Best Installment Loans in July 2024

An installment loan comes as a lump sum that you’ll pay back in equal monthly payments

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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Written by Carol Pope | Edited by Amanda Push | Updated June 28, 2024

Best installment loan lenders at a glance

Achieve: Best for APR discounts

APR range8.99% - 35.99%
Loan terms24 to 60 months
Loan amounts$5,000 - $50,000
Minimum credit score620
Origination fee1.99% - 6.99%
ProsCons

 Multiple rate discounts available

 Don’t need perfect credit to qualify

 Can get help from a dedicated consultant when you apply

 Every loan has an upfront fee between 1.99% and 6.99%

 No small loans

 Not available in all states

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Discover: Best for unsecured installment loans

APR range7.99% - 24.99%
Loan terms36 to 84 months
Loan amounts$2,500 - $40,000
Minimum credit score720
Origination feeNone
ProsCons

 Low APRs

 No origination fees

 Can temporarily reduce monthly payments during financial hardship

 No co-borrowers

 Requires excellent credit

 $39 late payment fee

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Happy Money: Best for credit card refinancing

APR range11.72% - 17.99%
Loan terms24 to 60 months
Loan amounts$5,000 - $40,000
Minimum credit score640
Origination fee1.50% - 5.50%
ProsCons

  Low rates for excellent credit

  Will pay your credit card companies directly

  Can manage your loan through an online portal and mobile app

 Only available for credit card refinancing

 Not available to those with bad credit

 Can take up to seven days for an approval decision

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LightStream logo #1

LightStream: Best for no fees

APR range6.99% - 25.49% (with autopay)
Loan terms24 to 84 months
Loan amounts$5,000 - $100,000
Minimum credit scoreNot specified
Origination feeNone
ProsCons

 Offers Rate Beat, a rate-matching program

 No fees

 Same-day loans possible

 Requires applicants to have at least good credit to qualify

 Doesn’t offer prequalification

 No small loans

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PenFed Credit Union logo #1

PenFed Credit Union: Best for small installment loans

APR range8.99% - 17.99%
Loan terms12 to 60 months
Loan amounts$600 - $50,000
Minimum credit scoreNot specified
Origination feeNone
ProsCons

  Offers a wide range of loan amounts

  Competitive rates

  No origination fee

 Unclear credit score requirements

 Must join the credit union to borrow

 Lackluster mobile app ratings

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Prosper: Best for joint installment loans

APR range8.99% - 35.99%
Loan terms24 to 60 months
Loan amounts$2,000 - $50,000
Minimum credit score560
Origination fee1.00% - 9.99%
ProsCons

 Offers low rates for excellent credit

 Applicants may still qualify with bad credit

 Can adjust payment due dates online

 Approval decision could take up to five business days

 Charges multiple fees (origination, late payment, check payment and insufficient funds)

 Customer support unavailable on weekends

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SoFi: Best for online installment loans

APR range8.99% - 29.99% (with discounts)

Pricing Disclosure

Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors. Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-7%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

Loan terms24 to 84 months
Loan amounts$5,000 - $100,000
Minimum credit score680
Origination fee0.00% - 7.00% (optional)
ProsCons

 Same-day funds possible

 Has a highly rated mobile app

 Discounts for autopay and direct deposit

 Applicants may need to pay origination fee to get the lowest rates

 Bad-credit applicants won’t qualify

 No small loans

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Upgrade: Best for flexible terms

APR range8.49% - 35.99% (with discounts)
Loan terms24 to 84 months
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Minimum credit score580
Origination fee1.85% - 9.99%
ProsCons

 APR discounts for autopay and debt consolidation

 Secured installment loans available

 Offers joint loans

 Charges an origination fee

 High maximum APR

  $10 late payment fee

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Upstart: Best for bad credit

APR range7.80% - 35.99%
Loan terms36 or 60 months
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Minimum credit score300
Origination fee0.00% - 12.00%
ProsCons

 One of the lowest minimum credit score requirements around

 May still consider applicants with no credit

 Next-day loans possible

 Could have a high origination fee

 Only offers two loan terms

 High maximum APR

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How to get an installment loan

What is an installment loan? An installment loan is a loan that you get as a lump sum and then pay back in fixed monthly payments, plus interest. Personal loans, mortgages, auto loans and student loans are all types of installment loans. We’re focusing on personal loans in this article.

Before you apply for an installment loan, be sure that you can afford to pay back what you borrow. Missing payments is a sure-fire way to tank your credit score. Use our personal loan calculator to see the true cost of an installment loan, considering interest.

If your budget shows that you can handle another monthly installment payment, then you should:

1. Check your credit

Use LendingTree Spring to get your free credit score. Lenders offer the most affordable loans to borrowers with scores of at least 670. You might qualify with fair or poor credit, but be prepared for high APRs and origination fees.

2. Prequalify with multiple lenders and compare

Most lenders allow you to prequalify for a personal loan. This is a quick way to check your eligibility without taking a ding to your credit. Prequalification doesn’t guarantee approval, but it can help you decide whether a lender is worth pursuing.

3. Apply and accept your offer

Once you’ve compared offers (more on that below), it’s time to apply.

