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Best Personal Loans of February 2024

  • SoFi – Best Overall Personal Loan
  • LightStream – Best for Low Interest Rates
  • LendingPoint – Best for Fast Funding & Below-Average Credit
  • Upgrade – Best for Bad Credit
  • Universal Credit – Best for Comparing Multiple Offers
  • Discover – Best for No Interest If Repaid Within 30 Days
  • Upstart – Best for Loans as Low as $1000
  • Avant – Best for Range of Repayment Options



APR range

8.99% to 29.49%

with autopay

8.99% to 29.49%

with autopay

Why We Picked It

SoFi’s personal loans stand out for allowing high loan amounts and its availability of extended loan terms. Loans are available from $5,000 to $100,000, making SoFi a great option for those with excellent credit who need to borrow a large amount of money. Loan amounts available may vary by the state you live in. Repayment terms range from two to seven years, making SoFi an incredibly flexible option for those with sufficient credit (minimum 650) and annual income (at least $45,000).

Pros & Cons

  • Prequalification with soft credit check
  • Funding in as little as one to two days
  • High loan amounts and lengthy terms
  • Does not offer direct payment to third-party creditors for debt consolidation
  • Some applicants report difficult qualification standards
  • Co-signers are not permitted


Overview: Founded in 2011, SoFi is an online lending platform that offers unsecured fixed-rate personal loans in every state, extending over $50 billion in loans. SoFi offers comparatively low APRs and doesn’t charge origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties—a stand-out feature because personal loan lenders often charge origination or late payment fees at a minimum.

However, if you’re considering a debt consolidating loan from SoFi, keep in mind that the lender does not offer direct payment to a borrower’s other creditors. This means the loan proceeds will be deposited to your bank account and you’ll have to pay off your other lenders individually.


  • Minimum credit score required: 650
  • Minimum annual income: $45,000
  • Co-signers not permitted

Loan uses:

  • Medical expenses
  • Credit card consolidation
  • Home projects
  • Moving costs



APR range

7.49% to 25.49%

with autopay

7.49% to 25.49%

with autopay

Why We Picked It

LightStream personal loans offers both a low minimum and maximum interest rate, along with a rate-beat program. LightStream’s unsecured personal loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 with loan amounts varying based on the loan purpose. In addition to offering appealing and flexible terms, LightStream charges no origination, late payment or prepayment fees. The lender also offers a 0.50% rate discount for borrowers who enroll in autopay.

Pros & Cons

  • No origination, prepayment or late fees
  • Low, competitive rates
  • Fast approval and funding
  • No prequalification process
  • No due date flexibility
  • Limitations on use of loan proceeds


Overview: LightStream is a consumer lending division of Truist—which formed following the merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T. The platform offers unsecured personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. Loan amounts vary based on the loan purpose. Although a number of lenders offer smaller loans than the LightStream minimum, few lenders offer a higher maximum loan. Repayment terms are available from two to seven years.

LightStream offers loans in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and applicants can contact the lender’s customer support team seven days a week; current borrowers have access to customer support from Monday through Saturday. While LightStream doesn’t offer a mobile app for loan management, customers can access their account through


  • Applicants should have several years of credit history
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Can’t prequalify

Loan uses:

  • Large expenses
  • Finance land, timeshares and tiny homes
  • Home project



APR range

7.99% to 35.99%

with autopay

7.99% to 35.99%

with autopay

Why We Picked It

With a minimum credit score requirement of 600 , LendingPoint personal loans are available to borrowers with fair credit scores. Coupled with quick turnaround times, and the lender makes itself a good option for borrowers looking for a personal loan. LendingPoint personal loans range from $2,000 to $36,500; Georgia loans have a minimum loan amount of $3,500. Repayment terms range from 24 to 72 months—or two to six years.

Pros & Cons

  • Quick funding
  • Low credit score requirements
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Origination fee up to 10%
  • Co-signers or joint loans not permitted
  • Not available in Nevada and West Virginia


Overview: LendingPoint is an online lender based in Atlanta that offers personal loans to prospective borrowers in 48 states and Washington D.C.; it does not offer loans in Nevada and West Virginia. Prospective borrowers in eligible states can apply online and benefit from quick funding.

There are two main disadvantages to LendingPoint: high maximum APRs and origination fees. While you can typically avoid high APRs by maintaining a good credit score, LendingPoint origination fees (up to 10%) depend on the state you live in.


