Best Personal Loans in Iowa for 2024

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Reviewed byAlvin Yam, CFP
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Reviewed byAlvin Yam, CFP
Edited byRae Osborn
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Updated: April 25, 2024

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First Tech and PenFed rank as the top lenders in MoneyGeek's analysis, scoring 98 and 96, respectively, thanks to their customer service, low fees and flexible terms. When looking for a personal loan in Iowa, you should know how lenders evaluate you based on your credit score, income and other financial factors. With an average credit score of 730, according to Experian data from 2023, the average Iowan could receive good loan offers.

Having a lower score doesn't mean you can't find a loan—getting the best rates might be more challenging. MoneyGeek considered factors like reputation, APR, minimum credit scores and flexibility of loan terms to identify the best lenders.

MoneyGeek Logo IconBest PersonalLoan LendersIowa

Best Personal Loan Lenders in Iowa

MoneyGeek's personal loans scoring system is designed to give a comprehensive overview of each lender’s performance in key areas that matter to borrowers. We use a point-based system, assigning scores according to the presence or absence of certain features in various categories.

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Our analysis was completed in April 2024 and considers banks and lenders who are licensed to do business in Iowa. We also consider financial companies that partner with federally insured institutions to offer competitive rates.

34Lenders Analyzed

    Overall Best Personal Loan Lender in Iowa

  • First Tech

    • 98MoneyGeek Score
    • 8.94% to 18.00%APR Range
    • UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
    • $500 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 6 to 84 monthsRepayment Terms

    First Tech is MoneyGeek's top personal loan lender in Iowa with a MoneyGeek score of 98 out of 100. They offer an APR range of 8.94% to 18.00%, which is more favourable than other lenders, implying lower borrowing costs for consumers. They also provide repayment terms of up to 84 months, granting significant flexibility for borrowers. The company stands out for its outstanding customer service options and quality educational resources as well as for providing highly competitive interest rates and fees.


    • Insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
    • No early repayment penalty
    • Provides granular APR data for a variety of loan terms


    • Need to be a member to apply
    • Could provide more detail on the loan application process
    • Little published information about credit score requirements
    First Tech

    Runner-Up for Best Personal Loan Lender in Iowa

  • PenFed

    • 96MoneyGeek Score
    • 7.99% to 17.99%APR Range
    • UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
    • Up to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • Up to 60 monthsRepayment Terms

    PenFed is MoneyGeek's runner-up for best personal loan lender in Iowa, with a MoneyGeek score of 96 out of 100. Offering an APR range of 7.99% to 17.99%, PenFed's rates are competitive; its lower end falls below many competitors' averages. PenFed stands out for its flexible loan terms, allowing repayments up to 60 months, and scores particularly high for its transparency and the broad flexibility of its loan products.


    • Offers some of the lowest APRs available
    • No early repayment penalty
    • Insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)


    • $50 minimum monthly loan payment
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The amount of monthly debt payments you have relative to your monthly gross income is called your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI.

Most lenders prefer to see a debt-to-income ratio of 35% to 40% or below for secured loans and 40% to 45% or below for unsecured personal loans. Debt includes items like mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and existing personal loans. A debt-to-income ratio above 50% is considered high, so approval may be more difficult, or your loan may come with higher interest rates. — Alvin Yam, CFP®

Calculate Your Monthly Loan Payment

According to our analysis, lenders in Iowa offer personal loan products averaging about 49 months. Explore your loan options with our personal loan calculator, a simple tool to calculate monthly payments and total loan costs based on amount, interest rate and term length, helping you make informed decisions before committing.

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Estimate the monthly payment for your loan.

Updated: Jun 18, 2024

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Although MoneyGeek partners with some of the companies we recommend, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of writers, editors and licensed agents. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.

    Best Personal Loan Lender in Iowa for Bad Credit

  • Happy Money

    • 94MoneyGeek Score
    • 11.72% to 17.99%APR Range
    • 640Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $40,000Loan Amount Range
    • 24 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms

    MoneyGeek's pick for the best personal loan provider for those with low credit in Iowa is Happy Money, scoring a 94 out of 100. Although not a lender itself, Happy Money partners with federally insured institutions to offer competitive rates. With an APR range lower than average, from 11.72% to 17.99%, it caters to borrowers with a minimum credit score of 640. The company is particularly recommended for its straightforward application process and prominent transparency, ensuring applicants have clear insight into their potential borrowing terms. Happy Money also provides commendable educational resources and demonstrates a commitment to customer accessibility.


