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Best Personal Loans in Columbia, SC

Updated: December 28, 2023

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MoneyGeek’s Pick for Best Personal Loan Lender in Columbia, SC: Truist

MoneyGeek determined the best personal loan lenders in Columbia based on several factors. These include the BBB rating, loan limits and repayment period, interest rates, origination fees and credit score limits.

Based on the findings, Truist is the best lender in the city overall. Upstart is the best for those with a poor credit score, while SoFi is the best for those with good credit. Upgrade and Best Egg are the best for debt consolidation and home improvement, respectively.

Best Overall Personal Loan Lender in Columbia: 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

    Truist was established in 2019 by BB&T Bank and SunTrust. Based on MoneyGeek’s research, It is the best overall personal loan provider in Columbia.

    Truist was ranked as the best overall lender because it does not charge you any origination fees, prepayment penalties or late fees. You can borrow between $3,500 and $50,000 and repay the amount with an interest rate starting at 8.14%, which is significantly higher than the starting interest rate of other lenders. However, the company's highest possible APR of 18.99% is much lower than many competitors.

    A downside of Truist is that you are limited in how you can use the funds; refinancing an existing loan, paying for post-secondary education or purchasing bonds, stocks or stock options are not allowed.


    • No origination fee
    • No prepayment penalty
    • Next-day funding
    • 0.5% auto payment discount
    • No late fees


    • Borrowers with new or no credit do not qualify
    • Hard credit inquiry may affect your credit score
    • Restricts usage of funds
    • APR range: 8.14%–18.99%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $3,500–$50,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: None
    • Repayment terms: 6–60 months
    • Time to receive funds: Next-day

Best Personal Loan Lender for Bad Credit in Columbia: 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

    Based on MoneyGeek’s findings, Upstart offers the best personal loans in Columbia if you have a bad credit rating. The lender has a friendly credit score requirement of 300, which is among the lowest compared to other lenders.

    After submitting your application, Upstart conducts a soft inquiry to ensure that your credit score isn’t affected by the process. Depending on your financial situation, the lender may still offer you a loan even if you do not have a credit history.

    Upstart charges borrowers origination fees and late fees, in addition to potentially high interest rates. However, for well-qualified borrowers, Upstart's 3.22% minimum APR is the lowest rate we've seen in Columbia.


    • No prepayment penalty fee
    • Soft credit inquiry does not affect your credit score
    • Borrowers receive funds within two days
    • Low credit score requirement
    • Joint loans available


    • High interest rates
    • 45% debt-to-income limit
    • No discounts on automatic payments
    • Origination fee up to a maximum of 8%
    • APR range: 3.22%–35.99%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $1,000–$50,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: 300
    • Repayment terms: 36–60 months
    • Time to receive funds: Next-day

Best Personal Loan Lender for Good Credit in Columbia: 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 ranked SoFi as the best personal loan provider in Columbia, South Carolina, for individuals with a good credit score. The company was established in 2011 and requires individuals to have a minimum credit score of 680 to qualify for a personal loan.

    SoFi allows borrowers with fair credit to apply for a joint loan with a borrower that has an excellent score. If you need to consolidate your debts, the lender also allows direct payment to third parties. Borrowers do not pay any late fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.

    However, you may receive funds as late as seven days after getting approved, although most loans are funded within two business days. You also need a minimum gross income of $50,000 to be eligible for a personal loan from SoFi.


    • No prepayment fee
    • Soft credit check ensures your credit score remains unaffected
    • Pays creditors directly for debt consolidation
    • No origination fees
    • High maximum loan limit


    • Does not allow co-signers
    • Minimum gross income requirement of $50,000
    • Can take several days to receive funding
    • Relatively high minimum credit score
    • APR range: 5.74%–20.28%
    • Minimum/maximum loan amount: $5,000–$100,000
    • Minimum credit requirements: 680
    • Repayment terms: 12–60 months
    • Time to receive funds: Two days

Best Personal Loan Lender for Debt Consolidation in Columbia: 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

    Based on MoneyGeek’s rankings, Upgrade offers the best personal loan in Columbia for debt consolidation. The company began operations in 2016 and provides secured and unsecured personal loans ranging between $1,000 and $50,000.

    Upgrade does not perform a hard credit check, which means your credit score is unaffected by the application process. Once your application is approved, you will often receive funds in your account on the same day. Upgrade also has a mobile app that allows you to easily manage your loan.