  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Must live in a state other than Nevada or West Virginia
  • Doesn’t allow co-signers or co-applicants

Loan uses:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Home project
  • Medical expenses



Why We Picked It

With accessible qualification requirements, an Upgrade personal loan is the best loan option for borrowers with bad credit. The lender doesn’t have a minimum income requirement and requires a minimum credit score of 580. Upgrade’s loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000 and has two- to seven-year terms available.

Pros & Cons

  • Low minimum credit score requirement
  • Borrowers can use loans to cover business expenses
  • Offers direct lender payoff for debt consolidation loans
  • High APR range
  • Charges fees for origination, late payment and insufficient funds


Overview: Upgrade was launched in 2017 and provides accessible online and mobile credit and banking services. Since that time, the platform has made more than $3 billion in credit available to over 10 million applicants and continues to expand its online and mobile services.

Upgrade charges an origination fee between 1.85% and 9.99% of the loan, and borrowers will encounter a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or if the payment does not go through; there are no discounts for autopay. That said, Upgrade borrowers are not subject to a prepayment penalty, so you can reduce the overall cost of the loan if you’re able to pay it off early.

Beyond offering accessible personal loans, Upgrade streamlines the lending process with a mobile app that lets borrowers view their balance, make payments and update personal information. Upgrade’s Credit Heath tool also makes it easy to track your credit score over the life of your loan.


  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Allows co-applicants

Loan uses:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Home projects
  • Large expenses
  • Business expenses


Universal Credit

Why We Picked It

Universal Credit is a fintech company that offers personal loans between $1,000 to $50,000 through its partners. Repayment terms range from three to seven years. While Universal Credit makes finding a personal loan accessible even to those with damaged credit, it comes with a few tradeoffs. First, it charges high APRs, well above the most competitive rates seen on our list. Second, Universal Credit charges a 5.25% to 9.99% origination fee on all personal loans.

Pros & Cons

  • Flexible qualification requirements
  • Next-day funding
  • No prepayment penalty
  • High APRs
  • All personal loans charge a 5.25% to 9.99% origination fee


Overview: Universal Credit is an online lender powered by Upgrade with loans originated by partners Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank. The lender offers its loans in every state except Iowa, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.


  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Minimum income requirement: Does not disclose
  • Doesn’t allow co-signers or co-borrowers

Loan uses:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Large expense
  • Home project



Why We Picked It

Discover’s personal loans offer borrowers the ability to repay their loans within 30 days interest-free. Along with that feature, Discover stands out because of its online application and mobile banking tools, well-reviewed customer support team and quick funding. In general, loans are available from $2,500 to $40,000 and may be issued for between three and seven years.

Pros & Cons

  • Option to pay off creditors directly
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Directly pays creditors
  • Charges late fees
  • Low maximum loan amount


Overview: Discover is an online bank that also offers customers credit cards, retirement solutions and personal loans in all 50 states. Discover charges a late payment fee and does not offer an autopay discount; however, it does not charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties, making it competitive with other top personal loan providers.


  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Minimum household income: $25,000
  • Doesn’t allow co-signers or co-borrowers

Loan uses:

  • Medical bills
  • Business expenses
  • Home renovation



Why We Picked It

Upstart’s personal loans offer a flexible range of options, with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 so you don’t have to borrow (or pay interest on) more than you really need. Along with a low minimum credit requirement of 300, Upgrade is an accessible choice for a range of borrowers.

Pros & Cons

  • Accessible to borrowers with fair credit
  • Offers prequalification with a soft credit check
  • Ability to choose a custom payment date
  • Charges an origination fee up to 8% of the loan amount
  • No secured or co-signer option
  • Loans only available for three-, five-, seven-year terms


Overview: Upstart has made a mark on the personal loan space because of its artificial intelligence- and machine learning-based approach to borrower qualification. In fact, Upstart estimates that it has been able to approve 27% more borrowers than possible under a traditional lending model.

Even though Upstart’s three-, five-, seven-year loan terms are more restrictive than other lenders, it’s likely to be an acceptable tradeoff for applicants who might not be approved in a more traditional lending environment. Plus, it’s available in every state except West Virginia and Iowa, so it’s as widely available as many other top lenders.


