Best Personal Loans

Personal loans allow you to borrow money for just about any purpose. This type of loan usually offers flexibility, but borrowing costs can vary based on your credit history and the lender you choose. Most personal loans don’t require any form of collateral or security deposit. However, late and missed payments show up on your credit report and can lower your credit score.

The best personal loans offer simple, straightforward application processes. They also feature low-interest rates and low fees for qualifying borrowers. Plus, they usually carry no prepayment penalties if you want to pay your balance off early.

Best Personal Loans of 2022

Below are Investopedia’s top-rated lenders, loan amount and availability may vary by state.
Credit Score
Loan Amount

BEST OVERALL
SoFi

Investopedia’s Rating

4.7

  • 6.99% – 22.23%APR with Autopay Discount
  • 660Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $5,000 – $100,000Loan Amount
 Read more
BEST FOR DEBT CONSOLIDATION
Discover

Investopedia’s Rating

4.3

  • 5.99% – 24.99%APR
  • Not Disclosed 
    This lender does not offer prequalification.

    Estimated Min. Credit Score

  • $2,500 – $35,000Loan Amount
 Read more
BEST FOR SMALL LOANS AND BEST FOR BAD CREDIT
Upgrade

Investopedia’s Rating

4.3

  • 5.94% – 35.97%APR with Autopay Discount
  • 550Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $1,000 – $50,000Loan Amount
 Read more
BEST FOR QUICK FUNDING
Rocket Loans

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2

  • 6.72% – 29.99%APR with Autopay Discount
  • 580Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $2,000 – $45,000Loan Amount
 Read more
BEST FOR SERVICE MEMBERS
Navy Federal Credit Union

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2

  • 7.49% – 18.00%APR
  • Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $250 – $50,000Loan Amount
 Read more
BEST FOR LOW AVERAGE FIXED APR
First Midwest Bank

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2

  • 5.23% – 12.99%APR
  • Not Disclosed 
    This lender does not offer prequalification.

    Estimated Min. Credit Score

  • $5,000 – $35,000Loan Amount
 Read more
Compare Lenders Side-By-Side
Why Trust UsInvestopedia collected key data points from several lenders to identify the most important factors to borrowers. We used this data to review each lender for fees, accessibility, repayment terms, and other features to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews to ensure our readers make the right borrowing decision for their needs.Read our Full Methodology
38Lenders reviewed
40Loan features considered
1,520Data points analyzed
112Primary data sources used

BEST OVERALLSoFi

Investopedia’s Rating

4.7


SoFi
  • APR Range: 6.99% – 22.23%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 0 Days
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $100,000
Why We Chose It

SoFi offers personal loans up to $100,000 with competitive APRs, flexible repayment terms, and funding as soon as the same day. Unlike many of its competitors, SoFi doesn’t charge any fees for its personal loans, not even late fees.

Pros and Cons
Pros

  • Borrowers can pre-qualify for loans
  • Loans are available in 49 U.S. states
  • Option to refinance personal loans
Cons

  • Loans less than $5,000 aren’t offered
  • Fairly high minimum credit score requirement (650)
Overview
Read the full SoFi Personal Loans Review

BEST FOR DEBT CONSOLIDATIONDiscover

Investopedia’s Rating

4.3


Discover Bank
  • APR Range: 5.99% – 24.99%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $2,500 – $35,000
Why We Chose It

Discover personal loans have competitive rates, flexible repayment terms, and can be used to consolidate many types of debt. In many cases, Discover will also pay your creditors directly, which helps streamline and simplify the repayment process.

Pros and Cons
Pros

  • No origination fees
  • Excellent customer satisfaction ratings
  • Same-day decision for most applicants
Cons

  • Credit score requirements not disclosed
  • Must have $25,000 or more annual income
Overview
Read the full Discover Personal Loans Review

BEST FOR SMALL LOANS AND BEST FOR BAD CREDITUpgrade

Investopedia’s Rating

4.3


Upgrade
  • APR Range: 5.94% – 35.97%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 – $50,000
Why We Chose It

While some providers have high minimum loan amounts, Upgrade offers loans as small as $1,000. Plus, eligible borrowers with credit scores as low as 550 may be able to get approved for a loan.

Pros and Cons
Pros

  • Pre-qualification option available
  • Low minimum credit score requirement
  • Next-day funding offered
Cons

  • High origination fees
  • No option to refinance personal loans
Overview
Read the full Upgrade Personal Loans Review

BEST FOR QUICK FUNDINGRocket Loans

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2


Rocket Loans
  • APR Range: 6.72% – 29.99%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $2,000 – $45,000
Why We Chose It

If you need money quickly, Rocket Loans is a great option as it offers same-day funding and may even approve borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.

