Best Small Personal Loans in June 2024

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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 Amanda Push | Edited by Katie Lowery | Updated May 29, 2024

Small personal loan lenders at a glance

Navy Federal Logo

APR range8.99% - 18.00%
Loan amounts$250 - $50,000
Loan termsUp to 60 months
Origination feeNone
Min. credit scoreNot specified

  Does not charge an origination fee

  Flexible borrowing amounts ranging from $250

  Allows you to apply with a co-borrower

  APRs capped at 18.00%

  High minimum for home improvement loans ($25,000 or $30,000)

  $29 late payment fee

  Must have connection to armed forces to become a member

PenFed Logo

PenFed Credit Union: Best for small loans for good credit

APR range8.99% - 17.99%
Loan amounts$600 - $50,000
Loan terms12 to 60 months
Origination feeNone
Min. credit score760

  Does not charge an origination fee

  Can receive your funds within one to two days of approval

  Cannot charge interest over 18%

  Allows co-borrowers

  Charges late payment fee of $29

  Must be a member of PenFed to receive loan funds

  Lack of information around eligibility criteria

PNC Logo

PNC Bank: Best for getting a small loan in-person

APR range8.19% - 24.74% (with autopay)
Loan amounts$1,000 - $35,000
Loan terms6 to 60 months
Origination feeNone
Min. credit scoreNot specified

  Allows for co-applicants on loans

  Rate discount if you have a PNC Bank checking account

  Does not charge origination fees or prepayment penalties

  Eligibility requirements are unclear

  May charge late fees

  Rates may vary depending on location 

LendingClub Logo

LendingClub: Best for fast small personal loans

APR range8.98% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $40,000
Loan terms24 to 60 months
Origination fee3.00% - 8.00%
Min. credit score600

  Allows consumers to apply with a co-borrower

  Most borrowers receive funds within 24 hours

  Can prequalify for a loan without impacting your credit score

  Limited choices in loan length of 24 to 60 months

  Charges origination fees (3.00% - 8.00%)

  Does not offer loans to residents in Iowa or U.S. territories

Upgrade Logo

Upgrade: Best for small loans with a co-borrower

APR range8.49% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Loan terms24 to 84 months
Origination fee1.85% - 9.99%
Min. credit score580

  No prepayment penalties

  May receive loan as quickly as one business day after approval

  Offers autopay discount

  Charges a 1.85% - 9.99% origination fee

  Potentially high interest rates (as high as 35.99%)

  Charges $10 late fees 

Upstart Logo

Upstart: Best for small loans for bad credit

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

  Borrowers may receive funds in one business day

  Offers prequalification so consumers can check their rates

  Low credit score requirement (300)

  Charges origination fee as high as 12%

  Limited options on loan lengths (36 and 60 months)

  No option for co-borrowing or secured loans

One Main Financial Logo

OneMain Financial: Best for secured small personal loans

APR range18.00% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,500 - $20,000
Loan terms24 to 60 months
Origination fee1.00% - 10.00%
Min. credit scoreNot specified

  Option to change your due date

  May receive funds as soon as next business day after approval

  Offers secured and unsecured loans

  Higher interest rates than competitors

  Charges late fees — $5 to $30 or a percentage of your payment

  Small maximum amount you can borrow

LendingPoint Logo

LendingPoint: Best for small loans for low-income borrowers

APR range7.99% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $36,500
Loan terms24 to 72 months
Origination feeUp to 10%
Min. credit score660

  Flexible loan terms of 24 to 72 months

  No prepayment penalties

  Low minimum credit score of 660

  Low maximum loan amount of $1,000 - $36,500

  Not offered in Nevada or West Virginia

  Charges origination fee of Up to 10%

BestEgg Logo

Best Egg: Best for small loans for fair credit

APR range8.99% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$2,000 - $50,000
Loan terms36 to 60 months
Origination fee0.99% - 8.99%
Min. credit score600

  May receive funds as soon as one business day

  Flexible loan amounts ($2,000 - $50,000)

  No prepayment penalties

  Limited loan terms (36 to 60 months)

  Charges an origination fee of 0.99% - 8.99%

  Does not offer loans in several states

Prosper Logo

Prosper: Best for peer-to-peer small loans

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

  Receive funds within one business day after approval

  No prepayment penalties

  Option to apply with co-borrower

  Limited loan lengths to choose from (24 to 60 months)

  Charges origination fee of 1.00% - 9.99%

  High maximum APR of 35.99%

How do small personal loans work?

