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Top 10 Personal Loan Lenders You can Trust

Have you finally decided to take a personal loan? If this sounds familiar then you must now be in search of some of the best personal loan lenders. After all, the only way to save money with personal loans and have your need fulfilled is to find a lender with the lowest interest rate.

On top of that, if you are trying to build a credit score, personal loans can be really useful. It’s easier to stay out of debt since the borrowing amount is fixed and you cannot add to the balance like it’s done in the case of credit cards.

Never settle for the first lender you find. Chances are they are charging a high interest rate and have stiff payment terms. This could make the entire loan significantly expensive than you imagined.

The Best Personal Loan Companies

To make things easier for you; we have prepared a list of the best personal loan lenders:

1.    Lunar Loans

Loan Range $3,500-$40,000
APR Variable 4.49 – 17.49%
Term 2 – 12 years
Min Credit Score 660

Lunar investments & loans would be your refuge if you are looking for same day approval for the loan. No paperwork is required. You just have to fill in the online application and wait for their approval; which is quick.

They have helped over 1 million borrowers so far. Their loan processing fee is low. Their loan processing fee is very minimal.

You are required to follow these 3 steps:

Step 1: Check the Loan Options

You start by providing them basic information that’s required of you.

Step 2: Sign an Online Contract

For security reasons, you have to sign an e-contract after selecting your loan options.

Step 3: Get Ready To Receive the Funds

Once your loan application is approved, Lunar Loans will deposit money into your bank the next business day.

Even if you don’t have a great credit score, Lunar loans can still help you meet your financial goals. You can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 and the term of the loan can be between 2 and 12 years. The minimum credit score requirement to qualify for the loan is 660. While you are accessing if you are eligible for the loan for not, it will not affect your current credit score.

Lunar loans understand that financial difficulties come unannounced. Whether you are a businessman or a salaried employee, whenever you are in need of extra funds, you can reach out to Lunar loans and have your needs fulfilled.

Instead of asking friends or colleagues, it’s best to take a personal loan. It will prove to be a good choice. The interest rate starts 4.49 to 17.49 percent depending on the amount you borrow. Lunar loans is the most flexible with their loan terms and conditions.   

Pros

  • Fast approval
  • Lower APR
  • Lower loan processing fee

Cons

  • You must have fair credit score

2.    LightStream

Loan Range $5,000-$100,000
APR Variable 4.49 – 17.49%
Term 2 – 12 years
Min Credit Score 660

If you have a strong credit score, your next best option in personal loans is LightStream. It rewards its customers with benefits such as a $100 bonus for submitting feedback and an autopay discount.

Loan amount

Their maximum loan amount is $100,000 so if you are planning to make a big purchase, this personal loan provider can meet your needs. You can also use it for debt consolidation or to pay for a wedding. The only catch is to have a great credit score.

They also accept cosigners if you want to borrow a large sum of money. Their minimum loan is $5,000. If you want to borrow less than $5000, they won’t entertain you.

Loan fee

They don’t charge any fee when you apply for the loan. There are no pre-qualifications either. However, you will have to provide them many years of credit history. This could be hard for those who don’t have a good history. If you are worried about rejection, it is best not to apply here to begin with.

Perks

They also offer rate undercutting which means LightStream is likely to offer 0.10 percent less than their competitors. If you are planning to get a larger loan amount, it’s ideal to choose a 12-year loan period to that you can spread the repayment as per your needs.

What to watch out for?

Sometimes, they also ask you to show your savings, liquid assists, retirement savings and real estate payments. You must have a consistent stream of income to pay your current debts. These terms and conditions make LightStream very strict when it comes to loan approval.

Keep in mind that if you wish to pay off your loan earlier, they can’t help you. They don’t accept extra principal payments. You will be still charged an interest rate even if you contact the company to pay your entire loan.

