Unsecured Loans

The best unsecured personal loans and rates.
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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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 Lauren Nicholson | Edited by Jessica Sain-Baird | Reviewed June 28, 2024

Best unsecured loan options in 2024

An unsecured loan is a loan not backed by collateral like a car or house. Lenders use your credit history to decide whether you qualify for an unsecured loan and, if so, what interest rates you’ll get. We’ve pulled together the best unsecured loans to help you find the right loan for you.

Best For:
Large unsecured personal loans
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Best For:
Bad credit
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Best For:
Credit union personal loans
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Best For:
Unsecured personal loans from a bank
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Best For:
Fair credit
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Best For:
Small unsecured personal loans
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Best For:
Good credit
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Best For:
Debt consolidation
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Best For:
Credit card repayment
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More Options

Unsecured loan lenders at a glance

LightStream logo #1

LightStream: Best for large unsecured personal loans

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

 Offers loans up to $100,000

 Low starting APR

 Offers joint loans

 No hidden fees

 No prequalification or preapproval

 Must have good or excellent credit to qualify

 Not good for small amounts — loans start at $5,000

Upstart logo

Upstart: Best unsecured personal loans for bad credit

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

 Available to borrowers with bad credit

 Fast funding

 Check your rate without damaging credit

 Origination fee

 High maximum APRs

 Late payment fee

PenFed Credit Union logo

PenFed Credit Union: Best unsecured personal loans from a credit union

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

 Loans starting at $600

 Low interest rates

 No prepayment or origination fees

 Must become a member to get loan

 Late payment fee

 Need good or excellent credit to qualify

Discover personal loans logo

Discover: Best unsecured personal loans from a bank

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

  No application, origination or prepayment fees

  Check rates without damaging credit score

  Fast funding

 Need good to excellent credit to qualify

 Maximum loan amount is $40,000

 Late payment fee

LendingPoint logo

LendingPoint: Best unsecured personal loans for fair credit

APR range7.99% - 35.99%
Minimum credit score660
Loan terms24 to 72 months
Loan amounts$1,000 - $36,500
ProsCons

  No fee for paying off loan early

  Low starting APR

  Fast funding

 Origination fee

 High maximum APR

 No joint loans

Upgrade logo

Upgrade: Best for small unsecured personal loans

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

 No fees for paying off loan early

 Available to borrowers with fair credit

 Fast funding

 Origination fee

 Fees for late payments

 High maximum APR

SoFi logo

SoFi: Best unsecured personal loans for good credit

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.

Minimum credit score680
Loan terms24 to 84 months
Loan amounts$5,000 - $100,000
ProsCons

 No fees

 Fast funding

 Interest rate discounts for autopay and direct deposit

 Must have good or excellent credit to qualify

 Loans start at $5,000

 High maximum APR

Best Egg logo

Best Egg: Best unsecured personal loans for debt consolidation

APR range8.99% - 35.99%
Minimum credit score600
Loan terms36 to 60 months
Loan amounts$2,000 - $50,000
ProsCons

 No fee for paying off loan early

 See rates without damaging credit score

 Competitive starting interest rates

 Must pay origination fee

 Loans not available in IA, VT, WV or Washington, D.C.

 No joint loans

Happy Money logo

Happy Money: Best unsecured personal loans for credit card repayment

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

 See rates without impacting credit score

 No fee for late payments or paying off loan early

 One monthly payment for your credit card debt

 Must pay origination fee

 Only for credit card debt

 Loans not offered in NV or MA

What is an unsecured loan?

Unsecured loans don’t require collateral, such as a home, vehicle or savings account, to back the loan. Instead, they are backed only by the borrower’s creditworthiness and promise to repay the loan. A common type of unsecured loan is a personal loan.

Unsecured personal loans generally range from about $1,000 to $50,000. They’re typically repaid in fixed monthly payments over a set period of time, such as two to five years. They’re offered by banks, credit unions and online personal loan lenders.

How do unsecured loans work?

