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Best personal loans for good credit

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Prosper, Best Egg, LightStream and Upgrade
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Personal loans can be useful for certain financial goals, such as consolidating debt, renovating a home, starting a business or covering a large expense like medical bills.

Banks, credit unions and online lenders all offer personal loans, which come with fixed interest rates and repayment terms. They’re also typically unsecured, meaning the lender doesn’t require any asset to secure it. Therefore, the best personal loans require a good credit score and proof of stable income.

If you need a personal loan and have good credit, this guide will explore some top picks and break down additional details you may find useful as you shop for a personal loan.

Our top 4 picks for best personal loans for good credit

No matter what type of personal loan you’re getting, it’s always a good idea to find a lender with reasonable annual percentage rates (APRs), transparent fee information and repayment terms that fit your needs.

Prosper

Loan amounts
$2,000 - $50,000
Starting APR
8.99%
Repayment terms
Two to five years
Origination fee
1.00% to 7.99%

Prosper is an online peer-to-peer lending marketplace that brings together those who need to borrow money with investors willing to lend to them. While Prosper doesn’t actually lend the funds, it does service the loans on behalf of borrowers and investors. Its loan amounts range from $2,000 to $50,000.

You can apply for a personal loan through Prosper’s website. You’ll need to provide personal information like your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number. You’ll also specify the amount of money you need to borrow and the purpose of the loan (like home improvement, medical expenses, etc.).

People seem to like Prosper for its ease, and several of our reviewers are repeat customers.

A reviewer from Colorado wrote about her experience with the company on ConsumerAffairs: “It was a quick and easy process. Funds were available within 5 business days of my application. I recommend it to anyone with good to great credit.”

Prosper’s origination fees can vary from 1.00% to 7.99% of the loan value. Other lenders have fees as low as 1% or none at all, but they can also run higher than Prosper’s.

Prosper also charges a fee for paying by check. The fee is either $5 or 5% of the check payment amount — whichever is less.

Best Egg

Buyer's Choice Award Winner
Loan amounts
$2,000-$50,000
Starting APR
8.99%
Repayment terms
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 loan servicer that provides personal loans for a variety of purposes. The platform lets borrowers access funds quickly with minimal hassle, with approvals in minutes, and funds are available in as little as one day. You can borrow from $2,000 to $50,000 and pay it back in fixed monthly payments over three to five years.

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

Reviewers on our site give Best Egg positive ratings overall, highlighting the company’s customer service and promptness.

According to a reviewer from Massachusetts, “Best Egg was extremely responsive and I was blown away with their customer service. I received my loan within 2 days of applying, and was set up with an account immediately.”

They also said they were “NOT on hold for any amount of time” and that the representative was “not only knowledgeable, but also very quick to resolve my issues and didn't require me to be on the phone for more than a few minutes.”

With APRs as high as 35.99% for some borrowers, Best Egg may not be ideal for those without great credit histories.

Best Egg also charges an origination fee between 0.99% and 8.99% of the loan total. If you get a term of four years or longer, the origination fee will be at least 4.99%. This fee is deducted from the funds deposited into your bank account.

Upgrade

Buyer's Choice Award Finalist
Loan amounts
$1,000 - $50,000
Starting APR
8.49%
Repayment terms
24 - 84 months
Origination fee
1.85% to 9.99%

Upgrade is a financial technology (fintech) company that offers personal loans, checking accounts, cards with a personal line of credit and credit monitoring and education. Its personal loans can be used to consolidate debt, refinance credit cards, make home improvements or pay for a major purchase.

You can choose a loan term ranging from two years up to seven years. Upgrade also lets you change your payment date so it fits with your budget.

Like most other personal loan companies, Upgrade allows you to check your rate online without affecting your credit score. You can see the different loans you qualify for and choose the one you want. Once you’re approved, the funds are sent to your bank account within one business day.

Susie from Las Vegas had a great experience with the lender. “Easy application process," she said. "They will even do a soft credit pull to tell you what your likelihood is of being preapproved and at what rate. Once your process is approved they deposit the funds directly into your bank account. Customer service is helpful, knowledgeable and professional. I have had multiple loans. [I am] happy and would continue doing business with them. I highly recommend them.”

