If you’re making a significant financial move — such as consolidating high-interest debts, planning a dream vacation or funding a home improvement project — but your immediate finances are not enough, a personal loan can be a viable option. Personal loans are designed to bridge the gap between your aspirations and your current financial reality.

According to MoneyGeek’s analysis, LightStream offers the best personal loans in Hawaii. Borrowers with bad credit may find Upstart to be the best option, whereas those with good credit may get the best deal from SoFi. Upgrade is an excellent option for debt consolidation loans, while Best Egg is ideal for home improvement loans.

    Best Overall

  • 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


    Best for Bad Credit

  • 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


    Best for Good Credit

  • SoFi

    • 8.99% to 25.81% (with all discounts)APR Range
    • 680Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
    • 12 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • 2 DaysTime to Receive Funds


    Best for Debt Consolidation

  • 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


    Best for Home Improvement

  • Best Egg

    • 8.99% to 35.99%APR Range
    • UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
    • $2,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    Best Egg

Understanding Personal Loans

Personal loans are financial instruments that can allow you to make a significant purchase or investment. Unlike specialized loans such as mortgages or auto loans, personal loans offer the freedom to use the funds for various purposes, whether for a home renovation, debt consolidation or even a dream vacation.

The mechanics of a personal loan are straightforward but require careful consideration. After you apply, the lender will review your application and, if you're approved, will disburse the funds directly to you. You must repay the loan in monthly installments over a predetermined period, ranging from a few months to several years. The interest rates can be fixed or variable, affecting your monthly payments and the total cost of the loan.

When evaluating your loan application, lenders dig deep into your financial profile. Your credit score is a significant factor, and lenders also look at your debt-to-income ratio — which shows how much of your income is already committed to other debts — your employment status and your income level. These elements help the lender assess the risk associated with lending to you.

Types of Personal Loans Available in Hawaii

The landscape of personal loans is diverse, with various types designed to meet different financial situations and needs. Understanding the nuances of each can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your goals.

  • Secured personal loans: Secured personal loans require collateral, such as a car or home, which the lender can seize if you default on your payments. This added security often results in lower interest rates, making it a cost-effective option for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit.
  • Unsecured personal loans: Unlike secured loans, unsecured personal loans don't require any collateral, making the application process quicker. However, the lack of collateral usually translates to higher interest rates, as the lender assumes more risk.
  • Debt consolidation loans: Specifically designed to pay off multiple debts, debt consolidation loans can simplify your financial life by consolidating various payments into one. They often come with lower interest rates than the debts they replace, offering potential savings.
  • Co-signed loans: Co-signed loans involve a co-signer with a strong credit profile who agrees to take on the repayment responsibility if you default. This arrangement can help borrowers with poor credit secure a loan with more favorable terms.
  • Fixed-rate loans: The interest rate remains constant throughout the loan term, providing predictability in your monthly payments. Fixed-rate loans are ideal for those who prefer a stable, unchanging repayment schedule.
  • Variable-rate loans: The interest rate can fluctuate based on market conditions, making your monthly payments variable. While variable-rate loans often start with lower rates, the uncertainty makes them less suitable for risk-averse borrowers.

Pros and Cons of Personal Loans

Personal loans can be a financial boon or a burden, depending on how you use them and your individual circumstances. Understanding the pros and cons of personal loans can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals.


Flexibility in usage: Personal loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, from home improvements to medical expenses.

Higher interest rates for poor credit: If your credit score is low, you may face steep interest rates.

No collateral for unsecured loans: You don't risk losing an asset if you default on an unsecured loan.

Risk of over-borrowing: The ease of obtaining a personal loan can lead to borrowing more than you can afford to repay.

Potential for lower interest rates: Compared to credit cards, personal loans often offer lower interest rates.

Fees and penalties: Some personal loans come with origination fees, plus late payments can incur hefty penalties.

Where to Get Personal Loans in Hawaii

When securing a personal loan, you have several options, each with advantages and drawbacks. The three main types of lenders in the market are traditional banks, online lenders and credit unions.

