Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Best personal lines of credit

Our top picks for home renovations, paying off credit cards and more — with rates starting at 5%.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Editor's choice: Upgrade personal loans

Upgrade personal loans logo
  • Flexible loan options
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Quick turnaround
Go to site

A line of credit can be a good choice when you need to tackle a large expense — and want to avoid the high rates of credit cards. We compared eight lenders, considering factors like fees, line limits and APR. Other factors, like funding speed and the need for collateral, were also taken into account to help you find the best line of credit for your finances.

What's new in 2020?

We added four new categories to better meet your needs when looking for a line of credit:

  • Best for comparing HELOCs
  • Best for no annual fees
  • Best for secured options
  • Best for credit card consolidation

And to make comparing easier, we narrowed our best lenders by credit type to just one top option.

8 best personal lines of credit

  • Tally: Best for credit card consolidation
  • Upgrade: Best for fair credit
  • U.S. Bank: Best for no annual fees
  • SunTrust: Best for secured lines of credit
Tally lines of credit logo
Finder Rating: 3.7 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate

at Tally lines of credit’s secure site

Best for credit card consolidation: Tally lines of credit

660
Min. Credit Score
7.9%
Starting APR
$20,000
Loan Amount

Tally is an app that offers a line of credit designed to help you pay down your credit cards. It accepts borrowers with fair credit, and you’ll have access to an automated Tally Advisor that will help you develop a strategy to pay down your debt and save money on interest.

You can also have the app take over managing your credit card payments, which comes with late fee protection. This can not only help you save on pesky fees, but can also improve your credit by establishing a history of on-time repayments.

  • Fair credit accepted
  • Debt repayment advice
  • Manages credit card payments for you
  • Late fee protection on credit cards its managing
  • Low maximum amount
  • High potential APR
  • Not all credit cards accepted
Loan Amount $2,000 – $20,000
Interest Rate Type Variable
Min. Credit Score 660
Upgrade Card lines of credit logo
Finder Rating: 3.98 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate

at Upgrade Card lines of credit’s secure site

Best for fair credit: Upgrade Card lines of credit

600
Min. Credit Score
6.99%
Starting APR
$20,000
Loan Amount

Upgrade’s line of credit is actually available on a card: the Upgrade Card. Each draw is considered a loan — which means your APR will vary every time you borrow as your debt-to-income ratio, credit score and income change. It’s open to borrowers with fair credit, though it likely isn’t the best idea if you’re consolidating your debt, since APRs can reach as high as 29.99%.

  • No origination fees
  • Potentially low APR of 6.49%
  • Receive a physical card — similar to a credit card
  • High maximum APR
  • Each draw has its own terms
Loan Amount $500 – $20,000
APR 6.99% to 29.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 600
Max term 60 months
Turnaround Time 4 business days

Best for no annual fees: U.S. Bank unsecured lines of credit

Not stated
Min. Credit Score
11.75%
Starting APR
$25,000
Loan Amount

Current U.S. Bank customers may want to take advantage of its line of credit. There’s no annual fee, plus the variable APR is currently set at 11.75% — about average for borrowers with excellent credit. And you’ll have flexible access to your funds: U.S. Bank issues borrowers a Visa Access Card and personal checks, but you’ll also be able to make a draw online, on the U.S. Bank mobile app or at a branch.

  • Flexible ways to make draws
  • Unsecured LOC that doesn’t require collateral
  • Limited to current U.S. Bank customers
  • Doesn’t disclose draw and repayment periods online
Loan Amount Up to $25,000
Interest Rate Type Variable

Best for a secured line of credit: SunTrust Select Credit Lines

Not stated
Min. Credit Score
5%
Starting APR
$5,000,000
Loan Amount

SunTrust has two lines of credit, but only its Select Credit Line is secured. You can borrow up to $5 million — and variable rates start at a low 5% with its autopay discount. To be eligible, you’ll need a SunTrust Bank investment account with at least $100,000 to act as collateral. It also doesn’t charge an annual fee — rare for a LOC provider.

