2021's Best Personal Loans - Reviewed & Compared

These days, there are hundreds of personal loan services online to assist those who need a loan or find it difficult to receive one via more traditional methods.

In this article, we looked into the best personal loans on the market, so you can make the right choice. You’ll find:

  • ✓ Our review and evaluation methodology
  • ✓ Top personal loan providers and key offer details
  • ✓ A comprehensive guide of the factors to consider when chosing a lender

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Best Personal Loan Companies

1. 5KFunds

No upfront fees required

Get matched with the best interest rates

Search thousands of the best lenders for personal loans instantly

Best Match-maker For Borrowers & Lenders

Visit 5KFunds

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5kfunds can quickly and easily secure you an instant loan up to $35,000 with rates as low as 5.99%. Simply enter your requirements online and let 5kfunds do the hard work, searching hundreds of providers to get you the best rate. No upfront fees are required and the funds will reach your bank account within 24 hours of approval. Approved loans pay only a 2.5% finders fee.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

2. Monevo

No fees for using the service

Larger than average loans of up to $100k

Real-time live offers from hundreds of loan providers

Best For Higher Than Average Loan Amounts

Visit Мonevo

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Monevo is a risk-free loan aggregator that will find you the best loans at the lowest interest rates, perfectly suited to your requirements. Don’t risk damaging your credit score with hard pulls on denied loan applications. Monevo will ensure you only get offered loans that will be approved based on your information.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

3. Even Financial

No upfront fees

Get offers on $1k up to $100k loans

Get offers from hundreds of providers within 1 min

Best For Free Comparison Of Loan Types & Interest Rates


Even Financial is a highly professional loan aggregation service providing you with a direct connection to the top online lenders of personal loans. Quickly get to see the best online personal loans available without needing to do a hard credit check. No upfront fees are required so there is no risk to you, even if you don’t decide to take a loan.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

4. Credible

No origination fee, no prepayment penalty

Refinance student debt from $5k upwards

Get a list of real quotes within minutes for free

Best Personal Loans Provider For Students

Visit Credible

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Credible is a completely free service for students looking to refinance their private student loans at the best rates possible. It aggregates all the best personal loans for debt consolidation in one convenient place without running a hard credit check. The best part is, it’s completely free even if you don’t decide to go with one of the listed lenders.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

5. LoansUnder36

Free, no-obligation service

The APR on all offers is capped at 36%

No credit check — get a loan even with bad credit

Best For People With Bad Credit History

Visit LoansUnder36

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LoansUnder36 will find your offers on unsecured loans with under 36% APR from multiple providers, no matter how bad your credit rating is. Get no-obligation instant quotes on multiple different loans with a variety of terms, from $500 to $35,000. Choose the loan that suits your needs best and gets paid directly into your bank account within 24 hours.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

6. GuideToLenders

An extensive network of niche lenders

Loans for bad credit scores as low as 300

Best low-interest personal loans from as low as 3.49%

Best For Borrowers With High or Low Credit Score


GuideToLenders is one of the longest-running lender comparison sites in the US, with a huge network of providers offering all types of loans with varied terms. With GuideToLenders, you’ll find the best personal loan for generous repayment terms to help with debt consolidation, medical emergencies, and personalized financial planning.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

7. AmOne

Free to use

Loans from $100 up to $50k

Unsecured, secured loans, peer-to-peer, short-term loans

Best To Compare Top Lenders For Small Loans

Visit AmOne

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AmOne will quickly and easily find you the best loans available with the lowest rates and most flexible terms. Whatever your situation or credit rating, the AmOne platform will do its best to find a loan provider that suits your needs. No need for any upfront payment or collateral — simply provide your employment details and AmOne will find you a list of appropriate lenders within minutes.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

8. Upgrade

Consolidate high-interest debt

Short term loans of 36 to 60 months

Pre-approval without a hard credit pull

Best For Credit Score Improvement

Visit Upgrade

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Upgrade is the perfect digital lender to help you build your credit score. Upgrade helps its customers to keep on top of their debt with educational software and a credit score checker. It can be used to consolidate high-interest debt with a well-planned payment schedule to ensure you don’t miss payments and further damage your score. Upgrades soft-pull credit check provides a pre-approved loan without damaging your score.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

