Best Personal Loans

The Best Personal Loans | Bridgepayday

Personal loans let you borrow money for almost any purpose. Although personal loans are flexible, costs will vary depending on your credit score and the lender you choose. Personal loans are generally not secured by collateral. However, late or missed payments can affect your credit score and credit rating.

Personal loans that are the best are easy and quick to obtain. These personal loans are also affordable for qualified borrowers. You can even avoid prepayment penalties by paying your balance off in advance.

The Best Personal Loans in October 2021

BEST OVERALL: SoFi

Reasons We Choose It

Personal loans from SoFi combine attractive interest rates and impressive benefits, such as the ability to suspend your payments in case you lose your job temporarily. Autopay allows you to get interest rates as low as 4.99%. SoFi is a solid option for all purposes.

Pros

  • Qualified borrowers can get low-interest rates
  • Unemployment protection available
  • Loan amounts up to a large extent

Cons

  • You might find better rates elsewhere
  • Funding can take up to a few days
  • Creditworthiness is a must

Overview

Personal loans from SoFi combine attractive interest rates and impressive benefits, such as the ability to suspend your payments in case you lose your job temporarily. SoFi offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000 without fees. Interest rates range from 4.99% to 19.63% based on credit history, with an automatic payment discount.

SoFi will review your loan application and consider more than your credit score. SoFi will also take into account your income and credit history. It may take several days between the time you submit your loan application and when funds are transferred into your account.

You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S citizen or permanent resident or visa holder to be approved. SoFi loans are available in all states except Mississippi.

BEST FOR DEBT CONSOLIDATION: Marcus by Goldman Sachs 

Why we chose it

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers personal loan options that could work well for debt consolidating. This is due in part to the extended repayment terms of up to 72 months. 

You may be eligible for a 6.99% interest rate with no fees if you have good credit. Qualified applicants can get loans up to $40,000 These features can be combined to save money if you consolidate your credit card debt at a lower interest rate.

Pros

  • Longer repayment terms
  • There are no late fees or fees
  • Customize your payment due date

Cons

  • Higher rates longer repayment terms
  • To qualify, you must have good credit
  • Accepted cosigners are not

Overview

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers personal loan options that could be useful for debt consolidation. This is partly due to the long repayment terms. 

Marcus personal loans can be obtained for as little as $3,500 up to $40,000, with no late fees and no fees. The interest rates range from 6.99% up to 19.99% APR. Marcus personal loans cannot be used to refinance student loan debt.

In most states, you must be at least 18 years old. You also need a bank account and a Social Security or Individual tax I.D. You must apply in the required number. Once your application is approved, it will take one to four days to receive your funds.

BEST FOR GOOD CREDIT: LightStream

Why We Choose It

SunTrust Bank’s online division, LightStream, offers low-interest rates for borrowers with good credit. Some types of unsecured personal loans start as low as 2.49 percent. LightStream personal loans can be taken out for as much as $100,000 by qualified borrowers. LightStream is an excellent option for those with good credit ratings due to its high-interest rates and large maximum loan amounts.

Pros

Unsecured Rates as Low as 2.49%

Competitor Rate Beat Program

Guaranteed Loan Experience

Cons

For the lowest rates, you need to have excellent credit

There is no pre approval process

Only online applications

Overview

LightStream is an online division of SunTrust Bank that offers low-interest rates for borrowers with good credit. LightStream personal loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 and have interest rates ranging from 2.49% up to 19.99% APR, with an automatic payment discount. Lightstream doesn’t charge fees.

Your chances of approval are higher if you have credit reports that show a long credit history and a variety of accounts (e.g., credit cards, installment loans, etc.). You should also have a history of making timely payments and a few years of credit history. A stable income and proof of savings are also required. You can find out more.

You may be able to access your funds the next day after you have been approved. LightStream loans cannot be used to pay for college, refinance student loans, or fund a business.

BEST FOR FAIR CREDIT: Upstart 

Why we chose it

Former Google employees founded upstart. The platform uses artificial intelligence for considering alternative data, so you might be more likely to get approved even if your credit score is not perfect. An upstart is a solid option for borrowers who have a good credit rating.

Upstart has been able to approve 26% more applicants by using alternative data since 2017. Upstart’s typical rates range from 6.76% to 35.99%. Qualified applicants may borrow between $1,000 and $50,000.

Pros

  • No prepayment penalty
  • You may also consider other data when you submit your application
  • Soft credit is required to obtain your first quote

Cons

  • Maximum APR of 8%
  • Potentially high origination fees
  • Only online applications

Overview

Former Google employees founded upstart. The platform uses artificial intelligence to evaluate alternative data. This means that even if you have poor credit, you might be more likely to get approved. Upstart is a solid option for those with good credit ratings. Qualified applicants may borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 at rates between 6.76% to 35.99%.

Upstart was able to approve 26% more applicants in 2020 by using alternative data than traditional lenders. Origination fees can be up to 8% of the borrowed amount. 

Late fees can be either $15 or 5% of your past due amount, depending on higher. $15 is charged for returned checks (or ACH returns fees). If you change from paperless monthly statements to mailed copies, $10 will be added.

A bankruptcy, public record, or current past-due credit account will not qualify you. If you accept the terms and are accepted by 5 p.m. EST, you could get funds the next day. Upstart is not available to residents of West Virginia and Iowa.

BEST FOR BAD CREDIT: Avant 

Why We Choose It

Avant can offer a personal loan if you are looking for money but have poor credit. For qualified borrowers, funding may be up to $35,000 and interest rates as low as 9.5%. 

Although this rate is not the lowest you can find for a personal loan, it is significantly lower than the starting point of many other personal loans for people with bad credit.

