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Best Personal Loan Companies

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    AUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • 3.49% to 35.99% APR
    • 2- to 180-month loan term
    • $50,000 maximum loan
    AUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • 5.99% to 29.99% APR
    • 36- to 60-month loan term
    • $35,000 maximum loan
    • 6.95% to 35.89% APR
    • 36- to 60-month loan term
    • $40,000 maximum loan

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    by Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

    The best personal loan company for you largely depends on how much you need to borrow, your credit score and where you live. The ConsumerAffairs research team vetted 20 loan companies that have APRs of 36% or less at the time of publishing for this guide. Compare rates, repayment terms and recent customer reviews to find the right option for you.

    Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
    • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
    • 3,468,602 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
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    Our top 5 picks for personal loan companies

    To select our top picks, we primarily considered verified reviews, recent APR ranges and availability. Read our methodology for more on how we scored companies.

    The best personal loans all have a few things in common —  reasonable rates, flexible terms and easy payment methods. The right one for you depends on your personal situation and goals.

    Our top pick overallBest EggAUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
    • Estimated APR range: 5.99% to 29.99%
    • Repayment terms: 3 to 5 years
    • Minimum credit score: 640

    Best Egg is our top pick overall because it has overall positive ratings. You can find secured and unsecured personal loans that can be used for major purchases, special occasions, debt consolidation or credit card refinancing.

    Since Best Egg offers loans online, its underwriting costs are a little lower. The origination fee is 0.99% to 5.99% of the full loan amount. About half of borrowers get funds the next day.

    What reviewers like: Simple approval process and polite reps

    A reviewer in Massachusetts said that Best Egg “was extremely responsive” and “I received my loan within two days of applying.”

    “It was very easy to apply for a personal loan. I received the funds in a reasonable amount of time, and when I had questions about it, I was able to easily get in touch with a representative,” a reviewer in Ohio said.

    Our pick for online marketplaceLendingClub
    • Loan amounts: Up to $40,000
    • Estimated APR range: 7.04% to 35.89%
    • Repayment terms: Varies
    • Minimum credit score: Varies

    With LendingClub, you get free access to a full-spectrum fintech (financial technology) platform. Through the website, you can apply for customized loan offers. Most members are approved within 24 hours and then receive money within a few days.

    You need a high credit score to get the lowest rates. Sometimes, adding a co-borrower helps you qualify.

    The one-time origination fee is 3% to 6%. On average, personal loans from LendingClub are for $15,800, with a 15.95% APR and a 36-month repayment term. A 5% origination fee is $790 for a $15,800 loan.

    What reviewers like: Transparent fees and ongoing support

    “While no one wants to borrow to pay off debts, the fact that this company was willing to give me a chance proved to me that, despite the hardship, they supported me,” a reviewer in New York said, “even during this pandemic.”

    A reviewer in New Jersey, who “used Lending Club to fund/pay down medical bills twice,” said that it is “very easy to understand, apply and get funded. … I find the whole process seamless in my experience”

    “I also liked that the loan rate was not all prepaid (although 3% was) as I needed the loan only short-term (less than one year), so I paid it off very early, and ended up paying far less than if I had paid it back over the full term,” a reviewer in Arizona said.

    Our pick for next-day fundingProsper
    • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
    • Estimated APR range: 7.95% to 35.99%
    • Repayment terms: 3 or 5 years
    • Minimum credit score: 640
    Prosper Logo Compare Offers on Personal Loan Pro

    Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender, meaning that loans are funded by individual investors instead of banks or credit companies. Prosper itself does not actually fund the loan.

    All personal loans through Prosper are unsecured, with fixed rates and fixed payments. Origination fees range from 2.41% to 5% of the loan amount. Check payment fees, late fees and insufficient funds fees may apply.

    What reviewers like: Easy to use and good customer service

    I found it to be a very simple process of filling out a very short form on a website, including how much money I wanted to borrow and how many months/years I wanted to pay it back,” a reviewer in Illinois said.

