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Best Debt Consolidation Loans in California of 2024

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Reviewed byKatherine Kurtz
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Updated: December 28, 2023

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Best Debt Consolidation Loan Lenders in California

MoneyGeek analyzed over 30 data points to determine the best debt consolidation loan lenders in California. This data included APR ranges, minimum credit score, origination and late fees, repayment terms, loan amounts, disbursement time, Better Business Bureau ratings, prepayment penalties and more.

The best debt consolidation loan lender for you depends on your specific financial goals. Overall, MoneyGeek’s top pick for California debt consolidation loan lender is Upgrade. The average credit score in California is 716, which works for this lender. But if you have bad credit, Upstart is a great choice.

Best Overall Debt Consolidation Loan in California: Upgrade


Runner-Up for Best Debt Consolidation Loan in California: LightStream


Best Debt Consolidation Loan for Bad Credit in California: Upstart


Best Debt Consolidation Loan for Good Credit in California: SoFi


How to Choose the Best Debt Consolidation Loan in California for You

On average, Californians have $22,425 combined in personal loan and credit card debt. Debt consolidation can merge your outstanding debts to make paying easier and help you save by obtaining a lower interest rate.

If you’re interested in debt consolidation loans in California, know that lenders will evaluate your credit score, current debts, employment, proof of income and more. In the steps below, MoneyGeek outlines how to shop around for debt consolidation lenders in California:


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

The first step is to assess your current financial standing and ensure a debt consolidation loan is the best step to move forward. Answering the following questions can help you determine the best debt consolidation lender for you:

  • How much funding do you need?
  • What is your credit score?
  • Can you afford the monthly payment?
  • How much debt do you already have?
  • Is your debt manageable through other means?

Do Your Research

It’s wise to shop around before you apply with a lender. Keep in mind that debt consolidation loans are long-term financial commitments. It takes around two to four years for borrowers to complete their repayment. Additionally, some lenders perform hard credit checks that can negatively impact your credit score. So you’ll want to be sure about your lender before you apply.

MoneyGeek created this guide to help borrowers choose the best debt consolidation lender in California for them. However, every consumer has different needs. If our recommendations don’t suit yours, you should explore other options in California.



After you’ve selected a debt consolidation lender, consider waiting a day or two before you apply. Taking out a debt consolidation loan is a huge commitment, so you need to be sure about your desired lender. Waiting gives you time to arrive at an objective decision.


Read the Fine Print

Borrowers often miss small yet significant details about their debt consolidation loan. MoneyGeek strongly recommends that you thoroughly read the fine print to ensure you catch important information like fees and charges. Prepayment penalties, origination fees and late fees might infringe on your monthly savings if you’re not careful. Reading the fine print can save you money in the long run.



Once you’re absolutely sure about your chosen lender and meet all their requirements, you’re ready to submit your application. During the application process, lenders usually ask for your identification, address verification and proof of income. There are different ways to apply for a loan, whether online, over the phone or by visiting the lender. If available, you can choose the option which is most comfortable and convenient for you.

What to Do if You Can’t Get a Debt Consolidation Loan in California

If a lender denies your application, it doesn’t mark the end of your debt consolidation journey. The next step is to ask the lender for the specific reason your application was denied. There are many reasons a lender might reject your application. Insufficient income, low credit score, high debt-to-income ratio and no employment history are common reasons.

You could negotiate with your desired lender and, for example, ask for a smaller loan amount or a shorter loan repayment term. Although it’s not guaranteed, the lender may accept your modified application. As a last resort, you can apply with a different lender. However, make sure to correct whatever caused the rejection of your first application.

Some borrowers are tempted by payday loans, which have virtually no requirements. However, MoneyGeek strongly advises against this. Payday loans are dangerous financial choices with short repayment terms and extremely high interest rates.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

Borrowers usually pay off debt consolidation loans in monthly installments with interest. Use MoneyGeek’s debt consolidation loan calculator below to help you determine if you’re financially ready to cover this expense each month.


FAQs About Debt Consolidation Loans in California

When it comes to debt consolidation, a good way to start is by assessing your financial standing. Here, MoneyGeek answers some of the most commonly asked questions about debt consolidation loans in California.

In California, we found that Upgrade is the best option overall. However, your ideal lender depends on your needs and background. For instance, SoFi is also a great choice for individuals with good credit.

For debt consolidation in California, Upstart has the lowest interest rate at 3.22%.

It depends on the lender. Some have no restrictions, whereas others don’t allow debt consolidation for post-secondary education. We advise asking your lender if they have any restrictions before you apply.

You can borrow up to $100,000 to consolidate debt in California, but it varies according to the lender.

It can take anywhere from one day to one week. Different lenders have different processing times, especially if you need to provide other documents with your application.

Yes, but some lenders charge prepayment penalties. Ask your lender if they charge borrowers who pay off their debt consolidation loans early.

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MoneyGeek reviewed over 30 personal loan lenders using at least 35 individual data points across six key categories: loan affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and lender transparency.

Within each ranking 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 chosen with your best interests in mind. Our personal loan recommendations and expert tips are meant to help you make smart financial decisions when choosing a lender that meets your needs.

  • Better Business Bureau. "LightStream." Accessed June 23, 2022.
  • Better Business Bureau. "SoFi." Accessed June 24, 2022.
  • Better Business Bureau. "Upgrade, Inc." Accessed June 23, 2022.
  • Better Business Bureau. "Upstart." Accessed June 24, 2022.
  • SoFi. "About Us." Accessed June 20, 2022.
  • Upgrade. "About Us." Accessed June 23, 2022.
  • Upstart. "Overview." Accessed June 20, 2022.
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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.