  • Minimum credit score: 300
  • Minimum income requirement: $12,000
  • Doesn’t allow co-signers or co-borrowers

Loan uses:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Medical expenses
  • Educational expenses



Why We Picked It

With a low minimum amount and flexible repayment terms of two to five years, Avant’s personal loans are a good option for borrowers. Nonetheless, maximum loan amounts are low compared to other lenders and in addition to charging an administrative fee of up to 4.75% of the loan amount, Avant’s APR range (9.95% to 35.99%) is on the high end for applicants with a good to excellent credit score—with no autopay discount.

Pros & Cons

  • Secured and unsecured loan options available
  • Low credit score requirement (580)
  • Loan terms available up to 60 months
  • Charges an upfront administrative fee
  • High starting APR for prime borrowers
  • Co-signers and co-applicants not allowed


Overview: Founded in 2012 and based in Chicago, Avant is a consumer lending platform that offers secured and unsecured personal loans through a third-party bank (WebBank). Unsecured loans are available in Washington, D.C. and every state but Hawaii, Iowa, New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Maine. The platform specializes in middle-income borrowers with fair to good credit and only requires a minimum score of 580 to qualify.


  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Minimum income: $20,000
  • Doesn’t allow co-signers or co-borrowers

Loan uses:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Large expenses
  • Home projects

*Some APRs and loan amounts are available only for certain loan purposes.

The above personal loan rates and details are accurate as of February 23, 2024. While we update this information regularly, the annual percentage rates (APRs) and loan details may have changed since the page was last updated. Keep in mind, some lenders make specific rates and terms available only for certain loan purposes. Be sure to confirm available APR ranges and loan details, based on your desired loan purpose, with your lender before applying.

How To Compare Best Personal Loans

Pro Tip

Don’t settle for the first personal loan you come across. Shop around and compare interest rates, repayment terms, and any additional fees or charges. A slightly lower interest rate or more flexible terms can make a significant difference in the long run.

Complete Guide to Personal Loans

What Is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a type of lump-sum financing borrowers can get from a traditional bank, credit union or online lender, which they can use for a variety of expenses. Common uses include medical bills, auto repairs, home improvement projects and debt consolidation. Personal loans typically have repayment terms between two and seven years and offer interest rates as low as 3% for high-qualified borrowers.

Read More: What Is A Personal Loan?

How Do Personal Loans Work?

Personal loans are typically available from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Prospective borrowers apply for a loan either online or in person and then wait for a decision—approval or denial. If approved, borrowers receive their funds as a lump-sum payment into their bank account, and interest starts to accrue in the first month. Personal loans require fixed monthly payments over the entire loan term, typically between one to seven years. Many personal loans can be funded within a few business days so you don’t have to wait to get the money you need.

Reasons To Get a Personal Loan

You can use personal loans for just about any type of personal expense. Most commonly, though, personal loans are good for:

  1. Emergency expenses. If you need money right away for unexpected expenses like medical bills, funeral costs, car repairs or something else that needs immediate attention, you can use an emergency personal loan.
  2. Debt consolidation. Personal loans are a great way to consolidate high-interest debt to help save money on interest and streamline your payments.
  3. Home improvements and repairs. If you have an upcoming home project, you can take out a home improvement personal loan to help finance the costs. You can also use personal loans for unexpected home repairs or maintenance expenses.
  4. Auto financing. While auto loans are the most common way to finance a vehicle, personal loans also can help you get the job done. Personal loans have fewer restrictions on the types of cars you can purchase, but they typically charge higher interest rates than traditional auto loans.
  5. Moving costs. The cost of moving can add up quickly. If you don’t have cash on hand, a personal loans for moving can help you finance the costs.

Pro Tip

Using personal loans can be a convenient way to consolidate and pay off high-interest credit card debt. Interest rates on personal loans are usually fixed, which means the interest rate and payment stay the same for the entire loan term. You can also take comfort in knowing your debt will be paid off by a predetermined date as long as you make each payment as scheduled.

Who Is a Personal Loan Right For?

A personal loan is right for someone who needs cash to cover an expected expense or consolidate debt. Although personal loans can be crucial in an emergency, they can be expensive and in some cases, can become a burden once they need to be repaid.

When you take out a loan, you’ll repay the amount and any interest and fees. This means your expense will cost more than the price tag you see. For example, let’s say you have auto repairs of $2,000 and you take out a one-year loan with an interest rate of 11%. You would owe $121.16 in interest, bringing your total balance to $2,121.16.

Use a personal loan calculator to see what a personal loan could cost you, including interest. The loan calculator can also give you an idea of what your loan payments could look like as well.

