Best Lenders for Personal Loans

By Christina Majaski on 24 August 2016 1 comment

Personal loans are often not the first choice when faced with an unexpected expense or financial need, but because of the wide range of lenders available offering lower interest rates, they can sometimes be the least expensive. With the current surge of a variety of lenders online offering personal loans, it is possible to apply, qualify, and receive your loan faster than ever before. Choosing a good lender doesn’t have to be complicated. Fortunately, there are many companies that have become popular and well-known among consumers for providing personal loans for all situations, including for those who have bad credit and need emergency funds. Here are the best lenders providing personal loans online.

SoFi

SoFi is a lender especially known for offering options for refinancing student loans, and is one of the only lenders to refinance both federal and private student loans. The APR for loans with SoFi are relatively low when compared to many of the other loan options available, and can range from 3.350% - 6.74% (fixed, with AutoPay) and 2.615% - 6.54% (variable, with AutoPay). SoFi also offers mortgage loans and refinancing as well as personal and parent loans or refinancing. You can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 and can pay back your loan in 3 - 7 years, without any origination fees. Further, SoFi provides career strategy services, invites to SoFi events, and tools to help manage your finances.

Lending Tree

One of the most popular providers of nearly any type of loan is Lending Tree, which is often considered a pioneer in online lending. The company has facilitated more than 32 million loans since 1998 and through the years has become a leader in every type of loan a consumer could need from car loans to mortgages and personal loans for medical expenses. They currently offer personal loans of $1,000 to $35,000, for a term of one to five years, with fixed rates. These loans also do not require collateral, and you can pay the loan in monthly installments.

Kabbage

Kabbage, a lender established in 2011, is one of the most popular online lenders for small businesses. If you are seeking a loan to get your business off the ground, Kabbage is one of the first lenders you should consider. Small business loans can be as much as $100,000 deposited into your bank account or even your PayPal account. You can ongoing access to your funds when you need it, in case you don’t need to use the full amount at once. Kabbage loans are ideal especially if you haven’t yet established any credit for your business. Whether you qualify for a loan is determined by a variety of business data, which includes not just the credit score but business volume and social media activity as well.

Avant

Your credit score still plays an important role in qualifying for personal loans, and if you’ve had problems in the past or don’t yet have credit established, it might be difficult getting approved for a personal loan. Those with bad credit often get stuck with predatory lending options such as payday loans, or even credit cards with high fees and outrageous interest rates. Although just recently established in 2012 and newer than other online lending platforms, Avant provides access to personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $35,000, even if you have less than perfect credit. Although the interest rate can range from 9.95% to 35.99%, Avant considers other factors besides just your credit score.

CircleBack Lending

CircleBack Lending provides a variety of loans from $3,001 to $35,000. There is an origination fee based on your credit that decreases the total amount of your loan. As an example, an A-B credit grade would have either a 36-month origination fee of 0.99% to 2.99% or a 60-month origination fee of 0.99% to 3.99%. Part of the process with CircleBack is requesting the loan amount and whether you want a term of 36 or 60 months. Then, CircleBack Investors review your request. Once an Investor commits to funding your request, the money is sent to your bank account. The interest rate or APR is based on the credit grade much like the origination fee. An A-B credit grade would have either a 36-month interest rate of 5.96% to 11.42%, a 36-month APR of 6.63% to 12.82%, a 60-month interest rate of 12.44% to 19.82%, or a 60-month APR of 12.88% to 20.78%.

Prosper

Prosper Marketplace works differently than other lenders and is categorized as a peer-to-peer lending company. Instead of borrowing money from a bank or company, Prosper loans are funded by other consumers or peers. You can borrow anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000, and qualify depending on your credit score, history, endorsements from friends, and even community affiliations. You can choose either three year or five year terms, with no pre-payment penalty. Although the APR can be as low as 5.99% for borrowers with the best Prosper Ratings, it varies and can be as high as 36.00% for first-time borrowers.

Upstart Loans

Upstart Loans is another peer-to-peer lending platform that allows you to borrow amounts from $3,000 to $35,000 for debt consolidation, refinancing student loans, to make a large purchase, or a number of other occasions you might need to borrow money. Your rates for borrowing are based on your FICO score as well as how long you have had credit, but unlike other lenders, Upstart also considers your education, area of study, and your job history, which, according to Upstart, has led to borrowers saving 27% compared to credit card rates. The interest rate varies from 4.66% - 29.99%, including the one-time origination fee that ranges from 1% - 6%. You can get an idea what your rate might be without it affecting your credit score.

Lending Club

Lending Club is considered a leader in peer-to-peer lending and is the largest online marketplace in the world connecting borrowers and investors. You can request a loan to pay for many different expenses including debt consolidation, starting a business, and moving or relocating expenses. This platform allows investors to earn money on loans they fund while borrowers pay down debt at lower interest rates than those that are offered by other lenders. Loans through Lending Club charge rates from 5.99% to 32.99%, with origination fees from 1% to 5%.

PersonalLoans.com

PersonalLoans.com matches borrowers with lenders who are part of their network. You can often get the money you need in as quickly as one business day and pay it back anywhere from six months to 72 months. The APR for loans with PersonalLoans.com is typically 5.99% to 35.99%. For this lender, you fill out an application with the loan request, type of credit, and amount you need to borrow. If it is approved, you are redirected to the lender’s loan agreement. You can request $500 to $35,000.

Promise Financial

Promise Financial is known for providing funds for life events such as weddings, engagements, and other events that you might need a loan for. Promise Financial offers loans from $3,000 to $35,000 with APRs ranging from 6.99% - 29.99%. You can repay your loan in monthly installments over 36 months by setting up automatic electronic payments from your bank account or paying by check.

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Guest

Floored you didn't mention credit unions. So many offer online lending. Naturally details vary but often the cheapest personal loan is a low intro rate on a credit card.