Best Debt Consolidation Loans in Oakland of 2024

Banner image
Edited byScott Strandberg
Edited byScott Strandberg

Updated: December 28, 2023

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Best Debt Consolidation Loan Lenders in Oakland, CA

In order to narrow down your options, MoneyGeek analyzed more than 30 data points to identify the top debt consolidation loan lenders in Oakland. This includes factors like APR ranges, minimum credit score requirements, loan amount ranges, repayment terms, late fees, origination fees and the time it takes to receive your funds.

MoneyGeek found that LightStream is Oakland's best overall loan provider for debt consolidation loans.

Best Overall Debt Consolidation Loan in Oakland, CA: LightStream

  • LightStream

    • 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

    Founded in 2012, LightStream is one of the top online consumer lenders in the country and MoneyGeek’s top pick for debt consolidation in Oakland. Offering streamlined digital tools, customers can easily use LightStream’s website or mobile app to apply for and manage their loans. If approved, their money can be put into their accounts on the same business day.

    The company provides a $100 guarantee that potential borrowers will have a satisfactory application experience. LightStream also shows its commitment to the environment by planting a tree with each loan.

    With LightStream, you can consolidate small and large personal loans, auto loans, credit card debt and more. On the contrary, not every borrower will be a good fit for LightStream. For instance, the company will only consider candidates who have a minimum credit score of 660. Additionally, those who want to pay off student loans or an existing loan with LightStream may wish to look elsewhere.


    • High loan limits
    • Offers same-day funding
    • Relatively low APR available
    • Convenient mobile app
    • Discount for automatic payments


    • High minimum credit score requirement
    • No online prequalification process
    • Some limitations on fund usage

Runner-Up for Best Debt Consolidation Loan in Oakland, CA: SoFi

  • SoFi

    • 8.99% to 29.99%APR Range
    • 680Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
    • 12 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • 2 DaysTime to Receive Funds

    SoFi was founded in 2011, providing student loans, personal loans, credit cards, banking and other services.

    It is MoneyGeek's runner-up pick for debt consolidation due to its high loan limits, low interest rates and quick funding. For greater convenience, you can check your estimated rate online without affecting your credit score. SoFi also pays third-party creditors directly with Direct Pay, including a discount of 0.25% on your APR.

    Compared with many lenders, SoFi does not charge application fees, prepayment fees or origination fees. Another notable feature is that SoFi loans can be used to consolidate both federal and private student loans.

    However, SoFi doesn't allow co-signers on personal loans to increase an applicant’s chances of approval, and it has a steep credit score requirement of 680. This makes it less accessible for those with a credit score below the California average of 716. Additionally, applicants looking for a loan below $5,000 should consider looking at other lenders.


    • Consolidates both federal and private student loans
    • Pays third-party lenders directly
    • Quick funding
    • Unemployment protection provides greater flexibility
    • No origination or prepayment fees


    • High credit score requirement
    • Does not allow co-signers
    • Minimum loan amount is $5,000

Best Debt Consolidation Loan for Bad Credit in Oakland, CA: Upstart

  • Upstart

    • 6.4% to 35.99%APR Range
    • 300Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 3 or 5 yearsRepayment Terms
    • 1 business dayTime to Receive Funds

    Founded in 2012, Upstart uses artificial intelligence to improve financial access for those with bad credit. Upstart's low minimum credit requirement of 300 for consolidation loans may appeal to customers in Oakland with bad credit. However, those with a low credit score might have to pay higher interest rates.

    You can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 with Upstart — note that the maximum loan amount might not be enough for some borrowers. However, repayment terms are flexible, and prequalification is possible online without harming your credit.

    Unfortunately, Upstart does not offer a mobile app, so it can be challenging for users to manage their loans on the go. Borrowers will also have to pay a one-time origination fee, assessed as a total percentage of their loan balance.


    • Low minimum interest rates for applicants with high credit scores
    • Small loan minimum
    • Low credit score requirement
    • Offers prequalification
    • No prepayment fees


    • Limited repayment term options
    • No same-day funding
    • Charges an origination fee

Best Debt Consolidation Loan for Good Credit in Oakland, CA: Upgrade

  • Upgrade

    • 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

    Upgrade has its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California, and is on MoneyGeek's list of the best debt consolidation lenders in Oakland. It was established in 2017 and provides personal loans and credit monitoring tools.

    To qualify for an Upgrade loan, you'll need a minimum credit score of 560. The good news is that you can access funds within the same business day upon approval. In addition, Upgrade offers joint loans to help with qualifications.

