18 best personal loans

Personal loans can help you streamline your debt payments or finance large expenses

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If you’re in the market for a personal loan, here are the 17 best personal loans that are available right now. (iStock)

When you need to consolidate debt or finance a large expense, a personal loan can be a good option. Personal loans can help you borrow the money you need in a lump sum that you repay with a fixed monthly payment. 

If you think a personal loan might be the right fit for you, keep reading to see the 18 best personal loans on the market right now. 

Where to get a personal loan

Multiple types of financial institutions offer personal loans, including online lenders, banks, and credit unions.

  • Online lenders — Researching, getting prequalified, and applying for a personal loan can be easy with an online lender, as they typically allow you to complete every step online. Because they don’t have the costs of maintaining physical locations, online lenders can also offer lower interest rates. If you’re looking for quick funding, online lenders can be a good option since they can often fund loans within a few business days of approval. Some even offer next-business-day funding.
  • Banks and credit unions — If you prefer to apply for a loan in person, a bank or credit union may be a good option for you. You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for the best rates available from a traditional financial institution. But if you have an existing account with them, a bank or credit union may offer you a discounted rate.

Before getting a personal loan, it’s important to consider options from multiple lenders, and it’s a good idea to get at least three quotes. Credible makes it easy to compare personal loan rates from multiple lenders — without affecting your credit score.

18 best personal loan lenders

Comparison shopping with a platform like Credible can help you quickly narrow down your options to lenders that work for your needs. The following 18 Credible partner lenders offer personal loans:

Avant

With a minimum income requirement of $1,200 per month and a minimum credit score of 550, Avant could be a good fit for borrowers with poor credit.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day, if approved by 4:30 p.m. Central time on a weekday

Although Avant may be a solid choice for those with low credit scores, it does have some drawbacks. For example, Avant loans aren’t available in Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, New York, Vermont, or West Virginia. The lender also charges an administrative fee of 4.75%.

Axos Bank

If you have good credit, Axos Bank may be an option. 

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $50,000
  • Minimum credit score: 700
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 6
  • Time to get funds: Next business day

Axos Bank’s best feature is that it allows you to borrow a relatively large amount of money. But keep in mind that it also charges some fees, including origination fees of up to 2%, late payment fees, and insufficient funds fees.

WHAT CREDIT SCORE DO YOU NEED FOR A PERSONAL LOAN?

Best Egg

Since Best Egg considers more factors besides your credit score in its application decisions, you might have an easier time qualifying with them than with some other lenders.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 to 3 business days after successful verification

With a minimum credit score requirement of just 640, Best Egg may be a good fit for borrowers with fair credit. Plus, if you qualify, you can use the funds for a wide variety of purposes, including adoption and moving expenses. Still, the lender does charge an origination fee.

Discover

If you need a bit more time to repay your loan than most lenders offer, Discover might be a good option for you. 

  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 7
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day after acceptance

Discover offers relatively fast funding and flexible loan terms. Plus, the lender doesn’t charge any origination fees. Still, you’ll need at least fair to good credit to qualify for one of its loans. 

FreedomPlus

If you need a personal loan for debt consolidation, FreedomPlus may be worth considering. The lender may give you a better interest rate if at least 85% of your loan funds go toward paying off existing debt. 

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $50,000
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 2 business days

FreedomPlus’s big advantage is that it offers the potential for same-day funding. But its loans aren’t available in Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.

Happy Money

Happy Money, formerly Payoff, could be a good choice if you’re in the market for a debt consolidation loan. 

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 2 to 5 business days after verification

You may be able to qualify for a Happy Money loan with a fair credit score. But bear in mind that these loans aren’t available in Massachusetts or Nevada. 

LendingClub

There's no minimum income requirement to borrow through LendingClub, which makes it a good fit for those who may have trouble qualifying with other lenders.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Loan terms (years): 3 or 5
  • Time to get funds: About 2 days

LendingClub shows your loan application to multiple investors, which increases your chances of getting an offer with loan terms that fit your needs. But LendingClub does charge an origination fee — and at 2% to 6% of the loan amount, it’s fairly steep. 

LendingPoint

With a minimum credit score requirement of just 580, LendingPoint may be a solid option for people with lower credit scores.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $36,500
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 6
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day

Although LendingPoint offers fast funding, it has more-stringent eligibility criteria than some other lenders. For example, the lender requires borrowers to have a minimum annual income of $35,000. Additionally, its loans aren’t available in Nevada or West Virginia.

HOW TO TAKE OUT A FAIR CREDIT LOAN TODAY

LightStream

If you need to borrow a large amount of money, you’ll probably want to consider LightStream as a potential lender. 

