Find a great rate on your personal loan\r\nA 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:Personal Loan Comparison TableBest Personal Loans (Based on Editorial Ratings)How to Apply for a Personal LoanHow to Get the Best Personal Loan RatesCompare Personal Loan CompaniesSimplify your personal loan search by comparing personal loan companies by rates, terms, minimum credit scores, and more. Click on the \u201cLender Details\u201d option below each button to find additional lender information.CREDIT SCOREANNUAL INCOMELOAN AMOUNT\r\n5.34%-16.99%Estimated APR2 to 7 Years*Loan Terms660Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\n\r\n\r\nLender Details\r\n6.79%-20.39%2Estimated APR3 to 7 YearsLoan Terms680Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n5.99%-29.99%Estimated APR3 to 5 YearsLoan Terms640Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n5.74%-16.49%1Estimated APR2 to 7 YearsLoan Terms660Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n6.95%-35.99%4Estimated APR3 or 5 Years4Loan Terms640Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n7.99%-35.89%Estimated APR3 or 5 Years5Loan Terms620Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n4.99%-29.99%Estimated APR2 to 5 YearsLoan Terms640Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n6.95%-35.89%Estimated APR3 to 5 YearsLoan Terms600Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n9.95%-35.99%Estimated APR2 to 5 YearsLoan Terms580Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\n8.69%-29.99%Estimated APR3 or 5 YearsLoan Terms620Min. Credit ScoreCheck Rate\r\nLender Details\r\nBest Personal Loans for 2019Below are reviews of LendEDU\u2019s 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 (690 \u2013 850): LightStream, SoFi, and Citizens BankBest Personal Loans for Average Credit (630 \u2013 689): Marcus, FreedomPlus, PayoffBest Personal Loans for Bad Credit (550 \u2013 629): OneMain Financial, AvantBest Personal Loans for Excellent CreditCredit range: 690 to 850The 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.LightStreamWhat we like: Beat any qualifying rate\r\nEditorial Rating (4.62 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nMinimum annual income of $45,000$100 satisfaction guarantee on your experienceRate Beat Program (0.10% below competitor rates if terms are met)AutoPay discount of 0.50%Check Rate\r\nEstimated APR5.34% \u2013 16.99%Loan Terms2 to 12 years*Loan Amounts$5,000 \u2013 $100,000Origination FeeNoneTime to FundAs soon as the same day\r\n\r\n\r\nShow DisclaimerMore About LightStreamLightStream targets highly qualified borrowers which means it routinely offers some of the lowest personal loan rates available \u2013 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\u2019s website. Loan terms for all purposes outside of home improvement have a maximum loan term of 7 years.If you don\u2019t 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\u2019s published rate by 0.10% if certain conditions are met (see site for details).Since the loan application process is entirely online, borrowers don\u2019t have to travel to a physical branch of LightStream\u2019s parent company, SunTrust Bank, to fill out an application.SoFiWhat we like: Career coaching\r\nEditorial Rating (4.45 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nMinimum Annual Income of $50,000Unemployment protection programPre-qualify for rates with no commitmentAutoPay discount of 0.25%Check Rate\r\nEstimated APR5.74% \u2013 16.49%1Loan Terms2 to 7 yearsLoan Amounts$5,000 \u2013 $100,000Origination FeeNoneTime to Fund7 days on average\r\n \r\n\r\nShow DisclaimerMore About SoFiSince 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 BankWhat we like: Great customer service\r\nEditorial Rating (4.43 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nMinimum annual income of $24,000Loyalty discount reduction of 0.25%No collateral requiredAutoPay discount of 0.25%Check Rate\r\nEstimated APR6.79% \u2013 20.39%2Loan Terms3 to 7 yearsLoan Amounts$5,000 \u2013 $50,000Origination FeeNoneTime to Fund3+ days on average\r\nShow DisclaimerMore About Citizens BankUnlike many other lenders, Citizens Bank has physical branch locations throughout the country, but consumers can also complete applications completely online if they\u2019d 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 CreditCredit range: 630 to 689The 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\u2019t receive rates similar to the excellent and good credit range, but you can still receive competitive rates and repayment terms.Marcus by Goldman Sachs\u00aeWhat we like: No fees\r\nEditorial Rating (4.32 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nMinimum annual income of $25,000No late payment feesPersonal loan calculator to see your savingsOn-time payment rewardCheck Rate\r\nEstimated APR6.99% \u2013 24.99%Loan Terms3 to 6 yearsLoan Amounts$3,500 \u2013 $40,000Origination FeeNoneTime