Signature Loans

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What is a signature loan?

Signature loans are unsecured personal loans that don’t require you to put down collateral when you apply. Instead, lenders will heavily weigh your financial situation, taking your credit score and debt-to-income ratio into consideration when determining eligibility. Here are a few other things to know about signature loans:

  • Funding is issued in a lump sum. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000 or more. If approved, the money may be disbursed directly into your bank account.
  • Monthly payments are predictable. You’ll repay the loan in fixed monthly installments over a set period of time, typically a few years.
  • Interest rates are fixed. When you get a signature loan, your APR, which includes your interest rate as well as any other fees, will stay the same until the loan is paid off.
  • No collateral is required. Signature loans are backed by your promise to repay the lender, and you don’t risk any assets being repossessed if you default on the loan.
  • Your credit score is heavily weighed. Banks and lenders rely on your credit score and payment history to determine your loan eligibility. Applicants should have good credit or better, defined as a credit score of 670 or greater using the FICO model.

3 places to find online signature loans

Interest rates5.99% - 29.99%3.99%-19.99%5.99% - 24.99%
Loan length36 or 60 months24 to 144 months24 and 60 months
Loan amount$2,000 - $50,000$5,000 - $100,000$5,000 - $40,000
Origination fee0.99% - 5.99%No origination fee0.00% - 5.00%
Credit score requirements640Not specified640

*Annual percentage rate (APR) is a measure of your cost of borrowing and includes the interest rate plus other fees. Available APRs may differ based on your location.
Est. APRs shown may include an autopay discount.

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7 uses for a signature loan

Medical Emergency Loan
Medical Emergencies

Major Purchase Loan
Major Purchase

Car Repair Loan
Car Repairs

Home Renovation Loan
Home Renovations

Credit Card Debt Consolidation Loan
Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Vacation Loan

Wedding Loan

How to apply for a signature loan

  1. Start the application process online, over the phone or in person at the lender branch. You’ll provide basic personal and financial information.
  2. Prequalify to check your estimated APR. Not all lenders offer prequalification, but those that do allow you to see the types of loan terms you may qualify for with a soft credit check.
  3. Provide documentation such as recent pay stubs, tax documents and/or bank statements. Lenders may ask you to provide documents, like a driver’s license or passport, to verify your identity.
  4. Formally apply for the loan. At this point, the lender will conduct a hard credit check. Lenders will use your financial information to determine how much money they will lend you, your interest rate and what fees they may charge you for the loan.
  5. Receive your loan funds, which may be disbursed as quickly as on the same day your application is approved, depending on the lender.

Signature loans vs. secured loans

A signature loan is a type of unsecured loan. When you’re borrowing money, you’ll usually need to make a decision between selecting a secured loan and an unsecured loan. Here are some key differences between these two types of loans:


  • Not secured by collateral like a mortgage or auto loan
  • Typically have a shorter loan term
  • Tend to carry higher interest rates than secured loans
  • May offer smaller loan amounts since you don’t put up collateral


  • Secured by an asset you own, such as your home or car
  • May offer a longer loan term
  • Tend to have lower interest rates than signature loans
  • Can have higher loan amounts since it’s backed by collateral

Can you get a signature loan with bad credit?

It may be possible to qualify for a signature loan without good credit. There are certain lenders that specialize in bad or fair credit, but offered interest rates are likely to be much higher than they are for borrowers with good credit.

If you can’t qualify for competitive terms on a signature loan, you could consider an alternative:

You could also look into improving your credit score before you apply. You can check and monitor your credit score for free on the LendingTree app.

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FAQ: Signature loans

Yes, a signature loan is an unsecured personal loan. You are not required to put down collateral, and you can borrow the money with just your signature. The amount you can borrow is typically based on your credit history and income.

It depends on the lender. Some lenders can fund you the same business day that you are approved. Other lenders can take days or weeks to disburse your loan.

Some lenders may charge you an origination fee to process your loan application. The origination fee is usually expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. You may also encounter other fees, such as a prepayment penalty (if you pay off your loan early) or a late payment fee.

Your lender may charge you a late fee depending on how many days they receive payment beyond your due date. The amount you will pay and the number of days before you incur a late fee depends on your lender. If you go long enough without paying your loan, your credit score may take a hit.

Be wary of no credit check signature loans as they are likely payday loans, which have a high cost of borrowing and a short repayment period.