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Small Personal Loans in 2019: Compare Your Options

Amrita JayakumarJuly 18, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

For small personal loans, look first to credit unions or online lenders for affordable loans. Compare options for small loans and borrowing alternatives.

Our picks for

Small loans starting at $1,000

Online lenders Laurel Road, LendingClub, Upgrade and Upstart offer loans as small as $1,000 and target borrowers with fair to good credit.

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Min. Credit Score

700

Est. APR

8.01-16.30%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$45,000

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Autopay discounts.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.
  • Lacks flexible payment options.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 700.
  • Minimum income: None specified.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not disclosed.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.
  • Prepayment fees: None.
  • Late fees: 5% or $28, whichever is less.
Lending Club

on Lending Club's website

on Lending Club's website

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

6.95-35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$40,000

Pros

  • Offers a loan option with direct payment to creditors.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Offers hardship plan.

Cons

  • Charges origination and late fees.
  • No rate discount for autopayments.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 600.
  • Minimum credit history of 3 years.
  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40% for single applications, 35% for joint applicants.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% - 6%.
  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of payment after 15-day grace period.
  • Check processing fee: $7.

Disclaimer: *All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: 595 Market St suite 200 San Francisco Ca 94105. **Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20, 2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

on Upgrade's website

Min. Credit Score

620

Est. APR

7.99-35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$50,000

Pros

  • Credit health tools.
  • Hardship plans.
  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Minimum annual income: None, but most applicants have more than $30,000.
  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.
  • Unavailable to borrowers in: Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont or West Virginia.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.5% - 6%.

Disclaimer: Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade's Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

Upstart

on Upstart's website

on Upstart's website

Min. Credit Score

620

Est. APR

7.69-35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000-$50,000

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.
  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • No secured or co-sign option.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Minimum credit history: None.
  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.
  • Max debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.
  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer: Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,001. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan on Upstart will have an APR of 20% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. The average APR on Upstart is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

Our pick for

Small loans starting at $1,500

OneMain Financial offers loans starting at $1,500. It's an option for borrowers with bad credit.

OneMain

on OneMain Financial's website

on OneMain Financial's website

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

18.00-35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,500-$20,000

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Free credit score access.

Cons

  • May charge origination fee.
  • High rates.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None, average is 600 to 650.
  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.
  • Minimum annual income: None; average is $49,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: Varies by state.

Disclaimer: Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. The lowest APR shown represents the 10% of loans with the most favorable APR. Monthly payment amounts shown are calculated using the APR for the 10% of loans with the most favorable APR. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

Our picks for

Small loans starting at $2,000

Avant, an option for borrowers with bad credit, offers loans starting at $2,000. Loans from Best Egg, Prosper and Rocket Loans also start at $2,000 but typically require good credit.

Avant

on Avant's website

on Avant's website

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

9.95-35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000-$35,000

Pros

  • Low minimum credit score.
  • Refinancing option.
  • No prepayment fee.

Cons

  • No co-sign or secured loan option.
  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 580.
  • At least $20,000 in gross annual income.

Available Term Lengths

  • 2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Administrative fee: 4.75%.
  • Late fee: $25 (most states).
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15 (most states).

Disclaimer: Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33. The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

BestEgg

on Best Egg's website

on Best Egg's website

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99-29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000-$35,000

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Low starting rates.
  • Pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Typical borrower has several years of credit history.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Minimum annual income: Not specified, but average is $80,000.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified, but typically less than 35%.

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: The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99%–5.99% that is deducted from loan proceeds. Any origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. The loan term and the APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit usage history and other factors. Additionally, the APR offered is impacted by your loan term and may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may result in an APR 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 rate. Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding, LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall 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. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least four months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000. Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies. 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. 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.

Prosper

on Prosper's website

on Prosper's website

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

6.95-35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000-$40,000

Pros

  • Check your rate with a soft credit check.
  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Does not offer direct payoff to creditors for debt consolidation loans.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640, but average is 710.
  • Minimum credit history: Two years, but average is 11.
  • Minimum annual income: None, but average is $89,000.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage).

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.4% - 5%.
  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of unpaid amount (whichever is greater).
  • Insufficient funds fee: $15.

Disclaimer: For example, a three-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of AA would have an interest rate of 5.31% and a 2.41% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 6.95% APR. You would receive $9,759 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $301.10. A five-year $10,000 loan with a Prosper Rating of A would have an interest rate of 8.39% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 10.59% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $204.64. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. APRs through Prosper range from 6.95% (AA) to 35.99% (HR) for first-time borrowers, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC.

