Top Lenders & Best Picks for You

Best Personal Loans in San Jose, CA

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Reviewed byMorgan Hull
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Reviewed byMorgan Hull
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Updated: December 28, 2023

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MoneyGeek's Picks for Best Personal Loan Lenders in San Jose, CA

MoneyGeek analyzed the lenders offering personal loans in San Jose based on more than 30 data points, including minimum credit score and income, fees, loan disbursement time, APR ranges and other essential factors. We also evaluated the accessibility and affordability of each lender’s loans.

Our analysis shows that Lightstream is the best personal loan lender in San Jose. For borrowers with good and bad credit scores, SoFi and Upstart are the best lenders, respectively. Those seeking a loan for debt consolidation and home improvement will benefit the most from Upgrade and Best Egg.

Best Overall Personal Loan Lender in San Jose: Lightstream

  • LightStream

    • 4.49% to 20.49%APR Range
    • 660Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
    • 24 to 84 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Same DayTime to Receive Funds

    Lightstream is the online lending platform of Truist bank, which was formed in 2019 after the merger of BB&T and SunTrust. Its personal loans can be used for various purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvement, weddings, recreation, etc. MoneyGeek’s analysis shows Lightstream is the best personal loan lender in San Jose because it offers same-day funding, low interest rates, high loan amounts and more.

    The lender doesn’t charge borrowers any origination, prepayment or late fees, making it stand out from its competitors. Once the lender approves your loan, you can receive the funds in as little as one business day. It also provides a discount when you set up automatic payments.

    However, Lightstream doesn’t provide online pre-qualification, making it difficult to know if you qualify for its loans. If you have bad credit scores, it’s best to look elsewhere for a loan — this lender’s minimum credit score requirement is relatively high at 660.


    • Same-day funding available
    • No origination, prepayment or late fees
    • Low interest rates
    • Maximum loan amount of $100,000
    • Autopay discount


    • Online pre-qualification not available
    • Requires good to excellent credit scores
    • In-person applications not allowed
    • Restriction on usage of loan funds
    • Doesn’t allow changes in due date

Best Personal Loan Lender for Bad Credit in San Jose: Upstart

  • Upstart

    • 3.22% to 35.99%APR Range
    • 300Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    Upstart was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Mateo, California. In 2014, the company started offering personal loans. Through artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the lender assesses borrowers’ capacity to repay a loan. Besides credit score, the company also considers education and employment history when applying for a loan, making it the best option for borrowers with bad credit.

    The company allows using loan funds for various purposes, including home improvement, debt consolidation, medical expenses, weddings and relocation. With Upstart, you can check your rate online without hurting your credit score. Once the lender approves your loan, receiving the funds in your account typically takes one business day. Upstart doesn’t charge borrowers a prepayment fee.

    However, the lender will charge you higher interest rates with a bad credit score.


    • Performs soft credit inquiry first
    • Next-day funding available
    • Flexible loan amounts
    • No prepayment fees
    • No restrictions on the use of loan funds


    • Limited loan terms available
    • Charges origination fees
    • Charges late fees
    • No autopay discount
    • Debt-to-income limit of 45% or less

Best Personal Loan Lender for Good Credit in San Jose: SoFi

  • SoFi

    • 5.74% to 20.28%APR Range
    • 680Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
    • 12 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Two DaysTime to Receive Funds

    Social Finance, also called SoFi, was founded in 2011 by Stanford business school students. The company offers many financial products, including personal loans, auto and student loan refinancing, mortgages, credit cards and more. MoneyGeek’s research shows that SoFi is the ideal lender for those with a good credit history.

    If you have a good credit score, SoFi will charge you lower interest rates and increase your loan limit. You can check if you qualify for its loans on its website without negatively affecting your credit score. If the lender approves your application, you might even receive funds on the same day. SoFi also offers unemployment protection to borrowers, which modifies your loan payments and helps you with job placement. If you want to pay off your loan early, the lender won’t charge you prepayment fees.


    • No origination or prepayment fees
    • Loan funded within two days
    • Unemployment protection
    • Conducts soft credit inquiry first
    • Low interest rates


    • High minimum credit score requirement
    • High minimum income requirement
    • High minimum gross income requirement
    • No co-signers allowed
    • DTI limit of 43%

Best Personal Loan Lender for Debt Consolidation in San Jose: Upgrade

  • Upgrade

    • 5.94% to 35.47%APR Range
    • 560Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Same DayTime to Receive Funds

    Upgrade's personal loans are the best option if you want a loan to consolidate high-interest debt at a lower interest rate. The company was launched in 2017 and has its headquarters in San Francisco, California.