    “The application is quite simple and their customer service is knowledgeable, friendly and reliable,” according to a reviewer in New York. “Prosper is my ‘go-to’ for a loan. They have been there for me (3 times) since 2016.”

    Our pick for flexible requirementsOneMain Financial
    • Loan amounts: $1,500 to $20,000
    • Estimated APR range: 18% to 35.99%
    • Repayment terms: 2 to 5 years
    • Minimum credit score: Flexible
    OneMain Financial Logo Compare Offers on Personal Loan Pro

    If you don’t want to go through the online lending process, OneMain Financial is worth considering. It’s available in most states, with personalized service in 1,400 locations. It offers both unsecured and secured loans. Generally, funds are available within one to two business days after closing.

    One thing to consider is that APRs start relatively high. For instance, a borrower with good credit can get a $6,000 personal loan with a 24.99% APR. In this example, payments are $176.07 per month over a 60-month term, which equals a little over $10,500 in total.

    If you have good credit, another company will probably be able to get you a better rate.

    What reviewers like: Easy online payments and friendly atmosphere

    “Representatives truly care about you as an individual, are empathetic to your needs, and go out of their way to help,” according to a reviewer in Tennessee.

    “OneMain looks for the best choices for me with payment options. I call and tell them what I need and in the same day they are calling me back with options for me,” a reviewer in North Carolina said.

    “They are close by, so that was a help,” a reviewer in California said. However, the reviewer “probably won't use them again” because the interest is “pretty high.”

    Our pick for large unsecured loansSoFi
    • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
    • Estimated APR range: 4.99% to 19.63%
    • Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years
    • Minimum credit score: Undisclosed
    SoFi Logo Compare Offers on Personal Loan Pro

    SoFi stands out for its “no fees ever” advertising. Paying no origination fees and no prepayment fees is a great deal, and no late fees sounds even better.

    “Hold up. Just because we don’t charge late fees, we want to make sure you know —by paying after your bill’s due date, paying less than the minimum due, or even missing payments, means you’ll accumulate more interest and your final payment will be larger as a result. And you wouldn’t want that,” says a legal disclosure on the company’s website.

    The repayment terms are similar to what you find through other online lenders, but rates are relatively low (APRs top out at 20%).

    What reviewers like: Intuitive website and great rates

    “The website was easy to navigate and when I called I was able to talk to an actual person,” a reviewer in Florida said last year.

    Another reviewer in New Jersey with “good but not excellent” credit got a $50,000 personal loan funded in less than three business days. They said they got a “good rate compared to LendingClub or Prosper.”

    What is a personal loan?

    A personal loan is an installment loan, meaning that you get a lump sum of money upfront and then pay it back in regular “installments” over a predetermined period of time (typically between two and five years).

    Personal loan funds can be used for practically any reason, but most borrowers use them to pay down debt, cover emergency expenses, fund special occasions and make investments. Unlike a car loan or a mortgage, personal loans are unsecured in most cases. This means you don’t have to provide collateral, but the resulting risk to the lender drives up interest rates.

    You can get a personal loan from a bank, credit union, online lender or other financial institution. Some lenders only work with borrowers if they have a good credit score. Others have extremely loose requirements. The trade-off for flexible approvals is usually extremely high interest rates, like with payday loans. The added costs mean you end up paying a small fortune over time.

    If you don’t qualify for a personal loan and need a cash advance, consider these payday loan alternatives.

    Types of personal loans

    Personal loans can be secured or unsecured and come with fixed or adjustable interest rates. Debt consolidation loans and personal lines of credit are other options that fall into personal loans.

