Top 5 Personal Loans With No Origination Fee

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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 6.54% to 16.24% 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

Get rates from LightStream and other lenders on Lendingtree:Get your rateDisclaimer: Student Loan Hero is a subsidiary of Lendingtree.

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

Get rates from Citizens Bank and other lenders on Lendingtree:Get your rateDisclaimer: Student Loan Hero is a subsidiary of Lendingtree.

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

Get rates from Earnest and other lenders on Lendingtree:Get your rateDisclaimer: Student Loan Hero is a subsidiary of Lendingtree.

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

Get rates from SoFi and other lenders on Lendingtree:Get your rateDisclaimer: Student Loan Hero is a subsidiary of Lendingtree.

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

Get rates from FreedomPlus and other lenders on Lendingtree:Get your rateDisclaimer: Student Loan Hero is a subsidiary of Lendingtree.

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.

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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.

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.

RATES (APR)loan amount
7.73% – 29.99% $1,000 to $50,000
6.54% – 16.24%1 $5,000 to $100,000
7.99% – 35.89%* $1,000 to $50,000
56.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $35,000
4.99% – 29.99%4 $10,000 to $35,000
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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 6.79% APR to 16.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.54% APR to 14.95% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 18, 2019 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 6.54% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.51% plus 4.28% 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 Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states:

  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. This information is current as of October 10, 2017 and is subject to change. Opportunity Financial, LLC lends or arranges loans in the following states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. We do not lend or arrange loans in all states. Opportunity Financial offers line of credit products in: Kansas, Tennessee and Virginia. Please note: This is an expensive form of credit. This service is not intended to provide a solution for longer-term credit or other financial needs. Loans made or arranged by Opportunity Financial are designed to help you meet your short-term borrowing needs. Loan amounts may vary and are dependent upon qualification criteria and state law. Refer to Loan Cost & Terms at www.opploans.com for additional details. Complete disclosures of APR, fees and payment terms are provided within the transaction documents, such as the Loan Agreement. First-time Opportunity Financial customers typically qualify for an installment loan of $1,000 to $5,000 with an APR from 59% to 199%. For example, a $1,000 loan made or arranged by Opportunity Financial with 12 bi-weekly payments of $130 has a 199% APR. After the 12th successful payment, the loan would be paid in full.
  3. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day. In some cases, we may not be able to verify your application information and may ask you to provide certain documents. Some customers applying for a loan may be required to submit additional documentation due to state law and qualification criteria.
  4. Lower APRs and longer terms when compared to a typical payday lending product. According to the Consumer Federation of America, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, payday loans range in size from $100 to $1,000, depending on state legal maximums and carry an average APR of 400% and an average loan term of two weeks. The maximum APR for a loan offered by OppLoans is 199% and loan sizes range from $1,000-$5,000 with a typical term of six months dependent on the state law.
  5. As of October 17, 2017. Ratings on third-party websites may periodically change; please check the third-party websites for up-to-date reviews and ratings. Google+ Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 1,824 reviews. Facebook Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 270 reviews.
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. 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.
* 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.