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Best Personal Loans for 2018

January 8, 2018
Loans, Personal Loans

The best personal loan helps you reach your financial goals, whether you use it to fund home improvements or consolidate your debt. When comparing loans, a primary consideration is the interest rate. The loan with the lowest annual percentage rate for a given loan term is the least expensive — and usually the best choice. But other features, including no fees, soft credit checks and whether lenders directly pay creditors if you’re consolidating debt, set some loans apart.

To guide your choice, we at NerdWallet checked our personal loan reviews and chose our picks for the best in three categories. We always recommend that borrowers compare rates from multiple lenders before making a choice.

On this page:

Best personal loans for good credit

Best personal loans for bad credit

Best personal loans for debt consolidation


Best personal loans for good credit

Borrowers with good to excellent credit scores (690 and above) may have their pick of lenders. Those on our list of best lenders have low rates and typically no fees. SoFi offers high loan amounts, up to $100,000, while Marcus has flexible loan terms, letting borrowers choose their monthly payment amounts and loan terms.

 Typical APR rangeGet started
SoFi
5 stars out of 5
5% - 15%
Marcus
5 stars out of 5
6.99% - 23.99%
FreedomPlus
4.5 stars out of 5
4.99% - 29.99%
LendingClub
4.5 stars out of 5
5.99% - 35.89%
4.99% for some borrowers with excellent credit
LightStream
4 stars out of 5
3.09% - 14.24% with autopay
3.59% - 14.74% without autopay
Discover
5 stars out of 5
6.99% - 24.99%

» MORE: Personal loans for good credit


Best personal loans for bad credit

Borrowers with troubled credit histories are more likely to qualify with lenders that accept bad to average credit (300-689). The best lenders consider factors beyond your credit score and offer flexibility if you miss a payment, for example, or need help building credit.

 Typical APR rangeGet started
Upgrade
4 stars out of 5
5.96% - 35.97%
Avant
4 stars out of 5
9.95% - 35.99%
LendingPoint
4 stars out of 5
15.49% - 34.99%
OneMain Financial
4 stars out of 5
16.05% - 35.99%
Mariner Finance
4 stars out of 5
24% - 36%

» MORE: Personal loans for bad credit


Best personal loans for debt consolidation

Getting a personal loan is one way to consolidate credit card debt, and some lenders augment your payoff efforts by directly paying your creditors with the money you borrow. Our list also includes lenders whose starting rates are lower than typical credit card rates.

 Typical APR rangeDirect payments to creditorsGet started
FreedomPlus
4.5 stars out of 5
4.99% - 29.99%Yes
LendingClub
4.5 stars out of 5
5.99% - 35.89%
4.99% for some borrowers with excellent credit
Yes, to select borrowers
SoFi
5 stars out of 5
5% - 15%No
Marcus
5 stars out of 5
6.99% - 24.99%No
Discover
5 stars out of 5
6.99% - 24.99%Yes

» MORE: Personal loans for debt consolidation

Most online lenders let you check your rate without affecting your credit, so it doesn’t hurt to first apply for a loan at multiple lenders to see if you qualify. NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Click the button below to see estimated rates from multiple lenders on NerdWallet.

 

Before you get a loan