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Best Personal Loans

June 2024

Personal loans offer competitive rates, fast and easy online applications, and you can use them to finance just about anything. Here are our top picks for the best personal loans.
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SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

Whether you're looking to finance a home improvement project, solve some short-term cash flow problems, start a business, or consolidate high-interest debt, a personal loan can help you achieve your goals. There are literally hundreds of potential lenders, so finding the best lender for you can be a challenge.
We compared the best lenders, and here is our list of the most-recommended personal loans based on SuperMoney's algorithms and community feedback.
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Methodology: How we picked the best personal loans

We analyzed nearly 100 lenders and looked for the most recommended personal loans with the lowest interest rates and fees. Then we took into consideration other important factors, such as availability, flexible terms, and loan amounts.

What is the best personal loan?

It depends on who is asking. Lenders vary their rates, fees, and loan offers considerably depending on the financial situation and credit history of applicants. When evaluating personal loans, it's important to apply for several personal loans and compare the rates you get to make sure you choose the right one for you.
When shopping around for the top personal loans, the interest rate isn't the only thing you should consider. Look into the fees the lender charges, such as origination fees, late fees, and prepayment fees. Lenders are required to state these fees before you apply, so be sure to read the fine print.
Here's a quick summary of what factors you should consider when looking for the best personal loans to apply for.
  • Availability: Some lenders only operate in select states.
  • Purpose: Some lenders require that you use the funds for a reason specified in the loan application.
  • APR: How does the APR you're offered stack up against the competition? Some lenders allow you to check your credit without affecting your credit score.
  • Fees: How much is the origination fee? Do prepayment penalties apply?
  • Customer service: Is it difficult to reach a human in the customer service department? Can they answer all of your questions quickly and accurately?
  • Application process: Is the application process easy to use? And how long does it take to get funding once the loan application is approved?
  • Reputation: What do other borrowers say about their experience with them? Check SuperMoney's community rating before you choose a lender.

Top personal loans: pros and cons

Taking out a personal loan can be easy, but that doesn't mean it's the best decision for you. It's important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks of personal loans before you apply.
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider when applying for a personal loan.
  • Flexible sources of credit.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Useful tools for debt consolidation.
  • A wide selection of lenders.
  • Don't require excellent credit.
  • Fixed monthly payments.
  • Fast approval process.
  • Longer repayment terms.
  • Many personal loans charge an origination fee.
  • Some lenders charge prepayment fees.
  • Higher monthly payments than minimum credit card payments.
  • Interest rates are higher than secured sources of credit, such as home equity loans.
A personal loan can solve immediate financial problems without having to raid your savings account.
Paying for a wedding, moving costs, home repairs, a medical procedure, and consolidating credit card debt are among the uses of a personal loan from $1,000 to $50,000 or more.
Where to get a personal loan? The options can seem overwhelming. Many banks, credit unions, cash advance companies and other lenders are easily found online. Here are some tips to make finding a personal loan easier.

How to apply for a personal loan

Personal loans are easy to apply for. You can walk into a bank or credit union and fill out an application. Or you can fill out an online form for your bank or another online lender.
The lender will check your credit score. The better the credit score you have, the better the loan rate you'll get. For example, a good credit score of 700 to 749 will help you get a lower loan rate than a poor score of 600 to 649.
You may also be required to submit two recent pay stubs, provide employment information and personal references, and have a low debt-to-income ratio. You may also need tax returns, your bank account information, and the title for your car if you're using it as collateral.
A quick call or check of the lender's website should tell you before you apply what information it will need to approve your loan.

How to compare personal loans?

As with any other loan, it can pay to shop around for a personal loan. Ask the lender about these factors before you sign a contract:
Origination fees
Also called a closing fee, origination fees can be deducted from the loan amount. They can be a flat fee or a percentage of the loan. The list of personal loan reviews at SuperMoney can filter out lenders that have origination fees.
Compare the annual percentage rate (APR) instead of the interest rate. An APR includes the origination fee and assumes you don't pay the loan off early.
Prepayment penalty
Paying a loan off early can be a good thing for a borrower to do. Make sure the loan terms don't include a prepayment penalty. Most lenders don't charge this fee, but it's worth asking about.
Automatic payments
Some lenders will give you a lower interest rate if you set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account. They'll get your money quicker than if you sent a check.
But if there isn't enough money in your checking account to cover an automatic payment when it's due, the payment could still be made. Your bank might then charge you for an overdraft.
Different personal loans come with different rates, fees, and requirements, so check the list of best personal loans listed above.

