Best Personal Loans | Top Lenders for 2020

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Ideally, it’s best to avoid loans and debt altogether – but unfortunately, that’s often not the reality we live personal loans

A personal loan with a fair fixed rate is a good way to avoid the high-interest and variable rates charged by credit cards, and to create a simpler payment schedule you can keep track of more easily.

If you’re considering a personal loan to help with debt consolidation or a big purchase – such as a wedding, vacation or home renovation – then make sure you compare the different offerings on the market and choose the right one for you.

Don’t let the technical jargon stop you from making an informed decision.

The best personal loan for you depends on your financial history and the type of loan you need.

Lenders differ in both the features of the loans they offer – such as loan value and loan term – and the credit score they demand.

The 19 Best Personal Loans

Here are the best personal loans in 2020:


  • APR: 3.49% – 16.79%* (with autopay, rates vary depending on loan purpose)
  • Loan Term: 24 – 84 months*
  • Max Loan: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: Good to Excellent Credit Profiles

Provided you have a good credit score, LightStream offers the lowest APR rates available on this list, as well as charging no fees.

The fixed-rate you’re charged could be as low as 3.49% APR (rate as of 2/21/2020) if you are taking out an auto loan, as low as 4.99% APR if you are taking out a home improvement loan or if you need a personal loan for debt consolidation or medical purposes, it would start as low as 5.95%. (Rates as of 1/20/2020)

Bear in mind that this assumes you’re taking advantage of the AutoPay feature to make your repayments automatically, which provides a 0.50% discount; the rate would be higher without AutoPay enabled.

Take a look at LightStreams Rate Table to see where you may land.

Loan amounts go up to a hefty $100,000 from a minimum of $5,000. You can also receive an unusually long loan term of 12 years if you are applying for a home improvement loan, all other loan types go up to 84 months, where the minimum is two years – but bear in mind that you’ll need to choose a short loan term to secure the best rate.

LightStream is very quick to decide on your application: if you apply during business hours, you could get approved and receive your funds within the same day.

You’ll be assessed based on your assets, income, and payment history as well as your credit score.



  • APR: 5.99% – 20.01%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 84 months
  • Max Loan: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 680

SoFi is short for Social Finance, a name which can be traced back to the company’s origins: SoFi was set up to help graduates with their student loan debt.

True to their social roots, SoFi will temporarily pause payment obligations of anyone who becomes unemployed during their loan term while they search for a new job.

Interest rates range from 5.99% to 17.88% – you’ll find out the rate applicable to you within minutes. You can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000 for terms of 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 years.

Like Marcus, the only fees you’ll have to pay is the interest rate.

There’s an AutoPay feature, which gives a discount of 0.25%, ideal for those who know they’ll always be able to meet their payment and want to pay off the loan quicker.

The application is entirely online, and you’ll be able to access support seven days a week. The only disadvantage is that you’ll need a credit score of 680 or higher to get approved, which is higher than the other no-fees accounts.

Learn more, read our SoFi Review.



  • APR: 5.99% – 17.24%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $5,000 – $75,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 680

Earnest is a great option for those looking for a low-cost loan with no extra fees. Interest rates start at 5.99% for loan amounts from $5,000 to $75,000. There are no fees, including origination fees.

Unlike other credit providers, Earnest takes additional factors into account when deciding on the payment plan to offer you, including your spending habits, education, and earning potential.

This means that if you score well on these aspects but have a low credit score, it could be a great option. Recent graduates with the chance to get a high-paying job in the future are good candidates.

Another advantage is that Earnest is very transparent about their interest rate structure. Instead of you having to fill in your details to receive an idea of your rate, you can look at a table that tells you the APR you can expect for different loan terms.

They also have a phone app so you can track your loan on the go. You need a credit score of 680.


Marcus by Goldman Sachs

  • APR: 6.99% – 28.99%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 72 months
  • Max Loan: $3,500 – $40,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 660

Goldman Sachs is one of the biggest investment banks in the world, and it also has an online lending offshoot called Marcus, which offers high-yield savings and personal loans (also referred to as installment loans).

Marcus is another good choice for those who have a good credit score. The APR ranges from 6.99% to 28.99%; this isn’t as low as others, but you won’t have to pay any hidden fees, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing you’re borrowing from a reputable lender.

