6 Best Personal Loans Available From Lenders Today

best personal loans

If you have a major expense coming up and want to consolidate debt, choosing from the best personal loans can make the process easy and affordable. Thanks to the growth of online lending, you have more options for top personal loans than ever before. The question is, which one do you choose?

We’ve done some of the legwork for you, putting together this list of some of the best personal loans from the best personal loan companies out there.

What to look for in the best personal loans

When choosing from the best personal loans, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the terms offered. The best personal loans offer low rates and fees, allowing you to get the credit you need for less.

Low personal loan rates

It’s important to know what kind of rates a lender will offer you, individually. You can request a rate quote to find out.

A lender can perform a soft credit check (which won’t affect your credit) to pre-qualify you and give you a customized loan rate estimate.

Low personal loan fees

Compare the potential personal loan fees you could pay with each option. The biggest one to watch for is an origination fee, which can add anywhere from one to five percent of your loan costs.

Personal loan features you need

As you look at top personal loan companies, you’ll also want to identify which have important features you need.

If you have less-than-perfect credit, for instance, you might need a lender that allows cosigners or offers secured loans. Or you might have a particular balance or repayment term you need.

Personal loan requirements

You also have to weigh personal loan costs with what you qualify for based on your credit score and other loan criteria. Most lenders will want to see a reliable income source and good credit for a personal loan.

As you look through the best personal loans, compare the rates, fees, and features each lender offers. You can use this personal loan calculator to estimate your payments to see how they’ll fit into your budget.

Is a personal loan right for you?

You never want to jump into a new loan until you’ve exhausted every other possibility, even if you’re working with one of the best personal loan companies available. After all, the end goal is to avoid debt as much as possible.

For instance, if you’re thinking about a personal loan to:

  • Consolidate federal student loans: Make sure you know the federal protections you’ll be losing (e.g., income-driven repayment plan options, deferment, forbearance).
  • Consolidate private student loans: Try refinancing instead.
  • Pay off your credit cards: Try getting lower interest rates from your credit card issuers first.
  • Buy a new car: Consider keeping the one you already have if it’s still in good shape.
  • Splurge on a vacation, wedding, or other expense: Take a step back and consider more affordable alternatives that you can cover with cash, if not now, then after building up some savings.

The more debt you have, the more important these considerations should be.

Elyssa Kirkham contributed to this article.

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6 best personal loan companies

Now you know what to look for — but where should you look for the best personal loans? To get you started, we’ve rounded up our top personal loan picks.

1. Upstart.

  • Easier to qualify for Upstart personal loans, with a FICO score minimum of only 620.
  • 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 or 5 years.
  • Easy online application.
  • eSign for your loan.
  • Funds direct-deposited into your bank account.
Apply for a Upstart Personal Loan

2. SoFi.

  • 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 3, 5, or 7 years.
  • SoFi personal loans offer both fixed and variable rates.
  • Capped variable rates.
  • Provides rate quotes with a soft credit check.
  • Interest rate discount with AutoPay.
  • SoFi members get a rate discount on new loans.
  • No stated minimum FICO score, but you’ll need good credit or better (around 680 and above).
  • Requires excellent payment history and debt-to-income ratio.
  • Easy online application.
  • eSign for your loan.
  • Funds deposited directly into your bank account.
Apply for a SoFi Personal Loan

3. Payoff.

  • 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 $35,000.
  • Terms between 2 and 5 years.
  • No application fee or prepayment penalty.
  • No late fees or return check fees.
  • Origination fee of 2-5%.
  • 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.
Apply for a Payoff Personal Loan

4. Citizens Bank.

  • No origination fees, no application fees, and no prepayment penalties.
  • Citizens Bank gives you the option to add a personal loan co-applicant or cosigner.
  • Borrow $5,000 to $50,000.
  • Terms between 3 and 7 years.
  • Offers both fixed and variable rate personal loans.
  • Minimum FICO score required is 680.
  • Minimum gross income of $24,000 annually.
  • Interest rate discounts for autopay and loyalty.
  • Citizens Bank application can be submitted online.
  • eSign all loan documents.
  • Fast loan application response.
  • Funds paid directly into your bank account.
  • May not be used for home improvement or student loan debt.
Apply for a Citizens Bank Personal Loan

