BEST OF

Best Installment Loans of August 2022

Installment loans are borrowed funds you repay in equal parts over a period of time. Online lenders, banks and credit unions offer installment loans.

Aug 1, 2022

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An installment loan is funding you get in a lump sum and pay back over a set period. An unsecured installment loan, also called a personal loan, can help you pay for an emergency medical expense, consolidate high-interest debts or cover a home repair.

The best installment loans have low interest rates and affordable monthly payments. Also, look for features like the ability to add a co-signer to reduce your rate, or same-day funding.

These lenders offer the best installment loans:

Best Installment Loans

Our pick for

Installment loans

Lending Club
Get rate

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lending Club

Est. APR

6.34-35.89%

Loan amount

$1,000-$40,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on LendingClub's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

LendingClub is a pioneer of peer-to-peer lending and a good option if you want to consolidate your debt.

Pros

  • Offers joint loan options.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change the payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from two repayment term options only.

  • Charges an origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Maximum DTI: 60%; 40% for joint applicants.

  • Minimum credit history: More than 18 months.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit report: Two revolving accounts.

  • Monthly income after paying other debts and living expenses should be enough to cover the new personal loan payments.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2% to 6%.

  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of payment after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

A representative example of loan payment terms is as follows: you receive a loan of $13,411 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 12.16% and a 5.30% origination fee of $711, for an APR of 15.99%. In this example, you will receive $12,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $446.46. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths are 36 months or 60 months. Some amounts and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states. APR ranges from 7.04% to 35.89% and is determined at the time of application. Origination fee ranges from 3% to 6% of the loan amount. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of 7/1/21 and are subject to change without notice. Loans are made by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Loans are subject to credit approval and sufficient investor commitment before they can be funded or issued. Certain information that we subsequently obtain as part of the application process (including but not limited to information in your consumer report, your income, the loan amount that your request, the purpose of your loan, and qualifying debt) will be considered and could affect your ability to obtain a loan from us. Loan closing is contingent on accepting all required agreements and disclosures at Lendingclub.com. “LendingClub” is a trademark of LendingClub Bank.

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Upgrade
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

6.95-35.97%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Upgrade's website


Min. credit score

560

Key facts

Upgrade offers personal loans plus credit-building tools; you'll need strong cash flow to qualify.

Pros

  • Secured and joint loans.

  • Multiple rate discounts.

  • Mobile app to manage loan payments.

  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No option to choose your payment date.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 1 account.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 75%, including the loan you're applying for.

  • Minimum length of credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income requirement: None. Lender accepts income from alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security and other sources.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.85% to 8%.

  • Late Fee: $10.

  • Failed payment fee: $10.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 6.95%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early.

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Upstart
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

5.42-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on Upstart's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Upstart is a good option for those who have short credit histories and promising financial futures.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with some debt consolidation loans.

  • Allows borrowers to choose and change payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No mobile app to manage the loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Minimum credit history: None, this lending platform accepts borrowers with credit history too limited to produce a FICO score.

  • Minimum gross income: $12,000.

  • Employment: Full-time job, full-time job offer starting in 6 months, a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income.

  • Must have U.S. residential street address where borrower resides (unless military personnel on active duty).

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Valid email account required.

  • Personal bank account with U.S. routing number required.

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. Minimum loan amounts vary by state: GA ($3,100), HI ($2,100), MA ($7,000), NM ($5,100), OH ($6,000).This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website.The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.4% and 60 monthly payments of $24.62 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $14,775 including a $582 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. 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. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

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Universal Credit
Get rate

on Universal Credit's website

Universal Credit

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Universal Credit

Est. APR

11.69-35.93%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Universal Credit's website


Min. credit score

560

Key facts

A Universal Credit loan is an option for bad-credit borrowers with high debt-to-income ratios, but rates are high compared to similar lenders.

Pros

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Fast funding.

  • Offers multiple rate discounts.