9. PersonalLoans.com

Quick and easy exposure to multiple lenders

Unsecured loans as low as $500 to use however you like

Terms from 3 to 72 months

Best Easy-to-Use Personal Loan Online Application


PersonalLoans.com will give you the best options for loans that suit your needs without any complications. Enter your information and details and see exactly which providers can offer you funds and at what terms. The process doesn’t risk damaging your credit rating and there is no obligation if you opt to not take a loan.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

10. LendingTree

Completely free to use, no obligation

A long-running company with proven track records

Wide variety of loans from different financial institutions

Best Variety Of Personal Loans Lenders

Visit LendingТree

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As one of the oldest loan comparison sites in the U.S., LendingTree is well-trusted and has a proven history of good customer service. You can get loans from a wide variety of loan institutions, including banks, peer-to-peer lenders, and financial institutions with flexible repayment terms or monthly installments with various types of interest.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

11. BadCreditLoans.com

Simple and quick to use

Loans for bad credit from multiple lenders

Get a loan no matter how bad your credit score is

Best For Poor Credit Score


BadCreditLoans.com does exactly what it says on the tin: finds loans for people with bad credit. No matter how bad your credit rating is, the platform will find a solution. If you just need some extra cash until payday and most lenders won’t help, let BadCreditLoans.com come up with the perfect match for your needs. From as little as $500 up to $5,000, they got you covered.

Read full review

Competitive APR

Application Process

Customer Support

Review Methodology

In compiling our review of the best personal loans, we examined a wide range of personal loan lenders before creating our shortlist.

First and foremost, we evaluated what services they offer such as loan amounts, APR, loan terms, and fees. Features investigated include:

✓ Credit requirements:

What is the minimum credit score required? do you need to prove a steady income? do you have to provide information on your housing and employment situation?

✓ Unsecured or secured:

What types of loans are offered: unsecured or secured loans, peer-to-peer or short-term loans?

✓ Types of interests:

Are there any hidden fees: origination fees, late fees, comparison fee, penalties? 

✓ Annual percentage rate (APR):

Fixed or variable interest rate terms?

✓ Repayment terms:

What are the term lengths? How quickly can you repay your loan and how long can you extend it?

We then examined in more detail the pros and cons of each company, looking at benefits, discounts, requirements, and restrictions.

Finally, we compared all the providers and made our decisions on what we feel are the best personal loan companies.

At a Glance

  • No upfront fees required
  • Loans from as low as $1,000
  • No initial credit check required
  • No live chat support
  • 2.5% finders fee once approved
  • Get matched perfectly with the best interest rates

5KFunds works like a match-maker for borrowers and lenders, providing a platform that connects customers with the most suitable loan company it can find online. This saves lots of time by instantly finding the best possible loan option for every specific borrower. Simply enter your requirements into the website and search its database of hundreds of potential lenders.

5Kfunds offers the following services:

  • Loans from as little as $1,000 to up to $35,000
  • Loans with an annual percentage rate (APR) from 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Repayment terms from a minimum of 61 days up to a maximum of 72 months
  • Free-of-charge to use the search with only a 2.5% finders fee once approved.

Benefits of using 5KFunds

5KFunds makes the process of searching and applying for the best-rated personal loans quick and easy. The service simplifies the process of completing the loan application and promptly arranges the transfer of funds directly to your bank account. It exposes the borrower to over 100 reputable loan providers, immediately revealing the most competitive interest rates for them to choose from.

Requirements:

  • A bank account
  • Being a US citizen
  • Over 18 years old
  • Having a steady income

While a credit check or paperwork is required during the initial search and application, individual third-party providers may request a one at a later date. A fee is only charged once you are successfully matched with a provider.

Restrictions:

  • No live chat support on the website
  • Does not directly supply loans only informs where to get personal loans

Drawbacks

Some customer complaints mention requests to pay upfront for services via a prepaid credit card and then not receiving the loans. It is unclear if the complaints are resolved as many appear to go unanswered.

