Last Updated: April 2024

The Best Personal Loans of 2024

From consolidating debt to saving for a vacation, help fund your next goal with 2024's best personal loan lenders.

What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a financial product offered by banks, credit unions, or online lenders to individuals for various purposes. It is a type of unsecured loan, which means borrowers do not need to provide collateral (such as a house or car) to obtain the loan. Instead, personal loans are typically granted based on the borrower's creditworthiness, income, and ability to repay.

It's important to carefully consider your financial situation and needs before taking out a personal loan, as you'll be responsible for repaying the borrowed amount along with interest over the specified term. It's also crucial to compare loan offers from different lenders to find the best terms and interest rates that suit your circumstances.

Is a Personal Loan Right for Me?

Personal loans are versatile and can be used for a wide range of purposes, such as consolidating high-interest debt, covering medical expenses, financing home improvements, or handling unexpected financial emergencies. Consider whether the loan aligns with your specific financial goal or need.

Before deciding on a personal loan, it's wise to shop around, compare offers from different lenders, and carefully read the loan agreement to understand all the terms and conditions. If you're uncertain about whether a personal loan is the right choice, consider consulting a financial advisor who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances.

What is an APR?

APR stands for "Annual Percentage Rate.” It is a financial term used to express the true cost of borrowing or the return on investment for financial products. The APR is expressed as a percentage and provides a standardized way to compare the costs associated with different loans, credit cards, or other financial products.

What is a Credit Score? How Do I Check Mine?

A credit score is a number that represents an individual's creditworthiness, which is used by lenders and financial institutions to assess the risk associated with lending money to that person. It is a large factor in determining whether you qualify for credit, what interest rates you'll be offered, and the terms and conditions of credit or loans you may receive.

You can check your credit score through various methods, such as credit monitoring services, credit bureaus, and credit card statements. Free credit score websites are also another option.

How is “Good” and “Bad” Credit Determined?

Credit scores can be categorized into different ranges, and what is considered a "good" or "bad" credit score can vary depending on the credit scoring model being used and the lender's criteria.

Maintaining a good credit score is generally advisable because it can open up more financial opportunities and lower borrowing costs. If you have a lower credit score, there are steps you can take to improve it over time, such as paying bills on time, reducing credit card balances, and addressing any errors on your credit report.

How are Interest Rates Calculated?

Interest rates are calculated based on several factors, including the type of loan or financial product, the lender's policies, and economic conditions. The two primary methods for calculating interest rates are simple interest and compound interest.

  • Simple Interest - Simple interest is calculated on the principal amount (the initial sum of money borrowed or invested) for a specific period. It does not take into account any interest that has already accrued.
  • Compound Interest - Compound interest takes into account the interest accrued not only on the initial principal but also on any interest that has previously been added to the principal.

What are the Different Types of Personal Loans?

There are different types of personal loans, each designed to meet specific financial needs and situations. Here are some common types of personal loans:

  • Unsecured Loans - Unsecured personal loans are the most common type of personal loan. They are not backed by collateral, which means you don't have to provide an asset like your home or car as security. Lenders approve these loans based on your creditworthiness and ability to repay. Interest rates on unsecured personal loans are typically higher than those on secured loans.
  • Secured Loans - Secured personal loans are backed by collateral, such as a savings account, certificate of deposit (CD), or valuable personal property. Because they are less risky for lenders, secured loans often come with lower interest rates and may be easier to qualify for if you have poor credit. If you default on a secured loan, the lender can seize the collateral.
  • P2P Loans - P2P lending platforms connect borrowers directly with individual investors. Borrowers can request personal loans, and investors choose whether to fund them. Interest rates on P2P loans can vary based on creditworthiness.
  • Fixed Rate Loans - Fixed-rate loans have a consistent interest rate throughout the loan term. Borrowers know exactly how much they'll pay each month, making budgeting easier.
  • Lines Of Credit - A personal line of credit allows borrowers to access funds as needed, up to a predetermined credit limit. Interest is only charged on the amount borrowed, and once repaid, the credit becomes available again, much like a credit card.
  • Signature Loans - Signature loans are unsecured personal loans that rely on the borrower's creditworthiness and signature as a promise to repay. They are not backed by collateral.
  • Cash Advances - These are short-term loans typically offered by credit card companies or payday lenders. They allow you to borrow a portion of your credit limit in cash, but they often come with high fees and interest rates.
  • Installment Loans - Installment loans involve borrowing a fixed amount and repaying it in equal, regular installments over the loan term. They can be either secured or unsecured, and the interest rate may be fixed or variable.

