Best of

Best Personal Loans for August 2019

NerdWalletAugust 1, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Compare the best online personal loans for good credit, bad credit, debt consolidation and home improvement. Pre-qualify for loans from multiple lenders.

Our picks for

Personal loans for good to excellent credit

Borrowers with good to excellent credit scores (690 and above) may have their pick of personal loan companies. Those on our list of best lenders have low rates and typically no fees.

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Min. Credit Score

700

Est. APR

8.01-16.30%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$45,000

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Autopay discounts.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.
  • Lacks flexible payment options.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 700.
  • Minimum income: None specified.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not disclosed.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Prepayment fees: None.
  • Late fees: 5% or $28, whichever is less.
Lightstream

on LightStream's website

on LightStream's website

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

3.99-16.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.
  • Requires several years of credit history.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.
  • No minimum income specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer: Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan at 12.8% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $168. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved. SUNTRUST, LIGHTSTREAM and the LightStream logo are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust Bank.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

5.99-28.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500-$40,000

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.
  • No co-sign option.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico).
  • Valid U.S. bank account, Social Security number or tax ID.
  • 660+ credit score.

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. 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.

SoFi

on SoFi's website

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99-16.79%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Pros

  • Low fixed and variable rates.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Offers member perks.

Cons

  • Strong credit and income required.
  • Can take 7 days to fund.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 680, but typically 700 or higher.
  • Minimum annual income: None; borrowers' average is over $100,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer: Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.790% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.700% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 17, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.74% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.41% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

Our picks for

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

Borrowers with troubled credit histories are more likely to qualify with lenders that accept bad to fair credit (300-689). The best lenders consider factors beyond your credit score and help you build credit.

Avant

on Avant's website

on Avant's website

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

9.95-35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000-$35,000

Pros

  • Low minimum credit score.
  • Refinancing option.
  • No prepayment fee.

Cons

  • No co-sign or secured loan option.
  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 580.
  • At least $20,000 in gross annual income.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Administrative fee: 4.75%.
  • Late fee: $25 (most states).
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15 (most states).

Disclaimer: Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33. The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

OneMain

on OneMain Financial's website

on OneMain Financial's website

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

18.00-35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,500-$20,000

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Free credit score access.

Cons

  • May charge origination fee.
  • High rates.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None, average is 600 to 650.
  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.
  • Minimum annual income: None; average is $49,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: Varies by state.

Disclaimer: Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. The lowest APR shown represents the 10% of loans with the most favorable APR. Monthly payment amounts shown are calculated using the APR for the 10% of loans with the most favorable APR. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

on Upgrade's website

Min. Credit Score

620

Est. APR

7.99-35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$50,000

Pros

  • Credit health tools.
  • Hardship plans.
  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Minimum annual income: None, but most applicants have more than $30,000.
  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.
  • Unavailable to borrowers in: Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont or West Virginia.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.5% - 6%.

Disclaimer: Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade's Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

Upstart

on Upstart's website

on Upstart's website

Min. Credit Score

620

Est. APR

7.69-35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$50,000

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.
  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • No secured or co-sign option.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Minimum credit history: None.
  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.
  • Max debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.
  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer: Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,001. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan on Upstart will have an APR of 20% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. The average APR on Upstart is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

Our picks for

Personal loans for debt consolidation

Getting a personal loan is one way to consolidate credit card debt, and some lenders augment your payoff efforts by directly paying your creditors with the money you borrow.

Discover
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99-24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500-$35,000

Pros

  • Free credit score access.
  • No origination fee.
  • Option to directly pay creditors.
  • Flexible payment options.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.
  • No refinancing option.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score required: 660; borrowers' average score is about 750.
  • Minimum gross income required: $25,000, but typically much higher.
  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not provided.

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. Not all applications will be approved.

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Min. Credit Score

700

Est. APR

8.01-16.30%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$45,000

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Autopay discounts.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.
  • Lacks flexible payment options.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 700.
  • Minimum income: None specified.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not disclosed.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Prepayment fees: None.
  • Late fees: 5% or $28, whichever is less.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

5.99-28.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500-$40,000

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.
  • No co-sign option.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico).
  • Valid U.S. bank account, Social Security number or tax ID.
  • 660+ credit score.

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. 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.

Payoff

on Payoff's website

on Payoff's website

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99-24.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$35,000

Pros

  • Low starting rates.
  • Flexible payments.
  • Offers financial guidance.

Cons

  • No co-sign or secured loan option.
  • Does not offer direct payoff to creditors.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 640.
  • Minimum credit history: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual income: $40,000.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: less than 50%.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 5%.

Disclaimer: This does not constitute an actual commitment to lend or an offer to extend credit. Upon submitting a loan application, you may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income, assets, and financial condition. Your interest rate and terms for which you are approved will be shown to you as part of the online application process. Most applicants will receive a variety of loan offerings to choose from, with varying loan amounts and interest rates. Borrower subject to a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Refer to full borrower agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

Our picks for

Personal loans for home improvement

A personal loan is an option for financing home improvements if you don’t have a lot of equity in your home or don’t want to max out your credit cards. We chose lenders with low rates and loan amounts large enough to cover most home improvement projects.

Earnest

on Earnest's website

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

6.99-18.24%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$75,000

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payments.

Cons

  • No co-sign or secured loan options.
  • Requires permission to scan checking account.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 680.
  • Proof of consistent income.
  • No open collections accounts.
  • Live in the District of Columbia or a state other than Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada or Rhode Island.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application. Earnest offers personal loans with fixed interest rates between 6.99% APR and 18.24% APR for three, four, or five year terms. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 07/03/2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility. The information provided on this page is updated as of 07/03/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of- service, e-mail us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our personal loan product.