 

Read the Full 5KFunds Review

At a Glance

  • No fees for using the service
  • Larger than average loans of up to $100k
  • Real-time live offers from hundreds of loan providers
  • APR as low as 3.49%
  • No mobile app

Monevo is a personal loan search engine that makes it easy to shop for loans from a wide variety of lenders. Rather than apply individually at banks or loan companies, simply enter your requirements and Monevo will match you with hundreds of potential lenders. The service makes the process of applying for a personal loan simple and painless, and removes the risk of damaging your credit score with a ‘hard pull’.

Monevo offers the following services:

  • Soft credit pull on hundreds of loan providers
  • Get multiple loan offers with one application
  • Loans from $1,000 to $100,000
  • 3.49% to 35.99% APR
  • Short term personal loans from 3 months to 144 months
  • Fixed or variable rate terms.

Benefits of using Monevo

Monevo reveals the details of the top 30 loan providers that suit your requirements without having to implement a ‘hard pull’ and damage your credit score. Loans can be as high as $100,000, which is higher than most other loan providers will offer.

Requirements:

  • Personal identification — name, date of birth, SSN, contact, education
  • Housing and employment situation, income, monthly payments.

There is no fee to the borrower for using Monevo’s search engine as the company charges the loan provider you choose.

Restrictions:

  • No mobile app
  • Is not a direct loan provider
  • Monevo only lists its selection of approved loan providers.

Drawbacks

Your contact information will likely be supplied to third-party companies so you may get unsolicited offers after using Monevo’s services. While Monevo is convenient, you could get better interest rates by applying directly to a specific loan provider.

 

Read the Full Monevo Review

At a Glance

  • No hard credit check
  • Unsecured payday loans up to $100,000
  • Get offers from hundreds of providers within 1 min
  • A credit score of 580
  • Not BBB accredited

Even Financial is a loan facilitator, helping to connect borrowers with lenders for personal loans. The Even Financial website helps to bring together a wide variety of offers from different companies so you can see which is the best option for you. Even Financial doesn’t offer its customers loans directly but helps to make the process of securing a loan simpler and more enjoyable.

Even Financial offers the following services:

  • Multiple offers without damaging your credit score
  • Unsecured personal loans from $1,000 to $100,000
  • Fixed-rate terms from 2 to 7 years
  • 4.99% to 35.99% APR

Benefits of using Even Financial

Even Financial provides a range of excellent loan options all in one place, saving you both time and money. It gives you a better idea of the types of loans and rates available and doesn’t cost you a cent until you make your choice. It provides first-class technology to give its customers the most transparent, up-to-date information about the best personal loan rates.

Requirements:

  • Provide personal information
  • US citizen or permanent resident at least 21 years old
  • A minimum credit score of 580
  • Agree for information to be shared with third-parties.

Restrictions:

  • Not BBB accredited
  • Does not provide loans directly.

Drawbacks

You are limited to seeing offers from Even Financials chosen providers and your personal information may be shared with third-party companies. Some loan providers can charge loan origination fees up to 6% back to the customer.

 

Read the Full Even Financial Review

At a Glance

  • Loans from as low as $1,000
  • Refinance student debt from $5k upwards
  • Get a list of real quotes within minutes for free
  • No service fee, no origination fee, no prepayment penalty
  • No initial credit check required
  • Lots of initial information required
  • A minimum credit score of 650

Credible offers both fixed and variable rate personal loans mainly for students who are currently in school or plan on going to school. The website provides a list of student loan providers that fit your criteria without needing to do a hard credit check – a great alternative to students’ credit cards. You can even invite multiple co-signers to your application to see which offers the best rate.

Credible offers the following services:

  • Quick and easily find all the best student loan offers in one place
  • Get a personal loan for credit card refinancing or other needs
  • Terms range from 12 to 84 months
  • Variable APR from 3.99% to 35.99%

Benefits of using Credible

You get instant quotes on prequalified rates with multiple lenders all in one convenient place with Credible without damaging your credit rating. While Credible offers multiple services, it is particularly good for students wanting to refinance their student debt.

