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Best Bank Loans 2024: Compare Personal Loans From Banks

Bank loans can have low rates and high borrowing amounts for existing customers with good credit scores, including those with a score of 690 and above.

Jackie Veling
By
Last updated on December 19, 2023
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Kim Lowe
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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SoFi Personal Loan
SoFi Personal Loan
SoFi Personal Loan
5.0
NerdWallet rating

SoFi offers online personal loans with consumer-friendly features for good- and excellent-credit borrowers.

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Best Bank Loans 2024: Compare Personal Loans From Banks

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
Learn more
Santander Personal Loan

Santander Personal Loan

Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
Best for Bank loans with low rates

6.99-24.99%

$5,000-$50,000

700

Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

Top 3 most visited 🏆
Visit Lender
on Discover's website
on Discover's website
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
5.0
/5
Best for Bank loans and debt consolidation
Fast funding

7.99-24.99%

$2,500-$40,000

660

TD Bank Personal Loan

TD Bank Personal Loan

5.0
/5
Best for Bank loans with fast funding

8.99-23.99%

$2,000-$50,000

None

Lightstream

LightStream

4.5
/5
Best for Bank loans with no fees
Rate discount

7.99-25.49%

$5,000-$100,000

660

Citibank

Citibank

4.5
/5
Best for Bank loans with multiple rate discounts

10.49-19.49%

$2,000-$30,000

720

PNC Bank Personal Loan

PNC Bank Personal Loan

4.5
/5
Best for Bank loans and joint borrowers

7.49-30.49%

$1,000-$35,000

None

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

4.5
/5
Best for Bank loans with large loan amounts

7.49-23.74%

$3,000-$100,000

None

U.S. Bank Personal Loan

U.S. Bank Personal Loan

4.5
/5
Best for Bank loans with small loan amounts

8.24-21.49%

$1,000-$50,000

660

Explore all of our lender picks by category

Our pick for

Bank loans with low rates

Santander Personal Loan
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
Santander Personal Loan

Santander Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

700

Our pick for

Bank loans with no fees

Lightstream

LightStream

4.5
Est. APR

7.99-25.49%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660

Our pick for

Bank loans and debt consolidation

Discover
Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

Est. APR

7.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$2,500-$40,000

Min. credit score

660

Our pick for

Bank loans with fast funding

TD Bank Personal Loan
TD Bank Personal Loan

TD Bank Personal Loan

Est. APR

8.99-23.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None

Our pick for

Bank loans with multiple rate discounts

Citibank
Citibank

Citibank

Est. APR

10.49-19.49%

Loan amount

$2,000-$30,000

Min. credit score

720

Our pick for

Bank loans and joint borrowers

PNC Bank Personal Loan
PNC Bank Personal Loan

PNC Bank Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.49-30.49%

Loan amount

$1,000-$35,000

Min. credit score

None

Our pick for

Bank loans with large loan amounts

Wells Fargo Personal Loan
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.49-23.74%

Loan amount

$3,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None

Our pick for

Bank loans with small loan amounts

U.S. Bank Personal Loan
U.S. Bank Personal Loan

U.S. Bank Personal Loan

Est. APR

8.24-21.49%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

660

What is a bank loan?

A bank loan is an unsecured personal loan you get from a bank that you pay back in fixed, monthly installments. These loans come in a wide range of amounts — from $1,000 to $50,000, though some banks may lend up to $100,000 — and repayment terms of two to seven years.

Not all banks require you to be a customer before applying for a loan, but existing customers often see the most perks.

You can use the loan funds for almost anything, but popular loan uses include consolidating your debts, funding a home improvement project or paying for a large expense, like a move or wedding.

» MORE: How do bank loans work?

Pros and cons of bank loans

While personal loans from banks are often structured similarly to online loans, the process of getting and qualifying for one may be different. Here are a few pros and cons to consider:

Pros of bank loans

  • Banks typically offer lower interest rates, higher borrowing amounts and additional perks, like a rate discount, to existing customers.

  • If you already have accounts with the bank, you can keep them all in one place, making it easier to track your money. 

  • Customer service may be more robust at banks, especially if you can visit a brick-and-mortar location. You may even have the same contact person throughout the life of the loan.

Cons of bank loans

  • Not all banks offer an online pre-qualification process, so you can't see what rates and terms you qualify for before applying and submitting to a hard credit check.

  • Funding can take longer compared to getting a loan from an online lender, though some banks do offer same- or next-day funding. 

  • Some banks may require an in-person visit to complete a loan application or receive funding.  

Which banks offer personal loans?

Not every bank offers personal loans. Some, like American Express, offer personal loans only to current customers who are pre-approved. Other major banks, like Bank of America, Chase and Capital One, don’t currently offer personal loans at all.

If you’re unsure whether your bank offers personal loans, call and ask what their personal lending options are. Even if they don’t offer a personal loan, banks may be able to provide other types of financing that fit your needs, including credit cards or lines of credit.

Bank personal loan rates

The average interest rate on a two-year personal loan from a bank is 12.17%, according to the most current data from the Federal Reserve.

