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Published: Jan 18, 2024 23 min read

*Rates and APYs are subject to change. All information provided here is accurate as of January 8, 2024.

Personal loans are a versatile financing solution characterized by a wide range of loan terms and relatively fast underwriting. Whether you're consolidating debt, making large purchases or funding home improvements, a personal loan adapts to your financial goals. You can choose the loan amount, repayment terms and interest rate that best suit your needs.

Read on to learn more about the best personal loans of 2024.

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  • Rates from  6.40% - 35.99% (with autopay discount) APR
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Loan Amount: $2,000 to $50,000

  • APR: 4.60% - 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 12 to 84 months
  • Explore all your options at once and find the best offers for you
  • You can get your funds in as little as 1 day from approval
  • Loan consultants available to help you understand your options

Sample loan: a four-year $15,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and an APR of 18.34% will require an estimated monthly payment of $421.20 and a total cost of $20,217.43.

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  • Loan amounts of  $250 - $35,000 for any credit type
  • Pay it back in 3 mo - 6 years depending on lender terms
  • Rates from  5.99% - 35.99% APR
  • Loans for any purpose! Students, Cars, Vacations & more
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Marketplace for all types of loans

  • Get $500 - $10,000 in one business day
  • Rates fluctuate from 5.99%-35.99%
  • Loan terms between 3 - 36 months
  • Compare loan offers without obligation to accept them
  • No collateral needed
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  • You: have a college education, a job & good credit
  • Upstart: can get you $1,000 to $50,000 tomorrow 
  • Rates from 4.66%-29.99%, 3 & 5 year terms.
  • Applications do not affect your credit score

Money’s Main Takeaways

  • Find the lowest starting APR at Credible, our pick for Best Marketplace
  • PenFed doesn’t charge an origination fee on its personal loans
  • Get unemployment protection and financial planning assistance with SoFi
  • LightStream offers a range of personal loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $250,000

Why Trust Us?

Our editors and writers review personal loans from a variety of financial institutions independently, ensuring our content is precise and guided by editorial accuracy. Read the full methodology to learn more.

  • 30+ personal loan lenders evaluated
  • 15+ data points used, including starting APR, loan amounts, fees, customer satisfaction and turnaround time
  • Hundreds of hours of cumulative research

Our Top Picks for the Best Personal Loan Companies of 2024

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Best Personal Loan Reviews

Pros
  • Online application
  • No origination fees or late payment fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Co-applicants allowed
  • Partners with American Forests to plant a tree for every loan funded
Cons
  • Requires good-to-excellent credit (670 to 800 FICO score)
  • The initial application involves a hard credit check
  • $5,000 minimum loan amount
  • No refinance option for LightStream loans
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
2 - 7 yrs
Loan amounts
$5,000 to $100,000
APR
7.49% - 25.49% (with 0.50% autopay discount)
Minimum credit score required
670
Turnaround time
Same-day possible

Why we chose it: LightStream offers loans for nearly any purpose. Additionally, terms range from two to eight years, which is longer than most competitors.

LightStream, a division of Truist Financial Corporation, offers unsecured loans you can use for almost any purpose, including debt consolidation, home remodels and medical expenses.

LightStream’s fee structure is borrower-friendly — no origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties. However, it’s important to note that loan approval is typically geared towards individuals with good to excellent credit. The evaluation process considers debt-to-income ratio, payment history and assets as key factors.

As part of its customer satisfaction guarantee, LightStream will pay you $100 if you’re not satisfied with your experience post-closing — this guarantee expires 30 days from loan closing. Additionally, the Rate Beat program offers a 0.10% discount if you’re offered a lower APR by a competing loan lender (if approved for the same loan options offered by LightStream).

Read our full review of LightStream personal loans >>


Pros
  • Compare rates from different lenders
  • Prequalify with a soft credit pull
  • Co-signers allowed
  • Best Rate Guarantee incentive of $200
Cons
  • Not a loan servicer
  • Loan approval requirements vary per lender
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
1 - 7 years
Loan Amounts
$600 - $200,000
APR
6.40% - 35.99% (with autopay discount)
Minimum Credit Score Required
Varies by lender

Why we chose it: Credible is an excellent option for borrowers who want to compare multiple quotes from some of the top-rated personal loan lenders, each offering a competitive starting APR.

