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Get the Best Personal Loans in 2 mins

We offer unbiased lender recommendations to help you compare the best personal loans, with loan offers as low as 2.4% APR.
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What will you use the personal loan for?

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How to get a personal loan in easy steps on Credello

Follow the steps below to generate a list with the best personal loans available to you.

1. Select a use for your personal loan.

Choose what you will use the personal loan for from our list of options, from debt consolidation to large purchase and more.

2. Enter loan details.

Tell us how much of a loan you’re looking for, and how long you want your loan term to be. This helps us filter out lenders that cannot meet your needs. best lender for you.

3. Share additional details.

Information about your location, credit score and income can help us find the best options for you. The more detail we have the easier it is to you which lenders you are likely to qualify for.

4. Compare your options

Compare loan options in key areas like estimated APR, monthly payment, and fees. Or take cues from our unbiased full reviews of each lender.

Why trust Credello’s recommendations?

At Credello, we work to help you find the right financial product for you through an easy and interactive online shopping experience. With our tools, we provide personalized, on-demand recommendations so you can feel confident in your decisions.

Across all lenders featured on Credello, loan APR may vary from 2.49% and up to 36% for terms ranging from 24 to 144 months. Depending on the lender, an origination fee ranging from 0% to 10%, may also apply.
Loan example: Assume you choose a 3-year, $10,000 personal loan with a 5% origination fee and a 14.8% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 36 monthly payments of $328.39. Monthly payments will cover the loan amount of $9,500 and total interest of $2,322.07.
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What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is a type of unsecured loan with a fixed interest rate, meaning borrowers don’t have to offer collateral to get the loan, and the interest and monthly payments will not change over time. Usually, these loans are for an amount ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 with loan terms of 12-84 months, depending on the lender. You then make monthly loan payments to repay the loan over a designated period of time.

How do personal loans work?

You can get a personal loan from banks, credit unions, or online lenders. Typically, the better your credit score, the lower APR rate you will qualify for. Then, you can use the funds for just about anything you need extra cash for.

Personal loans can be secured or unsecured. Secured means you must provide some kind of asset as collateral, such as a car, house, or savings account, in order to qualify for the loan and get a decent interest rate. Unsecured means you do not have to do this. If you have a bad credit score, a secured loan may help.

Loans can also have variable or fixed interest rates. Variable means the rates can change over time, therefore changing your monthly payment. Fixed rates mean they stay the same over the life of the loan, so your monthly payment is the same. Fixed rates are much easier to budget for, and calculate how much you'll actually pay over the life of the loan.

When should I get a personal loan?

A personal loan may be right for you if you:

  • Need cash to fund a large purchase or consolidate debt, and
  • Are able to get a personal loan at a lower interest rate than other forms of credit (like on a credit card), and
  • Can afford the monthly payments throughout the entirety of the loan term.

For example, if you're using a personal loan to consolidate debt, the loan should ideally have a lower interest rate than your existing debt so that you can save money and pay the debt off faster. Or, if your plan is to use it to fund something else or support a large purchase, you need to be sure you can afford the payments and your credit score is high enough that you can get a lower interest rate.

Reasons to get a personal loan

Personal loans are most often used for credit card debt consolidation. But you may also consider taking out a loan for a variety of other reasons, including:
  • Credit card debt consolidation : If you have multiple credit cards with outstanding balances, personal loans can be used to consolidate those debts to one, helping to lower your interest rate and pay off your debt faster.
  • Home improvements : If you’re planning home renovations or improvements, a personal loan can help you afford these upgrades, especially if you want to avoid a home equity loan or home equity line of credit.
  • Debt consolidation : If you have multiple other types of outstanding debt, like other loans or credit cards, you can consolidate debt using a personal loan. Use the personal loan to pay off the outstanding debt, consolidating your payments to one and lowering your interest rate.
  • Medical debt : Medical bills can add up fast even if you have health insurance, and you can use a personal loan to pay them off and keep them from going to debt collectors. 
  • Moving : Renting a moving truck or moving company, equipment for moving, and other moving-related expenses can take a toll on the excitement of getting a new place. Use a personal loan to cover these expenses, plus new furniture, appliances, or other costs. 
  • Building credit history : If you don’t have great credit, or have a short credit history, taking out and paying off a personal loan on time can help.
  • Funding higher education : Pay off or consolidate private student loans, or use a personal loan to help pay for other post-secondary expenses such as rent, utilities, books, etc. 
  • Other expenses : Fund a wedding, vacation, or other large purchase with personal loan funds. 

