Best Personal Loans and Rates for 2021

Prequalify with Top Lenders

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Refinance debt, consolidate credit cards, renovate your home, cover large expenses: When you need a personal loan to help you take charge of your finances, LendingTree can help you find lenders who provide loans from $1,000 to $50,000 and rates as low as 2.49% APR.

3 steps to getting a personal loan

Check your
credit score

Personal loan lenders may rely heavily on your credit history to determine your eligibility as a borrower. You can get your free credit score using your LendingTree account. You’ll also get free access to credit and identity monitoring, all while finding ways to save on your current loan.

Compare offers & get prequalified

Find personalized rates on LendingTree by answering just a few simple questions (see top of this page). Lenders will want to verify your income, credit score and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. We’ll conduct a soft credit inquiry, which will not impact your credit score.

Select your preferred loan offer

On LendingTree, you can get comparable personal loan offers from up to five lenders (results may vary based on credit and financial profile). See rates, monthly payments and real customer reviews conveniently online. When you’re ready, make your choice and apply!

How to prequalify for a personal loan

When you prequalify for a personal loan, you’re able to confirm your eligibility and check your potential interest rate, all without affecting your credit file. This is possible because lenders perform a soft check on your credit to determine your possible loan terms.

To prequalify, lenders will ask you basic questions about your finances and loan needs. You’ll still have to verify this information if you formally apply with your selected lender, but prequalification helps you compare multiple lenders and products before you’re ready to make a final decision.

How LendingTree can help you shop for a personal loan

To save time shopping around, you can compare lenders using LendingTree. We’ll connect you with financial institutions that offer the best personal loan rates along your credit band. You can also visit lenders directly and complete their prequalification process, if they have one.

How does LendingTree help you find the right personal loan? After answering a few questions about your loan needs, we will connect you with competitive offers from reputable lenders that we’ve already researched — then you can make the best choice for your situation.

  • At LendingTree, you can expect:
  • • A free and easy online experience
  • • Simple side-by-side loan comparisons
  • • Loans from $1,000 to $50,000 with vetted lenders

What interest rates should I expect?

A lender determines your interest rate based on your creditworthiness, the type of loan and the length of the loan. To get the best offers on a personal loan, borrowers should have a long history of on-time payment, steady income and a low debt-to-income ratio.

Credit BandCredit ScoreAverage Best Offered APR
Excellent760+8.83%
Very Good720 to 75912.95%
Good680 to 71917.54%
Fair640 to 67922.74%

Source: LendingTree Personal Loans Offers Report, October 2021

Top lenders and personal loan rates in 2021

Whether you’re especially creditworthy and are seeking a fast influx of cash or are on the prowl for bad credit personal loans to better manage your debt, you probably know by now that no two lenders are the same. But it can be difficult to know which lenders to compare as you seek the best option for your borrowing needs.

We highlight the following lenders among our vetted partners because they score well in the categories that borrowers care about most, from loan details like APR and repayment terms to eligibility criteria like credit score. Many of the financial institutions below also score well on personal loan reviews because they allow borrowers to prequalify — that is, check rates and confirm eligibility without subjecting their credit reports to potential harm.

LenderAPR RangeMin. Credit ScoreBest For...
Best Egg5.99% - 35.99%700Seamless online prequalificationSee Details & Reviews
FreedomPlus7.99% - 29.99%UnspecifiedApplicants with excellent creditSee Details & Reviews
LendingClub7.04% - 35.89%UnspecifiedApplying with a co-borrowerSee Details & Reviews
LendingPoint9.99% - 35.99%585Borrowing small loan amountsSee Details & Reviews
LightStream2.49% - 19.99%UnspecifiedWide variety of repayment term durationsSee Details & Reviews
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®6.99% - 19.99%660Unique repayment perksSee Details & Reviews
OneMain Financial18.00% - 35.99%UnspecifiedOption of a secured personal loanSee Details & Reviews
Prosper7.95% - 35.99%640Fast loan fundingSee Details & Reviews
Payoff5.99% - 24.99%640Refinancing credit card debtSee Details & Reviews
SoFi4.99% - 19.63%680Unemployment protection during repaymentSee Details & Reviews
Upstart4.37% - 35.99%600Borrowers with thin credit historiesSee Details & Reviews
LenderAPR rangeMin. credit scoreLoan amountTerm (months)
Avant9.95% to 35.99%600$2,000 to $35,00024 to 60
Peerform5.99% to 29.99%600$4,000 to $25,00036 or 60
LendingPoint9.99% to 35.99%585$2,000 to $36,50024 to 60
Upgrade5.94% to 35.97%620$1,000 to $50,00036 or 60
Upstart4.37% to 35.99%600$1,000 to $50,00036 or 60
LendingClub7.04% to 35.89%Not specified$1,000 to $40,00036 or 60
LenderAPR rangeLoan amountMin. credit scoreGood for...
LightStream2.49% to 19.99%$5,000 to $100,000UnspecifiedLow rates and large amount loans
SoFi4.99% to 19.63%$5,000 to $100,000680Large amounts & unemployment protection benefit
Figure5.75% to 22.94%$5,000 to $50,000UnspecifiedFast funding
Upgrade5.94% to 35.97%$1,000 to $50,000620Comparing multiple loan options
Rocket Loans7.16% to 29.99%$2,000 to $45,000640No hidden fees
Best Egg5.99% to 35.99%$2,000 to $50,000700Easy online prequalification
Payoff5.99% to 24.99%$5,000 to $40,000640Refinancing credit card debt
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®6.99% to 19.99%$3,500 to $40,000660Unique repayment benefits
FreedomPlus7.99% to 29.99%$7,500 to $50,000VariesLoans higher than $7,500
LenderAPR RangeLoan AmountCredit RequiredOrigination FeeLength
LightStream2.49% - 19.99%$5,000 - $100,000720+No origination fee24 to 144 months
First Midwest Bank8.12% - 17.51%$5,000 - $25,000720+Not specifiedNot specified
OneMain Financial18.00% - 35.99%$1,500 - $20,000680-719Not specified24 to 60 months
Upgrade5.94% - 35.97%$1,000 - $50,000680-7192.90% - 8.00%36 or 60 months
FreedomPlus7.99% - 29.99%$7,500 - $50,000660-6791.99% - 4.99%24 to 60 months
Upstart4.37% - 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000640-6590.00% - 8.00%36 or 60 months