Lightstream

on LightStream's website

on LightStream's website

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

3.99-16.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.
  • Requires several years of credit history.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.
  • No minimum income specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer: Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan at 12.8% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $168. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved. SUNTRUST, LIGHTSTREAM and the LightStream logo are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust Bank.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

5.99-28.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500-$40,000

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.
  • No co-sign option.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico).
  • Valid U.S. bank account, Social Security number or tax ID.
  • 660+ credit score.

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. 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.

SoFi

on SoFi's website

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99-16.79%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Pros

  • Low fixed and variable rates.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Offers member perks.

Cons

  • Strong credit and income required.
  • Can take 7 days to fund.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 680, but typically 700 or higher.
  • Minimum annual income: None; borrowers' average is over $100,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer: Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.790% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.700% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 17, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.74% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.41% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

Summary of Best Personal Loans for August 2019

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for debt consolidation

8.01-16.30%

700

on Laurel Road's website

Lightstream

LightStream

on LightStream's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for home improvement

3.99-16.99%

660

on LightStream's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for debt consolidation + Personal loans for home improvement

5.99-28.99%

660

on Goldman Sachs's website

SoFi

SoFi Personal Loan

on SoFi's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for home improvement

5.99-16.79%

680

on SoFi's website

Avant

Avant

on Avant's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

9.95-35.99%

580

on Avant's website

OneMain

OneMain Financial

on OneMain Financial's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

18.00-35.99%

None

on OneMain Financial's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

7.99-35.89%

620

on Upgrade's website

Upstart

Upstart

on Upstart's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

7.69-35.99%

620

on Upstart's website

Discover

Discover Personal Loan

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Personal loans for debt consolidation

6.99-24.99%

660

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Payoff

Payoff

on Payoff's website

Personal loans for debt consolidation

5.99-24.99%

640

on Payoff's website

Earnest

Earnest Personal Loan

on Earnest's website

Personal loans for home improvement

6.99-18.24%

680

on Earnest's website

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for debt consolidation

8.01-16.30%

700

on Laurel Road's website

Lightstream

LightStream

on LightStream's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for home improvement

3.99-16.99%

660

on LightStream's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for debt consolidation + Personal loans for home improvement

5.99-28.99%

660

on Goldman Sachs's website

SoFi

SoFi Personal Loan

on SoFi's website

Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for home improvement

5.99-16.79%

680

on SoFi's website

Avant

Avant

on Avant's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

9.95-35.99%

580

on Avant's website

OneMain

OneMain Financial

on OneMain Financial's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

18.00-35.99%

None

on OneMain Financial's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

7.99-35.89%

620

on Upgrade's website

Upstart

Upstart

on Upstart's website

Personal loans for fair to bad credit

7.69-35.99%

620

on Upstart's website

Discover

Discover Personal Loan

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Personal loans for debt consolidation

6.99-24.99%

660

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Payoff

Payoff

on Payoff's website

Personal loans for debt consolidation

5.99-24.99%

640

on Payoff's website

Earnest

Earnest Personal Loan

on Earnest's website

Personal loans for home improvement

6.99-18.24%

680

on Earnest's website

When should I get a personal loan?

Taking a personal loan makes sense when it's the least expensive form of credit, when it's used toward something that has the potential to increase your financial standing, like debt consolidation or home improvements, and when you can afford the monthly payments without stressing your budget.

On the other hand, a personal loan used for discretionary expenses, like a vacation, can be expensive. NerdWallet recommends using savings for nonessentials, to avoid finance charges.

If you're borrowing for emergency or medical expenses, consider less-expensive alternatives first, such as community assistance or payment plans.

» MORE: Should I get a personal loan?

 

Personal loans vs credit cards

Average rates on personal loans can be lower for good-credit borrowers than average rates on credit cards. In some situations, the fixed interest and monthly payments associated with personal loans, which are installments loans, can be preferable to the revolving credit that credit cards have.

In general personal loans work better for large expenses that you can repay over years, while credit cards are best for smaller expenses that you can pay off each month.

» MORE: Weigh the options: Personal loan or credit card

 

Before you take a personal loan

  • You don't need good credit to get a personal loan, but doing what you can to strengthen your credit before you apply can boost your chances of qualifying and get you a lower rate.
  • Use our personal loan calculator to see estimated rates and payments based on credit scores.
  • Shop around and compare loans, not just interest rates but also fees and features. The APR gives an apples-to-apples way to compare total costs between loans.
  • If you're getting a personal loan to consolidate debt, make a plan to pay off your creditors and avoid running up debt again. Building a budget that accounts for debt repayments is a good place to start.

» MORE: 4 keys to successful debt consolidation

 

Pre-qualify for a personal loan

Most online lenders will give you an estimated interest rate by performing a soft check of your credit. This won’t affect your credit score, so it pays to take the steps to pre-qualify for a loan with multiple lenders and compare rates and loan features. You can pre-qualify on NerdWallet and see rates from lenders that partner with us.

Learn more about the loans and lenders in each of these categories:

Last updated on August 1, 2019

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Personal Loans for August 2019

  • Laurel Road Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for debt consolidation
  • LightStream: Best for Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for home improvement
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Best for Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for debt consolidation + Personal loans for home improvement
  • SoFi Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans for good to excellent credit + Personal loans for home improvement
  • Avant: Best for Personal loans for fair to bad credit
  • OneMain Financial : Best for Personal loans for fair to bad credit
  • Upgrade: Best for Personal loans for fair to bad credit
  • Upstart: Best for Personal loans for fair to bad credit
  • Discover Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans for debt consolidation
  • Payoff: Best for Personal loans for debt consolidation
  • Earnest Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans for home improvement