Best low-interest personal loans

Compare top lenders and get tips to qualify for the lowest rate.

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Getting a low interest rate on a personal loan can save you hundreds — if not thousands — over the life of your loan. And while it’s not a random process, it will take a lot of work to get your interest rate to a coveted single digit. By comparing your options and improving your application, you may be able to snag a low interest rate personal loan.

Our top pick: Monevo Personal Loans

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 450
  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $100,000
  • APR: 3.99% to 35.99%
  • Requirements: Credit score of 450+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
  • No obligation offers
  • Quick online decision
  • Award-winning service

Our top pick: Monevo Personal Loans

Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 450
  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $100,000
  • APR: 3.99% to 35.99%
  • Requirements: Credit score of 450+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Promoted

Best low-interest personal loans

ProviderAPR RangeLoan Amounts
Monevo 3.99% to 35.99% $500 to $100,000
Go to Monevo's site
LightStream Competitive $5,000 to $100,000
Go to Lightstream's site
LendingClub 6.95% to 35.89% $1,000 to $40,000
Go to Lending Club's site

Methodology

When choosing the best low-interest personal loans, we first considered each lender’s APR — a number that represents the interest rate and any mandatory fees. We also considered each lender’s eligibility criteria and underwriting to estimate how likely it is to get a low rate.

Monevo

Product NameMonevo Personal Loans
Min. Loan Amount$500
Max. Loan Amount$100,000
APR3.99% to 35.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit Score450
Minimum Loan Term0.25 years
Maximum Loan Term12 years
Turnaround TimeVaries by lender
  • Best for comparing offers from multiple lenders
  • Look elsewhere if you don’t want to give multiple lenders your contact information

Monevo is an award-winning online connection service that can help you quickly compare lenders at once. Its partners offer a wide range of loan amounts, terms and rates. It also has some of the lowest interest rates out there. You don’t need perfect credit to apply but you also likely won’t be able to get the lowest rates unless your personal finances are impeccable.

LightStream

Product NameLightStream Personal Loans
Min. Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan Amount$100,000
APRCompetitive
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit ScoreGood to excellent credit
Minimum Loan Term2 years
Maximum Loan Term7 years
Turnaround TimeVaries
  • Best for getting a rate that beats out the competition
  • Look elsewhere if you need money to pay for school or start a business

LightStream offers some of the lowest rates out there. And if you get a better offer from another lender, LightStream might offer a rate 0.01% lower, thanks to its Rate Beat program — as long as the other lender’s APR meets specific terms and conditions. Its maximum APR caps at close to half of what you’d find with most other lenders.

Earnest

Product NameEarnest Personal Loans
Min. Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan Amount$75,000
APR5.99% to 17.24%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit Score660
Minimum Loan Term3 years
Maximum Loan Term5 years
Turnaround Time1 to 2 business days
  • Best for a loan that fits your budget
  • Look elsewhere if you don’t have money saved up or are self-employed

While you still need good credit to qualify for a loan from Earnest, this online lender uses a unique underwriting system to look at all aspects of your career, education and finances when you apply.

Earnest’s rates start low, but the low maximum APR is what makes it really competitive — it’s also much lower than the standard maximum rate of 36%. If you went to graduate school and have established a solid career path, you might find that Earnest offers lower rates than other lenders provide.

What’s considered a low interest rate on a personal loan?

A low-interest personal loan is a loan that has an interest rate below 12%. It works like any other personal loan: you borrow money and then pay it back with interest and fees. But because of their low interest rates, they tend to cost much less than the average personal loan.

To qualify for a low-interest loan from most lenders, you typically need to have a credit score above 720 and a strong financial history. Doesn’t sound like you? You still have low-interest options. Those without excellent credit might want to look at loans secured with collateral or borrow from credit unions or peer-to-peer lenders, which tend to offer lower rates than other direct lenders.

No matter what your situation, you’re likely to find a low-interest personal loan that fits your needs.

What’s the best rate on a personal loan?

You might think you can get that 2.99% interest rate by simply having a good credit score, but the truth is that very few people can qualify for a lender’s absolute lowest rate. Lenders only offer these low rates to the most ideal candidates: people who borrow over a certain amount, have a six-figure income and almost no debt. In other words, the kind of person that probably doesn’t need a loan.

In reality, the average interest rate for people with excellent credit is actually around 9%.

How do I compare low-interest offers?

