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Best online loans in 2024

These personal loans have easy online applications and fast funding times

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LendingClub, Best Egg and Upgrade
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Are you in search of the best online loan? Whether you’re consolidating high-interest debt, financing a major purchase or covering an unexpected emergency, the convenience of online loans can be a financial lifesaver.

We’ve done the legwork to find you the best personal loans with easy online applications and lightning-fast funding times. Say goodbye to endless searching and hello to the five best online loan lenders to help you reach your financial goals.

Our picks for online personal loans

When it comes to online personal loans, you want a trusted company that offers competitive annual percentage rates (APRs) with low caps, an easy-to-use website and good reviews from borrowers. The best online personal loan options we found are from Best Egg, Upgrade, Prosper and LendingClub.

Best Egg

Buyer's Choice Award Winner
Loan amounts
$2,000 to $50,000
APR range
8.99% to 35.99%
Term lengths
36 to 60 months
Origination fee
0.99% to 8.99%
3x Award Winner
Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service, Best Experience with Staff and Best Loan Process

Best Egg is an online credit platform that provides personal loans. Best Egg’s personal loans can be used for any purpose, including vacations or home improvement projects. Approvals often take minutes, and funds are available in as little as three business days. You can borrow as little as $2,000 or as much as $50,000.

Best Egg lets you check available rates on its website without committing, requiring only a soft credit inquiry that doesn’t impact your credit score.

Best Egg has a fast turnaround time, with some loans gaining approval and funding in one business day. Most borrowers, however, should expect at least a few business days before they see the funds deposited into their accounts.

We also like that Best Egg offers some of the lowest starting APRs among competitors. Borrowers with excellent credit could pay as little as 8.99% for their loans.

Many borrowers report good experiences with Best Egg, including Jerry from Georgia, who wrote: “Excellent experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better one. [If you're] in the market for a personal loan, make sure you give Best Egg a shot at your business. In my 40 years of professional real estate experience, which includes real estate development, I have never had a lending experience better than Best Egg.”

Reviewer Lorraine from Ohio was grateful for Best Egg’s customer service and caring associates. She said, “They were able to solve my financial problems by helping me consolidate all my credit accounts, and allowing me to make one affordable payment.”

Best Egg charges an origination fee between 0.99% and 8.99%; for loan terms of four years or longer, the origination fee is at least 4.99%. Your origination fee is deducted from the money you borrow.

Upgrade

Buyer's Choice Award Finalist
Loan amounts
$1,000 to $50,000
APR range
8.49% to 35.99%
Term lengths
24 - 84 months
Origination fee
1.85% to 9.99%

Upgrade is a solid choice if you need a personal loan ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. You can check your rate in minutes without hurting your credit score, and if approved, you could receive funds within a day of completing the verification process.

You can also earn a $200 welcome bonus if you open a new Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account to your loan application and have at least $1,000 in direct deposits within 45 days of opening.

Upgrade offers discounts for setting up autopay, using your loan to pay off debt or choosing to secure your loan with your car. It will also pay your creditors directly if you’re using a loan for debt consolidation.

This lender is known to accept borrowers with lower credit scores, so it’s a good option to try if you’ve been turned down for other personal loans. Plus, you can apply with a co-borrower to improve your chances of getting a better rate and a higher loan amount.

Barbara from Ohio said that she is happy with Upgrade and her monthly payments are reasonable, “[Upgrade] asked a few questions and I did end up speaking with a very nice guy. I was approved within no time and the money was deposited into my checking account within a few days. I have paid off the bills that were bothering me.”

Ricky from Alabama had similar sentiments to share about his experience with Upgrade saying, “They kept constant communication with me through the whole process. When they told me they would get back with me about anything, they did in a timely manner.”

Upgrade’s origination fees range from 1.85% to 9.99%, which can be on the higher side. However, the overall cost of the loan could still be competitive if you qualify for discounts.