  • Traditional banks: These financial institutions offer the benefit of face-to-face consultations and a wide range of loan options. However, they often have stringent eligibility criteria and may require a longer processing time than other lenders.
  • Online lenders: Known for their speed and convenience, online lenders allow you to apply for a loan from the comfort of your home. While they often offer competitive interest rates, especially for borrowers with good credit, they may lack the personalized service you'd get from a physical branch.
  • Credit unions: These member-owned organizations typically offer lower interest rates and more flexible terms than traditional banks. However, you'll need to become a member to access their loan products, which usually involves meeting certain criteria and possibly paying a membership fee.

How to Get the Best Personal Loan in Hawaii

In Hawaii, the average personal loan debt was $15,056 in 2022. People often turn to personal loans for a variety of reasons, including home renovations, debt consolidation or to cover the costs of life's unexpected events like medical emergencies.

If you're considering taking this financial route, here's how to find and apply for a personal loan in Hawaii that suits your needs.


Assess your financial situation

Before pursuing a personal loan application, take a comprehensive look at your current financial situation. Check your credit score, as it will significantly influence the interest rates you're offered. Also, evaluate your monthly budget to determine how much you can afford to repay each month.


Identify the purpose of the loan

Knowing why you need the loan will help you narrow down the type of loan that's best for you. For instance, if you're looking to consolidate debt, you may want a loan with a lower interest rate than your current debts. This will also help you decide on the loan amount you'll need.


Research lenders

Traditional banks, online lenders and credit unions each have their pros and cons, as well as varying eligibility criteria and interest rates. Take the time to compare these aspects to find a lender that aligns with your financial situation and needs.


Compare loan offers

Once you've shortlisted potential lenders, compare the loan offers you receive. Look at the interest rates, repayment terms and any additional fees to determine which loan is the most cost-effective over its lifespan. This step is key to ensuring you get the most favorable terms.


Gather necessary documentation

After deciding on a lender, you'll need to provide various documents for the application process. This often includes proof of income, employment verification and sometimes even a list of assets. Having these documents ready can expedite the application process.


Fill out the application

Whether online or in-person, the application will require detailed financial information. Be accurate and honest in your responses, as discrepancies can lead to delays or even disqualification. Once submitted, you may also need to provide additional information or documentation upon request.


Review loan terms carefully

If approved, you'll receive a loan offer outlining the terms, including the interest rate, repayment schedule and any other associated fees. Take the time to read this carefully. Don't hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification on any points you find confusing.


Accept the loan and receive funds

After thoroughly reviewing and understanding the loan terms, you can proceed to accept the offer. The funds will typically be disbursed into your bank account or directly to the creditors if it's a debt consolidation loan. Make sure to confirm the disbursement method and timeline with your lender.

Alternatives to Personal Loans

While personal loans offer a versatile way to cover various expenses, they're not the only financial tool available. Several alternatives can provide the funding you need, depending on your situation and requirements.

  • Credit cards: Credit cards offer immediate spending power, making them a convenient choice for unexpected, more minor expenses. However, the trade-off is often a higher interest rate, making long-term balances costly.
  • Home equity line of credit: Leveraging your home's equity through a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can provide you with a substantial amount of money, ideal for significant financial needs like home improvements. But remember, your home serves as the security, so missed payments could put your property at risk.
  • Peer-to-peer lending: This option connects individual borrowers with individual investors, often resulting in more lenient qualification criteria and potentially lower interest rates. However, these platforms usually charge service fees, which can add to the overall cost of the loan.
  • 401(k) loans: Borrowing from your 401(k) offers a quick way to access funds without a credit check. However, you risk undermining your retirement savings and may face penalties and taxes if you fail to repay the loan according to the terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you make informed decisions, we compiled answers to some frequently asked questions about personal loans in Hawaii.

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We evaluated more than 30 personal loan lenders using 35+ individual data points across six key categories: loan affordability, consumer friendliness, customer service, accessibility, 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 available loan amounts, APR ranges, minimum credit score and income requirements, application fees and disbursement time.

MoneyGeek values you, the consumer, so we also factored in each lender’s customer support, business ratings and additional features that could make your experience easier and more convenient — like prequalification, payment options and mobile apps.

After careful consideration and calculation, we selected our top picks 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.

About Christopher Boston

Christopher Boston headshot

Christopher Boston is a Senior Manager of Content Strategy and SEO at MoneyGeek. For over half a decade, they have crafted hundreds of articles spanning the higher education, mortgage and personal loan industries. Christopher is passionate about using their skills and experience to create quality content that helps people save and spend their earnings efficiently.


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.