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Best Personal Loans With No Origination Fee

A personal loan with no origination fee appeals to borrowers who want to avoid extra costs. Compare the best personal loans with no origination fee.

Ronita Choudhuri-WadeSteve Nicastro
By
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Last updated on December 13, 2023
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Dawnielle Robinson-Walker
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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  • 35+ personal loans reviewed and rated by our team of experts.
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Best Personal Loans With No Origination Fee

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
Learn more
Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

Visit Lender
on Discover's website
on Discover's website
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
Best for Personal loans with no origination fee

7.99-24.99%

$2,500-$40,000

660

Lightstream

LightStream

4.5
/5
Best for Personal loans with no origination fee

7.99-25.49%

$5,000-$100,000

660

Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
4.0
/5
Best for Personal loans with no origination fee

9.49-24.25%

$5,000-$45,000

660

Our pick for

Personal loans with no origination fee

Lightstream
Visit Lender
on LightStream's website
on LightStream's website
Lightstream

LightStream

4.5
Est. APR

7.99-25.49%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660

Discover
Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

Est. APR

7.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$2,500-$40,000

Min. credit score

660

Laurel Road Personal Loan
Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

Est. APR

9.49-24.25%

Loan amount

$5,000-$45,000

Min. credit score

660

What is a loan origination fee?

A personal loan origination fee covers the lender’s processing cost and is calculated as a percentage of the loan amount, typically between 1% and 10%. Lenders most often deduct the fee upfront from the loan proceeds, but it can also be rolled into the balance.

For example, a $20,000 personal loan with a 5% (or $1,000) origination fee means you receive $19,000 instead of the full loan amount.

The APR on a loan will include the origination fee, so be sure to read the fee details from your lender to get a clear picture of your costs. To save money or get your entire loan amount, identify lenders that offer no-origination fees on personal loans.

Bank personal loans with no origination fee

Most banks offer personal loans with no origination fee. Consider a bank loan if your bank offers lower rates or other benefits for existing customers.

On the other hand, some banks don't pre-qualify borrowers. Pre-qualification involves a soft credit check and allows you to compare different loans with no impact to your credit score. Formally applying for a personal loan triggers a hard inquiry that can temporarily hurt your credit score.

Here are banks that charge no origination fee on personal loans:

  • PNC offers a 0.25 percentage point rate discount for customers who sign up for automatic payments from a PNC account. The lender also accepts co-applicants.

  • American Express offers personal loans to existing cardholders who receive pre-approval. You can use the loan to pay off credit cards at other banks.

  • Wells Fargo loans are a good fit if you’re an existing customer or live near a Wells Fargo branch, as new customers must apply in person.

  • TD Bank offers rates similar to other lenders, plus fast approval and funding time.

  • Truist Bank offers fast funding and the option to add a co-borrower.

  • U.S. Bank is an option for existing bank account holders, with loans for same-day funding once approved.

  • Santander offers a rate discount for setting up electronic payments, and loans are best suited for existing bank customers with good to excellent credit (scores above 689). 

Other personal loan fees and charges

Here are other costs, besides the origination fee, to keep in mind when comparing personal loans:

Annual percentage rate: APR is the sum of the loan’s interest rate plus all upfront costs, including the origination fee. Lenders are required to disclose APR and fees under the Truth in Lending Act. Use APRs to compare the actual annual borrowing costs between lenders.

Use our personal loan calculator to see estimated APRs and payments for a personal loan based on loan amount, rate and term.

Late fee: This common fee is charged when you’ve missed a payment due date, although some lenders allow a grace period (typically between three and 15 days after your due date) before charging it.

To avoid late fees, consider setting up payment reminders or automatic payments via ACH debit, which authorizes lenders to deduct the loan payment directly from your bank account. Lenders may also waive a late fee if you request it.

Prepayment fee: While this fee is uncommon on personal loans, some lenders may charge it for paying off the loan early, either with your own money or through a loan refinance.

Insufficient funds fee: Also called an overdraft fee, this may be charged (on top of a late fee) if you’ve signed up for autopay but don’t have enough cash in your bank account to cover the loan payment. Consider setting up an alert with your bank if your balance falls below the monthly payment amount.

How to find the best personal loan

Banks, credit unions and reputable online lenders can provide personal loans when you need funds for large expenses or smaller emergencies. To find the best option, borrowers should research lenders to find the lowest-cost loan and a payment plan that works for their budget. Prequalifying for a personal loan can help you assess potential loan terms and APRs to find the best lender.

A local credit union or a bank where you are an existing customer can often offer discounts or lower interest rates on loans. However, you may need to visit a branch to complete the loan application. Online lenders can be a convenient way to pre-qualify, apply and receive funding using only a mobile device. But always compare different loan offers to find the best loan for you.

How to apply for a personal loan

To apply for a personal loan, you’ll need to complete an application from a lender, provide detailed information on your income and debts and have your credit score assessed. Lenders typically have a minimum credit score requirement and a target debt-to-income ratio.

Online lenders will often let you pre-qualify to see rates, terms and offers by doing a soft pull on your credit. You can pre-qualify with online lenders on NerdWallet to compare offers and find the lowest rate.

Last updated on December 13, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. 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. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. 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.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Personal Loans With No Origination Fee

  • LightStream: Best for Personal loans with no origination fee
  • Discover® Personal Loans: Best for Personal loans with no origination fee
  • Laurel Road Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans with no origination fee
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