To get an unsecured loan, you’ll have to start with a loan application. Lenders often allow you to prequalify for an unsecured loan, so you can see your rates without having to go through a hard credit pull that would impact your credit score. Because you don’t need collateral for an unsecured loan, your approval will depend on your creditworthiness — that is, a lender’s trust in your ability to pay back your debts.

If you choose to proceed with the loan, you’ll have to verify the information you provided, including your identity, income and residency.

Once you’re approved for a loan, you’ll pay it off in monthly installments with fixed interest rates. Unsecured loans typically don’t have prepayment penalties, so you may be able to pay off the loan early without being charged extra, if you choose.

Common uses of unsecured personal loans:

Types of unsecured loans

Some of the most common forms of unsecured loans are:

  • Personal loans
  • Student loans
  • Credit cards

Personal loans are lump sums provided by lenders that can be used for a variety of purposes. They carry fixed rates, may come with origination fees and are commonly repaid on a monthly basis.

While personal loans cannot be used for educational or business expenses, student loans are specifically offered to help cover post-secondary education expenses such as tuition, room and board and books. Credit cards, on the other hand, work like a line of credit and are a way for individuals to cover various costs and even earn rewards.

Unsecured loans with guaranteed approval

Some payday lenders will advertise unsecured loans with guaranteed approval. This is a risky path to take because these loans come with short terms and often incredibly high interest rates. It’s best to avoid unsecured loans with no credit check or guaranteed approval.

Pros and cons of no-collateral loans

Pros

  • You don’t need to appraise or offer up an asset like your home or car.
  • Your application may be approved in minutes, and the quick loan funds may be deposited into your account as soon as the same day or the following business day.
  • If you don’t finish repaying the loan, your property will not be repossessed.
  • Unsecured personal loans usually have fixed interest rates that don’t change for the life of the loan.

Cons

  • Higher credit scores are often required to qualify, since there is no collateral to offset risk for lenders.
  • Unsecured loans may come with higher interest rates than secured loans.
  • Approval process largely leans on borrowers’ credit profiles, such as score and history.
  • Not paying and defaulting on a loan will affect your credit, and your lender may send your bills to a debt collection agency.

How to get an unsecured loan

Every lender will have its own qualifications you’ll be required to meet in order to be approved for a loan. However, there are several common threads that lenders typically follow.

  1. If you have a higher credit score, you will have a better chance of being approved and qualifying for a lender’s lowest APRs.
  2. Shop around and compare the rates of several lenders before agreeing to go with a particular loan. Lenders will offer you rates, terms and amounts based on factors such as your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and annual income.
  3. See if you can find a lender that will allow you to prequalify for an unsecured loan. Many lenders offer prequalification services as a way to find out if you qualify for a loan without doing a hard credit check.
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How to get low interest rates

Interest rates on unsecured personal loans can vary widely depending on the credit rating of the borrower as well as the loan terms, such as loan amount and length.

Most unsecured personal loan lenders require borrowers to have good or excellent credit (defined as a FICO Score of 670 or above, or a VantageScore of 661 or higher). Your chances of qualifying for a loan will be much lower if you have fair or poor credit, a history of missed payments, debt collections or charge-offs by lenders for debt you were unable to pay.

It’s possible for consumers with good or excellent credit to get a personal loan with a low interest rate, but bad-credit applicants will have a hard time qualifying for an affordable personal loan — if they receive any offers at all. That said, you still may be able to find a reputable provider for a personal loan with bad credit.

Be on the lookout for lenders advertising unsecured loans for bad credit or unsecured loans with no credit check — these often aren’t standard personal loans. Most likely, they are payday loans, which are often predatory and come with short repayment terms and high interest rates.

  • Enlist the help of a cosigner. If you have less-than-ideal credit, lenders might be more willing to work with you (as well as offer better loan terms) if you have a cosigner for your loan.
  • Opt for a secured loan instead. Secured personal loans require you to put up an asset you own, such as a vehicle, as collateral.
  • Raise your credit and reapply. You can check and monitor your credit score for free with LendingTree.