  • Extremely competitive variable APR
  • Lines up to $5 million
  • No annual fees
  • Investment account of $100,000 required
  • Must bank with SunTrust
  • Limited state availability
Loan Amount $25,000 – $5,000,000
Interest Rate Type Variable
Max term 60 months

Best for excellent credit: HSBC lines of credit

Not stated
Min. Credit Score
7.49%
Starting APR
$25,000
Loan Amount

Current customers of HSBC looking for a line of credit may be in luck: This bank offers a LOC with no annual fee and a 45-day introductory 7.49% APR — relatively low compared to other lenders on this list. You’ll also receive a free FICO credit score statement every month to help you keep your finances on track.

  • 45-day introductory rates
  • Free FICO statements
  • Must be a current HSBC customer
  • High late and returned payment fees
  • Doesn’t disclose draw and repayment periods online
Loan Amount $1,000 – $25,000
APR 7.49% (starting at)
Interest Rate Type Variable

Best for good credit: Wells Fargo unsecured lines of credit

Not stated
Min. Credit Score
9.5%
Starting APR
$100,000
Loan Amount

Wells Fargo lines of credit are open to any account holder with good to excellent credit. And they’re fast — you could get your funds just one business day after approval. It also offers a high maximum credit line of $100,000 — or $250,000 if you opt for a secured LOC. To make the most of your line, Wells Fargo offers an interest rate discount of 0.25% to 0.5% for current customers with qualifying checking accounts. You also have the option to change your payment due date to better align with your finances.

  • No origination fees
  • Potentially low APR of 6.49%
  • Receive a physical card — similar to a credit card
  • High maximum APR
  • Each draw has its own terms
Loan Amount $3,000 – $100,000
Interest Rate Type Variable
Turnaround Time 1 business day

Best for bad credit: Elastic line of credit

$500 – $4,500
Loan amount
1+ business day
Turnaround time
Yes
Online application

Elastic offers a line of credit that could be a cheaper alternative to a high-cost payday loan if you use it wisely. While your credit line is limited to anywhere from $500 to $4,500, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It can help you pay for short-term expenses without racking up thousands of dollars in excess debt. Instead of charging interest, it charges a 5% to 10% cash advance fee for each draw, as well as a carried balance fee that ranges from $5 to $350 each month. Paying off your balance as quickly as possible can help keep the cost from equaling an APR in the triple digits.

  • Open to all credit types
  • Employment isn’t required — will accept government benefits as income
  • Wide state availability
  • Cash advance fee for each draw
  • Carried balance fee on repayments
  • Can only carry a balance for up to 10 months
Product Name Elastic line of credit
Min. Amount $500
Max. Amount $4,500
Loan Term

Up to 10 months

Loan Security Unsecured
Turnaround Time1+ business day
Costs 5% to 10% cash advance fee
Requirements You must have a bank account, be the age of majority in your state, live in an eligible state, have a regular source of income and not be a member of the military.

Best lines of credit: By the numbers

Quickly compare our top picks by APR, loan amount and average turnaround time.

Upgrade

6.99% to 29.99%

$500 to $20,000

4 business days

U.S. Bank

Starting from 11.75%

Up to $25,000

Not stated

SunTrust

Starting from 5%

$25,000 to $500,000

Not stated

HSBC

7.49% (starting at)

$1,000 to $25,000

Not stated

Wells Fargo

[8% to 19.5% niche_code="USFPL" id="99fc4fd4-8974-49f4-8582-17fda7b4bbff" decorator="USFPL.PRODUCT.APR"]

$3,000 to $100,000

1 business day

Elastic

Varies by lender

$500 to$4,500

1+ business day

LendingTree

Starting from 2.49%

$1,000 to $50,000

If you apply during work hours on a business day you can get access to approved funds within 24 hours.

