Best personal loans of August 2023
Updated 5:26 a.m. ET Aug. 2, 2023
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Personal loans can be used to cover almost any expense, such as a large purchase, medical bills or debt consolidation. These loans typically range anywhere from $600 to $100,000, depending on the lender, and generally don’t require collateral. However, before taking out a personal loan, it’s important to compare your options to find the right loan for your situation.
The best personal loans offer competitive interest rates, a variety of loan amounts and relatively long repayment terms. Some also have more lenient credit score requirements or allow you to apply with a co-signer or co-borrower while others provide rate discounts or fewer fees.
To determine the best personal loans, we compared 37 personal loan lenders by these metrics along with other factors like state availability, funding time and customer service experience.
: Best overall
: Best for fair credit
: Best for poor credit
: Best peer-to-peer lender
: Best for excellent credit
: Best for fast funding
: Best for good credit
: Best for customer support
: Best for repayment term variety
: Best for building credit
: Best for thin credit
: Best for rate discounts
Why trust our personal loan experts
Our team of experts evaluated hundreds of personal loan products and analyzed thousands of data points to help you find the best fit for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.
- 40 personal loan lenders reviewed.
- 640 data points analyzed.
- 6-stage fact-checking process.
Best personal loans
Compare the best personal loans
|Interest rates||Loan amounts||Repayment terms (years)||Time to fund (after approval)|
|SoFi||8.99% to 25.81%||$5,000 to $100,000||2 to 7||As soon as the same day|
|LendingPoint||7.99% to 35.99%||$2,000 to $36,500||2 to 6||As soon as the next business day|
|Upgrade||8.49% to 35.99%||$1,000 to $50,000||2 to 7||Within 1 business day|
|Prosper||6.99% to 35.99%||$2,000 to $50,000||2 to 5||Within 1 business day|
|Axos Bank||7.99% to 14.99%||$5,000 to $50,000||3 to 6||As soon as the same day|
|LightStream||7.99% to 25.99%||$5,000 to $100,000||2 to 7 |
(up to 12 for some loan types)
|As soon as the same day|
|Discover||7.99% to 24.99%||$2,500 to $40,000||3 to 7||As soon as 1 business day|
|Avant||9.95% to 35.99%||$2,000 to $35,000||1 to 5||As soon as the next business day|
|U.S. Bank||8.74% to 21.24%||$1,000 to $50,000 |
($25,000 maximum for non-U.S. Bank customers)
|1 to 7 |
(5-year maximum for non-U.S. Bank customers)
|1 to 4 business days|
|Oportun||12.49% to 35.99%||$300 to $18,500 |
(depending on loan type)
|1 to 5.33||As soon as the same day|
|Upstart||4.6% to 35.99%||$1,000 to $50,000||3 or 5||As fast as 1 business day|
|Citibank||11.49% to 19.49%||$2,000 to $30,000||1 to 5||As soon as the same day|
|All interest rates are current and include discounts as applicable as of August 1, 2023.|
Why some lenders didn’t make the cut
Of the 24 personal loan lenders that we reviewed, only a fraction made the cut. The lenders that didn’t have high enough scores to be included received lower ratings due to having higher interest rates, limited customer service options and poor customer reviews as well as not allowing co-signers.
Our expert writers and editors have reviewed and researched 24 popular lenders to help you find the best personal loan. Out of all the lenders considered, the 12 that made our list excelled in areas across the following categories (with weightings): loan details (20%), loan cost (35%), eligibility and accessibility (20%), customer service (15%) and ease of application (10%).
Within each major category, we considered several characteristics, including APR ranges, loan amounts, maximum repayment terms, lender discounts, late payment and prepayment penalties, minimum credit score requirements and funding time as well as co-signer or co-borrower acceptance. We also evaluated each provider’s customer support options and customer reviews.
What can I use a personal loan for?
