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6 Excellent Personal Loans of 2021

Compare online personal loans for good and bad credit, debt consolidation, home improvement, fast funding and from banks. The greatest personal loan helps you reach a financial goal, whether it’s paying off high-interest debt or funding a large expense. Annual percentage rates generally range from 6% to 35.99%; the loan with the lowest rate 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.

Excellent Personal Loans From Our Partners

Excellent for

Personal loans for excellent credit

SoFi
Get rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Personal Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

8.99-29.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on SoFi's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

SoFi offers online personal loans with consumer-friendly features for good- and excellent-credit borrowers.

Pros

  • Joint loan option.

  • Multiple rate discounts.

  • Hardship program for borrowers in need.

  • Mobile app to manage loan.

Cons

  • No option to choose initial payment date.

  • High minimum loan amount.

Qualifications

  • Must legally be an adult in your state.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or non-permanent resident with valid documentation.

  • Must be employed, have sufficient income or have an offer of employment to start within 90 days.

Total Cost of Loan

A 24-month, 5.0k loan at 8.99% will cost a total of $12352.91 excluding lender fees

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% to 7%.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors. Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-7%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. Autopay: 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. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

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Excellent for

Personal loans for bad credit + Personal loans for fast funding

Upstart
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

7.80-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on Upstart's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Upstart personal loans offer fast funding and may be an option for borrowers with low credit scores or thin credit histories. Upstart is a solid financing choice for large purchases.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Fast funding.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Seven-day customer service availability.

Cons

  • May charge origination fee.

  • No joint, co-signed or secured loans.

  • No mobile app to manage loan.

  • Only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Must be at least 18 in most states.

  • Must have a valid email address and Social Security number.

  • Must have a bank account at a financial institution with a routing number.

  • No bankruptcies in the last 12 months.

  • No current delinquent accounts.

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000; this lender accepts income from employment, alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security, rentals, trusts, pensions, disability and scholarships.

  • Must have a full-time job or be starting a full-time job within six months.

Total Cost of Loan

A 36-month, 1.0k loan at 7.8% will cost a total of $3009.47 excluding lender fees

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% to 12%.

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

  • Returned check fee: $15.

Disclaimer

The full range of available rates varies by state. A representative example of payment terms for a Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $10,000 for a term of 60 months, with an interest rate of 21.58% and a 9.84% origination fee of $984, for an APR of 26.82%. In this example, the borrower will receive $9016 and will make 60 monthly payments of $275. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in December 2023. There is no downpayment and no prepayment penalty. 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.

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Excellent for

Personal loans for fair or good credit

BestEgg
Get rate

on Best Egg's website

Best Egg

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
BestEgg

Est. APR

8.99-35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on Best Egg's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

Best Egg offers personal loans for borrowers who want to consolidate debt and need cash fast.

Pros

  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Wide range of loan amounts.

  • Unsecured and secured loan options.

  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No late fees.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No rate discounts.

  • No option to choose initial payment date.

  • No mobile app to manage loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.

  • Minimum credit history: 24 months and 1 account.

  • Minimum annual income: $3,500.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 65% including mortgage.

Total Cost of Loan

A 36-month, 2.0k loan at 8.99% will cost a total of $6778.44 excluding lender fees

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 8.99%.

Disclaimer

*Trustpilot TrustScore as of December 2022. Best Egg loans are personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. The Best Egg Credit Card is issued exclusively by First Bank & Trust, Member FDIC, Brookings SD pursuant to a license by Visa International. Visa is a registered trademark, and the Visa logo design is a trademark of Visa International Incorporated. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Best Egg Technologies, LLC. Offers may be sent pursuant to a joint marketing agreement between Cross River Bank, Blue Ridge Bank, N.A. and/or First Bank & Trust and Marlette Marketing, LLC, a subsidiary of Best Egg, Inc. The term, amount, and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. About half of our customers get their money the next day. After successful verification, your money can be deposited in your bank account within 1-3 business days. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000– $50,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; Ohio, $5,001; and Georgia, $3,001.  For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $100,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 8.99%–35.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–8.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be 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 APR. For example: a 5‐year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3‐year $5,000 loan with 7.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $155.12. 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. What this means for you: 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. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents. Best Egg products are not available if you live in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories. TO REPORT A PROBLEM OR COMPLAINT WITH THIS LENDER, YOU MAY WRITE OR CALL– Operations Manager, Email: [email protected], Address: P.O. Box 42912, Philadelphia, PA 19101, Phone: 1-855-282-6353. This lender is licensed and regulated by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Financial Institutions Division, P.O. Box 25101, 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504. To report any unresolved problems or complaints, contact the division by telephone at (505) 476-4885 or visit the website https://www.rld.nm.gov/financial-institutions/

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Excellent for

Personal loans for good credit + Personal loans for home improvement + Personal loans for fast funding

Lightstream
Get rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

7.99-25.49%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

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.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.

  • Rate Beat program and Experience Guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check on its website.

  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • High minimum loan amount.

Qualifications

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Must have several years of credit history with multiple account types and few or no delinquencies.

  • Must have assets like retirement, investment and savings accounts.

Total Cost of Loan

A 24-month, 5.0k loan at 7.99% will cost a total of $11387.85 excluding lender fees

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Rates quoted are with AutoPay. Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 7.99% APR with a term of 5 years would result in 60 monthly payments of $202.72. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2024 Truist Financial Corporation. Truist, LightStream, and the LightStream logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

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To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Excellent Personal Loans of 2021

  • SoFi Personal Loan: Excellent for Personal loans for excellent credit
  • Upstart: Excellent for Personal loans for bad credit + Personal loans for fast funding
  • Best Egg: Excellent for Personal loans for fair or good credit
  • LightStream: Excellent for Personal loans for good credit + Personal loans for home improvement + Personal loans for fast funding