Disclaimers

Credible Disclaimer

Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 6.40% fixed APR (with autopay) - 35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose.

For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43.

AmOne Disclaimer

AmONE is not a loan provider; we seek to match you to partners that may extend a loan or other services to you. All loan approval decisions and terms are determined by the loan providers at the time of your application with them. There is no guarantee that you will be approved for a loan or that you will qualify for the rates displayed. The offers and rates presented on this website are estimates based on information you submit to us. Your actual rates depend on your credit history, income, loan terms and other factors. All loan rates and terms, including APRs, are presented without warranty and are subject to change by the loan providers without notice.

$20,000 loan for a 5 year term at 6.40% interest rate with a 3% origination fee. You would receive $19,400 ($20,000 less the $600 origination fee) and would make 60 monthly payments of approximately $390.39 which equates to an APR of 6.40%. The total cost of the loan would be $27,273.33.

Upgrade Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 8.49%-35.99%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 9.99% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months.

For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46.

LendingTree Disclaimer

LendingTree is not a lender in any transaction and does not make loans, loan commitments or lock-rates. All credit decisions, including loan approval and the conditional rates and terms you are offered, are the responsibility of the participating lenders and will vary based upon your loan request, your particular financial situation, and criteria determined by the lenders to whom you are matched.

An example of total amount paid on a personal loan of $10,000 for a term of 36 months at a rate of 10% would be equivalent to $11,616.12 over the 36 month life of the loan.

Upstart Disclaimer

Upstart is not the lender for this product. All loans on Upstart's marketplace are made by regulated financial institutions. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

A representative example of payment terms for an unsecured Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $10,000 for a term of 60 months, with an interest rate of 21.58% and a 9.84% origination fee of $984, for an APR of 26.82%. In this example, the borrower will receive $9016 and will make 60 monthly payments of $275.

Lightstream Disclaimer

Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Lowest rates require excellent credit. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

Payment example: Monthly payments for a $25,000 loan at 7.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $777.54.

PenFed Credit Union Disclaimer

Your actual APR will be determined at the time of disbursement and will be based on your loan term and creditworthiness, which includes an evaluation of your credit history and the length of your PenFed membership. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Rates quoted assume excellent borrower credit history. Other eligibility requirements may apply.

Loan Payment Example: A $50,000 personal loan financed at 7.99% APR would amount to 36 monthly payments of approximately $1,566.59 each.

LendingClub Disclaimer

Unless otherwise specified, all credit and deposit products are provided by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. Credit products are subject to credit approval and may be subject to sufficient investor commitment. Credit union membership may be required. Deposit accounts are subject to approval.

A representative example of payment terms for a Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $19,854 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 10.29% and a 6.00% origination fee of $1,191, for an APR of 14.60%. In this example, the borrower will receive $18,663 and will make 36 monthly payments of $643. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths range from 24 months to 60 months.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The length of time you have to pay back a personal loan, known as the loan term or repayment term, can vary widely depending on the type of loan, the lender's policies, and the terms you negotiate. A shorter term may result in higher monthly payments but less overall interest paid, while a longer term may offer lower monthly payments but potentially higher overall interest costs.
The total interest paid on a personal loan can vary significantly based on the interest rate and loan term. A higher interest rate or longer loan term will generally result in more interest paid over the life of the loan. Therefore, when considering a personal loan, it's essential to shop around for the best interest rate and carefully evaluate the impact of the loan's terms on the total cost of borrowing.
Whether your credit score is good enough for a personal loan depends on a few factors, including the lender's requirements, the type of personal loan you're applying for, and your specific credit score. Generally, the higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for a personal loan and secure favorable terms, such as a lower interest rate.