Loans can be between 36 and 72 months, but only individuals with high credit scores are likely to get long loan terms. You’ll need a credit score of at least 660 to get approval.

An added benefit is that if you manage to make your monthly payments for twelve months in a row, you’ll be eligible to defer a monthly payment without accruing extra fees or interest.

It only takes five minutes to sign up. You could then be approved within 24 hours, but it could take five days to receive your money.



  • APR: 6.99% – 24.99%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 84 months
  • Max Loan: $2,500 – $35,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 660

Discover is another lender that offers zero fees. Rates are between 6.99% and 24.99%, which is almost the same as those of Marcus.

The loan term could be 36, 58, 60, 72, or 84 months, which offers a lot of flexibility. Again, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 660.

A benefit of using Discover is that you’ll have access to customer service seven days a week from US-based specialists. You’ll also receive a FICO free credit scorecard to help you improve your credit in the future and become more financially stable.

The Discover website has various resources to help you with debt consolidation, and there’s even an app for you to manage your finances on the go.

Discover is, therefore, a good option for anyone who wants to use their loan as an opportunity to learn more about better financial management.

Learn more, read our Discover Bank Review.



  • APR: 5.99% to 24.99%
  • Loan Term: 24 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $5,000 – $35,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 640

Payoff actively helps its borrowers to improve their financial management by boosting their FICO score by up to 40 points. They also offer educational resources so that users can further stay out of debt, such as quizzes to assess your financial personality, and you can even contact customer service personnel for further guidance.

There are no fees for early payment, returned checks, or late fees – if you suspect you’ll be unable to make a payment, you can contact a representative to create an alternative plan. However, you will have to pay an origination fee of 2% to 5%.

You can take out a loan between $5,000 and $35,000 at an APR of 5.99% to 24.99%. Terms are between 24 and 60 months. The minimum credit score is only 640, but there are some additional requirements too. You’ll need a debt-to-income ratio below 50% to be eligible, and you also can’t have made any payments more than 90 days late over the last year.

You can check your rate within three minutes. You’ll then be able to customize your loan by choosing the term and rate that works best for you.


Laurel Road

  • APR: 8.01% – 16.30%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $1,000 – $45,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 660

The rates for Laurel Road are slightly higher than most other loans aimed at borrowers with reasonable credit scores: the APR you’ll pay is between 8.01% and 16.30%.

Nonetheless, the overall offering is good. There’s an option to apply with a co-signer (preferably someone with a very high credit score) to secure a lower rate, and if you use Autopay, you can receive a discount of up to 0.25%.

Finally, Laurel Road claims to beat all other loans by at least 0.25% – if you find a lower offer, they’ll lower your rate.

There are no prepayment or origination fees, but there is a 5% or fixed $28 late fee (whichever amount is less). You’ll need a minimum credit score of 660 to secure a loan, and there are no other requirements disclosed.

You can receive a quote within two minutes and your fund within two days.


Best Egg

  • APR: 5.99% – 29.99%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $2,000 – $35,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 640

Best Egg is all about helping you to accumulate the best possible nest egg for your financial goals. Best Company named Best Egg the #1 Personal Loan provider, and the company also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Loan values range from $2,000 to $35,000 with interest rates from 5.99% to 29.99%. This is an impressively low-interest rate, so Best Egg could be a good choice for those with high credit scores. The main disadvantage is the origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99% of the loan value.

The minimum credit score to apply is a relatively low 640, but the average borrower has a credit score is 685, so the loans are certainly best suited to those who fall on the higher end of the ‘average credit’ spectrum. You can choose a three- or five-year repayment plan.

Check your rates using our quote form above.



  • APR: 7.99% – 35.97%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 620

Upgrade boasts a ‘smarter way’ for you to use credit since they give out credit-building and credit health tools.

The rates offered by Upgrade are reasonable, but you could end up getting hit by high fees. Although there are no prepayment fees, there’s an origination fee of 1.5% to 6% of the original amount and a late fee of $10.

You can take a loan between $1,000 right up to $50,000. The APR is between 7.99% and 35.97%, and the term length is between three and five years. Once you’ve been approved, you should receive the funds within one day.