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 7 (up to 12 for home improvement loans)
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the same business day

Available in all states except for Rhode Island and Vermont, you’ll need a credit score of at least 660 to qualify for a loan from this lender. But as long as you meet its eligibility requirements, you won’t be subject to any origination fees.

Marcus

If you need to tailor your payment options to fit your budget, Marcus loans may be worth a look. This lender gives you the ability to customize your loan offerings by entering your desired monthly payment amount.

  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 6
  • Time to get funds: Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as 3 days

Plus, Marcus offers incentives for making on-time payments. In particular, this lender gives you the option to defer one monthly payment, without incurring additional interest, after you’ve made 12 consecutive on-time payments. Still, if you need super-fast funding, Marcus may not work for you. 

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial stands out as a lender for people with poor credit since it has no minimum credit score requirement. 

  • Loan amounts: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Minimum credit score: None
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office

If you visit a branch office, you may be able to get your loan funds on the same day your application is approved. On the other hand, this leniency comes at a price. The lender’s interest rates are higher than other lenders on this list, and you may need to put up collateral to secure the loan. 

BEST SMALL PERSONAL LOANS

PenFed Credit Union

If you need a smaller loan, you might find what you need with PenFed, which will loan as little as $600 at a time. 

  • Loan amounts: $600 to $50,000, depending on the repayment term
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (years): 1 to 5
  • Time to get funds: 2 to 4 business days after verification

You may have to jump through some extra hoops to borrow with PenFed. Namely, you’ll likely need to join the credit union to be eligible for a loan. But there are benefits to doing the extra work. This lender’s APRs are some of the lowest on this list, and it doesn’t charge origination fees.

Prosper

If you have a lower income and less-than-perfect credit, you may want to consider borrowing from Prosper. 

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Loan terms (years): 3 or 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 business day

While Prosper does allow borrowers to see their loan options based on their desired monthly payment, this lender does charge origination fees. Additionally, these loans aren’t available in Iowa, North Dakota, or West Virginia. 

Reach Financial

Reach Financial offers unsecured loans and unique benefits for its customers. Borrowers can customize their monthly payment amount and even pause their payments for up to 90 days.

  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5
  • Time to get funds: 1 to 3 days (with 90% funded within a day)

Reach Financial offers several perks, but its maximum loan amount isn’t as high as some of the lenders on this list. And the lender does charge an origination fee of 0% to 5% of the loan amount. 

SoFi

If you want more than just loan funds from your lender, SoFi may be worth considering. The lender provides borrowers with access to perks and bonuses, like unemployment protection, career coaching, and investment advice.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 7
  • Time to get funds: 3 business days

On the plus side, SoFi lends large amounts of money, up to $100,000. But this lender makes it difficult to determine if you qualify for one of its loans because it doesn’t disclose its income or credit score requirements.

Universal Credit

With a minimum credit score of just 560, Universal Credit is a great choice for those with lower credit scores. As an added bonus, the lender also offers a wide range of tools aimed at helping you improve your score, such as free credit monitoring.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Loan term (years): 3 to 5
  • Time to get funds: Within 1 day, once approved

In exchange for allowing lower credit scores, Universal Credit’s rates can be higher than other lenders. You’ll also pay an origination fee. Additionally, it’s worth noting that these loans aren’t available in the District of Columbia, South Carolina, or West Virginia. 

Upgrade

Upgrade’s minimum credit score is just 580, which makes it another solid option for those with less-than-perfect credit.  

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 6
  • Time to get funds: Within a day of clearing necessary verifications

You can use an Upgrade personal loan for credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, or covering home improvement costs. Still, bear in mind that this lender charges an origination fee for its loans, and these loans aren’t available in West Virginia.

Upstart

Borrowers with lower incomes may want to consider Upstart. Its minimum income requirement is just $12,000, which is much lower than some other lenders.  

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 business day

Again, these flexible borrowing requirements may come at an additional cost. This lender charges origination, late payment, and returned check fees. Unfortunately, borrowers in Iowa and West Virginia won’t be able to access these loans.

You can check rates from these personal loan lenders by visiting Credible, where checking your prequalified rates doesn’t affect your credit.

Other personal loan lenders to consider

The following three lenders aren’t Credible partners, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform. But they may also be worth considering if you’re looking for a personal loan. 

HSBC

It may be difficult to know if you’ll meet HSBC’s qualifications since the lender doesn’t disclose minimum credit score or income requirements. But if you do qualify, HSBC charges no loan fees. 

  • Loan amounts: $3,000 to $50,000, depending on your relationship with HSBC Bank
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the same day of approval

PNC

PNC also offers loans without fees, but it doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score and income requirements, which can make it hard to know if you qualify. 