to Fund1 to 4 days\r\nShow DisclaimerMore About MarcusMarcus 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\u2019s 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.FreedomPlusWhat we like: Human engagement during application\r\nEditorial Rating (4.24 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nMax loan amount equal to 35% of gross income in a given yearSpeak to a loan consultant for help with your applicationLoans can be used for a wide range of needsCheck Rate\r\nEstimated APR4.99% \u2013 29.99%Loan Terms2 to 5 yearsLoan Amounts$7,500 \u2013 $35,000Origination Fee0% \u2013 5% of loan amountTime to Fund3 \u2013 5 days after approval\r\n \r\nShow DisclaimerMore About FreedomPlusFreedomPlus 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 \u201cthe smart way to meet your financial needs.\u201dThe 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.PayoffWhat we like: Job loss support\r\nEditorial Rating (4.08 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nMust have a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or lessMust have 3 years of a good credit historyDesigned to help boost your FICO scoreLoans are designed to help eliminate high-interest credit card debtCheck Rate\r\nEstimated APR5.99% \u2013 24.99%Loan Terms2 to 5 yearsLoan Amounts$5,000 \u2013 $35,000Origination Fee0% \u2013 5% of loan amountTime to Fund2 to 7 days\r\nShow DisclaimerMore About PayoffPayoff 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 CreditCredit range: 550 to 629The 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\u2019t 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 FinancialWhat we like: Same day funding\r\nEditorial Rating (4.33 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nNo minimum annual incomeHave local branches to allow for in-person discussionsOffer both secured or unsecured personal loansGet an idea of your estimated monthly payment with their calculatorCheck Rate\r\nEstimated APR16.05% \u2013 24.99%Loan Terms2 to 5 yearsLoan Amounts$1,500 \u2013 $30,000Origination FeeNoneTime to FundSame day\r\nShow DisclaimerMore About OneMain FinancialOneMain 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.AvantWhat we like: No minimum credit score\r\nEditorial Rating (3.93 \/ 5.0)(Details)\r\nNo minimum income requirementCheck loan options with a soft credit pullMobile app to keep up with your loanFinancial tools to stay up to date on your loanCheck Rate\r\nEstimated APR9.95%-35.99%*Loan Terms2 to 5 yearsLoan Amounts$2,000 \u2013 $35,000Origination FeeUp to 4.75% of loan amountTime to Fund2 days on average\r\nShow DisclaimerMore About AvantFounded 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\u2019s 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 to Apply for Personal LoansApplying for personal loans online has become much easier these days. With an emphasis on consumer convenience, many of the best personal loan companies have focused on cutting the time and difficulty of their applications.Approval CriteriaEach lender has slightly different approval criteria, but most personal loan lenders will look at your credit report and income. The higher your credit score and income, the more likely you are to get approved for a loan.Online personal loan companies tend to approve borrowers who don\u2019t have ideal credit scores more often than large banks will. Part of this has to do with a trend towards using additional criteria outside of just using credit profiles. Additional criteria may include your education, area of study, and job history, among other considerations. Online personal loan companies like SoFi and Earnest use cash flow, savings, income potential, and employment history on top of a FICO credit score to determine their lending decisions.If you are a U.S. citizen you likely won\u2019t have an issue applying with any of these lenders, but for non-U.S. citizens there may be certain visa or green card requirements to be eligible for a loan.Information You\u2019ll Need When ApplyingWhen applying for the best online loans, you will need to provide the lender with certain information.For lenders with alternative credit models, that might include additional information like your education or your employment history. In general, though, you will likely need the following information:Identification \u2013 A driver\u2019s license, Social Security card, or passport.Proof of Income \u2013 If you have an employer, you will need your W-2 forms and pay stubs. If you\u2019re self-employed, you will need your tax returns or bank statements.Verification of Address \u2013 You need an official piece of mail like a utility bill with your address on it or a copy of your lease or deed.Social Security NumberMonthly Expenses and Current DebtGross IncomePrevious AddressesWhat Can a Personal Loan Be Used For?A personal loan can be a great financial tool for those in need of quick funding for any kind of purchase, of