Upgrade offers a low 8.49% starting APR. If you have excellent credit and enroll in automatic payments, you should get a fairly good rate.

However, it does have a high origination fee. These administrative costs can range from 1.85% to 9.99% of the loan value — the highest on our list. This fee is deducted from the loan funds you receive.

LightStream

Loan amounts
$5,000 to $100,000
Starting APR
7.49% with with autopay and excellent credit
Repayment terms
24 to 144 months
Origination fee
None

LightStream is a division of Truist, a bank formed by the merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T. It offers personal loans for a variety of purposes, including home improvement, vehicle purchases, recreation, family life and debt consolidation.

It has competitive rates on loans up to $100,000, a satisfaction guarantee and a rate-beating program. You can apply online and possibly get same-day funding.

The company doesn’t disclose credit score or income requirements for personal loans, but it does state that it approves borrowers with several years of credit history, reliable income, assets and a track record of on-time payments.

LightStream has generally favorable reviews on our site, with one reviewer from Florida praising the company's customer service and options.

“Lightstream could not be any more user friendly and customer driven!" she said. "They plant a tree for every loan! They offer lots of repayment options and allow you to change payment time and amount whenever you need to make it more convenient.”

LightStream’s APR ranges from 7.49% to 25.49% with autopay. According to its site, at least 25% of applicants applying for the lowest rate qualified. LightStream does not charge any fees.

Compare the best lenders for borrowers with good credit

One of the most important things you can do when getting a personal loan is to compare rates and shop around.

“The key to finding the best loan is to research your local financial institutions and online providers as well,” said Dena Rothmann, managing vice president at Travis Credit Union.

“Read the small print in their personal loan disclosure and make sure you clearly understand the rates, fees and terms available. Use a loan calculator or contact the financial institution to have them help you figure out what the payment would be, and add this into your budget worksheet to make sure you are able to accommodate the added payment.”

Here’s how our top picks compare on important loan terms such as APR, fees, repayment period and maximum loan amount.

What is a good credit personal loan?

Having a top-notch financial profile is key to a personal loan, since these loans are unsecured. Borrowers with the best credit scores and highest incomes typically qualify for the best loan terms, such as lower interest rates and flexible repayment options.

Equifax considers credit score ranges as follows:

  • 580 to 669: Fair
  • 670 to 739: Good
  • 740 to 799: Very good
  • 800 and up: Excellent

You’ll likely get the best terms when your credit score is 740 or better. If you are on the cusp of a better credit score, it may be worthwhile to wait before applying for a loan until your score improves or take measures to boost your score.

A high credit score that reduces your personal loan interest rate or gives you the option for a longer loan term with a lower monthly payment could be worth the extra effort (or time).

» MORE: What credit score do I need for a personal loan?

Types of good credit personal loans

There are different types of loans that can help you reach your financial goals.

The biggest difference is whether you choose a secured loan, which requires collateral and tends to have lower interest rates, or an unsecured loan, which will have higher interest rates and more stringent income requirements.

Here’s a summary of loan products that you should be familiar with when shopping around:

  • Unsecured personal loans: These loans do not require collateral and typically offer fixed interest rates and repayment terms. However, since they are not backed by an asset, they may have higher interest rates for borrowers with lower credit.
  • Secured personal loans: These loans require collateral, such as a savings account, property or another valuable asset. The advantage of secured loans is that they usually offer lower interest rates than unsecured loans, making them an attractive option for borrowers with less-than-ideal credit.
  • Lines of credit: These can be either unsecured or secured and operate much like a credit card. With a line of credit, you can draw funds up to a certain limit, pay off the balance, and then withdraw money again up to the credit limit.
  • Balance transfer card: This type of credit card allows you to transfer high-interest credit card debt to a card with a lower interest rate, often with a promotional period of 0% interest. It gives you an opportunity to pay down debt faster without the burden of accruing interest, but there’s typically a balance transfer fee involved.

Pros and cons of getting a personal loan

Getting a personal loan is a big financial decision. You’ll be on the hook for payments for anywhere from one to five years, so it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the financial commitment.

Here are some pros and cons of getting a personal loan to consider.

