When you find yourself in a tight financial situation, whether you’re facing an unexpected medical bill or you need money to cover expenses while you’re job hunting, a personal loan can be a quick solution. Unlike auto loans and home mortgages, which are approved for specific uses, personal loans can be used for a variety of expenses. Many lenders process personal loan applications quickly, so you can have the money in your bank account within days.
Here are the top small personal loan options.
LendingTree can show you some personal loan options for which you qualify based on your creditworthiness, including details such as the loan’s terms, rates and fees. (Disclosure: Student Loan Hero is owned by LendingTree.) You’ll need to enter basic information, such as the type of loan you’re interested in and how much you’d like to borrow, to generate loan offers from lenders.
LendingClub’s unique approach to loans connects potential borrowers with individuals and institutions that want to lend them money — all with the goal of helping people build a better financial future. This model bypasses the middleman (a traditional bank) and allows LendingClub to offer low interest rates on personal loans through individuals and institutions. The lending platform advertises a speedy online application process and a quick response to applications.
Personal loans through LendingClub are approved from $1,000 to $40,000 with interest rates ranging from 6.95% to 35.89%. The personal loans through LendingClub can be used for a wide range of purposes, including refinancing credit card debt, home improvements, unexpected expenses and major purchases and consolidating high-interest debt. These loans cannot be used for education after high school, investments, gambling or anything illegal.
While the interest rates offered through LendingClub can be low, these rates are only available to applicants with “excellent credit.” LendingClub doesn’t provide details about credit scores, but “excellent” credit is generally considered to be a score of 800 or higher.
- No application, brokerage or prepayment fees
- Low interest rate for applicants with excellent credit
- Fixed interest rates
- Fixed monthly payments
- Soft Pull on credit to check rates
- Origination fee between 1.00% - 6.00% that’s deducted from the loan total
- High interest rates for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit
- Process takes about seven days between application and receiving the money
For applicants with a good credit score, LendingClub is an excellent platform for getting money quickly and easily.
Known for its excellent loan experience, Upgrade is a new online personal loan lender that has quickly established a reputation for its streamlined application process and quick loan approval. Launched in 2017, Upgrade was built on the idea that personal loan applicants should have access to affordable credit and a good online borrowing experience.
Upgrade offers personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000 for 36 or 60 months, and terms range from 7.99% to 35.89%. To apply for a loan, borrowers fill out a one-page online application and receive a list of personal loan offers seconds later. After you accept an offer, Upgrade will send the loan money to your bank account. The transaction could be completed within a day if you clear required verifications.
- Fixed payments
- No prepayment fee
- Low fixed rates
- Provides free credit monitoring and educational resources
- Soft Pull to check your rates
- Origination fee of 1.50% - 6.00% that’s deducted from the loan amount
- Loans with the lowest rates require autopay
- $10 fee for late or failed payments
- Late payments, fees and other charges are deducted from loan
With a user-friendly online application process, Upgrade makes it easy to get personal loans. Applicants with a good credit score could have the money in the bank the day after they apply.
Upstart, which was founded by former Google employees, began as a platform to provide credit to students and young adults who might not have a long credit history. While it’s expanded and now offers personal loans to almost everyone, Upstart still retains its focus on helping people get “fast and fair credit.”
Unlike some lenders that judge creditworthiness primarily on credit score, Upstart uses an algorithm that takes into account other factors such as education, job history, standardized test scores and your career.
Upstart offers personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 with terms between three and five years, and rates range from 7.54% to 35.99%. But these terms don’t apply in every state. Upstart does not offer loans in West Virginia or Iowa, and the minimum loan is $7,000 in Massachusetts, $6,000 in Ohio, $5,100 in New Mexico and $3,100 in Georgia.
The platform’s online application process takes minutes. The form asks for your highest level of education, your primary source of income and how much you have in savings. You’ll get a rate within minutes. If your application is approved and you accept the loan, you’ll have the money in your account the next business day.
