BEST OF

6 Best Long-Term Personal Loans

Long-term personal loans carry repayment terms of more than five years. A benefit is smaller monthly payments, but rates can be higher.

Amrita JayakumarJanuary 21, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Most unsecured personal loans have terms that are between one and five years. Long-term personal loans are those that carry longer payback periods, usually up to seven years. Some banks, online lenders and credit unions offer long-term personal loans.

Here's a summary of our picks for the best lenders that offer long-term personal loans, plus the pros and cons and when to consider one.

Summary of Best Long-Term Personal Loans

Our picks for

Long-term personal loans

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Marcus offers loan terms up to six years. Its loans stand out for low rates, no fees, and flexible loan terms and payment options.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Wide variety of repayment term options.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.


Cons

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

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Must be 18 or over, 19 in Alabama and 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico.

  • Must have a valid U.S. bank account and Social Security or Individual Tax I.D. Number.

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

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.
Read Full Review
Lightstream

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

4.49 - 20.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream loans, designed for strong-credit borrowers, have terms from two to seven years. Rates vary based on loan purpose.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Rate discount for 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.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history; excellent-credit borrowers have at least five, according to LightStream.

  • 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 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.
Read Full Review
SoFi

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99 - 18.85%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on SoFi's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

SoFi is a strong option for consumers with good to excellent credit, offering low rates, no fees and loan terms up to seven years.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Offers co-sign and joint loan options.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Offers unemployment protection.

  • Provides mobile app to manage your loan.

Cons

  • No secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Must legally be an adult in your state.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.

  • Must be employed, have sufficient income or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of February 25, 2021, 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, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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.
Read Full Review
Discover
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Discover® Personal Loans

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover

Min. Credit Score

720

Est. APR

6.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $35,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

720

Key facts

Discover offers long-term loans up to seven years for borrowers with good to excellent credit.

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors.

  • 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.
Read Full Review
Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

5.99 - 24.49%

Loan Amount

$3,000 - $100,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Wells Fargo offers loans up to seven years, and customers with a checking account or certificate of deposit may receive rate discounts.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among similar lenders.

  • No origination fee.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Charges $39 late fee.

  • Some features only available to existing customers.

Qualifications

  • Must provide Social Security number.

  • Must provide contact details, including a permanent address, email and telephone number.

  • Must provide employment and income (documentation may be required to verify this information) and monthly mortgage or rent payment amount.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

Read Full Review
USAA Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

USAA Personal Loan

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
USAA Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

6.99 - 17.65%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $20,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

For its military-affiliated members, USAA offers longer terms for larger loan amounts.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among good-credit lenders.

  • No origination or prepayment fee.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Option to include a co-signer.

Cons

  • Must be a USAA member.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Offers a small range of loan amounts.

  • Charges late fee.

Qualifications

  • USAA does not publicly disclose many of its borrower requirements. Borrowers with good and excellent credit scores will likely qualify for the lowest rates.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: 5% of payment amount.

Read Full Review

Pros of taking a long-term personal loan

  • Larger loan amounts: When you want to borrow a large sum of money for, say, home improvements or medical procedures, lenders may give you the option of a longer term to pay the loan back.

  • Lower monthly payments: For the same amount borrowed, loans with longer terms will have lower monthly payments than shorter-term loans. However, the benefit of having a longer term may be offset by a higher interest rate. Choose a monthly payment you can afford, but factor in both the interest rate and the loan term when you apply for a loan.

Cons of taking a long-term personal loan

  • Higher interest rates: Lenders may charge higher rates for long-term loans because they are considered more risky. The longer you have to pay back a loan, the greater the possibility that your money situation will change in a way that prevents you from paying back the loan as agreed.

  • More interest: Unless you pay the loan off early, you will pay more in interest over the life of the loan than you would with a shorter-term loan.

  • Your finances might change: Your financial picture is likely to evolve in the course of six to seven years. Carrying a long-term debt means you might have to make trade-offs with future financial decisions.

When to consider a long-term personal loan

A long-term loan is ideal when you’re borrowing a large sum of money and need more time to pay it back. You may need to borrow $50,000 for a kitchen remodel, for example, and a longer term will reduce your monthly payments. As with all personal loans, you can use the funds for almost any purpose.

If you want a long-term loan to consolidate your debts into one simple payment, consider this first: A debt consolidation loan works best if you get a lower interest rate on the loan than the combined interest rate on your existing debt, or if the loan allows you to get rid of debt faster than your current pace.

For example, if you know it will take you 10 years to pay off your cards, a seven-year consolidation loan may be a better option. Use our debt consolidation calculator to estimate potential savings before you opt for a loan.

Where to get a long-term personal loan

Banks: Discover, USAA and Wells Fargo offer loan terms up to seven years. Bank loans may offer existing customers in good standing benefits like lower rates or larger loan amounts.

Credit unions: Credit unions are a good first option for personal loans because they have low rates and flexible loan features. You have to join the credit union, and they typically run a hard credit pull when you apply, without a pre-qualification option. (A hard pull temporarily knocks a few points off your credit score.)

Both First Tech Federal Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union allow loan terms of up to seven years. Navy Federal has home improvement loans with terms of up to 15 years. Neither credit union has a required minimum credit score.

Online lenders: Online loans are fast and convenient. Only a handful of online lenders offer longer loan terms, including LightStream, Marcus by Goldman Sachs and SoFi. These lenders cater to good-credit borrowers.

Next steps: Check rates on loans

First, learn how to pre-qualify for a personal loan and how it impacts your credit. You can pre-qualify with multiple lenders on NerdWallet to see if you're approved for a loan on your own and, if so, at what rate.

Last updated on January 21, 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 Long-Term Personal Loans