LightStream is the best personal loan company overall because it offers a wide range of payoff periods, from 24 to 144 months, with loans of $5,000 to $100,000. LightStream loans also have low APRs, ranging from 2.49% - 19.99%, and they do not charge an origination fee or any other major fees.
Still, the very best personal loan choices differ from person to person. For your convenience, we’ll summarize WalletHub’s best personal loan picks below.
Best Personal Loans Compared
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amounts||Payoff Period||Origination Fee|
|LightStream||2.49% - 19.99%||$5,000 - $100,000||24 - 144 months||None|
|SoFi||4.99% - 19.63%||$5,000 - $100,000||24 - 84 months||None|
|Discover||6.99% - 24.99%||$2,500 - $35,000||36 - 84 months||None|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||6.99% - 19.99%||$3,500 - $40,000||36 - 72 months||None|
|Best Egg||4.99% - 35.99%||$2,000 - $50,000||36 - 60 months||0.99% - 6.99%|
|Payoff||5.99% - 24.99%||$5,000 - $40,000||24 - 60 months||0% - 5%|
|Upstart||6.76% - 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000||36 or 60 months||0% - 8%|
|LendingPoint||9.99% - 35.99%||$2,000 - $36,500||24 - 48 months||0% - 6%|
|FreedomPlus||7.99% - 29.99%||$7,500 - $40,000||24 - 60 months||1.99% - 4.99%|
WalletHub’s editors’ picks are a good starting point, but you might also want to take advantage of WalletHub’s personal loan comparison tool to narrow down the options based on your credit, desired loan amount, location and more.
Tips for Getting the Best Personal Loan
- Learn the signs of a good loan. The best personal loans overall have no origination fees, and they offer large dollar amounts, along with a wide range of payoff timelines.
- Know the limits of your credit score. People with good credit or better (scores of 700+) can qualify for decent rates on most personal loans. In addition, personal loans with no origination fees tend to require a score of at least 660 for approval. But there are options with origination fees for people with lower scores.
- Look for low APRs. A low APR is one of the most sought-after features of a personal loan. The lower the APR, the less interest you’ll have to pay. Lenders typically express their APRs as a range, but you can get a good idea of the lenders that have the best rates by looking at their minimums and maximums.
- Watch out for fees. Keep in mind that the lowest APRs don’t always mean the best loans. Some lenders make up for their low APRs by charging origination fees to process the loans.
- Don’t apply for too big of a loan. The larger the loan amount, the higher your income will need to be in order to afford payments on it, and the better your credit will need to be to qualify.
- Consider online lenders if you have bad credit. Online lenders are more likely to accept applicants with bad credit (a credit score below 640) than traditional banks, and credit unions might also be more lenient in some cases. Just watch out for predatory payday lenders and auto title lenders that charge extremely high interest rates and fees.
- Avoid fees. People with bad credit shouldn’t count on getting the lower end of the lender’s APR range, but they should try to borrow from lenders with few fees, if possible.
- Seek direct payments when consolidating debt. The best personal loans for consolidating debt have low interest rates (at least lower than your existing rates) and will directly pay off your old creditors with the loan money, so you don’t have to do it yourself.
Best Personal Loan Companies
|Lender||Best For||States Serviced||User Rating on WalletHub|
|LightStream||Best overall||50 + D.C.||3.6|
|Best Egg||Fair credit||47 + D.C.||4.8|
|Discover||Long payoff periods||50 + D.C.||4.0|
|FreedomPlus||Bad credit||34 + D.C.||4.5|
|LendingPoint||Easiest approval||48 + D.C.||4.3|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||Debt consolidation||50 + D.C.||2.9|
|Payoff||Credit card consolidation||46 + D.C.||4.0|
|SoFi||Large loans||50 + D.C.||3.1|
|Upstart||Large loans with fair credit||48 + D.C.||4.2|
Methodology For Selecting the Best Personal Loans
To identify the best personal loans, WalletHub’s editors compared nearly two dozen of the largest providers on the market based on a combination of metrics in 6 major categories: loan requirements, APR, fees, the application process, loan amounts and transparency. Metrics with higher priority, such as APRs, were assigned higher weights than others, depending on the category of loan being evaluated.
In addition to the best overall personal loans, which usually require credit scores of 660+, WalletHub selected the best personal loans for people with lower credit scores. We also considered special categories like debt consolidation and long-term loans.