When shopping for a personal loan, the two most important factors are choosing a reputable lender and finding a low interest rate. We’ve got the first part covered here – our experts have identified the lenders below as top choices for factors like avoiding hidden fees and providing good customer service. Interest rates will vary for everyone based on criteria like credit score and income, so make sure you shop around to find the lowest rates for you.
|Offer||Best for||Loan Amounts||APR range|
|Upstart||Little to no credit history||$1,000 – $50,000||8.85% – 29.99%|
|Freedom Plus||Borrowers with fair to good credit scores||$10,000 – $35,000||4.99% – 29.99%|
|Lending Point||Borrowers with poor credit scores||$2,000 – $25,000||15.49% – 34.99%|
|Payoff||Reducing high-interest credit card debt||$5,000 – $35,000||8% – 25%|
|SoFi||Low fees for borrowers with good credit scores||$5,000 – $100,000||5.49 – 14.24%|
|Avant||Borrowers with poor credit scores||$2,000 – $35,000||9.95% – 35.99%|
|Marcus||Low overall fees||$3,500 – $40,000||6.99% – 24.99%|
Minimum credit score: 620
Started in 2012 by former Google employees, Upstart stands out with a unique underwriting process that is not solely dependent on credit score. Young people with little credit history but strong future earning potential can be particularly helped by Upstart’s innovative approach. As always, we at The Ascent encourage you to shop around and find the best rates and terms for you.
You can see your Upstart rate by clicking the button below.
Minimum credit score: 640
Payoff is a peer-to-peer lender that issues loans for people looking to get out of credit card debt. A unique feature is their personalized recommendation service that helps encourage you on your journey out of debt. Additionally, Payoff stands out for offering payment flexibility during events such as a job loss. Instead of charging a late fee, Payoff will work with you on a new payment schedule. This may be a good option for you if you have high-interest credit card debt and have exhausted balance transfer credit card options.
You can see your Payoff rate by clicking on the button below.
Minimum credit score: 640
Known for their fast application process, Freedom Plus will let you know quickly whether you’re approved or not. While they do look at factors beyond just credit score, Freedom plus still plays it close to the vest with an average borrower credit score of 720. But if you can get approved, their quick funding times and no hidden fees are certainly a plus.
You can see your Freedom Plus rate by clicking on the button below.
Minimum credit score: 600
Lending Point stands out as a good option for those with poor credit scores. The credit score minimum of 600 is lower than almost all the lenders on our list, though Lending Point doesn’t just look at credit score when judging applicants – they have a patented model that takes into account a number of factors. With their flexibility and relatively fast loan approval process, this can be a good option for borrowers with fair to poor credit.
You can see your Lending Point rate by clicking on the button below.
Minimum credit score: 660
One of the top lenders for those with good credit scores and high income, SoFi stands out on our list for having by far the lowest APR ceiling and the highest potential loan amount. This is because they’re selective with who they approve – average borrowers have over 700 credit score and over $100k in income. On top of its low APR rates, we like that SoFi has no origination fees and features a fast online application process. Combine all this and you get one of the top lenders in the industry, for those that can get approved at least.
Minimum credit score: 580
Featuring the lowest minimum credit score on our list, Avant is an option for borrowers that might struggle to be approved at other lenders. Avant sports a fast approval process, getting most borrowers an answer within 15 minutes of submitting their application. We’re also fans of Avant’s late fee forgiveness policy – if you miss one payment but then make the next three, you get your $25 late fee back. Overall, this can be a solid option for those with poor to fair credit.
Minimum credit score: 660 (FICO)
With a minimum FICO score of 660, Marcus (a division of Goldman Sachs) targets its products to those with good credit scores and those that have credit histories. Marcus offers a best-in-class fee structure which features no prepayment, origination, or late fees. Add flexible loan terms on top of that, and it’s easy to see that Marcus is a great option.
To recap, here are the best personal loans for 2018:
|Offer||Best for||Minimum credit score|
|Upstart||Little to no credit history||620|
|Freedom Plus||Borrowers with fair to good credit scores||640|
|LendingPoint||Borrowers with poor credit scores||600|
|Payoff||Reducing high-interest credit card debt||640|
|SoFi||Low fees for borrowers with good credit scores||660|
|Avant||Borrowers with poor credit scores||580|
|Marcus||Low overall fees||660|