Overview: One of the biggest perks of getting a loan through Alliant Credit Union is its debt protection plan. These plans protect borrowers in the case of death, disability or involuntary unemployment. Because this lender is a credit union, borrower interest rates should never go above 18%.
However, the longer your repayment term is, the higher the interest rate you’ll be required to pay. So, this lender may be a better fit for consumers looking for loans with short repayment terms.
Offers debt protection plans in case of death, disability or unemployment
Low maximum APR (up to 12.49%)
Flexible loan amounts
Must pay a monthly fee for debt protection plans
Unclear eligibility requirements
Must be a member for at least 90 days before getting a loan
Eligibility requirements: While Alliant Credit Union doesn’t offer specific eligibility criteria, the lender does state that it considers your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and income. Alliant only offers personal loans to members. You must be an Alliant Credit Union member for at least 90 days before getting a loan.
Overview: While consumers with excellent credit scores may find lower rates elsewhere, if you have a fair credit score, you may find reasonable offers with Avant. You could even apply for one of Avant’s secured loans — a type of personal loan that requires collateral — to get a lower rate.
While Avant does charge an origination fee, it only goes Up to 4.75%, far lower than the typical fee, which ranges from 1% to 8%.
Low minimum credit score requirement
Offers secured and unsecured loans
Origination fee lower than some competitors'
Charges an origination fee (Up to 4.75%)
No cosigner options
High maximum APR (35.99%)
Eligibility requirements: Besides a minimum credit score of 550, Avant doesn’t share many eligibility criteria details on its website. Like most personal loan lenders, however, Avant may evaluate a consumer’s credit history, income and debt-to-income ratio, or how much debt a person has compared to their income.
Overview: While Discover doesn’t offer as much flexibility on loan amounts as other lenders might, it makes up for it in the length of its repayment terms, competitive rates and lack of origination fees.
However, those who don’t have great credit may need to look elsewhere, as Discover doesn’t allow for cosigners. Cosigner loans can make it easier for borrowers with a low credit score or without much credit history to qualify for credit since a second person agrees to sign for the loan.
Doesn’t charge origination fees
Flexible loan terms of up to 84 months
No option for cosigners
Low maximum loan amount ($40,000)
Low-credit borrowers may not qualify
Eligibility requirements: In order to qualify for a Discover personal loan, you need to have a minimum income of $25,000 and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Discover does not provide a minimum credit score requirement.
Overview: Aside from offering funding for consumers looking for small personal loans, LendingPoint has a low credit score requirement that may make it easier for some consumers to qualify. LendingPoint also provides flexible repayment terms to borrowers.
However, LendingPoint customers may have to pay an origination fee (0.00% - 8.00%). This lender also doesn’t offer the option to apply for a personal loan with a cosigner.
Clear eligibility criteria
Low minimum credit score requirement (580)
Considers more than just your credit score
Charges an origination fee (up to 8.00%)
No option for cosigners
High maximum APR
Eligibility requirements: Other than being at least 18 years old, you’ll need to meet the following criteria to get a personal loan with LendingPoint:
Overview: Not only does LightStream have long repayment terms, but it also offers loans up to $100,000 and a competitive APR. LightStream also does not charge its customers fees of any kind.
Unfortunately, if you want to see the rates you may qualify for with LightStream, you’ll have to submit to a hard credit inquiry, as this lender does not allow consumers to see if they prequalify for personal loans. As opposed to the prequalification process, hard credit pulls can cause your credit score to go down by a few points.
Doesn’t charge any fees
Repayment terms of up to 144 months
Loan amounts as large as $100,000
Can’t prequalify for a loan
High minimum loan amount
Eligibility criteria unclear
Eligibility requirements: LightStream is unclear when it comes to the qualities it is looking for in borrowers. However, this lender does specify on its website that it will only provide loans to good- or excellent-credit borrowers with strong credit profiles.
Overview: On top of its quick funding, if you sign up for autopay with Rocket Loans, you may receive an APR discount that can reduce the total cost of your loan. Also, while some personal loans have APRs of up to 36%, Rocket Loans’ APR only goes as high as 29.99%.
However, Rocket Loans customers only have two repayment terms to choose from (36 or 60 months), and they have to shell out an origination fee of up to 7.00%.
Offers an autopay discount
Flexible loan amounts
Competitive interest rates
Charges an origination fee (up to 7.00%)
Limited loan repayment terms
No option for cosigners
Eligibility requirements: To get a loan from Rocket Loans, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and be a U.S. resident. Rocket Loans also requires a minimum credit score of 640 and considers factors like your income and the amount of your current debt.
