Are you looking for the right lender(s) that can offer you the best personal loans that you can use to cater for your family expenses? Good you are here. Personal loans are short-term loans that can be used to sort out family needs like wedding cost, home refurbishing expenses, and even in buying of land. You can apply for these loans online from online lenders, local banks, and credit unions. Personal loans come with so many benefits but one of the amazing benefits is that once approved after applying, you can receive funding within few working days through your bank account or any other medium of payment. The best personal loans offered to well-eligible borrowers come with flexible loan repayment terms and amount and lower interest rates. Plus, they have limited or no fees, flexible credit check and lot more.
What is a Personal Loan?
A personal loan is money borrowers can get from local bank, credit union or online lender which they can use to cater for all kinds of personal expenses. Some of these expenses include car repairs, home refurnishing project, medical bills, wedding expenses, etc.
Personal loans do not require collateral, this means they are unsecured personal loans. But the lender will request for your credit history, income details and debts during the approval process of the loan. However, your credit is likely to increase if you fail to repay the loan. Plus, eligible borrowers can get a very low interest rate of 3% and a repayment terms between two and seven years.
How Do Personal Loans Work?
Personal loans are gotten from local banks, credit unions and online lenders when you apply. Eligible applicants will apply for the loan either online or in person by visiting any branch nearby and then wait for approval or denial. If the loan is approved, borrowers will get their funds sent into their bank account and the interest rate will accrue in the first month. Personal loans usually require fixed monthly payment throughout the life cycle of the loan which is sometimes between one to two years.
What You Can use personal loans for
You can use personal loans to cater some personal expenses below.
- Emergency expenses such as auto repairs, medical bills, funeral expenses that prompts up unawares.
- Debt consolidation
- Home refurbishing and repairs
- Car financing
- Big events
- Moving cost
Best places to get a Personal Loan
There are three major places where you can get your personal loans. Your choice to get the loan from any of these three places is dependent on your rate, term and features that meets your financial budget.
- Banks: you can a get personal loan from both local and national banks. Sometimes, it is easier to get the loan if you have been an existing customer with the bank.
- Credit Unions: This type of lenders will require you to become a member to become eligible and you can apply both online and in person.
- Online lenders: these are usually technology-inclined non bank companies that offer low interest rates personal loans online. Online lenders provides your funds if approved within 24 to 48 hours.
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How to Apply for a Personal Loan
To get a personal loan is dependent on several factors by the lender. However, you have to put certain things in place when you want to apply for personal loans.
- Check your Credit Score: to apply for a personal loan, you must make sure you have a credit score of at least 610 or above to give you the better chances of getting approved. You can check using some credit card issuers or other website that offers free checks. This will give you understanding of your creditworthiness and your chances of qualification.
- Improve your Credit Score: if you have checked your credit score and it falls below 610. You will have to improve and boost your score before you apply.
- Know the Amount you want to Borrow: it is also important for you to know the amount of money you want to borrow depending on your budget and what you can afford to pay back.
- Compare different lenders: when you want to apply for personal loan, it is important you shop for the lender with the best repayment terms and interest rates. Also, shop for lenders that offer prequalification but will require a soft credit check.
- Submit a formal Application and wait for lender’s decision: if you have found a lender with the best terms and rates that suits your budget. Kindly submit your application online or in person. The application process may a take few hours or days depending on the lender.
How Can I Choose the Best Personal Loan?
There are certain factors you need to put into consideration when you comparing lenders with the best Personal loan.
- Amount of Loan: the amount of money you want to borrow is one major requirement for consideration from lenders. You must make sure that the amount of money you want to borrow is what you can pay back. This will help you shop for the best lender that offer the cheapest loan amount to the most expensive depending on the amount you want to borrow. Some lenders offers huge loan amount up to $100,000 while some offer small to mid-large loan amounts like $2,000 to $40,000.
- Repayment terms: personal loans usually come with several options of repayment terms such that you are likely to get a longer term with a low monthly payment and the shorter term options comes with low interest. Depending on your budget, one is likely to be better than the other financially.
- Check for Pre-qualification: many lenders offer applicants the access to prequalify for a loan. However, before you can prequalify you will have to submit your basic and financial information which include your income, address, and other relevant details as demanded by the lender. This will determine the amount of loan you will get, repayment terms and rates you are likely to get. This prequalification process requires soft credit inquiry and does not hurt your credit score when comparing different lenders.
- Know the Purpose of your Loan: Personal loans can serve several purposes such as sorting houses refurbishing expenses, wedding, vacations, and other expenses. However, it is important you make sure the loan you are borrowing serves it purpose and it should not be meant for illegal activities or any other postsecondary costs. This is because this may hinder your getting approval or consideration under the borrower’s agreement from the lender.
