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Personal Loans

Personal Loans in Wisconsin

A personal loan is money you might borrow from a bank, credit union, or online lender. With a personal loan, you make fixed monthly payments over a set period. These loans are usually unsecured, meaning you don’t provide collateral.

The appeal of personal loans is how easy it is to get one and the flexibility to use them for almost any purpose. In addition, they can have lower interest rates than other sources of credit like payday loans or credit cards.

If you live in Wisconsin, you might take out a personal loan to keep up with the state’s slightly higher-than-average cost of living. Wisconsin residents have many options when considering personal loans, including local, regional lenders, national, and online lenders. Here is how to find the best personal loans in Wisconsin.

How to find the best personal loans in Wisconsin

Regulations around personal loans generally don’t differ substantially in Wisconsin compared to other states. The factors influencing personal loan terms in the state are universal for the most part—your credit score is one of the most significant factors in determining your interest rate and loan terms.

As in most states, getting a personal loan in Wisconsin may be more difficult if you have bad credit. In such cases, you may have higher interest rates and getting approved may be more complicated than it is for borrowers with good or excellent credit.

To learn more about personal loans in Wisconsin, check information on the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website. This organization provides information on consumer rights, financial literacy, and resources for borrowers.

This article will list some of the best personal loan companies. This includes local and regional lenders as well as national lenders that lend to Wisconsin residents. The top choices include:

LenderRates (APR)
LightStream7.49% – 25.49%
SoFi8.99% – 29.99%
Upgrade8.49% – 35.99%
Happy Money11.72%17.99%
Mariner FinanceNot disclosed
WESTconsin Credit Union11.75% – 13.25%
Heights FinanceNot disclosed

Online personal loans in Wisconsin

With its diverse economic sectors, from manufacturing to agriculture, Wisconsin presents unique financial challenges and opportunities for its residents. In navigating such a landscape, personal loans can be a flexible solution to various needs, from debt consolidation to home improvement projects. 

Recognizing the varied requirements and financial backgrounds of Wisconsinites, we’ve hand-picked a selection of top online personal loan providers, each excelling in a specific domain. Whether your credit is impeccable or you’re working to improve it, a lender is tailored to your situation.

Credible – Best marketplace

LendEDU rating: 5.0 out of 5

  • Convenient platform for comparing loan offers from multiple lenders
  • Allows prequalification with multiple lenders without affecting your credit score
  • Offers personal loan assistance in various forms 

Credible stands out in the crowded marketplace of online loans by streamlining the comparison process, allowing Wisconsin residents to explore multiple loan options without a hard credit check—meaning rate shopping won’t hurt your credit score. 

This approach is valuable in a state with a wide economic spectrum, enabling borrowers to find loans that best match their financial status and goals. Beyond comparing rates, Credible’s platform educates borrowers on the nuances of personal loans, empowering them to confidently make decisions.

LightStream – Best for excellent credit

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Low fixed-interest-rate loans for qualified borrowers
  • Fast loan approval and disbursement with its Loan Experience Guarantee
  • No fees 

In Wisconsin, where outdoor activities such as boating and biking are popular, LightStream is an attractive option for financially established individuals looking to fund their hobbies or other significant expenditures without the burden of high interest or fees.

Its quick loan approval and disbursement process is terrific for borrowers with excellent credit, offering a smooth path to securing funds for timely projects or opportunities.

SoFi – Best for good credit

LendEDU rating: 5.0 out of 5

  • Competitive interest rates for good-credit borrowers
  • Added benefits include career coaching and unemployment protection
  • Allows co-borrowers on loans

SoFi’s holistic approach to lending makes it more than just a personal loan provider for Wisconsinites. It’s a financial wellness partner. The added benefits of career coaching and unemployment protection are appealing in Wisconsin’s dynamic job market, offering a safety net that extends well beyond financial assistance. 

For borrowers with good credit, SoFi’s co-borrower option offers a pathway to better rates and larger loan amounts, making ambitious projects or debt consolidation plans more attainable.

Upgrade – Best for fair credit

LendEDU rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Accepts borrowers with fair credit scores
  • Credit health tools for borrower education
  • Allows flexible loan terms

Upgrade‘s mission aligns well with the needs of Wisconsin’s middle-income earners who may be working toward improving their financial health. Its emphasis on education through credit health tools offers a valuable resource for borrowers aiming to enhance their creditworthiness. 

Upgrade’s flexibility in loan terms provides a customizable loan experience, making it easier for Wisconsinites to align their loan payments with their budget and financial goals.