Interest is important, but it’s not the only thing that makes a loan competitive. Compare these other features when deciding between two low-interest offers:

  • Loan security. If you can’t provide any collateral, your options are limited to low-interest unsecured personal loans. By providing some kind of security, you may be able to get a lower APR.
  • Loan amount. Different lenders offer low-interest unsecured personal loans for amounts from $500 to $50,000. The maximum you can borrow depends on your creditworthiness, your existing financial situation and your ability to make repayments.
  • Loan fees. Some online loans come with origination fees — typically between 1% to 5% of your loan amount — which is factored into your APR. There are other fees you might want to look out for that don’t get included in your rate, such as prepayment penalties, late fees or nonsufficient funds fees. You could also consider a no-fee personal loan if you have very good credit.
  • Loan term. Getting a loan term that matches your needs may be easier than you think. You can normally find low-interest personal loans with terms from two to seven years.
  • Processing time. Certain lenders can give you access to funds on the day you apply or by the next business day. For others, you may have to wait for as long as 7 to 10 business days.

How do lenders determine interest rate?

The interest rate you’re given by a lender is determined by your financial history and your current financial situation. Lenders want to know how well you can pay back your loan and if you’re likely to default.

  • Credit score. Your credit score is an overall picture of your ability to pay back the money you borrow. A high credit score is the first thing many lenders look at and is often considered one of the most important parts of your application.
  • Credit report. Your credit report lists all the accounts you’ve had in the past, the accounts you currently have open and the recent pulls to check your credit score. This details your financial situation for your lender, giving it a better idea of how you handle your finances.
  • Debt-to-income ratio. Lenders rely more on your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) than your income itself. This is because your DTI shows the exact amount you have to spend on your loan and the money you owe to other creditors.
  • Nonconvential factors. Lenders may also consider less conventional factors when setting your interest rate. Your work history, level of education and even how many times you’ve changed your phone number over the past few years could affect your interest rate.

What’s the difference between interest and APR?

You might have noticed that most lenders advertise annual percentage rates (APR) instead of interest. That’s because APR includes interest and fees, giving you a more accurate idea of how much your loan is going to cost. Many personal loans don’t come with application or origination fees, so in those cases the APR and interest are the same. Otherwise, a loan’s APR will be higher than its interest rate.

5 tips to get a low interest rate on a personal loan

Watch our 2-minute video or read the tips below to learn how to save money on your next personal loan.

Compare more personal loan options

Updated November 15th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
5.95% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
3.84% to 35.99%
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
6.98% to 35.89%
600
$50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
3.84% to 35.99%
550
$100,000
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
34% to 155% (Varies by state)
No minimum
$10,000
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
3.99% to 35.99%
450
$100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
6.49% to 17.99%
650
$25,000
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
6.95% to 35.89%
640
$40,000
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
5.99% to 17.88%
680
$100,000
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

Compare up to 4 providers

Where can I find a low-interest personal loan?

In your search for low-interest personal loans you’ll come across these options:

  • Peer-to-peer lenders. Peer-to-peer lenders connect investors with borrowers. If you have a good or excellent credit score, you may be able to get competitive interest rates.
  • Credit unions. Credit unions don’t have any shareholders so they transfer their profits to their members through competitive interest rates and little to no fees. But not all credit unions offer membership to the public at large.
  • Secured loan providers. Some lenders allow you to secure your personal loan with collateral. In return, you may be able to score a lower interest rate.
  • Banks. If you have excellent credit, you might be able to qualify for a low-interest bank loan. Some banks like Wells Fargo might offer a customer discount if you already have an account.
  • Online lenders. There are multiple personal loans out there offered by lenders that work completely online. These tend to accept borrowers with a range of credit scores, but you may be able to get a low rate if you have a good or excellent credit score.

How to get a low-interest loan

If you find a personal loan you’re eligible for, you can either apply online, in-person or over the phone. Many online lenders have prequalification options, which gives you an estimate of what type of interest rates you might be eligible for without a hard credit check.

After you submit your application, an underwriter (or underwriting software) reviews your file and pulls a hard credit check, which will cause a temporary dip in your credit score. At this point, you might be asked to submit additional documentation like bank statements, tax forms or pay stubs.

If you’re approved for an online personal loan, the money is transferred into your bank account electronically. You then have to make repayments on a monthly basis until your loan is paid off.

Bottom line

Getting a personal loan with a low interest rate can be a years-long task. After all, you’ll need to have both an excellent credit score and a solid financial history. But the hard work will be worth it when you can compare loans for excellent credit.

Frequently asked questions

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RobertOctober 15, 2018

    Are there age limits for obtaining a loan?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 15, 2018

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      You’ll have to meet your state’s minimum age requirement. For most states that age is 18 years. You should also be an American citizen or a permanent resident and have a regular source of income.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  2. Default Gravatar
    NirbhaiSeptember 26, 2017

    Hello. Please suggest on how can I get full amount of loan that I need. Please help me.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 29, 2017Staff

      Hi Nirbhai,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The amount of funding that you can borrow will depend on several factors that include your credit score and the purpose of the loan. The maximum you can borrow depends on your creditworthiness, your existing financial situation and your ability to make repayments. You should check with the lender on how much is the maximum amount they can lend you.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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