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 JayakumarJul 31, 2021

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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

SoFi
Check rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

4.99-19.63%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. Credit Score

680
Check rate

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.

  • Offers .25% rate discount for setting up 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 4.74% APR to 19.38% APR include a 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 10/28/21 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Additional state restrictions may apply. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Autopay Discount: 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, checking, or other account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings, checking, or SoFi Money account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Direct Deposit Discount: To qualify for an additional 0.25% APR direct deposit discount you must: (1) set up autopay with SoFi Money within 20 days of the funding of your loan, AND (2) setup payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/mo to SoFi Money within 35 days of the funding of your loan. If you do not set up autopay with SoFi Money within 20 days of the funding of your loan, AND set up payroll direct deposits to SoFi Money within 35 days of the funding of your loan you will not be qualified for this additional 0.25% direct deposit discount. Once qualified, you will receive this additional 0.25% direct deposit discount during periods in which you have direct deposits of at least $1,000/mo turned on with your SoFi Money account. This additional direct deposit discount will be lost during periods in which you have turned off direct deposits for your SoFi Money account. You are not required to enroll in autopay or direct deposits to receive a loan from SoFi. The Direct Deposit Rate Reduction excludes members from receiving the $100 SoFi Money® direct deposit promotional program. SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC. Member FINRA/SPIC. Neither SoFi nor its affiliates are a bank. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Check rate

on Goldman Sachs's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Est. APR

6.99-19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500-$40,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Marcus 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.

  • Wide variety of repayment term options.

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

  • Offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.


Cons

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

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660 FICO.

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

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

Available Term Lengths

3 to 6 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

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

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Lightstream
Check rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

4.49-20.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream 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.

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

  • Special features including rate beat program and satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

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

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history.

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

  • Strong payment history with few or no delinquencies.

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

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

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

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

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Discover
Check rate

on Discover's website

Discover® Personal Loans

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover

Est. APR

5.99-24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500-$35,000

Min. Credit Score

720
Check rate

on Discover's website


Min. Credit Score

720

Key facts

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

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Offers mobile app to manage loan.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Wide variety of repayment term options.

Cons

  • Charges late fee.

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

  • No rate discount for autopay.

Qualifications

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


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

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

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

Available Term Lengths

3 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

Disclaimer

This is not a commitment to lend from Discover Personal Loans. Your approval for a loan is determined once you apply and is based on your application information and credit history. Your APR will be between 5.99%-24.99% based upon creditworthiness at time of application for loan terms of 36-84 months. For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 6.99% APR for a term of 72 months, you’ll pay just $256 per month. Our lowest rates are available to consumers with the best credit. Many factors are used to determine your rate, such as your credit history, application information and the term you select. Not all applications will be approved.

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Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Est. APR

5.74-19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,000-$100,000

Min. Credit Score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

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

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fee.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

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

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Some features only available to existing customers.

Qualifications

  • Must provide personal and contact information.

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

  • Must provide desired term and amount to borrow.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

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USAA Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

USAA Personal Loan

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
USAA Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.24-17.15%

Loan Amount

$2,500-$20,000

Min. Credit Score

None
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

  • No origination or prepayment fee.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Joint loan option.

Cons

  • Must be a USAA member.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Offers a small range of loan amounts.

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.

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 July 31, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences. 

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

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Long-Term Personal Loans