most amounts. Before taking out your loan, it is important to understand what your monthly payments will be and to have a plan for repayment.Here are some common uses of a personal loan:Debt ConsolidationMedical BillsHome ImprovementsBuying or repairing a vehicleMoving ExpensesWedding ExpensesVacationAnd moreThe most common personal loans taken out are debt consolidation loans, which are used to consolidate certain kinds of debt like credit card debt, for example. Debt consolidation loans are the most common loan because repaying multiple forms of debt can be difficult and lead to missed payments. Consolidating your debt into one loan allows you to focus on one monthly payment.How to Get the Best Personal Loan RatesWhen it comes to borrowing, one of the most important things to be aware of is the interest rate that you\u2019ll be charged. Your interest rate is the percentage that you will be required to pay on the principle of your loan. Lenders determine the interest rate by calculating how big of a risk they believe you will be. If you\u2019re seen as being highly likely to repay your loan, you will receive a lower interest rate, whereas if you\u2019re seen as being less likely to repay your loan, you will have a higher interest rate.The lower the interest rate you\u2019re charged, the less you\u2019re likely to pay over the life of your loan. A lower rate will make it easier for you to meet your repayment requirements. The best personal loans you can get have the lowest interest rates.It is important to note that while interest rates are calculated on an annual basis, they are annualized over the year and charged on a monthly basis.How to Get the Lowest Rate on Your Personal LoanHere are a few things that will help you get the lowest personal loan rates:A High Credit ScoreOne 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\u2019t have a great credit score, you may want to work on improving it before applying for a loan.Having a CosignerIf you don\u2019t have great credit, you can potentially get a lower interest rate if you have a friend or family member with good credit that will cosign your loan.A cosigner offers a fallback option for a lender if you, the primary borrower, fails to make on-time payments.A Stable IncomeEven if you have good credit, you will likely find it difficult to get a low interest rate if you don\u2019t have a steady job or source of income. Having a steady job and source of income allows you to show the lender that you will be able to afford future payments.A Short Term LengthWhen you take out a loan, you often have a choice about how quickly you repay it \u2013 this is called the term length. Lower term lengths usually allow for lower interest rates since it will be easier for the lender to review your immediate financial future with the information on your application rather than trying to foresee multiple years from now.Risks of Personal LoansWhile personal loans can be helpful in the situations discussed above, there are certain risks to consider.You\u2019ll Have to Meet Your Monthly PaymentsLike most loans, you\u2019ll have to repay the money you borrow with interest. This means that you\u2019ll end up paying more than you originally took out, typically in monthly, required installments.If you miss your payments, you may be charged late fees or your loan could go into default which could wreak havoc on your credit score and cause the debt collectors to start calling. Eventually, your wages could be garnished or a lien could be placed against your home.How to Minimize the Risk of a Missed PaymentBefore you take out a personal loan, be sure to know what your monthly payment will be and have a plan for how that payment will fit into your budget. If you\u2019re not sure if you can afford repayment, it\u2019s probably in your best interest to not take out the loan.Hard Credit CheckBefore you are fully approved for a personal loan, most lenders will perform what is called a hard credit check to ensure that you are eligible. This is also used to determine your repayment terms. Unlike soft credit pulls \u2013 which lenders will often do to prequalify you for their loans \u2013 hard pulls will ding your credit score.While this isn\u2019t too substantial, it could affect your eligibility or interest rates on financial products that you\u2019re planning to apply for in the near future.\r\nRegardless of whether you need to merge your Mastercard obligations, pay off a major cost after some time, or basically need to get cash rapidly, it can bode well to take out an individual credit \u2013 and it\u2019s generally simple to do.\r\nFirst of all, most close to home credits are unbound, which means you don\u2019t need to put down guarantee to qualify. On the off chance that you have a decent FICO rating, you could get your cash in when daily or two. Furthermore, the best close to home credits as a rule accompany settled loan costs and settled regularly scheduled installments that make it easy to spending plan for your month to month costs.