Top Lenders & Best Picks for You

Best Personal Loans in Columbus, GA

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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 Pick for Best Personal Loan Lender in Columbus: Truist

MoneyGeek evaluated the best personal loan providers in Columbus, Georgia, based on loan amount, BBB rating, interest rates, credit score requirements and origination fees.

From the analysis, the best personal loan lender in the city is Truist. If you have a bad credit score, Upstart offers the best personal loan, while Upgrade and Best Egg ranked the best for debt consolidation and home improvement, respectively.

Best Overall Personal Loan Lender in Columbus: Truist


  • Truist

    • 8.14% to 18.99%APR Range
    • NoneMinimum Credit Score
    • $3,500 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 6 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    Based on MoneyGeek’s analysis, the best overall personal loan lender in Columbus is Truist. Truist was formed in 2019 from a partnership between BB&T Bank and SunTrust. The company does not charge origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties. Borrowers receive funds as early next day after loan application approval, and the repayment period is between six months and five years.

    Truist’s standard personal loan allows you to borrow a minimum of $3,500 and a maximum of $50,000. You can use the funds to cover any expense except refinancing an existing loan, funding post-secondary education and purchasing bonds, stocks and stock options.

    Pros

    • Next-day funding available
    • No origination fee
    • No prepayment penalty or late fees
    • High maximum loan limits
    • Auto payment rate discount of 0.5%

    Cons

    • Does not accept borrowers with new or no credit
    • No soft credit inquiry
    • Restricted fund usage
    • APR range: 8.14% to 18.99%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $3,500–$50,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: None
    • Repayment terms: six to 60 months
    • Time to receive funds: Next-day
    Truist

Best Personal Loan Lender for Bad Credit in Columbus: 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 ranked as the top company for the best personal loans in Columbus for individuals with a poor credit score. The lender was established in 2012. Eligible borrowers only need a minimum credit score of 300.

    Upstart performs a soft inquiry when checking if you qualify for a loan, meaning your credit score won’t be affected. If you do not have a credit history, you may still be eligible for a loan depending on your situation.

    Upstart’s loans come with various fees, including origination fees and late fees. After approval, you will receive the funds within two days. You can manage your loan online through the company website. The lender does not have a mobile app.

    Pros

    • Low credit score limit
    • Funding within 1–2 days
    • No prepayment penalty
    • Soft credit check
    • Low income requirement of $12,000

    Cons

    • 45% debt-to-income limit
    • High APR
    • Up to 8% origination fee
    • No clear rates information on website
    • No auto payment rate discount
    • APR range: 3.22% to 35.99%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $1,000–$50,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: None
    • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
    • Time to receive funds: 1–2 days
    Upstart

Best Personal Loan Lender for Good Credit in Columbus: 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 Incorporated, or SoFi, was established in 2011 and offers various personal loans to its customers. Based on MoneyGeek, SoFi is the best personal loans lender for individuals with a good credit score.

    If your credit rating isn’t that good, you can apply for a joint loan with a co-borrower who accepts partial responsibility for repaying the loan. SoFi also provides unemployment protection that allows you to postpone your repayments for up to one year in three-month increments if you lose your job.

    SoFi charges no origination, prepayment or late fees. However, it has a high credit score requirement, and you must have a minimum gross income of $50,000 to qualify. Additionally, it can take up to one week to receive the funds in your account after your loan application approval.

    Pros

    • No origination fee
    • No prepayment penalty or late fees
    • Allows co-applicants
    • Maximum loan limit of $100,000
    • 0.3% auto payment rate discount

    Cons

    • Minimum gross income requirement of $50,000
    • Funding may delay to a maximum of seven days
    • High minimum credit score
    • APR range: 5.74% to 20.28%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $5,000–$100,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: 680
    • Repayment terms: 12–60 months
    • Time to receive funds: From two up to seven days
    SoFi

Best Personal Loan Lender for Debt Consolidation: 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

    According to MoneyGeek’s research, Upgrade provides the best personal loan in Columbus for individuals who wish to consolidate their debt. Founded in 2016, the lender offers secured and unsecured personal loans at a minimum interest of 5.94%.

    While reviewing your application, Upgrade performs a soft inquiry, which doesn’t affect your credit score. Borrowers receive funds in their accounts in one to four days, and the loan amount varies between $1,000 and $50,000. The lender has a mobile app that you can use to manage your loan. One drawback of Upgrade is the high APR. Individuals with a good credit score may find lenders with a cheaper interest rate by shopping around.

