Best Personal Loans
Personal loans are a useful financial tool often utilized for consolidating high interest rate credit card debt, as well as for financing big-ticket purchases including home improvement, weddings, funeral expenses, outstanding medical debt, or even a used car, motorcycle or vacation.
Most personal loans are unsecured (no collateral required) and come with fixed interest rates and monthly payments, making them easy to fit into a budget forecast. What’s more, the personal loan approval process is often rapid, with funds frequently granted within two days for applicants with stronger credit scores approaching 700 or higher.
However, even for those individuals with average to below-average credit, there are a number of reasonable personal loan options that are available. Let’s take a closer look.
Best Personal Loans for Strong Credit
As with any other form of debt, individuals with stronger credit scores are better positioned to receive personal loans at lower interest rates and more favorable terms than are potential borrowers with weaker credit scores.
If your credit score is 690 or higher, it makes sense to shop around between online lenders, banks and credit unions for the most favorable combination of low interest rates, proper loan amount, flexible payment terms and low fees. Keep in mind that lenders will look beyond credit score to a favorable debt to income ratio and evidence of stable employment, as well.
Three online lenders worth looking into are LightStream, SoFi, and Marcus. Lightstream offers personal loans with APRs as low as 3.34% for amounts up to $100,000 with no fees and a same-day approval process.
SoFi APRs are as low as 6.26% for amounts up to $100,000 with minimal fees and a seven-day approval process. Marcus offers APRs as low as 6.99% for amounts up to $40,000 with no fees and a two-day approval process.
Best Personal Loans for Good Credit
If your credit score is firmly in the 600’s – but not quite at the upper end – then it can make sense to investigate the following three lenders: LendingClub, which is one of the largest and oldest peer-to-peer lenders (matching borrowers with lenders who fund loans) offers APRs as low as 6.16% for amounts up to $40,000 and accepts credit scores as low as 600.
Prosper, another peer-to-peer lender, offers APRs as low as 6.95% for amounts up to $40,000 and accepts credit scores as low as 640. Meantime, Peerform offers APRs as low as 5.99% for amounts up to $25,000 while accepting credit scores as low as 600, though it does charge a 5% loan origination fee.
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit
For those individuals with weaker credit scores in the low 600’s and below who seek a personal loan, there are a few reputable options worth pursuing. These options won’t offer the lowest interest rates or most favorable terms, and the available loan amounts are often considerably less than those granted to borrowers with stronger credit.
The aptly named badcreditloans.com connects borrowers with weaker credit to a network of willing lenders for loan amounts up to $5,000 and APRs ranging from 5.99% to 35.99%. Meantime, Avant offers APRs ranging from 9.95% to 35.99% for amounts up to $35,000 with rapid approval as soon as the next business day – though it does charge a 4.75% administrative fee on the loan.
Finally, OneMain Financial offers bad credit loans of up to $10,000 (or up to $30,000 for those with better credit) with APRs ranging from 16.05% to 35.99%. Additionally, OneMain has no minimum credit score or income requirement, but does often require an applicant to apply in person at one of its 1600 nationwide branches.
Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation
Personal loans can be quite useful for consolidating high-interest rate debt from multiple credit card accounts into one simplified monthly payment at a lower interest rate – thereby saving money while adding convenience to the repayment process.
For those with weaker credit scores, LendingClub, Avant and OneMain Financial (all three discussed and linked above) are good sources for debt consolidation personal loans. For those with stronger credit scores, SoFi, Marcus and Prosper (all three discussed and linked above) can fit the bill.
Finally, PersonalLoans.com is a useful referral site that connects borrowers with lenders in all fifty states, offering debt consolidation personal loans with APRs ranging from 5.99% to 35.99% for loans up to $35,000.
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