Common Questions About Personal Loans

When is a personal loan the best option?

It all depends on your financial situation and goals. Personal loans are often the best option for people with great credit looking to consolidate high interest debt and don't want (or can't) to get a secured loan. It's also a good option for people who need to finance a large purchase and prefer having fixed rates and a set loan term.

Are personal loans better than credit cards?

Yes, in some circumstances personal loans can be a smarter choice. For example, if you have more than $15,000 in debt, you may benefit from a debt consolidation loan with fixed payments, if you can qualify for low interest rates. However, in other cases a credit card may be the best option. For instance, if you are trying to pay off less than $15,000 in debt, you can save money by moving your debts to a 0% APR balance transfer credit card.
Before you choose a personal loan compare several lenders and see what other alternatives are available. For instance, homeowners may be able to qualify for lower rates with home equity loan or line of credit.

Which banks are best for personal loans?

It all depends on your credit profile, your income, and how much you want to borrow. If you are an existing customer with a bank or credit union, it's worth asking what rates and terms they will give you. You can sometimes get generous rate discounts and larger loan amounts when you have an existing relationship with a bank. However, banks and credit unions don't always have the best rates and terms. Nonbank direct lenders and marketplace lending platforms often provide lower rates as well as an easier and faster application process. Use the list of the best personal loans above to find the most recommended personal loans.

What are the best personal loan companies?

Until recently, banks and credit unions were practically the only institutions that offered personal loans. Now there are hundreds of direct lenders and loan marketplaces that provide them. The best personal loan company for you will depend on your unique financial circumstances, your credit history, and how much money you need. Use the dynamic list of personal loans above to discover which lenders are offering the best rates and terms.

Who has the best personal loan rates?

The answer to that question depends on who is asking. The best loan rates available to you will depend on your credit history and income. Some lenders, such as SoFi, Barclays Bank, and LightStream, advertise the lowest rates, but those are only available to borrowers with excellent credit. In any case, lenders regularly vary their interest rates, so there isn't a simple answer to who has the best personal rates at any one time. Our dynamic list of best-rated personal loans is based on SuperMoney's algorithms and consumer reviews. Check the lenders above and find the one that offers you the best rate.

What is the best APR for a personal loan?

Currently, APRs in our list of best personal loans range from 4.99% to 35.99%. Your rate will depend on many factors, such as your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.
APR4.99% - 35.99%Loan Amount$600 - $100KLoan Term12 - 84 months
The lowest APRs are only available to high-income borrowers with excellent credit. Compare at least three lenders from the list above to find the best loan offer available for your credit profile. SuperMoney's loan offer engine allows you to get multiple loan offers from top lenders with one easy form.

Are personal loans a good idea?

If you have good credit and can qualify for some of the best-rated personal loans, they can be a good option for consolidating debt or financing a big purchase. But if you have poor credit, a personal loan might come with an interest rate that is higher than some credit card interest rates. Make sure you understand the interest rate and fees involved before you accept a personal loan offer.

Can I get a top personal loan with bad credit?

No, not unless you have a cosigner with excellent credit. A FICO credit score under 580 is considered to be poor credit. If your score is below that, it'll be hard to qualify for a personal loan. Most personal lenders won't even consider an applicant with a credit score under 600. However, there are lenders, such as these, that specialize in borrowers with poor and bad credit.

Do personal loans hurt your credit?

When you apply for a loan, lenders will usually make a hard pull (inquiry) on your credit report. This can ding your credit in the short term, especially if you apply for several loans. However, a personal loan can improve your credit scores in the long-term, as long as you consistently make payments on time. If you are late on a payment, or miss a payment, it will hurt your credit.

Does paying off a personal loan early hurt credit?

Paying off a personal loan is often a good idea because you can save money in interest fees. However, paying off an installment loan can ding your credit. This is because credit scores take into account factors like available credit and the average age of your accounts. Paying off a personal loan can reduce both.
If you have both credit card debt and personal loans, it may be a good idea to pay off your credit card debt first. Reducing your credit card debt will lower your credit utilization ratio, which could improve your credit score.

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