5 Personal Loans with Incredibly Low Interest Rates

low-interest personal loans

If you’re drowning in high-interest credit card debt or don’t have the cash to fund a major purchase, low-interest personal loans can be a lifesaver. But with hundreds of lenders offering personal loans, it can be hard to know where to go to find the best rates.

The good news is we’ve done the research for you. Here are five of the best low-interest personal loans and what you need to do to qualify for them.

5 best low-interest personal loans available today

1. Earnest

Earnest doesn’t offer the lowest interest rate of the bunch. However, its APR range of 5.25% to 14.24% makes it possible to get a low-interest personal loan even if your credit isn’t perfect.

Although the lender doesn’t have any income requirements, it does require a minimum FICO credit score of 660 to qualify. Here are some other terms and features to know:

  • You can borrow between $2,000 and $50,000 (the minimum is $5,000 if you live in New Mexico or Ohio and $7,500 if you live in South Carolina).
  • Repayment periods range from one to three years.
  • There are no restrictions on how you use the funds.
  • There are no fees or penalties.
  • Earnest offers loan prequalification with a soft credit check.
Visit Earnest

2. SoFi

SoFi is known mostly for its student loan refinancing, but it also offers the lowest interest rate for personal loans of the lenders we reviewed. Depending on your credit, you can qualify for a 5.29% to 14.24% APR.

SoFi doesn’t require a minimum credit score to get approved, but you must earn at least $50,000 in annual income. Here are some other facts to know:

  • You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000.
  • Repayment periods include three, five, and seven years.
  • There are no restrictions on how you use the funds.
  • There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. You also can qualify for late-fee forgiveness after three consecutive on-time payments.
  • SoFi offers loan prequalification with a soft credit check.
Visit SoFi

3. Upstart

If your credit isn’t stellar, you still might qualify for an Upstart personal loan  but with a high interest rate. With excellent credit, the lender’s rates are competitive; APRs range from 7.39% to 29.99%.

Upstart’s FICO score and income requirements are low at 620 and $12,000, respectively. However, its other terms aren’t as favorable as Earnest’s and SoFi’s:

  • You can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000.
  • Repayment terms include three and five years.
  • There are no restrictions on how you use the funds.
  • Origination fees range between 1 percent and 8 percent of the loan balance. You’ll also pay a late-payment fee of 5 percent of the amount due or $15, whichever is greater. There are no prepayment penalties.
  • Upstart offers loan prequalification with a soft credit check.
Visit Upstart

4. Citizens Bank

Online lenders typically offer lower interest rates because they have lower costs and no physical branches. Surprisingly, Citizens Bank offers competitive rates despite being a traditional bank.

The lender’s APRs range from 5.99% to 16.24%. It requires a 680 FICO score and a $24,000 annual income. Here are some other terms and features to consider:

  • You can borrow between $5,000 and $50,000.
  • Repayment periods range from three to seven years.
  • You cannot use the funds for home improvement or to pay off student loans.
  • There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. The late-payment fee is 5 percent of the amount due.
  • Citizens Bank offers loan prequalification with a soft credit check.
Visit Citizens Bank

5. LendingClub

LendingClub’s  APRs range from 5.99% to 35.89%. So, if you have excellent credit, interest rates are favorable. If you don’t, getting a personal loan might not be worth it.

The lender has no income requirements and requires just a 600 credit score to qualify. Here are other terms to know:

  • You can borrow between $1,000 and $40,000.
  • Repayment terms include three and five years.
  • There are no restrictions on how you use the funds.
  • Origination fees range from 1 percent to 6 percent. The late-payment fee is $15 or 5 percent of the amount due, whichever is greater.
  • LendingClub offers loan prequalification with a soft credit check.
Visit LendingClub

How to qualify for low-interest personal loans

Personal loan interest rates are generally a reflection of how the lender views you as a credit risk — or how likely you are to default on the loan. Lenders look at a few factors to determine your rate.

1. Credit score

Your credit score is a road map of your experience with credit. Payment history, amount owed, and length of credit history are major factors in determining that three-digit number.

A low credit score can signify that you’re less reliable as a borrower, so you might get a higher interest rate to make up for the risk. A high credit score, on the other hand, shows you’re a responsible borrower and should qualify you for a lower interest rate.

2. Debt-to-income ratio

Even lenders that don’t have a minimum income requirement use your income to help determine your interest rate.

The main reason is they want to know your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The ratio is calculated by dividing your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income.

The lower your DTI, the more flexibility you have to make your monthly payments. This makes you look less risky and usually results in a lower interest rate. Use our DTI calculator to find out what yours is before you apply.

3. Loan term

The shorter the repayment period, the sooner the lender can lend that money to someone else. So, lenders typically offer lower interest rates on personal loans with short repayment periods. This incentivizes the borrower to repay the loan quickly.

Shorter repayment periods come with higher monthly payments, though, so make sure you can afford them.

Compare personal loans to get the best rate

To get the lowest interest rate on a personal loan, compare several lenders to see what rates they offer. All the lenders listed here allow you to prequalify without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

Here’s what happens when you go through the prequalification process:

  • The lender will do a soft inquiry on your credit report.
  • You’ll get an estimated interest rate based on the information it finds.
  • When you apply, you’ll get a final rate based on your full financial profile.

Going through this process will help you get the best possible rate for your situation. Plus, thanks to a lower interest rate, you’re more likely to save money on your personal loan in the long run.

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: 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 Benefit: 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 - $50,000Visit 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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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.