Best Unsecured Loans in 2021

[Reviews & Ratings]

Personal loans are money you borrow from banks, credit unions, or financial institutions that you typically pay back in monthly installments.

The best unsecured loans offer many benefits, such as the lack of need for collateral, low monthly payments, and flexible repayment terms. Most people take out personal loans to consolidate debt, buy a new vehicle, finance a home improvement project, and pay medical bills.

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Top 7 Unsecured Loans in 2021

1. Payoff

Payoff offers the best unsecured loans for consolidating debt. You can borrow as much as $40,000 and receive financial planning support to help you manage your finances properly. It doesn’t charge any late or prepayment fees but offers a catch-up plan if you make late payments. Full Review

  • No prepayment or late payment fees
  • Personalized financial planning
  • Competitive APR
VISIT SITE

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Payoff offers the best unsecured loans for consolidating debt. You can borrow as much as $40,000 and receive financial planning support to help you manage your finances properly. It doesn’t charge any late or prepayment fees but offers a catch-up plan if you make late payments. Full Review

Loan Amount

★★★★☆ 4/5

Funding Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Eligibility Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

APR

★★★★★ 5/5

2. Lending Club

Lending Club offers great loan options for borrowers with fair or good credit histories. Its offers are great for investors, but you can borrow for other purposes apart from investing. You can also find a cosigner to better qualify for the loan type or loan amount you want. Full Review

  • Joint and co-signed loan options
  • Quick application process
  • Fast loan turnaround
VISIT SITE

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Lending Club offers great loan options for borrowers with fair or good credit histories. Its offers are great for investors, but you can borrow for other purposes apart from investing. You can also find a cosigner to better qualify for the loan type or loan amount you want. Full Review

Loan Amount

★★★★☆ 4/5

Funding Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Eligibility Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

APR

★★★★☆ 4/5

3. Upstart

Upstart is best for debt consolidation, thanks to its fast funding and pre-qualification standards. The minimum credit score is 600. You can borrow from $1,000 to $50,000. Overall, you can choose Upstart if you’re in a fair to good financial standing and you want to consolidate your debts for easy payments. Full Review

  • Fixed interest rates
  • Fast funding
  • Flexible payment dates
VISIT SITE

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Upstart is best for debt consolidation, thanks to its fast funding and pre-qualification standards. The minimum credit score is 600. You can borrow from $1,000 to $50,000. Overall, you can choose Upstart if you’re in a fair to good financial standing and you want to consolidate your debts for easy payments. Full Review

Loan Amount

★★★★☆ 4/5

Funding Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Eligibility Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

APR

★★★★★ 5/5

4. Prosper

Prosper is among those unsecured loan lenders that also offer joint loan options. It also offers home equity loans for borrowers in specific states. No minimum income is required and you can qualify even with only two years of credit history, as long as your credit score is 640 and your debt-to-income ratio is 50%. Full Review

  • Home-equity line of credit
  • Offers joint loan options
  • No prepayment penalty
VISIT SITE

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Prosper is among those unsecured loan lenders that also offer joint loan options. It also offers home equity loans for borrowers in specific states. No minimum income is required and you can qualify even with only two years of credit history, as long as your credit score is 640 and your debt-to-income ratio is 50%. Full Review

Loan Amount

★★★★☆ 4/5

Funding Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Eligibility Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

APR

★★★★★ 5/5

5. LightStream

LightStream offers great loan options for borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores. It offers extended loan terms for home improvement projects, as long as you meet their credit requirements. You can borrow as much as $100,000, and if you’re unsatisfied with their service, you’ll get a $100 cashback offer. Full Review

  • $100 cashback for unsatisfied customers
  • No origination, late, or prepayment fee
  • Wide range of repayment terms
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LightStream offers great loan options for borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores. It offers extended loan terms for home improvement projects, as long as you meet their credit requirements. You can borrow as much as $100,000, and if you’re unsatisfied with their service, you’ll get a $100 cashback offer. Full Review

Loan Amount

★★★★★ 5/5

Funding Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Eligibility Requirements

★★★☆☆ 3/5

APR

★★★★★ 5/5

6. Discover

Discover offers the best online unsecured loans for people with excellent credit scores. It charges competitive APRs and there aren’t any origination or late fees. If you delay payments, it offers short and long-term repayment assistance. You can receive the loan money in as little as one business day if your application gets approved without a hitch. Full Review