Overview: From zero required fees to long repayment terms, SoFi offers consumers a large array of benefits. This lender also provides unemployment protection to borrowers who find themselves in a challenging financial position.
However, because SoFi’s minimum loan amount is $5,000, this lender may not be a good fit for people seeking small personal loans.
Offers a 0.25% autopay discount
Provides repayment terms of up to 84 months
Loan amounts of up to $100,000
High minimum loan amounts
Consumers with low credit scores may not qualify
Eligibility requirements: Here’s what you need to know about SoFi’s guidelines for loan eligibility:
Overview: This online lender offers repayment terms as long as 84 months and provides the option to get a cosigner or secured loan if you don’t have great credit. To get Upgrade’s lowest rates, you’ll need to pay off a portion of your existing debt directly and enroll in autopay (aside from meeting any credit requirements).
Upgrade does, however, charge an origination fee ranging from 1.85% - 8.99%, a bit higher than the average origination fee. This type of administrative fee commonly ranges from 1% to 8%.
Offers cosigner and secured loans
Loan terms of up to 84 months
Offers an autopay discount
High origination fee (up to 8.99%)
May be charged late fees
High maximum APR (35.97%)
Eligibility requirements: Other than a minimum credit score of 580, Upgrade doesn’t clarify the specifics of its personal loan eligibility requirements. It will, however, examine factors such as your credit history and credit utilization ratio.
Overview: Upstart offers personal loan borrowers competitive interest rates and flexibility on loan amounts. Upstart has a unique approach to lending, using artificial intelligence and considering factors like your education and job history to determine loan eligibility.
Unfortunately, if you don’t qualify for an Upstart loan on your own, this lender doesn’t offer the option to apply with a cosigner. Upstart also has a higher origination fee than other lenders (up to 10%) and has limited repayment terms.
Flexible loan amounts
Low credit score requirements (300)
Allows personal loans for student debt
High origination fee (up to 10.00%)
Limited repayment terms
No option for co-applicants
Eligibility requirements: Upstart offers quite a bit of insight into its loan eligibility requirements. Here’s what you’ll need to qualify for an Upstart loan:
Overview: With loan terms as long as 84 months and amounts of up to $100,000, Wells Fargo offers personal loan borrowers a lot of flexibility. On top of that, borrowers don’t have to worry about paying origination fees or prepayment penalties.
To get a Wells Fargo loan, however, you must be an existing customer. This lender also does not offer the option to use a cosigner when applying for a loan, so people with poor credit may not qualify.
Offers 0.25% rate discount
Low maximum APR (23.24%)
No origination fees
Must be a Wells Fargo customer
May be charged late fees
No cosigner options
Eligibility requirements: Wells Fargo doesn’t provide much detail about its borrower requirements for personal loans. However, when applying for a Wells Fargo personal loan, you need to provide the following:
Personal loans can provide fast access to the funds you need, but they’re not always the right financial tool for every consumer. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of personal loans so you can make an informed financial decision.
Fast funding: Some lenders disperse funding to approved borrowers on the same day or the following business day.
Consistent repayment schedule: Personal loans are repaid in fixed monthly installments over a set period of time.
Competitive APRs: Borrowers with good credit may qualify for lower APRs than they may receive on other unsecured options, like credit cards.
Fees and penalties: Some lenders charge a loan origination fee, which is typically 1% to 8% of the cost of the loan and comes out of your total balance.
APRs can be high: Personal loans can be an expensive borrowing option for borrowers with bad credit or no credit.
Not all borrowers qualify: Poor-credit borrowers may not qualify for a personal loan at all.
The application process may look a little different based on the lender or marketplace, but here are the typical steps you might take when applying for a personal loan:
Personal loans can be found at many types of financial institutions, including the following:
Banks: Some traditional brick-and-mortar banks, like Wells Fargo, offer loans with fast funding timelines. However, in some cases, the application process may take longer as some banks may require you to visit a local branch in person.
Credit unions: Like traditional banks, some credit unions may require you to visit a local branch in person during the personal loan application process. Most also require you to become a member before receiving your loan. However, credit union APRs should only go as high as 18%, so you may find much lower rates with this type of lender.
Online lenders: Because online lenders have no physical branches and can do everything remotely, they often offer quick application and funding turnarounds. Unlike credit unions, however, online lenders’ APRs can get as high as 36%, particularly if you have bad credit.
Getting a personal loan if you have bad credit can be a challenge. Some lenders may deny your application, and you may only qualify for high APRs with others, sometimes as much as 36%.