Small personal loans range from $1,000 to $5,000 and are typically repaid within two or three years, making the monthly payment extremely low. Whether you need to pay for an auto repair, take your dog to the vet or fund a minor medical procedure, a personal loan could help.


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Why get a small personal loan

If you’re in need of a small amount of money, personal loans can offer flexibility and other benefits to borrowers.

  • Small loans are typically unsecured. This means you don’t have to put up collateral. In other words, you don’t have to put down a savings account or valuable piece of property in case you don’t repay your loan.
  • These loans can be quick and easy to get. Since personal loans come in smaller amounts, you may have an easier time obtaining this type of loan if you have a lower credit score or don’t have a long credit history.
  • Small loans can be paid back quickly. Because small loans are under $5,000, you can typically repay your loan in just two or three years.
  • If you have good credit, you may qualify for low interest rates. If you have a good credit score, lenders are likely to offer you low interest rates on a small personal loan. If you don’t have good credit, you may want to consider improving your credit score before applying for a loan.
  • You can improve your credit score. As long as you make full, on-time payments on your personal loan, you may see an increase to your credit score over time. As you pay off your loan, not only will your credit utilization ratio go down, but you demonstrate to creditors that you can pay your bills on time.

Reasons to get a small personal loan

  • Unexpected expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Weddings
  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Car repairs
  • Vacations

Pros and cons of small loans



  • Fast funding. Many lenders can approve you and deposit funds into your account within one business day.
  • Fixed monthly payments. Personal loans are lump-sum loans that are repaid in fixed monthly payments over a set period of time.
  • Personal loans typically have fixed APRs, which means you lock in your interest rate for the duration of the loan.
  • No collateral. Unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, so you won’t risk losing an asset if you default on the loan.
  • May accept cosigners. Some lenders let you enlist the help of a cosigner, which can improve your chances of being approved for a loan.
  • Minimum loan amounts. Most personal loans are worth at least $1,000, so it might not be worth it to take one out for a small emergency expense.
  • Potentially high APRs. Subprime credit borrowers may get loan offers with APRs upward of 35% or higher.
  • Approval hinges on credit. Borrowers with bad credit might have a hard time getting approved for a personal loan at all.
  • Origination fees. Many lenders charge an origination fee worth 1%-10% the total cost of the loan.
  • Prepayment penalties. Some lenders charge a penalty if you pay off the loan before the term expires.

How to get a small personal loan

While applying for a personal loan may not be the most exciting process, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are the steps you’ll follow when seeking a small personal loan:

  • Check your credit score and report: It’s important to know your credit score and understand your credit profile so you know which lenders you may qualify with. Remember that it’s common for errors to show up on your credit report, which can impact your score. Before applying for a personal loan, dispute credit report errors you find and work to have them removed for a potential credit score boost. You can check your credit score with LendingTree and look at your credit report on
  • Shop around for lenders: Shopping around for competitive interest rates from lenders can help to ensure that you find a loan that best fits your budget and needs. Many lenders allow you to prequalify for a loan so you can see what rates you may qualify for without impacting your credit score.
  • Verify your information: If you decide to follow through with a lender after filling out an initial application, you’ll need to verify your personal and financial information. For instance, lenders may require that you upload or provide a copy of your pay stubs or W-2s to verify your income information. They may also require that you show a government-issued ID and proof of residence.
  • Submit to a hard-credit inquiry: As part of the final approval process, many lenders will run a hard credit inquiry on your credit profile. They are checking your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to repay the loan. A hard credit pull can cause your FICO credit score to drop about five points, but it will only stay on your credit report for two years or less.
  • Accept your loan: Once you’ve completed the application process and are approved for a loan, you’ll need to sign documents and wait for the funds to be deposited in your bank account. How long it takes to get a personal loan depends on the lender, but funding generally takes anywhere from one to five business days after you’ve been approved.
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Where to get a small personal loan

Many types of financial institutions offer small loans to consumers; however, the availability, terms and eligibility requirements will depend on the lender you choose.


Before launching into your search for a small loan, consider checking with your current bank first. Some banks, like Wells Fargo Bank, require you to be a current customer in order to access personal loan products.

