5 Best Online Loan Companies

 August 28, 2017
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How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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It can be overwhelming to search for a personal loan online. There are hundreds of lenders to choose from, both traditional lenders and online loan companies.

Online loan companies often offer better features, but they aren’t always easy to compare.

Here’s the good news: We’ve reviewed several online lenders and compiled a list of the top five. Find out which one is the best option for you.

Top 5 online loan companies

Lender Interest Rate Standout Feature Major Drawback
SoFi 5.99% – 18.85% Fixed Unemployment protection High income requirement
Upstart 4.37% – 35.99% Low credit score requirement Charges an origination fee
LendingClub 10.68% – 35.89% Low credit score requirement Long approval and funding process
Payoff 5.99% – 24.99% Transparent underwriting process Not available in 19 states

1. SoFi

Not only does SoFi offer the lowest interest rate of the bunch, but it also has a program to help you get back on your feet if you lose your job — as long as it wasn’t your fault. The lender will suspend your payments for up to 12 months and provide job placement assistance.

However, it might be tough to get a SoFi personal loan. Although the lender doesn’t have a minimum required credit score, you need to earn at least $50,000 per year to qualify.

Here are some other terms you’ll want to know:

  • SoFi Unemployment Protection puts your personal loan into forbearance and helps you find a job.
  • No application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Borrow $5,000 or up to $100,000.
  • Terms of 2-7 years.
  • SoFi personal loans offer fixed APRs.
  • Provides rate quotes with a soft credit check.
  • Interest rate discount with AutoPay.
  • SoFi members get a rate discount on new loans.
  • Minimum FICO of 680.
  • Requires excellent payment history and debt-to-income ratio.
  • Easy online application.
  • eSign for your loan.
  • Funds deposited directly into your bank account.
  • Important Disclosures

    SoFi Disclosures

    1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 19, 2020 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 creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
    5. 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)

Apply for a SoFi Personal Loan

2. Earnest

Earnest requires a minimum 650 credit score, but your credit isn’t the only thing the lender cares about. It reviews your full financial picture, including your savings patterns, investments, and career trajectory.

So, if you’re rebuilding your credit but are generally on solid financial footing, you could qualify for a low interest rate.

The lender’s main drawback is its short repayment terms. You can choose between one, two, and three years. If you’re looking for an alternative to an online short-term loan, Earnest might be a good choice. But if you need more time to repay the loan, consider other lenders first.

3. Upstart

If you’re working on rebuilding your credit, it can be hard to find a lender willing to take a chance on you. However, Upstart has a minimum credit score requirement of 620, giving borrowers with average credit a solid option.

With that in mind, the lender charges an origination fee of 1 to 8 percent of the amount of the loan. For example, if you borrow $5,000, that’s a $50 to $400 fee.

If your credit isn’t great, paying the fee is better than getting a payday loan. But if you have good or excellent credit, you’d be better off with a lender that doesn’t charge for originating the loan.

Here are some more facts to know:

  • Upstart’s flexible underwriting considers educational attainment and job history, along with your credit.
  • No application fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Origination fee between 0-8%.
  • Loan balances between $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Terms of 3 & 5 years.
  • Easy online application.
  • eSign for your loan.
  • Funds direct-deposited into your bank account.
  • Important Disclosures

    Upstart Disclosures

    The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

Apply for an Upstart Personal Loan

4. LendingClub

Like Upstart, LendingClub is a great option for borrowers with credit that’s less than stellar. Its 600 minimum credit score is the lowest of the bunch.

Avoid LendingClub, however, if you need the funds fast. According to its website, it can take seven days or more to process your loan application and transfer the funds to you. Also, LendingClub charges an origination fee of 1 to 6 percent of your loan amount.

Here’s some more information about LendingClub personal loans:

  • Borrow from $1,000 – $40,000.
  • Rates from 10.68% to 35.89%* APR. Best APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit.
  • Flexible Loan Terms.
  • Fixed Rates and Payments – Your payment will not change for the life of your loan.
  • No Prepayment Penalties – Pay off your loan at any time without fees.
  • Simple and Secure – Check your rate without hurting your credit score.
  • Funding in as few as 3 days**
  • No Collateral Required
  • Good Credit Required
  • Important Disclosures

    LendingClub Disclosures

    All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 9.56% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 13.11%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $192.37. The total amount repayable will be $6,925.32. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 2% to 6% (average is 4.86% as of 7/1/2019 – 9/30/2019). In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,001 if your APR is greater than 12%. 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.

Apply for a Lendingclub Personal Loan

5. Payoff

Both traditional and online loan companies are typically tight-lipped about how they determine whether you qualify for a loan. Payoff sets itself apart by being transparent about the process.

Here are the factors it considers:

  • Use Payoff personal loans to refinance credit card balances and consolidate debt.
  • Financial Wellness services support borrowers in improving money health and habits
  • Job loss support to adjust payments during unemployment.
  • Borrow $5,000 to $40,000.
  • Terms between 2 and 5 years.
  • No application fee or prepayment penalty.
  • No late fees or return check fees.
  • Origination fee of 0-5%.
  • Minimum FICO score requirement of 640.
  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than or equal to 50 percent.
  • At least three years of good credit history.
  • At least two open trade lines in good standing.
  • No current delinquencies.
  • Loan availability varies by state.
  • Easy online application.
  • eSign for your loan.
  • Funds direct deposited into your bank account.
  • Important Disclosures

    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.

Apply for a Payoff Personal Loan

 

Although that information might let you know upfront whether you’d qualify, there’s one problem: You might not qualify simply because of where you live. Payoff loans aren’t available in the following states:

  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Should you borrow from online loan companies?

If you’re searching for loan companies online, you’ll generally find more flexibility with rates and terms than you would with a traditional lender.

Also, online loan companies typically allow you to get a rate quote without a hard credit check. Many traditional lenders don’t offer this perk, so if you shop around, you’ll get a hard inquiry on your credit report each time you apply. A hard inquiry can have a negative impact on your credit score, especially if you apply with several lenders in a short period.

As you’re searching for a way to consolidate your debt or finance a large purchase, consider these and other online loan companies to find the best features for your situation.

Interested in a personal loan?

LendingTree allows you to compare rates from multiple lenders by filling out one easy form. How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

RATES (APR)loan amount
5.99% – 18.85%1 $5,000 to $100,000
4.37% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
5.94% – 35.97%* $1,000 to $50,000
99.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $40,000
7.99% – 29.99%4 $7,500 to $40,000
compare rates on Lendingtree now
NMLS #1136: Terms & Conditions Apply
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 19, 2020 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 creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  5. 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 Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5. Rates and terms vary by state.

3 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.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. The loan terms presented are not guaranteed and APRs presented are estimates only. To obtain a loan you must submit additional information and documentation and all loans are subject to credit review and our approval process. The range of APRs is 7.99% to 29.99% and your actual APR will depend upon factors including your credit score, usage and history, the requested loan amount, the stated loan purpose, and the term of the requested loan. To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available. All loans are made by Cross River Bank and MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.

Published in Loans, Review