Best Personal Loans in Des Moines, IA: Top Lenders & Best Picks for You

Updated: December 28, 2023

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MoneyGeek's Picks for Best Personal Loan Lenders in Des Moines, IA

MoneyGeek evaluated more than 30 data points to determine the best personal loan lenders in Des Moines. We analyzed APR ranges, minimum credit scores, repayment terms, late fees, disbursement times, loan amounts and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings.

In Des Moines, the best personal loan lender is LightStream. However, the ideal lender depends on your specific needs. For instance, Upgrade is an excellent option for individuals with bad credit, whereas Payoff is suitable for those looking to renovate their home.

Best Overall Personal Loan Lender in Des Moines: LightStream

  • LightStream

    • 4.49% to 20.49%APR Range
    • 660Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
    • 24 to 84 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Same DayTime to Receive Funds

    LightStream is MoneyGeek’s top choice for personal loans in Des Moines. The company was established in 2013 and is the online lending subdivision of Truist.

    LightStream offers a mobile app where borrowers can apply for loans, send payments and monitor their accounts. Additionally, LightStream offers repayment terms of 24–84 months. Potential borrowers will be pleased to learn the lender doesn’t charge fees or penalties, especially if you want to pay before your loan term.

    However, LightStream may not suit everyone’s needs. To qualify for a LightStream personal loan, you must have a minimum credit score of 660. Also, those with new or no credit history cannot apply for a personal loan.


    • A+ rating from BBB
    • 0.5% autopay discount
    • High maximum loan amount


    • Limits use of funds
    • Borrowers with new or no credit history aren’t eligible

Best Personal Loan Lender for Bad Credit in Des Moines: 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

    Upgrade is a top-performing personal loan lender in Des Moines and is an ideal option for borrowers with bad credit. The company was launched in 2017 and has headquarters in San Francisco.

    With Upgrade, borrowers can get their loan approved in one business day and only need a minimum credit score of 560. You can also get a joint loan with your partner, relative or trusted friend.

    Upgrade offers loans up to $50,000, which may be insufficient for some. An Upgrade personal loan doesn’t come without fees. If you’re late on monthly payments, you can incur fees of up to $10.


    • A+ BBB rating
    • 560 minimum credit score
    • Joint loans offered
    • Pays third-party creditors directly


    • Relatively low maximum loan limit
    • Potentially high origination fee of 8%
    • Late fee of $10

Best Personal Loan Lender for Good Credit in Des Moines: 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

    MoneyGeek determined that SoFi is an excellent lender for individuals with good credit. SoFi was founded in 2011 and has funded over $50 billion in loans.

    You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000. It takes approximately two days to receive funding with SoFi.

    Additionally, borrowers need a credit score of 680 to qualify. Note that SoFi doesn’t allow you to have a co-signer on your personal loan. You must also have a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or below.


    • Borrow up to $100,000
    • Has a mobile app
    • Offers competitive rates
    • Autopayment discount of 0.25%
    • No late fees


    • 43% debt-to-income ratio limit
    • Co-signers not allowed
    • Good-to-excellent credit needed

Best Personal Loan Lender for Debt Consolidation in Des Moines: 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

    MoneyGeek found that Upstart is a good fit for borrowers needing to consolidate debt. Upstart uses artificial intelligence to process personal loan applications. The online lending platform was launched in 2012 and has headquarters in San Mateo, California.

    Upstart loans are generally accessible to most borrowers, especially since the lender only requires a credit score of 300. APR rates depend on the borrower’s credit history.

    Although borrowers can access their Upstart account online, Upstart doesn’t offer a mobile app. The lender might not be suitable for you if you need to borrow less than $1,000 or more than $50,000.


    • Low credit score requirement
    • No prepayment penalty fees
    • A+ BBB rating
    • Offers joint loans


    • $50,000 loan maximum
    • Employment history required
    • No mobile app

Best Personal Loan Lender for Home Improvement in Des Moines: Payoff

  • Happy Money

    • 5.99% to 24.99%APR Range
    • 550Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $40,000Loan Amount Range
    • 24 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    If you’re looking to borrow money to renovate or improve your home, Payoff is MoneyGeek’s top choice. Since 2009, Payoff, formerly known as Happy Money, has funded more than $4.3 billion in personal loans.