The personal loan application process may take a bit longer to complete compared to online lenders, but you may access perks like no-fee loans. Banks may also require that you visit a local branch in person in order to close on your loan.

  Credit unions

To get a small personal loan from a credit union, you’ll typically need to become a member of the credit union first. This may require a small fee or deposit. Check membership requirements before applying for a loan, as some credit unions only cater to certain groups, such as people with military ties.

Credit unions also typically tend to offer smaller loan amounts than banks and online lenders. Navy Federal Credit Union, for instance, offers loans as small as $250. Another benefit to credit unions is that the APR is capped at 18%, which is particularly good news if you’re having trouble finding lower rates elsewhere.

  Online lenders

Online lenders offer flexibility to consumers who don’t want to become a credit union member or bank customer. Because everything is done online and you don’t have to worry about creating a membership or banking account, online lenders may take less time to approve and fund your small personal loan.

When it comes to personal loans online, amounts typically start at $1,000 to $2,000. This may be higher than what other types of lenders — such as credit unions — offer.

How to compare small personal loans

It’s always a smart idea to receive several loan offers when shopping for a personal loan. Once you have multiple offers in hand, consider the following factors to decide which offer is best for you:

  • Amounts: You’ll want to make sure the lender you choose offers the amount you need to borrow. For instance, if you can only afford to borrow $1,000, then lenders like Wells Fargo and SoFi may not be a good fit for you since the lowest amounts they offer are $3,000 and $5,000, respectively.
  • APR: The APR on your loan will determine how you’ll have to pay in interest. Typically, borrowers with good to excellent credit are eligible for a lender’s lowest interest rates. When you get a loan with bad credit, however, you are likely to receive much higher interest rates. The higher your interest rate, the more you’ll pay overall.
  • Fees: Some lenders charge fees for their personal loans, including origination fees, late fees and failed payment fees. Origination fees — which typically run from 1% to 8% — are taken out of the total balance of your loan. Be sure to factor in any fees when you budget for your loan.
  • Loan terms: Personal loans are repaid over a fixed term, commonly 12 to 84 months. The longer your loan term is, the lower your monthly payments might be but the more you’ll end up paying in interest. A shorter loan term may come with higher monthly payments, but you’ll pay less in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Credit score requirements: A lender’s credit score requirements can play a large role in whether you qualify for a personal loan. Lenders typically look for a credit score of at least 640, but some lenders accept borrowers with scores of 600 or lower. To increase your chances of getting approved for a loan, you can work on building your credit score.
  • Other eligibility requirements: Always read the fine print before applying for a loan and learn about the qualifications lenders are looking for beyond credit score. For instance, some lenders don’t offer personal loans to residents in certain states, while other lenders require that you have a low debt-to-income ratio.

How to get a small personal loan with poor credit

Unfortunately, if you have a low credit score, it can be challenging to find a lender that’s willing to work with you. In the eyes of lenders, the lower your credit score, the riskier you are as a borrower. Lenders use credit scores to evaluate how likely you are to repay your loan.

If your credit score needs work but you need a personal loan, here are a few strategies that may improve your chances:

  • Consider a secured loan: While most personal loans are unsecured — meaning they don’t require collateral — some personal loan lenders offer secured loans. With a secured loan, you’ll offer valuable collateral, such as a vehicle or bank account, to back your loan. If you are unable to repay the loan, the lender can confiscate the collateral to recoup their losses. With a secured loan, however, interest rates are generally lower. This can be a good option for borrowers with lower credit scores who have valuable collateral to offer and are sure they can repay their loan.
  • Find a co-borrower: A co-borrower with a good credit score and income can help you secure a personal loan. Because you and your co-borrower are both on the hook for repaying the loan, the risk for the lender is decreased. This also means that if you fall behind on payments, both of your credit scores will be impacted.
  • Improve your credit before applying: In some cases, it may be best to wait to apply for a personal loan until you’re able to increase your credit score. Improving your credit score can help you secure a better interest rate and be approved by lenders that offer perks like no-fee personal loans.