    Here are some of the most common personal loan options:

    • Unsecured personal loans: The majority of personal loans are unsecured, which means they’re not backed by collateral. For example, a payday loan is a type of unsecured personal loan that allows you to qualify even if you have bad credit.
    • Secured personal loans: A secured personal loan is backed by collateral that the lender can repossess if you default, like a car title. A personal loan lender grants you funds based on your credit score and ability to repay the loan.
    • Fixed-rate personal loans: A fixed-rate loan has an interest rate that stays the same over the entire term. These are easier to budget around, and there’s no worry that a situation outside of your control will drive the cost of your loan up.
    • Variable-rate personal loans: Variable-rate loans start with a fixed rate, but eventually the interest begins to fluctuate. It might save you money initially since starting rates are relatively low. Variable rates are sometimes better for shorter-term loans because there’s less time for the rates to change.
    • Debt consolidation loans: A debt consolidation loan lets you take out one loan to pay back multiple debts through a single monthly payment. Debt consolidation loans often have a better interest rate than what you’re currently paying on your debts.
    • Personal lines of credit: A personal line of credit preapproves you for an amount that you can draw from over time. Personal lines of credit generally have variable interest rates and are typically more affordable than credit card cash advances.

    Personal loans vs. credit cards

    Although they operate differently, both personal loans and credit cards appeal to people who need money soon.

    When deciding whether a personal loan or credit card is better for you, think about how you’d prefer to receive funds and the option that allows you to pay the least in interest. If the answer isn’t immediately clear, get offers for each and run the numbers to see for yourself.

    If you still aren’t sure, it helps to understand their functional differences:

    • Credit card: A credit card represents a line of credit from which you can borrow money at any time, up to your credit limit. This means you have more flexibility in how much debt you take on, and you also have more flexibility in how you pay that money back.

      It’s a good idea to avoid interest by paying off your credit card each month. While there’s usually a minimum payment you can make that’s lower than your actual balance, your remaining credit card debt continues to generate interest.
    • Personal loan: A personal loan gives you funds upfront as a lump sum, which you repay in installments for a predetermined period of time. There’s more of a commitment involved, but personal loans often come with better interest rates than credit cards.

      Personal loans are usually better for situations where you need a larger amount of money that you wouldn’t be able to pay off before your credit card interest rate kicks in.

    Pros and cons of personal loans

    Given their multitude of uses, personal loans are a great option for a lot of people. However, it’s always smart to acknowledge the potential shortcomings of any financial decision.

    We’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of personal loans below so that you can make an informed decision before you apply.

    Pros

    • Various types available
    • Decent interest rates for better credit scores
    • Often don’t require collateral
    • Payments are more consistent than with lines of credit or credit cards

    Cons

    • Risk to your credit history
    • Less flexibility than some options
    • Consolidation can create a debt loop
    • Scams are common

    How to get a personal loan

    Once you’ve evaluated your options and decided that you want a personal loan, the next step is to start the application process. While lenders' processes may vary slightly, the steps to obtaining a personal loan are typically the same.

    1. Check your credit score. There are a few ways to check your credit score. Just be careful about where you enter sensitive information, and make sure the service you use is legitimate. This step is important because it lets you know where you stand going into the lending process.
    2. Find lenders willing to offer you loans. Look around for options that fit your situation, and then reach out for quotes and terms. Comparing offers is the most important step to getting a good deal on a personal loan, so don’t limit yourself to the first offer you get. If you prefer face-to-face communication, it's a good idea to work with a local company (see below).
    3. Apply to the best one for you. The application process varies based on the lender you use, but typically lenders run credit checks to determine your creditworthiness and interest rate. If you’re approved, the time to receive your funds depends on the lender.

    Once you have a personal loan, the repayment term may begin immediately or be delayed. Regardless, once it starts, make payments on time for the rest of the loan term. If you plan to repay your loan early, check to make sure your lender doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty.

    Personal loan FAQ

    When it comes to interest rates, lower is better. Personal loan interest rates usually range from around 3% to 36%. If you have bad credit, your interest rate may be much higher.

    The interest rate on your loan usually depends on your:

    • Income
    • Credit history
    • Credit score
    • Employment history
    • Repayment ability
    Remember that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Before you apply for a loan, make sure the company is legitimate by:
    • Checking online reviews
    • Verifying it’s licensed in your state
    • Looking for transparent pricing
    • Noting any high-pressure sales tactics
    • Comparing its offer with the competition
    The difference between secured and unsecured loans is that secured loans require you to put up some asset as collateral, while unsecured loans don’t.