\r\nContingent upon your FICO assessment, you may fit the bill for focused financing costs on your own advance that are lower than what you\u2019d get with a charge card. Indeed, it may bode well (and spare you a considerable measure of cash in enthusiasm) to utilize an individual advance to combine your high-premium charge card obligation. Numerous individual advance organizations let you get up to $35,000 on the off chance that you qualify.You needn\u2019t bother with ideal credit to get a fair close to home advance. Indeed, even those with normal to awful credit have alternatives, and we\u2019ll investigate everything from individual advances for individuals with great credit to the best awful credit advances. This rundown of the best close to home advances analyzes twelve of the main loan specialists to perceive how they pile up.Look at Loan Companies and Apply OnlineSee More OffersIf your credit is great and you\u2019re able to pay off a loan quickly, you might want to consider treating a credit card with a 0% introductory APR as a personal loan of sorts. Of course, you\u2019ll need to make sure the credit limit is high enough for your needs.\r\nYou\u2019ll also need to have the discipline not to add to your balance, and to pay it off before your low interest rate expires, typically in 12 to 18 months. If you think you can swing this, be sure to check out our post on the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards for some great 0% introductory APR credit cards.\r\n#2: Watch Out for Fees\r\nMake sure you know whether there are fees other than the interest you\u2019ll pay associated with your personal loan. One of the most common charges is an origination fee: typically a percentage of the amount you\u2019re borrowing, which can vary from under 1% to as much as 6%. Also note whether there are fees for late payments ($15 or 5% of your outstanding balance is typical). Other fees may include charges for unsuccessful payments or payments made by check.\r\nAlso be on the lookout for prepayment fees. These are fees lenders charge if you pay off your entire loan early (which means the lender won\u2019t be getting the full amount of interest it would have if you\u2019d made payments as scheduled for the full loan term). Most lenders we researched won\u2019t hit you with a prepayment penalty for unsecured personal loans, but it\u2019s definitely worth double-checking.\r\n#3: Choose the Right Term\r\nYou\u2019ll want to see how flexible your lender is on loan terms. Some online lenders may only let you choose between three- and five-year terms, for instance. Term is important because it affects how much you ultimately pay over the life of the loan. A longer term can help keep your monthly payments manageable, but it means you\u2019ll be paying more in the end. On the flip side, a shorter term will mean higher payments, but you\u2019ll shell out less in interest overall.\r\nFor a more concrete example, let\u2019s say I take out a $10,000 unsecured personal loan at 12% interest. According to this Bankrate calculator, I would pay $11,957 over a three-year term, but $13,347 over a five-year term. If I can afford the higher monthly payment ($332 a month for three years instead of $222 a month for five years), the shorter term means significant savings.\r\n#4: Watch Out for Scams\r\nThere\u2019s no shortage of unscrupulous lenders looking to scam potential borrowers. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid scams and make sure you\u2019re dealing with a legitimate company:\r\nDon\u2019t pay upfront fees. Remember that you should never pay anything simply to apply for a loan. If a potential lender demands payment to evaluate your credit and other financial information, run the other way.\r\nYou should contact them \u2014 not the other way around. If a lender is badgering you, whether through phone calls, mailings, or online, consider that a big red flag. Legitimate lenders simply don\u2019t need to be this aggressive to attract borrowers.\r\nGuarantees are bogus. No legitimate lender can promise that they\u2019ll approve your loan application before evaluating your finances. Even payday lenders need proof of income before they\u2019ll make a loan.\r\nVerify, verify, verify. Make sure you double-check the lender\u2019s physical address, which should be readily available. Also consider looking them up with the Better Business Bureau or your state banking regulators.\r\nYou should feel in control. Take your business elsewhere if a lender threatens you in any way, tries to dissuade you from considering competitors\u2019 offers, or tries to get you to borrow more than you owe.\r\nFind the Best Personal Loan and Build a Better Future\r\nCompare Loan Companies and Apply Online\r\nUse the loan comparison tool below to view multiple loan options with no obligation.