7 Best Debt Consolidation Loans Available in 2018

best debt consolidation loans

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 7 debt consolidation loans

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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 of 640
  • 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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

7. Avant

  • Accessible debt consolidation, with a minimum FICO score of just 580 for Avant personal loans
  • 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 4.75%, 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.

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!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. 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 Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 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. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% 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.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown 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 Citizens Bank 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, Citizens Bank 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 Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. 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. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.29% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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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.