Upgrade loans are relatively accessible to anyone. The minimum credit score is 620, which is reasonably low, but you’ll need a higher score than this to avoid being hit by the highest rates, and minimum monthly cash flow of $800 is obligatory. There’s also no minimum salary requirement, but the average applicant earns at least $30,000.

Unfortunately, Upgrade loans aren’t available to those living in the states of Iowa, Vermont, or Wisconsin.



  • APR: 6.46% – 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 620

If you’re struggling to find a loan due to your lack of credit history or being a young person, Upstart wants to help you.

They offer loans to people with a credit score as low as 620 provided they have high earning potential – this is assessed using measures like job history, having a college degree, and your area of study.

You also can’t have a history of delinquency, any recent bankruptcies, or more than six inquiries on your credit score from the last six months.

Loans range from $1,000 to $50,000 in value, and the APR range goes from 6.46% to 35.99%. Loan terms can last three or five years, and there are no prepayment fees, but you’ll have to pay an origination fee of up to 8% and a late fee of 5% or $15 (whichever is greater).

Upstart boasts that 99% of applicants receive their money within one business day. The main exception is student loan funding, as this requires you to send in a college transcript as proof.

For qualifying applicants, Upstart is also great for reducing high-interest debt.



  • APR: 9.99% – 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 24 – 48 months
  • Max Loan: $2,000 – $25,000
  • Minimum Credit Score:  585

LendingPoint is unusual for accepting customers who have filed for bankruptcy over the last year, making it a viable option for those with even the lowest credit scores. The minimum score is just 585, although you’ll also need a minimum salary of $20,000 a year.

This offer is made possible because other factors are considered to make the application fairer: job history (preferable at least a year with your current employer), financial history (including banking), income, and whether your credit behavior is improving. After applying and being approved, you should receive your funds just one day later.

You can take out a loan between $2,000 and $25,000 and an APR of 9.99% to 35.99%; this is a relatively high interest rate, so you shouldn’t consider LendingPoint if you have a decent credit score and can access better conditions. The loan term length can be for between two to four years.

There’s an option to enable AutoPay (although there’s no bonus for using it with LendingPoint) and to pay twice a month, which can help with budgeting for some.

Check your rates using our quote form above.



  • APR: 9.95% – 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 24 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $2,000 – $35,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 600

Avant gives loans to individuals who fall slightly below the average credit score – you only need a credit score of 580 to apply, although the average borrower has a score between 600 and 700. The average income of customers is also quite high, at over $60,000.

You can obtain a loan amount between $2,000 to $35,000 at an APR between 9.95% and 35.99%. You’ll also have to pay an origination fee (which they call an administration fee) between 0.95% and 4.75%, but there are no other fees involved. The loan lengths range from 24 to 60 months.

You’ll be able to access customer support seven days a week by phone, email, or chat. You can only have your funds transferred within a day.

Check your rates using our quote form above.


OneMain Financial

  • APR: 18.00% – 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 24 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $1,500 – $20,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 600

OneMain Financial is a long-term lender; the company has been around for over 100 years. They’re unusual for not having a minimum credit score requirement, but the average score is 600-650.

You’ll be offered between $1,500 and $20,000 with an APR range between 18.00% and 35.99%, and you’ll also need to pay an origination fee. These rates are quite high, which is the price for choosing a lender with no minimum credit score, but they offer a co-signing option to ensure you stay on the lower side of the rates. The term lengths are 24, 36, 48, and 60 months.

Unlike many of the other lenders, you can’t complete the whole process online; you’ll need to visit a branch to discuss your requirements.

Check your rates using our quote form above.


Municipal Credit Union

  • APR: 5.95% to 7.95%
  • Loan Term: 12 – 72 months
  • Max Loan: $1,000 and $50,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: none

A credit union is a financial cooperative owned by its members, which is distinct from other lending models. Municipal Credit Union has been around for over one hundred years, since 1916, and is built on the principle of members helping each other rather than a few individuals profiting from the loans of others.

That’s why Municipal Credit Union personal loans are a good choice for those who don’t have the best credit scores. In fact, there’s no minimum credit score to apply. You just need to be earning a minimum of $15,000 a year.