Average APRs by credit score

LendingTree customers can receive loan offers from our partners. Here’s the average APR offered to customers in the following credit bands:

Credit score rangeAverage APR
720+16.01%
680-71925.78%
660-67937.57%
640-65951.61%
620-63971.55%
580-619112.28%
560-579152.35%
Less than 560175.16%

Source: LendingTree user data on closed personal loans for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Who is an unsecured loan best for?

An unsecured loan can be a good option for many consumers, but they may be best for the following types of borrowers:

  • Borrowers with good credit: Because lenders rely on your credit score and history to decide whether to approve you for an unsecured loan, you’ll have a better chance of being accepted and qualifying for a lower APR if you have solid credit.
  • Borrowers with a steady income: If you’re going to apply for an unsecured loan, you’ll want to make sure you have the funds available to repay it. Defaulting on an unsecured loan can lead to getting sued by a lender, bankruptcy and a decreased credit score.
  • Borrowers who are planning to make a large purchase: Paying off medical bills or taking on a home improvement project can be expensive. An unsecured loan can help make those costs more manageable so you can pay those bills in smaller monthly chunks.
  • Borrowers who are consolidating debt: According to a LendingTree study, the most popular way to use an unsecured loan is to consolidate debt. Debt consolidation can be a way for consumers to get their current debts under control and roll them into a single loan.

Alternatives to unsecured loans

While an unsecured loan may offer some borrowers financial relief, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re unsure whether an unsecured loan is the best financial choice for you, you may want to consider a few alternative options.

Personal line of credit

A personal line of credit is a type of revolving credit account that allows you to borrow a sum of money (up to a certain amount) and pay it off over time.

Unlike a loan, you do not have to borrow the entire lump sum all at once. You can choose how much you want to borrow at a given time, and interest will only be charged on the amount of money you borrow. A personal line of credit does not come with fixed rates like personal loans do, so your payments may vary month to month.

0% intro APR credit cards

When you use a credit card, you’ll typically have to pay interest if you don’t pay off the balance before the payment due date arrives. However, some companies offer 0% intro credit card promotions to help borrowers avoid interest charges.

With this approach, customers can avoid paying interest on their purchases even when the payment due date arrives. However, the 0% APR generally only lasts for a certain period of time, often 12 to 21 months.

Home equity line of credit

Like a personal line of credit, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is also a type of credit account that revolves. The difference is that a HELOC is dependent on the borrower’s home equity.

When you buy a house, you’ll gain equity as you pay it off (or if the value of your home increases). With a HELOC, you can borrow against that equity up to a determined amount. Like a personal line of credit, a HELOC typically does not come with fixed rates. Instead, these rates tend to rise and fall with the financial market.

How we chose the best unsecured loans

In order to find the best unsecured loans, we reviewed more than 30 lenders. We rated lenders on 19 individual criteria related to the following categories:

  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders that offer competitive interest rates, valuable discounts and flexible loan terms and amounts.
  • Accessibility: We favor lenders who make their loans available to a wide range of people by having low credit score requirements or offering joint loans. Lenders also get points for making the application process as seamless as possible and for an easy (and quick) money transfer once you’re approved.
  • Repayment experience: We evaluate each lender’s reputation, awarding points for high consumer reviews and penalizing lenders with recent sanctions from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Lenders with easy-to-use mobile apps and good customer service get additional points.

We review and fact check our picks regularly to ensure that you’re getting solid financial advice to make your next money move.

Frequently asked questions

Unsecured debt isn’t backed by a form of collateral. For example, your typical credit card debt is unsecured — if you default, nothing is seized. Mortgage debt, on the other hand, is secured debt. If you default, you could lose your home.

Personal loans can be secured or unsecured, but they’re typically unsecured. Secured personal loans require some kind of collateral, such as a car or savings account.

Unsecured personal loans offered by banks, credit unions and other lenders can help your short-term cash needs, but make sure you’re able to budget for the monthly payments. These loans are safe as long as you are able to make payments and understand that you could be paying a significant amount in interest, depending on your loan size and APR.