Pros

  • Fast response
  • No loan origination or prepayment fees
  • Competitive interest rate

Cons

  • Strict approval process
  • People with limited credit history cannot apply

3.    SoFi

Loan Range $5,00-$100,000
APR Variable 5.99 – 17.67%
Term 2 – 7 years
Min Credit Score 680

SoFi is a great personal loan for those who want are looking for some extra funds to meet your financial goals. Just like LightStream you will need a decent credit rating to qualify. The company offers its best features to those who qualify.

Loan amount

For those who can afford their interest rate, you can get your hands on perks such as flexible payment options, low interest rates and membership perks. Their loan amount ranges from $5,000 and $100,000.

Loan fee

There are no fees so you don’t have to worry about bearing extra costs. You will be able to see exactly how much the loan will cost you. That’s why SoFi calls themselves to be completely transparent.

Perks

The best thing about this personal loan provider is their transparency from the start to the finish.

A great feature about SoFi is its unemployment protection. If you happen to lose your job when you have taken a loan, you won’t have to worry about the loan. You can put the loan repayment on hold until you start earning again.

What to watch out for?

For those who want immediate funding, this might be a turn off – SoFi requires a good credit score and it takes up to 7 days to process your application and transfer funds.

When it comes to unemployment protection, there is no guarantee that you will be able to apply for this feature. Additionally, it only works for 3 months and then you have to reapply. While you are not paying, the interest rate keeps on accruing. Once you start the repayment, you have to pay back the accrued interest rate as well.

Pros

  • Low interest rate
  • Flexible payment option
  • Membership perks

Cons

  • Funding takes time
  • Borrowers must meet high standards

4.    Upstart

Loan Range $1,000-$50,000
APR Variable 7.69 – 35.99%
Term 12 to 60 months
Min Credit Score 620

UpStart is best for graduates or new borrowers. Its credit score requirements are not that strict either. It is developed to provide personal loans to people with various. When you are applying for the loan, it takes more than just your credit score for approval. It also considers your education and experience.

Loan amount

UpStart can provide you as less as $1000 to as high as $50, 000. You can choose between 3 to 5-year terms without worrying about a prepayment penalty.

All the personal loans they offer have a fixed interest rate. You won’t have to worry about fluctuating monthly payments. Once your loan is approved, your first payment will be due 30 days after receiving the funds.

Loan fee

There is a minor processing fee which is deducted from the loan amount so that you don’t have to arrange the money separately. The terms of the loan are very flexible and there is no prepayment penalty. This advantage makes it a great fit for many applications.  

Perks

If you lack a credit history, UpStart can still provide you a loan. This is a perfect opportunity to build a credit history. It is one of those loans for which you don’t need a job to qualify.  

Another benefit is that UpStart is very flexible with payments. You can either pay back the loan via bi-weekly or monthly payments. In case you run into financial troubles, they have different repayment options to accommodate your needs.  

What to look out for?

Since the loan approval requirements are lenient, the interest rate they charge is higher than their competitors. You will be charged with a late fee therefore, make sure you keep making payments on time. The late payment fee is $15 or 5 percent of the monthly amount due.

Pros

  • Good for new borrowers or graduates
  • Fast funding facility
  • Great opportunity to build a credit history

Cons

  • Late fees
  • Higher starting rates than others

5.    Municipal Credit Union

Loan Range $1,000-$50,000
APR Variable 5.95% – 7.55%
Term 1 to 6 years
Min Credit Score 660

Municipal Credit Union is one of the oldest personal loan lenders. They have been serving since 1916. They are known for offering personal loans to borrowers even with bad credit.

Loan Amount

Their loan amount ranges from $1,000 to $50,000. The term of the loan is from 1 to 6 years. If you are one of those individuals with a bad or no credit history at all, MCU can be a big help. They offer small and secured loans for this purpose. The highest interest rate is 15.95% and when you sign up for autopay, then it drops to 7.55 percent.