Their rates are also reasonable, ranging from 5.95% to 7.95%, which is low by industry standards. You can claim between $1,000 and $50,000 for a term length from one to six years.

Although the terms are favorable for those with bad credit, Municipal Credit Union does charge a high late payment fee of $25. The other drawback is that you need to join the credit union to join, by opening an account with them.

To have the opportunity to join, you’ll need to either live in the right geographical location, have the right employer, belong to the right community organization, or have a family member in the union. Provided you meet this criterion, joining is fairly simple: your account balance can be as low as $5.



  • APR: 34% – 155%
  • Loan Term: 6 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $1,000 – $10,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 500

NetCredit offers loans for those with bad credit scores – the minimum credit score is just 500, and the minimum income is $20,000. However, this leniency comes at a price.

The APR range goes from 34% to 155%, which is significantly higher than most other lenders; you should only consider a lender such as NetCredit as a last resort.

They offer loans at a value from $1,000 to $10,000 for a term between 6 and 60 months. There may also be an origination fee of 5%, depending on which state you live in, and a late payment fee, but there are no additional hidden costs.

One advantage is that NetCredit offers a range of learning resources, including a personal loan report from three credit reporting agencies. This can help to get back on track with your credit.

Unfortunately, Net Credit loans are only available in 14 states.



  • APR: 59% to 199%
  • Loan Term: up to 36 months
  • Max Loan: $500 – $4,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 350

OppLoans also offers loans for those with credit scores so low they’d struggle to find a provider elsewhere.

The APR they charge is even higher than that of NetCredit; the range goes from 59% to 199%. These rates are clearly very high, but it may still be preferable to a traditional payday loan or credit card debt.

There’s also an origination fee of up to 3% and a late payment fee of $10. The minimum credit score is the lowest of all providers on this list, at just 350, and the minimum salary to apply is $18,000.


Lending Club

  • APR: 6.95% – 35.89%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $1,000 – $40,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 600

Lending Club is largely viewed as the pioneer of marketplace lending and has been around for longer than Prosper – it was founded back in 2007 and has given out more than $50 billion since then. The company claims that the average customer saves $1,300 by using Lending Club.

You need a minimum credit score of 600, but Lending Club will ease this slightly if you take advantage of the cosigning option. As long as your cosigner has a score of at least 600, your credit score could go as low as 540. You and your cosigner will also need a joint debt-to-income ratio of 35% or less.

On a surface level, there aren’t many differences between the two providers. Using Lending Club, you can get a loan of up to $40,000 with an APR between 6.95% and 35.89%. Just like Prosper, you’ll have to pay an origination fee between 1% and 6% and a late fee.

However, there are some key differences. Lending Club is more flexible: it lets you pay your lender directly if you want, and you may also be eligible for a hardship plan.

lending club personal loans

Check your rates using our quote form above.



  • APR: 6.95% to 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Max Loan: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Minimum Credit Score:  640

Prosper has rates and fees compared to more traditional lenders who look for borrowers with good credit. Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for those who low credit scores – the minimum score needed is 640, and the average is an impressive 717.

Loan values range from $2,000 to $40,000 with an APR from 6.95% to 35.99%. There are no prepayment penalties, but you’ll have to pay an origination fee ranging from 1% to 5% of the total amount borrowed and a late payment fee of $15 or 5% of the paid amount (whichever is lowest).

The platform offers personal loans for three- or five-year fixed terms. You can check your rate instantly and, if you go ahead with the loan, you’ll receive the money within five days.

A major disadvantage is the lack of flexibility. As well as needing to pay a fee for late payment, there’s no option to adjust your payment schedule once you’ve committed.


Earnin believes that everyone should be able to access their earnings from a single day’s work without having to wait to get paid for the typical earnings cycle.

As soon as you’ve worked, you’ll build up money that you can withdraw or leave in your account, up to $100 per day, and up to $500 per pay period. Once your real paycheck arrives, this money will be deducted. Earnin will also negotiate with medical providers on your behalf to organize a fair repayment plan.

Unlike most similar providers, Earnin charges no extra fees, interest, or other hidden costs. You simply pay what you think the service is worth.

How Do Personal Loans Work?