Credible’s lending platform lets you compare quotes from 15 lenders in as little as two minutes — without making a dent in your credit score. The company features an excellent network of reputable lenders, including SoFi, LightStream and PenFed.

Additionally, Credible offers a $200 Best Rate Guarantee incentive. If you are offered a personal loan at a lower rate from another company within eight days of receiving a prequalified personal loan rate from Credible, the company will give you a $200 gift card. Note that you must submit proof to Credible within seven days of closing on the loan from the competing lender.

The company welcomes applicants with a variety of credit histories, but applicants with excellent credit histories tend to see more loan offers, more flexible repayment terms and lower interest rates. Credible also offers tools to check how prequalifying rates are affected by adding different co-signers.

Read our full review of Credible personal loans >>


Pros
  • Compare quotes from five lenders
  • Transparent lender profiles that include eligibility requirements
  • Free credit and debit analysis tool
Cons
  • Prepayment penalties may apply
  • Origination fees may apply
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
1 - 7 years
Loan Amounts
$600 - $50,000
APR
6.99% - 35.99%
Minimum credit score required
Varies by lender

Why we chose it: LendingTree is our best personal loans marketplace runner-up because it offers access to more than 300 lenders who provide loans for a wide range of credit situations.

Like Credible, LendingTree is an online marketplace that connects users to reputable personal loan lenders. Within minutes, you can receive multiple offers from well-known companies such as Best Egg, LendingClub, PenFed Credit Union and Discover.

LendingTree’s user-friendly website offers transparent details on its lenders’ current starting annual percentage rates, along with comprehensive information on loan terms, amounts, and minimum credit score requirements. Generally, the minimum credit score required is around 580, but some lenders accept lower credit scores.

Another plus for LendingTree is its personal loan payment calculator, which you can use to help estimate monthly payments based on loan term, estimated interest rate and loan amount. However, LendingTree didn’t secure the top position as its maximum loan amount is lower than Credible’s.

Read our full review of LendingTree personal loans >>


Pros
  • No origination fee for qualified borrowers
  • No late payment fees, plus unemployment protection for up to a year
  • Same-day funding possible
  • Ranked third in J.D. Power's 2023 Consumer Lending Satisfaction Survey
Cons
  • If required, origination fee could be up to No Fees Required of total loan amount
  • Minimum to borrow is $5,000
  • Good to excellent credit strongly recommended
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
2 - 7 years
Loan Amounts
$5,000 - $100,000
APR
8.99% - 29.99% (with all discounts)
Minimum Credit Score Required
680

Why we chose it: SoFi stands out as our best online lender for personal loans due to its user-friendly interface, quick application process and additional services such as unemployment protection and one-on-one financial planning.

SoFi offers unsecured personal loans of up to $100,000, one of the highest loan amounts among our best personal loan picks. While having good to excellent credit is ideal, SoFi also considers alternative credit data, including free cash flow, professional history and a track record of financial responsibility, when evaluating loan applications.

If you don’t meet SoFi’s requirements, you can apply with a co-borrower. (Note that adding a co-borrower will extend the loan review process by one to two weeks). Additionally, SoFi offers unemployment protection for up to a year. If you lose your job, you can request to modify your monthly payments.

Read our full review of SoFi personal loans >>



Pros
  • Accepts low credit scores and borrowers with minimal credit history
  • Considers alternative credit data, such as education and employment
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Next-day funding possible
Cons
  • Offers only two repayment terms
  • Charges origination fee
  • Additional fee for paper statements
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
3 - 5 yrs
Loan Amounts
$1,000 - $50,000
APR
6.40% - 35.99%
Minimum Credit Score Required
300

Why we chose it: Upstart is a great choice for individuals with credit scores as low as 300. The company evaluates borrowers’ capacity to repay by considering more than 1,500 alternative creditworthiness factors.