Loan fee

They charge a flat fee of $25. They also accept cosigners. Once your loan application is accepted, the funds will deposit into your account quickly.

To apply for the loan, you must have at least $5 in your bank account. You can only qualify for a loan amount equal to 25 percent of your annual salary. Your credit score and financial information is taken into account to determine your loan amount, interest rate and other terms.

Perks

They don’t penalize you if you wish to pay off your loan earlier. Your loan application is processed within 2 days and the funds get transferred to your account after that.

If you sign up for autopay, your interest rate is reduced by 2 percent.

What to look for?

Keep in mind the loan amount you qualify for depends on your credit rating. So, if you have a bad credit score, you cannot get a large amount. People with a bad credit score will have to bear a higher interest rate.

They charge a $25 late fee if your payment is 30 days late.

Pros

  • They have complete transparency
  • You customize the loan and repayment date
  • You can pay off the loan earlier without penalties

Cons

  • The terms of the loan vary
  • Not all applicants are accepted.

6.    Payoff

Loan Range $5,000-$35,000
APR Variable 5.65% – 22.59%
Term 2 to 5 years
Min Credit Score 660

As the name implies, Payoff is one of those personal loan providers that specializes in credit card debt consolidation. Their APR interest rate is as low as 5.99 percent.

Loan amount

Unlike other conventional lenders, Payoff provides you a single platform to pay all your outstanding credit cards. The minimum loan amount starts from $5,000 and it can go as high as $35,000. They use debt to income ratio for assessing how much outstanding debt you have in relation to your annual income.

You can only get a loan from Payoff if is related to credit card debt. They will reject your application if it’s related to anything else.

Loan fee

The origination fee varies from 0% up to 5%. The loan fee is deducted from the total loan amount after it’s approved.

You will need at least 2 years of credit history to have your loan application approved. Your minimum credit score must be 660.

Perks

Payoff does not charge late payment fee. You aren’t penalized if you decide to pay off your loan early. You can choose to pay off the loan from 2 to 5 years.

The funds will transfer into your bank within 2 days of approval. Another great thing about Payoff is its low interest rate. Its 5.99% to begin with and if you have a strong credit profile, you will qualify for an even a lesser amount. Payoff is available in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada. and West Virginia only.

Payoff says you can increase your credit by 40 points by getting a loan from here.

What to look out for?

The amount of loan you qualify for depends on your credit profile. Chances are you are offered a lower amount than what you asked for originally.

Payoff does not approve co-signers. They will perform a hard credit check to see if you are eligible for the loan.

Pros

  • Fast loan approval
  • Reasonable Interest Rates
  • Simple Application Process

Cons

  • No co-signers are accepted
  • The loan amount depends on your credit score

7.    Avant

Loan Range $2,000 to $35,000
APR Variable  9.95% – 35.99%
Term 2 to 5 years
Min Credit Score 580

Avant offers personal Loans for fair credit. The lender has been helping borrowers who are challenged with credit.

Loan amount

Qualified applicants may receive $5,000 up to $35,000. The starting interest rate is as low as 9.95%. The APR rate is higher than other competitors but as they are providing loans to those with bad credit, it’s a fair deal.

Loan fee

Avant charges an administration fee which is up to 4.75 percent. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay it upfront. It’s deducted from the loan amount. You can get access to the funds within one business day.

Perks

You need a credit score of at least 580 to qualify for the loan. There are no minimum income requirements though. If you successfully repay your debt, you will see that within just the first 6 months, your credit score will increase by 12 points. This means Avant also helps with building credit history.

If your credit history is low, you must at least earn $20,000 or more for your chances of getting the loan application approved and a good rate.

It only performs a soft credit check so you don’t have to worry about having your credit score fall down. They also have a mobile app so that you can easily manage your funds anytime you want.

What to look out for?

If you fail to make a payment on time, you will be charged a late fee which is $25. This amount is fixed. However, if you make subsequent payments for the next 3 months of missing the amount, they refund your money.

