Where to get a $20,000 personal loan

Shop around and compare several lenders to find the best $20K loan for you.

Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as "Credible" below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

You can get a $20K loan from a number of personal lenders, including banks, credit unions and online lenders.  (iStock)

If you need to borrow $20,000 to consolidate debt, complete a home improvement project, pay medical bills or beyond, you can likely take out a personal loan from a bank, credit union or online lender. 

You can use a $20,000 loan from a personal lender for just about anything you want, so knowing where to look and how to find the best one for you is critical. 

Credible makes it easy to compare rates for a $20,000 personal loan.

Where to get a $20,000 personal loan

Many different types of lenders offer personal loans, but the interest rates, fees and other terms can vary widely. As such, it's crucial that you take the time to compare lenders to determine the right fit for you.

Online loan lenders

Online loans can be convenient because it’s easy to apply for them, they generally fund quickly, and they can also offer lower interest rates because they don't have physical branches like banks and credit unions. 

The credit score you’ll need to apply for a personal loan online varies by lender. But some have minimum credit score requirements as low as 550. Keep in mind, though, that you generally need a higher credit score to qualify for the best available interest rates.

Banks and credit unions

Some banks and credit unions allow you to apply for a personal loan online, while others may require you to apply in person at a branch location. Having an account with a bank or credit union may make it easier to qualify for a personal loan with them, or to qualify for a discounted interest rate.

You may be able to qualify for a better rate and more favorable terms with a credit union, since they’re not-for-profit organizations. But you’ll need to be a member of the credit union to qualify for a loan from them, and you’ll have to meet the institution’s criteria to join.

Credible makes it easy to compare rates for a $20,000 personal loan.

How much will a $20,000 loan cost?

The cost of a $20,000 loan can vary depending on multiple factors, including the terms of your loan and your credit score. Here are a couple of examples to help you get an idea:

  • Let's say you have good credit and borrow $20,000 with a 7% interest rate, no origination fee, and a six-year repayment term. Your monthly payment would be $341, and you'd pay $4,551 in total interest over six years.
  • Alternatively, if your credit isn't in great shape, your $20,000 loan may come with a 20% interest rate and a 5% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan disbursement. If you have a four-year repayment term, your monthly payment would be $609, and you'd pay $9,213 in total interest — and that's in addition to the $1,000 origination fee.

Using an online personal loan calculator can help you get an idea of what a $20,000 loan would cost in your particular situation.

How can I qualify for a $20,000 loan?

Eligibility requirements can vary from lender to lender, but many personal loan lenders allow you to get prequalified with just a soft credit check, which won’t hurt your credit. You'll want to go through this process with multiple lenders to ensure you get the best loan for your situation.

Once you pick a lender, here's how the application process will typically go:

  • You'll provide information about yourself, including your name, address, employment, income and other information.
  • You'll share how much you want to borrow.
  • In some cases, you may be required to submit documentation to prove your identity, income and other pieces of information.
  • The lender will review your application and provide you with one or more offers, which may be different from the initial prequalification quote.
  • If you accept, you'll sign the loan agreement and the lender will disburse the loan.

To improve your odds of getting a personal loan, it's best to have good to excellent credit, a low debt-to-income ratio and possibly even a cosigner if the lender accepts them.

You can see your prequalified personal loan rates in minutes with Credible. 

Getting a $20,000 loan with fair or bad credit

Having fair or poor credit doesn’t exclude you from getting a $20,000 personal loan. Some lenders specialize in working with fair- and bad-credit borrowers. These loans typically come with higher interest rates than loans for borrowers with good or excellent credit, and you may not be able to escape an origination fee.

But if you absolutely need the funds and have no cheaper options, it may be worth the additional costs. You can improve your odds of getting better loan terms if you apply with a cosigner who has good or excellent credit. Just make sure you check with lenders first to find out which ones accept cosigners.

Also, if you have some time before you need the money, improving your credit score even a little can make a big difference in the cost of your loan.

Personal loan FAQs

How much are personal loan interest rates?

Many factors influence the rate you might receive for a personal loan, including your credit score and credit report, the amount of the loan, the repayment term, and the lender. Generally, though, personal loan interest rates tend to be lower than credit card interest rates, making them a good option for debt consolidation. Most personal loans are unsecured loans, but if you take out a secured personal loan, you may be able to get a better rate because of your collateral.

As with any type of credit product, it’s a good idea to compare rates from multiple lenders to find the best rate available to you.

What can I use a personal loan for?

You can use your personal loan funds for almost any purpose, but there may be exceptions depending on your lender. While most lenders will allow you to use a personal loan to consolidate other debts and many other purposes, some may prohibit using personal loan funds for things like education expenses, real estate transactions, business purposes, or to buy a car. It’s a good idea to check with the lender on any restrictions it may have before taking out a personal loan.

What are personal loan fees?

Personal loans can be subject to certain fees, depending on the lender. For example, some may charge a fee if you pay off the loan early, called a prepayment penalty. Others may charge a fee to apply for a loan, or an origination fee, which is a charge for processing and underwriting the loan. Be sure to check with your lender on what fees it charges. Typically, APR, or annual percentage rate, incorporates fees as well as the interest rate, making it a better indicator of a loan’s total cost.

How much can I borrow with a personal loan?

Personal loan amounts can vary from a few thousand dollars to $100,000 or more. Not all lenders offer very large loans, just as some don’t offer very small loans. The amount you can borrow will depend on multiple factors, including:

  • The lender
  • Your credit history
  • The minimum loan amount offered by the lender
  • The lender’s maximum loan amount
  • Your debt-to-income ratio (how much of your monthly income goes toward paying recurring bills)