  • Fast funding
  • No origination fees
  • Low rates for qualified borrowers
VISIT SITE

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Discover offers the best online unsecured loans for people with excellent credit scores. It charges competitive APRs and there aren’t any origination or late fees. If you delay payments, it offers short and long-term repayment assistance. You can receive the loan money in as little as one business day if your application gets approved without a hitch. Full Review

Loan Amount

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Funding Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Eligibility Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

APR

★★★★★ 5/5

7. Rocket Loans

Rocket Loans offers the best unsecured loans if you have a poor credit history and want fast funding with no credit check. You can borrow up to $45,000 and repay in three or five years. You can get a discount when you sign up for their automated withdrawal option. Full Review

  • No hard credit check
  • Fast funding
  • Accepts borrowers with poor credit
VISIT SITE

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Rocket Loans offers the best unsecured loans if you have a poor credit history and want fast funding with no credit check. You can borrow up to $45,000 and repay in three or five years. You can get a discount when you sign up for their automated withdrawal option. Full Review

Loan Amount

★★★★☆ 4/5

Funding Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Eligibility Requirements

★★★★★ 5/5

APR

★★★★★ 5/5

How We Created This List – Our Methodology

In this article, we review the best lenders and best unsecured loans in 2021. We’ll talk about:

  • Methodology – in this section, we discussed the factors we considered while reviewing the companies. The factors include the type of lenders and fees you must pay.
  • Unsecured Loans Reviews – in this part, we discussed each lender in detail, what they offer, how you can qualify, and the downsides you can expect.
  • Types and Benefits of Unsecured Loans – here, we talked about the different types of unsecured loans you can take and what each one is good for. We also provided some tips you can use to find the best unsecured loan companies.

What We Reviewed

Our review process took into consideration key factors that make the unsecured loans comparison clearer for you as a borrower. We focused on the following points:

  • Eligibility Requirements.

We discussed the requirements and criteria you must meet to enjoy the services of the best lenders for unsecured loans. These may include a good credit score, a good credit history, and a minimum income threshold.

  • Types of Lenders.

We differentiated what each lender is good at and which lender is better for which type of borrower. They may be digital banks, financial institutions, or peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms.

  • Fees and Repayment Terms.

We talked about the fees and costs you must shoulder to access each lender’s unsecured loans. These fees include the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), origination fees, and late fees. We also discussed repayment terms or the number of years in which you can pay off the loan.

  • Credibility and Online Reputation.

Here we evaluated each lender’s credibility, reputation, and possible downsides. This may be hidden costs, poor customer service, or others. We also included any special features that the lenders offer, such as financial planning, special discounts, student credit cards, etc.

Detailed Reviews

Payoff
Payoff

Best for Debt Consolidation

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  • Soft credit check
  • No prepayment or late payment fees
  • Personalized financial planning
  • Competitive APR
  • Limited fund use
  • Long approval and turnaround process
  • No joint or cosigned loan offers

Payoff is the best lender of unsecured loans of up to $40,000 given specifically to borrowers who want to consolidate debt. This offer comes with low rates, flexible payment options, and robust support and guidance.

As a lender for debt repayments, Payoff creates personalized financial planning to help you pay off your debts. It uses quizzes about your personality, financial ability, and wealth.

You can borrow between $5,000 and $40,000 and choose a repayment term option between two or five years. It doesn’t charge a late fee. Rather, it creates a plan for you to catch up. It also lets you skip, defer, or change the date of your payment. APR is between 5.99% to 20.99%.

For prequalification, you must have a credit score of 640 or higher and at least three years of credit history. Your debt-to-income ratio must be under 50%. Your annual income must be at or higher than $40,000.

Since Payoff focuses on debt payments, loans for other purposes like automobile payments, home improvement, and medical funding are not available. The preapproval process may also be tough if you have little to no credit history or a poor credit rating.

Payoff also doesn’t accept joint or cosigned loans. Lastly, you may have to wait for three to seven business days for the lender to check your documents, sign paperwork, and receive the funds.

