BEST OF

Best Installment Loans of June 2021

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

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An installment loan is funding you get in a lump sum and pay back over a set period. Loan amounts for unsecured installment loans, also called personal loans, range from $100 to $100,000, depending on the lender and the loan you qualify for. Repayment terms on larger loans often range from two to seven years; smaller loans can have repayment terms as short as a few months.

The best installment loan has a low interest rate and affordable monthly payments. Also look for features like the ability to add a co-signer to reduce your rate, or same-day funding if that's important to you.

Summary of Best Installment Loans of June 2021

Our pick for

Installment loans for fair credit

Upgrade
Check rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

5.94 - 35.97%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

580

Check rate

on Upgrade's website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

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

Pros

  • Allows secured, co-signed and joint loans.

  • Offers rate discount with direct payment to creditors on debt consolidation loans.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges late fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum annual income: $35,000; average borrower income is $87,000.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 2.

  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Varies between 55% and 65% including the loan you’re applying for and mortgage payments. To see your post-loan DTI, calculate your monthly payments on a personal loan, and then add them to your debt-to-income calculation.

  • Average loan amount is $10,000.

  • Average repayment term is 40 months.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.9% to 8%.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% 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 $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. 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. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.

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Our pick for

Installment loans for thin credit history

Upstart
Check rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

6.46 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

580

Check rate

on Upstart's website


Min. Credit Score

580

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.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • 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

The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 24.4% and 36 monthly payments of $36 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR 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.

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Our pick for

Co-signed installment loans

Lending Club
Check rate

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lending Club

Est. APR

8.05 - 35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $40,000

Min. Credit Score

600

Check 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 co-signed and joint loan options.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

Cons

  • Borrowers can only choose from two repayment term options.

  • Rates are high compared to other online lenders.

  • Charges an origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 600. LendingClub uses FICO 8 credit scoring model.

  • Minimum credit history of three years.

  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40% for single applications, 35% combined for joint applicants.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% 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 8.05% 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 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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Our pick for

Installment loans for bad credit

Avant
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Avant

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Avant

Est. APR

9.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $35,000

Min. Credit Score

550

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

550

Key facts

Avant's low starting rates make it a good option for borrowers with low credit scores and income.

Pros

  • Able to fund loans the next business day.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Offers secured loan option.

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee.

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

  • No co-sign or joint loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 550.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Administrative fee: Up to 4.75%.

  • Late fee: $25 (most states).

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15 (most states).

Disclaimer

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. Minimum loan amounts may vary by state. If approved, the actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. An administration fee of up to 4.75% will be deducted from the loan proceeds. Avant branded credit products are issued by Webbank, member FDIC

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Our pick for

Installment loans from a credit union

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

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 is a good option for existing members, with low rates and no origination fee.

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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Our pick for

Installment loans from a bank

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

7.24 - 25.34%

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’s unsecured personal loans are available to fair- and good-credit borrowers, but loan offerings vary by ZIP code.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among fair-credit lenders.

  • 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; average score is 727, according to SEC filings.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must provide 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

Installment loans for good credit

RocketLoans
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Rocket Loans

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
RocketLoans

Est. APR

7.16 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $45,000

Min. Credit Score

640

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

640

Key facts

Rocket Loans offers online personal loans to borrowers with fair credit and over two years of credit history.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Competitive rates among fair-credit lenders.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Able to fund loans the same day.

  • Offers small loans of $2,000.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

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

  • No option to choose or change your payment date.

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

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

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 710.

  • Minimum credit history: Over two years.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000; borrower average is $85,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 70% including mortgage; borrower average is 14%.

  • Must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska).

  • Must provide Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% to 6%.

  • Late fee: $15 after 10-day grace period.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All personal loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loans are unsecured, fully amortizing personal loans. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident alien at least 18 years of age (in Nebraska and Alabama a borrower must be at least 19 years of age). All loan applications are subject to credit review and approval. Offered loan terms depend upon your credit profile, requested amount, requested loan term, credit usage, credit history and other factors. Not all borrowers receive the lowest interest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit, meet certain conditions, and select autopay. Rates and Terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.

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How do installment loans work?

After you’re approved for an installment loan, the lender typically 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% annual percentage rate, you’d make 12 payments of $178.

Types 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: A fixed-rate unsecured loan that you repay in fixed biweekly or monthly payments.

  • Auto loans: A secured loan, usually with a fixed rate, that you repay in regular installments.

  • Student loans: An installment loan that may have a variable interest rate with payments that fluctuate over time.

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

Only a handful of 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 personal loans are available to credit union members, typically at lower rates than other lenders. Federal credit unions cap rates on personal loans at 18%. Credit unions may also review your membership standing in addition to your credit profile when you apply for a loan, which may give you a better chance of qualifying.

  • Small-dollar credit union loans: Some credit unions also offer a type of small personal loan called a payday alternative loan. These loans are typically $1,000 or less, repaid monthly over a year or two, have an APR below 28% 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. Online installment loans generally have rates between 6% and 36% and are repaid over two to seven years.

Unlike many banks and credit unions, 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 put borrowers at risk of defaulting. Capital Good Fund is an online lender that provides relatively low-rate small loans starting at $300 to borrowers in six states.

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, into a single 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 improvement projects: There are many financing options for home improvement projects, but if you know how much money your renovation will cost and you can qualify for a low rate, an installment loan may be a good way to pay for home improvements.

  • 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.

Before you take an installment loan

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

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.

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 elevate your score.

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.

Installment loans vs. payday loans

Installment loans and payday loans are appropriately named, because while you repay an installment loan in regular installments, you typically repay a payday loan 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.

Installment loans vs. credit cards

The fact that you get the money from an installment loan in a lump sum is one thing that differentiates it from a credit card. A credit card is revolving debt — you borrow when you swipe your card, repay and then repeat.

An installment loan, on the other hand, doesn’t revolve: You borrow, repay and you’re done.

Last updated on May 25, 2021

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 Installment Loans of June 2021

Frequently asked questions