BEST OF

Personal Loans for Excellent Credit: Best of March 2021

Personal loans for borrowers with excellent credit have fixed interest rates and loan amounts from $2,500 to $100,000.

Colin ThompsonFebruary 27, 2021
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Having excellent credit — a credit score of 720 or higher — puts you in a desirable group of least-risky borrowers. That means online lenders and banks may offer you the lowest rates and best terms on personal loans.

NerdWallet evaluated dozens of data points to identify the best online lenders for excellent-credit borrowers:

  • LightStream: Best for low rates.

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Best for flexible payments.

  • Discover: Best for debt consolidation.

  • SoFi: Best for high loan amounts.

  • Payoff: Best for credit card consolidation.

Rates and terms vary among lenders, so even those with stellar credit should shop around and compare personal loans. See our selections for personal loans for excellent credit below.

Summary of Personal Loans for Excellent Credit: Best of March 2021

Our pick for

Excellent credit and credit card consolidation

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 offers loans and ongoing support to help fair- and 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

Our pick for

Excellent credit and low rates

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 targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates that 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

Our pick for

Excellent credit and high loan amounts

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

Our pick for

Excellent credit and flexible payments

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 personal loans stand out with low rates, zero fees and a wide range of repayment terms.

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.

  • Funding could take up to five days.

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

Our pick for

Excellent credit and debt consolidation

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

Best excellent-credit personal loans from banks

Banks that offer personal loans tend to cater to borrowers with excellent credit, and most offer low interest rates compared with other lenders. If you have an existing account with the bank, you could also benefit from an easier application process and discounted rates. The downside is some banks require you to visit a branch to complete the loan application process.

HSBC offers higher loan amounts to some existing customers, and your first payment is due in 50 days, rather than the typical 30 days.

PNC also offers its banking customers a 0.25% discount on a personal loan if they choose to make repayments through their checking account.

TD Bank offers fast funding of personal loans primarily to customers on the East Coast. New customers must have excellent credit to qualify.

Wells Fargo allows existing customers to apply for personal loans online and offers comparatively high borrowing amounts that make it an option for funding home improvements.

What is an excellent-credit loan?

Personal loans are unsecured loans, which means you don’t have to put up any collateral such as your car or house to get the loan. Instead, lenders evaluate your ability to repay by considering factors like credit score, debt and income.

Having excellent credit can get you access to the lowest annual percentage rates and most favorable terms available to borrowers. Personal loans are offered to excellent-credit borrowers by banks, online lenders and credit unions. Compare offers from multiple lenders to get the right loan for you.

How much will an excellent-credit personal loan cost?

As with most credit products, the rate you receive on a personal loan depends a lot on your credit score. Borrowers with excellent credit will pay less interest over the life of the loan than borrowers with lower credit scores. The interest rate also affects your total monthly payment, as does the term length; a longer term means lower monthly payments, but more interest.

Use our personal loan calculator to see estimated rates, total interest costs and payments for a personal loan.

Here is what interest rates on personal loans look like, on average:

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 between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender.

Will a personal loan hurt my excellent credit score?

Most online lenders perform a soft inquiry on your credit when you pre-qualify, followed by a hard check during the approval process that can knock some points off your credit score. The setback to your score should be temporary, and making on-time payments helps build credit if the lender reports your borrowing activity to one or more of the credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

A personal loan also diversifies your debt. According to FICO, credit mix contributes 10% toward the calculation of your total credit score. (However, you shouldn’t get a personal loan just to improve your credit.)

How to choose the best personal loan for excellent credit

Having excellent credit is an advantage, but it can make choosing among multiple loan offers more difficult. Factor the overall cost of the loan and monthly payments against your budget, and carefully weigh the different features offered by each lender.

Here are three considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Compare loans. Shop multiple lenders to compare rates and terms. The loan with the lowest APR is the least expensive and usually the best choice. Use this comparison tool to check rates at multiple online lenders without affecting your credit score.

  2. Loan features. Some lenders will send loan proceeds directly to your creditors if you’re consolidating debt, allow flexible payment schedules or offer rate discounts if you agree to automatic payments.

  3. Perks. Take advantage of resources offered by lenders such as free credit score monitoring, financial education or hardship assistance plans.

How to pre-qualify for an excellent-credit personal loan

Pre-qualifying for an online loan can allow you to see personalized loan terms, including the loan’s interest rate. You can pre-qualify with multiple lenders on NerdWallet to compare offers and find the lowest rate.

Last updated on February 27, 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 Personal Loans for Excellent Credit: Best of March 2021

Frequently asked questions