Lending Club
Lending Club

Best Unsecured Loans for Small Businesses

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  • Great option for individual investors
  • Joint and co-signed loan options
  • Quick application process
  • Fast loan turnaround
  • Not ideal for people with a low FICO score
  • High origination fee
  • APR is high

Lending Club offers unsecured personal loans to borrowers with fair or good credit histories. It also offers business loans, auto refinancing, and patient solutions, among other loans.

The application process is fast and straightforward: set up an account with Lending Club and provide information about you, your income, and the loan’s purpose. Once approved, you’ll receive the money within a few days.

Its offerings also allow you to consolidate debt, access peer-issued loans and use the best unsecured business loans. It’s great for those who have a credit score of 630 to 719 and who want to improve that score.

What makes Lending Club the best place to get an unsecured loan is their joint and co-signed loan options. This option lets you add another person’s credit history and income to your loan application to better qualify for the loan.

Speaking of loan amounts, you can borrow as little as $1,000, and the highest unsecured loan amount is $40,000. The interest rate will depend on your credit rating. Also, you’ll pay an origination fee upfront, which is 1% to 6% of the loan amount.

The better your credit score is, the better APR you’ll get. The annual percentage rate (APR) can be as low as 16% and the highest possible APR is 35.89%. Most Lending Club borrowers are investors and they are prioritized, but you may also borrow for other purposes.

Overall, Lending Club is among the best unsecured loan companies that offer flexible loan options and fast loan turnaround.

Upstart
Upstart

Best Lender With No Collateral

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  • Multiple payment methods
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Fast funding
  • Flexible payment dates
  • Origination fee
  • Limited repayment terms
  • No co-signed or collateralized loan option

Upstart underwrites the best unsecured loans for good credit that you can use for a variety of purposes. Most Upstart borrowers use the loan to consolidate debt. This lender can fund the loan within one business day, ranking its offers among the best unsecured loans for debt consolidation.

You can borrow a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $50,000, and you’ll get a fixed interest rate. There’s no prepayment penalty if you want to pay off the loan early, making it one of the banks that offer the best online unsecured loans.

There are many ways to pay: check, online, or automatic payments. You can pay through monthly installments, and you can change your monthly payment date as many times as you want to. Your original due date won’t change, though. A 15-day grace period applies for late fees. Upstart’s APR is between 6.16% and 35.99%. You’ll also need to pay an origination fee.

To qualify for Upstart, you need a minimum FICO score of 600. No minimum credit history is necessary; they accept borrowers with limited histories. Upstart only performs a soft credit check, so your credit score won’t be affected when they request your credit details.

Your minimum gross income must be at least $12,000, and you must be fully employed or have a regular part-time job. Repayment terms can be from 3 to 5 years.

There’s no co-signed, joint, or collateralized loan option. This may not be favorable if you don’t qualify for Upstart’s loan, since you can’t cosign another person who does. Upstart only offers unsecured personal loans with no collateral.

Prosper
Prosper

Best for P2P Lending

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  • Instant credit checks
  • Home-equity line of credit
  • Offers joint loan options
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Doesn’t pay directly to lenders
  • Origination fee
  • No rate discount for autopay

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platform handling loans from investors or companies to borrowers. You can borrow from Prosper to consolidate debt, pay for business expenses, or finance your vehicle. This lender is one of the best lenders for unsecured loans if you want to build up your credit score as well as consolidate debt.

Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $40,000. Apart from personal loans, you can also try their home-equity line of credit if you’re from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Texas, or New Mexico. You can choose between three and five-year terms for repayment. The APR is between 7.95% and 35.99%.

To qualify for Prosper’s best unsecured loan deals, you must have a minimum credit score of 640. You must also have at least two years in your credit history. There’s no minimum income requirement, but your maximum debt-to-income ratio should be 50%, with no bankruptcy filed within the past year.

Prosper charges an origination fee between 2.41% and 5.99%. It doesn’t offer autopay discount options, and it doesn’t send payments directly to peer lenders, so you must keep track of your own payments.

It does offer joint loan options, where you must meet Prosper’s qualification criteria and the secondary borrower must at least have a FICO score of 600.

LightStream
LightStream

Best Unsecured Home Improvement Loans

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  • Special home improvement loans
  • $100 cashback for unsatisfied customers
  • No origination, late, or prepayment fee
  • Wide range of repayment terms
  • Hard credit check
  • No direct payments to creditors
  • Limited customer support

LightStream is an online lending platform backed by Truist Bank. It offers consolidation loans as well as medical costs funding, automobile payments, and loans for other purposes. You should consider this lender if you want to get the best unsecured bank loans at a reasonable rate.

