Best personal loans for 2023

We reveal the best loans for fast access, small and large amounts, and more. Plus: customers' top-rated lenders.

Summary of the best loans Compare loans

Looking for the best personal loan available? The truth is that the “best” loan will entirely depend on your personal circumstances, your credit rating and how much you want to borrow.

If you’ve got good credit, the M&S Bank personal loan offers a competitive rate of 4.9% APR on borrowing of between £7,500 and £15,000 to be repaid over a term of 1 to 7 years. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have a minimum annual income or pension of £10,000. If your credit score is poor, on the other hand, you’ll need to explore alternative options, such as a guarantor loan or bad credit personal loan. These usually charge higher interest rates but could still give you the credit you need.

Below, we’ve curated a list of the best loans by credit status and size of the loan so you’ll get a better idea of which lenders are more suitable for you. We’ve also added a wealth of tips and advice to ensure that you’re able to confidently decide which is the best personal loan for you.

Already know what type of loan you need? Start comparing providers.

Best personal loans for June 2023:

Here are our picks for personal loans for a range of circumstances:

Best personal loan for good credit

While the best personal loans will depend on how much you want to borrow, in general you’ll find that the better your credit score and history, the better the interest rate you’ll be offered. For personal loans over £7,500, you could be offered a rate as low as 5% if you have a top-notch credit score. If you’re not sure what your credit score looks like, you can check yours for free with Finder).

M&S Bank Personal Loan

M&S Bank Customer rating
Check eligibility Read review


APR representative


Max loan

1-7 years

Loan terms

With low rates and no set-up fees, M&S Bank offers competitive loans for those who are looking for a personal loan between £1,000.00 to £25,000.00 and have a good credit rating.
  • Low rates
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • No set-up or arrangement fees
  • Overpayments allowed
  • No same day funding
Age 18 or over
Minimum income £10000.00 Per Annum
Credit ratings Good
Soft credit search Yes
Joint applications No
Instant decision No
Repayment frequency Monthly
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 4.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 4.9% and total payable £10,756.08 in monthly repayments of £298.78.

Best personal loan for bad credit

If you have bad credit or a limited credit history, it can be harder to get approved for a personal loan. Some lenders will still offer loans to those with poor credit, but be aware that the amount of interest charged is likely to be much higher compared to someone with good credit. You might also not be able to borrow as much and there might be other fees involved.

If you’re concerned about the amount of interest you will have to pay, you could consider a guarantor loan.

However, be aware that applying for a secured loan requires you to secure your loan against an asset, such as your home. Secured loans should be considered with care as if you fail to keep up with your repayments, your home could be repossessed.

Best fast personal loan

These days, many lenders will offer instant decisions or pre-approval on personal loans, but some will still take a couple of days to send you the money. However, in some cases, loan funds can be transferred the same day, with some only taking a couple of hours after being approved.

Lloyds Bank Existing Customer Personal Loan


APR representative


Max loan

1-7 years

Loan terms

Lloyds Bank offers its existing customers flexible loans that can be funded immediately if approved between 9am – 8:30pm.
  • Quick funding and approval
  • Payment holidays
  • Exisiting customers only
Age 18 or over
Credit ratings Good
Soft credit search Yes
Joint applications Yes
Instant decision Yes
Repayment frequency Monthly
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 5.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 5.9% and total payable £10,910.52 in monthly repayments of £303.07.

Best guarantor loan

If you have a limited or poor credit history, you may have a better chance of getting approved for a guarantor loan. This type of loan requires you to have a close friend or family member act as a guarantor for your loan, which means they must step in to repay your loan if you’re unable to. This reduces the risk for the lender, which increases your chance of approval, and may also help you get better loan terms and rates.

Guarantor My Loan


APR representative


Max loan

1-5 years

Loan terms

Guarantor My Loan is a peer-to-peer lender specialising in guarantor loans, and aims to give options to those let down by traditional lenders. It can offer competitive rates, but also charges a service fee that increases the more you borrow.
  • Available to those with limited credit
  • Cashback incentive
  • Flexible loan terms
  • Large service fee
  • Late payment fees
Age 18 or over
Credit ratings Poor
Repayment frequency Weekly, Fortnightly
Representative Example: £4,000 over 36 months, representative 48.9% APR fixed. Monthly payment £193.56. The interest is 17% per annum fixed and service fee is 23.48% per annum fixed. Interest payable £1,246.63 and service fee payable £1,721.53. Total repayable £6,968.16.

Best homeowner loan

Homeowner loans are secured loans that require you to use the equity you have in your property as collateral against the loan. This means that if you are unable to keep up with your loan repayments, your lender can take possession of your home to recoup its money. Because this reduces the lender’s risk, you’ll generally receive more favourable loan terms than you would with an unsecured loan, including much more competitive rates, loan amounts and terms.

Use our free secured loans calculator.

