Top Lenders & Best Picks for You

Best Personal Loans in Chicago, IL

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Updated: December 28, 2023

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MoneyGeek’s Pick for Best Lender in Chicago, IL: LightStream

The best Chicago personal loan company for you may differ based on your specific needs and financial situation. To identify the best lender for various borrower profiles in Chicago, MoneyGeek examined over 30 factors, including the lender's BBB rating, loan term, APR, prepayment penalties, origination fees, late fees and more.

We also evaluated eligibility requirements like credit scores, income minimums, debt-to-income ratios and more to help you figure out which lenders have the highest chance of approving your application.

Best Overall Personal Loan Lender in Chicago: LightStream


Best Personal Loan Lender for Bad Credit in Chicago: Upstart


Best Personal Loan Lender for Good Credit in Chicago: SoFi


Best Personal Loan Lender for Debt Consolidation in Chicago: Upgrade


Best Personal Loan Lender for Home Improvement in Chicago: Best Egg


How to Choose the Best Personal Loan Lender in Chicago For You

When applying for a personal loan, you will need to research many lenders. Consider your credit score, income and existing debts as a starting point when applying. In Chicago, the average personal loan debt is $22,553. MoneyGeek's study outlines the steps to take before applying for a personal loan in Chicago.


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

Before you start searching for a personal loan, you should ask yourself a few questions about your needs. These will help you find the best personal loan lender in Chicago and even evaluate if a personal loan is the best option for you. Ask yourself:

  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

Researching your options is important, just like it is with any financial commitment. You should shop around for the lowest interest rate and ensure that you can easily afford each monthly payment for two to four years. Search online for the best lenders for borrowers with average or good credit, confirm interest rates and evaluate the terms and conditions.

MoneyGeek's guide gives you all the information you need to make an educated decision and suggests the best personal loans in Chicago. We made our suggestions by taking key factors into account and rating them appropriately. However, if you want further information, we recommend doing your own research.



Shopping around is the best approach to determine which personal loan company is best for you. Get quotes from several lenders, then wait a day or two before making a final decision. Waiting an additional couple of days will give you time to think things through and make the right decision. Remember that getting a personal loan is a significant commitment. Only choose a lender after doing thorough research and ensuring that the loan suits your requirements.


Read the Fine Print

Make sure you thoroughly review all of the lender's terms and conditions after selecting your loan provider. Be on the lookout for fees, penalties and other charges that might increase the overall cost of your loan. Before signing the loan agreement form, be certain you know how these terms influence your loan. Taking the time to do this can save you money in the long run.



Once you've decided on a lender, it's time to apply. Many lenders want a lot of information before approving a loan, so be sure you have everything ready before filling out the application. If anything isn't right or you are confused, ask questions. A brief phone call or visit to the lender may help answer questions that might otherwise delay your approval. During the application process, lenders often request identification, address verification and proof of income.

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

Getting a personal loan is not always easy. Your loan application might be declined because your credit score isn't sufficient or you haven't had a steady income long enough. If your personal loan application is declined, you may call or email the lender to learn why.

You can apply for a loan from another company if necessary, but you should wait until you have rectified the factor that caused your previous application to be declined. To find a suitable alternative lender, you may need to apply with many lenders and evaluate their features. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that there is always a solution.

Taking out a payday loan may seem appealing, but it's typically a bad idea. This strategy has several drawbacks. For example, these loans have costly interest rates and short payback terms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans in Chicago

When evaluating a personal loan application in Chicago, lenders will consider several factors, including your credit history, current income, monthly expenses and more. MoneyGeek answers the most frequently asked questions about personal loans in Chicago.

MoneyGeek ranked LightStream as the best overall personal loan provider in Chicago. However, depending on your needs, the best personal loan company for you may vary.

In Chicago, Upstart has the lowest interest rates. Their rates start at 3.22%.

Personal loans may be used for vacations, but check with your lenders to see if there are any restrictions.

In Chicago, a personal loan can be used to renovate a home. MoneyGeek found Best Egg to be the ideal lender in Chicago for home improvement loans.

Your lender determines any personal loan restrictions in Chicago. For example, Upgrade restricts you from using the borrowed funds to pay for post-secondary education or investments.

Personal loan amounts differ from one lender to the other. LightStream allows you to borrow up to $100,000. Meanwhile, the maximum loan amount available from Best Egg is $50,000. Before submitting your application, make sure to inquire about the minimum and maximum loan amounts.

The time it takes to get funds varies depending on the lender. Some lenders provide same-day fund disbursements, while others may take up to seven days.

You can pay off your loan early. However, you will want to check with your lender to see if there is an early payment penalty.

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.

  • Best Egg. "Best Egg." Accessed March 7, 2022.
  • LightStream. "LightStream." Accessed March 7, 2022.
  • SoFi. "SoFi." Accessed March 7, 2022.
  • Upgrade. "Upgrade." Accessed March 7, 2022.
  • Upstart. "Upstart." Accessed March 7, 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.