5 Best Personal Loans in March 2024

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ByChristopher Boston
Edited byAmy Wilder
Contributions by6+ experts

Updated: March 14, 2024

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Personal loans offer a flexible financial avenue for a variety of needs such as consolidating debt, funding home improvements, or covering unexpected costs. They are particularly favorable for those with strong credit scores, providing lower interest rates than many credit cards, but there are also options available for those with less-than-perfect credit.

MoneyGeek's extensive analysis highlights SoFi as the top personal loan provider, distinguished by competitive rates, diverse repayment options to suit different financial situations, and excellent customer service, establishing it as a benchmark in financial management and support.

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MoneyGeek's Top Picks For Best Personal Loans

Our rigorous analysis of over 30 personal loan lenders encompassed key factors such as rates, loan terms, credit and income requirements, fees, and speed of funding, along with customer service excellence and user-friendly features. We aimed to simplify your decision-making with actionable advice and recommendations. Continue reading to discover the best lenders for your financial needs.

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How to Get the Best Personal Loan

  • Identify your purpose. What do you need the loan for? Once you know your purpose, you can start to narrow down your choices of lenders.
  • Check your credit score. A higher credit score will typically qualify you for a lower interest rate.
  • Consider the loan amount. Borrow only what you need. The more you borrow, the higher your monthly payments will be.
  • Compare interest rates. Personal loan interest rates can vary widely, so it's important to compare offers from multiple lenders.
  • Beware of fees. Some lenders charge origination fees, late payment fees, and early payment penalties. Be sure to read the fine print before signing a loan agreement.
  • Choose a loan duration. Personal loan durations can range from a few months to several years. Choose a loan duration that fits your budget and financial goals.
  • Research the lender. Make sure the lender you choose is reputable and has a good track record.
  • Check for flexibility. Some lenders offer flexible repayment options, such as the ability to skip a payment or change your due date. This can be helpful if you experience financial difficulties down the road.
  • Review the loan terms carefully. Before you sign a loan agreement, read the terms carefully and make sure you understand all of the details.
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CASE STUDY: HOW ONE BORROWER SAVED MONEY WITH A PERSONAL LOAN

Sarah had $10,000 in credit card debt with an average interest rate of 20%. She was struggling to make her monthly payments and was worried about her credit score. Sarah decided to look into personal loans to consolidate her debt. She was able to find a personal loan with a 5% interest rate, which saved her over $1,000 per year in interest payments. Sarah was able to pay off her personal loan in two years and is now debt-free.

Types of Personal Loans

Personal loans can be a great way to get the money you need for a variety of purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvement projects, medical expenses, and major purchases. There are many different types of personal loans available, including loans for borrowers with bad credit.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most common types of personal loans:

  • Debt consolidation loans: Debt consolidation loans can be used to combine multiple debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate and monthly payment. This can make it easier to manage your debt and pay it off faster.
  • Home improvement loans: Home improvement loans can be used to finance a variety of home improvement projects, such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, adding a new deck or patio, or replacing windows and doors.
  • Medical loans: Medical loans can be used to cover the cost of unexpected medical expenses, such as a hospital stay or surgery.
  • Major purchase loans: Major purchase loans can be used to finance the purchase of a new car, boat, or other expensive item.
  • Bad credit loans: Bad credit loans are personal loans designed for borrowers with bad credit. These loans typically have higher interest rates than personal loans for borrowers with good credit, but they can be a good option for borrowers who need money and are unable to qualify for a traditional personal loan.

In addition to these general types of personal loans, there are also a number of specialized personal loans available, such as student loans, wedding loans, vacation loans, and business loans.

When choosing a personal loan, it is important to consider your individual needs and financial situation. You should also compare offers from multiple lenders to get the best possible interest rate and terms.

Comparing Personal Loans

Once you have identified the type of personal loan you need, it is important to compare offers from multiple lenders to get the best possible interest rate and terms. You can compare personal loans online or by contacting lenders directly.

Here are some factors to consider when comparing personal loans:

  • Interest rate: The interest rate is the amount of interest you will pay on your loan. A lower interest rate will save you money over the life of the loan.
  • Loan term: The loan term is the length of time you have to repay your loan. A shorter loan term will result in higher monthly payments, but you will pay less interest overall. A longer loan term will result in lower monthly payments, but you will pay more interest overall.
  • Fees: Some lenders charge origination fees, late payment fees, and early payment penalties. Be sure to compare the fees charged by different lenders before you choose a loan.
  • Repayment options: Some lenders offer flexible repayment options, such as the ability to skip a payment or change your due date. This can be helpful if you experience financial difficulties down the road.
  • Customer service: It is important to choose a lender with good customer service. This will ensure that you can get help if you need it during the loan process or if you have problems with your loan in the future.

To compare personal loans by contacting lenders directly, you can visit their websites or call their customer service departments. Be sure to get all of the information you need about the loan, such as the interest rate, loan term, fees, and repayment options, before you make a decision.