    With secured loans, the lender can repossess that asset should you fail to repay the loan. Unsecured loans don’t require collateral, but their interest rates are usually higher because the lender has no way to get paid back if you default.

    If you’re interested in a secured loan, work with your lender to figure out what you can use as collateral. Common options include:
    • Your home
    • Your car
    • Your investments
    • Your savings
    If you default on an unsecured loan, expect to see a negative impact on your credit score. If you don’t pay it back, the lender can also put your account in collections and even take legal action.
    The duration of the application process depends on your lender. Some lenders approve borrowers the same day. Other lenders may take several weeks to fund a loan. If the speed of the loan matters to you, ask the lender how fast you can get funding before you commit.
    It depends. Personal loans are a viable option for many circumstances. While other types of loans have specific requirements for use, personal loans can be used on anything from medical expenses to consolidating debt. If you’re in a pinch and need cash fast, a personal loan could be the right option for you. The most important consideration is your ability to pay it back.

    Methodology

    We started with a list of popular loan companies. For this guide, we only considered lenders that have APRs at 36% or below, leaving 20.

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team then analyzed recent reviews and ratings. Companies had to have at least 3.5 stars on our site, plus at least one 5-star review that specifically describes an experience with personal loans from the last year (September 20, 2020, through September 20, 2021). We also gave preference to companies with widespread availability.

    We ranked our top picks based on a calculation that multiplies the difference between total 5-star and 1-star reviews by the percentage of 5-star reviews against all reviews.

    Not sure how to choose?

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      Personal loan company information

      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      LoanMe

      LoanMe offers unsecured installment loans to consumers and businesses. The company's primary focus is to provide personal or small business lending solutions. The company offers loans from $2,600 to $100,000 for purposes such as debt consolidation or costs associated with starting a new business. LoanMe streamlines the loan application process, making it easier for consumers.

      • Loan range: LoanMe offers personal loans ranging from $2,600 to $100,000. This wide range gives consumers several options to choose a loan amount that meets their needs, even if they do not own a home.
      • Direct deposit: With application approval, consumers can receive their loan funds via direct deposit into a checking account.
      • Automatic payment withdrawals: LoanMe automates the loan repayment process, withdrawing loan payments from the borrower's bank account based on an agreed-upon repayment schedule.
      • Three ways to apply for a loan: Applicants can call the company toll-free to begin the loan application process with a live agent, complete the process online or use the company's website to request a callback from a live agent.
      Read 526 Reviews
      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      Best Egg

      Best Egg is an online lender for unsecured or secured loans. Debt consolidation and credit card programs are also available.

      • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
      • APR: Starting at 5.99%
      • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
      • Minimum credit score: 640
      • Availability: Nationwide
      Read 1594 Reviews
      FreedomPlus

      FreedomPlus is an online lender that offers personal loans. Interested consumers can visit the website and fill out an application online. Same-day loan decisions are available. Get funds in 24 to 72 hours. The company is licensed in most states.

      Read 509 Reviews
      Credit Direct

      Credit Direct Loans offers unsecured loans. You can complete the application, receive a loan proposal and contract and sign the contract electronically. The money is deposited into your checking account within 48 to 72 hours.

      Read 80 Reviews
      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      NetCredit

      NetCredit is a personal loan company offering loans up to $10,000. The company is a subsidiary of Enova International, Inc. Net Credit has a creative My RightFit ToolTM to help consumers customize their loan amount and repayment terms.

      • Easy application: The online NetCredit loan application process promises a quick response. If eligible for a loan, the borrower receives an offer which she can accept immediately, or she can request a modified loan.
      • Payment options: Borrowers select their own personalized repayment schedule. Additionally, NetCredit offers the customer an automatic payment option, so the borrower won’t forget to pay their loan payment.
      • No prepayment penalties and flexible repayment options: NetCredit helps build credit through regular reporting to two credit bureaus. The borrower can modify their payment amounts and won’t incur penalties for paying the loan off early.
      • No hidden fees: Borrowers of NetCredit promise no fees; borrowers only pay the company the interest and principal payment amounts for their loan. Their ClearCost for Me assures no additional or hidden fees.
      • Customer service options: NetCredit offers borrowers great customer service options, both by phone and by e-mail.
      Read 1073 Reviews
      AmOne

      AmOne takes a unique approach to helping individuals and business access the financial services they need. Instead of providing direct services, AmOne matches borrowers with suitable lenders. AmOne specializes in personal, unsecured, debt consolidation, small business and start up business loans. After completing a simple application, users are given a list of loan options. The borrower can pick the lender on their own or use one of AmOne’s consultants. The AmOne service helps the consumer narrow his or her borrowing options and make an informed credit decision.

