The bottom line:
Discover’s seamless online experience, strong customer support and borrower perks make it one of the best lenders for excellent-credit applicants.
Pros & Cons
- No origination fee.
- Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
- Offers mobile app to manage loan.
- Able to fund loans the next business day.
- Wide variety of repayment term options.
- Charges late fee.
- No co-signed, joint or secured loan options.
- No rate discount for autopay.
Compare to Other Lenders
3 to 7 years
2 to 7 years
2 to 5 years
Min. credit score
Min. credit score
Min. credit score
Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders
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Discover offers unsecured personal loans that can be used for almost any purpose for borrowers with excellent credit (720 FICO or higher).
The online bank provides a quick and fully digital application process. If approved, Discover can deposit the funds in as little as one business day, and borrowers can manage loan payments from the Discover mobile app.
Discover’s rates do not include an autopay discount. However, the lender has other perks, like a wide range of repayment terms, refinancing options, a free monthly credit report and a 30-day loan guarantee.
Discover is best for borrowers who:
Have excellent credit.
Want to consolidate or refinance high-interest debt.
Want quick access to funds.
Discover at a glance
Key terms to know about personal loans
» COMPARE: Best bank loans
Where Discover stands out
Debt consolidation: Discover is one of NerdWallet's best lenders for debt consolidation. It offers a consolidation calculator that shows you potential savings with a Discover personal loan. Once you apply and are approved, Discover will send loan funds directly to your creditors within one business day.
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 online financial education, including free articles about managing debt and financing major expenses with a personal loan.
30-day loan guarantee: Discover offers a unique 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning customers can return loan funds for any reason within that period and pay zero interest. Requests to cancel your loan must be made in writing, sent by mail and include a check for the amount of the loan. If you use your loan to pay creditors directly, you can’t return the funds after they have been sent.
Credit scorecard: Every month, Discover provides customers with a free FICO scorecard, which shows credit utilization, missed payments, inquiries, credit length and total accounts. This can help you keep an eye on your score and monitor changes as you pay off your loan.
Refinancing option: Borrowers can use a Discover loan to refinance an existing personal loan, either from Discover or another lender. If you qualify for a lower rate, you could save money on interest and pay off your debt faster.
» COMPARE: Personal loans for good credit
Where Discover falls short
No rate discount for autopay: Unlike other lenders, Discover doesn't offer a rate discount for setting up autopayments. The discount usually ranges from 0.25 to 0.5 percentage point and lowers the loan’s annual percentage rate.
Charges late fee: Discover charges a $39 late fee for missed payments after a three-day grace period. However, that’s the only fee the lender charges, meaning if you pay on time and in full, you will not pay fees on your loan.
No co-signed, joint or secured loan options: Discover offers only unsecured personal loans. This means you cannot secure a loan with collateral, nor can you add an additional borrower or co-signer to be approved at a lower rate or for a larger loan amount.
How to qualify for a Discover loan
Discover doesn’t disclose many borrower requirements, but according to the lender, it reviews credit history, recent credit activities and credit inquiries when evaluating an application. Here’s what you need to qualify:
Minimum credit score: 720; borrower average is 750.
Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Must be at least 18 years old.
Must have a minimum household income of $40,000.
Loan example: A three-year, $10,000 loan with a 15.5% APR would cost $349 in monthly payments. You’d pay $2,564 in total interest on that loan.
Pre-qualify on NerdWallet
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Apply on Discover
You can fill out an application on the Discover website or apply by phone. After entering your desired loan amount, loan purpose and repayment term, Discover will present loan options for which you pre-qualify.
on Discover's website
Personal Loans Rating Methodology
NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. 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. 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.
This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.