Once you have compared offers from multiple lenders, you can choose the loan that is the best fit for your needs and budget.

Here are some additional tips for comparing personal loans:

  • Get pre-approved from multiple lenders. This will give you an idea of the interest rate and terms you qualify for, and it will also give you a negotiating chip when you are talking to lenders.
  • Be wary of lenders who offer very low interest rates. These lenders may have hidden fees or other unfavorable terms.
  • Read the fine print carefully before you sign a loan agreement. Make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions of the loan before you sign.

By following these tips, you can compare personal loans effectively and choose the loan that is best for you.

Pros & Cons of Personal Loans

Personal loans can offer a number of benefits, such as:

  • Flexibility: Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes.
  • Competitive interest rates: Borrowers with good credit can qualify for competitive interest rates on personal loans.
  • Quick funding: Personal loans are typically funded quickly, so you can get the money you need quickly.

Personal loans can also have some drawbacks, such as:

  • High interest rates: Borrowers with bad credit may qualify for personal loans with high interest rates.
  • Fees: Some lenders charge fees associated with personal loans.
  • Debt: Personal loans can create debt, so it is important to borrow only what you need and to make your payments on time.

Personal Loan Calculator

Use our personal loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments and total interest costs for a personal loan. Simply enter the following information:

  • Loan amount: The amount of money you want to borrow.
  • Interest rate: The interest rate you will pay on the loan.
  • Loan term: The length of time you have to repay the loan.

Once you have entered this information, click the "Calculate" button to see your estimated monthly payments and total interest costs.

Here are some tips for using the personal loan calculator:

  • Use the calculator to compare different loan amounts, interest rates, and loan terms.
  • Use the calculator to see how your monthly payments and total interest costs would change if you made a larger down payment.
  • Use the calculator to see how your monthly payments and total interest costs would change if you chose a shorter or longer loan term.

Please note: The personal loan calculator is for illustrative purposes only. Your actual monthly payments and total interest costs may vary depending on the lender you choose and your creditworthiness.

Here is an example of how to use the personal loan calculator:

Let's say you want to borrow $10,000 to consolidate your debt. You find a lender that offers personal loans with an interest rate of 7% and a loan term of 3 years.

To use the personal loan calculator, simply enter the following information:

Loan amount: $10,000 Interest rate: 7% Loan term: 3 years

The calculator will show you that your estimated monthly payments would be $337.01 and your total interest costs would be $1,111.36.

You can use the calculator to compare different loan amounts, interest rates, and loan terms to see how they would affect your monthly payments and total interest costs. You can also use the calculator to see how your monthly payments and total interest costs would change if you made a larger down payment or chose a shorter or longer loan term.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans

Personal loans can be a great way to get the money you need for a variety of purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvement projects, medical expenses, and major purchases. However, it's important to understand how personal loans work and what your options are before you apply.

This FAQ section will answer some of the most common questions about personal loans, including:

A personal loan is a type of unsecured loan that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvement projects, medical expenses, and major purchases. Personal loans are typically repaid in monthly installments over a period of 1 to 7 years.

The qualifications for a personal loan vary from lender to lender, but most lenders will consider your credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio when making a decision. You may also need to provide collateral, such as a car or savings account, to qualify for a personal loan.

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a personal loan:

  • Improve your credit score. A good credit score will qualify you for a lower interest rate and longer loan term.
  • Reduce your debt-to-income ratio. A lower debt-to-income ratio shows lenders that you can afford to make your monthly payments.
  • Get pre-approved from multiple lenders. Getting pre-approved from multiple lenders will give you an idea of the interest rate and terms you qualify for, and it will also give you a negotiating chip when you are talking to lenders.

Interest rates and loan terms for personal loans vary depending on the lender and your creditworthiness. Generally speaking, borrowers with good credit will qualify for lower interest rates and longer loan terms.

Some lenders charge origination fees, late payment fees, and early payment penalties. Be sure to ask about all of the fees associated with a personal loan before you apply.

To compare personal loans from different lenders, you can use a personal loan comparison website or contact lenders directly. Be sure to compare the interest rate, loan term, fees, and repayment options offered by different lenders.

Yes, you may be eligible for a personal loan even if you have bad credit. However, you may qualify for a higher interest rate and shorter loan term than borrowers with good credit.

If you are having trouble making your personal loan payments, you should contact your lender as soon as possible. They may be able to work with you to create a modified payment plan or to defer your payments temporarily.

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About Christopher Boston


Christopher Boston headshot

Christopher (Croix) Boston was the Head of Loans content at MoneyGeek, with over five years of experience researching higher education, mortgage and personal loans.

Boston has a bachelor's degree from the Seattle Pacific University. They pride themselves in using their skills and experience to create quality content that helps people save and spend efficiently.


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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.