is one of many ways to borrow. You might also consider a personal loan, HELOC, or a credit card to cover planned or unplanned expenses. While they can all put cash in your hands, there are differences in how they work.

Best for
Personal line of creditA flexible credit line with lower rates than a credit card
Personal loanFixed rates and stable monthly payments
HELOCHomeowners who want access to a large amount of money
Credit cardSmaller purchases that will be paid off during the billing cycle

In terms of how to choose between a personal line of credit and another borrowing alternative, it can be helpful to look at them side by side. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the options outlined here measure up. 

Personal line of credit vs. personal loan

A personal line of credit is a revolving credit line you can borrow against as needed. With a personal loan, you get a lump sum of money that you pay back with interest. 

Personal loans tend to have fixed interest rates, which could make them more affordable than a variable-rate personal line of credit. If the rate on your credit line adjusts upward, it automatically becomes more expensive. 

You might choose a personal loan vs. a personal line of credit if you want the security of a fixed rate and predictable payments or if you know exactly how much you need to borrow. Personal loans typically don’t have annual fees either, though some lenders may charge an upfront origination fee. 

Personal line of credit vs. HELOC

A HELOC works like a personal line of credit in that you get access to a revolving credit line. The biggest difference is that your home secures a HELOC. 

When you get a HELOC, you borrow against your home’s equity value. You’ll have a draw period, which may last five to 10 years, then a repayment period, which may extend 10 to 20 years. You’ll repay your HELOC with interest during that time, and the rate may be fixed or variable. 

You might choose a HELOC over a personal line of credit if you use it exclusively for home improvements or repairs. If the home improvement meets the IRS guidelines for substantially improving your home, you can deduct the interest you pay on your credit line.

However, you might stick with a personal line of credit if you don’t have sufficient equity or you’d rather not use your home as collateral. 

Personal line of credit vs. credit card

Credit cards can be convenient for making purchases, and some of the best credit cards include extra perks, such as rewards or travel benefits. A credit card may offer a higher or lower credit limit than a personal line of credit. 

There can be a big difference in the rates you pay. Credit card APRs can easily land in the double-digit range unless you’re specifically applying for a card with a low introductory rate. For example, you might get a 0% APR credit card if you want to transfer a balance from a card with a higher rate. 

A personal line of credit can allow you to withdraw cash. While you could do the same with a credit card, you’ll typically pay more in interest and cash advance fees. When weighing the two, it’s helpful to consider how you’d use a line of credit vs. a credit card and what it might cost you.

How we selected the best personal lines of credit

Since 2017, LendEDU has evaluated personal loan companies to help readers find the best personal loans. Our latest analysis reviewed 1,029 data points from 49 lenders and financial institutions, with 21 data points collected from each. This information is gathered from company websites, online applications, public disclosures, customer reviews, and direct communication with company representatives.

These data points are organized into broader categories, which our editorial team weights and scores based on their relative importance to readers. These star ratings help us determine which companies are best for different situations. We don’t believe two companies can be the best for the same purpose, so we only show each best-for designation once.

Higher star ratings are ultimately awarded to companies that create an excellent borrower experience with affordable financing solutions. This includes offering online eligibility checks, cost transparency, little to no fees, and other unique benefits to support borrowers in repayment.

Recap of the best personal lines of credit

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best for credit card consolidation
4.6
Best for no annual fees
4.4
Best for a large line of credit
4.0
Best for added benefits
3.9