    A drawback of Upgrade is that the lender has high interest rates compared to other lenders in the city. New borrowers and those without a credit history are also not eligible for a personal loan from Upgrade. If you have a good credit score, you may find better rates from other lenders.


    • 1% auto payment discount
    • Fair minimum credit score requirement
    • Soft credit check
    • Joint loans available
    • Mobile app


    • High APR range
    • Restricts usage of funds
    • 2.9%–8% origination fees
    • $10 late fee
    • APR range: 5.94%–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

Best Personal Loan Lender for Home Improvement in Columbia: 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

    Based on our analysis, the best lender in Columbia for home improvement is Best Egg. Established in 2014, Best Egg provides personal loans ranging between $2,000 and $50,000 to lenders with a minimum credit score of 700. The lender conducts a soft credit inquiry to ensure your credit score remains unaltered during the application process. If your application is approved, you will receive the funds within three days.

    One drawback of Best Egg is its high APR. Borrowers pay a maximum of 35.99% in interest, which is higher than most of the lenders reviewed by MoneyGeek. It also has a high minimum credit score requirement and charges a late fee of $15.


    • No prepayment penalty fee
    • Auto payment discount of 0.5%
    • Pays creditors directly for debt consolidation
    • Conducts soft credit inquiries


    • High interest rates
    • High credit score requirement
    • $15 late fee
    • Up to 6% origination fee
    • Minimum gross income requirement of $50,000
    • APR range: 4.99%–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 Columbia for You

Personal loans provide funding for emergencies and other important expenses. In South Carolina, the average personal loan debt is $13,925. Two major considerations you need to make when applying for a personal loan are the loan amount and repayment terms. This information will help you find the best option for your financial needs. The best lender for you will vary depending on your credit score, income level and debt-to-income ratio.

Before applying for a personal loan in Columbia, you need to consider the following steps:

Ask Yourself the Important Questions

To ensure that you are making the best financial decision, you need to make various considerations before applying for the loan. For instance, you must understand the purpose of the loan and whether getting another type of loan may be cheaper. In a nutshell, here are the key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How much funding do I need?
  • What’s my credit score?
  • Am I comfortable making the proposed monthly payment for the loan?
  • How much existing debt do I have?
Do Your Research

While doing personal research, it is important to pay attention to the details included in each loan option, like the loan amount, interest rate, repayment schedule and any hidden fees. Getting a loan is a huge commitment since you will make repayments for two to four years on average. Although MoneyGeek provides a comprehensive comparison of lenders in Columbia, it might be helpful to do your own research since you may find other options that best fit your unique financial needs.


Once you get all the details and terms about your preferred lender, you should take a few more days before completing the application process. Spend the next few days evaluating your decision against your financial objectives and ensuring you have all the necessary details about the lender before submitting your application.

Read the Fine Print

After choosing the lender and specifying the details of your loan, read through the loan agreement and ensure that you understand the terms of the loan before signing it. Take a close look at all fees, interest rates, penalties and any hidden costs. Costs vary across each lender and you may need to do a comparison before deciding as this will impact your repayment amounts.

Once you identify the right lender, contact them if you have any questions or concerns before filling out the application form, as any charges associated with your loan will contribute to your repayment amounts.


If you are happy with the terms of your preferred lender, you can submit your application. You can do this either online through the lender’s website or in person at one of their offices in Columbia.

Ensure that you provide the necessary details required and that these are accurate. Most lenders will ask for your personal information, proof of income and contact information. However, others do not have restrictions on the minimum gross income and may not need any proof.

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

Once you submit your application, the lender will advise whether you will receive the loan based on various reasons. For instance, if you do not meet the credit limit or income requirements stipulated in the loan agreement, your application will get disqualified. If you provide inaccurate information, or fail to provide certain information altogether, your loan application may also be rejected.

It is important to contact your lender and find out why your loan wasn’t accepted. Depending on the reason, the lender may allow you to review your application and resubmit a new one. However, if it’s due to a low credit score, you may need to consider another lender as you work towards improving your rating.

While you may consider getting a short-term loan, such as a payday loan, you may end up paying more since these loans feature high interest rates and shorter repayment periods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loans in Columbia

The best personal loan in Columbia varies based on your income level, credit score and other factors. MoneyGeek provided answers to the commonly asked questions in the city to help you get started on your loan application journey.

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

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.

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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.