5 Best Personal Loans

Deciding to take out a personal loan can be intimidating if you are not informed ahead of time. Below, we will discuss five of the best personal loans to choose from to make it easier for you.

Best Overall
Upgrade logo
Editor's Rating    5/5

Upgrade is a fintech company offering affordable loans and credit management to users through a simple, online application process.  They are my #1 recommended company for personal loans.

Best for Debt Consolidation
Upstart logo
Editor's Rating    4.5/5

Upstart personal loans are great for individuals with consistent income who need money quickly for debt consolidation, medical costs, or other purposes. They are the best company when it comes to consolidating your debt.

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Read our Advertising Disclosure.

Have you been considering taking out a personal loan?  Here, we will lay out the five tried and true lenders to consider. We will also cover the pros and cons of each, the process of obtaining a personal loan, what a personal loan consists of, and some good financial reasons to take out the loan. 

Making sure you do not get stuck in a high APR, a long-term loan is essential to those seeking debt consolidation, so being informed about the different options is vital.

The Best Personal Loan Providers for 2022

Comparison of the Best Personal Loans

#1
Upgrade logo

Our Partner

Check your rate for a fixed-rate personal loan and borrow up to $50000. Or get started with Upgrade Card in just minutes.

#2
Upstart logo

Our Partner

Upstart personal loans are great for individuals with consistent income who need money quickly for debt consolidation, medical costs, or other purposes.

#3
SoFi logo

Our Partner

SoFi provides financial products that includes student loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit card, investing, and banking through both mobile app and desktop interfaces.

#4
Credible logo

Our Partner

Credible personal loans is a free-to-use loan approval company that does not charge origination fees or prepayment penalties. 

#5
Opploans logo

Our Partner

OppLoans is a reputable lender designed to help people with damaged credit get the money they need.

Methodology

We have highlighted five lenders that are highly reviewed by their customers. The five following lenders offer minimum fees, high approval rates, and low APR rates based on creditworthiness. 

Each of these lenders has verified customer reviews and has been in business for at least five years, giving you peace of mind when taking out a loan with them. 

Making sure you choose the right lender is an essential part of the process as you take out a loan that can be paid out over a longer period of time. 

Many of the lenders on this list also offer acceptance for those with bad credit, which can help get you out of debt and begin building better credit. 

Lender Reviews

Below, we’re looking at the best personal loans. Although these are the best lenders in the industry, they come with pros and cons. We have determined which company is the best for each market segment.

Let’s take a look!

1. Upgrade - Best Overall

Upgrade tops our list as the best overall in fixed-rate personal loans. Depending on your creditworthiness, you can borrow as low as $1,000 and as high as $50,000 per loan. 

The loan process is quick and easy, and, if approved, the money arrives in your bank account within one business day! There are not many places out there that can beat these terms.

Pros

  • One day funding
  • Apply online within minutes
  • Fixed-rate loan
  • Pay monthly

Cons

  • The loan amount highly depends on your creditworthiness
  • Not the best option for those with bad credit

2. Upstart - Best for Debt Consolidation

If you are looking to consolidate your debt, Upstart is an attractive option for a personal loan. The approval rates for potential customers are high, and taking on a loan with Upstart can vastly improve your credit while also being the best option for debt consolidation.

Pros

  • APR rates between 5.35% - 35.99%
  • High approval rates
  • Unsecured personal loan
  • Able to borrow up to $50,000 based on approval

Cons

  • Higher APR rates for those with bad credit
  • Loans for educational purposes can take up to 3 days for a deposit.

3. SoFi - Best for Home Improvement

SoFi is the perfect option for those with good to excellent credit who need some extra cash. If you need to make a downpayment on a home improvement project or are undergoing high expenses like IVF treatments, this is the right choice.

SoFi provides a secured, fixed-rate loan with a higher APR rate and the ability to be approved for up to $100,000.

Pros

  • Larger loan amounts
  • Useful for credit card consolidation
  • No hidden fees, origination fees, or prepayment fees
  • Able to view your rate within 60 seconds online

Cons

  • Higher APR rates
  • Not an option for those with bad or fair credit

4. Credible - Best for Good Credit

Credible is a higher-rated lender for those with good credit and offers high loan amounts and low APR rates. What more could you need? 

Using Credible gives you a great option for debt consolidation or taking on a high expense without breaking the bank. The APR rates range from as low as 3.49% up to 35.99% based on creditworthiness.

You need to make sure your credit qualifies for the company’s terms. If that’s the case, you are good to go.

Pros

  • Compare rates between lenders
  • Low APR rates
  • Loan amounts up to $100,000
  • 100% online process

Cons

  • Not a good option for those with bad credit
  • Longer repayment terms

5. OppLoans - Best for Bad Credit

If your credit is bad, Opploans is one of the best personal loans for you. It also works for those with fair credit. No more wondering if you will be approved because Opploans has a high approval rate with fair repayment terms and low APR rates.

Choosing Opploans as your lender will also improve your credit because it reports to all three major credit bureaus. The company offers financial advice and guidance through major financial decisions through its loan advocates who are available to you at no additional cost.

