7 best personal loans of 2019 | finder.com

Compare the best personal loans in 2019

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Find the best choice for your personal needs.

When searching for the best personal loan, the most important factor is you. Your situation will determine what you need in a lender. Even if you have great credit, compare your options carefully before settling on a decision. It could make the difference between a decent personal loan and the best one for you.

Our top pick: Credible Personal Loans

  • Min. Credit Score Required: Good to excellent credit
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $100,000
  • 5.34% to 35.99%
  • Requirements: Have good to excellent credit, ages 18+ and be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Free loan connection service
  • Personalized rates in minutes
  • Secure online application

Our top pick: Credible Personal Loans

Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: Good to excellent credit
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $100,000
  • APR: 5.34% to 35.99%
  • Requirements: Have good to excellent credit, ages 18+ and be a US citizen or permanent resident.
Promoted

The 7 best personal loans you can apply for in June 2019

Lender APR Best for…
6.95% to 35.89% Quickly comparing multiple types of loans
Go to Lending Club's site
6.95% to 35.99% Transparent terms and fair practices
Go to Prosper Funding LLC's site
5.99% to 16.24% Additional perks like career advice and networking events
Go to SoFi's site
5.99% to 29.99% Loans with a fast turnaround
Go to Best Egg's site
3.84% to 35.99% Comparing rates from different lenders
Go to Even Financial, Inc.'s site
8.01% to 16.30% Doctors and other healthcare professionals
Go to Laurel Road Loans's site
2.99%–36% Comparing lenders that accept cosigners Read review

How did we choose these products?

When choosing the best personal loans, we first confirmed each lender’s legitimacy, business practices and website security. We also looked at customer reviews from the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.

We then analyzed and weighed each lender’s rates, fees, terms, borrowing amounts, funding speed and borrower perks. Because both variable and fixed rates have been increasing steadily, we paid special attention to lenders that continue to offer low starting APRs.

To learn more about how we rate each factor, read our personal loan ratings methodology.


How top personal loan providers stack up

Need a personal loan but not sure where to start? Take a look at how our top picks for personal loan providers. If you’re interested, you can learn more by reading our full review.

LendingClub

  • Starting APR: 6.95%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: 3 years to 5 years
  • Eligibility requirements: US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, steady source of income, ages 18+.

LendingClub is an award-winning peer-to-peer lender that connects borrowers with investors. It offers a risk-free quote of the rates you might qualify for so you can easily compare your offer with other lenders. And if you prefer dealing with one lender for all of your borrowing needs, LendingClub also offers car loans and financing for small businesses.

Go to Lending Club's site

Prosper

  • Starting APR: 6.95%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: 3 years to 5 years
  • Eligibility requirements: Must be 18+ years old, an American citizen or US permanent resident and have a 640+ credit score.

Prosper was one of the first peer-to-peer lenders to pop up in the US and has become a trusted name in the industry. It offers a variety of loan options, including personal loans for debt consolidation, special occasions, home improvement and small business financing.

Go to Prosper Funding LLC's site

SoFi

  • Starting APR: Variable rates start at 5.74% with autopay. Fixed rates start at 5.99% with autopay.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms: 2 years to 7 years
  • Eligibility: Ages 18+, US citizen or permanent resident

SoFi may be best known for its student lona refinancing option, but it also offers a wide range of personal loans — and qualified borrowers may be approved for up to $100,000. In addition, you can take advantage of its unique features, like networking events and free financial counseling.

Go to SoFi's site

Best Egg

  • Starting APR: 5.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: 3 years to 5 years
  • Eligibility: Must have a FICO® score of 640+ and be a US citizen or permanent resident. Not available in IA, WV, VT, PR, or GU.

Best Egg may have one of the lowest maximum amounts, but it makes up for it with speed. It’s one of the fastest peer-to-peer lenders out there, with turnaround in as little as one day.