 Requirements:

  • At least $5,000 worth of student debt to refinance
  • At least 18 years old
  • A minimum credit score of 650 (average)
  • A co-signer if you have no stable income

Restrictions:

  • Mainly offers student loans
  • Lots of documentation must be provided
  • Does not provide loans directly

Drawbacks

Credible will only show you options from its chosen list of providers. Although it is an extensive network you may not necessarily get the lowest possible rates that you would from an independent search.

 

Read the Full Credible Review

At a Glance

  • Free, no-obligation service
  • Unsecured loans from as low as $500
  • No credit check — get a loan even if you have bad credit
  • Guaranteed APR below 36%
  • The APR on all offers is capped at 36%
  • Not available in New York, Vermont, West Virginia, and Alaska
  • Limited online support channels

LoansUnder36 is a comparison site offering loans with under 36% interest rates. It provides customers with a list of potential offers from its network of over 100 providers. LoansUnder30 can even provide bad credit loans since it doesn’t base its options on credit ratings. That said, borrowers with higher credit scores will get better APR rates, possibly as low as 5.99%.

LoansUnder36 offers the following services:

  • Short term personal loans from $500 to $35,000
  • Fixed-rate terms from 2 to 72 months.
  • 5.99% to 36% APR
  • No minimum credit score required.

Benefits of using LoansUnder36

LoansUnder36 doesn’t require any minimum credit score and provides unsecured loans so you won’t need to put any collateral upfront. The service is completely free and doesn’t include any hidden fees or prepayment penalties. The funds are usually deposited directly into your bank account within 24 hours.

 Requirements:

  • Borrowers must have a bank account.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • All borrowers should have a stable income.

Restrictions:

  • Drivers license required for online application
  • No direct loans or guaranteed terms
  • Not available in New York, Vermont, West Virginia, and Alaska.

Negatives

LoansUnder36 has very limited online support channels and the most common replies are mostly only via email. The maximum amount of loans on offer is $35,000, lower than many other providers. To use LoansUnder36, you waive your right to dispute clause should any damages arise from your chosen lender.

 

Read the Full LoansUnder36 Review

At a Glance

  • An extensive network of niche lenders
  • Loans for bad credit scores as low as 300
  • Best low-interest personal loans from as low as 3.49%
  • Limited information provided regarding rates and terms
  • High level of marketing calls from third-parties

GuideToLenders offers to find personal loans for credit card debt, medical emergencies, or other needs for its customers. It has some of the widest range of terms and has been operating for over 15 years. This long-standing comparison website aggregates loans from its huge network of vetted lenders, with APRs from as little as 4.99%. Borrowers from all 50 U.S. states are welcome to use the service free of charge and could receive funds from as little as 24 hours after approval.

GuideToLenders offers the following services:

  • Personal loans for fast funding from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Fixed-rate terms from 3.49% to 35.99% APR
  • Terms from 24 to 84 months
  • Free comparison service, no hidden fees

Benefits of using GuideToLenders 

GuideToLenders has one of the largest lender networks since its been running since 2005, so you get a very broad range of terms and offers. Even borrowers with a bad credit score will find lenders through GuideToLender’s expansive network. You can get the best personal loans to pay off debt, household expenses, repairs, medical, or emergencies.

 Requirements:

  • A US citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • A verified bank account
  • A steady source of income

Restrictions:

There are almost no restrictions on who can use GuideToLenders and the services they offer although you may need to meet an income threshold.

Drawbacks

There is limited information provided on the exact rates and terms available and it’s difficult to get hold of customer support. Users have complained about receiving a barrage of marketing calls, possibly even more so than can be expected from using comparison sites.

Read the Full GuideToLenders Review

At a Glance

  • Free to use
  • Loans from $100 up to $50k
  • Unsecured, secured loans, peer-to-peer, short-term loans
  • No collateral require
  • Loans from as little as $100
  • Minimum credit score of 500
  • APR rates are generally higher than other operators

AmOne is a free lender discovery service accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. It provides potential borrowers with a range of lenders like BlueVine, FreedomPlus, and NetCredit for the best personal loan interest rates. Simply fill in your online information and describe the type of loan you are looking for, and AmOne does the rest. No worries about damaging your credit score with multiple hard pulls as AmOne collects all the necessary info.

