Best Personal Loans December 2021

Compare and choose the right personal loan provider for your needs, whether it’s a loan for debt consolidation, buying a major purchase, or planning a vacation.

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Filter the results, check your rate, and learn more about borrowing in our guide below.

  • Credible

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $100,000
    • Est. APR: 2.49-35.99%
    • Loan Term: 24-84 Months
    • Credit Score: 600+

    Key Facts

    • Free-to-use marketplace with a choice of vetted lending partners.
    • Borrowers are in control and can compare competitive loan options.
    • No prepayment fees and origination fees as low as 0%

    Read Credible Review
  • PenFed Credit Union

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $50,000
    • Est. APR: 5.99-17.99%
    • Loan Term: Up to 60 Months
    • Credit Score: 700+

    Key Facts

    • Offers loans as small as $500.
    • Useful mobile app to manage your loan.
    • Offers extremely competitive rates.

    Read PenFed Credit Union Review
  • LendingTree

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $50,000
    • Est. APR: 2.49-35.99%
    • Loan Term: 3-180 Months
    • Credit Score: 300+

    Key Facts

    • The nation’s largest online lending marketplace
    • Over $50 billion in loans facilitated
    • One short form for multiple loan options

    Read LendingTree Review
  • SoFi

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $100,000
    • Est. APR: 4.99-19.63%
    • Loan Term: 24-84 Months
    • Credit Score: 680+

    Key Facts

    • Competitive rates available for good credit scores and income source
    • Access to financial advisors, private networking events, & unemployment protection
    • Flexible terms & payment options with no fees whatsoever

    Read SoFi Review
  • LightStream

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $100,000
    • Est. APR: 3.99 – 19.99%* w/ Autopay
    • Loan Term: 24-84 Months*
    • Credit Score: 660

    Key Facts

    • Good credit gets low rates and zero fees
    • Fast and easy online process
    • $100 Loan Experience Guarantee¹

    Read LightStream Review
  • Figure

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $50,000
    • Est. APR: 5.75-22.94%
    • Loan Term: 36 & 60 Months
    • Credit Score: 680+

    Key Facts

    • Approval in minutes. Funding in as few as 2 days.
    • Borrow up to $50k for emergency or unexpected purchases.
    • 100% online application; 3 & 5-year term options.
    • Low fixed rates available.

    Read Figure Review
  • Marcus

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $40,000
    • Est. APR: 6.99-19.99%
    • Loan Term: 36-72 Months
    • Credit Score: 660+ FICO

    Key Facts

    • No sign-up, prepayment fees, or late fees
    • Flexible loan options
    • Great customer service available

    Read Marcus Review
  • Discover

    Selling Lines

    • Max loan amount: $35,000
    • Est. APR: 6.99-24.99%
    • Loan Term: 36-84 Months
    • Credit Score: 660+

    Key Facts

    • Wide range of loan term lengths.
    • 30-Day money-back guarantee on loan proceeds.
    • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.

    Read Discover Review



Important Terms to Know When Taking Out a Personal Loan

Prepayment Penalty – A prepayment penalty is a charge incurred on a loan that is paid off before its due date. Because an early payoff prevents the lender from making money from the interest assessed on the loan, this type of penalty is sometimes enforced.

Origination Fees – These fees usually represent a percentage of the total loan amount and are represented in the form of upfront charges. These amounts are assessed for processing the loan request.

APR – This is the interest rate assessed for the loan, including any fees. Therefore, you need to examine this percentage closely when comparing personal loan lenders.

Late Fees – Late fees represent charges you must pay if you miss a loan payment or your payment becomes past due. When comparing lenders, check out the late fees and review the grace period for making a payment on the financing.

Top Recommended Personal Loan Lenders

You can choose from several recommended personal loan lenders. Check out the top features of each lender to make a good decision.

Credible offers a best rate guarantee and a loan term of 24 to 84 months. Therefore, you may want to consider this lender if you want the best APR.

Best Egg – This lending provider is best suited for anyone seeking a fixed rate on their personal loan.

Lending Tree – Use the services of this peer-to-peer (P2P) lending source to make payments easier and approval hassle-free.

LoansUnder36 – This loan servicer is an ideal choice for anyone who has a lower credit score.

Upgrade – This loan connection service enables you to check your APR fast and proficiently – a no-hassle way to secure a loan at a reasonable APR.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs – This personal loan specialist offers simple loan processing without the regular fees

Your Credit Score Explained

Your FICO score or credit score will be used to determine the APR for your personal loan and the amount you will receive. Along with your debt-to-income ratio, your credit score will be the determinant for your loan terms and interest rate. The following information reviews the credit score ranges. If you have a higher credit score, it represents less risk to the lender, and therefore the APR is lower.

