Top Personal Loans of 2016

Whether you’re seeking a loan for home improvements, a long-anticipated vacation or simply to pay down credit card debt, these top personal loans represent your best options. While banks offer personal loans, the process tends to be lengthy and sometimes frustrating, especially for borrowers with less than perfect credit.

In such circumstances, a non-bank lender may be the best – or even only – option available. The online lenders listed below include peer-to-peer lenders and other non-bank lenders. One or more of them may be just the right lender for you!

Top Lender Overall

1. LendingClub


Launched in 2007, LendingClub is presently the world’s largest marketplace lender. Rather than submitting an application, prospective borrowers create online profiles that include detailed financial and personal information. Lenders may inspect profiles and fund those that appeal to them. LendingClub interest rates range from 5.99 to 32.99 percent. However, applicants must have FICO scores above 600 and a debt-to-income ratio below 25 percent to qualify.

Ideal For: People who have a good credit rating and do not want to deal with a traditional bank or lender, and for people looking to consolidate large amounts of debt.

Not Recommended For: People with a credit score below 600 or with a debt-to-income ratio higher than 25%.

What If I Have Bad Credit?

1. NetCredit

NetCredit specializes in personal loans for borrowers with fair to poor credit. Its online application system is fast and convenient. Interest rates vary according to borrowers’ FICO scores and the laws of the state of residence but can range between 35 and 210 percent. NetCredit loans are only available for residents of Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Ideal For: People who have lower credit scores that don’t want to take a payday or title loan.

Not Recommended For: Higher credit scores or those who need larger loan amounts, or for those who live in states outside of the ones they operate in.

2. LendUp


LendUp has branded itself as an alternative payday lender. Its single payment loan product is ideal for borrowers who don’t have perfect credit.
Although interest rates are relatively high, borrowers have a chance to
qualify for lower rates by managing their loans responsibly and moving up
the LendUp ladder in certain states.

Ideal For:  People looking for a short-term, small loan amount and use payday lenders on a regular basis.

Not Recommended For: People with better credit scores that could qualify for better terms elsewhere, or those looking for larger installment loans.

What If I Have Amazing Credit?

1. SoFi


SoFi is a marketplace lender that specializes in offering low-interest loans to people with high incomes and excellent credit. SoFi used to only offer loans to graduates who wanted to refinance their student loans but has more recently branched out into personal loans and mortgages. Although the San Francisco-based company is still a relatively new player in the business, SoFi has already funded over $3 Billion in loans.

Ideal For: People who are considered prime or super-prime borrowers and need a large loan amount.

Not Recommended For: Marginal or lower credit scores or for people who live in one of the states that they do not operate in.

2. LightStream


As the personal loan division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream features an online application system that can produce a response within 24 hours. There are no fees or prepayment penalties and interest rates range from 1.99 to 9.9 percent, depending on the purpose of the loan. However, borrowers must have excellent credit to qualify.

Ideal For: People who have good credit scores and are looking for an alternative to other loan types.

Not Recommended For: Those who do not have good credit scores or those who lack a specific purpose for requesting the loan.

3. Upstart


Upstart is a peer-to-peer lender specializing in personal loans to recent college graduates with limited credit histories. Having a college degree is not a requirement but it does help, particularly if you have a think credit history. Upstart considers the educational background and job prospects of applicants in addition to FICO scores when making credit decisions. Interest rates vary from 5.7 to 30 percent.

Ideal For: Younger adults who have a good credit rating ( and have a shorter or nonexistent credit history) who not want to deal with a traditional bank or lender.

Not Recommended For: poor credit scores or for people who have not recently graduated college.