Many personal loans can be used to fund common family expenses like home improvement projects, wedding expenses, vacations and, in some cases, even the purchase of land. Borrowers also turn to personal loans for debt consolidation, because interest rates are often lower for personal loans than for credit cards—especially for applicants with good to excellent credit.
These loans are available from traditional banks, credit unions and online lending platforms that make it easy to apply online—without having to visit a bank branch. What’s more, many personal loans can be funded within a few business days so you don’t have to wait to get the money you need. The best personal loans offer low interest rates for well-qualified borrowers, flexible loan amounts and repayment terms and limited fees.
SoFi is an online lending platform that offers unsecured fixed-rate personal loans in every state except Mississippi. Founded in 2011, SoFi has extended over $50 billion in loans and stands out for allowing high loan amounts and its availability of extended loan terms.
Loans are available between $5,000 and $100,000, making SoFi a great option for those with excellent credit who need to borrow a large amount of money. Loan amounts available may vary by the state you live in. Repayment terms range from two to seven years, making SoFi an incredibly flexible option for those with sufficient credit (minimum 650) and annual income (at least $45,000). SoFi also lets prospective borrowers submit joint applications—although co-signers are not permitted.
Approved borrowers are rewarded with comparatively low APRs. What’s more, SoFi doesn’t charge origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties—a stand-out feature because personal loan lenders often charge origination or late payment fees at a minimum.
However, if you’re considering a debt consolidating loan from SoFi, keep in mind that the lender does not offer direct payment to a borrower’s other creditors. This means the loan proceeds will be deposited to your bank account and you’ll have to pay off your other lenders individually. The platform does offer customers a number of other perks and discounts, including unemployment protection and the ability to change their payment due date once a year.
LightStream is a consumer lending division of Truist—which formed following the merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T. The platform offers unsecured personal loans from as little as $5,000 up to $100,000. Loan amounts vary based on the loan purpose. Although a number of lenders offer smaller loans than the LightStream minimum, few lenders offer a higher maximum loan. Repayment terms are available from two to seven years, making it an excellent option for those who want to spread out the payment of large expenses over time.
In addition to offering appealing and flexible terms, LightStream charges no origination, late payment or prepayment fees. The lender also offers a 0.50% rate discount for borrowers who enroll in autopay—higher than most lenders with the same perk—as well as a 30-day loan experience guarantee to ensure borrower satisfaction, Covid-19/hardship assistance and a rate-beat program. LightStream will beat a competitor’s interest rate by 0.1% for applicants who meet certain criteria.
Universal Credit is an online lending platform that offers personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000 through its partners. Repayment terms range from 36 to 60 months—or three to five years.
While Universal Credit makes finding a personal loan accessible even to those with damaged credit, it comes with a few tradeoffs. First, it charges high APRs, well above the most competitive rates seen on our list. Second, Universal Credit charges a 4.25% to 8% origination fee on all personal loans. Because this is deducted from your loan proceeds, you’ll need to factor this in when determining your loan amount to ensure you receive the necessary amount after the fact.
Discover is an online bank that also offers customers credit cards, retirement solutions and personal loans in all 50 states. As a lending platform, Discover stands out because of its online application and mobile banking tools, well-reviewed customer support team and quick funding.
In general, loans are available from $2,500 to $35,000 and may be issued for between three and seven years. So, while borrowers may get a larger loan from another lender, the repayment terms are fairly flexible. Discover charges a late payment fee and does not offer an autopay discount; however, it does not charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties, making it competitive with other top personal loan providers.