  • Offers free credit score access.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 1 account.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 75%, including mortgage and the loan you’re applying for.

  • Minimum length of credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income requirement: None. Lender accepts income from alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security and other sources.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 5.25% to 8%.

  • Late fee: Up to $10.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Universal Credit feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 11.69%-35.93%. All personal loans have a 5.25% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 36 to 60 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 28.47% APR (which includes a 22.99% yearly interest rate and a 7% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,300 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $387.05. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $13,933.62. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early .

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Lightstream
Get rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

4.99-19.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

on LightStream's website


Min. credit score

660

Key facts

LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates that vary based on loan purpose.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.

  • Rate Beat program and Experience Guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

  • No 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

Rates quoted are with AutoPay. Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. 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 $25,000 loan at 4.98% APR with a term of 20 years would result in 240 monthly payments of $164.71. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2022 Truist Financial Corporation. Truist, LightStream, and the LightStream 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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SeedFi Borrow & Grow Personal Loan
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on SeedFi's website

SeedFi Borrow & Grow Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
SeedFi Borrow & Grow Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.42-29.99%

Loan amount

$1,200-$7,000

Min. credit score

520
Get rate

on SeedFi's website


Min. credit score

520

Key facts

SeedFi’s personal loan offers emergency cash to bad-credit borrowers at an affordable rate, but charges interest to build savings.

Pros

  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.

  • Reports payments to the three major credit bureaus.

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

  • Returns late fees at the end of the loan.

  • Able to fund a loan within 1 - 2 business days.

Cons

  • No co-signed or joint loan option.

  • No option to choose your payment date.

Qualifications

  • Verifiable income.

  • An active bank account.

  • A Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number.

  • Minimum credit score: 520; borrower average is 600. Those with no credit score can also apply.

  • Annual net income: $10,000; borrower average is $54,000.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: None required; borrower average is 20%.

  • Average monthly free cash flow: No minimum required; borrower average is $2,000.

Available Term Lengths

8 to 44 months

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Prepayment fee: None.

  • Late fee: $15 added to the savings account.

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Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
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on NerdWallet's secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.49-18.00%

Loan amount

$250-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Navy Federal’s personal loans are an especially good fit for members with fair credit who want to fund a home improvement project.

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

  • Able to fund loans same-day.

  • Offers co-sign, joint and secure loan options.

Cons

  • Exclusive to credit union members.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • No option to change your payment date.

Qualifications

  • No minimum qualification requirements.

  • Must meet membership requirements.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

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What are installment loans?

Installment loans are so named because you receive the loan funds all at once and repay them in fixed monthly payments, or installments. Unlike credit cards with revolving credit — which you use, repay and repeat for long periods — you use an installment loan once, usually to finance a large purchase.

With a personal installment loan, you can borrow up to $100,000 and repay the loan over a term of two to seven years. Annual percentage rates are from 6% to 36%.

How do installment loans work?

After you’re approved for an installment loan, the lender deposits the funds into your bank account. You then repay the loan amount, plus interest, over the period stated in your loan agreement.

For example, if you get a $2,000 loan with a 12-month repayment term and 11.8% APR, you’d make 12 installments of $178. Use an installment loan calculator to see how the loan’s interest rate and repayment term affect monthly payments.

On-time loan payments help build your credit, while missed payments can hurt it.

Examples of installment loans

Many loan types share the installment structure — you might even have one now. Here are a few examples of installment loans:

  • Personal loans are fixed-rate unsecured loans that you repay in equal biweekly or monthly payments.

  • Auto loans are secured loans, usually with fixed rates, that you repay in regular installments.

  • Private student loans may have variable interest rates with payments that fluctuate over time, while federal loans are repaid in equal installments.

  • Buy now, pay later” loans often let you split an online or in-store purchase into four equal, interest-free payments.

Where to get an installment loan

Banks, credit unions and online lenders all offer personal installment loans. Compare lenders to find one that offers the best rates, terms and loan features.