As with most credit products, the annual percentage rate you receive on a personal loan — which includes interest and any fees — depends a lot on your credit score. The better your score, the lower your rate and the less interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. The interest rate also affects your total monthly payment, as does the term length. A longer term means lower monthly payments, but you pay more interest over time.

Use our personal loan calculator to estimate interest and monthly payments on a personal loan, based on your credit score.

How to get a loan from the bank

  1. Check the bank’s loan criteria. Before you apply for a loan, familiarize yourself with the bank’s requirements. Some banks may only accept existing customers who’ve had an account open with the bank for a certain amount of time. This information should be available on their website or you can give them a call. 

  2. Pre-qualify, if possible. Some banks let you pre-qualify for a personal loan, which lets you check your loan options without hurting your credit score. Pre-qualification is quick — you’ll fill out a short application, undergo a soft credit pull and view your potential loan offers. 

  3. Submit your application. After you pre-qualify, or if pre-qualification isn’t available, you’ll submit a formal loan application. Required documents typically include proof of income and employment. You’ll also undergo a hard credit inquiry during this step, which temporarily knocks a few points off your score. 

  4. Get approved and funded. Approval can be instantaneous or take a few days, depending on the bank and what additional documentation is needed, if any. Once approved, you’ll receive the loan documents, usually electronically, which you’ll sign and return to the lender. Funding time varies, but can be as early as same-day or up to a week. 

  5. Make a plan to pay back the loan. Once you receive the loan funds, it’s important to make a plan to manage your monthly payments, so you don’t fall behind, which can hurt your credit and result in late fees. 

How to get a bank loan with bad credit

Bank loans may offer benefits for their customers, but they typically have tougher credit score requirements than online loans.

Having an existing relationship with employees at your bank — whether it's a small local bank or a large national bank — can help your chances of qualifying. But getting approved often comes down to how you look on paper. Consider these tips for the best chance at qualifying:

  • Build your credit. At least a few years of credit history showing on-time payments and no delinquencies will help your application, but avoid opening new accounts right before you apply (it can ding your credit). Check your credit report for errors that may be hurting your score and dispute any errors online.

  • Review your credit score. Many banks have a minimum credit score they'll accept from a borrower, but aim above the minimum requirement for the best chance at a low rate. You can get your free credit score with NerdWallet.

  • Boost your income and pay down debt. Lowering the percent of your income that goes to debts, also called your debt-to-income ratio, will be viewed favorably by most lenders. In many cases, lenders want to see that you make at least enough income to cover your existing obligations, plus the loan you're applying for. Still, the lower your DTI, the better.

  • Increase your savings, if you can. Showing a lender that you've got enough money in the bank to cover a difficult time can boost their confidence that you'll make payments on time.

Bank loan alternatives

Whether you’re a loyal bank customer or not, it’s always smart to consider other options for personal loans. The best loan for you is the one with the lowest rate and payments that fit your budget. Here are a few alternatives to getting a bank loan:

Credit unions: These not-for-profit, members-only organizations consider loan applicants’ full financial picture and are more likely to approve borrowers with average credit (a 630 to 689 credit score) or bad credit (a 629 credit score or lower). Rates on loans at federal credit unions are capped at 18%.

Online loans: With online lenders, you can complete the entire loan process online and get funding within a day or two. Unlike some banks, online lenders typically let you pre-qualify for financing to see your estimated rate. Since this only triggers a soft credit pull, you can check your rate and terms at several online lenders without impacting your credit score.

Home equity loans and HELOCs: This may be a lower-cost borrowing option if you have equity in your home, but you also risk losing it if you fail to repay the loan.

How to pre-qualify for an online personal loan

Taking the steps to pre-qualify for an online loan lets you see potential loan terms, including the loan’s interest rate, without hurting your credit. You can pre-qualify with lenders on NerdWallet to compare offers and find the lowest rate.

Last updated on December 19, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Bank Loans 2024: Compare Personal Loans From Banks

  • Santander Personal Loan: Best for Bank loans with low rates
  • LightStream: Best for Bank loans with no fees
  • Discover® Personal Loans: Best for Bank loans and debt consolidation
  • TD Bank Personal Loan: Best for Bank loans with fast funding
  • Citibank: Best for Bank loans with multiple rate discounts
  • PNC Bank Personal Loan: Best for Bank loans and joint borrowers
  • Wells Fargo Personal Loan: Best for Bank loans with large loan amounts
  • U.S. Bank Personal Loan: Best for Bank loans with small loan amounts

Frequently asked questions

  • The best bank for a personal loan may be the one you already use. If you’re an existing customer and in good standing with a bank that offers personal loans, you could get benefits like rate discounts and a larger loan amount. If you’re not an existing customer, compare APRs and loan amounts from online lenders as well as banks.

  • Loan amounts vary by bank and range from $1,000 to $100,000. Your credit profile, income and existing debts will help determine the amount the bank lets you borrow.

  • When you borrow from a bank, you apply for the loan and, if you're approved, the lender will let you know how much you can borrow and at what rate. It helps to be an existing customer, but it isn't always necessary. Some banks require you visit a branch to get a loan.

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