- Annual Percentage Rates (APR): APRs usually come with interest rates and fees and these are factors that are the same when comparing lenders that offer various personal loans. You can make use of some personal loan calculator to check estimated rates and payment depending on your credit scores.
- Focus on Additional fees: Some personal loans providers do not require applicants to pay origination fees, prepayment penalties fees, late payment fees or any other related fees. However, this is not applicable to all lenders but if a lender charges origination fees, ask if it is going to be deducted from the loan amount prior to funding or whether it will be built into the APR.
- Check for the Reviews of the Lender: It is important you review the lender’s customer service and read reviews from past and current applicants to make sure you are on a safer side. The customer service reviews may help you solve some issues when you are faced with a payment difficulty during repayment period.
- Flexible credit check: some online lenders may perform some soft check on your credit score during your pre-qualification process for proper checking of your estimated rate. This helps you to compare rates, access other loan features and pre-qualify for a loan when shopping with different lenders.
How Can I Pre-qualify for a Personal Loan?
Lenders have different rates and this may require a soft credit check and this does not affect your score. Once you have compared several offers from different lenders, you can now choose a loan with the lowest interest rate and payment that you can afford, and then you can apply for the loan officially.
To apply for this loan, you will be asked to provide some additional personal information which includes your education history, employment status, income verification from the lender and authorization to pull your credit history by the lender. Once you are approved, funding usually takes within 30 days for your first loan payment.
Best Personal loans
SoFi is an online lending company that offers unsecured personal loans that are fixed rate in virtually all the states across the United States except for Mississippi. SoFi was founded in 2011 owns the record of giving out the highest loan amount with its extended loan repayment terms and rates. The loan company has issued out over $50 billion loan amount to its lenders over the years.
At SoFi, you can borrow a minimum of $5,000 up to $100,000 max. However, if you bid for a huge amount, you may have to provide an excellent credit score to qualify though you can apply for a loan at SoFi with a minimum credit score of 680 with a repayment term that ranges between two to seven years. You can submit joint applications but co-signers are not allowed when applying.
Borrowers get loans from SoFi with low APRs and SoFi does not charge origination fees, prepayment penalties or late fees. You can use loan borrowed from SoFi to cover expenses like credit card consolidation, house refurbishing cost, medical expenses, and lots more. Borrower must not use SoFi’s personal loan for investment, post-secondary education expenses, or purchase of real estate.
If you approved, you are likely to receive funds within a few days or the next working day after approval.
To qualify for personal loan at SoFi, you must have a minimum credit score of 680. If you have 700 or above, you are at the advantage of getting approve. To borrow a personal loan from SoFi, you must have an average income of $100,000 and annual income of at least $45,000.
- You may get prequalification with soft credit check
- Funding takes few days usually one to two days
- Access to high loan amount and longer repayment terms
- Debt consolidation does not involve direct payment to third-party creditors
- Co-signers are not allowed
- Some borrowers complained about difficult qualification standard
LightStream is lending company for consumer formed from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Bank. LightStream offers unsecured personal loans with a minimum of $5,000 up to $100,000. The amount of loan you get is dependent on the purpose of the loan. The loan company offers a repayment term which ranges from two to seven years.
LightStream offers a 0.50% interest rate discount to borrowers who use the autopay mode of payment to pay their loan bills and also a 30-day loan guarantee to ensure borrower satisfaction. The loan company also offers a rate-beat program and Covid-19/hardship assistance to borrowers. Loans borrowed at LightStream do not come with origination fees, prepayment fees or late payment.
LightStream is available in 50 states across the U.S. including Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The customer service of LightStream is a top notch as borrowers can contact the customer service support team seven days a week and from Monday through Saturday for any issue. Funding at LightStream is a same-day funding. However, if you want to be a beneficiary of the same-day funding, you must sign the loan agreement electronically and provide other important banking information to complete your verification process before 2.30 pm on the day your loan is approved.
To become eligible for LightStream personal loan, borrowers must have a good/excellent credit score to stand the chances of getting approval. Plus, borrower must have record of several years of credit history, stable source of income that can pay up the current debts and the new LightStream loan you are applying for, and multiple account types.
You don’t get prequalification at LightStream and does not allow co-signer for application.
- Fast approval and same-day funding
- No origination fees, prepayment or late fees
- Low, competitive rates
- No due date flexibility
- No prequalification process
- Limitations on use of loan proceeds
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the subordinate of the investment bank of Goldman Sachs and offers personal loans with a minimum of $3,500 up to $40,000 max plus repayment terms which ranges from three to six years.
Loans at Marcus come with APR that ranges between 6.99% and 19.9% and a discount of 0.25 for borrowers who enroll for Autopay payment mode. Just like other lending platforms, Marcus does not charge for origination fees, prepayment fees and late payment fees.
