5 Best Consumer Loans and Lines of Credit of 2021

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How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

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In an ideal world, we’d all have enough and would never have to borrow money. But in reality, only about 30% of Americans have no debt, according to a 2020 survey by CreditCards.com. It’s a fact that for many, consumer loans and lines of credit can help us finance necessary purchases we can’t afford on our own.

But countless lenders offer various consumer loans and lines of credit. That can make it hard to know which product is best for you. To help you decide, we’ll cover the difference between the two and some of the top options available.

The difference between consumer loans and lines of credit

Consumer loans are essentially any kind of loan you can take out as an individual, including mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and personal loans. They come with a set monthly payment and repayment term, and the account closes once you’ve repaid the debt.

Lines of credit, however, are a form of revolving credit, which means that you can borrow money up to your credit limit, pay it off, and then borrow again. A line of credit can be secured by collateral — such as in the case of a home equity line of credit — or unsecured, such as with a personal line of credit.

While consumer loans often give you a choice between a fixed and variable interest rate, lines of credit typically charge variable rates only.

To avoid making things too complicated, the only consumer loans we’ll cover in our roundup below are personal loans, which you can typically use for just about anything.

Also, while credit cards are a type of unsecured line of credit, we won’t cover them here. Instead, we’ll focus on personal lines of credit you can get from a bank, credit union, or online lender.

The best consumer loans and lines of credit

With so many options available, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you get an idea of what you can expect, we’ve put together a list of six of the top consumer loans and lines of credit.

Personal Loans
LenderBest for
SoFiLarge loans
UpgradeSmall loans
Lines of Credit
LenderBest for
KeyBankUnsecured line of credit
Regions BankSecured line of credit

Top 2 consumer loans

As you review each of the loan options we’ve listed, pay attention to rates and fees, repayment terms, and other features each lender offers borrowers.

SoFi: Best for large loans

If you’re planning a big home improvement or another high-cost project, SoFi allows you to borrow from $5,000 up to $100,000. Many other personal loan companies don’t even come close to that level. Here are some more details to know about SoFi personal loans:

  • Fixed APRs from 5.99% to 18.85%
  • Repayment terms between two and seven years
  • No fees

Additional information

  • Special community benefits include rate discounts on future loans, unemployment protection, career coaching, and more
  • No collateral required

Visit SoFi

Upgrade: Best for small loans

Some of the best personal loan companies require that you borrow at least $5,000 to $10,000. But if you don’t need anywhere near those amounts, consider Upgrade. Loans start at $1,000 and go as high as $50,000. Here’s what else you need to know about the lender:

  • Rates from 5.94% to 35.97%
  • Repayment terms of three or five years
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Origination fees between 1.5% and 6%

Additional information

Visit Upgrade

Top 3 personal lines of credit

Depending on what you need, one of the following lines of credit can be better than the others. Consider the monthly payment amount, credit limit, annual fee, and availability.

KeyBank: Best for an unsecured credit line

Unsecured debt can be expensive, but KeyBank offers a decent interest rate range on its Preferred Credit Line.

Depending on your creditworthiness, your variable APR will be between 10.99% and 16.24%, as of January 23, 2019. That’s lower than the average credit card interest rate, which was 15.32% in February 2018, according to the Federal Reserve. But be sure to double-check the latest rates on the KeyBank website.

Here are some other highlights to keep in mind:

  • Credit limits from $2,000 to $50,000
  • Access funds online, in a branch, or by writing a check
  • Variable interest rates
  • $50 annual fee

Additional information

  • Live in one of the following states to open a line of credit: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennslyvania, Utah, Vermont, or Washington
  • Line of credit can be used as overdraft protection for KeyBank checking account
  • No collateral required

Visit KeyBank

Regions Bank: Best for a secured line of credit

If you don’t qualify for an unsecured line of credit or you’d prefer a lower interest rate, Regions Bank’s Savings Secured Line of Credit might be worth considering. As of January 23, 2019, the bank offers variable rates starting from 7.50% APR. Check Regions Bank’s website for the most up-to-date rates.

Other highlights include:

  • Credit limit ranges from $250 to $100,000
  • Monthly payment of 5% of your outstanding balance or $10, whichever is greater
  • Access funds online, by phone, in a branch, or by writing a check
  • Variable interest rates
  • $50 annual fee

Additional information

  • Live in one of the following states to open a line of credit: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas
  • Can use line of credit as overdraft protection for Regions Bank checking account
  • Credit limit can be up to 100% of available balance in a Regions savings or money market account

Visit Regions Bank

How to choose between consumer loans and lines of credit

A consumer loan is typically better if you have one specific reason to borrow money and don’t anticipate needing credit on an ongoing basis. In contrast, getting a line of credit is a good idea if you anticipate needing to borrow on an ongoing basis. For example, small businesses often get a line of credit to help leverage ongoing short-term cash needs.

Also consider a line of credit if you want a lower variable rate, but understand that it might increase in the future. To determine which one is better, consider your needs and preferences.

Picking the right lender

While we’ve listed a few different lenders above for consumer loans and lines of credit, these aren’t the best for everyone. In addition to considering other top personal loan companies, look at other lenders that offer lines of credit.

Specifically, take a look at your local credit unions. Credit unions often charge lower interest rates and fees than banks because they’re not-for-profit organizations. This means that they return profits to their members in the form of better products and services.

As you shop around, compare not only interest rates but also other details, such as the monthly payment amount, fees, and repayment terms. Doing your due diligence can put you in a better position to pick the loan or line of credit that works best for you and your situation.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to personal lines of credit. KeyBank and Regions Bank have neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.

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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 appears 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 appears 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
7.86% – 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/.