You can use a personal loan for almost any purpose — including big expenses like RVs, pools, home improvement, a wedding and more. Small personal loans are also available from certain lenders and can be used to pay for things like medical or veterinary bills.
Current personal loan interest rates
Personal loan interest rates can vary significantly depending on the lender. For instance, some lenders might offer APRs as low as 6.7% or as high as 35.99% The rate you receive will depend upon your overall creditworthiness and other factors.
How to increase your chances of getting approved
If you’re concerned that you won’t qualify for a personal loan, there are certain things you can do to increase the likelihood of approval, such as:
- Get a co-signer or co-borrower. One strategy worth considering is to apply for a personal loan with a co-signer or co-borrower. Many lenders offer the option to use a joint borrower for personal loans, but fewer let you apply with a co-signer. When you use a creditworthy co-borrower or co-signer, your lender will review their credit history in addition to yours — making you more likely to qualify.
- Seek alternative funding. You could ask someone you trust, like a friend or family member, for a loan or even consider applying through a peer-to-peer lending platform like Prosper to get a P2P loan.
- Improve your credit. If you have some time before you’ll need funds, you could work on improving your credit before applying. Things like paying down existing debt, setting up monthly automatic bill payments and increasing your income could all help boost your credit score.
Find out why improving your credit can help: 5 benefits of a good credit score
Pros of a personal loan
- Range of loan amounts available.
- Repayment terms as long as seven years.
- Loan funds are available relatively quickly.
Cons of a personal loan
- Might have higher rates than home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).
- Origination and late payment fees may apply.
- Monthly payments could be high, depending on amount borrowed.
How to get a personal loan
Personal loans are widely available through banks, credit unions and online lenders. But generally, you’ll need to meet certain requirements to get approved. Though these requirements can vary by lender, here’s what you typically need:
- Good credit: Some lenders may require that you have good credit, or a credit score over 670, to qualify for a personal loan. Others may have more flexible credit score requirements.
- Verifiable annual income: You’ll likely need to meet certain annual income requirements to get approved. Income requirements vary significantly by lender.
- Low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Lenders typically consider your DTI ratio, which measures your total monthly income against your monthly debts, when determining whether to approve you for a loan. Generally, a DTI below 36% is considered good, but the lower your DTI, the better.
- To live in an eligible location: Some lenders only operate in certain states, so it’s essential to find one that lends where you live.
While exact credit score requirements vary by lender, you’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan. A good credit score is usually considered to be 670 or higher.
There are also several lenders that work with borrowers who have lower credit scores, such as Upgrade and Upstart. However, keep in mind that bad credit loans typically come with higher interest rates compared to those offered to borrowers with good credit.
Most personal loan lenders look for good to excellent credit.
“That’s because most personal loans are unsecured, which means you won’t need to put up collateral … if you can’t or won’t pay back the debt,” says Leslie Tayne, founder and head attorney at Tayne Law Group. “The lender needs reasonable assurance that they can trust you to meet your financial obligation, so they set qualification criteria high.”
While you’ll have fewer options for personal loans with bad credit, certain lenders offer personal loans for bad credit. In general, though, you’ll want to avoid payday loans and loans with very high APRs, as those can be difficult or near impossible to pay off.
In general, the quickest way to get a personal loan is with an online lender that offers same- or next-day funding, such as LightStream. While traditional banks and credit unions sometimes provide fast funding, online lenders typically offer speedier application and funding times.
Interest rates on personal loans fluctuate often, and different lenders offer varying APR ranges. In general, though, a rate that’s below the Fed’s average of 11.49% for a two-year personal loan may be considered a good rate. It’s essential to compare personal loan rates from different lenders to find an affordable loan.
Both online lenders and banks offer personal loans, but the ideal option for you depends on your situation. If you prefer to apply in person, a local bank or credit union might be the right choice. But if you’re comfortable applying online, an online lender might offer lower rates than those with physical branches — and their application process is typically faster.
Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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