    Like all lenders, Upgrade has its drawbacks. For instance, borrowers may pay origination fees, along with ACH return and check refund fees for insufficient payments. It may also charge a late fee if you're unable to make payments on time. In addition, its maximum loan amount is only $50,000, which may be insufficient if you have a significant amount of debt.


    • Low minimum interest rate
    • Low minimum loan amount
    • Flexible repayment terms
    • Offers joint loans


    • High maximum interest rate
    • Loan maximum is lower than some other lenders
    • Charges late payment fees

How to Choose the Best Debt Consolidation Loan in Oakland, CA, for You

A lot of people use debt consolidation loans to reduce the total amount of interest they need to pay and make the repayment process more streamlined. For instance, the average person in California owes $16,790 in personal loan debt.

MoneyGeek has listed some steps that can help you through the process if you're thinking about getting a debt consolidation loan in Oakland:

Ask Yourself the Important Questions

Consider whether you actually need a loan for debt consolidation before applying.

  • How much funding do you need? Most lenders have minimum loan amounts and maximum amounts.
  • What’s your credit score? Keep in mind that a low credit score will usually result in a higher interest rate.
  • Can you afford the monthly payments? You’ll often have to pay late fees and penalties if you cannot make payments on time.
  • Do you have existing debts? Lenders may not accept applicants with a high debt-to-income ratio.
  • Is your debt manageable through other means? Consider looking into other options that may not involve taking out a loan.
Do Your Research

A loan for debt consolidation is a significant commitment since it must be repaid in two to four years on average. Furthermore, certain lenders perform strict credit checks that harm your credit score. Because of this, you should research and compare several lenders before choosing the best fit for your needs.

The debt consolidation lenders in Oakland that MoneyGeek recommends might work for most people, but don't be afraid to look into other options that are tailored to your circumstances.


Waiting a day or two before selecting your debt consolidation lender can be beneficial. Take time to consider your borrowing options and financial needs so that you can make an informed choice. Since debt consolidation loans can take years to pay off, it's a good idea to avoid rushing into things.

Read the Fine Print

By ignoring the fine print, borrowers commonly miss important details like origination, late and prepayment charges. It's wise to plan ahead because these expenses will be added on top of your monthly payments.

Consult a financial professional or have a conversation with your preferred lender if you don't fully grasp all the financial terms and conditions that are listed in the small print.


You're ready to apply once you complete the preceding steps, check your lender requirements and are certain of your choice. To make the application procedure as seamless as possible, gather the necessary documents in advance. Typically, lenders will ask for confirmation of identity, proof of address and proof of income, but they may also ask for other documents.

Even though you can apply for a loan online, it may be best to visit or call your chosen lender in person if you have any questions.

What to Do if You Can’t Get a Debt Consolidation Loan in Oakland, CA

If your application for a debt consolidation loan is rejected, it doesn't mean you have to give up. A range of factors, including a low credit score, low income, high debt-to-income ratio or lack of employment history, can cause an application to be rejected.

To improve your chances of approval in the future, you should ask your lender why your application was denied so that you can work on these shortcomings.

Once you understand why, you can check whether you can request a smaller loan amount or a shorter repayment period. The lender might agree to your loan's modified terms in particular circumstances. If not, you may want to apply with a different debt consolidation lender.

MoneyGeek strongly cautions against taking out payday loans, which some borrowers could be tempted to do. Payday loans have very quick repayment timeframes and extremely high interest rates. This may land you in greater debt if you cannot make payments on time.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

It's critical to keep in mind that personal loans must be repaid in scheduled installments at a set interest rate, typically every month. You can check if you have enough resources to pay off your preferred loan amount with MoneyGeek's convenient calculator.


Frequently Asked Questions About Debt Consolidation Loans in Oakland, CA

Your needs and financial situation will help you identify the best debt consolidation loan in Oakland. To help you make your decision, MoneyGeek answers a few commonly asked questions.

What is the best debt consolidation loan lender in Oakland?
Which lender in Oakland has the lowest interest rates for debt consolidation?
What kind of debts can I not use my debt consolidation loan for in Oakland?
How much debt can I consolidate in Oakland?
How long does it take to get a debt consolidation loan in Oakland?
Can I pay off my loan early in Oakland?



MoneyGeek reviewed more than 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 amounts, minimum credit scores, minimum income amounts, application fees and disbursement times.

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, we make our picks 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.

Shield Insurance

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.