    • Works with 10 federally insured lenders to originate all loans
    • Transparent eligibility requirements, including credit score minimum
    • No application fee


    • Longer time to wait for loan approval compared to other lenders analyzed
    • The lenders they work with charge an origination fee
    Happy Money

How does MoneyGeek score lenders for bad credit loans?

    Best Personal Loan Lender in Iowa for Debt Consolidation

  • Alliant Credit Union

    • 96MoneyGeek Score
    • 10.99% to 13.99%APR Range
    • UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
    • 12 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms

    Alliant Credit Union is MoneyGeek's pick for the best in Iowa for debt consolidation, scoring 96 out of 100. Alliant requires membership for 90 days for personal loan eligibility. With an APR range of 10.99% to 13.99%, Alliant offers competitive rates vis-à-vis the averages in MoneyGeek's analysis. They excel in providing clear upfront costs and an upfront and easy approval process, making them the preferred choice for personal loans in Iowa.


    • Among the highest loan limits available in our analysis
    • Insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
    • No prepayment penalties


    • An online-only credit union, no physical branches
    • Have to be a member for 90 days to apply
    Alliant Credit Union

How does MoneyGeek score lenders for debt consolidation?

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Interest on personal loans is generally not tax deductible as personal loans are considered consumer debt. But there are some exceptions where the interest may qualify:

  • When consolidating high-interest qualifying debts like credit cards or student loans, if used to pay off those debts.
  • If used for home improvements that increase the home's value.
  • If the loan proceeds can be demonstrated as used exclusively for business expenses or starting a business.
  • In some cases, if the loan is used for investment purposes related to income-generating assets.

Alvin Yam, CFP®

Impact of Credit Score on Loan Repayment in Iowa

When considering a personal loan in Iowa, lenders will evaluate your credit score, credit history, income and debt-to-income ratio. MoneyGeek's criteria for the best personal loan lenders in this state include assessing the lender's reputation, transparency, the ranges of annual percentage rates (APRs), the minimum credit requirements and the flexibility of the loan terms. Having a higher credit score is key to securing better loan terms.

Refer to the table below to see how different credit scores can affect your monthly loan payments.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Credit Band:
Credit Band:690 to 719
Loan Amount:
Loan Amount:$2,000
$348Term Length (Months)6
$180Term Length (Months)12
$97Term Length (Months)24
$69Term Length (Months)36
$55Term Length (Months)48
$47Term Length (Months)60
$42Term Length (Months)72
$38Term Length (Months)84

This table offers an approximation of monthly payments, calculated using median personal loan interest rates typical for various credit score ranges. Please remember that these numbers are median estimates provided for general guidance. They should not be taken as precise rates for everyone in each credit score category. Actual interest rates can differ due to lender-specific policies, prevailing market conditions and unique borrower profiles.

Pros and Cons of Personal Loans in Iowa

Personal loans offer the flexibility to manage your finances with benefits like lower interest rates and the ability to consolidate multiple high-interest debts into a single payment. They also provide the convenience of quick funding and a range of uses, from covering unexpected expenses to financing home renovations.

Despite these advantages, it's important to be aware of potential drawbacks, such as origination fees or prepayment penalties, and to understand that borrowing more than you need can lead to unnecessary debt. For a comprehensive understanding, consider the pros and cons of personal loans.

The good and bad of personal loans

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  • Generally lower interest rates than credit cards
  • Consolidate multiple debts into one payment
  • Fast approval and access to funds
  • Option to add a co-signer for better loan terms
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  • Origination fees increase the total cost of the loan
  • Prepayment penalties for early loan payoff
  • Risk of losing collateral in secured loans
  • Potential for accumulating excessive debt

FAQ About Personal Loans in Iowa

If you have questions about personal loans, MoneyGeek has answers to help you make an informed decision before applying.

Who is the best lender in Iowa for personal loans?
Where is the best place to get a personal loan in Iowa?
Who has the best personal loan interest rates in Iowa?
What can I use a personal loan for in Iowa?
What are some personal loan red flags to look out for?
Do lenders consider income level when applying for a personal loan?
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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.