Best Egg:
Best for a seamless online prequalification

Apr range: 5.99% – 35.99%
Loan amounts $2,000 – $50,000
Term (months) 36 or 60
Origination fee 0.99% - 5.99%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 700
What to know
Given it offers prequalification along with a seamless online application and competitive rates, Best Egg is worthy of being in the mix for your preferred lender. Read our full Best Egg review.

Loans are not available in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia or the District of Columbia — keep availability in mind before you get too far along with any lender.


FreedomPlus:
Best for applicants with excellent credit

Apr range: 7.99% – 29.99%
Loan amounts $7,500 – $50,000
Term (months) 24 to 60
Origination fee 1.99% - 4.99%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 0
What to know
FreedomPlus is known for a no-nonsense approach: You can expect to avoid fees while receiving relatively fast credit and funding decisions. Read our full FreedomPlus review.

Always compare APRs, not base interest rates, when looking at multiple lenders: You might be attracted to FreedomPlus’ rates without realizing a potentially large origination fee is tacked on.


LendingClub:
Best for applying with a co-borrower

Apr range: 7.04% – 35.89%
Loan amounts $1,000 – $40,000
Term (months) 36 or 60
Origination fee 3.00% - 6.00%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 0
What to know
This lender’s easy prequalification process makes it worth considering, but don’t be surprised to find a lower rate or origination fee elsewhere. Read our full LendingClub review.

LendingClub is cagey about its specific eligibility criteria, such as minimum annual income, but it at least offers the option to apply with a co-borrower.


LendingPoint:
Best for borrowing small loan amounts

Apr range: 9.99% – 35.99%
Loan amounts $2,000 – $36,500
Term (months) 24 to 60
Origination fee 0.00% - 6.00%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 585
What to know
With more accessible eligibility requirements, LendingPoint may be best for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit who need small loans to be repaid on a faster timetable. Read our full LendingPoint review.

While there are no application or prepayment fees, you could be charged a hefty origination fee, depending on your home state.


LightStream:
Best for a wide variety of repayment term durations

Apr range: 2.49% – 19.99%
Loan amounts $5,000 – $100,000
Term (months) 24 to 144
Origination fee No origination fee
Credit inquiry Hard Pull
Min. credit score 0
What to know
LightStream will perform a hard check on your credit when you apply, so you might put off applying until you’re ready to choose a lender; this is not often the case among no-fee personal loan companies. Read our full LightStream review.

Like other personal loan companies, LightStream doesn’t offer funding for higher education (student loans) or business (small business loans).


Marcus by Goldman Sachs:
Best for unique repayment perks

Apr range: 6.99% – 19.99%
Loan amounts $3,500 – $40,000
Term (months) 36 to 72
Origination fee No origination fee
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 660
What to know
Among fee-free lenders, the mobile app-friendly Marcus by Goldman Sachs loan is packed with unique perks, including an on-time payment award: When you make 12 straight, you can defer one month’s dues without interest accruing. Read our full Marcus by Goldman Sachs review.

This is one among many lenders that don’t accept joint loan applications, so you’ll have to be creditworthy enough to qualify as an individual borrower.