Happy Money – Best for credit card debt

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Specializes in credit card debt consolidation
  • Provides financial guidance and support beyond the loan
  • Offers a complimentary science-backed app, Joy, for financial health

Happy Money addresses a common financial hurdle: credit card debt. Its focus on consolidation loans coupled with supportive financial guidance is a lifeline for those struggling with high-interest debt in Wisconsin. 

The Joy app, a complimentary tool, helps users track their spending and saving habits, fostering a healthier financial lifestyle. For Wisconsinites bogged down by credit card debt, Happy Money offers a way out and a route to lasting financial wellness.

Local personal loans in Wisconsin

This section will take a look at some of the best personal loans available in Wisconsin. Some of these lenders may only be available in Wisconsin. However, local lenders can have some distinct advantages.

For instance, local lenders may better understand the local market. This includes important factors like the local housing market, job market, and overall cost of living. Their greater understanding of residents’ issues can lead to loan offers that better match the local market’s needs.

These lenders are worth considering if you prefer a local lender with a personalized touch. They have some of the best personal loans available for Wisconsin residents.

Mariner Finance

  • Offers secured and unsecured loans
  • Loans ranging from $1,000 to $25,000
  • 11 branches in Wisconsin

While Mariner Finance is not exclusive to Wisconsin, it currently has 11 branches located in the state.

The company has a lot of flexibility with its loans, offering secured and unsecured personal loans. In addition, you can add a co-signer to the loan if you need one. You can visit a branch or apply for a personal loan online. However, loan amounts are limited to $1,500 to $15,000 for online applications.

The company doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, letting you pay off your loan early if you prefer. Not sure if you will qualify for a personal loan with Mariner Finance? No problem, as the lender has a pre-qualification tool on its website.

WESTconsin Credit Union

  • Loan terms of 48 and 60 months
  • Discounts available
  • Also offers secured loans and revolving lines of credit

With 17 locations in Wisconsin and 11 in Minnesota, WESTconsin Credit Union feels more local. Its name is a nod to its concentration in western Wisconsin, as you won’t find locations in Milwaukee, Madison, or Green Bay. As a credit union, WESTconsin aims to serve members of its community rather than the entire country.

The fixed APRs for unsecured personal loans start at 11.75% for loans up to 48 months and 13.25% for loans up to 60 months. In addition, it offers 0.25% or 0.50% discounts through its Membership Value Pricing (MVP) program. Additional loans are available for vehicles, home improvement, and vacations.

WESTconsin offers standard personal loans and express loans with expedited approval. You can apply for either loan online or in person at an office. Terms for express loans range from 24 to 84 months, with APRs from 1.99% to 14.99%. Approval decisions for these loans can be as soon as the same day.

Heights Finance

  • Loan amounts ranging from $500 – $10,000
  • Loans available for a wide variety of purposes
  • Good credit not required

Height Finance offers personal loans ranging from $500 to $10,000 but may be more depending on your circumstances. This is because the lender carefully evaluates each application before making a decision.

All loans have fixed rates with equal monthly payments. The lender also gives you the option of using collateral if necessary. You can use many items as collateral, including household items, or a car, boat, or motorcycle.

Online loans aren’t available, as Heights Finance makes all approval decisions at your local branch. Fortunately, there are over 400 locations nationwide with branches throughout Wisconsin.

Ask the expert

Kyle Ryan


In my experience, national lenders typically have better offers from a financial perspective. Service and a good user experience is where comparing national and local lenders comes into play. Local lenders typically have much more personalized service, and one can feel more ‘at home’ and speak with a real person, rather than call a 1-800 number. In the end, it all comes down to what is important to you.

How to choose the best Wisconsin personal loan

If you want a personal loan in Wisconsin, follow the proper steps to get the best offer. Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Determine your needs. You should know why you need the loan and at least know how much you want to borrow. This may take 10-30 minutes.
  1. Research lenders. As highlighted in this article, you may want to research local, regional as well as national, and online banks. It may require a few hours of research to identify the best options.
  1. Compare offers. Once you identify a few lenders that could be the right fit, pre-qualify to check your approval odds, if available. This allows you to avoid a hard credit check. Pit the offers you receive against one another, comparing rates, fees, and repayment terms. This may take 10 to 30 minutes per lender.
  1. Apply. Once you have identified the lender with the best offer, complete a formal application. This can take 30 minutes or less for an online application but might take more time for in-person applications.
  1. Review and sign the offer. If your application is approved, you’ll receive an offer. Before signing, check the rates, fees, and repayment terms. If the offer looks good, go ahead and sign it. This may take up to 30 minutes.

Most steps in the process shouldn’t take more than a few hours. Generally, the biggest delays come from the underwriting process (which could take a few days to a few weeks).

In addition, after signing the offer, you might have to wait a few days to receive your money. However, same-day funding might sometimes be available, especially with unsecured personal loans.