One of the best Chicago-based personal loan providers is BMO Harris Bank. BMO Harris offers loans of $1,500 to $50,000 for 12 to 72 months. The APR range is 7.24% to 24.17%. And representatives say that you will need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify. BMO Harris is one of nearly 30 banks headquartered in the city as well as the largest bank based in Illinois by total assets.
Chicago is home to nearly 50 credit unions, too. One of the best is Alliant Credit Union, which has 450,000 members and is the largest credit union based in Illinois. It’s unique in that it’s open not just to Chicago residents but also to anyone who makes a $5 donation to join the nonprofit organization Foster Care for Success. Alliant’s personal loans have no origination fee, just APRs ranging from 6.49% to 20%. Borrowers can get a loan of $1,000 to $50,000 for 12-60 months. And, there’s same-day approval and funding in “most cases,” according to Alliant’s website. Alliant requires a minimum credit score of 640.
Overall, though, the best personal loans for people in Chicago are from LightStream by SunTrust Bank, which is an online lender operating nationwide. They offer some of the lowest APRs on the market, 5.95% to 16.79%, with no origination fees. And they lend up to $100,000. LightStream’s credit score requirement is reportedly 660+.
Chicago residents with bad credit should consider LendingPoint. LendingPoint’s credit score requirement is just 585, but their APRs are relatively high, ranging from 9.99% to 35.99%. There’s also a 0% to 6% origination fee.
Compare Personal Loans in Chicago:
|Alliant Credit Union
||6.49% - 20.00%
||$1,000 - $50,000
|BMO Harris Bank
||7.24% - 24.17%
||$1,500 - $50,000
||$75 processing fee built into APR
||5.99% - 29.99%
||$7,500 - $40,000
||0% - 5%
||9.99% - 35.99%
||$1,000 - $40,000
||0% - 6%
||5.99% - 24.99%
||$5,000 - $35,000
||0% - 5%
||640 - 660*
*Based on info from multiple third-party sources
Tips for Getting a Personal Loan in Chicago
- Check your odds with WalletHub. Many lenders allow you to pre-qualify to see your approval odds and potential rates before you apply. WalletHub’s free pre-qualification tool allows you to check with many lenders at once.
- Go local. There are more than 70 banks and credit unions based in Chicago. Some of the best deals on personal loans may be right under your nose.
- Be aware of your credit score. You can check your credit score for free on WalletHub. If your credit score is similar to the Chicago average of 657, you’ll likely have a difficult time qualifying for a loan without an origination fee. But there are still plenty of personal loans you can get.
- Only accept fair terms. People searching for “Chicago loans” online will see a lot of results for so-called “payday loans,” which are short-term loans with excessively high APRs (sometimes 400%+). Avoid these at all cost. Even if you have bad credit, there are still plenty of options open to you with APRs that don’t exceed 36%.
- Take your time comparing loans. If your loan isn’t for an emergency expense, it’s best to take time to compare your options thoroughly. There’s a lot more to think about than just APRs. Fees, available loan amounts, payoff periods, minimum requirements and more are important factors, too.