Upstart personal loans can be used for almost anything, including educational expenses, but there is a three-business-day waiting period for education-related loans.
- No down payment
- No prepayment penalty
- Soft Pull on your credit to get rates
- Qualifications not solely based on credit
- Smaller loans not available in all states
- Origination fee between 0.00% - 8.00%
- Charges late, paper copy and returned check fees
Upstart is an excellent choice for young adults who are still in school or haven’t built up a credit history. With Upstart’s easy application process and expediency, qualified candidates can have a loan within 24 hours of applying.
Tower Federal Credit Union
Tower Federal Credit Union was formed in 1953 by seven people who each contributed $5. It has since grown into the largest federal credit union in Maryland, with more than 185,000 members around the world. Because it is a member-owned cooperative, Tower Federal Credit Union is not required to pay stockholders and can use profits to keep rates and fees low.
Tower Federal Credit Union’s Signature personal loans can be used for almost anything, including bill consolidation, home improvement or buying a vehicle that costs less than $5,000.
Like all credit unions, Tower Federal Credit Union requires membership, but it’s not difficult to join. A lifetime membership costs $15, and the credit union’s website provides a long list of businesses and organizations for which you can either work, donate or volunteer to be eligible to join.
Tower Federal Credit Union’s Signature personal loans typically are for between 12 to 72 months with rates in the range of 8.74% – 11.74%. While the credit union doesn’t publish guidelines for its credit qualifications, it does state that loan approval is based on your creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan.
- Joining the credit union is easy
- Low interest rates
- Loans can be used for almost anything
- Phone payments incur a $9 fee
- $20 late payment fee
Taking a few minutes to join Tower Federal Credit Union may be worth your time since it offers low interest rates compared to many other lenders. With good credit, you could be approved for excellent personal loan terms.
Apple Federal Credit Union
Apple Federal Credit Union, which was founded in 1956 and is based in northern Virginia, prides itself on personalized customer service. Apple is a nonprofit, member-owned financial cooperative, which allows it to keep loan rates low.
To apply for a personal loan from Apple Federal Credit Union, you must first join the credit union. This process is quick, and there are many ways to qualify for membership. Members originally had to be affiliated with a northern Virginia school system, but now it is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in Fairfax, Frederick or Prince William counties or the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park or Fairfax. Employees of some businesses are eligible (see Apple Federal Credit Union’s website for a list), or you can join an eligible organization such as the NVADACA. Membership also is open to members of qualified applicants’ households, and all applicants must be at least 18.
Signature personal loans, which can be up to $50,000, can be used for anything from medical bills to debt consolidation. Rates are as low as 9.24% and are based on an evaluation of your credit and the loan amount.
To apply for a Signature loan, you’ll need to provide a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or military ID, and a recent pay stub, W-2 form or filed and signed tax returns if you are self-employed.
- Low rates
- Terms from 12 to 60 months
- Fixed-rate payments
- Considers repayment history, capacity and desire to repay, not just credit history
- No prepayment penalty
- Allows up to three skipped payments after at least 12 consecutive on-time payments
- $25 fee for each approved skipped payment
- Website doesn’t state minimum loan amounts
For people with connections to northern Virginia, Apple Federal Credit Union can be a good lender to get a personal loan. While there is a membership fee, a low-interest personal loan from Apple Federal Credit Union could be worth the effort.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
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 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. 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 the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 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. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.
†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com
**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.
7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
* 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
** 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.
|5.74% – 16.99%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|7.54% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|7.99% – 35.89%*||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%2||$5,000 - $35,000|
|5.99% – 29.99%3||$7,500 - $40,000|
|6.79% – 20.89%4||$5,000 - $50,000|
|9.99% – 35.99%5||$2,000 - $25,000|
|6.95% – 35.89%6||$1,000 - $40,000|
|6.99% – 18.24%7||$5,000 - $75,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000|