RocketLoans

on Rocket Loans's website

on Rocket Loans's website

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.98-29.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000-$45,000

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Soft credit check with application.
  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans.
  • No co-sign or secured loan option.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640, but average is higher.
  • Minimum credit history: Two years.
  • Minimum annual income: $40,000, but average is $78,000.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

Available Term Lengths

  • 3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% - 6%.
  • Late fee: $15 after 10-day grace period.
  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer: All personal loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loans are unsecured, fully amortizing personal loans. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident alien at least 18 years of age (in Nebraska and Alabama a borrower must be at least 19 years of age). All loan applications are subject to credit review and approval. Offered loan terms depend upon your credit profile, requested amount, requested loan term, credit usage, credit history and other factors. Not all borrowers receive the lowest interest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit, meet certain conditions, and select autopay. Rates and Terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.

Summary of Small Personal Loans in 2019: Compare Your Options

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

8.01-16.30%

700

on Laurel Road's website

Lending Club

LendingClub

on Lending Club's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

6.95-35.89%

600

on Lending Club's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

7.99-35.89%

620

on Upgrade's website

Upstart

Upstart

on Upstart's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

7.69-35.99%

620

on Upstart's website

OneMain

OneMain Financial

on OneMain Financial's website

Small loans starting at $1,500

18.00-35.99%

None

on OneMain Financial's website

Avant

Avant

on Avant's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

9.95-35.99%

580

on Avant's website

BestEgg

Best Egg

on Best Egg's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

5.99-29.99%

640

on Best Egg's website

Prosper

Prosper

on Prosper's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

6.95-35.99%

640

on Prosper's website

RocketLoans

Rocket Loans

on Rocket Loans's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

5.98-29.99%

640

on Rocket Loans's website

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

8.01-16.30%

700

on Laurel Road's website

Lending Club

LendingClub

on Lending Club's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

6.95-35.89%

600

on Lending Club's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

7.99-35.89%

620

on Upgrade's website

Upstart

Upstart

on Upstart's website

Small loans starting at $1,000

7.69-35.99%

620

on Upstart's website

OneMain

OneMain Financial

on OneMain Financial's website

Small loans starting at $1,500

18.00-35.99%

None

on OneMain Financial's website

Avant

Avant

on Avant's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

9.95-35.99%

580

on Avant's website

BestEgg

Best Egg

on Best Egg's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

5.99-29.99%

640

on Best Egg's website

Prosper

Prosper

on Prosper's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

6.95-35.99%

640

on Prosper's website

RocketLoans

Rocket Loans

on Rocket Loans's website

Small loans starting at $2,000

5.98-29.99%

640

on Rocket Loans's website

» MORE: Best personal loans for good, bad credit

Small loans from credit unions

For some borrowers, a local credit union is the best place to get a small-dollar loan. Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions built to serve their members, and many look at more than your credit score when they assess you for a loan.

Many federal credit unions offer payday alternative loans, typically between $200 and $1,000, to borrowers with low credit scores. By law, federal credit unions can charge maximum annual percentage rates of 18% for personal loans and 28% for payday alternative loans.

» MORE: How to get a credit union personal loan

Small loans from banks

Not all major banks offer personal loans, and many that do offer larger loans. Citibank and PNC are two banks that offer small personal loans in addition to competitive interest rates and rate discounts for existing customers.

Citibank loans start at $2,000, and customers with Citibank checking accounts can get rate discounts for making automatic loan payments. PNC’s loans start at $1,000, and existing customers receive a 0.25% rate discount if they set up payments from their checking accounts.

» MORE: Top banks offering personal loans

Alternatives to small personal loans

You have options other than taking a small loan with interest and potentially fees. NerdWallet recommends exhausting cheaper alternatives first, even if you need the money for an emergency.

How to pre-qualify for a personal loan

Pre-qualifying for an online loan can get you access to potential loan terms, including the loan’s interest rate, loan amount and payments. Take the steps to pre-qualify and compare offers to find the loan that gives you an amount you need and a payment you can afford.

» MOREPre-qualify with multiple lenders on NerdWallet

Last updated on July 18, 2019

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 Small Personal Loans in 2019: Compare Your Options