List of 15+ personal loan uses | How to compare your options

What can you use a personal loan for?

Here are the things you could use a personal loan for and how to compare your options.

There are multiple ways to borrow money, and personal loans could be an option to explore. So, in which situations should you consider a personal loan and when should you consider alternatives? Find out in this guide.

Prosper

Prosper

You could borrow up to $35,000 for a variety of purposes, with rates starting from 5.99%.

  • Recommended Credit Score: 640 or higher
  • Minimum Loan Amount: $2,000
  • Maximum Loan Amount: $35,000
  • Loan Term: 3 or 5 years
  • Turnaround Time: 1-3 business days
  • Simple online application process
  • No prepayment penalties

    For what purposes will lenders let me take out a personal loan?

    PurposeCan you fund this with a personal loan?Things to consider
    Vehicle purchaseYesIf the vehicle is eligible, you can get a car loan for lower rates. Unsecured personal loans are also an option.
    Debt consolidationYesYou can get a debt consolidation personal loan or consider a balance transfer credit card.
    Home improvementYesAs well as a personal loan for home improvement, you can also consider a line of credit on your home, which is called a HELOC.
    VacationYesThere are lenders that will you give you an unsecured personal loan to pay for a vacation.
    WeddingYesSome lenders will lend you money to finance the cost of your wedding.
    Boat or jet skiYesLenders impose maximum loan amounts that might not cover the total cost of your boat or jet ski. You may have the option of using the boat or jet ski you purchase as collateral for a secured loan.
    Pay off taxesYesYou can take out a loan to pay your tax bill in one lump sum to avoid fees charged by the IRS for installment payments or late payments.
    BusinessIt dependsLenders have different criteria for approving loans for business purposes. Learn more about getting a personal loan for business use or check out our guide on business loans.

    What’s the difference between a secured and unsecured personal loan?

    Common expenses top lenders could let you borrow money to cover

    ProviderAuto financing & refinancingBusiness expansionDebt consolidationHome improvementSpecial occasion & weddingVacation
    CitibankNoNoYesYesNoNo
    DiscoverYesNoYesYesYesYes
    LendingClubYesYesYesYesNoNo
    NetCreditYesNoYesYesYesYes
    OneMain FinancialYesNoYesYesYesYes
    ProsperYesYesYesYesYesYes
    SoFiNoNoYesYesYesNo
    UpstartYesYesYesYesYesYes
    USAAYesNoYesYesYesYes
    Wells FargoYesNoYesYesYesYes
    Laurel Road Personal Loans

    Laurel Road Personal Loans

    Get a personalized rate offer through a quick online application. Recommended for people with annual income of $60K+ and debt of less than 40% of their income.

    • Min. Credit Score Required: 680
    • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
    • Max. Loan Amount: $45,000
    • Starting APR: 5.5%
    • Loan Term: 3, 4 or 5 years
    • Rate discounts for autopay
    • No prepayment fees

      Will my loan purpose affect my application?

      Yes, it can. For example, if you’re applying for debt consolidation, you may already appear to be higher risk than someone who’s buying an asset, such as a car, or someone who’s investing in their property by making renovations.

      However, it depends on how the lender assesses your application’s risk. Ultimately, your eligibility will come down to whether you meet the lender’s application criteria and whether you can afford the loan.
      7 tips to improve your chances of approval for a personal loan

      Personal loans you can apply for today

      Rates last updated April 23rd, 2018

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      Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
      Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
      Even Financial Personal Loans
      Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
      580
      $100,000
      4.99%–35.99% (fixed)
      Monevo Personal Loans
      Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.
      580
      $100,000
      3.09%–35.99% (fixed)
      Upgrade Personal Loans*
      Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
      620
      $50,000
      5.96%–35.97% (fixed)
      Prosper
      Borrow only what you need for debt consolidation, home improvements and more — with APRs based on overall creditworthiness.
      640
      $35,000
      5.99%–35.99% (fixed)
      LendingClub Personal Loan
      A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
      660
      $40,000
      5.98%–35.89% (fixed)
      CompareFirst Personal Loans
      An easy-to-use loan connection service geared toward introducing first-time borrowers to affordable personal loans.
      580
      $50,000
      2.99%–36% (fixed)
      Best Egg Personal Loans
      A prime lender with multiple repayment methods.
      640
      $35,000
      5.99%–29.99% (fixed)
      FreedomPlus Personal Loans
      Consolidate debt and more with these low-interest loans. Cosigners welcome.
      640
      $35,000
      4.99%–29.99% (fixed)
      Laurel Road Personal Loans
      Get a personal loan with no application or origination fees and a rate discount for autopay.
      680
      $45,000
      5.5%–11.74% (fixed)
      LendingPoint Personal Loans
      Get a personal loan with reasonable rates even if you have a fair credit score in the 600s.
      600
      $25,000
      15.49%–34.99% (fixed)
      NetCredit Personal Loan
      Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
      550
      $10,000
      34%–155% (fixed)
      OneMain Financial Personal and Auto Loans
      An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.
      Varies
      $25,000
      typically around 18.49%* (fixed)

      Compare up to 4 providers

      What other credit options do I have to consider?

      While a personal loan is a viable option for the above scenarios, you also have other financing options to consider. These include:

      • Home equity loans. If you’re undertaking home renovations, using the equity from your home can also be an option. Work out the costs of this as well as a personal loan to see which one would be a better option.
      • Business loans. If you require a large loan for business purposes, you can compare business lenders offering financing up to $5,000,000.
      • Credit cards. These can be a good source of ongoing credit and can come with high limits – between $1,000 and $100,000 – that you can use when you don’t have the ready money.
      • Balance transfer credit card. If you have debt across a few credit cards or even a few personal loans, you can consider a balance transfer credit card. These let you pay 0% interest on the debt for an extended period of time.

      When should I not use a personal loan?

      While many loan purposes are acceptable, some aren’t always advised. Here are some situations where you may want to reconsider your loan application:

      • If you can easily save the money. Want to buy a luxury item or treat yourself to a splurge purchase, but it isn’t urgent? A personal loan may not be the best option. One idea is to work out how much your repayments would be and save that amount each month instead.
      • If it’s a bad investment. Are you thinking of taking out a loan to make home improvements or some other investment? Make sure the investment will add value, otherwise you’ll be repaying your loan on an idea that lost money.
      • If your income and employment aren’t stable. Taking out a personal loan when you’re in an unstable financial situation could hurt you in the long run. If there’s any reason why you think your income or employment situation might change for the worse, consider alternatives like cutting back on expenses or saving money in a savings account.

      How to compare your personal loan options

      Here are a list of features to compare when considering personal loan options:

      • Loan amount. Check what the minimum and maximum borrowing amounts are and if they meet your needs.
      • Loan terms. Some lenders offer shorter loan terms than others. This affects the monthly repayment amount.
      • Upfront and ongoing fees. These fees will be added onto your principal loan amount and will therefore affect your repayments and the interest you have to pay.
      • Type of interest rate. Your loan can either be fixed or variable, and both of these rates will come with different features.
      • APR. The Annual Percentage Rate incorporates the fees as well as the interest rate to show you the true cost of the loan.
      • Repayment flexibility. Check whether you’ll be able to make additional repayments or pay off the entire loan amount early without penalty.

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      US Personal Loans Offers

      Important Information*
      Even Financial Personal Loans

      Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

      Prosper

      Borrow only what you need for debt consolidation, home improvements and more — with APRs based on overall creditworthiness.

      LendingClub Personal Loan

      A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

      SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

      Borrow up to $100,000 with a competitive APR and no fees.

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