Borrowers qualify for prequalification at Marcus but the loan company will use a soft credit check for you to prequalify such that it doesn’t hurt your credit. The customer support team is available to borrowers from 9.a.m to 7.p.m seven days a week Eastern Time. Funding usually takes one to four days after bank details have been verified once your loan is approved. One amazing features of Marcus is that it allows debt consolidation with a consolidation calculator and also allows direct payment to third-party lenders but you can’t use it to refinance an existing student loan.
To apply for a loan at Marcus, borrower must have a minimum score of 600, however, does Marcus will not tell you the minimum score required to apply. But if you are an applicant with higher credit sore, you stand the chance to get approve and become eligible for lower interest rates.
- No origination fees, prepayment fees or late payment fees
- Allows debt consolidation payment to third-party lenders
- Throughout the lifecycle of the loan, borrowers are allowed to change their payment date up to three times
- Co-signers are not permitted
- Funding may take up to four days after loan approval
- You can’t use to refinance an existing student loan
LendingPoint is an online lender that offers personal loans to borrowers from the loan minimum of $2,000 to $36,500 max and comes with repayment terms which ranges from 2years to 5 years (24 to 60 months). LendingPoint is available in 48 states across the United States including Washington D.C with its headquarter based in Atlanta. The lender does not offer loans in West Virginia and Nevada and residents of Georgia can get a minimum loan amount of $3,500.
LendingPoint has some downsides which include origination fees charges and high maximum APRs. The origination fees ranges from 0% to 6% depending on the state you reside, however, if you have high credit score you stand the chance to avoid high APRs. Funding will be made into borrower’s bank account on the next working day once the loan is approved.
To become eligible for a LendingPoint personal loan, you will need to have a minimum credit score of 600.
- No prepayment penalty or fee
- Quick funding
- Low credit score to apply
- Co-signers are not allowed
- Not available in West Virginia and Nevada
- Origination fees is between 0% and 6%
Figure is an online lender that uses blockchain technology to provide loans services to borrowers. The blockchain technology will automate the processing of your loan from the application process to the closing and uses the blockchain services for private funds services, payments, banking, equity management and loan origination.
With this blockchain, customers and other loan borrowers can save money with speed and accurate efficiency. Figure personal loans starts with a minimum of $5,000 and $50,000 maximum with repayment terms of three to five years and borrowers can also enroll in Autopay to make payment which attracts a discount rate of 0.25%.
Figure also offers a referral program for its customers. This means if you refer a new borrower to Figure, you get $150 for your referral and Figure gets $150 when they receive their funds. The $150 you receive is awarded to you in form of a gift card and the program is available in the States across the United States except Ohio, Rhode Island and Kentucky.
One of the advantages of using Figure is that borrowers can get approved within five minutes and funding takes within two days. However, if you are able to complete your application before 4 pm PST that very day, you are likely to get funding the next-day.
To apply for Figure personal loan, you must have the following requirements
- Must be employed and working in a reputable organization
- Borrowers must maintain good standing on any previous Figure loans borrowed
- Debt-to-income (DTI) less than 50%
- Minimum score of 640
- No prepayment penalty
- Next-day funding
- Competitive interest rates
- Co-signers are not permitted
- Origination fees ranges between 0% and 3%
- Only offers two term lengths
Upgrade offers online and mobile personal loans to over 10 millions borrowers with a minimum loan amount of $1,000 and up to $35,000 with repayment terms of three to five years (36 to 60 months). Upgrade comes with origination fees which ranges between 2.9% and 8%.
Upgrade charges $10 fee for late payment and you do not get any discount when you enroll for Autopay. Upgrade was created in 2017and also offered over $3 billion in credit to borrowers across the United States. Upgrade personal loans are available for borrowers with stellar credit though it comes with high maximum APRs. This loan services is available across the United States except Iowa, West Virginia and Vermont.
Borrowers can access Upgrade loan services online and via mobile app. The mobile app enables borrowers make payment, update their personal information and also check their balance. You can also make use of the Upgrade’s Credit Health tool to track your credit score throughout the life of your loan. Funding can take up to four days once your loan is approved. You can also choose to pay your Upgrade loan to a third-party lender but funding can take up to two weeks if you are transferring your borrower’s loan to a third-party lender. Unlike other lenders, you can make use of loan Upgrade loans to consolidate debts, home refurbishing, pay off credit cards and other huge expenses. You can also use Upgrade personal loans funds to sort out business expenses.
To apply for Upgrade personal loan, you will need to have a minimum score of 560 but if you want to qualify, you may be required to have a minimum score of 697 and a monthly cash flow of $800. Borrowers must also make their loan payment on time and must have a pre-loan debt-to-income ratio of 45%.
- Funds can use to sort out business expenses
- Low Minimum credit score requirement
- Debt consolidations payoff to direct lenders
- Charges fees for origination fees, late payment
- High APRs
- Only two loan repayment periods
Universal Credit is an online lender that uses its partners to offer personal loans to borrowers. Borrowers can get a loan with minimum amount of $1,000 to $50,000 max which comes with repayment terms that ranges from three to five years (36 to 0 months).
