7 Best Debt Consolidation Loans Available in 2018

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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When you’re focused on paying off debt, high interest rates can be demoralizing. It’s deflating to watch a sizable portion of each payment go toward paying your lender rather than lowering your debt.

One solution could be using a debt consolidation loan to lower your interest rate. Essentially, you use a new personal loan to pay off existing debt.

It might sound counterintuitive to borrow your way out of debt, but the benefits can be worth it. Here are seven of the best debt consolidation loans available today as well as tips on making sure you pick the best one for you.

Top 8 debt consolidation loans

1. LendingTree – Start Shopping Here

LendingTree allows for you to compare debt consolidation loans from multiple lenders at once, including the lenders below. With LendingTree’s online form, you can receive offers from up to 5 different lenders and there will only be a soft pull on your credit, meaning that your score won’t be negatively impacted. We recommend that you start here and comparison shop between lenders in order to get the best rates on your loan. (Note: Student Loan Hero is owned by LendingTree).

Visit LendingTree

2. Upstart

  • Soft credit check that delivers a rate quote in minutes for Upstart debt consolidation loans
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Loan amounts of $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms of three and five years
  • No administration fees or prepayment penalties
  • Origination fee of 1 to 8 percent
  • Minimum FICO score of 620
  • Minimum annual income of $12,000
Visit Upstart

3. SoFi

  • Soft credit check with an instant rate quote for SoFi debt consolidation loans
  • Fixed and variable interest rates
  • Rate discount of 0.25% after setting up autopay
  • Loan amounts of $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms of three, five, and seven years
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • No minimum FICO score
  • Minimum annual income of $50,000
  • Unemployment protection that can temporarily pause payments after job loss
  • Late-fee forgiveness after three consecutive on-time payments
Visit SoFi

4. Payoff

  • Soft credit check for Payoff personal loan rate estimates
  • Loans designed to consolidate or refinance credit card balances and other debt
  • Fixed rates on debt consolidation loans
  • Loan amounts of $5,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms of two, three, four, and five years
  • Minimum FICO score of640
  • No minimum income
  • Origination fee of 2 to 5 percent, tied to the loan term
  • No application fees, late fees, or prepayment penalties
Visit Payoff

5. Citizens Bank

  • No application, origination, or prepayment fees for Citizens Bank debt consolidation loans
  • Soft credit check for rate estimates
  • Fixed and variable rates
  • 0.25% interest rate discount for existing Citizens Bank members
  • Loan amounts of $5,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms of three, four, five, six, and seven years
  • Minimum FICO score of 680
  • Minimum annual income of $24,000
  • May not be used for student debt or home improvement
VISIT CITIZENS BANK

6. LendingClub

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform with flexible eligibility requirements for LendingClub personal loans
  • Soft credit check for rate estimates
  • Fixed rates
  • Loan amounts of $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms of three and five years
  • Minimum FICO score of 600
  • No application fees or prepayment penalties
  • Origination fee of 1 to 6 percent
Visit LendingClub

7. Earnest

  • Soft credit check for Earnest personal loan rate estimates
  • Fixed rates on personal loans
  • Loan amounts of $2,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms of one, two, and three years
  • No origination fees, application fees, late payment fees, or prepayment penalties
  • Minimum FICO score of 660, with a flexible underwriting program
Visit Earnest

8. Avant

  • Accessible debt consolidation, with a minimum FICO score of just 580 for personal loans through Avant
  • Soft credit check for rate estimates
  • Fixed loan rates
  • Loan amounts of $2,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms of two, three, four, and five years
  • No prepayment penalties
  • One-time administration fee of up to 4.75% of loan balance, upon loan disbursement
  • May not be used for student debt
Visit Avant

How to pick the best debt consolidation loan for you

As you search for the best debt consolidation loan, decide how you plan to use it. For example, you might try to accomplish one or more of the following objectives:

  • Pay off debt faster
  • Get a lower interest rate and make your debt less expensive
  • Lower your monthly payment
  • Combine your debt into one loan that’s simpler to track and manage

If you keep your end goal in mind, you can quickly home in on the loan features and terms that will help you achieve it. Here are a few questions to consider as you review various debt consolidation loans to find the right one for you.

