Discover Personal Loans: 2024 Review

Discover personal loans can be a smart way for borrowers with good and excellent credit to consolidate or refinance debt.
Ronita Choudhuri-WadeJackie Veling
By
and
Last updated on September 26, 2023
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Kim Lowe
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

With competitive rates and no origination fees, Discover personal loans are good options for borrowers with good and excellent credit.

Jump to:Full Review
Discover
Discover® Personal Loans

Est. APR
7.99-24.99%
Loan amount
$2,500 - $40,000
Min. credit score
660
on Discover's website
on NerdWallet

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No origination fee.
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Fast funding.
  • Mobile app to manage loan.

Cons

  • May charge late fee.
  • No co-sign or joint loan option.
  • No rate discount.
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Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
Lightstream
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Visit Lenderon LightStream's website
on LightStream's website
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7.99- 25.49%
$5,000- $100,000
660
8.99- 29.99%
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None
8.49- 35.99%
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Full Review of Discover® Personal Loans

Discover offers unsecured personal loans for borrowers with good or excellent credit (scores above 689). Loans are available nationwide and can be used for almost any purpose.

Discover accepts personal loan applications online or over the phone with a Discover loan specialist. If approved, Discover can deposit the funds in as little as one business day, and borrowers can manage loan payments from a mobile app.

Unlike some competitors, Discover doesn’t offer rate discounts; however, the lender has other perks like a wide range of repayment terms and a free monthly credit scorecard.

» MORE: Compare personal loan options

Table of Contents

Discover personal loans at a glance

Minimum credit score

660.

APR

7.99% - 24.99%.

Fees

Late fee: $39.

Loan amount

$2,500 to $40,000.

Repayment terms

3 to 7 years.

Time to fund after approval

Next business day.

Loan availability

Loans available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

  • This is not a commitment to lend from Discover Personal Loans. Your APR will be between 7.99% and 24.99% based on creditworthiness at time of application for loan terms of 36-84 months. For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 12.99% APR for a term of 72 months, you'll pay just $301 per month. You must have a minimum individual or household annual income of $25,000, be over 18 years of age, and have a valid US SSN to be considered for a Discover personal loan. Loan approval is subject to confirmation that your income, debt-to-income ratio, credit history and application information meet all requirements. Our lowest rates are available to consumers with the best credit. Many factors are used to determine your rate, such as your credit history, application information and the term you select. State restrictions may apply. A Discover personal loan is intended for personal use and cannot be used to pay for post-secondary education, to pay off a secured loan, or to directly pay off a Discover credit card. If your application is approved, we will send funds after you accept the loan. Your bank or creditor may take more days to process the funds. Discover makes loans without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status.

Where Discover personal loans stand out

Debt consolidation: Discover is a good option for debt consolidation. The lender offers an online consolidation calculator that shows potential savings with a Discover personal loan. If approved, Discover will send loan funds directly to your creditors within one business day. A Discover personal loan, however, cannot be used to pay off a Discover credit card.

Customer support: Discover has a team of U.S.-based loan specialists available seven days a week during extended business hours to answer questions. Customers can also access the Discover Online Account Center to view their payment progress and begin the payoff process at any point in the loan term.

Refinancing option: Borrowers can use a Discover loan to refinance an existing personal loan from Discover or another lender. If you qualify for a lower rate, you could save money on interest and pay off your debt faster.

Where Discover personal loans fall short

No rate discount for autopay: Unlike other lenders, Discover doesn't offer a discount for setting up automatic payments. A discount usually ranges from 0.25 to 0.5 percentage points, lowering the loan’s annual percentage rate.

Late fee: Discover may charge a $39 late fee for payments not received by the due date. Some lenders charge zero fees or offer a grace period for making a payment past its due date.

No co-sign, joint or secured loan options: Discover offers unsecured personal loans only, which means you cannot add a co-borrower or co-signer or secure a loan with collateral. These options typically help borrowers get approved and receive a lower rate or larger loan amount.

Do you qualify for a Discover personal loan?

Discover says it reviews credit history, recent credit activities and credit inquiries when evaluating an application. Here are Discover's basic eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Minimum individual or household annual income: $25,000.

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must have a valid U.S. Social Security number.

  • Must have an active email address and access to the internet to finalize the application.

Before you apply

  • Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. Doing so will help you spot and fix any errors before you apply.

  • Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.

  • Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.

  • Gather your documents. Discover requires proof of income, which can be a W-2 or pay stub, as well as bank account details and a Social Security number. Having this information handy can speed up the application process.

How to apply for a Discover personal loan

Here are the steps to apply for a Discover loan.

  1. Pre-qualify with Discover over the phone or online. You’ll be asked how much you want to borrow, the loan term and what the funds are for, and some personal information like your name, address, income and employment. There’s no hard credit pull at this stage.

  2. Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Once you find a loan offer that works for you, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application. This could require verification with documents like W-2s, pay stubs and tax documents. Discover will do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip. After applying, a loan specialist from Discover may contact you to confirm the information you provided.

  3. Make a plan to repay the loan. Discover reports payments to all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.

Check rates at Discover

Compare Discover with other lenders

Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.

Discover is one of the best options for borrowers with excellent credit, but SoFi and LendingClub are strong lenders with wider options.

Discover vs. SoFi

Both SoFi and Discover offer borrowers fast funding and the convenience of managing a loan with an app. SoFi offers an autopay rate discount, has no required fees and accepts co-borrowers on a loan. However, SoFi’s starting rates and minimum loan amounts are higher than Discover’s.

Discover vs. LendingClub

LendingClub boasts a wider loan amount range than Discover, but its loan terms can be shorter. LendingClub also accepts lower credit scores. Discover’s APR range is lower and it doesn’t charge an origination fee.

How we rate Discover personal loans

NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:

Category

Star rating

Affordability

Underwriting

Loan flexibility

Transparency

Customer experience

Overall

  • Affordability (30%) An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts.

    Underwriting and eligibility (25%) The lender reviews borrowers credit reports and credit history, and tries to understand their ability to repay a loan, before making a final application decision.

    Loan flexibility (20%) A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly.

    Customer experience (15%) A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.

    Transparency (10%) A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus.

Ready to apply? Use the button below to head to Discover's website to pre-qualify.

on Discover's website

Find the Best Personal Loan

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Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

Frequently asked questions

  • Yes, you can pay off a Discover personal loan early with no prepayment penalty.

  • Discover personal loans require a minimum credit score of 660 and a minimum household income of $25,000. Compare personal loan options for your credit score.

  • Discover can approve your loan application on the same day you apply. Once you sign the loan agreement, Discover can fund your loan the next business day.

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