BEST OF

Best Personal Loan Rates of March 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 about 5.99% to 35.99%. The actual interest rate you receive on a personal loan depends on factors such as 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 rates — along with monthly payments and total interest — can help you choose the most affordable loan. Here’s a look at average interest rates on personal loans from online lenders, banks and credit unions.

Summary of Best Personal Loan Rates of March 2021

Our picks for

Lowest online personal loan interest rates

Payoff

on Payoff's website

Payoff

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Payoff

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $40,000

on Payoff's website


Min. Credit Score

640

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: 640.

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

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 US 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
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'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.

  • 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 are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). 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
BestEgg

on Best Egg's website

Best Egg

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
BestEgg

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

5.99 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $35,000

on Best Egg's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Best Egg offers personal loans for borrowers who want to consolidate debt and need cash fast.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among fair-credit lenders.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Secured loan option for homeowners.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges $15 late fee.

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

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; borrower average is 700.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years and 3 accounts.

  • Minimum income: No minimum income requirement; borrower average is $80,000. Borrower must have enough cash flow to cover current financial obligations.

  • Minimum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 65% including a mortgage; borrower average is 40%.

  • Employment: Must provide proof of income; part-time employees are eligible.

  • Must provide valid U.S. address and Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 5.99%.

  • Late fee: $15.

  • Return fee: $15 if payments are not processed.

Disclaimer

*Trustpilot TrustScore as of June 2020. Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Funding, LLC. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan” and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable. The term, amount and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit sc-ore, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000–$35,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; New Mexico and Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $50,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 5.99%–29.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–6.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.
Read Full Review

Our picks for

Lowest personal loan interest rates at banks

Discover
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Discover® Personal Loans

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $35,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Discover personal loans can be a smart way to consolidate or refinance debt for borrowers with good or 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: 660; 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 $25,000.

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 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.

  • Offers joint and secured loan options.

  • 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
TD Bank Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

TD Bank Personal Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
TD Bank Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

700

Est. APR

6.99 - 21.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $50,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

700

Key facts

TD Bank’s unsecured personal loans have minimal fees and close fast, but they’re available in a limited number of states.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • No origination fee.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Able to fund loans the next business day.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts.

Cons

  • Available in a limited number of states.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • Charges late fee.

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

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

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: The lender says it accepts applications from all credit backgrounds, but you will likely need good credit (at least 690 FICO) to qualify for a competitive rate.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must provide Social Security number.


Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Late fee: The lesser of 5% of the minimum amount due or $10.

Read Full Review
HSBC Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

HSBC Personal Loan

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
HSBC Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

700

Est. APR

6.99 - 22.90%

Loan Amount

$3,000 - $30,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

700

Key facts

The HSBC personal loan is an option for good-credit borrowers, and you don't have to bank with HSBC.

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

Cons

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

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

  • Doesn't offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Qualifications

  • No minimum credit score, income or debt-to-income ratio requirements.

  • Not available in Wisconsin.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: 5% of monthly payment, capped at $39.

  • Returned payment fee: 5% of monthly payment, capped at $39.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Lowest personal loan interest rates at credit unions

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

Min. Credit Score

700

Est. APR

6.49 - 17.99%

Loan Amount

$500 - $20,000

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

Online personal loan interest rates

Online lenders offer the lowest starting annual percentage rates on personal loans to borrowers with good or excellent credit (690 or higher FICO). If you don’t know your credit score, check it for free with NerdWallet.

Here's what average estimated APRs are on 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 lenders often let you pre-qualify with a soft credit check before you formally apply for a personal loan. Banks and credit unions typically only do a hard credit pull.

You can also use a personal loan calculator to see estimated rates and payments from online lenders based on your credit score.

Rates for excellent credit

The monthly average lowest rates that excellent-credit borrowers received in 2020 were from 10.7% to 12.5%, 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, as well as a credit history showing accounts in good standing.

Rates for fair credit

The lowest rates 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 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.

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 November 2020 for a two-year loan was 9.65%, 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 December 2020 for a fixed-rate, 3-year loan was 9.09%, 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.

How to get the best personal loan rates

If you think you may not qualify for the rate you want on a personal loan, there are a few things you can do that may help you 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 — using collateral like a vehicle or CD account — to get a lower rate. Just know there are consequences if you default on the loan.

How COVID-19 affects personal loan rates

All personal loan lenders have tightened credit requirements since the pandemic began. That means borrowers who previously may have qualified for a loan may not qualify at all, while others may qualify for a higher rate than they would’ve had before.

How to see your personal loan rates

Unlike with some other credit products, you can see what personal loan rates and amounts you can qualify for without having to formally submit an application and undergo a hard credit check. This is called pre-qualifying and many online lenders and some banks and credit unions have this option.

You can pre-qualify through NerdWallet to compare offers from multiple lenders and find the lowest rate.

Last updated on February 3, 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 Personal Loan Rates of March 2021

Frequently asked questions