Pros

  • Low APR rates even with bad credit
  • Loan advocate support and advice
  • Increases your credit over time
  • No prepayment penalties

Cons

  • Lower loan amounts, only able to finance up to $4,000
  • Not the best option for those with good credit

What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a sum of money borrowed by customers and paid back to the lender over time through installments. There are many different types and options of personal loan rates and lengths of installment agreements.

You can take out a short-term personal loan for emergencies that you can pay back in less time or a long-term personal loan for bigger expenses that you can pay over a longer period.

Comparing Personal Loan Lenders

When comparing personal loan lenders, the things to look for are:

  • APR and Fees
  • Repayment terms
  • Application process
  • Approval and funding speed
  • Your creditworthiness
  • Which companies will report to which credit bureaus
  • Amount able to be financed
  • Secured loans versus unsecured loans

Reasons to Get a Personal Loan

If you’ve been wondering whether getting a personal loan is right for you, the reasons below may help you determine your final decision. 

Debt Consolidation

Getting a personal loan for debt consolidation can be very helpful for those looking to get out of the cycle of debt. By financing with a personal loan lender for a good APR rate, you can pay off your other debt and then pay back your loan at a much lower rate.

For example, if you have a car loan that is too expensive, you can apply for a personal loan to pay off the vehicle and then pay back your new loan at a much lower rate than what you started with.

This also applies to any amount of credit card consolidation, which can be a lifesaver for many people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck because of low wages or debt.

Home Improvement

A lesser-known option for personal loans includes home improvements, which are costly and expect you to pay a large sum of money upfront.

Instead of paying a large sum of money, you can take out a personal loan with low interest to pay the sum over time.

Emergency Expenses

A common use for personal loans includes any emergency or unexpected expenses. Sometimes, when life gets tough and you have unexpected bills come up, the best option for you is to take out a low-interest personal loan.

Low-interest personal loans enable you to pay your expenses over time and not get yourself into a financial bind. This includes examples such as your vehicle breaking down and needing repairs, family emergency expenses, and home repairs such as plumbers or roofer fees in the case of flooding or weather damage. 

Weddings

Weddings can be expensive, and of course, you do not want to compromise what you want on your big day.  The issue comes up when you are unable to afford the expensive upfront fees and costs of venues, vendors, music, lighting, photography, clothing, and transportation. 

Taking out a personal loan can be a great option for you to pay your expenses over time.

Medical Expenses

We all have medical expenses come up, whether expected or unexpected.  An example of an expected medical expense would be IVF treatments.

It is a great option to take out a personal loan to be able to pay for this so you can have the treatments when you need them.  Many times, medical expenses are unexpected, such as having emergency dental work done or getting injured in a car accident. 

How to Pick the Best Lender

Picking the best lender is a crucial part of the process of choosing who you want to do business with. You want to make sure you take out a loan with a reputable, trustworthy company so that you avoid scams, hidden fees, and bad APR rates.

You want to research and look for customer reviews and accreditations before picking a lender. You can use the BBB website to make sure you are lending with a legitimate company.

Many of the loan companies mentioned in this article have been cited in mainstream media, magazines, and ads in articles, such as the Washington Post, which gives you a sound mind in choosing a good option.

Some things to look for include:

  • Customer reviews
  • BBB reviews
  • Online ads
  • Articles in reputable magazines that mention the company 
  • Websites that walk you through each step of the process

Next Steps

Although getting a personal loan can be necessary during difficult times of life, it can be a painless experience when you have the right knowledge.

The first step is to start your search for a lender.  Narrowing down some of the best personal loans online and making a list is a good way to start.

Once you have determined what your needs are, what your credit score is, and how much money you need to finance, find a lender.

If you need a large sum of money to get out of debt, pay a down payment, or start a home improvement project, a personal loan may be the perfect option in this case.

Personal Loan FAQ's

Here are some common questions regarding personal loans.

How do personal loans work?

Many people turn to credit cards when they need a large sum of money to make a big purchase. However, personal loans are a better option as they offer lower interest rates for repayment.

Personal loans will allow you to avoid credit card debt, which is a common issue. When you have a personal loan, you have an installment agreement for your loan over a certain amount of time.

Personal loan interest rates are highly dependent on your credit score, so the status of your score is something to consider before taking one out.

What is a good rate for a personal loan?

You can get a good rate for a personal loan when you have a better credit score. As a rule of thumb, APR rates between 3% and 10% are good rates that offer low interest.

Typically, these rates are obtained if you have a credit score between the upper 700 and 800.

What credit score is good enough for a personal loan?

Credit scores range from as low as 300 to as high as 850. The average credit score of most Americans is around the 600 range, which is a good thing because most lenders require a credit score of at least 650 to take out a loan.

However, some lenders specifically work with bad credit customers and accept lower scores all the time. OppLoans, which we included in the above list, is a great example.

What’s the difference between a secured and unsecured loan?

An unsecured personal loan means that you have no required collateral, such as property or a vehicle. If you do not pay back the money, the lender cannot garnish any of your assets.

A secured loan is a personal loan in which you offer one of your assets as collateral. Some examples of this include an auto loan or a mortgage.

If you do not pay your loan back, the lender can repossess your vehicle or foreclose your home.

Upgrade

Check your rate for a fixed-rate personal loan and borrow up to $50000. Or get started with Upgrade Card in just minutes.

Upgrade loans icon

Best Personal Loan Lenders Recap


You may also like