There’s a $10 late fee if your payment isn’t received within 15 days of your due date. If you choose a secured loan, there may be a title transfer fee, which Upgrade will deduct from your loan amount.

Loan amounts
$2,000 to $50,000
APR range
8.99% to 35.99%
Term lengths
Two to five years
Origination fee
1.00% to 7.99%

Prosper is an online peer-to-peer lending marketplace that offers loans from both individuals and institutions. While Prosper doesn’t lend funds itself, it does service the loans on behalf of the borrowers and investors. Available loan amounts range from $2,000 to $50,000.

Some borrowers receive loan decisions in as little as five minutes; others may have to wait up to five business days, although this is rare. If you’re approved, you’ll receive the loan terms and sign the agreement. You could receive the funds in as little as one to three business days.

Prosper's personal loans are unsecured, which means there’s no collateral requirement. There’s also no prepayment penalty. You can pay off your loan early with no added fees or restrictions, and you can make additional payments to your principal each month to pay off the loan faster.

Many of its customers seem satisfied, including Nisha from New York who said, “Prosper is my ‘Go To’ for a loan. They have been there for me (3 times) since 2016. The application is quite simple and their customer service is knowledgeable, friendly and reliable. I would highly recommend Prosper.”

Carlitha from Colorado recommends Prosper to anyone with good to great credit, saying, “It was a quick and easy process. Funds were available within 5 business days of my application.”

One of Prosper’s primary charges is an origination fee, which can range between 1% and 7.99% of the loan amount. This fee is deducted from the loan at the time of origination.

LendingClub

Loan amounts
$1,000 to $40,000
APR range
9.57% to 35.99%
Term lengths
24 to 60 months
Origination fee
3.00% to 8.00%

LendingClub provides personal loans, small business loans and auto financing. It's an online marketplace that connects borrowers to a network of lenders to help them select the right loan for their individual needs. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000, with terms ranging from 24 months to 60 months, though not all term lengths are available in all states.

If your loan is approved, you could receive the funds in as little as 48 hours. If you choose a loan for debt consolidation, LendingClub can pay your creditors directly.

LendingClub allows co-applicants, or co-borrowers, on personal loans. Applying for a loan together with an individual who has excellent credit could not only increase your chances of approval but also lower your interest rate.

“My experience with Lending Club was nice and the process was easy,” said Texas reviewer Keishonda: “I love how they send a reminder a week before the payment is due. They will make sure that the funds are there. You also couldn't beat the APR for what I got.”

Debbie from Florida rated Lending Club five stars for its easy application, saying, “They didn't make anything difficult. Everything was online. It took about 10 minutes.”

Lending Club charges an origination fee, which ranges from 3.00% to 8.00% of the loan amount. The origination fee is determined based on your credit rating and is charged only when you receive your loan.

Compare the best online lenders

The best lender for you will depend on your credit score, how much you need to borrow, and the fees you're willing to pay.

Prosper stands out for individuals with excellent credit who want to capitalize on the lowest possible APRs. If your credit score is 640 or above, Prosper's APR range starting at 7.95% and more moderate origination fees of 2.41% to 5% can result in overall cost savings on your loan.

At the same time, Best Egg is a strong option if you're looking for low origination fees, and Upgrade or LendingClub could be good if you have lower credit.

Getting pre-qualified is the best way to see which lender offers the best terms for your situation.

How to get an online loan

Before you begin the application process, you should assess your loan needs and financial situation. For example, if your goal is debt consolidation, first add up all your credit card balances to find how much you need to borrow to pay those off. If you’re using the funds for a home improvement project, you may want to get quotes from various contractors so you have a good idea of the potential costs.

It’s a good idea to know your credit score and check your credit report for inaccuracies before applying for a personal loan.

Once you know how much you need to borrow and what your credit score is, you research the lending options available to you. Be sure to consider the fees associated with the loan (like origination fees), the average APR for your credit score and any perks included with the loan. Prosper, Best Egg, LendingClub and Upgrade all let you check your rate online before you commit.