Loan applications are usually pretty simple. You’ll provide some basics like your name and birthday. You will also need to provide your annual income. The lender may ask for bank statements, and you’ll almost certainly need to provide a government-issued ID.

When the lender approves you, you’ll sign your loan documents. Then, it will send you your loan. About 30 to 45 days later, you’ll begin paying it back in equal monthly installments.

Having a hard time getting approved? It’s not impossible to get an installment loan with bad credit. Shop with lenders known to offer bad credit installment loans. Consider taking out a joint loan with someone who has good credit to improve your odds. Offering collateral on a secured loan might also help.

How to compare installment loans

When you’re in the market for a big-ticket item, you shop around, right? The same logic applies to personal installment loans. You can’t know if you’re getting the most competitive rate if you don’t compare offers. The definitions below might help while you review your options.

APR: An APR measures the total cost of your loan, including interest and fees. The higher the percentage, the more expensive the loan.

Repayment term: This is the length of time you’ll have to pay off your loan. Since you’ll have more time to spread your balance across, a longer loan term can give you lower monthly payments. On the flip side, a short term means you could pay less overall interest.

Loan amount: Double-check your loan amount before accepting an offer. An installment loan is a lump sum of money. If your loan doesn’t cover what you intended, you’re out of luck unless you get another loan.

Fees: Many installment loans come with fees, the most common being an origination fee. This is an upfront fee that the lender will deduct from your loan amount. Some lenders only charge this fee to bad-credit borrowers. Others apply one to every loan or skip them altogether.

Funding timeline: Lenders have two funding timelines — one for loan approval and one for how quickly it can release your funds (called loan disbursal). You may want to ask the lender if it can send your loan via direct deposit as this is typically the fastest method.

Where to find an installment loan

Knowing where to shop is the first step in finding an installment loan that works for you.

 Banks

Your bank can be a great place to get an installment loan. Although eligibility requirements for bank loans can be strict, you could get a relationship discount if you qualify.

Note that some banks have discontinued their personal loan options in recent years. These include Bank of America, Chase and Capital One.

Below you’ll find some of the most popular banks that offer installment loans with APR discounts. This list isn’t all-inclusive, so contact your bank for more information.

BankAPR discount
Wells Fargo Bank0.25% to 0.50% for autopay from a Wells Fargo checking account
Citibank0.50% for autopay, 0.25% for existing Citigold and Citi Priority customers
U.S. Bank0.50% for autopay
PNC Bank0.25% for autopay from a PNC checking account
Fifth Third Bank0.25% for autopay from a Fifth Third checking account
M&T Bank0.15% to 0.50% for existing customers and/or autopay through an M&T checking account

 Credit unions

Credit union membership comes with perks. Like banks, they often offer APR discounts for autopay. But unlike banks, APRs on credit union personal loans cannot exceed 18% per federal law.

Additionally, credit unions are nonprofits and frequently follow a mission to help their members achieve their financial goals. Your credit union may be willing to look past an imperfect borrowing history.

 Online lenders

One of the easiest ways to get an installment loan is through an online lender. You apply from the comfort of your own home, and many do business with borrowers of all credit scores.

Targeting online installment loans can also help you compare offers. Most online lenders allow you to prequalify and may provide an approval decision in minutes. At LendingTree’s loan marketplace, you could compare up to five lenders at once with no negative impact to your credit.

Installment loan alternatives

A loan can be a tool that can help you reach your financial goals. For some, an installment loan might not be the right tool for the job.

Credit card

Since a loan provides a lump sum of cash, a credit card makes more sense if you need money on an ongoing basis.

Paycheck advance app

Paycheck advance apps can be easy to use, which makes them risky. Still, they can get you out of a bind if you need cash between paychecks.

Loan from friend or family

Borrowing from a friend or family member can be a better alternative to a bad credit installment loan (since these come with high APRs). If you take this path, write up a personal loan agreement and stick to it to avoid damaging your relationship.

How we chose the best installment loans

We reviewed more than 28 lenders to determine the overall best nine installment loans. To make our list, lenders must offer installment loans with competitive APRs. From there, we prioritize lenders based on the following factors:

  • Accessibility: Lenders are ranked higher if their personal loans are available to more people and require fewer conditions. This may include lower credit requirements, wider geographic availability, faster funding and easier and more transparent prequalification and application processes.
  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders with more competitive fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
  • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide any unique perks to customers, like free wealth coaching.

Frequently asked questions

It can. Unless you get a no-credit-check loan, your lender will pull your credit report when you apply. This can negatively affect your credit scores, albeit temporarily. Making your payments on time (every time) could improve your score down the line.

The easiest installment loans are typically the most expensive ones. These include no-credit-check loans, payday loans, title loans and pawn shop loans. If you have bad credit, consider online lender Upstart or a paycheck advance app, instead.

Installment loans can be handy, but they’re just another form of debt. Also, you’ll pay to borrow through interest and fees. That’s not to say that an installment loan is always a bad idea. Just know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line.

Not always. Even if you have fair credit (or worse), you might qualify for installment loans online from lenders like Upstart or Upgrade. However, the most competitive rates generally go to borrowers with good credit or better. If you have rocky credit, expect to pay high APRs.