Pros

  • Bad credit gets competitive interest rates
  • Quick access to funds
  • Start by obtaining soft credit

Cons

  • High-interest rates are possible
  • The maximum loan amount is very low
  • A small administrative fee could be assessed

Overview

Avant can help you if you are looking for a personal loan if your credit is not perfect. You can get loans from $2,000 up to $35,000 at APRs ranging from 9.95% to 34.99%. However, this rate is not the lowest you can find for a personal loan. It is significantly lower than the starting point of many other personal loans for people with bad credit.

Avant may also charge an administration fee of up to 4.75%. This will be deducted from your loan amount. If your payment is late, you may also be subject to late fees.

Avant will review your credit score and income to determine if you are eligible for a loan. The loan funds are typically deposited into your account within the next business day.

BEST RUNNER UP: Best Egg

Why We Chose It

Best Egg is known for its excellent customer service and competitive rates. Best Egg offers some of the most competitive rates, even with an origination fee. Personal loans can be obtained at rates as low as 5.99% with terms as short as 36 months.

Pros

  • You can check their initial rate without credit affecting
  • Offers Competitive Rates
  • You can take out multiple loans

Cons

  • For the lowest rates, you need to have a high income
  • Origination fees required
  • Joint applications are not allowed

Overview

Best Egg is well-known for its excellent customer service and competitive rates. Best Egg offers some of the most competitive rates, even without an origination fee. Personal loans are available at rates ranging from 5.99% up to 35.99% APR for loans between $2,000 and $35,000.

To qualify for the lowest rates, applicants must have a minimum income of $100,000 and a minimum credit score of 700. Most loans are funded within one to three days. Best Egg allows you to borrow multiple loans, but not more than 50k.

BEST BANK: Wells Fargo

Why We Chose It

One of the largest banks in the country is Wells Fargo. You don’t have to visit any of the 7,200 branches in the U.S.; you can access information on the website. Existing customers can also apply online or by phone.

Pros

  • There are no origination fees nor prepayment penalties
  • Rapid funding
  • Relationship discounts available

Cons

  • Apply in person for new customers
  • Minimum loan amount: $3,000

Overview

One of the largest banks in the country is Wells Fargo. Existing customers can apply online and over the phone, if they don’t have branches in their area. You can apply online for loans from $3,000 to $100,000, with interest rates ranging from 5.74% up to 24.24%.

While there are no origination, closure, or prepayment fees, fees may apply for late or returned payments. To qualify for rate discounts, applicants must sign up for autopay using a Wells Fargo bank account.

Funds could be available the next day or even the next business day. To apply, if you are new to Wells Fargo, you will need to visit a branch. Existing customers may apply online for a personal loan or by telephone.

BEST CREDIT UNION: First Tech Credit Union

Why We Chose It

First Tech Credit Union provides access to lower rates and minimal fees for those with poor credit. You don’t need to meet strict membership requirements to qualify.

To be eligible, you will need to join the Financial Fitness Association and the Computer History Museum and open a savings account. Starting at 6.70%, the credit union has one of the best rates for unsecured personal loans.

Pros

  • Co-borrowers are allowed to apply
  • There are no origination or application fees
  • Higher maximum loan amount

Cons

  • Apply for membership
  • Higher credit scores get you better rates

Overview

First Tech Credit Union provides access to lower rates and minimal fees for those with poor credit. You don’t have to meet strict membership requirements to become a member.

Rates start at 6.70% APR and loans are available from $500 up to $50,000. The credit union will assess income and debts and determine if applicants are over the age of majority. The funds are available within the next business day.

Final Verdict

We love SoFi because of its competitive rates and easy online application process. You may be able to get lower rates if you have poor credit or excellent credit.

There is no perfect lender because credit scores and borrowing amounts are different. If you do find the right lender for you, like SoFi, it’s possible to win. To learn more about the costs associated with SoFi and any other top personal loan companies, visit this personal loan calculator.

What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is money that a bank or private lender gives to an individual. 

The loan is typically unsecured and has a fixed interest rate. To fully repay the loan, the borrower must agree to its terms and make timely monthly payments. Personal loans can be used to pay off or consolidate debt, pay medical bills, or make large purchases.

How do Personal Loans work?

If the borrower meets specific requirements, a personal loan is granted. The loan is repaid over time and with interest. To repay the loan, the borrower typically makes monthly payments of principal as well as interest. Because the interest rate on a personal loan generally is lower, it is more affordable than a credit card.

What are the requirements for a personal loan?

The loan amount, the person lending the money, and the type of personal loan will determine the qualification requirements. These are the most common personal loan qualifications:

  • Minimum FICO Score Usually in the 600s
  • Income requirements
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • The past two years of history
  • 18+
  • Social security number valid
  • Bank statements proving income and positive bank history

What Does a Personal Loan Cost?

Personal loans can have origination fees, prepayment penalties, and late fees, as well as administrative fees. But not all lenders charge the same fees. 

Before you apply for a personal loan, it is essential to verify with the lender. The interest you pay is the highest cost, regardless of the fees charged by the lender. 1 The average personal loan interest rate is 9.58%

Methodology

There are hundreds of personal loans, some even thousands. Before settling on the top contenders, we researched and reviewed many of them. We chose these personal loans based on their loan amount, term, interest rate, the application process, and other factors.

Tags

fixed rates
credit profiles
prior to loan funding
secured loan
online lenders
personal loan lenders
based on loan purpose
higher interest rates
enrolled in autopay
good credit scores

Author: Alex Darwin

Alex is a former budget manager turned entrepreneur. He works mainly at home on his credit score advice website and writes a financial blog on the side. He hopes to expand his business into a full online lending company for bad credit as soon as he gets enough investors.