Credit Score Rating
720 and up Excellent Credit Score
690 to 719 Good Credit Score
630 to 689 Average credit score
300 Poor credit score

Loan Purpose and Amount

Loan Purpose and Amount
A personal loan can be used for one of various reasons, as follows:

Debt Consolidation
Many people take out a personal loan in order to consolidate existing debt. Compare the best debt consolidation companies, to find the solution that suits you best.

Some people take out personal loans to pay for a wedding. Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, it helps to have a way to pay for the celebration. An online unsecured personal loan often provides the solution. Before taking that decision, it is worth comparing between the best wedding loans for the event you have in mind.

Boat Financing
If you love to fish and/or boat, taking out a personal loan for a boat purchase can help support this recreational activity.

Car, Motorcycle, or RV Financing
If you are in the market for a car, motorcycle, or RV, a personal loan finance can help you get the type of transportation you desire. Plus, you can compare interest rates to see which of the best car loans APRs works best with your budget.

Vacation Planning
Have you always wanted to take a Caribbean holiday in the middle of winter? If so, you can do so by taking out a personal loan. Why should you freeze when you can enjoy a warm tropical breeze and sunny skies somewhere else? Whether you need a big or a small loan, make sure you review the best vacation loans before taking one.

Home Purchase and Improvement
If you are spending most of your time at home, you might consider taking a personal loan to buy a house, or a piece of land. While looking for the best solution out there, whether it is for the best land loans or the  best home improvement loans for your needs, use a loan calculator to see if you can pay off the personal loan.

Unexpected Expenses
If your plumbing goes awry or your car breaks down, it helps to know you can take care of the problem immediately. Taking out a personal loan can be the answer in these situations. 

Sometimes, a plumber can be the perfect solution. To be able to cover that, you may want tomake sure you get the best household expenses loan. In other cases, your house might be uninhabitable. Whether it’s by natural causes, fire or a flood, search for the best relocation loan lenders and compare if their terms are matching your financial needs.

In cases where you have a medical condition that requires an immediate treatment, and you do not have sufficient funds to cover it, getting the best medical loan might be the best solution for you.

Paying for a Major Purchase
Are you in the market to buy a new appliance or similar upgrade? If so, taking out a personal loan can help you improve your lifestyle now. In case you are considering a big purchase, and you already have a credit card debt, you might look for the best credit card refinance loan terms before getting and see what will work best for you.

Loan Amount
When you speak to a personal loan lender, he or she will need to know the loan amount and purpose for the loan. This is good to know, as it will help narrow your search. Because lenders feature minimum and maximum loan amounts that they are willing to lend, you will need to find a lender who can meet your terms for payout.

Learn the Repayment Terms

Personal loans come with set times to pay off a loan. Therefore, repayment terms may span from 12 months to 60 months or more. While longer terms will spread out the payments and lower the amount you pay monthly, you will also pay a higher amount of interest. Know your loan terms so you can make the best decision with respect to repayment.

Documents You Will Need to Get a Personal Loan

To obtain a personal loan, you will need the following documentation and information:

  • Government-issued I.D. (for proof of address and age)
  • Payment stubs from you last 2 most recent paychecks
  • Bank account information and bank statements
  • IRS W-2s for employment and income proof
  • Collateral (if the personal loan is a secured loan)

The lender needs the above information to verify your income, your age, and banking details.

Comparing Offers from Multiple Lenders – Which Is Right for You?

When comparing lenders, the first thing you need to do is compare the monthly payments. Ask yourself what you can afford. This will help you narrow your search. Review the terms and rates offered by the different lenders.

You also need to compare the APR. Legally, lenders must supply you with the APR, which includes the interest for the loan and any fees.

The rates and terms of personal loans depend on your credit score, credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and income. While some lenders tend to favor applicants with higher credit scores, other lenders will work with borrowers with subpar scores and still offer reasonable interest rates. You just need to compare and shop around.

FAQs on Comparing Personal Loans

What is needed for a personal loan?

What is the APR on a personal loan?

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What should I consider when reviewing personal loan options?

Do all lenders provide loans for all purposes?

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What Is a credit score?

What Types of Personal Loans Exist?

Can a personal loan be used for debt consolidation?

Can a personal loan be used for a student loan refinance?

Will applying for a personal loan hurt my credit score?