BEST OF

Best Bank Loans 2021: 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 FICO score of 690 and above.

Steve NicastroSep 7, 2021

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A bank loan is a personal loan you get from a bank, rather than an online lender or credit union. It can be issued by a large national bank or a smaller local bank.

Rates for personal loans from banks can start as low as 6%, and bank loan amounts can be as high as $100,000. Some banks require you to be an existing customer to be eligible for a personal loan, but not all banks do.

Here are the best banks offering personal loans. Plus, learn about bank loan rates, how to qualify and loan alternatives.

  • Marcus: Best for flexible payments.

  • LightStream: Best for low rates.

  • Discover: Best for debt consolidation.

  • HSBC: Best for fast funding.

  • PNC: Best for joint borrowers.

  • Wells Fargo: Best for large loan amounts.

  • American Express: Best for Amex cardholders.

  • TD Bank: Best for small loan amounts.

Summary of Best Bank Loans 2021: Compare Personal Loans From Banks

Our pick for

Bank loans and flexible payments

Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Check rate

on Goldman Sachs's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Est. APR

6.99-19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500-$40,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Marcus, the online banking and lending arm of Goldman Sachs, offers online loan applications to borrowers in all 50 states.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Wide variety of repayment term options.

  • Offers .25% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.


Cons

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660 FICO.

  • May need to provide proof of income, including recent pay stubs or bank statements.

  • May need to provide Social Security number, Individual Tax ID number or a photo ID.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 6 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans). Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions. Receive a 0.25% APR reduction when you enroll in AutoPay. This reduction will not be applied if AutoPay is not in effect. When enrolled, a larger portion of your monthly payment will be applied to your principal loan amount and less interest will accrue on your loan, which may result in a smaller final payment. See loan agreement for details.

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Our pick for

Bank loans and low rates

Lightstream
Check rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

4.49-20.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream, the online lending arm of SunTrust Bank, offers large loan amounts and rates that are among the lowest available. Qualified borrowers can apply online, be approved and receive a loan as soon as the same day.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Offers .5% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Special features including rate beat program and satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history.

  • Multiple account types within your credit history, like credit cards, a car loan or other installment loan and a mortgage.

  • Strong payment history with few or no delinquencies.

  • Investments, retirement savings or other evidence of an ability to save money.

  • Enough income to pay existing debts and a new LightStream loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. AutoPay discount of .50% points is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay will be .50% points higher. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 6.14% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.85. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2021 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

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Our pick for

Bank loans and debt consolidation

Discover
Check rate

on Discover's website

Discover® Personal Loans

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover

Est. APR

6.99-24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500-$35,000

Min. Credit Score

720
Check rate

on Discover's website


Min. Credit Score

720

Key facts

Discover personal loans can be a smart way to consolidate or refinance debt for borrowers with excellent credit.

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Offers mobile app to manage loan.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Wide variety of repayment term options.

Cons

  • Charges late fee.

  • No co-signed, joint or secured loan options.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 720; borrower average is 750.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must have a minimum household income of $40,000.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

Disclaimer

This is not a commitment to lend from Discover Personal Loans. Your approval for a loan is determined once you apply and is based on your application information and credit history. Your APR will be between 6.99%-24.99% based upon creditworthiness at time of application for loan terms of 36-84 months. For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 6.99% APR for a term of 72 months, you’ll pay just $256 per month. Our lowest rates are available to consumers with the best credit. Many factors are used to determine your rate, such as your credit history, application information and the term you select. Not all applications will be approved.

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Our pick for

Bank loans and fast funding

HSBC Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

HSBC Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
HSBC Personal Loan

Est. APR

5.99-17.99%

Loan Amount

$3,000-$30,000

Min. Credit Score

700
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

700

Key facts

With an HSBC loan, your first payment is due in 50 days instead of the typical 30. You may also get a lower rate if you already have an HSBC account.

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

Cons

  • Reports payments to two of the three major credit bureaus.

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

  • Doesn't offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Qualifications

  • No minimum credit score, income or debt-to-income ratio requirements.

  • Not available in Wisconsin.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: 5% of monthly payment, capped at $39.