5. Lendingclub.

  • Borrow from $1,000 – $40,000.
  • Rates from 5.99% 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.
  • Fast – Apply in minutes and receive your money in as few as 5 days.
  • No Hidden Fees
  • No Collateral Required
  • Good Credit Required
Apply for a Lendingclub Personal Loan

6. Earnest.

  • Borrow between $2,000 and $50,000.
  • Terms of 1, 2 or 3 years.
  • Earnest personal loans have no origination fee or application fee.
  • No prepayment penalties.
  • No stated minimum FICO score, but typically requires good to excellent credit.
  • Personal loan protection against hardships like unemployment, disability, and death.
  • Loan availability varies by state.
  • Easy online application with a response time of two business days.
  • Funds disbursed directly to your bank account.

Earnest’s flexible underwriting considers multiple factors:

  • Must be currently employed or have an offer letter.
  • Positive cash flow and a month or more of expenses in savings.
  • Low levels of consumer (non-educational and non-mortgage) debt.
  • Positive payment history, with few late payments and overdraft, NSF or late fees.
  • No recent bankruptcies or accounts in collections.
Apply for a Earnest Personal Loan

7. Avant.

  • Avant personal loans are great for rebuilding credit, with a minimum FICO score of just 580.
  • No application fee or prepayment penalties.
  • Origination fee (referred to as an administration fee) of 4.75% of loan balance.
  • Borrow from $$2,000 to $$35,000.
  • Terms between 2 and 5 years.
  • Loan availability varies by state.
  • Easy online application.
  • No minimum gross income required.
  • Avant does not require a minimum credit history.
  • No maximum debt-to-income ratio required.
  • eSign for your loan.
  • Funds direct-deposited into your bank account.
  • Cannot be used for student loan debt.
Apply for a Avant Personal Loan

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!*
LenderRates (APR)Loan AmountEst. Payment1 
Personal loans shown on this page have a maximum APR of 36.00%, a maximum term length of 7 years, and a minimum term length of 1 year.

*All rates, terms and other student loan related information listed on the Student Loan Hero website and blog is provided without warranty or guarantee and is not intended to legally bind Student Loan Hero or the lenders listed on Student Loan Hero. The rates and terms listed for each lender are estimates and will change depending on your credit profile and other information you provide to lenders (for instance, you will only be entitled to a lower rate if you have a good credit rating). Student Loan Hero is not a lender and is not involved in the lender loan approval process. Should you require a loan offer, please visit the lender’s website and review their terms and conditions for more details.

1 Monthly payment amount assumes a $5,000 loan over 36 months at the median interest rate offered by the lender.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

3 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

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 LoansFixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 4.98% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 21, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. 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 4.98% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 3.89% 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.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: 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 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.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000$180
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.98% - 14.24%1 $5,000 - $100,000$160
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000$177
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000$163Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000$188Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000$158Visit Earnest
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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.

Published in Financial Tips, Get Out of Debt, Personal Loans

  • John Hardy

    It’s a fact that about half of the population of the USA is under student loan debt and are looking for some options of loan forgiveness. Federal student loan consolidation, no doubt, is a way to reduce your loan repayments, and gives you public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) opportunities, but is not always a feasible option as it covers only specific loan programs. We need to review our student loan debt and find the most suitable option to avail the opportunity.

  • John Hardy

    Online lending has now grown by leaps and bounds and is now one of the major sectors for contribution in economic development. Student loans should be applied only after thorough research among the options available. There are federal teach grant facilities and public service loan forgiveness program which can be used later for loan forgiveness. Do scrutinize your options and borrow just as much you need.