Top 5 Personal Loans With No Origination Fee

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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.

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If you need cash to consolidate credit card debt or finance a large purchase, a personal loan can be an easy solution. Many of the top personal loan companies offer generous repayment periods and rates in the single digits.

But if you’re not careful, interest isn’t the only cost you’ll incur with a personal loan. Some personal loan companies — including some of the best — charge a loan origination fee. This fee, which covers the cost of processing the loan, usually ranges from 1% to 8% of the loan amount.

One reason some lenders charge this fee is that they plan to sell the loan to another company.

“They’re going to originate the loan and then sell it, and some investor is actually going to reap the benefits of the interest that’s being charged,” said Todd Nelson, a business development officer at online lender LightStream. “The originating lender doesn’t make any money on the loans, so they have to charge an origination fee in order to make any money.”

The good news is there are enough lenders that charge no origination fee, so you can avoid the cost.

Top personal loans with no origination fee

If you have good or excellent credit, there’s no reason to pay an origination fee on a personal loan. But finding lenders that offer no-origination-fee personal loans can be tough if you don’t know where to look.

To help, here’s our list of the top five lenders. Interest rates were current as of May 16, 2018. Some rates include a discount for setting up autopay. LightStream rates can vary by loan amount, repayment period, and the purpose of the debt.

Lender Interest rates Best for
LightStream 3.09% to 14.24% Rock-bottom rates
Citizens Bank 5.99% to 18.99% Interest rate discounts
Earnest 6.99% to 18.24% Alternative underwriting
SoFi 6.26% to 14.87% Extra features
FreedomPlus 4.99% to 29.99% People with cosigners

LightStream: Best for rock-bottom rates

LightStream personal loans can be secured or unsecured, depending on your credit profile and loan type. You can use the amount for just about anything, as long as it’s not related to higher education expenses.

“The fundamental premise that LightStream is built upon is that if you’ve got good credit, you should be able to borrow money for almost anything, at very low interest rates, and no fees whatsoever, in a completely transparent process,” said Nelson.

In addition to offering lower rates than any other lender we reviewed, LightStream has two special features that set it apart. First, the company will beat any eligible competing rate from another lender by 0.10%. Second, if you’re not completely satisfied with the application and funding experience, contact LightStream, and it’ll send you a survey to learn how it can improve. In exchange for filling out the survey, it’ll send you $100.

Here are some other highlights:

  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $100,000
  • Repayment terms ranging from 24 to 144 months (the 144-month term is only for home improvement loans)
  • No origination fee, application fee, late fee, or prepayment penalty
  • Funding available as early as the same day
Visit LightSTREAM

Citizens Bank: Best for interest rate discounts

Citizens Bank personal loans are unsecured debt with special benefits for existing customers. If you already have a bank or loan account with Citizens Bank, you might qualify for its loyalty discount, which knocks a quarter of a percentage point off your interest rate. You can get another similar reduction if you set up automatic payments on your loan.

Here are some more details to know:

  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $50,000
  • Repayment terms ranging from 36 to 84 months
  • No origination fee, application fee, late fee, or prepayment penalty
  • Funding available within two business days
Visit Citizens Bank

Earnest: Best for alternative underwriting

Earnest is a good option for people who have strong financial profiles but not-so-stellar credit. The lender looks at more than your credit score when it underwrites your application to determine whether to approve your loan. It considers alternative factors, including your savings habits, education, and earning potential.

Here’s a summary of Earnest’s other features:

  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $75,000
  • Repayment terms ranging from three to five years
  • No origination fee, application fee, late fee, or prepayment penalty; $8 returned payment fee
  • Funding available within two business days
Visit Earnest

SoFi: Best for extra features

When you get a SoFi personal loan, you become part of the SoFi community. That membership comes with a suite of perks, including:

  • A 0.125% rate discount on future SoFi loans
  • Career coaching opportunities
  • Community networking events
  • Fees waived if you invest with SoFi Wealth
  • Loan deferment opportunities if you’re building a business through the SoFi Entrepreneur Program
  • Forbearance if you lose your job through no fault of your own

Here are some other details to know:

  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $100,000
  • Repayment terms ranging from 36 to 84 months
  • No origination fee, application fee, late fee, or prepayment penalty
  • Funding available within a few days
Visit SoFi

FreedomPlus: Best for people with cosigners

FreedomPlus personal loans might come with an origination fee of up to 5%, but it’s possible to qualify for a loan with no origination fee. To get the lender’s best terms, you need to have excellent credit, take out a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of its three discounts:

  • Cosigner discount: Add a co-borrower who has sufficient income.
  • Consolidation discount: Use at least 50% of the loan proceeds to pay off existing debt.
  • Savings discount: Show proof of having at least $40,000 in retirement savings.

Here’s what else you need to know about FreedomPlus loans:

  • Loan amounts between $10,000 and $35,000
  • Repayment terms ranging from 24 to 60 months
  • No prepayment penalty; a late fee of 5% of the amount due or $15, whichever is greater
  • Funding available within two days
Visit FreedomPlus

What to know before choosing a personal loan

Personal loans often are about more than just their interest rates. So, it’s important to look at the whole package before settling on one. Specifically, make sure to check the fine print. If the lender states on its website that it doesn’t charge any hidden fees, be cautious.

“If you’re not paying attention, you think no hidden fees means no fees,” said Nelson. “If someone says no hidden fees, there are fees; they’re just not buried in the bottom of the loan agreement.”

Also, consider how a loan best fits your needs. For some people, SoFi’s community benefits might be worth paying a little extra in interest charges. And FreedomPlus might be more lenient than its competitors if you don’t have good or excellent credit.

As you shop around and compare top personal loan companies, dig deeper to go beyond rates and fees, and see if there’s something else that makes a loan more suitable for your needs. Also, use our personal loan calculator to make sure you can afford the loan.

Which no-origination-fee personal loan is best for you?

There’s no single best personal loan out there for everyone. Each lender has its own criteria for determining your loan terms. The loan amounts and repayment terms can dictate whether the monthly payment can fit in your budget.

As you shop around and compare top personal loans, consider your needs and preferences. If some of the lenders allow you to see rate offers without a hard credit check, take the time to check the rates you might get from each of the companies. The more time you spend in going through this process, the easier it will be to find the right loan at the right time.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to personal loans. None of the lenders have provided or reviewed the information shared in this article.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 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. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% 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.

    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.
  2. 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.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. 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 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.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), 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.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

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 6.16% to 35.89%. 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 time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. 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.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* 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

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** 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.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%2$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
6.16% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
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.