Pros and cons of personal loans

Pros
Cons
Quick access to funds
Borrowers with poor or fair credit scores may have high interest rates
Borrowers with excellent credit scores may qualify for lower interest rates
Less qualified borrowers may need to provide collateral, or have a cosigner on the loan in order to qualify
Typically unsecured, meaning you don’t need to provide assets (like a house or car) as collateral
Potential fees, including origination fees, prepayment penalties, or late payment fees
Fixed interest rate, meaning your monthly payments will not change
Making late payments or missing payments can negatively affect your credit score
Term lengths are longer, so borrowers have more time to repay the loan
May result in unnecessary debt, depending on what you’re using the funds for
Can use personal loans for just about anything, from debt consolidation to paying for a wedding or medical debt, to funding home renovations

How personal loans affect your credit score

The first time a personal loan affects your credit score is when you apply. This triggers a hard credit inquiry, which can decrease your score by a few points for about a year.

Then, you have the chance to actually improve your score with a personal loan. Payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, so paying off your loan on time every month helps build credit in the long-term. However, missing a loan payment, usually by more than 30 days, can significantly decrease your score.

If you use a personal loan to consolidate debt, you can lower your credit utilization, which accounts for 30% of your score. The lower your credit utilization ratio, the better. Plus, personal loans can help improve your credit mix, which can increase your score.

How long does it take to get approved and get a personal loan?

The amount of time it takes to get approved for a personal loan and get the actual funds depends on factors such as the financial institution and whether you provided all necessary information and documentation in the application.

Typically, online lenders approve loans the fastest, sometimes within just a few minutes. Banks and credit unions take longer, but usually within a few business days.

Once you’re approved for the loan, you have to review and accept the loan’s terms. After that, you’ll be sent the funds. The fastest way to get them is via direct deposit, because a paper check can take longer to mail. Online lenders may be able to do this transfer quickly, even within 24 hours of accepting the loan. In other cases, it may take 3-5 business days.

Frequently asked questions

What rate should I expect on a personal loan?

The interest rate you can get on a loan depends on factors such as your credit score, credit history, and income. In most cases, if you have an excellent credit score, you can get a lower interest rate, while those with fair or bad credit may have a much higher interest rate. The average rate for someone with excellent credit is 10.3% – 12.5%, but these rates can vary by lender.

Should I take out a personal loan to pay off credit card debt?

Personal loans can be used to consolidate and pay off debt, including credit card debt. Once you get the funds from the personal loan, you can use them to pay off your credit card debt. Then, you only have to make one monthly payment toward your personal loan. This can save you money if the loan’s interest rate is lower than your credit cards, and can also help you pay off your debt faster.

What credit score is needed for a personal loan?

Most lenders require borrowers to have a credit score of at least 660-690 to qualify for a personal loan. And, the better your credit score, the lower the interest rate on the loan. If you have bad credit, consider shopping online lenders as they can typically be more flexible than banks or credit unions.

Does applying for a personal loan affect my credit?

When you get prequalified for a loan, it does not affect your credit score. However, applying for a loan triggers a hard credit check, which does decrease your credit score temporarily by a few points. As long as you continue to make your loan payments, your credit score may even improve.

What’s the difference between a fixed rate and variable rate?

A fixed interest rate means it does not change over time, so your monthly payments will also be the same over the life of the loan. This makes budgeting and calculating a loan payoff date easier. Variable rates can change over time, so you may owe more or less in interest throughout the life of the loan, and your monthly payments can change.

How much can I borrow in personal loans?

Most personal loans range from $1,000 to $100,000, but not all lenders offer loans up to $100,000. Check with the individual lenders to understand their limits.

What is the difference between secured and unsecured personal loan?

A secured loan means you must provide some kind of asset as collateral for the loan. This could be a car, house, savings account, investment, or something else of value. Unsecured loan does not require this.

How to find a low interest personal loan

The best way to find a low interest personal loan is to compare online lenders. When you get prequalified with lenders, you can get a unique interest rate estimate based on your credit score, income, and other factors. Be sure your credit score is as high as possible in order to qualify for the lowest interest rate.

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

Fees could include:
  • Application fee
  • Origination fee
  • Prepayment penalties
  • Late payment fees
  • Returned check fees
  • Payment protection insurance

There could be others depending on the lender. Read the fine print to understand any fees you may have to pay.

How many personal loans can you have at once?

Technically, you can have as many personal loans as you want, though some lenders have a limit on how many you can have with that particular lender. However, keep in mind that personal loans are debt, and you’re accruing interest on the balance, so the more loans you have the more you’ll end up owing.