When you’ve decided which loan best suits your needs, you can apply online and generally receive a decision within a day or so. If you’re approved, you’ll receive the loan terms and an agreement to sign. Once you sign, you should receive the funds within a few business days, depending on how fast your lender and bank can process the funds.

Documents needed for an online loan

Applying for an online loan usually requires the same set of documents as in-person loans. Here's a standard list of what you might need:

  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of income and employment
  • Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

» MORE: How do personal loans work?

Pros and cons of online loans

Online personal loans offer you the convenience and speed that traditional banks often can't match. You can apply from the comfort of your home, get a decision quickly and receive funds in your account in a matter of days or even hours.

But the ease of access can lead to hasty decisions, and some online lenders may have higher APRs or origination fees than what you’d find at banks.

Pros

  • Convenient and fast application process
  • Quick funding, often within 24 hours
  • Wide range of lenders can help you find the best deal
  • Accessible to those with low or bad credit

Cons

  • Potential for higher APRs and fees
  • Risk of making quick, uninformed decisions
  • Need to research thoroughly to avoid predatory lenders

How to get an online loan with bad credit

Many online loan lenders have lower credit score minimums than traditional lenders, so it’s possible to get an online loan with bad credit. You can also increase your chances of approval with these options:

  • Apply for a joint loan. When you apply with a partner or family member who has better credit, lenders consider both credit profiles, which can work in your favor.
  • Get a co-signer. Similarly, a co-signed loan involves someone with good credit agreeing to sign on your loan. Their credit score can help you qualify, but remember, they're also on the hook if you can't make payments.
  • Improve your credit. Although it takes time, improving your credit is the best way to get the best loan terms. Start by paying bills on time, lowering your debt amount, and reviewing your credit report for errors.

Are no-credit-check loans and online payday loans safe?

No-credit-check loans and online payday loans may seem like a lifeline if you have poor credit, but tread carefully. These loans typically don't require a credit check — which can be appealing if you have credit issues—but they come with extremely high fees and APRs in the triple digits. Always prioritize safer, more affordable borrowing options when possible.

For example, a payday loan might require repayment in full in just a few weeks, usually on your next payday. If you can't pay, you might have to take out another loan, incurring more fees and interest. This cycle can quickly become unsustainable and lead to a situation where the amount you owe far exceeds the original loan amount.

Need cash now? Use our Personal Loans Tool to lock in great offers in minutes!

    FAQ

    Are online loans safe?

    Online personal loans can be safe if you borrow from a reputable lender. Always research lenders, read reviews, and verify their credentials before applying. Take time to understand the fees and interest rates you're agreeing to before you accept an offer. Make sure you comfortably handle the monthly payment.

    How do I compare and pre-qualify for online personal loans?

    Many lenders have short questionnaires you can fill out on their websites to pre-qualify and view potential loan offers without impacting your credit score. You’ll usually provide some basic financial information, like your credit score, loan amount and anticipated term, and then they’ll give you a preliminary offer. You can use online comparison tools or visit lender websites individually to compare your options.

    What is the easiest loan to get approved for?

    The easiest loans to get approved for are often payday loans or short-term, high-interest loans, which are accessible even with poor credit. But their ease comes at a cost: They typically have exorbitant APRs and can lead to a dangerous cycle of debt. Explore all other options — including online personal loans from reputable lenders like Prosper, Best Egg, LendingClub and Upgrade — before resorting to these high-risk financial products.

    Bottom line

    The best online loans offer easy online applications, quick funding, and competitive terms. If you need a loan, your next step is to get pre-qualified with top lenders to see which one offers the best terms for your specific financial situation.

    Pre-qualification is a simple, quick process that can give you a clear picture of your options without affecting your credit score. Armed with this information, you can choose the loan that will best help you achieve your financial goals.


    Article sources

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

    1. Federal Reserve, “5 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score.” Accessed March 7, 2024.
    2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “What is a payday loan?” Accessed March 7, 2024.
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