BEST OF

Best Personal Loan Rates of September 2021

The best personal loan rates go to borrowers with excellent credit, low debt and strong income. Compare personal loan rates to find the best offer.

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Personal loan interest rates currently range from 3.99% to about 35.99%. The interest rate you may get on a personal loan depends on factors including your credit score and credit history, annual income, existing debt and whether you get a loan from a bank, credit union or online lender.

Comparing personal loan rates — along with monthly payments and total interest — can help you choose the most affordable loan. Here’s a look at the best personal loan interest rates from online lenders, banks and credit unions.

Summary of Best Personal Loan Rates of September 2021

Our pick for

Low interest rates and large loan amounts

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 offers online personal loans with consumer-friendly features for good- and excellent-credit borrowers.

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 4.99% APR to 19.63% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of August 11, 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. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. 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.

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Our pick for

Low interest rates for credit card consolidation

Payoff
Check rate

on Payoff's website

Payoff

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Payoff

Est. APR

5.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $40,000

Min. Credit Score

600
Check rate

on Payoff's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Payoff's personal loans and ongoing support help good credit borrowers consolidate credit card debt.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors.

  • Reports payments to all three major credit bureaus.

  • No prepayment or late fees.


Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • Requires several years of credit history.


Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum credit history: Three years.

  • At least two open accounts on credit report.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage).

  • Free cash flow: At least $1,000.

  • Zero credit delinquencies.

  • Must be able to provide income verification.

  • No bankruptcies filed within the past two years.

  • Must provide Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 5%.

Disclaimer

This does not constitute an actual commitment to lend or an offer to extend credit. Upon submitting a loan application, you may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income, assets, and financial condition. Your interest rate and terms for which you are approved will be shown to you as part of the online application process. Most applicants will receive a variety of loan offerings to choose from, with varying loan amounts and interest rates. Borrower subject to a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Refer to full borrower agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

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Our pick for

Low interest rates for bad credit

Upgrade
Check rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

5.94 - 35.47%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

560
Check 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

  • Allows secured and joint loans.

  • Offers a wide range of repayment terms.

  • Offers a 0.5% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Offers significant rate discount for checking account customers.

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

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No co-signed loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.

  • 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

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.9% to 8%.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.47%. 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

Low interest rates at a bank

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

6.74 - 19.74%

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Marcus personal loans stand out with zero fees and a wide range of repayment terms.

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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Our pick for

Low interest rates for home improvement

Lightstream
Check rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

2.49 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream's APR range varies by the reason for a loan, with its lowest starting rate applying to loans for home improvement.

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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Our pick for

Low interest rates for existing customers

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 - 24.24%

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 is an option for borrowers who already bank with Wells, offering rate discounts and a co-sign option.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among similar lenders.

  • No origination fee.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

  • Existing customers can get a .25% rate discount for setting up autopay.

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

Our pick for

Low interest rates at a credit union

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan

Est. APR

5.99 - 17.99%

Loan Amount

$500 - $20,000

Min. Credit Score

700
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

700

Key facts

A solid option for borrowers looking for small loan amounts at low rates; you can add a co-signer if you don’t qualify on your own.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Offers mobile app to manage your loan.

  • Offers small loans of $500.

Cons

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

  • No co-sign or secured loan option.

  • No option to change your payment date.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 700.

  • Minimum credit history: Three years.

  • Low debt-to-income ratio — many lenders require a DTI of 40% or lower.

  • Minimum income: None.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 5 years

Fees

  • Late fee: $29

  • Returned payment fee: $30

  • Membership fee: $5

Read Full Review

How do lenders determine personal loan rates?

Your credit score is an important factor that lenders use to set your rate — but it’s not the only one. They also consider income, existing debts and credit history on a personal loan application.

Some lenders review additional information, like where you went to school, your occupation and where you live. A lender may also consider the requested loan amount and the reason you want to borrow to determine your rate.

How to get the best personal loan rate

The best personal loan rates typically go to borrowers with excellent credit, high and stable income, little existing debt and a credit history showing consistent on-time payments toward credit cards and other loans.

If you think you may not qualify for a low rate on a personal loan, here's what to do to help get a lower rate:

  • Review your credit report before you apply. If you have a low credit score, you can check your report to see what may be weighing it down and address it before you apply. For example, a past-due account could be a reason a lender would give you a high rate or not approve you at all.

  • Adjust your loan amounts and repayment term. Asking for a large loan or long repayment term could cause a lender to assign you a higher interest rate. Calculate your monthly payment to decide how much loan you can afford.