Their maximum loan amount is $35,000. If you want something higher, you would have to look for another option.

Pros

  • Fast access to funds
  • Soft credit pull
  • Competitive interest rate

Cons

  • Administrative fee

8.    Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Loan Range $3,500 to $40,000
APR Variable  6.99% – 28.99% 
Term 36 and 72 months
Min Credit Score 660

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a leading lender among people with a fair credit score. Most users opt for this personal loan to consolidate debt or for home improvement. However, you can borrow money for any purpose. It’s a consumer banking and lending arm of an investment bank called Goldman Sachs.

Loan amount

Their loan amount ranges from $3,500 to $40,000. Their APR rate starts at 5.99 percent. The rates vary depending on how much you want to brow, the length of time and your financial history.

Loan fee

There is no fee associated with the loan provided by Marcus. There are no origination or prepayment fees. Even if you want to pay back your loan early, they won’t charge you any penalty.

Perks

Marcus allows its lenders to skip a payment for a month a year if they have been paying it regularly for 12 months. This facility is provided for those who want to save money or meet a financial obligation and need a cushion for a while. They will extend your loan for 1 month extra and you still have to pay interest on that month.

Marcus allows its borrowers to set the due date of the loan. It also offers financial tools for tracking your credit score by paying the debt on your loan.

They perform a soft credit check. That means whatever the outcome, it won’t affect your credit score.

What to watch out for?

Everything about Marcus is great but all this comes at a price i.e. a good credit score. If your score is below 660, you won’t qualify.

Pros

  • Flexible payment options
  • No fee
  • Simple application process

Cons

  • No cosigner is accepted

9.    Lending Point

Loan Range $2,000 – $25,000
APR Variable  9.99% – 35.99%
Term 2 to 4 years
Min Credit Score 585

Lending Point is for borrowers with s bad or fair credit score. If you have a good credit score, it’s suggested to look for another lender otherwise, you will be stuck with paying a higher APR.

Loan amount

They lend from $2,000 to $25,000. One thing that makes it different from its competitors is the ability to make monthly payments twice a month.

To qualify for the loan, one must have a personal income of $25,000 or more per year. They also cater to applicants who have been in the current job for almost a year.

Loan fee

The origination fee ranges from 0 to 6 percent. They perform a soft credit check to get the APR rate and hard credit check when you apply for the loan.

Perks

They support a 100% online process. You just have to submit the application, upload the documents required and once the loan is approved, funds are transferred to your account.

They even have an online calculator that lets you calculate the repayment amount depending on your loan amount and loan terms.

Another great thing about Lending Point is that they process your loan application quick and they transfer you the funds within 1 business day.

What to look out for?

Since the loans are written with 28 days payment schedule, the due date of your loan is likely to change each month.

If you want to borrow more than $25,000, you might have to look elsewhere because they don’t offer larger loans.

Another downside is the late payment fee. They charge a flat rate of $30 against each late payment.

Pros

  • Accepts bad to fair credits
  • Quick approval
  • Simple application process

Cons

  • At least 1 year of consistent employment is required
  • Must live in eligible state to apply

10.  Best Egg

Loan Range $2,000 – $35,000
APR Variable  5.99% – 29.99%
Term 3 to 5 years
Min Credit Score 640

Best Egg specializes in providing unsecured loans that don’t need any a collateral to qualify for. It primarily focuses on borrowers with an above-average credit score. Till now, the company has successfully assigned $4 billion in loans.

The lender targets with a higher than average income so if you learn less than $100,000 annually, you would want to consider another provider.

Loan amount

Their loan amount ranges from $2,000 to $35,000. They also offer up to $50, 000 for customers who qualify. Their application process is simple and short and they transfer funds within 1 business day.

Loan fee

The origination fee ranges from 0.99 to 5.99 percent.