AmOne offers the following services:

  • Wide variety of loans from $100 to $50,000
  • Fixed-rate terms from 2 months
  • 4.99% to 35.99% APR
  • No collateral required, no fees, no obligation.

Benefits of using AmOne

Easily get personal loans for average credit score holders with a good APR to make paying off debt easier. AmOne includes offers for both unsecured or secured loans plus peer-to-peer and short-term loans from as little as $100.

Requirements:

  • A credit score of at least 500
  • At least 18 years old
  • U.S citizen or permanent resident.

Restrictions:

AmOne cannot guarantee the rates offered at the time of application as these are determined by the individual loan providers.

Drawbacks

AmOne is not BBB accredited and it is difficult to find detailed information about its lenders on its website. Even if your loan doesn’t get approved, your details will be shared with providers who may contact you.

 

Read the Full AmOne Review

At a Glance

  • Soft pull FICO score check
  • Consolidate high-interest debt
  • Short term loans of 36 to 60 months
  • Pre-approval without a hard credit pull
  • Fixed interest rates and repayment timeline
  • Improve credit without risk and access to credit repair services
  • An origination fee of 1.5% to 6%
  • High minimum APR of 6.99%

Upgrade offers direct personal loans to help build credit scores or provide income relief. Customers get access to credit monitoring tools and information to improve their credit situation. Rather than provide loans based purely on income, Upgrade takes into account an applicant’s disposable cash flow. This is to ensure the borrower doesn’t get into further debt unnecessarily.

Upgrade offers the following services:

  • Personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Fixed-rate terms of 3 to 5 years
  • Get 6.99% to 35.99% APR
  • Direct debt consolidation with payments to creditors
  • Improve your credit rating with low risk

Benefits of using Upgrade

Upgrade provides personal loans directly to the public for use in improving credit, debt consolidation, home improvements, or other large purchases. Rather than simply issuing loans based on income and credit rating, Upgrade ensures that its customers have enough free cash flow to pay off the loan without defaulting.

 Requirements:

  • Minimum credit score of 600
  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%

Restrictions:

  • Upgrade charges late fees
  • Not available in Iowa, Vermont, and West Virginia.
  • A limited-term window of only 36 to 60 months

Drawbacks

Unlike many other sites, Upgrade charges origination fees which range from 2.9% to 8%. It also has a higher than usual minimum APR of 6.99% and requires a high minimum monthly free cash flow of $800.

 

Read the Full Upgrade Review

At a Glance

  • Unsecured loans as low as $500 to use however you like
  • Quick and easy exposure to multiple lenders
  • Fits the best loan to your personal financial situation
  • Terms from 3 to 72 months
  • Lower minimum than most lenders
  • Higher minimum APR than average
  • Some lenders may need to do a hard pull

PersonalLoans.com is an online lending portal that provides information to customers about the best personal loans to fit their needs. It has relatively low starting loans ranging from $500 to $35,000 and industry-standard APRs from 5.99% to 35.99%. Repayments can be made from as little as 3 months up to 5 years.

PersonalLoans.com offers the following services:

  • Personal loans from as low as $500 up to $35,000
  • Repayment terms of 3 months up to 5 years
  • Standard rates of 5.99% to 35.99% APR

Benefits of using PersonalLoans.com

PersonalLoans.com is a simple intuitive platform that offers hassle-free personal loans without any unnecessary complications. It connects customers with various different lenders, including banks and credit unions, peer-to-peer, and installment loan providers. Borrowers are free to use loans for a variety of purposes including home repairs, debt refinancing, medical emergencies, or other large purchases.

Requirements:

  • Valid ID, checking account, and credit score of 580+
  • Proof of stable income
  • U.S citizen or permanent resident with valid social security number

Drawbacks

PersonalLoans.com seems to indicate that some of its third-party lenders may do a hard credit check so it’s important to check this detail first. Some lenders may charge an origination fee of up to 5%.