    Payoff allows you to borrow $5,000 to $40,000, depending on your creditworthiness. Unlike other lenders, Payoff has no prepayment penalties or late fees. The lender also has a 550 credit score requirement.

    Although it is a great option, Payoff isn’t for all personal loan borrowers. The lender doesn’t allow co-signers and doesn’t have a mobile app.


    • A+ BBB rating
    • Rates disclosed on the website
    • No prepayment penalty
    • No late fee


    • Relatively low maximum loan limit
    • No mobile app
    • Doesn’t allow co-signers
    Happy Money

Where to Start: How to Choose the Best Personal Loan Lender in Des Moines for You

Personal loans can assist you by funding large costs, such as medical emergencies, funerals, debt consolidation and weddings. Always assess your financial situation before you apply for a personal loan in Des Moines. In Iowa, the average personal loan debt is $15,314, and the average resident has a credit score of 707.

MoneyGeek suggests steps to help you through your personal loan journey.

Ask Yourself the Important Questions

Consider your financial needs and goals to make an informed decision. Once you answer the following questions, finding a lender that suits your specific needs and preferences will be much easier.

  • How much funding do I need? Determine exactly how much you need ahead of time.
  • What is my credit score? Different lenders have different minimum credit requirements, so check if you’re eligible before you apply for a personal loan.
  • Can I afford the monthly payment? Ensure a personal loan fits in your budget since personal loans are usually paid in monthly installments.
  • How much debt do I already have? Some lenders have a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio limit that borrowers can’t exceed. You want to avoid increasing your DTI by taking out a personal loan.
Do Your Research

MoneyGeek encourages potential borrowers to shop around and compare each lender’s rates and terms. Applying for a personal loan is a commitment. Some lenders conduct hard credit checks, which can negatively impact your credit score. Additionally, the average repayment term is two to four years, so keeping up with the monthly payments is important.

For your convenience, MoneyGeek compiled key details so you can select the best personal loan in Des Moines for your needs. Each lender has its advantages, disadvantages and requirements. Although MoneyGeek recommends certain lenders, we encourage you to explore all your options.


Once you’ve narrowed your options, wait a day or two. Give yourself time to make an objective decision. A personal loan is a long-term commitment, so you need to feel confident that it’s the best financial decision for you. If you have alternative ways to meet your financial needs, you may want to reconsider taking out a personal loan.

Read the Fine Print

Sometimes borrowers miss small yet important details in the fine print of their personal loan. MoneyGeek strongly suggests you thoroughly read the terms of your personal loan to catch significant bits of information, such as origination fees, late fees, prepayment penalties and other possible charges. This can help inform your monthly budget and prevent added stress.

If any terms or phrases in the fine print are unclear, contact a representative from your lender or consult a financial expert. Understanding your personal loan terms can help you anticipate potential expenses and manage your expectations.


Once you’ve followed the steps above and meet the eligibility requirements of your desired lender, you’re ready to submit your application. Lenders typically ask for your identification, address verification and proof of income. However, you may need to supplement your application with other pertinent papers.

It’s relatively easy to apply for a personal loan in Des Moines, whether online, by visiting the lender or over the phone. You can decide which way to apply, if available, is the most convenient and comfortable for you.

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

If the lender denies your personal loan application, don’t fret. Lenders reject applications for many reasons, including insufficient income, a low credit score or other factors. MoneyGeek recommends reaching out to your lender and asking why your application was rejected. It’s usually possible to negotiate terms and adjust your application. You can try to shorten the loan term or decrease your loan amount.

However, if your personal loan application is still rejected, consider applying with another lender. We suggest taking this step after you’ve improved the factor that caused your initial application to be denied.

Sometimes, borrowers take out payday loans. However, we strongly discourage you from getting one. Payday loans have extremely high interest rates and short repayment terms. You might end up owing more in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans in Des Moines

The topic of personal loans can be complex. MoneyGeek answered frequently asked questions to help you find the best personal loan in Des Moines for your financial needs and goals.

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

Our Personal Loan Methodology


MoneyGeek evaluated 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 we feel carry the most weight when choosing a personal loan lender. These factors include APR ranges, minimum credit score, minimum income amount, available loan amount, application fees and disbursement time.

MoneyGeek values 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 determine our picks with your best interests in mind. We gather personal loan recommendations and expert tips to help you make the best decision when choosing a lender that meets your unique 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.