Upstart gives borrowers with poor credit a chance to access personal loans using its AI-powered loan application. This innovative approach considers alternative information, such as job history, education and field of study, to assess the individual’s repayment capability.

Furthermore, individuals who are currently unemployed may apply for a loan, so long as they’ve received an employment offer with a start date falling within six months of the loan application.

You can check your rate before you apply for a loan with a soft credit pull. However, like with all personal loan lenders, rates and loan terms for poor credit borrowers are less favorable than those offered to borrowers with excellent credit.

Read our full review of Upstart personal loans >>


Pros
  • Physical branches nationwide
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No origination fees
Cons
  • Membership fee
  • No co-borrowers allowed
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
6 to 60 months
Loan Amounts
$600 - $50,000
APR
7.99% to 17.99%
Minimum Credit Score Required
Undisclosed

Why we chose it: PenFed is our pick for best credit union because it doesn’t charge certain fees that other lenders require. Additionally, PenFed offers a strong online experience but has brick-and-mortar locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico for those who prefer in-person service.

PenFed Credit Union offers a broad range of repayment term options and loan amounts for its personal loans, which can be used for home improvement projects, debt consolidation and medical expenses. Additionally, unlike most financial institutions, borrowers don’t have to pay a loan origination fee and aren’t penalized for paying off their loan early.

The credit union offers a lower APR range than many other financial institutions we evaluated, and potential borrowers can apply individually or with a co-borrower. Non-members can apply for a personal loan and only need to join if they choose to accept the loan offer.

Membership was previously limited to the military, certain government agencies and residents of eligible locations, but as of 2019, PenFed is open to all. You can establish membership by opening a PenFed savings account with a $5 deposit.

Read our full review of PenFed personal loans >>


Pros
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalty
  • Fast funding
  • Online loan application
Cons
  • Minimum 720 credit score for non-U.S. Bank customer
  • Loan limit is $25,000 for non-U.S Bank customer
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
1 - 7 years
Loan Amounts
$1,000 - $50,000
APR
8.24% - 21.49% (with autopay)
Minimum Credit Score Required
660

Why we chose it: U.S. Bank offers competitive APRs and quick funding — within hours, according to the lender — if you’re an existing customer with a credit score of 660 or higher.

U.S. Bank has a starting APR that competes with the best personal loan rates in the industry. The bank offers several loan types, including personal loans and home improvement loans, plus lines of credit for various purposes.

The bank also offers the Simple Loan exclusively to U.S. Bank checking account holders, ranging from $100 to $1,000, which is ideal for short-term or emergency expenses. The loan carries a fixed monthly fee of $6 for every $100 borrowed. Additionally, U.S. Bank doesn’t charge fees for missed payments on Simple Loans.

Note that if you do not have a bank account with U.S. Bank, potential personal loan borrowers will be subject to stricter credit score requirements (720 FICO) and a loan limit of $25,000.

Read our full review of U.S. Bank personal loans >>


Pros
  • Suggested credit score minimum of 600
  • Co-signers allowed
  • Check your rate with a soft credit inquiry
  • Next-day funding possible
Cons
  • Charges origination fee
  • Charges late fees for missed payments
  • No discount for automatic payments
HIGHLIGHTS
Term Lengths
2 - 5 years
Loan Amounts
$2,000 - $50,000
APR
6.99% - $35.99%
Minimum Credit Score Required
600

Why we chose it: Prosper is our pick for best personal loans peer-to-peer lender because of its competitive APR and fast funding.

Prosper operates as a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, connecting borrowers with loans funded by investors. Borrowers can access loans ranging from $2,000 - $50,000 with terms spanning two to five years. Upon approval, funds could be available via direct deposit within one business day.

Check your rate using Prosper’s personal loan calculator, which includes different loan types, such as debt consolidation, home improvement and business. No credit check is required until you accept an offer and formally apply.

Prosper charges an origination fee ranging from 1% to 7.99% of the total loan amount. Additionally, late payments result in fees of $15 or 5% of the unpaid monthly payment (whichever is greater), and insufficient funds or returned payments incur a $15 charge.