What’s the Largest Personal Loan You Can Get?

The loan amount you have access to depends on your creditworthiness and what a specific lender offers. For example, personal loans typically range from $1,000 to $50,000, but some lenders offer up to $100,000. Larger loan amounts are usually reserved for highly qualified applicants because those transactions are riskier for lenders.

Because you’ll owe interest on the entire loan amount, it’s crucial to only borrow the amount you need and nothing more. We also recommend using our personal loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments and ensure you can afford your desired loan amount.

What Loan Term Length Should You Choose?

Much like your loan amount, personal loan term lengths play a key role in determining both your monthly payment and interest charges. Loans with shorter terms come with larger monthly payments but less interest overall. Longer term loans, however, offer smaller monthly payments at the cost of more interest paid over the life of your loan.

For example, if you borrow $3,000 over one year with 11% interest, you’d owe $265 per month and $182 in interest overall—a total of $3,182. Now let’s say you extend that same loan over three years. You’d owe $98 per month but $536 in total interest—or $3,536 for the full loan amount and interest. This makes it clear that you can save money by opting for shorter loan terms, but that’s only possible if you’re able to afford the higher monthly payment.

Current Average Personal Loan Interest Rates

Average Personal Loan Interest Rates By Credit Score

Here are the average estimated interest rates for personal loans based on VantageScore risk tiers, according to Experian. Please note that interest rates are determined and set by lenders. The rates provided are estimations.

While lenders determine and set rates, as an applicant, you can increase your chances of receiving a low-interest personal loan.

“Consumers with higher credit scores generally will qualify for lower interest rates. To increase your credit scores, make sure you make your payments on time and try to keep your balances low. Missed payments and high [credit] utilization rates, or balance-to-limit ratios, on your credit cards are the two most heavily weighed factors in determining your credit scores. If possible, I recommend checking your credit report and scores three to six months before you apply for a personal loan. This will give you time to take steps to improve your credit standing if necessary.” -Rod Griffin, senior director of consumer education and advocacy at Experian

Best Personal Loans by Credit Score

Pros and Cons of Personal Loans


  • Interest rates and monthly payments remain fixed throughout the life of the loan
  • Fewer qualification requirements than other financing methods, such as lower minimum credit score requirements
  • You can use personal loans for a variety of reasons


  • You have to repay the full amount of your loan, even if you end up not needing it all
  • Borrowers pay interest on the full loan amount
  • Possible origination fees between 1% and 8% of the loan amount

Best Place to Get a Personal Loan

You can get personal loans from three types of institutions:

  • Online lenders. These are often technology-based non-bank companies that offer a small range of lending products, including personal loans. Online lenders typically offer low interest rates, loans that are available nationally and can provide funds within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Banks. Many local and national banks offer personal loans in addition to other financial products, such as checking and savings accounts. If you have an existing relationship with a bank, you may want to consider opening your personal loan through that bank.
  • Credit unions. These are local to your community and tend to offer applications both online and in person. Credit unions require membership, so be sure to check if you’re eligible.

The best place to get a personal loan is where you can access the most favorable terms and loan limits that fit your needs.

Related: Where To Get A Personal Loan

How to Get a Personal Loan

While the process varies by lender, follow these general steps to apply for a personal loan:

  • Check your credit score. Start by checking your credit score for free through your credit card issuer or another website that offers free scores. This will give you an understanding of your creditworthiness and your qualification chances. Aim for a score of at least 610; however, a score of at least 720 will yield the most favorable terms.
  • If necessary, take steps to improve your credit score. If your score falls below 610 or you want to boost your score to receive the best terms possible, take time to improve your credit score before applying, such as lowering your credit usage or paying off unpaid debts.
  • Determine how much you need to borrow. Once you check your credit score, calculate how much money you want to borrow. Remember, though, you’ll receive your money as a lump sum, and you’ll have to pay interest on the entire amount—so only borrow what you need.
  • Shop around for the best terms and interest rates. Many lenders will let you prequalify prior to submitting your application, which lets you see the terms you would receive with just a soft credit inquiry. Prequalifying lets you shop around for the best rates without hurting your credit score.
  • Submit a formal application and await a lending decision. After you find a lender that offers you the best terms for your situation, submit your application online or in person. Depending on the lender, this process can take a few hours to a few days.