OneMain Financial:
Best for the option of a secured personal loan

Apr range: 18.00% – 35.99%
Loan amounts $1,500 – $20,000
Term (months) 24 to 60
Origination fee 1.00% - 10.00%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 0
What to know
One benefit of applying with OneMain Financial is that you could qualify for the loan amount you’re seeking by finding a co-applicant or by opting for a secured personal loan. Read our full OneMain Financial review.

Like with other lenders, your approved loan amount might be less than you’re seeking, perhaps because of your credit score or debt-to-income ratio.


Prosper:
Best for fast loan funding

Apr range: 7.95% – 35.99%
Loan amounts $2,000 – $40,000
Term (months) 36 or 60
Origination fee 2.41% - 5.00%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 640
What to know
With a straightforward “check your rate” option, Prosper is worth consideration among borrowers without excellent credit who might be better off roping in a co-applicant. Read our full Prosper review.

Prosper is among lenders that promises “next day funding” but be aware that this means your loan won’t be disbursed until one business day after you’ve signed your loan agreement.


Payoff:
Best for refinancing credit card debt

Apr range: 5.99% – 24.99%
Loan amounts $5,000 – $40,000
Term (months) 24 and 60
Origination fee 0.00% - 5.00%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 640
What to know
With a good prequalification process and the promise to work with borrowers who might run into trouble during repayment, Payoff is worth a look if you’re batting high-interest credit card debt. Read our full Payoff review.

Payoff was designed to help consumers with credit card debt who prefer consolidating via a lower-interest personal loan — but Payoff’s APRs can be beat elsewhere if you’re creditworthy.


SoFi:
Best for unemployment protection during repayment

Apr range: 4.99% – 19.63%
Loan amounts $5,000 – $100,000
Term (months) 24 to 84
Origination fee No origination fee
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 680
What to know
SoFi is a great overall option based on its wide range of borrowing amounts and repayment terms, to go along with highly competitive APRs, no fees and unique perks. Read our full SoFi review.

SoFi’s unemployment protection program helps you stay current on your debt, but it only applies to borrowers who lose a job “through no fault on [their] own,” and interest still accrues onto your balance while you pause monthly dues.


Upstart:
Best for borrowers with thin credit histories

Apr range: 4.37% – 35.99%
Loan amounts $1,000 – $50,000
Term (months) 36 or 60
Origination fee 0.00% - 8.00%
Credit inquiry Soft Pull
Min. credit score 600
What to know
Upstart is a worthwhile option for applicants with thin or not-great credit files, noting that it sometimes stamps approval for borrowers that don’t have a long enough credit history to have a credit score. Read our full Upstart review.

Like with other loan companies, your lender might not be who you think it is: Upstart farms its lending operations out to banks but will still service your repayment.

Methodology

Why use LendingTree: By offering a detailed and objective account of each lender’s rates and terms, LendingTree’s goal is provide you with all the information you need to make a financially sound decision specific to your situation. Our team of experts thoroughly vets and weighs each option — recommendations are not based on advertisers but rather an honest review of each lender’s offerings. By providing a full picture of what each lender has, we hope to leave you with peace of mind about your financial future. Lenders were chosen based on factors such as APR rates, loan amounts, terms, fees and credit requirements.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is a flexible form of credit that can be used to pay for almost anything, such as a kitchen renovation or large purchase, or consolidate debts to a single payment. Because personal loans typically have lower interest rates than other forms of credit, it’s a useful financial product to refinance high-interest debt to a lower-cost payment.

Personal loans can be secured or unsecured. Secured loans may require collateral, such as your car, but may also have lower APRs. Unsecured loans are backed by only your promise to repay the lender, but may have slightly higher rates. Lender offers will vary based on their requirements, but eligibility is often determined by factors such as your credit score, income and other debts.

Types of personal loans:
Debt consolidation – If you’re struggling to manage your debt, unable to make on-time, consistent payments or just want to group various accounts.

Credit card refinancing – Pay off your credit card with a lower-rate personal loan, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repayment.

Home improvement – Homeowners have a wide variety of expenses. A personal loan could give you the funding you need in the short-term without harming your finances in the long-term.

Other large expenses – Personal loans can be used for a variety of expected and unexpected expenses, from wedding planning, moving costs, car repairs, medical bills, and other bigger purchases.

Pros and cons of personal loans

Still, useful as it may be, a personal loan isn’t a perfect financial product that’s right for every single consumer. It allows you to fund a major expense or consolidate your existing debt, ideally at better terms, but it also won’t immediately end your cycle with debt.

Before you decide whether borrowing is in your best interest, consider these pros and cons.