Read our full review of Prosper personal loans >>


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Other personal loan companies we considered

Not all of the banks, credit unions, fintech companies and other financial institutions we evaluated made it to our best personal loans list. Below, you’ll find a selection of some other personal loan companies we considered.

Best Egg Personal Loans

Pros
  • Next-day funding possible
  • Loan terms from 3 - 5 yrs
  • APR from 8.99% - 35.99%
Cons
  • High origination fees
  • Not available in the District of Columbia, Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia or U.S. territories.

Best Egg offers a variety of personal loans for various purposes, ranging in amount from $2,000 - $50,000. The company ranked second in J.D. Power’s 2023 Consumer Lending Satisfaction Survey. However, Best Egg’s origination fees are fairly high (0.99% to 8.99%) compared to other lenders we evaluated.

Why Best Egg didn’t make the cut: Best Egg didn’t make our list because its personal loans are not available across all of the U.S. and, depending on the borrower, the loan origination fee could be as high as 8.99%.

Read our full review of Best Egg personal loans >>


LendingClub Personal Loans

Pros
  • Pre-approval available
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Accepts co-borrowers
Cons
  • Low loan maximum at $40,000
  • 3% - 8% origination fee
  • Higher starting APR at 9.57% than other lenders we evaluated

LendingClub is an online bank that offers peer-to-peer personal loans. You can prequalify for a loan with a soft credit pull that won’t damage your credit score. There are no prepayment penalties, and LendingTree accepts cosigners.

Why LendingClub didn’t make the cut: LendingClub charges a personal loan origination fee of up to 8%. Additionally, its maximum loan amount is low at $40,000.

Read our full review of LendingClub personal loans >>


USAA Personal Loans

Pros
  • Variety of personal loan options
  • Low number of CFPB complaints
Cons
  • Higher starting APR (9.95%)
  • Membership is limited to military members and families
  • No pre-approval with soft credit inquiry

USAA offers loan amounts ranging from $1,000 - $100,000, with repayment terms spanning from 12 - 84 months. Notably, applications for loan terms exceeding 60 months must meet higher credit and risk standards than loan terms up to 60 months.

Why USAA didn’t make the cut: USAA was not included in our top list because their loan offerings are limited to military members and their families, as well as the higher than average APR on their loans.


Avant Personal Loans

Pros
  • Accepts fair credit scores
  • Loan terms from 1 - 5 yrs
  • Starting APR of 9.95%
  • Loans up to $35,000
Cons
  • Low maximum loan amount at $35,000
  • Administration fee of up to 4.75% of total loan amount
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) civil lawsuit

According to the company website, the average borrower of an Avant personal loan has a credit score ranging from 600 to 700, making it a good option for individuals with fair credit.

Why Avant didn’t make the cut: Avant charges an administration fee on top of the total loan amount. (Other companies on our list don’t charge any fees.) Moreover, in January 2022, the Federal Trade Commission returned $3.7 million to Avant customers after alleging the company had engaged in deceptive loan practices.


Discover Personal Loans

Pros
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Next-day fund disbursement
  • Loan terms of 3 - 7 yrs
  • APR from 7.99% to 24.99%
Cons
  • $39 late payment fee
  • $25,000 minimum annual income required
  • No cosigner option
  • No small personal loans

Credit card issuer Discover also originates loans with 0% in origination fees and competitive interest rates, which you can repay over a period of three to seven years.

Why Discover didn’t make the cut: Discover didn’t make our top picks due to its minimum income requirement and the fact that it doesn’t allow co-signers on loans. Additionally, the minimum loan amount is a bit high at $2,500, and its maximum of $40,000 is lower than other companies we evaluated.


AmONE needs secured link

Pros
  • Competitive APR starting at 4.60%
  • Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms from 12 to 84 months
  • Funds available as soon as one day after approval
Cons
  • Not a direct lender, so loan conditions may vary
  • Applicants complain of receiving unsolicited marketing communications via phone and email
  • Initial application results in a hard credit pull

AmONE is a personal loan marketplace that connects borrowers with direct lenders such as Best Egg, Achieve, OneMain Financial, Upgrade and Upstart.

