Personal Loans for Good, Average and Bad Credit
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Estimated loan offers for $5,000

Debt consolidation loans for borrowers with average credit
An unsecured personal loan can be a great tool to consolidate your debts and get a fixed monthly payment at a lower rate. But interest rates and other terms can vary greatly based on your credit score and other factors. Read more about the pros and cons below.
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PartnerEst. APR*Est. monthly payment*
Upstart
View details
13.5-17.5%
Estimated APR*
175
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon Upstart's secure website.
Discover
View details
15.99%
Estimated APR*
176
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon Discover's secure website.
Pave
View details
18%
Estimated APR*
181
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon Pave's secure website.
Prosper
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15-23%
Estimated APR*
183
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon Prosper's secure website.
LendingPoint
View details
17.5-24%
Estimated APR*
188
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon LendingPoint's secure website.
Lending Club
View details
14.5-32.5%
Estimated APR*
195
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon Lending Club's secure website.
BestEgg
View details
22-30%
Estimated APR*
201
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon BestEgg's secure website.
Avant
View details
27.95%
Estimated APR*
207
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon Avant's secure website.
OneMain
View details
25-36%
Estimated APR*
214
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
3 year loan
Apply Nowon OneMain's secure website.
*Annual Percentage Rates (APR), loan term and monthly payments are estimated based on analysis of information provided by you, data provided by partners, and publicly available information. All loan information is presented without warranty, and the estimated APR and other terms are not binding in any way. Loans are offered with a range of APRs depending on your credit and other factors. Keep in mind that only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actually APR will depend on factors like credit score, requested loan amount, loan term, and credit history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval.

A personal loan is an installment loan that is not backed by collateral such as a house or car. It differs from a mortgage or car loan in that the lender cannot directly seize your assets if you fail to pay back the loan. Your credit score still will be damaged if you default, though.

What lenders are looking for: Any reputable lender will check your credit history and ask about your income and debt when deciding whether to offer you a loan. Your credit history directly affects the interest rate you are offered, and so does your ability to repay the loan. Rates do vary from lender to lender, but here is what interest rates on personal loans look like, on average:

Average Personal Loan Rates

How’s Your Credit? Score Range Estimated APR
Excellent 720 - 850 10.94%
Good 690 - 719 14.56%
Average 630 - 689 19.84%
Bad 580 - 629 28.64%
Poor 579 and below Unlikely to qualify

Source: 2016 NerdWallet survey of lenders

Someone with poor or average credit may be able to get an unsecured personal loan on the strength of a steady income and low debt levels. Someone with excellent credit and a low debt-to-income ratio may be offered interest rates as low as those seen on secured loans.

Almost all lenders will require you to be 18 or older and a legal U.S. resident, with a verifiable bank account and not in bankruptcy or foreclosure.

What about lenders that don’t check your credit? Some lenders have no minimum credit score requirements, but that does not mean they don’t check your credit report. They do.

You may have seen lenders that offer loans with no credit check at all, but they will charge interest rates of 300% or more, as will a payday lender.

Only a few lenders will approve a loan for borrowers with poor credit scores. Expect rates toward the higher end of the range — that is, up to 36% — if your credit is damaged. If you can’t qualify for a loan through a reputable lender, don’t head for a payday lender. Consider these options first.

Pros of personal loans

  • Consolidation for your credit cards and other debts. A personal loan can be used to consolidate high-interest credit card debt into one payment at a lower interest rate and accelerate debt payoff.

  • Improved credit score. You may improve your credit score by moving revolving credit card debt to an installment loan, because you lower your credit utilization ratio and diversify your types of debt.

Cons of personal loans

  • Higher interest rates than secured loans and (some) credit cards. If you have excellent credit and can pay off the debt in 12 to 18 months, you can likely get a credit card that has 0% interest on balance transfers for a year or longer. Alternatively, if you are a homeowner, home equity loans often have lower interest rates than personal loans. But be cautious; you’re risking your house by putting it up as collateral.

  • Extended application process. The approval process for a loan can last a few days and may require more information than that needed to get a credit card.

Is a personal loan right for you?

Personal loans work best as part of a longer-term plan to improve your finances.

Borrow to consolidate debt if it means you’ll get out of debt more quickly. Borrow for a wedding or a vacation if you are confident you can make the payments.

But don’t borrow to put off the inevitable. If you aim to become debt-free, create a plan to do so. If you can’t handle your current debt, investigate your debt-relief options.

Once you decide a personal loan is a good choice for you, calculate payments at a range of interest rates and amounts so you’ll have an idea of what to expect as you shop.

If you have good credit and an existing banking relationship, it’s worth checking out the offerings from your current provider or local credit union.

The lenders who partner with NerdWallet follow Consumer Financial Protection Bureau standards for installment lending, with interest rates no higher than 36% (widely considered the upper limit of affordability) and consideration of your credit history and ability to repay. NerdWallet has reviewed their application processes and verified their underwriting guidelines.

Check out our choices

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%.

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