If you have good or excellent credit, you may qualify for a 12-year extended loan term — no appraisal or home equity requirements needed. LightStream also offers the best unsecured home improvement loans.

You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000, with the interest rate depending on the loan purpose. The APR is between 4.49% and 20.49%. Repayment terms vary between 2 and 7 years.

To qualify for LightStream’s term loans, your credit score must be at or higher than 660. You must also have several years of credit history, ideally at least 5 years. It’s best if you have multiple account types within that history, such as car loans, credit cards, or other types of close end loans. Evidence of financial capability, such as investments or retirement funds, is also necessary.

If you’re unsatisfied with LightStream’s services and have had the loan for less than 30 days, you may receive a $100 cashback offer.

When borrowing from LightStream, consider the hard credit check they’ll perform; it may affect your credit rating. You may want to try another lender of unsecured loans with no credit check. There are also no direct payments to lenders, plus customer service options are limited — no phone, chat, or social media support is offered. You can contact LightStream via its website’s email form only.

Discover
Discover

Most Flexible Repayment Terms

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  • Soft credit check
  • Fast funding
  • No origination fees
  • Low rates for qualified borrowers
  • Low maximum loan amount
  • No cosigned loans
  • Needs excellent rating to acquire lower rates

As one of the leading online banks in the US, Discover is also one of the best lenders for unsecured loans. It mainly caters to borrowers aiming to consolidate debt, but you can also use the loan for other purposes, such as financing home improvement projects, buying vehicles, or paying medical bills.

You can borrow between $2,500 and $35,000 in closed-end loans, with an APR ranging from 6.99% to 24.99%. If you do use the money for consolidating loans, you must use 70% of the loan for paying off creditors. You’ll receive the loaned money within the next business day if you choose the automatic withdrawal payment option.

Discover offers flexible repayment terms, which range from three to seven years. You may qualify for its repayment assistance program, where you defer late payment for your monthly installments until your loan’s due date. It also offers short and long-term assistance. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you cancel the loan within 30 days.

To qualify, you must have a credit rating of 660 or higher. You must also have a minimum annual household income of $25,000. Prequalification also requires you to provide some personal identification, such as Social Security Number, email, address, and intended loan usage.

Discover doesn’t approve cosigned loan applications. At the same time, its maximum loan amount is low, so it might not be ideal for large loan amounts. Its credit requirements also imply that to get lower rates, you must have an excellent credit rating.

Rocket Loans
Rocket Loans

Best for Bad Credit

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  • Autopay discount
  • No hard credit check
  • Fast funding
  • Accepts borrowers with poor credit
  • High origination fee
  • Unsuccessful payment fee
  • Limited repayment term options

Rocket Loans offers the top unsecured loans for bad credit because you can get a personal loan even with poor credit ratings. You can use the funds for almost anything, including home improvement, medical expenses, or vehicle funding.

The application process is fully digital and fast, with 85% of borrowers receiving their funds in one day. The longest time to receive the loan is 3 days. You can also inquire about your rate and eligibility without triggering a hard credit check from the company, so your credit score won’t get affected when you apply.

Rocket Loans offers low interest unsecured loans for bad credit. You can borrow from $2,000 to $45,000 and get an APR of between 7.16% and 29.99%. You’ll usually receive the funding within the same day, but you do have to pay an origination fee of 1% to 6% of your loan amount.

You can repay the loan in full in 3-5 years. An autopay discount of 0.03% is also available if you choose automatic withdrawals. If you make extra payments or pay off the remaining balance early, you won’t be charged any prepayment fee.

To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 580, with a minimum credit history of at least 2 years. Your income threshold must be $24,000.

Rocket Loans doesn’t accept cosigned applications. Its origination fee is also high for a digital lender. This fee is deducted from the personal loan. There’s also an unsuccessful payment fee of $15. Its repayment terms are also limited to only two choices – 3 or 5 years.

Unsecured Loans – Buyer’s Guide

Choosing an unsecured loan lender can be a challenge. There are so many options and offers. So, how do you choose the best rate unsecured personal loans?

How to Choose the Best Unsecured Loans

Here are a few tips.