Even though they have an origination fee, they don’t charge repayment fees if you decide to pay off the loan quicker. If you choose to prepay, this could reduce your interest rate. They charge a $15 fine if you are unable to make personal loan monthly payment on time.

Perks

Best Eggs offers personal loans with a fixed-term plan. Your rates remain the same throughout the life of your loan.

When you are checking your rate and eligibility, this would not impact your credit score. However, if you choose to accept the offer, then they will perform a hard credit check.

The loan payment due dates are subject to change for borrowers.  You can set the due date according to your flexibility. Best Eggs works with the customer to come up with a budget that suits them. This will keep you from financial stress.

What to look out for?

If you want to qualify for the lowest rate which is 5.99 % you must have a credit score of 700 at a minimum and annual income of $100,000. Although they accept applicants with 640 credit scores as well, that means your ARP is going to escalate.

Pros

  • Ability to choose your own payment date
  • Fast approval
  • Best for debt consolidation

Cons

  • High origination fee
  • Strict approval

What Is A Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a short-term loan provided by private lenders, banks or credit unions. It is an unsecured loan. You don’t need collateral like a house or car to back the loan. However, to qualify, you must have consistent income and a fair credit score.

The loan can be taken to fulfill any financial obligation – pay off debt, medical emergency, wedding or even a home improvement project.

The loan is processed within 1 to 7 business days. You repay the loan in monthly installments. The loan term can range from 2 to 5 years.

Benefits of Personal Loans

Personal loans could be a blessing in the time of need. If you have a good credit score and a financial emergency arises, you can get a personal loan at a competitive APR rate and quick turnaround. It won’t be a burden on you.

Similarly, if you are unable to afford more than the minimum payments on your credit score, you can take a personal loan and pay off the entire debt. This won’t just provide you with financial relief, but you will be pay interest rate overall. You will then have to pay a single monthly payment each month of the loan, of course.

Other benefits of personal loans include:

  • You get a lump sum amount
  • Funds can be transferred in your bank account as little as 1 business day
  • The application process is simple
  • Some lenders even accept your application with a bad credit

Drawbacks of a Personal Loan

Every coin has two sides and so is the case with a personal loan. It is certainly a great relief in financial emergencies but it comes with some cons that every applicant must watch out for:

  • You will have to pay a higher APR
  • There is often an origination fee with the loan
  • Some lenders have late payment penalties
  • If you wish to pay off the debt before its terms, you might have to bear a penalty

Even if you have a good credit, you will still find APR rates associated with personal loans to be higher. If you end up losing your job, you won’t be able to pay the loan. Personal loan lenders don’t help the consumer pay off their debt in such a situation. They don’t consolidate your loan as credit card companies do.

Therefore, one must apply for personal loan after careful consideration and planning.

How to Apply For Personal Loan?

Here is the process of applying for personal loan explained in simple steps:

  1. Do the math

First, check if you are able to afford a personal loan. Although the lender will do that already, you must do your due diligence to be sure you are able to repay the debt without getting yourself into yet another financial burden.

  • Check your credit score

All personal loan lenders run a credit score check on the applicants. To make sure you qualify for the loan, you must know your credit score already. People with a low credit score have a shot at getting a loan too.

  • Choose the type of loan

Now it is time to determine which type of loan would be best for your situation. Most lenders are flexible about where you use your funds however, some ask will lend you money only for certain purposes.

  • Shop around to find the best rate

One thing is certain, the APR rate for personal loans is higher than usual. However, if your credit score is fair or less than average, you will be charged an even higher rate. The rate also depends on the amount you are borrowing.

Do not settle for the first lender you come across thinking you don’t stand a chance with other providers. You might be able to find a less rate even if your credit score is not perfect. Hence, it’s best to spend enough time shopping around and looking for the terms and conditions that suit your financial situation the best.

  • Choose the lender and submit an application

Once you have found the lender you had been looking for, submit the application by filling the online form. They will need some financial information to see if you qualify.