  • Get rate discounts. Lenders offer discounts for a few different reasons. Many online lenders offer rate discounts for setting up automatic payments. Some banks offer rate discounts to existing customers who hold certain bank accounts.

  • Find a no-fee lender. The APR includes any fees a lender tacks onto the loan, like an origination fee. If you choose a lender that doesn’t charge origination fees, you’ll avoid an interest rate that’s inflated by fees.

  • Add a co-signer, co-borrower or collateral. Borrowers with blemished credit who add someone with a better credit profile and higher income to their application may qualify for a lower rate. You may also be able to secure a personal loan with a lower rate by using collateral like a vehicle or CD account. Just know there are consequences if you default on the loan.

Many online lenders and some banks and credit unions let you pre-qualify for a personal loan. To do so, you provide some information about your credit, income and employment — as well as how much you want to borrow and why — and the lender will tell you the potential loan amount, rate and repayment term you could get.

Because pre-qualifying triggers a soft credit pull, you can do it as many times as you want without affecting your credit score. A hard credit pull will be triggered only if you submit a full application after pre-qualifying.

Average online personal loan rates by credit score

Unlike mortgage rates, personal loan rates rarely fluctuate. Occasionally, lenders may update their rates and credit score requirements, but those changes are typically a few tenths of a percentage point. Here's what average estimated APRs are on online personal loans, based on FICO score ranges:

How's your credit?

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent.

720-850.

11.8%.

Good.

690-719.

17.4%.

Fair.

630-689.

23.4%.

Bad.

300-629.

28.7% (Lowest scores unlikely to qualify).

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace from Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender.

Online lender rates vary by the type of borrower they target. A bad-credit lender may offer higher rates than a good-credit lender. Unlike many banks and credit unions, online lenders allow borrowers to pre-qualify and typically fund a loan more quickly. Some offer a fully online application process and a mobile app to manage the loan.

Rates for excellent credit

The monthly average lowest rates that excellent-credit borrowers received in 2020 were from 10.7% to 12.4%, according to data from users who pre-qualified with NerdWallet. High income and a long credit history showing on-time payments to other creditors will help you get the lowest rates. Lenders that approve borrowers in this credit band may also offer special perks, like rate discounts and zero fees.

Rates for good credit

The monthly average lowest rates good-credit borrowers received on personal loans in 2020 were from 15.5% to 19.5%, according to NerdWallet user data. The lowest rates in this credit band often go to borrowers who have low debt and high income, and a credit history showing accounts in good standing.

Rates for fair credit

The lowest rates of NerdWallet users who pre-qualified with fair credit averaged from 21% to 25.7% in any given month of 2020. Adding a co-signer or joint borrower with better credit and higher income than you can help you receive a lower rate.

Rates for bad credit

Bad-credit borrowers can expect rates on the high end of a lender’s APR range. The lowest rates of NerdWallet users who pre-qualified in this credit band in 2020 averaged from 26.7% to 32.4% in any given month. Those with the lowest scores may not qualify, but requesting a lower loan amount, adding a co-signer or securing your loan could help improve your chances for funding.

Personal loan rates at banks

Banks may offer competitive rates — and rate discounts if you’re already a customer — but they typically have tougher eligibility requirements and can take longer to fund your loan than online lenders. The average rate charged by banks in February 2021 for a two-year loan was 9.46%, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve.

Personal loan rates at credit unions

Credit union loans may carry lower rates than banks and online lenders, especially for those with fair or bad credit, and loan officers may be more willing to consider your overall financial picture.

The average rate charged by credit unions in March 2021 for a fixed-rate, three-year loan was 8.86%, according to the National Credit Union Administration. Federal credit unions cap the APR on personal loans at 18%.

You have to become a member of a credit union to apply for a loan, which may mean paying fees or meeting certain eligibility requirements.

What’s the difference between APR and interest rate?

A loan’s APR includes the interest rate, plus all fees. If a lender charges an origination fee, for example, that would be factored into the annual percentage rate.

Refinancing a personal loan to get a lower rate

You may lock in a lower rate by refinancing a personal loan, especially if you’ve improved your credit score or lowered your debt since you first borrowed. Some lenders allow borrowers to refinance a personal loan you have with them, while others will refinance a loan from a different lender.

If you refinance, be mindful of the new loan’s term. Even with a lower rate, a longer repayment term could mean you’ll pay more overall interest.

Last updated on September 1, 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 Personal Loan Rates of September 2021

Frequently asked questions