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $35,000
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan terms (years): Contact lender
  • Time to get funds: Funding times may vary

Rocket Loans

Available in all states except Iowa, Nevada, and West Virginia, Rocket Loans also doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score and income requirements. Although the lender charges an origination fee, it offers a discount if you sign up for automatic payments. 

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Loan terms (years): 3 or 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as the same day of approval

Methodology

Credible evaluated the best personal loan lenders based on factors such as customer experience, minimum fixed rate, maximum loan amount, funding time, loan terms, and fees. Credible’s team of experts gathered information from each lender’s website, customer service department, and via email support. Each data point was verified to make sure it was up to date.

WHERE TO TAKE OUT A PERSONAL LOAN ONLINE

How to apply for a personal loan

After your comparison shopping has helped you identify the right lender for your needs, you’ll have to complete an application to be considered for the loan. Following these steps could help the process go more smoothly:

  • Gather your documentation. To qualify for a personal loan, you’ll generally need to provide documentation on your income, such as a recent pay stub. You’ll also likely need to provide a form of personal identification, such as a driver’s license or photo ID.
  • Fill out the application. Once you choose your lender, you’ll fill out a complete loan application. Avoid filling out more than one loan application, as too many applications in a short amount of time could affect your credit.
  • Wait for approval. You may have to wait a few days for the lender to review your application and make a decision on whether or not to approve you for a loan.

If you’re ready to apply for a personal loan, head to Credible to quickly and easily compare personal loan rates.

How to get the best personal loan interest rate

Personal loan interest rates can vary widely. The average interest rate on a 24-month personal loan was 9.41% as of the first quarter of 2022, according to Federal Reserve data. Anything below that number is typically considered to be a "good" rate.

At the end of the day, the rate you’re given will depend on the strength of your financial profile. Your lender will consider factors like your income, your credit score, and whether or not the loan is secured by an asset. 

4 reasons to get a personal loan

If you’re wondering whether a personal loan is the right financial product for you, consider these four common reasons to get one:

  1. Consolidate debt. Many people take out personal loans to consolidate multiple high-interest debts into one loan with a single monthly payment.
  2. Make home improvements. You can often use funds from a personal loan to pay for large home renovation projects.
  3. Pay for wedding costs. If you need to borrow money to fund your big day, getting a personal loan is often a simple option.
  4. Cover medical expenses. Medical expenses are unavoidable, but a personal loan can help you streamline your bills into one payment.

Personal loan FAQs 

Keep reading for answers to some frequently asked questions about personal loans.

Can you get a personal loan with bad credit?

As you can see from the list of Credible lenders above, most lenders publicize their minimum credit requirements, which can help you identify one that you’re most likely to qualify with. You'll want to make sure that you meet, if not exceed, any minimum requirements. 

But be aware that a personal loan for bad credit often comes with a higher interest rate than you might qualify for with good credit. With that in mind, if you can wait, it may make sense to work to improve your credit score as much as possible before applying for a personal loan.

What can personal loans be used for?

You can use a personal loan for nearly any type of expense — some common uses for personal loans are consolidating debt or covering large expenses, like home improvements or medical costs. While some lenders put restrictions on what their loans can and can’t be used for, others are more flexible. 

That said, you generally can’t use a personal loan to pay for education costs. In that case, student loans may be a more viable alternative.

What should you consider when taking out a personal loan?

While loan amounts, terms, and fees can vary from lender to lender, you should generally consider the following:

  • Loan amount — Most personal loan lenders usually offer loan amounts between $1,000 and $50,000. But in some instances, you may be able to qualify for a loan of up to $100,000 depending on your credit and other factors.
  • Loan term — Loan terms typically range from 12 to 60 months, though some lenders might offer longer terms. Just keep in mind that the longer the loan term, the more interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
  • Interest rates — Lender annual percentage rates, or APRs, typically range from 5% to 36%. But rates fluctuate daily, and the rate you receive will depend on your credit, the amount you want to borrow, the repayment term, and other financial qualifications.
  • Fees — Some lenders charge origination fees to process your loan, while others charge late fees or fees for incomplete payments. Others may charge a prepayment penalty if you pay off the personal loan early.

Comparing rates from multiple lenders can help ensure you receive the best personal loan available to you. Checking rates is easy when you use Credible.

How does a personal loan affect your credit score?

Any time you open a new credit account or pay one off, your credit score can change as a result. The change can be long term or short term, positive or negative.

Some positive effects of a new personal loan include:

  • Improving your credit mix
  • Lowering your credit utilization ratio
  • Building a positive payment history as you make on-time payments

But there are some negative effects as well, including:

  • Creates a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your score
  • Can create more debt if you use it to pay off credit cards and then continue carrying new balances on those cards
  • Missed or late payments will negatively affect your credit