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Personal Loans

Updated December 10, 2019

2019 Personal Loan Rankings

Personal loans are unsecured, fixed-rate loans that are typically paid back in monthly payments over two to five years. Eligibility may be based on multiple considerations including credit history, existing debts, and income profile. Some lenders may consider additional characteristics like employment and education. The loans are most often used for debt consolidation or to cover a larger expense.

Personal loans on average offer larger loan amounts and charge lower interest rates than installment loans but they also require a stronger credit profile. In general, FICO® credit scores above 600 are required with the larger loans and lower rates only available to those with credit scores above 720.

In the table below we review direct loan providers according to company reputation (Sniff Test), loan costs, and product features. Inclusion in our rankings is not an endorsement.

Filter by state:
Company Name Description Rating
OneMain Financial

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit OneMain Financial to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $1,500 - $20,000
  • APR: 18.00% - 35.99%
  • State Licensed Lender
Net Credit

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Net Credit to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $2,000 - $10,000
  • APR: 34% - 155%
  • State Licensed Lender
Upstart

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Upstart to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $1,000 to $50,000
  • APR: 5.69% to 35.99%
  • State Licensed Lender
Payoff

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Payoff to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $5,000 to $35,000
  • APR: 5.99% to 24.99%
  • State Licensed Lender
SoFi

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit SoFi to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $5,000 - $100,000
  • APR: 5.99% - 20.01%
  • State Licensed Lender
Avant

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Avant to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $2,000 to $35,000
  • APR: 9.95% to 35.99%
  • State Licensed Lender
Upgrade

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Upgrade to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $1,000 to $50,000
  • APR: 6.98% to 35.89%
  • State Licensed Lender
Lending Club

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Lending Club to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $1,000 to $40,000
  • APR: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • State Licensed Lender

* Rates and fees vary by state. Not all lenders operate in all states. Check each lender's website for up-to-date information.

What Are Personal Loans

Typically, these loans are fixed-rate loans, i.e. the interest will not change over time, and are paid back through a series of monthly payments over a fixed period. Sometimes the payments may be bi-monthly (twice a month). At The Payday Hound we distinguish installment loans from personal loans based on the length of payback time or term of the loan. Loan term of less than two years are considered installment loans and those greater than two years as personal loans. The term for a personal loan generally ranges from 2-5 years.

These loans are also referred to as online personal loans and unsecured loans.

What Do Personal Loans Cost

The interest rates on personal loans vary by lender and your predicted ability to pay back the loan (credit score, credit history, other debts, income, etc.). The monthly payment amount will vary based on the interest rate, the amount of the loan, and the time period. The total amount of interest paid will vary based on all of the above. Generally, borrowers with the best credit scores will get the best rates and largest loan amounts. They will also have the widest option of lenders willing to give them a loan.

A rough guide to rates based on credit history is below. This is just a rough guide as the actual rate will vary by lender, loan amount, payback period, and other factors.

Credit Type Score Range (FICO®) Estimated Rate
Excellent 720+ 9.9%-13.9%
Good 680-719 15.9%-19.9%
Fair 620-679 20.9%-27.9%
Poor <619 29.9%+ or not eligible

Who Makes Personal Loans

Traditionally, only banks and credit unions made personal loans but in the past few years, there have been many new players entering the space. Improvements in data capture, access, and technology have driven many of these changes. Some of these lenders are focused on online lending, others are focused on specific credit profiles, and others are focused on process efficiencies. The increased focus has made the space more competitive providing borrowers with more options and possibly more competitive rates.

What is a Line of Credit

The Payday Hound includes unsecured, lines of credit in the personal loans category. A line of credit is kind of like a renewable personal loans. With a line of credit, a lender will agree to make a certain amount of money (a credit line) available to the borrower over a defined period of time. The borrower can withdraw money up to the credit limit whenever they need it. Payback terms vary but there is generally a minimum monthly payment. Once the borrowed money is paid back, the line of credit remains available to the borrower without reapplying. The advantage of a line of credit is not having to apply for a loan every time you need cash. Fees vary for lines of credit and can include application fees and unused line fees. Lines of credit will also expire and need to be renewed. It is important to review all terms before accepting a line of credit.

When Considering Personal Loans

Determine if you really need a loan. These loans work best as part of a balanced personal finance plan and can be a valuable tool to consolidate debt helping to bring down total interest payments. If instead, they increase financial strain consider if there are other options to borrowing money.

If you decide a personal loan is right for you it is a good idea to shop around. Compare rates and calculate the expected payment to see if it works with your spending budgets. You may also consider other borrowing options like getting a secured loan like a home equity loan. These loans are often significantly cheaper.

Direct Lenders Versus Matching Service

A direct lender is a company that underwrites your loan. A matching service matches you up to a direct lender. The main advantage of using a matching service is that only one application is required to apply to multiple lenders. The matching service will take your online application and attempt to find you a lender from its network. This all happens almost instantly because the "match" is based on pre-determined criteria. The downside to a matching service is you are unable to pick the lenders to whom you are applying. This means you won't get to shop around for rates or choose a specific lender.

Find Lenders by State

Personal loans are generally state regulated and not all lenders make loans in all states. Select your state below to find available lenders in your state.