Affected by COVID-19? Consider a personal line of credit

Many banks and credit unions offer a personal line of credit as overdraft protection. In an emergency when funds are tight from being unable to work, that extra protection can save you from facing overdraft fees.

A personal line of credit can also be a fast way to access cash — one that typically has a lower APR than a cash advance from a credit card. And while they usually carry a higher APR than a personal loan, you only pay interest on the amount you draw. That means if you qualify for a high limit, you won’t pay interest on the full amount unless you draw it in full.

For more information on different ways to weather the coronavirus outbreak, read our guide to COVID-19 financial aid.

What is a line of credit?

A line of credit allows you to draw funds up to a set credit limit. You can borrow money as you need it, just like a credit card, and you won't have to repay in a lump sum. But interest rates tend to be variable, which can make it difficult to predict your monthly repayments.

Personal loans vs. lines of credit: Major differences

There is one major difference: Personal loans offer borrowers a single lump sum and, generally, a fixed interest rate over a set loan term. Lines of credit only require you to pay interest on what you borrow. But other factors, like how you use your funds and the APR you’re offered, are typically quite similar.

You can read our guide on personal loans versus lines of credit for a full overview of the differences.

6 tips to find the best line of credit

Understanding how a line of credit works and comparing these main features can help you find the best one for your needs.

  1. Compare interest rates. Some lines of credit have a fixed rate, but most have a variable rate that changes based on the prime rate published by the Wall Street Journal. If you don’t have the best credit, look for lenders that have a low maximum rate.
  2. Note the fees. With a line of credit, you may have to pay some combination of annual fees, monthly fees, establishment fees and draw fees. Create a running list of fees for each lender you’re considering and factor that into your repayment budget.
  3. Understand the repayment process. Many lines of credit are repaid with minimum monthly payments, though others might turn each draw into a term loan. Make sure you understand how repayments work for each option you’re considering before applying.
  4. Consider how funds are withdrawn. You can typically withdraw funds as you need. But there may be a delay between the withdrawal date and when the funds appear in your account. Some lenders may only allow you to do bank transfers, while others might provide a debit card or checkbook to make withdrawals easier.
  5. Pay attention to collateral. Many banks allow you to secure your line of credit with a savings account or CD, which can get you a lower APR. Others, especially online lenders, offer unsecured options. These will have a higher APR, but you won’t risk losing your asset if you default.
  6. Check online reviews. When you compare lenders, see what other customers had to say about their service and the borrowing process. Try to select a lender with a good balance of honest, truthful reviews.

Bottom line

These lenders have some of the best line of credit options for borrowers of all credit types. But if you’re not sure a line of credit is right for you, you might want to compare the best personal loans instead.

Compare more personal lines of credit

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Monevo personal loans
3.49% to 35.99%
None
$100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Upstart personal loans
8.27% to 35.99%
580 or 600 depending on state of residence
$50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
LendingTree personal loans
Starting from 2.49%
Good to excellent credit
$50,000
Receive up to five loan offers in just minutes through LendingTree's simple online form.
Even Financial personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
550
$100,000
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Our answers to common questions about personal lines of credit.

How will a personal line of credit affect my credit score?

It depends on how you use it. While the initial loan application can lower your score by a few points, on-time payments can help improve your score over time. But if you miss payments, expect to see the opposite result.

Can I use a line of credit for business expenses?

Some lenders may allow you to use a personal line of credit for business expenses, but you should check first — restrictions on how funds are used will vary. If you’re not able to, you might want to look into business lines of credit instead.

Will I be approved automatically if I have a high credit score?

Not necessarily. Lenders will use your credit score to guide their decision, but ultimately your approval will depend on a variety of factors, including your debt-to-income ratio and current financial situation.

Can I get a line of credit with bad credit?

Technically, yes — but it will be harder to qualify for the best rates. Be careful to avoid short-term lenders that offer lines of credit. The high interest rates on these lines can trap you in a cycle of debt.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site