Banks

Some national banks offer unsecured installment loans. If yours does, it's likely a good place to start comparison shopping because banks sometimes offer lower rates or softer borrower requirements for existing customers.

  • Small-dollar bank loans: Loans under $1,000 are rare at major banks; however, customers of U.S. Bank and Bank of America may qualify for a loan of a few hundred dollars that is repaid in three equal monthly installments.

Credit unions

Credit union members may have access to low-rate personal loans, because federal credit unions cap APRs at 18%. Credit unions may also review your membership standing in addition to your credit profile when you apply for a loan, which may improve your chance of qualifying.

  • Small-dollar credit union loans: Some credit unions offer a type of small personal loan called a payday alternative loan. These loans are $2,000 or less, repaid monthly over a year or two, have an APR of 28% or lower and may not require good credit to qualify.

Online lenders

Online lenders serve a wide range of customers. Some cater to borrowers with stellar credit, while others offer loans for bad-credit borrowers. Most online lenders let you pre-qualify to see what rate, term and monthly payment you qualify for. Pre-qualifying doesn’t affect your credit score, so you can check offers from multiple lenders.

  • Small-dollar online loans: Small-dollar loans from online lenders can be tricky to navigate. Some lenders offer small loans with APRs below 36% — the maximum rate that consumer advocates say is affordable — but others charge rates well above that and may put borrowers at risk of defaulting.

When is an installment loan a good idea?

Here are three purposes for which a personal installment loan can be a good idea:

  • Debt consolidation: An installment loan can roll other unsecured debts, including high-interest loans and credit cards with revolving credit, into a single, fixed monthly payment. Getting a debt consolidation loan is a good idea if the new interest rate is lower than the combined rate on the debts you’re consolidating.

  • Home repairs: There are many financing options for home improvements, but if you know how much money you need and can qualify for a low rate, an installment loan may be a good way to pay for fixes around the house.

  • Emergencies: Because they can be expensive, an installment loan shouldn’t be your first choice in an emergency. Instead, consider alternatives that cost little or no interest. But, if you have a plan to make your payments and need the funds fast, an installment loan can help you get through an emergency.

How to find the best installment loan

  • Review qualification requirements. Try to find the lender’s qualification criteria, including minimum income and debt-to-income ratio. Some installment lenders display this information on their website. If not, a website like NerdWallet may include it in a review.

  • Compare APRs. The best installment loan is almost always the one with the lowest APR and affordable monthly payments. Compare lenders’ loan APR ranges and pre-qualify with multiple lenders to see which makes you the best offer.

  • Look for fast funding. Some lenders can provide funds the same or next day after you apply, while others may take up to a week to deposit the loan into your account. Find a lender that offers fast funding if you need it.

  • Weigh other features. If you have two competitive offers, compare other loan features, like credit-building tools, budgeting help and the ability to change your payment date.

Before you take an installment loan

As with any form of credit, it's important to take steps to get a loan that fits your financial goals and budget. Our recommended steps:

  1. Weigh the pros and cons: Installment loans have benefits over other forms of credit, including credit cards, but they have cons too. Learn more about installment loans and consider the pros and cons.

  2. Know your credit score: Borrowers with higher credit scores get lower rates, which means less interest costs over the life of the loan. If your credit needs work, do what you can to build it.

  3. Have a plan to pay it off: If you don't already have one, build a budget that accounts for your loan repayments. NerdWallet recommends allocating 20% of your budget to debt payments and savings.

What’s the difference between installment and payday loans?

While you repay an installment loan in regular installments, you typically repay a payday loan in full on your next payday.

Installment loans, therefore, are often more affordable than payday loans. You may have an easier time planning for and repaying a loan that’s broken into multiple payments over several pay periods.

Last updated on August 1, 2022

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. 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 more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Installment Loans of August 2022

Frequently asked questions