Loan Purpose

Know why you need the money. It may be an emergency or bill you need to cover. It’s ideal not to borrow money for non-investment purposes; you can build an emergency fund for that. It’s also wise to check whether you have other options available.

Application and Processing Time

Low interest unsecured loans may take time to be processed, while most high-interest loans take only a few business days. Whichever you choose, consider how urgently you need the funds.

Credit Score Eligibility

Checking your credit score will let you know which loan you qualify for. A good credit rating helps you avail yourself of low-interest rates, low payments, and easier savings. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit score from each of the three major credit bureaus, which are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If your credit score is too low, you may use some help from a credit repair company.

Cost

You also want to know about the exact terms of your loan when it comes to payments and costs. Are there any hidden fees? Apart from ticking off credit requirements from their list, ask the lender about costs like origination fees, late payment fees, prepayment fees, and others.

What are Unsecured Loans?

Unsecured loans vs secured loans — what’s the difference?

Unsecured loans, also known as signature or uncollateralized loans, are loans based on your credit score rather than any pledged assets or collateral. Some examples of unsecured loans are credit cards and student loans.

To qualify for unsecured loans, you typically need to have a good or excellent credit rating. However, lenders who accept borrowers with poor FICO score or credit ratings are also common.

And since lenders face higher risks when providing unsecured loans, you typically have to pay higher interest. If you don’t qualify for the loan, some lenders allow you to get a cosigned application, which lets another person take on the debt in case you default.

Types of Unsecured Loans

There are different types of unsecured loans. They have varying characteristics and cater to different kinds of borrowers, so it’s important to know which type of unsecured loan you’re taking on.

  • Revolving Loans.

These loans give you a maximum total amount of capital available over time. You can draw funds, pay, and re-draw available funds during the term of the loan. It’s considered to be flexible and is best for you if you have fluctuating cash flows or change your financial plans from time to time.

  • Term Loans.

These are loans that have a specific repayment schedule with either a fixed or floating interest rate. This is best for small businesses. You may also need to pay a huge down payment to reduce the total cost of the loan.

  • Consolidation Loans.

These are loans that let you borrow to pay off liabilities or unsecured debts. Multiple liabilities and debts are combined into one that has more favorable terms, which include lower interest rates and monthly payments.

Best Signature Loans in 2021 at a Glance

  • LendingClub – Best unsecured loans for small businesses
  • Upstart – Best lender with no collateral
  • Prosper – Best for P2P lending
  • LightStream – Best unsecured home improvement loans
  • Payoff – Best for debt consolidation
  • Discover – Most flexible repayment terms
  • Rocket Loans – Best for bad credit

Wrap Up

Overall, unsecured loans are a great alternative for secured loans if you prefer to borrow without any collateral or pledged assets. More than that, unsecured loans also let you enjoy flexible payments, longer repayment terms, and discounts.
You can also benefit from fast processing times; some lenders give you funding in as little as one day. Whether you’re taking out the loan to pay debts, buy a new vehicle, or pay bills, unsecured loans are easy to get as long as you meet the lenders’ requirements.

FAQ

What is the best unsecured personal loan?

Based on its review, LightStream offers the most flexible personal loan offerings. You can borrow as much as $100,000. You can also extend your repayment terms to up to 12 years if you’re borrowing for a home improvement project. The APR is also competitive; it can range from 4.49% to 20.49%.

What is the highest unsecured loan I can get?

The amount you can borrow from unsecured loan lenders generally falls between $5,000 and $50,000. However, if you meet their requirements and have an excellent credit rating and history, LightStream will let you borrow as much as $100,000, which is a lot higher than what average lenders give. The lowest you can borrow is $5,000.

Which bank is easiest to get a personal loan from?

You can get fast and easy personal loans from USAA and Wells Fargo. USAA’s website implies that they accept borrowers with credit scores lower than 640. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo generally requires a credit rating of 660 for their unsecured personal loans, but they require no minimum scores for secured personal loans.

What is the best unsecured loan for bad credit?

Rocket Loans offers some of the best unsecured loans for borrowers with bad credit. They accept applicants with a credit score of at least 580. You can get up to $45,000, with an APR of between 7.16% and 29.99%. You can use the funds to consolidate debt, finance home improvement projects, pay medical bills, and more.