  • Returned payment fee: 5% of monthly payment, capped at $39.

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Our pick for

Bank loans and joint borrowers

PNC Bank Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

PNC Bank Personal Loan

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
PNC Bank Personal Loan

Est. APR

5.99-28.74%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$35,000

Min. Credit Score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

PNC banking customers can get a 0.25% rate discount on a personal loan if they choose autopay from a PNC checking account. Applications can be submitted online, by phone or in person at a PNC branch.

Pros

  • Existing customers can get a .25% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • No origination fee.

  • Offers joint loan option.

  • Wide variety of repayment terms.

Cons

  • Charges late fee.

  • May require an in-person visit.

  • Product varies by location.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must provide date of birth and Social Security number.

  • Must show photo ID.

  • Must be able to show proof of income.

Available Term Lengths

6 months to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: Greater of $40 or 10% of amount due, after 15-day grace period.

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Our pick for

Bank loans and large loan amounts

Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Est. APR

5.74-19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,000-$100,000

Min. Credit Score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Existing customers can apply for and get a loan funded online, while new customers must apply at one of the bank’s 5,700 branches. Wells Fargo may also offer rate discounts for customers with a checking account or certificate of deposit.

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fee.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Able to fund loans on same or next business day.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Some features only available to existing customers.

Qualifications

  • Must provide personal and contact information.

  • Must provide employment and income information; documentation may be required to verify this information.

  • Must provide desired term and amount to borrow.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Bank loans and current AmEx members

American Express Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

American Express Personal Loan

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
American Express Personal Loan

Est. APR

4.93-19.97%

Loan Amount

$3,500-$40,000

Min. Credit Score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

American Express is best known for its credit cards, but it also offers personal loans to qualified AmEx cardholders who receive a preapproval offer from the company. Borrowers can use the loan to pay off up to four non-AmEx credit cards.

Pros

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

  • No hard credit check.

  • Includes free access to credit monitoring.

Cons

  • Exclusive to preapproved cardholders.

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

Qualifications

  • To be eligible for a personal loan, you must be a pre-approved cardholder.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 3 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $39.

  • Prepayment fee: None.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Bank loans and small loan amounts

TD Bank Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

TD Bank Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
TD Bank Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.99-21.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000-$50,000

Min. Credit Score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

TD Bank’s unsecured personal loans have minimal fees and close fast, but they’re available in a limited number of states.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Able to fund loans the next business day.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts.

Cons

  • Available in a limited number of states.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • Charges late fee.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: The lender says it accepts applications from all credit backgrounds, but you will likely need good credit (at least 690 FICO) to qualify for a competitive rate.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must provide Social Security number.


Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Late fee: The lesser of 5% of the minimum amount due or $10.

Read Full Review

Bank personal loan rates

The average interest rate on a two-year personal loan from a bank is 9.58%, according to the most current data from the Federal Reserve.

As with most credit products, the rate you receive on a personal loan from a bank 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.

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 rates, higher borrowing amounts and perks to existing customers.

  • If you already have accounts with the bank, you can keep them all in one place.

  • Customer service may be more robust at banks. You may even have the same contact person throughout the life of the loan.

Cons of bank loans

  • Many banks require an in-person visit to complete a loan application.

  • Few banks offer an online pre-qualification process, so you can't see what rates and terms you qualify for before applying.

  • Costs from operating brick-and-mortar locations may drive up APRs.

Do all banks offer personal loans?

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

If you apply for a personal loan with a bank or another lender, they may require you to indicate what you plan to use the money for. Typically, people take out personal loans for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation loans, financing for larger purchases like boats and RVs, or home improvement projects.

How to qualify for bank loans

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

Some financial planners say 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 (FICO score range of 630-689) or bad credit (FICO score range of 300-629). Rates on loans at federal credit unions are capped at 18%.

Online loans: With online lenders, you can complete the entire loan process on a mobile device 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. This triggers a soft credit pull, so you can check your rate and terms at several 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 multiple lenders on NerdWallet to compare offers and find the lowest rate.

Last updated on September 7, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. 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. 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. 

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Bank Loans 2021: Compare Personal Loans From Banks

Frequently asked questions