What “best” means: How we chose our top loans

While there’s no one loan that’s right for everyone, we’ve put together a list of the loans we consider the “best” based on the following criteria:

  • Our partners. As the UK’s fastest-growing comparison site, we have partnerships with a number of leading banks and lenders. We’re transparent about this, and it often means we can offer exclusive loan products you won’t be able to get anywhere else. The personal loans we have chosen as the best are with lenders we know to be competitive and trustworthy.
  • Best for certain situations. While most loans function in much the same way, the loan that’s best for you will depend on a number of factors, such as your credit history and borrowing requirements. We’ve selected the best loans to cover the most common types of borrowers.
  • Additional features. Some loans offer options like the ability to repay the loan early without penalty, or take a break from your repayments for a certain period, and we’ve taken these into account in our selections.
  • Interest rate. In simple terms, the best personal loan is the one that will let you borrow the amount you need with the lowest interest rate. When it came to picking the best loans, we focused heavily on those offering the most competitive rates.

Features to compare to find the best personal loan

This is a non-exhaustive list of the key features of personal loans that you can use to differentiate lenders in the UK and help you find the right loan for your needs.

  • Loan amounts. A good place to start is by finding out whether you’ll be able to borrow the amount you need. Lenders might offer different borrowing amounts so be sure to compare them.
  • Eligibility. Check the eligibility criteria carefully. There’s no point applying for a loan if you’re not eligible, and remember that lenders will be able to see each application you’ve made on your credit record.
  • Loan terms. A longer loan term will reduce your monthly repayments, potentially making them more affordable. However, this also means you’ll pay more interest overall, so it will be more expensive in the long run. It’s a good idea to use a loan calculator as this will let you select how much you want to borrow and the length of term to see what works out to be the most affordable option for you.
  • Fees. Many personal loans don’t charge set-up fees but it’s certainly worth checking to be sure. If a particular lender does charge a fee, the total amount payable (the overall cost of the loan) might become your best benchmark for comparison.
  • Total amount payable. This is the big one – if you only compare one factor, this should probably be it. You’ll want to keep the total cost as low as possible, while making sure your monthly repayments are affordable.
  • Interest rate. A loan’s APR (Annual Percentage Rate – an annual summary of the cost of borrowing that all lenders must calculate in the same way) is normally the main “hook” that a lender will use to market the loan. Just remember that lenders are only obliged to award the advertised APR to 51% of those who successfully take out the loan. Others may end up paying more, subject to the lender’s assessment of their circumstances. You can normally get a more accurate idea of the cheapest loan a lender can offer you when you tell them a bit more about yourself and the loan that you’re after.
  • Turnaround time. If you’re in a hurry, you might want to look at the time each lender states it takes to actually draw down your funds (transfer the money to your nominated account). If you get a loan with a bank you’re already a customer at, chances are it’ll be pretty quick, but it almost always pays to shop around.
  • Restrictions. Personal loans can be used for almost anything, but there are certain restrictions. Typically these include gambling, business purposes and using the loan as a down payment to get an even bigger loan (like a deposit on a property with a mortgage, for example). You’ll be asked to enter what you plan to use the loan for when you apply.
  • Repayment holidays. Some lenders offer an optional month or two where you don’t make repayments. This can be handy if you need a break to get back on your feet financially. The downside of repayment holidays is that they increase the term of the loan, and the overall cost. It’s a holiday from repayments, not from accruing interest.
  • Early repayment. If you want to pay off your loan before the end of the term, there might be an early repayment penalty. Under Consumer Credit Regulations 2004, lenders can charge up to 58 days’ additional interest if you want to pay off your loan early. If your loan has less than 12 months left on the term, you can only be charged up to 28 days’ interest. If you think you might want to pay off your loan early, it’s really important to factor this into your comparison.

How to choose the best personal loan

  1. Find the right loan type for your purposes. There are a range of different products that sit under the umbrella of “loans”, so it’s crucial you think about what you need the loan for and how much you need to borrow. Secured loans can let you borrow much higher sums than unsecured, personal loans, but they are also higher risk for the borrower.
  2. Understand how much you can afford to repay. While knowing how much you need to borrow is the first step to getting a loan, being aware of how much you can afford to borrow is just as important. Make sure you use a loan calculator to check that your monthly repayments will be manageable. Failing to pay back your loan on time can cause serious financial difficulties.
  3. Compare loans to establish the features that are important to you. As well as the interest rate, it’s also important to consider factors such as whether there are any fees for setting up your loan or repaying it early, and how fast you will receive your loan funds. Consider which of these factors are the most important to you to help you find the right solution. For example, if you have no plans to repay your loan before the end of the term, early repayment charges won’t matter.
  4. Find the most affordable loan that meets your needs. Once you know what you’re after, it’s time to find the most competitive product available to you. Rates are obviously important, but it’s not ALL about the APR. Focus on keeping the total amount repayable as low as possible, while ensuring the monthly instalments are affordable.
  5. Check your eligibility. Many lenders now allow you to check if you’re likely to be approved for a certain loan by using an eligibility checker. This can give you a better idea of the type of loan you’re eligible for, and won’t affect your credit score.