When an individual borrows from a lender, this is called a personal loan. Possible lenders include banks, credit union, or marketplace lenders – and we discussed all three types in this article.

The key measure used to compare different personal loans is the APR (Annual Percentage Rate). The APR is much more relevant than the interest rate because it incorporates all the fees charged and makes it easier to directly compare the terms of different loans.

Other fees you could be charged include an origination fee, prepayment fee, and a late fee. An origination fee is a one-off fee you’ll pay initially when you take out a loan; the amount you’ll pay depends on your credit score and is charged after you receive the money. The prepayment fee is a charge you’ll have to pay for paying a loan off early, while a late fee is a cost imposed if you miss your monthly payment.

The rate you’re given for a personal loan typically depends on your credit rating, how much you want to borrow, and the term of the loan you want.

Some providers also consider your yearly salary, debt-to-income ratio (your debt expressed as a percentage of your income), or even your college education and earning potential.

It’s a good idea to check your credit score before you apply for a loan to get an idea of what to expect. This can be done for free and without affecting your credit score on a website like Credit Karma.

They say that the less you need a loan, the easier it is to get one – unfortunately, this is true. If you have a low credit score, you’ll still be able to find a provider, but prepare to be ripped off.

Which Bank Is Best For Personal Loans?

The best bank to choose depends on your financial situation – your credit score and other factors affect the APR providers will offer you. Use our form below to get offers from multiple lenders.

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Can I Get a Personal Loan With a 700 Credit Score?

The average American has a FICO credit score of 695, and having this score wouldn’t preclude you from any of the providers mentioned in this article. In fact, anything above 670 is deemed ‘good’ and will make you eligible for most loans.

Nonetheless, having an ‘acceptable’ score won’t guarantee you a good APR; you usually need a credit score of at least 740 to be offered a rate on the lower end of the spectrum advertised by providers.

Once you get to a credit score below 600, you’re likely to start running into trouble. Many providers won’t offer you a loan at all, and those that do will offer you a very high rate.

Here’s a list of the credit score requirements of all providers mentioned from highest to lowest:

  • Earnest: 680
  • SoFi: 680
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 660
  • Discover: 660
  • Laurel Road: 660
  • Prosper: 640
  • Best Egg: 640
  • Payoff: 640
  • Upgrade: 620
  • Upstart: 620
  • Lending Club: 600
  • LendingPoint: 585
  • Avant: 580
  • NetCredit: 500
  • OppLoans: 350
  • OneMain Financial: None

What’s The Best Online Loan Company For Bad Credit?

If your credit score is below 600, there are still a few options available for you. Lending Club, LendingPoint, Avant, NetCredit, and OppLoans each state 600 or lower as their minimum credit requirement. The one you choose depends on just how bad your credit is and how flexible a repayment scheme you need.

Lending Club is a great option for its flexibility; you might be able to qualify for a hardship plan, and you can also pay your lender directly if you want.

Lending Club also has a co-signing option, which can lower the APR you pay – if you have a below-average credit score, you definitely need to look for somebody with a higher credit score who is willing to co-sign for your loans agreement.

OppLoans and NetCredit are specialists in providing loans to people with very bad credit scores – if you have a score that is 500 or lower, they’ll probably be your only option. Although their conditions are far from ideal, beggars can’t be choosers; a personal loan is often still preferable to traditional payday loans and credit card debt.

Although OneMain states no minimum credit score, this doesn’t mean they give out loans to absolutely everyone, just that they consider multiple factors. The average OneMain customer has a relatively high credit score (600-650), so you probably wouldn’t be able to secure a loan with them if you have a very low score.

Which Personal Loan Is Best For You?

If you want a personal loan to pay for an expensive wedding or a fancy vacation, then it could be worth reconsidering whether or not the expense is truly necessary and worth going into debt over.

But I get it – sometimes life gets in the way, and there really is no choice but to take out a loan. Debt consolidation is a perfect example.

If you are going to take out a personal loan, you need to get the most bang for your buck. Remember that checking your rate with a loan provider never affects your credit score, so it may be worth comparing multiple companies before you commit.

No matter what your credit score, there’s a loan out there for you. Just do your research and make sure you can meet the obligations of your payment plan.

*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment Example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.
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