Go to Best Egg's site

Even Financial

  • Starting APR: 3.84%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms: 2 years to 7 years
  • Eligibility: Eligibility requirements. 550+ credit score, ages 21+, US citizen or permanent resident

While Even Financial isn’t a direct lender, it can cut down on the time you spend comparing lenders. By filling out a quick, risk-free online form, you can get potential rate quotes from up to five lenders at once. And unlike many of the other lenders on this list, you only need a score of 580 to potentially qualify for a personal loan.

Go to Even Financial, Inc.'s site

Laurel Road

  • Starting APR: 8.01%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $45,000
  • Loan terms: 3 years to 5 years
  • Eligibility: Must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid I-551 card. Best for people w/ 680+ credit scores and $60,000+ annual income.

Formerly known as DRB, Laurel Road lender offers no-fee personal loans at competitive rates. It also has a few other perks, namely its 0.25% discount for using autopay, $300 cash bonus for referring a friend and special terms for doctors, dentists and medical residents.

Go to Laurel Road Loans's site

CompareFirst

  • Starting APR: 2.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 1 year to 5 years to 5 years
  • Eligibility: Must be a US citizen or permanent resident, age 18 or older, with a credit score of 580 or higher, and have a minimum annual income of $35,000.

CompareFirst has a network of lenders that work with borrowers of all credit backgrounds, including those who want to borrower with a cosigner. It’s powered by Backed Inc. a direct lender that specializes in cosigned loans designed to help young adults build up their personal credit. And like other comparison sites, you’ll see your potential rates from several lenders when you complete its online form.

Read review



Best personal loans by credit score

Credit score Best lender Why you might like it
Very good and excellent (740+) SoFi No fees, easy online application, funding in a few days
Go to SoFi's site
Good (670-739) Prosper Loans for any personal or small business expense with no prepayment fees
Go to Prosper Funding LLC's site
Fair (580–669) LendingPoint Rate quotes online with no hard credit pull
Go to Prosper Funding LLC's site
Poor (579 or lower) NetCredit Payment reports sent to Experian and TransUnion can improve your credit
Go to NetCredit's site

How do I decide between my loan options?

The best personal loan should stand out based on its features, so keep these factors in mind when choosing your lender.

  • Competitive interest rates. Even if you don’t have perfect credit, the best personal loans will still offer competitive interest rates. As an added benefit, these are usually lower than the interest rates that come with a credit card.
  • APR. A loan’s annual percentage rate (APR) is the interest and fees accrued across an entire year, rather than the monthly charge. Different interest rates and loan amounts will impact the APR of your loan, so compare providers based on this number.
  • Fees. Some lenders charge a monthly service fee, application fee or other large fees when you borrow. Find out what types of fees a lender plans on charging, then narrow down your selection. Some of the best personal loans don’t have any fees, so be on the lookout for lenders that limit them.
  • Borrower reviews. The best personal loans tend to come from well-rated lenders. Check up on a lender’s Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, as well as its Yelp and Reddit reviews, to see how it handles customer complaints and problems.
  • Additional perks. Does the lender offer any additional perks that might stand out to you? Access to exclusive events or an easy-to-use mobile app can be the difference between lenders with other competitive features.
  • Good customer service. The best personal loan lenders will have knowledgeable and responsive customer service teams to answer your questions.

Man comparing loans on laptop

Which lenders have the best interest rates for personal loans?

Traditionally, personal loans offered by banks and credit unions have the best rates. However, more and more online lenders are offering deals for borrowers with excellent credit and high incomes.

Keep in mind that just because a lender offers a low starting rate doesn’t mean you’ll be able to qualify for it — few people have strong enough finances to do so. The best way to find the best rate you can qualify for is to compare lenders. Even if it’s not the lowest rate out there, you may be able to find a lender that offers a competitive rate for your credit score, which means it’s likely still a good deal.

Find a low-interest personal loan

Who qualifies for the most competitive rates?

Lenders typically look for the following features before giving a borrower the best rates they offer.