    The lender directly pays third-party creditors, making it the best option for borrowers seeking a loan for debt consolidation. Upgrade doesn't charge a prepayment fee if you pay off your loan early and has a low minimum credit score requirement.

    However, Upgrade's maximum APR can exceed 35%. If you have a lower credit score, you may be able to qualify for a personal loan from a different lender at a lower interest rate.

    To apply for an Upgrade personal loan, you’ll fill out an online pre-qualification form. The lender will then perform a soft credit inquiry that won't impact your credit score to assess your loan eligibility.


    • No prepayment fees
    • Conducts soft credit check first
    • Same-day funding available
    • Direct payment to third-party creditors in case of debt consolidation
    • Low minimum loan amounts


    • High APR
    • Origination fees
    • Late fees
    • Limited loan repayment terms
    • No co-signers allowed

Best Personal Loan Lender for Home Improvement in San Jose: Best Egg

  • Best Egg

    • 4.99% to 35.99%APR Range
    • 700Minimum Credit Score
    • $2,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    Best Egg was founded in 2014 and has since provided over $6 billion of personal loans. Its flexible loan amounts, ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, and low restrictions on funds, make it the best option for funding home improvements and renovations.

    You can use a Best Egg personal loan for various home-related expenses, including repairs or significant renovations. The lender doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, which means you can pay off your loan early without paying a fee. Autopay discounts of 0.5% are also offered to borrowers that opt for auto payment.

    While Best Egg offers a variety of interest rates, you may only qualify for a high rate if you have a poor credit score. Because of this, it may be best for borrowers with poor credit scores to explore other lenders that don’t weigh credit scores as heavily.


    • No loan fund restrictions
    • No prepayment penalty
    • Flexible loan amounts
    • Performs soft credit inquiry first
    • Next-day funding available


    • Origination fees
    • Late fees
    • High minimum gross income requirement
    • High interest rates
    • Limited loan repayment terms
    Best Egg

How to Choose the Best Personal Loan Lender in San Jose for You

In California, the average personal loan debt is $16,790. A personal loan can be a great option for many borrowers, as it can help you fund emergency expenses and consolidate high-interest debt. However, before applying for a loan, it’s important to consider various factors like your income, credit score and previous debt to ensure that you can take on an additional financial obligation.

MoneyGeek identified the following steps you should take to apply for a loan:

Ask Yourself the Important Questions

MoneyGeek recommends evaluating your financial situation to determine if a personal loan is the best option for you. You should ask yourself the following questions before applying for an application:

  1. How much funding do I need?
  2. What is my credit score?
  3. Can I afford the monthly payment?
  4. How much debt do I already have?
Do Your Research

Before choosing a lender, you should research and explore other lending companies to compare rates and loan terms. Since a personal loan is a long-term financial commitment, it’s important to shop around and compare rates. Although MoneyGeek identified the best personal loans in San Jose, they may not be the best for your specific needs.


After you’ve researched different providers and selected the one that best fits your needs, you should still wait a few days before applying for a loan. During this time, you can reflect on your financial needs to ensure that a personal loan is right for you.

Read the Fine Print

The fine print of the loan agreement will include the lender's prepayment, late payment, origination and any additional fees. Understanding the types of fees a lender charges is essential to save money in the long term.


Once you have read the fine print and understand the lender’s fees, you can apply for a loan. At this stage, the lender might ask you for personal information like identification, address verification and income details. This information will help the lender assess if you’re eligible for a loan. While an online application is typically more convenient, you can also contact the lender to see if they allow in-person applications.

What to Do if You Can’t Get a Personal Loan in San Jose

Your personal loan may be rejected for a number of reasons. A low credit score, insufficient income, unstable employment or an incomplete application may cause your application to be denied.

If this happens to you, MoneyGeek recommends that you ask the lender specifically why they denied your loan application. That way, you can improve your application before reapplying with the lender or applying with a different lender. For instance, if the lender refuses a loan due to bad credit history, you can take out a credit-building loan or get a secured credit card to improve your credit score.

Some borrowers may want to opt for a payday loan. However, MoneyGeek strongly advises against this, as it has significantly higher interest rates than other loans and most borrowers struggle to repay such loans on time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans in San Jose

Your credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio and other important factors play a significant role in receiving better rates for a personal loan in San Jose. MoneyGeek researched the following frequently asked questions to help you understand how personal loans work in the city.

What is the best personal loan lender in San Jose?
Which lender in San Jose has the lowest interest rate?
Can I use a personal loan for vacations in San Jose?
Can I use a personal loan for home improvement in San Jose?
What can I not use my personal loan for in San Jose?
How much can I borrow in San Jose?
How long does it take to get a personal loan in San Jose?
Can I pay off my loan early in San Jose?

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 prequalification, 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.

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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.