Pros

  • Fixed interest rates and payments
  • No collateral required for unsecured loans
  • Potentially lower interest rates than credit cards

Cons

  • Higher interest rates for poor credit
  • Origination fees and missed payment penalties
  • Impact on credit score if you have a missed or late payment

Where to get a personal loan with good credit

Personal loans are widely available at a number of financial institutions, including banks, credit unions and online lenders. The most common use for these loans is consolidating higher interest rates, and some lenders will pay those creditors directly.

However, you can use your loan proceeds on a variety of expenses, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Vacation
  • Small business funding
  • Home renovations
  • Car purchase

Some lenders try to restrict the use of funds for things like college or post-secondary education expenses. Additionally, most lenders discourage or even prohibit the use of personal loans for gambling or investing in stocks and bonds. These restrictions are in place for high-risk activities because they can lead to financial loss and loan default.

» COMPARE: Best personal loan companies

How to apply for a personal loan with good credit

The first step to applying for a personal loan involves having a model credit profile because lenders assess your application based on a comprehensive review of your financial situation.

Ideally, you’ll have a good to excellent credit score and a near-perfect payment history. You should also have sufficient income and a lower debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

If you’re applying for a secured loan, make sure you have enough assets for the loan amount you’re requesting. By strengthening these aspects of your financial profile, you can significantly improve your approval odds.

Here’s a list of data points and documents you may need in the application process:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Address
  • Government-issued ID
  • All sources of income
  • All debt obligations
  • Proof of income (recent pay stubs, tax returns, etc.)

With some lenders, you may be able to check your rate with a soft credit pull. Once you are approved at this stage, you’ll get to see your terms, typically captured in a loan agreement. Once you accept the terms, you’ll likely have to submit to a hard credit pull and verification of the information you provided in the application process.

Tips to improve your personal loan approval

While each lender will have its own set of guidelines for approval, generally these tips can increase your odds of approval.

  • Have all required documentation ready at the time of your application
  • Make payments on time with your other existing credit accounts
  • Maintain a low credit utilization ratio
  • Avoid applying for new credit (unless it’s a soft credit check)

What loan rates can I expect with good credit?

Generally, personal loan rates will fall somewhere between a mortgage loan rate and a credit card rate. As mentioned, those with better credit scores and higher incomes will qualify for the best rates. If you choose a secured personal loan, your rate may be slightly lower.

Some lenders offer discounts for autopay or directing them to pay your creditors directly if your loan is for debt consolidation purposes.

Follow these tips to get a better rate on your personal loan:

  • Maintain a good credit profile, consistent income and low DTI ratio
  • Wait until the prime rate is lower to apply for a loan
  • Choose a loan with no origination or late fees for a lower APR
  • Get a secured personal loan
  • Opt for autopay
  • Allow the lender to pay your creditors directly if you are getting a debt consolidation loan

» MORE: What is a good interest rate on a personal loan?

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FAQ

Can a personal loan help you build your credit?

Yes. If repaid on time, a personal loan can improve your credit score by creating a history of timely payments and diversifying your credit mix.

Can a personal loan hurt your credit score?

If you don’t make your loan payments on time and as agreed, your lender could report adverse information to the credit bureaus, negatively affecting your credit score. Also, your score may temporarily decrease if you have a hard credit inquiry during the application process.

How much money can I borrow with a good credit score?

Providing you meet all other eligibility requirements, you can obtain a personal loan for up to $100,000, depending on the lender.

What are alternatives to a good credit personal loan?

Alternatives to personal loans include personal lines of credit, balance transfer credit cards and secured loans like a home equity loan or a car title loan.

Methodology

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team chose our top picks for good-credit loans by comparing popular lenders on online reputation, rate transparency and availability. All information is accurate at the time of publishing.

  • Online reputation: We compared ratings and reviews on our site and across the internet, including Trustpilot. We also checked in with the Better Business Bureau for current alerts and government actions related to marketplace misconduct within the last year.
  • Rates and fees: We gave preference to lenders with lower APR ranges, lower origination fees and no prepayment penalties. We also preferred companies with clear repayment terms.
  • Availability: We confirmed that all of our picks are currently available throughout the United States. We also eliminated lead generators and companies that are only licensed in a few states.
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