Why AmONE didn’t make the cut: AmONE fell short of our top picks due to its lack of transparency about qualification requirements and potential fees — the company does not publicly disclose important specifics about its partner lenders, such as maximum APR, origination fees or creditworthiness factors.

Read our full review of AmONE personal loans >>

Personal Loans Guide

Personal loans serve various purposes and come with attractive features like flexible terms and low interest rates. Our guide outlines everything you need to know, including how they work and what qualifications you need to get a personal loan.

What is a personal loan?

Personal loans are a type of installment loan that typically have fixed interest rates and shorter repayment terms, usually ranging from 12 to 72 months. These loans vary in amount, available in smaller sums starting as low as $100 and larger sums exceeding $50,000.

The purpose of a personal loan can include various needs, including debt consolidation, funding home improvement projects, covering medical bills or financing large purchases, events or vacations. However, it’s important to note that most personal loans cannot be used to pay for higher education.

Types of personal loans

There are two basic types of personal loans: secured and unsecured loans.

Secured loans

Secured personal loans require collateral, which is a guarantee of payment in the form of an asset you own such as your house, car, stocks and bonds or even a certificate of deposit account. If you default on these loans, the lender can sell these assets and use them to pay off the debt.

Unsecured loans

Unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, and therefore, won’t lead to foreclosure or loss of assets for failure to pay. However, these loans usually carry higher interest rates, and defaulting will still significantly impact your credit score. Most personal loans are unsecured loans.

How do personal loans work?

You can request personal loans from banks, credit unions or other financial institutions.

Lenders will look at different factors when evaluating your application. These include:

  • Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) - DTI is calculated by dividing your monthly debt obligations (such as mortgage payments, credit card debts and student loans) by your total monthly income. This shows the portion of your income used to repay existing debts, indicating whether you can afford a new loan.
  • Credit score - Most lenders set a minimum credit score requirement of 660, but some consider additional factors when determining your creditworthiness. Be sure to check your credit score before you get a loan.
  • Credit card utilization ratio - Banks will review how much of your available credit you’re currently using. Most lenders favor a credit utilization ratio below 30%.

Most personal loans have fixed interest rates and are processed quickly – once approved, you could have money deposited into your bank account within 24 to 48 hours.

Average interest rates on personal loans

The average interest rate on personal loans starts at about 7%, according to the companies we evaluated. However, the lowest rates are offered only to borrowers with excellent credit. Depending on your credit profile, personal loan interest rates may be higher — up to 35.99%.

Here’s how personal loan rates may vary according to credit scores:

HOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE AFFECTS INTEREST RATES

Credit Score*

Possible APR Range*

600-619

29.45% - 34.59%

680 - 699

23.63% - 28.76%

720 - 739

17.58% - 22.70%

780 - 799

13.13% - 18.24%

840 - 850

13.13% - 18.24%

How to get a personal loan

Regardless of whether you want to get your loan from a traditional bank, a credit union, an online lender or P2P, there are steps you’ll have to follow to get your loan.

  • Do the math - Take a hard look at your finances. Can you afford the new loan payment? Some banks offer fast, online prequalification with a soft credit pull so you can check potential loan terms. You can also use an online personal loan calculator to get an idea of what you’ll have to pay every month for the loan.
  • Check your credit score - Personal loan companies run a credit check to determine your creditworthiness and interest rate. A credit score that falls in the good to excellent range will increase your likelihood of approval and eligibility for the lowest APRs.
  • Evaluate and compare lenders - Compare lender loan offerings, fees, services and benefits to find out which best fits your needs and wants. Don’t forget to look at customer reviews as well to get a sense of what other borrowers have found helpful or inconvenient.
  • Apply and provide documents - Required documents typically include identification (driver’s license, passport or Social Security card), a utility bill to verify your address, employment information and a bank statement or tax return as proof of income.
  • Review the loan terms - Be sure to check for additional fees, such as an origination fee or prepayment penalty.
  • Start making payments - We recommend you set up automatic payments to avoid paying the penalty or fees that most lenders charge for missed payments.