The lender charges 4.25% to 8% origination fees and loans at Universal Credit come with the highest APR when compared with its competitors. Funding takes within one working day once your loan is approved, however, it is dependent on your bank and how they can process the transaction. Funding your loan to another creditor is allowed but in this case, the funding process might take up to two weeks.
To apply for Universal Credit, you need a credit score of 560, a score that makes it easy for large borrowers to apply.
- Funding is next day
- Easy qualification requirements
- No prepayment penalty
- Origination fees charges ranges between 4.25% to 8%
- High APRs
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Discover is generally known to be an online bank that offers personal loans in 50 States across the United States. Discover offers quick funding and borrowers enjoy great access to its customer support team. Borrowers can get a minimum loan of $2,500 to $35,000 max with repayment term of three to seven years (36 to 84 months). Discover does not offer autopay discount and does not charge for origination fees, prepayment penalty but it charges for late payment fees.
You can also use Discover personal loans to cover small-business expenses, medical bills, auto repairs, pet emergencies and lots more. Funding can be same-day but most times it usually takes within the next working days but if there is any error in borrower’s application, funding can take up to seven days. Plus, Discover allows direct funding to third-party creditors when the loan is being used for loan consolidation.
To apply for Discover personal loan, you will need to have a minimum score of 660 and 750 on the average. Applying for loan at Discover does not require minimum credit history length. Plus, applicant must have a minimum of $25,000 as income earned annually. To become eligible, borrower’s credit history, credit inquiry and other credit activities will be reviewed by Discover. Keep in mind that Co-signers are not allowed when applying.
- No origination fees or prepayment penalty
- Third-party creditors payment is allowed
- Creditors direct payment
- Late fees charges
- Low Maximum Loan Amount
- Longer Funding time
Upstart is a unique lender that makes use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze borrower’s qualification. Upstart offers a loan amount from $1,000 minimum to $50,000 max. The loan amount comes with a flexible interest rate but with competitive APR and repayment terms of three to five years. You can get this loan in all the states in the United States except West Virginia and Iowa. Funding usually takes within next working day once your loan gets approval before 5 pm. Loans meant for education-related expenses may take up to an additional three working days after loan is approved.
To apply for Upstart personal loans, you must have a minimum credit score of 600 and if you do not have enough credit history, you can also apply. Applicant must also have a minimum annual household income of $12,000 to apply and Co-signers are not allowed.
- Access to choose a custom payment date
- Prequalification with a soft credit check
- Borrowers with fair credit can apply
- Origination fees charges is up to 8%
- Co-signers are not permitted
- Loans are only available for three or five years terms
Avant uses its third-party partner (WebBank) to offer both secured and unsecured personal loans to its applicants. Avant was founded in 2012 across all states in the United States available in Washington D.C except for Hawaii, Iowa, West Virginia, Maine, New York, and Vermont.
Avant charges administrative fees of up to 4.75% and the loans amount come with high APR which ranges from 9.95% to 35.99% and does not offer discount when you enroll in Autopay. Plus, Avant also charges late fees.
You can use Avant loans to consolidate debt but cannot use to cover small business expenses and current borrowers can refinance their existing Avant loans with another loan-possibly with a lower APR. Funding is usually within the next working day once your loan is approved. Funding with other third-party lender varies and it is dependent on the borrower’s bank.
To apply for Avant personal loans, you will need to have a minimum credit score of 580 but 600 and 700 on the average. Applicant must have a minimum income requirement of $20,000 and average of $40,000 to $100,000 annually. Co-signers are not allowed and Avant will review your employment income information, income of other people in your household, child support and alimony.
- Offers both secures and unsecured loans
- Low credit score requirement
- Loan terms repayment up to five years
- Charges an administrative fees
- High APR for prime borrowers
- Co-signers are not allowed
|Lender||Minimum Credit Score||Current APR Range||Loan Amount|
|SoFi||680||5.74% to 21.28% (with auto pay)||$5,000 to $100,000|
|LightStream||660||3.49% to 19.99% (with autopay)||$5,000 to $100,000|
|Marcus||Marcus does not this information||6.74% to 19.74% (with autopay)||$3,500 to $40,000|
|LendingPoint||600||9.99% to 35.99%||$2,000 to $36,500|
|Figure||640||5.75% to 27.84%||$5,000 to $50,000|
|Upgrade||580||5.94 to 35.97%||$1,000 to $35,000|
|Universal Credit||None||8.93% to 35.93%||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Discover||660||5.99% to 24.99%||$2,000 t0 $35,000|
|Upstart||600||5.22% to 35.99%||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Avant||580||9.95% to 35.99%||$2,000 to $35,000|