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Looking for the best rates on a personal loan? Check out LendingTree’s personal loan shopping tool. Dozens of lenders work with LendingTree, our parent company, to provide personal loans to people like you. By filling out just one form, you can get multiple loan offers at once. Even better, LendingTree only does a soft credit pull, so there’s no impact on your credit score. Have great credit? You could qualify for a rate under 6%. Have less-than-stellar credit? Many lenders that work with LendingTree have less restrictive requirements, so you might have better chances of getting a loan.

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How much debt do I need to consolidate?

Lenders have different rules for the amounts you can borrow to consolidate debt. Loan minimums usually range from $1,000 to $5,000, and maximums can be anywhere from $35,000 to $100,000.

If you know how big your debt consolidation loan needs to be to pay off your existing debt, you can narrow your search to lenders that offer loans of that size.

How quickly do you want to pay off this debt?

Another key factor to consider is your loan term, which is the length of time you’ll have to pay off this debt.

A shorter loan term will help you get out of debt faster and could save you interest. A longer term will stretch out repayment over a longer period, resulting in lower monthly payments.

Debt consolidation loan terms can range from one year up to seven years, and most lenders will state the loan lengths they offer. Use our personal loan calculator to see how different loan terms could affect your total costs and monthly payments. Always check to see if a lender offers the term you prefer.

What are the costs of each debt consolidation loan?

As you’re shopping, keep a close eye on costs — specifically, debt consolidation loan rates and fees. That way, you’ll avoid any surprising or unexpected fees.

It’s also important to keep a close eye on all costs to ensure you don’t end up with a debt consolidation loan that’s even more expensive than the debt it replaced.

Does the lender offer soft credit check rate estimates?

Checking advertised rates is a smart way to get an idea of the rate a lender will charge you. But to know for sure which debt consolidation loans offer the best deals, you’ll need to collect rate estimates.

Many debt consolidation lenders allow you to request a rate quote. You submit an initial request, and the lender uses it to perform a soft credit check that doesn’t affect your credit but allows the lender to generate a rate quote specific to you.

If you collect and compare offered APRs from multiple lenders, you’ll be able to find the best debt consolidation loans.

Can I meet this lender’s eligibility standards?

A rate check also can help you figure out whether you’re likely to qualify for a debt consolidation loan without incurring a hard credit check or completing a full application.

Most lenders also provide general guidelines about what kinds of applicants they accept. Pay attention to any credit score or income requirements.

Does this lender restrict loan use?

Most personal loans are flexible and have few, if any, restrictions on how you may use the funds. Many lenders even advertise debt consolidation as a smart use for a personal loan.

Still, be sure to double-check for any rules about consolidating debt with a particular lender. For instance, some financiers don’t allow you to use personal loans to pay off student loan debt. All the lenders highlighted in this list of the best consolidation loans allow borrowers to use loans to consolidate debt.

Should you consolidate your debt with a personal loan?

A debt consolidation loan can be a smart way to manage and pay off debt.

But to know for sure whether a debt consolidation loan will lead to the outcome you want, you’ll need to compare your options. Our credit card consolidation calculator can help you project whether (and how much) you could save by using a personal loan to pay off your credit cards.

You’ll probably need at least fair credit to qualify for a personal loan, and lenders reserve the best rates for borrowers with excellent credit. Check your credit score and reports before you start applying for personal loans and make sure you can qualify for the rates you’re hoping to get.

Consolidating debt with a personal loan can help you achieve a lower interest rate, decrease monthly payments, or pay off debt faster. If you have high-interest debt, such as credit card balances, but are keeping up with payments and maintaining good credit, you’re an ideal candidate for debt consolidation.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

    To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.See Consumer Licenses.
  2. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
6.16% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.