7 Personal Loan Companies That Help You Pay Off Debt Quickly

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.

Do you sometimes feel like you’re not making progress on your debt? There’s probably a reason for that: A good chunk of each monthly payment goes toward interest.

If you want to get off the debt treadmill, one strategy is to consolidate your credit cards into a single payment. Personal loan companies can help you lower your interest rate, ensuring more of your monthly payment goes toward reducing your principal. You get out of debt faster and save money doing it.

Best personal loan companies to help you pay off debt

As you research debt consolidation companies, it’s important to look at the terms and determine what will work best for you.

“You’ll have more choices for favorable loan terms when you have good credit and income,” said Tom Drake, a financial analyst and the founder of MapleMoney. “You’ll have a better chance at the lowest interest rate when you prove that you aren’t a default risk.”

Here are seven personal loan companies that offer favorable rates for well-qualified borrowers.

1. Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank can be a great choice because it offers competitive rates and charges no fees for debt consolidation. You also can choose from a variety of loan terms and rates. However, this personal lender has the highest minimum credit score requirement on our list.

  • Minimum FICO score: 680
  • Minimum annual income: $24,000
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: three, four, five, six, and seven years
  • Interest rates: fixed plus a 0.25% discount for existing Citizens Bank customers and an additional 0.25% discount for autopay
  • Credit check: soft pull for rate estimates
  • Fees: no origination, application, or prepayment fees for debt consolidation loans

2. SoFi

The main advantage of SoFi is the fact that it’s the only personal loan company on this list that allows you to borrow up to $100,000 for debt consolidation. Additionally, SoFi doesn’t have a minimum FICO requirement, which makes it the best way to consolidate debt with bad credit. The minimum annual income is on the high side to make up for it, however.

  • Minimum FICO score: Good or excellent
  • Minimum annual income: $50,000
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms: three, five, and seven years
  • Interest rates: fixed and variable plus a 0.25% discount for setting up autopay
  • Credit check: soft pull for instant rate quotes
  • Fees: no origination or prepayment fees for debt consolidation loans
  • Hardship program: unemployment program to pause payments temporarily after job loss

3. Earnest

Earnest has a minimum credit score requirement, but it also has a flexible underwriting program that can take into account special circumstances. There’s no income requirement, so Earnest loans can be useful for entrepreneurs.

  • Minimum FICO score: 660
  • Minimum annual income: N/A
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: one, two and three years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull for rate estimates
  • Fees: no origination, application, or prepayment fees on personal loans

4. Payoff

Payoff is a personal loan company that offers loans specifically aimed at consolidating or refinancing your credit card balances. However, the maximum loan amount is on the low end for our list. If you have a smaller amount of debt to consolidate, Payoff might work for you.

  • Minimum FICO score: 640
  • Minimum annual income: N/A
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: two, three, four, and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed rate for debt consolidation loans
  • Credit check: soft pull for personal loan rate estimates
  • Fees: origination fee of 2% to 5%, depending on the term

5. Upstart

With a low annual income requirement and a low credit score minimum, Upstart is one of the easiest personal loan companies to qualify for. Plus, Upstart uses alternative items — including work history, education, and earning potential — to supplement your credit profile.

  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Minimum annual income: $12,000
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: three and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull for rate estimates
  • Fees: origination fee of 1% to 8%

6. LendingClub

LendingClub offers you the chance to use its peer-to-peer lending platform. LendingClub’s eligibility requirements are flexible, and you might be able to get a personal loan when more traditional lenders aren’t willing to look at your situation.

  • Minimum FICO score: 600
  • Minimum annual income: N/A
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: three and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull to get a rate estimate
  • Fees: origination fee of 1% to 6%

7. Avant

If you’re concerned about your credit score, Avant might be able to help. Avant is known for its accessible debt consolidation loans.

  • Minimum FICO score: 580
  • Minimum annual income: N/A
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: two, three, four, and five years
  • Interest rates: fixed
  • Credit check: soft pull to get a rate estimate
  • Fees: one-time administration fee of 4.75% of the loan balance upon disbursement for personal loans

Pros and cons of debt consolidation programs

Before you decide to get a loan with one of these debt consolidation companies, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Debt consolidation can be an effective tool — but only if you’re careful.

Advantages of debt consolidation

The biggest advantage of using a personal loan to pay off your high-interest debt is the fact that you can save money in the long run.

“Credit cards are known for having high interest rates,” said Harlan Landes, a consumer finance expert. “If you can get a lower rate with a personal loan, it could mean a savings of thousands of dollars.”

Using our credit card consolidation calculator, you can see how it’s possible to save more than $7,000 by consolidating to a five-year loan with an interest rate of 8.99%.

Not only are you saving a good chunk of change, but your monthly payment is also lower, resulting in better monthly cash flow. A four-year consolidation loan would keep your monthly payment roughly the same but save you $8,000 in interest and get you out of debt sooner.

Debt consolidation also streamlines your debt management approach. Instead of making several payments each month, you have to make only one.

“If you’re having trouble keeping track of your payments and things are falling through the cracks, a debt consolidation loan can simplify your finances,” said Landes. “Plus, the potential for improved monthly cash flow frees your budget a bit, giving you breathing room and more confidence.”

The risk of debt consolidation loans

“The biggest downside with a consolidation loan is the fact that you could wind up in even more debt if you aren’t careful,” said Drake. “Once you get that personal loan and pay off your credit cards, suddenly you have all this new credit available. It can be tempting.”

It’s not always easy to avoid this temptation, but it’s possible. Start by tracking your spending to see where you can cut back on unnecessary expenses. Then, make sure you have the money in hand before you spend on other items. Shift your mindset to one of saving for what you want to buy. Begin putting a small amount of money aside each week to get used to the idea.

Landes agreed. “Before you consolidate your debt with a personal loan, make sure you change your approach to money,” he said. “Make sure you stop debt spending. Put your credit cards on ice or cut them up if you think you’ll turn around and rack up more debt.”

Change your financial habits before consolidating debt

Landes pointed out that even though it can be disheartening to be in debt, it’s more of a symptom than the actual problem. When you find the underlying cause of your debt, you can focus on fixing that issue. Eventually, the debt will disappear as you take steps to change your financial habits.

Make it a point to cut out some of your expenses or earn more money — or both. Look for ways to ensure that you aren’t spending money on things that don’t matter to you. Once you have your budget under control, you can feel more confident about getting a personal loan to consolidate your debt.

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. Personal LoansFixed rates from 5.950% APR to 14.490% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.825% APR to 14.365% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 3, 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 5.825% APR assu[mes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.90% plus 4.175% 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. 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 Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.99% – 16.24% (4.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms. 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 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.

* 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 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.83% - 14.74%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.96% - 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% - 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
4.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% - 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% - 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% - 35.99%$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.