 

Read the Full PersonalLoans.com Review

At a Glance

  • Completely free to use, no obligation
  • Wide variety of loans from different financial institutions
  • Get quotes from traditional and non-banking financial institutions
  • A long-running company with proven track records
  • Established company with a good reputation
  • Good personal loans to pay off credit cards
  • Approval can take longer than usual
  • Lots of spam and no ability to unsubscribe

Lending Tree is one of the longest-running peer-to-peer online lending exchanges in existence, having launched in 1998. It connects borrowers with multiple lenders across the U.S. to find the best rates on business and personal loans, student loans, and refinancing. Customers can get free, no-obligation quotes and information about their credit scores, credit cards, and other financial decisions.

LendingTree offers the following services:

  • Info on where to get personal loans from a variety of lenders
  • Get a loan from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Free service plus added information on credit scores, etc
  • APR rates from 5.99% to 35.99%

Benefits of using LendingTree

LendingTree helps customers get a good idea of the types of loans available from a broad range of peer-to-peer lenders, financial institutions, banks, and credit unions. There is absolutely no cost for the service and using it won’t hurt your credit rating. LendingTree provides quotes for business and personal loans, short-term loans, college loans, and more.

 Requirements:

  • Minimum Credit score of 720 for most lenders
  • Proof of income plus pay stubs
  • Bank account

Restrictions:

  • Can take up to 7 days for approval
  • A debt-to-income ratio below 43%

Drawbacks

Customers receive lots of calls trying to sell them further loans, even after making a decision. Almost all complaints on the Better Business Bureau relate to customers receiving an endless amount of spam email and phone calls after using Lending Tree.

 

Read the Full LendingTree Review

At a Glance

  • Simple and quick to use
  • Get a loan no matter how bad your credit score is
  • Find some of the best personal loans for bad credit from multiple lenders
  • Simple, free and easy to apply online
  • Bad rating on some review sites
  • Limited to $10k

BadCreditLoans.com is specifically aimed at customers with bad credit who are struggling to find a lender. The platform provides a way to search through hundreds of loan providers that help people with bad credit. It only offers small loans up to $5,000 but could help those who are desperate with nowhere else to turn. APRs are from 5.99% to 35.99% and terms are 3 to 60 months.

BadCreditLoans.com offers the following services:

  • APRs from 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Bad credit loans up to $10,000
  • Repayment terms from 3 months to 6 years

Benefits of using BadCreditLoans.com

If you have a poor credit rating for whatever reason, BadCreditLoans.com might be able to help you. It specifically aims to help those stuck in the subprime credit score range or with no credit history at all. Using BadCreditLoans.com, you could slowly rebuild your credit rating by paying off multiple debts over time.   

 Requirements:

  • Personal information
  • Income information
  • US Bank account
  • 18 years of age

Restrictions:

Limited loans options available

Drawbacks

BadCreditLoans.com is limited to providing small loans of up to $5,000. The company has an ‘F’ rating on the Better Business Bureau, which is the lowest score.

 

Read the Full BadCreditLoans.com Review

How To Choose A Personal Loan Lender - Guide

  1. Always read all the fine print and check for any hidden fees. Those include: application fees, administration fees, or origination fees and will be subtracted from your loan so you could end up with less money than you expect.
  2. Check independent third-party personal loans reviews about the loan company to ensure it’s not a scam. Sites that ask for an upfront payment, don’t have a listed address or promise ‘guaranteed preapproval’ are usually scams.
  3. Check the offered repayment terms and if they suit your needs .
  4. Check if the interest rates are fixed or variable. Variable rates can be both beneficial or detrimental, so they are riskier.
  5. Make sure you fit the requirements and the lender doesn’t have any restrictions that stop you from using their services

When Should I Get a Personal Loan?

Depending on your financial situation, getting a loan could be a very good or very bad idea. Most importantly, you should have a stable income and, if possible, some kind of collateral like a house or car. There are also companies that offer personal loans for graduate students with decent job prospects after leaving university.