Pros and Cons
Pros

  • Same-day funding available
  • Starting APRs (with autopay discount) are low
Cons

  • Has origination fees of up to 6%
  • Only two repayment term options (36 or 60 months)
Overview
Read the full Rocket Loans Personal Loans Review

BEST FOR SERVICE MEMBERSNavy Federal Credit Union

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2


Navy Federal Credit Union logo
  • APR Range: 7.49% – 18.00%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $250 – $50,000
Why We Chose It

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a competitive personal loan to service members of all military branches, along with qualifying family members. Plus, you can get long repayment terms of up to 180 months.

Pros and Cons
Pros

  • Same-day funding available
  • Long repayment terms up to 180 months
Cons

  • Must be a credit union member
  • Has late payment fees
  • Starting APR is slightly high
Overview
Read the full Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loans Review

BEST FOR LOW AVERAGE FIXED APRFirst Midwest Bank

Investopedia’s Rating

4.2


First Midwest Bank
  • APR Range: 5.23% – 12.99%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $35,000
Why We Chose It

While some lenders have average fixed APRs of over 20%, First Midwest offers an average fixed APR of about half of that—but you’ll need good credit to qualify for the best rate.

Pros & Cons
Pros

  • Long repayment terms up to 84 months available
  • Borrowers can apply with a co-signer or co-borrower
  • No origination fees or late payment fees
Cons

  • Must borrow at least $5,000
  • Can only borrow up to $35,000
  • Limited state availability
Overview
Read the full First Midwest Bank Personal Loans Review

Compare the Best Personal Loans of 2022

Overall Rating Best For
APR Range
Average Origination Fee
Late Fee
Time To Receive Loan
Loan Amount
Latest Repayment
Reset All
SoFi
4.7

Best Overall 6.99% – 22.23% 0.00% – 0.00% $0.00 – $0.00 0 Days $5,000 – $100,000 84 Months CHECK RATES
Hide, not for me
Discover
4.3

Best for Debt Consolidation 5.99% – 24.99% 0.00% – 0.00% $39.00 – $39.00 1 Days $2,500 – $35,000 84 Months CHECK RATES
Hide, not for me
Upgrade
4.3

Best for Small Loans and Best for Bad Credit 5.94% – 35.97% 2.90% – 8.00% $0.00 – $10.00 1 Days $1,000 – $50,000 84 Months CHECK RATES
Hide, not for me
Rocket Loans
4.2

Best for Quick Funding 6.72% – 29.99% 1.00% – 6.00% $15.00 – $15.00 1 Days $2,000 – $45,000 60 Months CHECK RATES
Hide, not for me
Navy Federal Credit Union
4.2

Best for Service Members 7.49% – 18.00% 0.00% – 0.00% $29.00 1 Days $250 – $50,000 180 Months CHECK RATES
Hide, not for me
First Midwest Bank
4.2

Best for Low Average Fixed APR 5.23% – 12.99% 0.00% – 0.00% $0.00 – $0.00 1 Days $5,000 – $35,000 84 Months CHECK RATES
Hide, not for me

*APR ranges for some companies include a discount for automatic payments or existing bank customers.

Final Verdict

SoFi is our top choice for personal loans due to its competitive rates and terms, easy online application process, and lack of fees. However, if you don’t have good credit, you may get better rates by shopping around elsewhere.

Since nobody’s financial situation is the same, a single lender will not perfectly fit everyone’s needs. Given this, it’s essential to shop around to find the best lender for you. Check out this personal loan calculator to learn more about expected costs with SoFi or other lenders on our list.

Guide for Choosing the Best Personal Loans

Best Place to Get a Personal Loan

If you’re looking for a personal loan, some of the best places to get one are banks, credit unions, and online lenders. If you need funds quickly, choose a lender that offers a simple online application and fast funding. Many banks and credit unions allow you to apply online and get funding quickly, but you’ll generally need to have good credit to get approved. If you don’t have good credit, an online lender is usually a better option.

Should You Apply for a Personal Loan?

If you need funds to cover a large expense or want to consolidate existing debt, then you might consider applying for a personal loan. Personal loans are commonly used by people who need funding for a big expenditure, like paying for a wedding, covering emergency expenses, or making home improvements or repairs. Loan funds can also be used to consolidate higher-rate debt into a lower-cost fixed-rate loan.

Personal loans can be a good option for those who need immediate funding and can afford the monthly payments. However, you’ll pay interest on the loan, so it’s more costly to use loan funds than to cover the same expenses using cash. Even so, the APRs on personal loans are usually lower than the rates you’ll pay on credit card debt. So, if you need to choose between using credit cards or personal loans, the latter is often the better choice.

One of the other benefits of an unsecured personal loan is that you don’t have to pledge any collateral, like your home or car, to get the loan. This can save you money because you don’t have to pay for costs associated with the collateral, such as appraisal fees. Plus, you may be able to get the funds more quickly because there’s no collateral involved. So, if you need funds to make home improvements, like repairing your roof, building a new office, or adding solar, a personal loan can be the way to go.

