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The Best Personal Loans for Good Credit

Credit Score, Loans, Paying Off Debt, Personal Finance, Personal Loans
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The Best Personal Loans for Good Credit

Good credit makes borrowing easier. Great credit makes borrowing downright cheap.

Borrowers with good credit — generally considered a credit score of 690 to 720 — typically find favorable interest rates on most unsecured personal loans, which don’t require collateral and can be used to consolidate credit card debt, make home improvements, or pay for a vacation.

Those with excellent credit scores, above 720, have it even better. They are likely to find offers for credit cards with 0% introductory interest rates, a better option than personal loans if the debt can be paid quickly. But they also have options from lenders that cater to them with ultra-low rates, low or no fees, and loan amounts as high as $100,000.

As someone with good credit, you should shop around at many online lenders to get the best combination of low rates, fees and payment flexibility. Most lenders will let you check the rates you could get without affecting your credit (using what’s called a soft check), so it’s worth taking the time to compare offers.

In this article

Personal loans for excellent credit

Personal loans for good credit

Personal loans for credit card consolidation

Personal loans for ‘thin’ credit files

Personal loans for excellent credit

You can usually qualify for a personal loan from a bank, credit union or online lender with excellent credit. You will typically receive a hard credit check at your bank or credit union, while online lenders often let you see the rates they’d offer you with only a soft check.

Some online lenders have better features than others. LightStream, Earnest and SoFi are geared toward those who have stellar credit, offering low fees and high loan amounts.

LightStream tailors interest rates to suit your loan purpose, and it offers low rates normally reserved for secured loans. It also doesn’t charge an origination fee. If you have several years of good credit history, spread across different types of debt, then a LightStream loan is a good choice.

SoFi lends to people with good credit and high incomes. The company doesn’t charge any origination fees and it offers loans in a wide range, from $5,000 to $100,000. SoFi builds a community around its borrowers, setting up networking events and happy hours. It also pauses loan payments and provides career counseling if a borrower becomes unemployed.

Earnest borrowers typically have credit scores above 700 and a high income, and are responsible with their finances. The lender also lets you adjust due dates and loan terms whenever you like.

LS_logo

APR: Start at 3.24% (boat, RV) to 5.49% (credit card and debt consolidation), ranging up to 16.34%

Loan amount: $5,000-$100,000

Loan terms: 2-7 years

Minimum credit score: 670

Time to funding: Same day, with option of up to 30 days from approval

Fees: None

sofilogoforbox

APR: Offers both variable and fixed rates, ranging from 4-15%

Loan amount: $5,000-$100,000

Loan terms: 3-7 years

Minimum credit score: 660, but typically 700+

Time to funding: A few business days

Fees: Late fee is 4% of payment or $5, whichever is lower

 

earnest_logo.5f103bcc

APR: 5.25-12%

Loan amount: $2,000-$50,000

Loan terms: 1-3 years

Minimum credit score: None, but typically 700+

Time to funding: 2-3 business days to 1 week

Fees: Unsuccessful payment fee up to $8


Personal loans for those with good credit

Prosper and Lending Club are the largest peer-to-peer lenders in the online lending space. Peer-to-peer or marketplace lenders connect borrowers with investors who fund their loans. Both lenders offer favorable interest rates for borrowers with good credit.

Lending Club’s APR starts at 5.99%, but it also has a special lower rate of 4.99% for those with excellent credit. The lender has more flexible loan terms, a slightly wider loan amount window (loans start at just $1,000) and a lower minimum credit score requirement than Prosper.

Prosper is also a solid choice for those with good credit. The lender gives borrowers access to their credit scores and a personal finance management app to keep track of their spending habits.

RocketLoans, a relative newcomer among online personal lenders and the sister company to Quicken Loans, also targets borrowers with good credit, and offers comparable rates, terms and fees. Where RocketLoans stands out is its online application process and speedy funding; the company says 90% of applicants get their loans the next business day.

lending_club_logo_new-249x47

APR: 5.99%-35.89% (4.99% with excellent credit).

Loan amount: $1,000-$40,000.

Loan terms: Three or five years.

Minimum credit score: 600, but borrowers average 699.

Time to funding: Usually seven days.

Fees: Origination fee 1% to 6% of loan amount; fees for late payment, unsuccessful payment and personal check use.

prosperlogoforbox

APR: 5.99%-36%

Loan amount: $2,000-$35,000

Loan terms: 3-5 years

Minimum credit score: 640

Time to funding: 2-8 business days

Fees: Origination fee of 1-5% of loan amount; fees for late payment and unsuccessful payment


rocketloans_logo

APR: 5.9% to 28.99%

Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000

Loan terms: Three or five years

Minimum credit score: 640

Time to funding: Next business day

Fees: Origination fee of 1-6% of loan amount; fees for late payment, personal check processing, returned payment

Personal loans for credit card consolidation

All online lenders will let you borrow money to consolidate debt.

Payoff has made credit card consolidations its bread and butter, so if that’s your need, the lender should be high on your list of options. It should be noted, however, that a good credit score may qualify you for 0% balance transfer offers, which can be a less expensive way to pay down debt if you can do so in the time allotted.

Borrowing to consolidate any kind of debt should only be done as part of a bigger plan to get out of debt. There’s little point in taking out a personal loan to pay off credit cards unless you stop using the cards.

If your credit score is affected by high utilization of your revolving credit limit, a credit card consolidation loan may help your credit score by moving debt into the installment category, which is considered separately.

payoff-logoforbox

APR: 8% to 25% fixed

Loan amount: $5,000 to $35,000

Loan terms: 2 to 5 years

Minimum credit score: 660

Time to funding: 2 to 5 business days

Fees: Payoff charges a “Payoff Platform Fee” that ranges from 2% to 5% of the loan amount, depending on term, included in APR. No late fee.


Personal loans for borrowers with ‘thin’ credit

Many factors go into determining your credit score, and one of them is the length of your credit history. It’s entirely possible to have a good credit score but a short history, also known as a “thin” file, particularly for millennial borrowers who haven’t yet established themselves financially.

Many new online lenders target borrowers who are new to credit or have unestablished credit. These lenders often consider nontraditional factors such as your college major, profession and school in addition to your credit score.

Upstart, Earnest and SoFi cater to college-educated borrowers.

Upstart has no minimum credit history requirement and it also lends to those who don’t have enough of a credit history to generate a FICO score, provided their educational and financial histories are strong. Upstart is a tech-focused company, so it offers some perks to those who borrow money to learn code.

Earnest is for borrowers with excellent credit scores. The lender says it has no minimum years of credit history requirement, but borrowers typically have high incomes and are responsible with their finances.

SoFi, also for excellent credit borrowers, lends to those who have thin credit files but high incomes.

Upstart

APR: 5.67-29.99%.

Loan amount: $1,000-$50,000.

Loan terms: 3 or 5 years

Minimum credit score: 620

Time to funding: Next business day

Fees: Origination fee of 1-6% of loan amount; late fee is 5% of payment or $15, whichever is greater; $15 unsuccessful payment fee

Loans presented on this page have a minimum loan length of 1 year, maximum loan length of 7 years, and a maximum APR 36.00%.

More from NerdWallet
Compare personal loans rates and terms
Personal loans for debt consolidation
Bank, credit union or online lender? Where to find a personal loan

Amrita Jayakumar is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ajayakumar@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ajbombay

Updated Sept. 20, 2016.