  • Submit the documents

After your loan application is approved, you will be asked to submit documentation such as a copy of your driver’s license, proof of residence, etc.

  • Use the funds

Once all the paperwork is complete, the lender will transfer the funds within as little as 1 business day. You can then start using the funds. Make sure you pay the monthly installments on time so that you aren’t charged a penalty.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who gets personal loans?

A personal loan is for almost anyone. Since each borrower is eligible to get a different amount, they take the loan to meet various purposes.

What is APR?

APR means Annual Percentage Rate. It is the extra amount you pay in the form of interest and fee on the loan. It’s calculated on an annual basis. However, you pay it on a monthly basis.

How is the interest rate determined?

Lenders determine the interest rate proportionate to the risk. They assess the risk of defaulting of each borrower. If the risk is lower, the interest rate offered will be lower.

The interest rate not just includes the cost of the risk, but the cost of servicing the loan.

How is secured loan different from unsecured loan?

A secured loan is backed by collateral (a car, property or another asset). If the borrower is unable to pay back the loan, he loses this asset. The asset serves as security. Secured loans hence have a lower interest rate.

An unsecured loan is not backed by collateral. It is given on the basis of the borrower’s credit history and monthly income. Since more risk is involved, lenders charge a higher interest rate for unsecured loan than other types of loans.

How much loan can I get?

This varies from one provider to another. Some are willing to offer as low as $1,000 and going as higher as $50,000.

If you want to borrow a larger amount, you might have to shop around for a while. Keep in mind in that case, the APR rate charged will be higher.

How does one’s credit score affect the loan offer?

Since personal loans are unsecured loans, they come with a higher APR. Lenders pay less attention to the credit score of the borrowers. That’s because these loans are primarily designed for the borrowers with an average or bad credit score.

However, there is a catch. The lower your credit score, the higher the APR. On the flip side, even if your credit score is great, you are still paying a higher APR as compared to other type of loans.

Does it cost to apply for a personal loan?

Once your loan application is approved, most lenders take an origination fee before transferring the money. This is a one-time fee associated with the loan. It is essential to help the lender pay the cost of issuing the loan.

Usually, lenders deduct it from the loan. For instance, if your loan amount is $10,000 and the origination fee is 4%, you will receive $9,600 as funds.

Make sure you ask the lender about the application fee before applying for the loan. This fee is nonrefundable.

What is a repayment term?

Repayment terms is the length of time a borrower has to repay his loan. It can range from 2 to 5 years and even beyond that depending on the provider.

How soon can I get the money after loan approval?

This depends on when and where you are playing for the loan. Some lenders take 24 hours while others take as long as a month. If all your documents are ready, you can expect to get the funds transferred into your bank account quickly.

What documents do I need to apply for a loan?

Each lender might have a different application process hence the documents required might vary from one provider to another.

Usually, borrowers are asked to give their name, address, and SSN which is all necessary for running a credit check. Other than this information, you might have to provide the following documents:

  • Tax return
  • Proof of residence
  • Pay stubs
  • Transcripts or SAT scores

Can people with limited credit history apply for personal loans?

Yes, even people with no or limited credit history can apply for loans. Providers such as UpStart offers loan to first-time borrowers with zero credit history. In such a case, they evaluate your creditworthiness either through your income or your education.

What happens if I can’t repay?

You must only apply for a personal loan if you are certain you will be able to pay back the loan.

If you happen to miss a payment, it’s recommended to reach out to your lender and let them know your situation. Most lenders charge a flat late payment fee. Therefore, it’s best that you don’t miss your payments.

In case you are unable to pay back the loan, lenders often report it to the credit agencies and this could affect your credit score negatively.

Summing Up

Personal loans can be very beneficial for meeting your short-term financial obligations. If you have a fair credit score and want a lower APR, Lunar Loans is one of the best personal loan lenders to reach out to.