Best place to get a personal loan

You can get personal loans from banks, credit unions, or from online and peer-to-peer lenders. It’s important you only apply to reputable lenders since you’ll have to provide your personally identifiable information on your application, including your Social Security number and address.

Banks

Brick-and-mortar banks are ideal if you prefer in-person customer service. However, as banking becomes ever more digital, most brick-and-mortar banks are now able to offer you the best of both worlds. Note that some traditional banks may charge higher fees and penalties than online lenders and credit unions.

Online Lenders

Online lenders offer convenience and speed. You can apply and receive your money online from anywhere (we suggest you use a secure WiFi connection). Another perk: Some pass on their overhead cost savings to borrowers and are more likely to offer low-interest personal loans with fewer fees. Additionally, some online lenders use alternative credit data, which may be helpful for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit.

Credit Unions

Unlike traditional banks, credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions. Borrowers must become members, but this can offer some benefits, such as access to higher interest rates on savings accounts and CDs and APR discounts on personal loans. Credit union accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which caps the loan interest rates offered by credit unions at 18%.

Peer-to-Peer

A peer-to-peer (P2P) lender is an online lender that connects borrowers to funding from individual investors and companies. The lender serves only as a facilitator of the loan. This type of loan gives people with low credit scores or limited credit history a greater chance of approval. However, some P2P lenders charge additional fees and higher personal loan interest rates.

Latest News on Personal Loans

Despite a rise in interest rates and tighter lending restrictions, there’s plenty of data that shows the personal loan business is booming. Many borrowers are incentivized by the more reasonable personal loan interest rates as compared to those of their high-interest credit cards.

Don’t discount other avenues of cash flow, either. If you own your home, consider a home equity loan, as these types of loans offer lower interest rates. For those who are looking at personal loans for the purchase of a new car, remember that you may be able to get a car loan at a good rate.

Best Personal Loans FAQs

What is an unsecured personal loan?

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Unsecured loans are the most commonly offered type of personal loan. These loans don't require collateral, meaning that the borrower doesn't have to put up any valuable assets as a guarantee for payment. However, this also means that unsecured loans increase the risk for the lender. Consequently, unsecured loans usually come with higher interest rates than secured loans.

Unlike with a secured loan (a mortgage, for example), you won't lose any assets if you were to default on an unsecured loan; however, your credit will take a hit, hindering your ability to get another loan in the future.

How many personal loans can you have at once?

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Technically, there is no limit to the number of personal loans you can have at once. That said, financial institutions place limits on the number of loans they're willing to give any one borrower at a time. These policies may vary depending on your particular circumstances. Additionally, the more debt you have, the less likely you are to be approved for a loan.

How long does it take to get a personal loan?

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How long it takes to get a personal loan depends primarily on the lender. Many online lenders offer same-day funding, so long as your loan is processed by a certain time of day. Others, particularly banks and credit unions, may take a few days to process your application and send loan funds your way.

What is a good interest rate for a personal loan?

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A good interest rate for a personal loan in today's market is about 7%. However, this low rate is only offered to borrowers with excellent credit — and lenders don't offer rates this low, period. More likely, you'll see rates between 12% and 20%.

When evaluating a personal loan offer, consider the repayment terms and total cost of the loan against the purpose of borrowing.

Can I get a personal loan while unemployed?

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While it's not impossible to get a loan while unemployed, it will be difficult without a job offer or another source of income. Some lenders may still extend you a loan offer, but keep in mind that interest rates will likely be high, as you'll pose a higher risk of default.

How We Found the Best Personal Loans

Our methodology to find the best personal loans included an in-depth evaluation of 40 banks, credit unions, marketplaces and peer-to-peer lenders taking into account the following:

  • Loan rates and fees. We chose banks that provided the most affordable loans, that is, those that offered the lowest interest rates and fees. We also evaluated which banks offered the most benefits and unique offers.
  • Loan term flexibility. We preferred banks that offered customers with multiple term options and ways to pay.
  • Customer satisfaction. We evaluated how banks ranked in J.D. Power’s Customer Satisfaction surveys and checked any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Regulatory compliance. We checked for complaints and reports filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) database and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Summary of Money’s Best Personal Loans of 2024