Comparing Personal Loan Lenders

The most important things to consider when selecting a personal loan lender include the costs and terms of the loan, what it takes to apply, and how quickly you can get approved and funded. As you’re comparing personal loan lenders, pay close attention to these factors:

  • APR and Fees: Personal loan rates and fees are the primary factors to consider before choosing a lender. Rates and fees are factored into the loan’s APR, which measures the annual cost of the loan. The better your credit, the lower the rate you’ll get.
  • Repayment Terms: Shorter repayment terms result in higher payments and usually carry lower interest rates. This means you may reduce your overall borrowing costs by choosing the shortest possible repayment term. However, just make sure you can afford the monthly payments before applying.
  • Application Process: It’s also important to consider the lender’s application process. You might want to get a loan at your local bank or credit union, which can be a great option. However, keep in mind that certain small lenders may not offer automated systems or online applications, making the application process more time-consuming. If you’d prefer to avoid applying in person, choose a lender that offers an online application.
  • Approval and Funding Speed: The loan’s funding speed is often closely linked to the application process. Lenders that have online applications and automated processes are often able to get you funded more quickly. However, many of these lenders only approve borrowers with good credit. If you have blemishes on your credit, choose a lender with less stringent credit score requirements, like an online lender or a local bank or credit union that can make individual decisions based on your unique circumstances.

How to Get a Personal Loan

Once you’ve decided to get a personal loan, it’s time to get your paperwork in order and ensure your credit is in the best possible shape. Many lenders will start with a pre-qualification process, which involves pulling a soft credit check on you. To pre-qualify, you’ll need to provide some personally identifiable information (such as your Social Security Number and date of birth), income details, the reason you need the funds, the amount you want to borrow, and how long you need to repay the loan.

While pre-qualifying doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved for a loan, it does let you see the rate you may receive. If you’re quoted for a high rate, you can work on repairing your credit before submitting a full application. Generally, the better your credit, the better the rate you’ll get.

If the rate is acceptable and you decide to move forward, you’ll then complete a full application. This will involve providing the lender with additional information, such as proof of income and details on your monthly debts. You’ll also undergo a hard credit check as part of the application process.

If you’re approved for the loan, the lender will provide you with details about the loan terms, including the rates, fees, and repayment terms. Pay close attention to this information to understand the details before accepting the loan. If you don’t understand the loan details, speak with a representative to get clarification before proceeding.

As soon as you’ve accepted the loan, the lender will send you the loan funds in the way you specified in your application. This can include directly depositing the funds into your bank account, sending the money to your creditors to pay off existing debt, or even writing you a check.

You’ll also learn how to manage your loan, such as by logging into an online portal or using a mobile app. This can be helpful, as you’ll understand how to make your monthly payments and where to go if you need help in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a predetermined amount of money given to an individual by a bank or private lender. It is usually unsecured and carries a fixed interest rate. The borrower must agree to the loan rate and terms and make on-time monthly payments until it is fully repaid. A personal loan can be used for several things, including paying off or consolidating debt, covering medical expenses, or making a large purchase.

How Do Personal Loans Work?

Personal loans work by lending a borrower money if they meet certain qualifications set by the lender. The money is paid back over time with interest. The borrower usually makes monthly payments of principal and interest to repay the loan. A personal loan is often a more affordable option than a credit card because the interest rate is usually lower.

How Much Do Personal Loans Cost?

Some of the fees associated with personal loans are origination fees, prepayment penalties, late fees, and administrative fees. However, not all lenders charge the same fees. It’s important to check with the lender before getting a personal loan. Despite what fees the lender charges, the largest cost is going to be what you’re paying in interest. The average interest rate for a personal loan is 9.09%.11

What Are the Pros and Cons of Getting a Personal Loan?

If you’re considering a personal loan, it’s important to look at the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Personal loans usually have lower APRs than credit cards.
  • Your personal loan will be fully repaid over a short period, versus credit cards, which might never be repaid if you just make the minimum monthly payments.
  • Interest rates are fixed on personal loans, meaning your rate will never change.
  • Unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, making them quicker and easier to get than secured loans such as home equity loans.

Cons:

  • You’ll have to pay interest and fees with a loan, costs you wouldn’t incur if you used cash.
  • Short repayment terms translate into higher monthly payments, so it’s essential to ensure you can afford the monthly payment before getting the loan.
  • If loan interest rates decrease in the future, you’ll be stuck with a higher interest rate until you pay off the loan or refinance it.
  • Since unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, they may have higher APRs than secured loans, loan amounts can be smaller, and you’ll likely need better credit to qualify.

How We Chose the Best Personal Loans

Our team evaluated 38 lenders and collected 1,520 data points before selecting our top choices. We weighed more than 20 criteria and gave a higher weight to those with a more significant impact on potential borrowers.

The top picks were selected based on factors like membership requirements (weighted 15%), average fixed APR (weighted 15%), and average origination fees (weighted 10%).

We also took into account the flexibility of repayment terms, helpful features like pre-qualification, and whether a co-signer or joint applications are permitted to ensure borrowers get the best possible experience. For further information about our selection criteria and process, our complete methodology is available.

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