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.
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.
- 8.99% to 25.81% (with all discounts)APR Range
- 680Minimum Credit Score
- $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
- 12 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
- 2 DaysTime to Receive Funds
- 7.49% to 25.49%APR Range
- UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
- $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
- 24 to 144 monthsRepayment Terms
- Same day funding possibleTime to Receive Funds
- 8.49% to 35.99%APR Range
- UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
- $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
- 24 to 84 monthsRepayment Terms
- Within a dayTime to Receive Funds
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs
- 6.99% to 19.99%APR Range
- 660Minimum Credit Score
- $3,500 to $40,000Loan Amount Range
- 36 to 84 monthsRepayment Terms
- Same DayTime to Receive Funds
- Lending Club
- 5.99% to 35.89%APR Range
- 600Minimum Credit Score
- $1,000 to $40,000Loan Amount Range
- 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
- Next DayTime to Receive Funds
Best Overall: SoFi
Best for Debt Consolidation: LightStream
Best for Bad Credit: Upgrade
Best for Low Rates: Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Best Low Income Loan: LendingClub
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.
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.
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:
Experts' Insights on Personal Loans
- What key features should individuals consider when selecting a personal loan provider?
- Considering bad credit, how can a consumer increase their chances of loan approval?
- In the unfortunate case of loan denial, what strategy would you recommend to improve one's creditworthiness?
Founder and CEO of Happy Mango Credit
About Christopher Boston
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.
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