Best of

6 Best Long-Term Personal Loans

Amrita JayakumarFebruary 25, 2020

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

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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

6.99 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

680

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.

  • Flexible payment options.

  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

  • Rate discount with autopay.

Cons

  • No option to include co-signer.

  • Reports payments to one of the three major credit bureaus.

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.

  • 680+ credit score.

  • For debt consolidation loans, you may be required to send part of the loan directly to your creditors.

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

Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

3.99 - 16.99%

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.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.

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

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on existing assets and the reason for the loan.

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 on 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 now Truist is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust®, Truist, LightStream®, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust now Truist Bank.
Read Full Review
SoFi

on SoFi's website

SoFi

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99 - 18.53%

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

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualify.

  • Flexible payment options.

  • Offers member perks.

Cons

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

  • Does not offer refinance options.

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 5.99% APR to 18.53% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 18, 2020 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

on Discover's website

Discover® Personal Loans

Discover

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $35,000

on Discover's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

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

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Option to directly pay creditors.

  • Flexible payment options.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.

  • No refinancing option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score required: 660; borrowers' average score is about 750.

  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not provided.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 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.
Read Full Review
Citizens Bank
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

6.78 - 20.88%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $50,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Citizens Bank targets borrowers with good credit, offering rate discounts and loans up to seven years.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Autopay discount.

  • Co-sign option.

Cons

  • Lacks flexible payment options.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors.

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Puerto Rico).

  • Good credit history.

  • Minimum annual income of $24,000.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

5.49 - 24.49%

Loan Amount

$3,000 - $100,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

600

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

  • Offers secured loan option.

  • Offers free credit score access.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Borrowers without existing Wells Fargo accounts required to apply in person.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; most borrowers have scores above 660.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

Disclaimer

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: Citizens Bank, Discover 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 February 25, 2020

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