Related: 5 Personal Loan Requirements To Know Before Applying

How To Get a Personal Loan With Bad Credit

Many lenders only offer loans to people with good credit, so it can be tougher to find an affordable loan if you have bad credit. You can increase your chances of finding a better loan by researching lenders and finding one that has flexible qualification requirements. 

Also, if you have any errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureaus to get any mistakes corrected as that can positively impact your credit. Beyond that, finding a co-signer can be an effective way to qualify for a personal loan with bad credit.

Related: Best Debt Consolidation Loans for Bad Credit

Recap of the Best Personal Loans of 2024

Related: Compare Personal Loan Rates


We reviewed 29 popular lenders based on 16 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process. We chose the 8 best lenders based on the weighting assigned to each category:

  • Loan details: 20%
  • Loan cost: 35%
  • Eligibility and accessibility: 20%
  • Customer experience: 15%
  • Application process: 10%

Within each major category, we also considered several characteristics, including available loan amounts, repayment terms, APR ranges and applicable fees. We also looked at minimum credit score requirements, whether each lender accepts co-signers or joint applications and the geographic availability of the lender. Finally, we evaluated each provider’s customer support tools, borrower perks and features that simplify the borrowing process—like prequalification options and mobile apps.

Where appropriate, we awarded partial points depending on how well a lender met each criterion.

To learn more about how Forbes Advisor rates lenders, and our editorial process, check out our Loans Rating & Review Methodology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a good interest rate on a personal loan?

A good interest rate on a personal loan is one that’s lower than the national average for borrowers with excellent credit. However, the interest rate you receive depends on several factors, and lenders frequently charge other fees that can make a loan more expensive. To minimize costs, maintain a good to excellent credit score (at least 670).

How are APRs determined for personal loans?

An annual percentage rate—or APR—is the total annual cost of a loan, over the life of the loan. Stated another way, it’s the total cost of credit based on the interest rate, fees and length of the repayment term. Some lenders include origination fees in the advertised APRs, while others take them out of the loan amount at funding. The APR of a personal loan, therefore, will vary depending on your creditworthiness, the size of the loan, how long you have to repay the loan and the lender.

What fees should I look out for when choosing a personal loan?

Common fees associated with personal loans include origination fees, late payment fees and returned check fees. Some lenders also charge a prepayment penalty to borrowers who opt to pay off their loans early. Keep in mind, however, that many lenders offer a no-fee structure that can reduce costs over the life of your loan—so it’s important to always shop around for the most favorable loan terms.

What can you use a personal loan for?

In general, personal loans are restricted to use for just that—personal uses. Lenders typically extend personal loans to borrowers who want to finance things like home improvement, travel and vacations, weddings, car-related expenses and debt consolidation. On the other hand, banks often restrict the use of personal loan funds on post secondary education costs, business purposes and illegal activities.

While most lenders ask prospective borrowers to provide the purpose of the loan in their application, some banks are more strict—requiring borrowers to use the loan on exactly what they identify in the initial loan application.

How many personal loans can you have at once?

You may have more than one personal loan with one specific lender or multiple loans with different lenders. However, some lenders may set a limit to how many loans you can have open through them, such as two loans. Plus, opening multiple loans can make you appear as a riskier borrower and lower your qualification chances.

Can you refinance a personal loan?

If you want to refinance your personal loan, you’ll need to take out a new loan and use that money to pay off your existing loan. Although you can refinance at any time, it’s best to do it when your credit scores have improved so you can qualify for a lower interest rate. Refinancing also may be a good option if you want to reduce your monthly payments by extending the loan term.

How long does it take to get a personal loan?

Typically, it doesn’t take long to get a personal loan. Some lenders offer online applications with automated approvals and same-day funding. Most lenders, however, take a few business days to a week to process your application and disburse your funds.

If the lender needs to verify any information with you, it can take longer. Once you apply for a loan, look for any communication from your lender so you can respond promptly.

What is the easiest personal loan to get?

The easiest personal loan to get is one with low, or no, credit score and income requirements. Although these loans can be enticing, they often come with high interest rates and fees, which make them expensive to borrow and difficult to repay. Before accepting one of these loans, be sure to understand any fees that come with the loan and the repayment terms.

How do I manage a personal loan?

Once you accept a personal loan, you’ll need to manage repayment to stay current with your loan. First, find your payment due date—oftentimes, it’ll be in your loan agreement. Then, set up automatic payments so you don’t miss any of your loan payments. Finally, double check that your lender is receiving your payments after the first withdrawal.

Next Up In Personal Loans

Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

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