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Personal loans are among the most versatile forms of financing, with most lenders having very few limitations on how you can use your funds.
Whether you want to consolidate high-interest debt, make some home renovations or achieve other financial goals, here are four personal loans that offer some of the best terms and features.
Best Personal Loans
Before you apply for a personal loan, it's important to shop around and compare multiple options to ensure you're getting the best deal. Fortunately, many lenders allow you to get prequalified to see how likely you are to get approved.
To help you get started on your search, here are our top four personal loans on the market in 2022.
Best Personal Loan for a Large Loan Amount: SoFi
Recommended FICO® Score*
Available loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
Est. monthly payment: $226 to $5,090
Grace period: 10 days
Application fee: $0
- Personal Loans with low fixed rates
- Borrow up to $100,000
- No Origination Fees Required, No Prepayment Penalties, and No Late or Overdraft Fees
- Simple online application with live support 7 days a week
- Apply Now
With a $100,000 limit, SoFi personal loans are best suited for those who need to borrow more than what most other lenders are willing to offer. The minimum loan amount is $5,000, and you can repay the loan over two to seven years.
There are no fees required for the loan, and you can even get same-day funding, depending on when your loan is approved. The lender's interest rates are competitive, and you can get a 0.25% discount on your interest rate if you set up automatic payments. If you lose your job through no fault of your own while making payments, SoFi will modify your loan payments and even help you find a new job.
|Large loan amounts||Doesn't disclose a minimum credit score|
|Autopay discount and no fees required||High minimum loan amount|
Best Personal Loan for Small Loan Amounts: Upgrade
Recommended FICO® Score*
Available loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
Est. monthly payment: $30 to $2,206
Grace period: 15 days
Application fee: $0
- Affordable loans from $1,000 - $50,000 with low fixed rates that will never change, affordable monthly payments, and no prepayment penalties
- Quick online application -- get pre-approved in just minutes
- Checking your rate won't impact your credit score
- Review multiple loan options so you can pick the amount and term that fits your budget and timeline
- With automatic payments and a customizable due date, managing your account is easy and you'll be able to circle the date on your calendar when you'll be debt free
An Upgrade personal loan can be as small as $1,000, making it worth considering if your borrowing needs are too low for other lenders' minimums. Upgrade's loan limit is $50,000, and you can pay back the debt over two to seven years. Funding can occur as soon as the day after approval.
One major drawback to Upgrade is its origination fee, which can cost between 1.85% and 9.99%, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. The lender's interest rates are competitive but can be high if your credit is less than stellar.
|Low loan amounts||High origination fee|
|Offers prequalification||Doesn't disclose a minimum credit score|
Best Personal Loan for Excellent Credit: LightStream
If your credit is in great shape, your best chances of scoring the lowest interest rate possible may be with LightStream.
The lender offers lower interest rates than most personal loan companies and includes a 0.50% interest rate discount in exchange for automatic payments. The lender says it will also beat any competing rate you get by 0.10 percentage points on another unsecured personal loan. And if you're not satisfied with your loan experience, you can submit a questionnaire within 30 days of funding and receive $100.
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, and depending on the purpose of the loan, repayment terms can go as long as 12 years. There are no fees, and funding can occur as soon as the same day you apply.
|Low rates for qualified borrowers||Doesn't offer prequalification|
|High loan amounts||Doesn't disclose a minimum credit score|
|Rate beating and loan satisfaction programs||High minimum loan amount|
|Autopay discount and no fees|
|Long repayment terms with some loan purposes|
As you consider whether to get a personal loan and how to apply, here are some common questions that can help you in your decision-making process.
Should I Get a Personal Loan?
Unless your credit is in tip-top shape, personal loan interest rates can easily climb into the double digits and, in some cases, climb upwards of 30%. As a result, it's important to be mindful of your reasons for borrowing.
Potentially good reasons to obtain a personal loan include:
- Credit card consolidation
- Home improvements
- Emergency expenses
- Major events, such as a wedding or funeral
- Starting a business
It's generally best to avoid using a personal loan to pay for college expenses—in fact, many lenders don't allow you to use personal loan funds to pay for education. It's also better to use an auto loan than a personal loan to buy a car because you'll generally get a lower interest rate.
And while it may be tempting to borrow a personal loan to take a vacation, most financial experts recommend saving up for such an expense instead.
How Do I Qualify for a Personal Loan?
There are personal loans available for consumers across the credit spectrum, but most lenders have a minimum credit score requirement. While they don't always disclose this number, you can usually go through a prequalification process to get an idea of your approval odds.
It's also a good idea to check your credit score and review your credit report before you apply to understand your credit health and determine if you should address some issues before you proceed. If you have time to improve your credit before you apply, you could score a lower interest rate.
Note that lenders will also consider additional factors, including your annual income, debt-to-income ratio and others, to determine whether you qualify. Even if you can meet the minimum qualifications, though, you'll want to have good or excellent credit to secure the lowest interest rates.
How Do I Choose a Personal Loan?
If you want to get the best personal loan for you, it's important to take your time to shop around and compare multiple loan offers before you submit your application. In addition to the interest rate, you'll want to consider whether a lender charges an upfront origination fee, how long you have to pay back the debt and what your monthly payment will be, the customer satisfaction ratings for the lender and other features it may offer.
Finding your best personal loan also includes checking with each lender to find out about restrictions on how you can use your money and what options you may have if you can't keep up with payments.
The process of choosing and taking out the right personal loan can take time, but your research can save you money and create a better overall experience.
Get Matched With Personal Loans Based on Your Credit Score
Many personal loan companies allow you to get prequalified, but going through that process with each individual lender can be time-consuming. With Experian CreditMatch™, you can get prequalified with multiple lenders at once based on your Experian credit file.
This process can help you save some time and make it easier to compare relevant offers side by side.