  • High credit score. Having a good or excellent credit score is one of the most important factors in getting a competitive rate. Many preapproval decisions are based on your credit score.
  • Strong credit history. Your credit score should reflect your credit history to an extent, but lenders also like to see that you have a long history of paying off several different types of debt on time.
  • High income. Most personal loan providers have a minimum income requirement to qualify, but you’ll generally need an income that is much higher than the cutoff to get the best rate.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Sometimes even more important than income is the ratio of your monthly debt payments to your monthly income, as it better shows your ability to take on another payment. Typically lenders don’t want to work with anyone with a DTI higher than 43%, though a lower DTI generally helps borrowers score better rates.

Add a cosigner or collateral to qualify for a better deal

Backing is one way to make sure you get the best deal possible. You have two options: Having a cosigner back your loan or using collateral to secure your loan. These both make it less risky for the lender, which will typically offer more favorable rates and terms in return.

  • Cosigners are responsible for paying back your loan if you can’t. They can strengthen your application if you don’t meet all requirements or want to qualify for a better rate or term. But if you default, it might fall on your cosigner to take over the loan – which can mean strained relationships.
  • Collateral can take the form of a vehicle, piece of property or other valuable item. You’ll still need to meet all requirements on your own to get a secured loan, but you could get a better deal. Unfortunately, default often results in losing the collateral you used to back your loan.

What to watch out for when comparing the best personal loans

While personal loans are helpful in many scenarios, it’s in your best interest to avoid certain traps and pitfalls.

  • Read the fine print. Scrutinize all your options carefully from the start and remember to look for ongoing fees, early repayment fees and late payment fees. Read the terms and conditions document from start to finish. A nice interest rate can be appealing, but make sure the other features of the loan won’t hurt your finances.
  • Borrow less than you can afford. Just because you qualify for a large loan doesn’t mean you have to borrow the maximum amount. Use our calculator to find out how much you can comfortably afford to repay. The best loan should be affordable, even if you take a hit to your income or need to take on more debt.
  • Know your credit score. The best personal loans will have strict eligibility criteria. If you don’t have good or excellent credit, your chances of approval may be slim.
  • Understand the restrictions. Depending on the type of personal loan you choose, you may be restricted as to how you can use it. Many lenders forbid borrowers from using personal loan funds for school or business purposes. If the lender you’re looking at doesn’t cover your needs, look elsewhere.
  • Check that the lender is licensed. There are a number of credit brokers and providers that operate illegally. If you want to safeguard your information, it’s best to do your research to avoid these disreputable lenders. They may advertise “the best” loans, but they’re often only out to steal from borrowers.
  • Be wary of scams. When shopping for a loan, be wary of deals that are too good to be believed. It could be legit, but it could also be the first sign that you may be looking at a personal loan scam.

Compare more personal loans

Updated June 16th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Minimum Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
550
$100,000
3.99% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
680
$100,000
5.99% to 16.24%
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
640
$40,000
6.95% to 35.89%
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
5.34% to 35.99%
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
620
$50,000
7.98 to 35.99%
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
550
$100,000
3.84% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
550
$10,000
34% to 155% (Varies by state)
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
640 FICO®
$35,000
5.99% to 29.99%
A prime lender with multiple repayment methods.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

At the end of the day, the best personal loan depends on your needs and your finances. There are a number of loan types and lenders to cover pretty much any situation, so do some careful research when you’re searching for a loan. Start by reading our guide to personal loans so you know where to look and how to tell when an offer really fits your needs.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

SoFi APRs and terms are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

All rates, terms, and figures are subject to change by the lender without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit the lender's website directly.

SoFi unemployment protection

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.

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US Personal Loans Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Credible Personal Loans
Credible Personal Loans

Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

Logo for Even Financial Personal Loans
Even Financial Personal Loans

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

Logo for LendingClub Personal Loan
LendingClub Personal Loan

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

Logo for SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

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