What to keep in mind when applying

  • Don’t apply for, let alone take on, a loan you can’t afford.
    When borrowing money it is always important to find out what your monthly repayments will be. If you are not confident that you will be able to afford to repay that amount each month, there’s a good chance a lender will have doubts too. Rejected applications don’t show on your credit file, but applications for credit do – too many of these in a short space of time and prospective lenders could be put off. If you end up taking on a loan you can’t afford, you’re setting yourself up for problems down the line – late repayments come with fees plus additional interest, and are highly likely to damage your credit record too.
  • Don’t apply for lots of loans in a short space of time. Take the time to make one sensible application, and if you’re rejected, try to find out why. It’s best to leave at least 3 months, preferably 6, before applying again.
  • Read the fine print. When a lender approves your application, they’ll send you a loan offer. This is an opportunity to check that you’re being offered what you applied for (rate, amount, term etc.), and to check you’re happy with the terms of the agreement. OK, it’s not the most exciting document in the world, but read the terms and conditions from start to finish and ensure you are aware of all fees and restrictions.
Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. See our debt help guides.

Our 2023 loans customer satisfaction league table

In December 2022, we ran an independent customer satisfaction survey on personal loan providers. We received answers from 908 personal loan customers, who gave us their opinion on their current lender.

We asked respondents how satisfied they are with their personal loan provider (giving a rating from one to five) and whether they would recommend the lender to a friend. We converted the results into star ratings.

Table ordered by percentage of customers who said they’d recommend the brand to a friend (recommendation score)

Overall satisfactionCustomers who’d recommendLenderReview


86%Tesco bank pet insuranceTesco Bank has been offering personal loans for over 20 years. You can borrow up to £35,000 and can get an instant decision on your application. If you’re a Tesco Clubcard member, you may be eligible for a discounted rate.Read our review


86%Sainsburys Bank logoSainsbury’s Bank provides competitive personal loans of up to £25,000 (£40,000 for Nectar cardholders). Similar to rival supermarket brands, Sainsbury’s also offers discounted personal loan rates to customers with a Nectar card.Read our review


87%Santander logoSantander, the Spanish banking giant, has long been a fixture of the UK’s high-street banking industry and offers personal loans of up to £25,000 for those who are at least 21 years old.Read our review


83%Barclays logoBarclays is a Big Four UK bank and has been in operation for over 300 years. It offers personal loans of up to £50,000 to existing Barclays customers. Read our review


83%AA logoThe roadside assistance service AA offers loans of up to £40,000, with slightly discounted rates for AA members. Read our review


83%NatWest logoNatWest offers personal loans for existing customers only, meaning you’ll need to have had another NatWest product for at least 3 to 6 months. Read our review


79%Post Office logoPost Office provides financial products through its Post Office Money brand. It offers personal loans with competitive rates and flexible repayment terms.Read our review


78%Halifax logoHalifax offers personal loans for new and existing customers. If you have a Halifax current account, you can apply to borrow up to £50,000.Read our review


77%Novuna logoNovuna (formerly Hitachi) offers a simple application process and quick payment times on loans of up to £35,000.Read our review


75%M&S bank home insurance logoThe high-street institution offers loans of up to £25,000, with discounted rates for customers of M&S Bank. Read our review


80%Abound logoFormerly Fintern, Abound aims to make personal lending more accessible. You can apply to borrow up to £10,000, with lending decisions made not based on your credit score but on information about how much you can afford to borrow, determined by AI and Open Banking. Read our review


77%HSBC logoFounded in Hong Kong in 1865 and now one of the UK’s Big Four banks, HSBC provides personal loans of up to £25,000 for new and existing customers. You can apply for a loan online or in person at an HSBC branch. Read our review


74%Zopa logoZopa is a peer-to-peer lending platform providing personal loans at rates often lower than high-street lenders. Read our review

Customer satisfaction ratings methodology

In December 2022, we ran an independent customer satisfaction survey on personal loan providers. We received answers from 1,347 personal loan customers who gave us their opinion on their current lender.

We asked respondents how satisfied they are with their personal loan provider (giving a rating of 1 to 5) and whether they would recommend the lender to a friend. We converted the results into star ratings and created a shortlist of the best-performing brands for our awards. Where the star ratings led to a draw, we used the recommendation score (the percentage of customers who said they would recommend the lender to a friend) as a tie-breaker.

Full details of our star ratings for this sector are on the personal loans rating methodology page.

Personal loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

The customer satisfaction score (“You say”) is based on a survey of 1,347 customers carried out in December 2022.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I miss a loan repayment?

If you miss a loan repayment, you’ll be asked to make up this missing amount as soon as possible. You’ll also likely be charged a late payment fee and the rate of interest you are charged could increase. If you’re struggling to repay your loan, talk to your lender immediately.

How long can I borrow for?

This will depend on the type of loan. Personal loan terms tend to be between 1 and 7 years, while secured loan terms are longer – up to 25 years or more.

Can I take out a loan with bad credit?

Yes, it’s still possible to get a loan if you have a poor credit score, but the number of lenders you’ll have to choose from will be much lower. You will usually have to pay a higher interest rate and the terms of your loan won’t be as competitive as they would be if you had excellent credit.

Will you be approved?

Check your personalised rates and likelihood of acceptance.
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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