The best personal loans offer several advantages over conventional lending options, including versatility, low-interest rates, and high approval rates.

Good reasons:

One of the best reasons to get a loan is debt consolidation or refinancing, as this can help you to save money in the long run. It is also a good way to improve your credit rating in the event you may want to get a mortgage later in life. Personal loans are a great option if you need a loan for home improvement and repairs. Taking out a loan for medical emergency expenses is another good reason if no other option is available. 

The most common reasons people apply for personal loans include:

  • Consolidate debt
  • Finance home repairs
  • Unplanned medical emergencies
  • Large purchase
  • Starting a business

Bad reasons:

Taking out a loan for unnecessary, non-emergency purchases like a fancy new car is a bad idea as it could land you in serious debt and damage your credit rating. Personal loans should be reserved for emergencies or for improving credit and consolidating debt. 

Often you are better off getting a loan specific to your needs. Many companies offer mortgage loans, short-term, revolving, or installments business loans. There are also several co-signed loans like a student loan. These specified loans are less flexible but may give you better terms. Comparison sites will help you find the best personal loan for using a cosigner.

What Are the Average Personal Loan Interest Rates by Credit Score?

  • Above 720: 10.3% – 12.5%
  • From 680 – 719: 13.5% – 15.5%
  • From 640 – 679: 17.8% – 19.9%
  • Below 639: 28.5% – 32.0%

Tips on How to Get a Personal Loan?

  1. Decide exactly how much you need, how much you can afford to pay off, and for how long. Don’t be unrealistic or you could end up defaulting on your payments.
  2. Check your credit score. Some online comparison sites will do this for you but it’s good to know it beforehand anyway.
  3. Check offers from multiple lenders before making your choice. If you need a loan quickly, they can find you the best personal loan for fast funding.
  4. Once you’ve found a suitable lender, fill in the application, and send the necessary documentation. This usually includes proof of residence, employment, and credit history.
  5. You will be notified of your success or failure at which point you can accept the quote and receive your loan.
  6. Make sure to never miss a payment or you could get a penalty and damage your credit score.

Best Personal Loans Providers At A Glance

5kfunds – Best match-maker for borrowers and lenders

Monevo – Best for higher than average loan amounts

Even Financial – Best for free comparison of personal loan types and interest rates

Credible – Best personal loans provider for students

LoansUnder36 – Best for people with bad credit history

GuideToLenders – Best personal loan for high or low credit scores

AmOne – Best website to compare top lenders for small loans

Upgrade – Best for credit score improvement

PersonalLoans.com – Best easy-to-use personal loan online application

LendingTree – Best variety of personal loan lenders

BadCreditLoans.com – Best for poor credit score

Key Takeouts

These days, it’s quick and easy to find a personal loan to suit your needs, even if you have a low income or bad credit score. If you have lots of credit card debt or need to improve your credit rating, taking out a personal loan can be beneficial in the long-term. That said, personal loans should not be taken out for trivial purchases. Defaulting on your monthly payments can damage your credit rating which is very difficult to fix and can have serious consequences on your future life.

Frequently Asked Questions on Personal Loans

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is an amount of money borrowed from a third-party provider under contract to repay it with interest over a certain period. Personal loans are usually unsecured and don’t require collateral but have high-interest rates that can cost a lot over time.

How do personal loans work?

Anyone with a fixed address and steady income can get a personal loan from multiple providers. The loan officer simply confirms your details, offers a quote based on your financial situation, and then deposits the money directly to your bank account.

Can I get a personal loan with bad credit?

Many lenders now offer loans to people with bad credit but the APR is usually very high.

How many personal loans can you have at once?

In most cases, having up to three loans at a time is possible but not recommended.

What’s the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan?

Secured loans are protected by collateral like a house or car, which the lender can repossess if you don’t repay the loan. Unsecured loans don’t require any collateral but as a result, have higher interest rates and less favorable terms.

How fast can I get a loan?

The best personal loans have a 24 hour turnaround time after approval but some can take up to 7 days and involve several personal loan stages of approval.