ProsCons
APRs
  • You can save money by comparison shopping for the lowest possible APR.
  • Generally, the interest rates are fixed, making it easier to budget.
  • Qualifying for lower APRs requires a strong credit profile, though you could always improve your score and reapply at a later date.
Repayment
  • Personal loans have a definite payment schedule, which means borrowers know exactly how long it’ll take to pay off what they owe.
  • Personal loans are generally unsecured, which means you don’t have to supply collateral.
  • Missing one personal loan payment could result in a defaulted debt, causing harm to your credit file.
  • While your personal property isn’t at risk for unsecured loans, you can still be sued for the debt if you fall behind on payments.
Amounts, fees
  • Many lenders allow you to borrow a wide variety of amounts for a wide variety of purposes.
  • There are plenty of no-fee lenders to choose from.
  • Some lenders charge an origination fee that can be as high as 1% to 8% of the loan amount.
  • Far less scrupulous lenders hide fees or offer scant repayment protections.

FAQ - Frequently asked personal loan questions

Personal loan borrowing is still possible — and perhaps more urgent — in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and its potential effect on your family finances. Some top-rated lenders have started offering lower-dollar, emergency loans to help unemployed and other consumers access the funds they need to get by. Keep in mind, however, that personal loans still carry the same eligibility rules, including credit score and debt-to-income ratio.
 
For current borrowers of personal loans, lenders have made it easier to avoid loan default in light of the ongoing pandemic. Various banks, credit unions and online companies have provided or extended repayment postponements, offered modified terms or waived fees.
 
For more: LendingTree’s Coronavirus Resource Hub

With a personal loan, most lenders will allow you to use your money to pay for almost anything. So whether you need to consolidate your debt, pay off unexpected medical expenses or make repairs at home, these loans empower you to do so.

Though most personal loans are tagged with fixed rates, some lenders do offer variable-rate products. Variable rates typically start lower than fixed rates, but they can also rise over time according to market conditions.

  • • Fixed: Your rate and monthly payment are static during repayment.
  • • Variable: Your rate and monthly payment is subject to change during repayment.

 
Choose a fixed or variable rate depending on whether you like the idea of a consistent monthly payment amount or have the stomach — and budget flexibility — for a fluctuating amount due.
 
Once you’ve decided on either a fixed or variable rate, make apples-to-apples comparisons among lenders by pitting fixed or variable APRs against each other. Unlike a base rate, the APR accounts for each lender’s fees, such as for loan origination.

To determine your risk as a borrower, lenders will analyze your credit score, your income and any other debts you have out in your name.
 
To make sure you get the best personal loan for your needs, you should also come prepared with the following information: the purpose of your loan, how much money you want to borrow and your preferred repayment schedule.

Some lenders offer fast application processing and approval, which means same-day funding could be available.

Many lenders use a soft credit pull to give you estimated interest rates and loan terms that are available to you based on your credit, income and other factors. If you decide to move forward with the loan, the lender will do a hard credit inquiry. Too many hard inquiries in a given period could hurt your credit score; a soft credit pull won’t.

If you have less-than-ideal credit, you may still qualify for a personal loan. The interest rates you’re offered will likely be higher, however, and the loan would cost more. Alternatively, you may be able to add a cosigner with good credit to your application to access more attractive rates.

Yes, but you may be subject to a prepayment penalty, which could be equal to several months’ interest or a percentage of the remaining loan amount.

The lender relies heavily on your past financial history to make sure you are capable of repaying the loan. Documents that prove someone is capable of meeting loan agreements include proof of income and employment (such as pay stubs), bank account information and statements and proof of other debt (such as mortgage or auto loan forms).

If you have to miss a payment, take responsibility and speak to your lender about options. If you have a good payment track record with the lender, they may be willing to work with you to come up with a favorable solution.
 
However, if you default on your loan, lenders can take action that can hurt your credit and finances for years to come. This includes sending your loan to collections, reporting your default to credit bureaus and taking you to court, which could make getting new credit costly or impossible in the future.

Large and additional payments can be directly applied to your principal balance, decreasing the total cost and interest you pay. But you should always ask lenders about prepayment penalties, which are fees that could be applied if a loan is paid off ahead of the agreed-upon payment schedule.

There are a variety of alternatives to personal loans, from credit cards and lines of credit to peer-to-peer loans and 401(k) loans. One product could be a better fit over another in specific situations.
 
If you’re looking to refinance credit card debt, for example, a personal loan could help you gradually repay your outstanding balances at a lower interest rate. If you’ll have the cash to repay the debt on a faster timetable, though, you might consider opting for a balance transfer card that features an introductory 0% APR.

More personal loan resources and tools

Emergency Loans
 
A personal loan for urgent or unplanned expenses in which the funds are disbursed quickly, taking care of unexpected events.

Bad Credit Loans
 
Getting a loan can be challenging with bad credit . Find bad credit loans you may qualify for, and what to expect before you apply.

Loan Calculator
 
If you need a hand estimating your potential loan payments per month and over the long haul, leave the math to us.

How To Get A Loan
 
As with any form of borrowing, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re able to successfully handle repayment.