However, there are still plenty of trustworthy personal loan lenders that provide bad credit loans on a fast timeline. Avant and Upstart, for instance, have low minimum credit score requirements and provide funds within one business day after you’ve signed your loan agreement.
If you’re worried about qualifying for a personal loan or getting stuck with high rates, consider applying for a loan with a cosigner or getting a secured loan.
Cosigner loans allow you to apply for a loan with a second person, helping you qualify for lower rates. Secured loans require you to put down collateral, such as a savings account or vehicle. With collateral backing the loan, lenders are sometimes more willing to approve borrowers who may otherwise not qualify.
Keep in mind these routes may add some extra time to the application and approval process.
A personal loan isn’t your only option when you need some fast cash. Consider the following alternatives:
Credit cards can be a useful tool for quickly accessing funds. As opposed to the lump sum of a personal loan, credit cards offer a line of credit from which you can draw at will.
Card users are given a predetermined limit and only charged interest on the amount of the credit line they use. Unlike personal loans, credit cards may come with variable interest rates, meaning your interest rates may vary month to month depending on the market.
A personal line of credit (PLOC) isn’t offered at every financial institution, but you may be able to access one if you have an established relationship with a bank.
Similar to credit cards, PLOCs offer borrowers credit on a revolving basis. Borrowers can take money out of the account during draw periods but will have to repay the funds, plus interest, once the draw period ends.
While traditional payday loans often come with predatory lending practices, a safer alternative is a payday alternative loan.
These loans are typically found at credit unions. Payday alternative loans come with short loan repayment terms and a maximum APR of 28%, while payday loans can have APRs as high as 400%.
While borrowing from loved ones can present its own set of challenges, taking out a loan from a friend or family member may save you money on interest and fees, especially if you have bad credit.
However, it’s wise to take precautions when borrowing from loved ones as this can lead to tension in your relationships, as a 2021 LendingTree survey found. Be sure to set up rates and terms ahead of time and consider writing up a legal contract that both parties sign.
Paycheck advance apps let you borrow money from your upcoming paycheck based on hours you’ve already worked. In many cases, these apps don’t require a credit check and don’t charge interest, though some may charge a membership fee or ask for a voluntary tip. Plus, they may also have eligibility requirements, such as being paid on a regular schedule and being paid via direct deposit. You also can’t borrow nearly as much as you could with a personal loan.
Before taking out a personal loan to make ends meet, you should first see if you’re eligible for financial hardship programs if you need help paying a loan or utility bill. Hardship programs may include forbearance, loan modification, temporary APR reductions or fee waivers.
Keep in mind that if you enter a loan forbearance program, you’ll still have to repay the loan in full eventually. Deferred payments may be due at the end of your loan term or at the end of the forbearance period. Plus, interest may accrue during your forbearance period, which could increase the total cost of borrowing in the long run.
If you need money fast, you may have come across payday lenders that promise quick cash without a credit check. However, payday loans are a bad option, since they’re expensive and can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt.
Here’s how to spot a predatory lender:
Like payday loans, pawn shop loans can land borrowers in hot financial water due to high interest rates and fees. These types of loans don’t require credit checks, but you need to provide valuable collateral in exchange for the loan.
When taking out a pawn shop loan, you visit a pawn shop and offer collateral (such as electronics or jewelry) in exchange for the loan. If you do not repay your loan, the pawn shop may keep your collateral to offset its loss.
We looked at 14 lenders that offer same-day or next-day funding to determine the 10 best lenders for fast loans.
Here are the criteria we used to assess the best quick lenders:
By offering a detailed and objective account of each lender’s rates and terms, LendingTree’s goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make a financially sound decision specific to your situation.
Whether a loan with fast funding is safe depends on both the type of loan you are taking out and the lender. Payday loans, for example, offer quick funding but can trap people in a cycle of debt due to high interest rates and fees. In some cases, consumers who borrow payday loans have to take out more payday loans to cover the cost of the original loan.
Personal loans with fast funding are available, even to those with bad credit. However, without cosigner support or getting a secured loan, you may have a hard time getting approved or may only get offers with high APRs.
Instead, consumers with bad credit may want to improve their credit score before attempting to get a personal loan.
Some of the fastest loans are offered by lenders with same-day funding. This means your loan funds could be deposited into your bank account the same day that you are approved and sign your personal loan agreement.
To get fast funding, you’ll want to prepare your application information and documents (such as government-issued identification and pay stubs) ahead of time.