Top Lenders & Best Picks for You

Best Personal Loans in Bakersfield, CA

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Updated: December 28, 2023

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MoneyGeek’s Pick for Best Lender in Bakersfield, CA: LightStream

MoneyGeek researched various personal loan lenders in Bakersfield using over 30 data points to choose the top companies in the city for popular reasons to obtain a personal loan. You can use our findings to help you find the best lender for your needs.

We studied a lender’s offerings, breaking down loan terms, interest rates and fees. Our team evaluated their application process, noting which companies have relaxed credit score and income requirements. We also considered a company’s customer service reputation to ensure you get the best experience when securing a personal loan.

Best Overall Personal Loan Lender in Bakersfield: LightStream


Best Personal Loan Lender for Bad Credit in Bakersfield: Upstart


Best Personal Loan Lender for Good Credit in Bakersfield: SoFi


Best Lender for Debt Consolidation in Bakersfield: Upgrade


Best Lender for Home Improvement in Bakersfield: Best Egg


How to Choose the Best Personal Loan Lender in Bakersfield For You

The average personal loan debt in California is $16,790. Many people find personal loans handy when they have planned or unplanned expenses, home renovation projects, and for many other reasons. A personal loan for debt consolidation, such as to pay off high interest credit cards, is also popular. The average personal loan interest rate in California is 10.21%, far lower than many credit card APRs.

Most loan providers have an online application process that makes it easier for borrowers to get a loan. However, it’s a good idea to consider a number of variables before completing your application. MoneyGeek broke down five important steps you should take before getting a personal loan in Bakersfield.


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

To ensure getting a personal loan is the best choice, ask yourself some important questions.

  • How much money do you need? You pay interest on a personal loan, so it makes sense to carefully assess how much money you need for your specific purpose. It’s also a good idea to think if saving is a better option, especially if you want to use your personal loan for a vacation or to buy, for example, new furniture.
  • What’s your credit score? People with poor credit scores have a more difficult time getting a lender’s approval. And if you do, you could pay a high interest rate. Study a company’s credit score requirement before applying for a loan or consider whether improving your credit score to get a better rate later on is a smarter decision.
  • Can you afford the monthly payment? Determine if you can pay your loan monthly, given your current budget. It is important to avoid late payments, which can affect your credit score.
  • Do you have existing debts? To assess your creditworthiness, lenders take a look at your existing debt. A high debt-to-income ratio may make it difficult to get loan approval.

Do Your Research

Always do some research before applying for a personal loan in Bakersfield. Read the loan details of the lenders you’re considering and study their interest rates, payment terms, credit requirements, and more. You should also check for any restrictions that they may have for the loan’s use.

MoneyGeek gathered all the information you need to choose a personal loan in Bakersfield. Still, our findings are based on an average consumer, and you may have unique needs and preferences. Performing your own research can lead you to the best lender for your profile.



Taking out a personal loan in Bakersfield is a big financial commitment, and you need to be sure it’s the best choice for your needs. It then makes sense to wait for a day or two before making your choice. That is enough time to assess the situation with a fresher mind and a more objective outlook.


Read the Fine Print

If you decide that having a personal loan is the best way to settle your financial need, make a shortlist of your preferred loan providers and revisit their policies. This time, look beyond their marketing materials and read the fine print.

Find details about the lender’s prepayment fee, origination fee or other fees that they may charge you in addition to the principal and interest on the personal loan. Check if you can qualify for a discount by scheduling automatic payments. Studying such details can lead to savings, as it gives you a way to avoid unnecessary fees that could come with your loan from a specific lender.


Apply for the Loan

Once you assess your options, study the details and choose a preferred lender, you can apply for a personal loan. You should prepare documents that are usually asked for by lenders, such as your identification and proof of income.

Online personal loan applications are common. That is convenient, as you can do the entire process in the comfort of your home. However, you can also call or visit a provider’s office if you want to learn more about their processes and policies.

What To Do if You Can’t Get a Personal Loan in Bakersfield

It’s not the end of the world if your personal loan is declined. Lenders can reject loans for various reasons, including poor credit score, high debt-to-income ratio, insufficient income, unstable employment, incomplete paperwork, and more. But you may be able to change their decision or prepare yourself for a future application approval.

Start by contacting the lender and asking why you did not receive the personal loan. You can ask if changing your loan’s amount or repayment term changes their mind. You could also ask the lender if a co-signer is possible or apply for a joint loan if you have a partner.

If all that fails or is not an option, we don’t recommend immediately applying for a personal loan from another company in Bakersfield — it’s better to address the reason for the denial first, such as improving your credit profile by lowering your debt-to-income ratio.

No matter how desperate you are, avoid payday loans. They only bury you in debt with their high interest rates and short repayment terms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans in Bakersfield

Your personal needs and financial profile determine the best personal loan lender in Bakersfield. MoneyGeek answered the frequently asked questions to help you know more about personal loans in Bakersfield.

MoneyGeek’s choice as the top personal loan lender in Bakersfield is LightStream. Still, the best lender for you can change based on your needs and creditworthiness. For example, Upstart is best with bad credit, and SoFi is a great choice with good credit.

Upstart offers the lowest interest rate for a personal loan in Bakersfield, as low as 3.22%. However, your interest rate depends on factors such as your credit score, income and loan details.

Generally, you can use your personal loan for any purpose, such as a vacation. But, some companies limit the way you can use your loan. Check before applying to make sure a vacation is an allowed usage for the loan.

Yes, you can use your personal loan for your home improvement efforts. Best Egg offers the best personal loan in Bakersfield for such purposes.

While policies are different by lender, you’re often not allowed to use a personal loan for investments, real estate purchases, business expenses, post-secondary education and gambling.

Personal loan lenders in Bakersfield offer loans from $500 to $100,000. However, the amount that you can get for your personal loan depends on your preferred lender and profile.

You can expect your loan to be funded as soon as one day or up to a week, depending on your loan provider.

You’re allowed to pay off your personal loan early. However, some companies charge a prepayment penalty. Before selecting a lender, review their early payoff terms.

Our Personal Loan Methodology

We reviewed more than 30 personal loan lenders using 35+ individual data points across six key categories: loan affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and lender transparency.

Within each ranking criteria category, we considered several individual data points that we feel carry the most weight when choosing a personal loan lender. These factors include APR ranges, available loan amount, minimum credit score, minimum income amount, application fees and disbursement time.

Here at MoneyGeek, we value you, the consumer, so we also factor in each lender’s customer support, business ratings and additional features that could make your experience easier and more accessible, like pre-qualification, payment options and mobile apps.

After careful consideration and calculation, our picks are determined with your best interest in mind. Our personal loan recommendations and expert tips are meant to help you make the best decision when choosing a lender that meets your needs.

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.