    Pros

    • No prepayment penalty
    • Auto payment rate discount of 1%
    • Soft credit check protects your credit score
    • No minimum gross income limit
    • Fair credit score limit of 560

    Cons

    • High origination fee of 2.9%–8%
    • $10 late fee
    • Restricted usage of funds
    • High interest rates
    • APR range: 5.94% to 35.47%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $1,000–$50,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: 560
    • Repayment terms: 36–60 months
    • Time to receive funds: Same day
    Upgrade

Best Personal Loan Lender for Home Improvement: 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

    MoneyGeek’s analysis showed that Best Egg provides the best personal loan for home improvement in Columbus. The lender is a subsidiary of Marlette Funding and has been in operation since 2014.

    Best Egg conducts a soft credit inquiry while reviewing your loan, which means your credit score won’t change during the processing period. It will take one to three days to receive funds in your account. The lender doesn’t have any restrictions on how to use the funds, and you can get a maximum loan amount of $50,000 depending on your situation.

    However, the company charges a high interest rate compared to most lenders. It also has a high minimum credit score, and you may pay a late fee of $15 if you make delayed payments.

    Pros

    • 0.5% auto payment rate discount
    • No prepayment penalty fee
    • Conducts soft credit inquiries
    • Direct payments to third parties for debt consolidation
    • Flexible loan amounts starting from $2,000

    Cons

    • High credit score requirement
    • High APR
    • $50,000 minimum gross income requirement
    • $15 late fee
    • 1%–6% origination fees
    • APR range: 4.99% to 35.99%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $2,000–$50,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: 700
    • Repayment terms: 36–60 months
    • Time to receive funds: Next day
    Best Egg

How to Choose the Best Personal Loan Lender In Columbus for You

The average personal loan debt in Georgia is $17,589. Although getting a personal loan might help you cover emergency expenses such as funerals, medical bills and debt consolidation, it is important to determine whether it is necessary to apply for a loan and how this will impact your financial health.

While looking for the best personal loan provider in Columbus, here are some steps you should follow:

1
Ask Yourself the Important Questions

You need to make various considerations before applying for a personal loan, including how a loan will affect your current financial situation. Prior to applying for a loan, it’s important to explore alternative funding options for your emergency. Each lender has a unique set of requirements, and you need to establish whether you can meet these requirements before submitting your application. Some of the questions to ask yourself include:

  • What is the purpose of the loan and how much funding do you need?
  • What is your credit score?
  • Can you afford the monthly payment amount stipulated by the lender?
  • How much existing debt do you have?
2
Do Your Research

Lenders consider different consumer attributes when reviewing your loan application. They also charge different fees and outline varying terms and conditions. Conducting personal research will help you determine the best lender for your needs.

MoneyGeek analyzed the top loan options in Columbus and outlined the terms and conditions for each lender to ensure you make the right choice for your needs. However, doing your own research may help you identify better options not listed in this guide.

Note that the average duration for loan repayment is two to four years. Choosing a loan with unfavorable terms might impact your financial goals negatively. We recommend that you do not apply for a loan until you compare terms across the lenders.

3
Wait

After comparing the lenders based on features like the loan amount, repayment period and interest rates, you should spend one to two days thinking through your decision. Review your financial objectives and determine whether your preferred loan will help you achieve them. Getting a personal loan is a big commitment and it is good to take time and assess your options before making a final decision.

4
Read the Fine Print

Reviewing the fees and rates associated with your personal loan before completing the application process can help you save on your monthly payment amounts. The loan agreement contains all the terms associated with the lender and the product. Be sure you understand any hidden charges or other costs like late payment fees, prepayment penalties and origination fees.

Read through the fine print of the loan and ensure you understand the details, including how much you will need to pay each month for the loan.

5
Apply

Once you are satisfied with your decision, you can proceed with the application. Put together all the required information, including your personal details, proof of income and contact details. You need to ensure that the information you provide during your application is accurate. Depending on the lender, you may apply online or in person at the company office.

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

Lenders may fail to approve your loan due to various reasons. These include a bad credit rating, which is the most common, as well as low income, high debt-to-income ratio and incomplete application information.

If your application is declined, it is important to find out more details from the lender and make any necessary changes to your application. While it is possible to submit your application to a different lender, we recommend that you do not do so until you have improved the factors that caused you to be denied during your first application.

Some short-term loans, such as payday loans, offer a quick way to get funding for your emergencies. However, such loans come with high interest rates and short repayment periods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans in Columbus

The best personal loan in Columbus depends on several factors, including your credit score and minimum gross income, among others. MoneyGeek responded to the following frequently asked questions to guide you through your personal loan application journey.

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

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 analyzed several factors that are the most important 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.

At MoneyGeek, we value you, the consumer, so we also considered each lender’s customer support and business ratings, as well as additional features that could make your experience easier, like prequalification, payment options and mobile apps.

Our selections were made with your best interests in mind. These 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.