      Read 243 Reviews
      Prosper

      Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace. The company has provided more than $2 million in loans. Next-day funding is now available.

      Read 58 Reviews
      OneMain Financial

      OneMain Financial has been in business since 1912. The company offers a variety of lending solutions. Use funds for debt consolidation, home improvements, auto purchase and more. Find education articles, calculators and financial tools on the website.

      Read 3117 Reviews
      LendingClub

      LendingClub is a large lending marketplace. It can deposit funds within 48 hours of approval. The company was launched in 2007, and it was originally one of Facebook's applications.

      Read 290 Reviews
      Avant

      Avant offers personal loans, emergency loans and credit cards. Funds are deposited the next business day. Most customers are middle-income borrowers with 600 to 700 credit scores.

      Read 175 Reviews
      Upgrade

      Upgrade offers multiple loan options. The company charges 2.9% to 8% origination fees. Borrowers get funds in about one day. There are no prepayment fees.

      Read 3 Reviews
      Pioneer Military Credit

      Pioneer Services is a personal loan company dedicated to lending to active or retired members of the military. The company has been in business for more than 25 years, and it has awarded loans to more than 1.4 million military families. Pioneer Services is the military division of MidCountry Bank, a company that makes VA home loans to eligible active-duty and retired veterans. The website provides an extensive learning center with specialized money topics to help the military population.

      Read 24 Reviews
      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      Marcus by Goldman Sachs

      Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers financial tools to help people manage their money and invest. It doesn’t charge fees on savings accounts or loans. Investment accounts include traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs.

      • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
      • APR: Starting at 6.99% (with autopay)
      • Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months
      • Minimum credit score: 660
      • Availability: Nationwide
      Read 2 Reviews
      Lendmark Financial

      Founded in 1996, Lendmark Financial Services offers individuals personal loans across the U.S. The company is headquartered in Covington, GA.

      Read 122 Reviews
      Figure Personal Loans

      Figure offers multiple fixed-term options for loans. There’s a quick online application process. Funding is typically available within a few days.

      View Profile
      LendUp

      LendUp was founded to aid those with less than perfect credit scores. The lender provides access to personal loans and credit cards, as well as special financial education geared toward escaping the debt cycle, financial planning and credit management. The company offers single payment loans up to $250, installment loans up to $500 and prime loans up to $1,000.

      View Profile
      LendingPoint

      LendingPoint offers personal loans and financing options. Same-day approvals are eligible for funding as soon as the next day. It doesn’t charge prepayment penalties.

      View Profile
      Upstart

      Upstart specializes in personal loans and car refinancing. Most approved applicants get money within one business day. The minimum loan amount varies by state.

      Read Review
      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      Personal Loan Pro

      Personal Loan Pro offers fixed-term personal loans, debt consolidation options and home equity lines of credit. Find investment options and loans without prepayment penalties.

      • Loan amounts: Up to $40,000
      • APR: Starting at 2.49%
      • Repayment terms: Varies
      • Minimum credit score: Varies
      • Availability: Nationwide
      View Profile
      1st Franklin Financial

      1st Franklin Financial is a lending company based in the Southeast. Borrowers can apply for a loan online and visit a branch to discuss their options. Funds are available as soon as the next day.

      Read 41 Reviews
      Payoff

      Payoff specializes in personal loans to pay off credit card debt. Minimum loan amounts and APRs vary in some states.

      Read Review

      Compare Reviews for Top Personal Loan Companies

      by Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

      Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.

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