There are plenty of reasons why a person might need to borrow money—which is consumers in the United States currently hold about 15.2 trillion worth...
Compare and choose the right personal loan provider for your needs, whether it's debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, or a major purchase. To get started, filter the results, check your rate, and learn more about borrowing in the guide below.
A personal loan is an unsecured loan that is paid back in installments, usually monthly. Personal loans can be used for just about anything, but the most common purposes are debt consolidation, medical expenses, home improvements, emergencies, moving expenses, and more.
Your life will be made a lot easier if you are trying to get a loan and you already have good credit. This allows you to get the best rates for personal loans as the lender will be happy that you will be able to meet your regular repayments.
Most loan companies will be looking at credit scores of at least 700 as being a good score. However, you will still have options if your credit score is average or even poor. The likes of bad credit personal loans will come with higher rates and you will often be able to access less money. This particular guide focuses on personal loans for people who have good credit. You can filter through the different options that are most relevant to your current creditworthiness.
One of the biggest advantages of building up your credit is that it makes the process of applying for and acquiring personal loans online much easier. Those who have low credit scores have the extra burden of searching for lenders with looser application requirements while also offering reasonable personal loan rates. They may even have to add a co-signer so they can get approved. Therefore, bad credit personal loans are to be avoided if at all possible.
This is because most personal loans are unsecured, meaning they aren’t backed by any collateral like a home, vehicle, or other valuable assets. Lenders don’t like risk, and they want to lend money to borrowers who are most likely to pay them back. Having good and excellent credit demonstrates to lenders that your financial situation is sound.
For those blessed with good credit, there are personal loan lenders for you who offer low-interest loans with good terms.
An important thing to keep in mind is that loan companies (including peer-to-peer lenders and online personal loan lenders) typically look at an applicant’s entire financial profile when considering them for loans—not just credit scores.
While requirements will vary depending on the lender, here is a general list of requirements you can expect when shopping for the best rates on personal loans online:
This is a major factor that will not only determine whether you get approved for an online personal loan, but what kind of interest rates for personal loans you’ll get.
As already stated, “good credit” is having a credit score of 700 and higher, but this number may vary slightly depending on which credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) your lender pulls the score from as well as the credit scoring model (VantageScore or FICO).
As you can see below, an excellent credit score is generally defined as 781 or higher.
Here are the score basics for Experian using the VantageScore model:
Your credit report is a record of your credit history which both in-person and online loans lenders will glean insights from to ascertain how financially responsible you are.
Here are a few pieces of information you can find on your credit report:
You’re entitled to one free report each year from each of the three main credit bureaus. Even if you’re not ready yet to apply for online personal loans, it’s a good idea to review your credit report to understand your own financial history as well as to ensure there are no errors.
Having a good credit score will only get you so far when finding the low-interest personal loans. Personal loan lenders require you to submit proof of income so they know you’ll be able to pay the loan back. You can verify your income by submitting a pay stub or bank statement as proof.
They’ll also look at your employment history. If you jump around from job to job every few months, that’s a red flag for most personal loan lenders since it gives them the impression that you may not be able to manage the payments on your loan.
How much debt you have is another factor that personal loan lenders pay attention to when considering you for personal loans online.
To get this ratio, calculate what your current monthly debt payments are and divide that number by your gross monthly income. Lenders will typically look for a ratio that’s around 36% or less, but not always.
Even if your debt-to-income ratio is on the high-end you can still get approved, but the interest rates on personal loans may be a bit higher.
Having a good financial profile means you get to be picky with who you choose to borrow from, whether it’s a bank, credit union, online personal loans lender, or peer-to-peer lending. There’s more involved than just getting approved for the loan amount you’re after.
If this is your first time searching for a personal loan, you may only be familiar with loans directly from your brick-and-mortar bank or credit union. You might be less familiar with online-only lenders and what they can offer as well. We’ve compared them below.
One of the biggest reasons why people defer from online lending services is the trust factor. With large banking companies or even local banks in your area, you can feel more assured since you can usually go into the physical branch and speak with someone.
However, with just about everything online these days, an online lending option can be just as trustworthy or more than an in-person lender. With both online lenders and physical banks, you should be extra diligent in your search and do proper research.
The beauty of a personal loan is that it can be used for virtually anything—medical expenses, a vacation, a major purchase, and so on. There typically aren’t any limits to what you can use it for.
It can be easier to qualify for a personal loan if it’s secured, but if you’re choosing an unsecured personal loan, lenders will determine your eligibility based on things like credit score, credit history, income, employment stability, and debt-to-income-ratio.
When pre-qualifying for a personal loan, lenders conduct a soft credit check, which does not harm your score. Once you move forward with a specific lending partner, they will conduct a hard credit inquiry, which can affect your credit score.
Lenders will ask for your bank information, contact information, bank statements, pay stubs, and a driver’s license when you apply.
How much you can borrow and for how long depends on your financial profile as well as the lender. Some lenders will have a loan minimum and maximum when it comes to the loan amount, and a repayment term range, such as 36-60 months.
Finding good credit personal loans takes time and plenty of research. While there are tons of places you can find personal loans online, finding the right one comes down to what your loan is going to be used for, how much you need to borrow, and what kind of rates and terms you’re looking for.
Low personal loans rates are just a few steps away. Read through our expert reviews and get started on your search today.
A 5‐year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81 to a total amount of $12,108.6.
A 3‐year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57 to a total amount of $5,420.52.