Avoid predatory loans

While there are many trustworthy small personal loan lenders out there, it’s important to be cautious and research lenders before signing the contract. Here are a few red flags to look out for and avoid:

No credit checks: No credit checks may sound like a dream come true if you have bad credit and are in need of some extra cash. However, any credible lenders will require a credit check to ensure that you can afford to repay a loan. Payday loan lenders, for example, don’t require credit checks and should be avoided.

Require access to checking or savings accounts: Some predatory lenders may require you to provide your checking or savings account information. Once you do, these lenders are able to withdraw money from your account to repay your loan, even if it overdrafts your account and costs you bank fees.

Lack of transparency: If a lender isn’t upfront about its fees and interest rates, you may want to rethink getting a loan with them. A trustworthy lender will make that information readily available on its website or during the application process.

Sky-high fees and interest rates: Some loans, such as payday loans, come with interest rates as high as 400%, which can make it challenging to repay that debt. Many borrowers end up having to take out more loans to pay off their original loan, trapping them in a cycle of debt.

Repayment lengths: The length of time you have to repay a loan can also be an indicator of a predatory lender. Predatory lenders sometimes offer only two to four weeks for a borrower to repay a loan. This short repayment period can make it difficult to keep up with payments.

Alternatives to small personal loans

If you’re in need of extra funds, a small personal loan isn’t the only option on the table. Here are a few other alternatives to explore:

0% intro APR credit card

To avoid paying interest, you can apply for a 0% introductory APR credit card. During the introductory period, your balance does not accrue interest, and every payment you make goes directly to the principal.

Once that promotional period ends, however, you’ll have to pay interest on the remaining balance. These promotions can last anywhere from 12 to 21 months. If you’re certain you can pay off your balance before the end of the introductory period, these cards can be a great option.

Buy now, pay later apps

Since many retailers offer buy now, pay later (BNPL) services, you may be able to get a mini loan through a service such as Affirm or Klarna.

The most common form of buy now, pay later financing is a Pay in 4 plan. Your balance is split into four payments repaid over six weeks, with a payment due every two weeks. In many cases, these BNPL plans do not charge interest. Other common BNPL financing includes monthly installments or Pay in 30 days, though these plans sometimes come with interest charges.

Credit card cash advance

If you need emergency cash, you can use a cash advance credit card to access funds quickly.

You can withdraw funds by going to your bank’s branch, visiting an ATM or getting a convenience check in the mail. Keep in mind, however, that cash advances typically have fees attached, as well as interest rates that can be much higher than your typical credit card APR.

Borrow from a friend or family member

If you have a loved one with the financial flexibility to offer you a loan, receiving a family loan and signing a loan agreement may be a good way to avoid fees and high interest rates.

However, when borrowing from a friend or family member, be aware that the loan could impact your relationship. According to a 2021 LendingTree study, nearly half of the people who are owed money from a loved one reported that they regretted lending it in the first place. About 1 in 6 claimed that money had ruined a relationship.

How we chose the best small personal loans

We reviewed more than 28 lenders that offer personal loans to determine the best small personal loans. To make our list, lenders must offer competitive annual percentage rates (APRs) as well as loan amounts $2,000 and below. 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.

LendingTree reviews and fact-checks our top picks on a monthly basis.

Frequently asked questions

How much you’ll pay overall on a $5,000 will be determined by your interest rate and the length of your loan. Typically, the longer your loan, the more you’ll pay in interest.


For instance, if you take out a $5,000 loan with a 10% interest rate over a period of five years, you’ll pay $106.24 a month and $6,374.11 overall. On the other hand, if you borrow the same amount but pay 15% interest over three years, your payments will be $173.33 a month, but you’ll only pay $6,239.76 overall.


Use a personal loan calculator to estimate how much your $5,000 loan could cost you.

Small loans typically range between $1,000 and $5,000, though some loans can be as low as $100. With especially small loans, it’s important to read the fine print, as some lenders (such as payday lenders) may charge larger fees and interest rates.

Small loans can lower your credit score, but the effect is usually temporary. When lenders run hard-credit pulls to approve you for financing, the pull puts a small dent in your score, but the effect usually disappears within two years. Small personal loans can also negatively impact your credit score if you fall behind on payments or default on a loan.

You can use a personal loan to build credit as you make on-time payments and eventually pay off the balance. Other ways you can improve your credit score include the following:

  • Decrease your debt-to-income ratio
  • Pay your bills on time
  • Check your credit report for errors