What are the best personal loans to apply for? This article aims to discuss and outline the top 10 best personal loans. Meanwhile, personal loans have become the fastest-growing category of debt in recent times. This is partly because of the emergence of fintech and peer-to-peer lending companies, which have made it easier and cheaper for people to get these loans.
Personal loans are a type of installment credit that requires borrowers to repay them in regular amounts over a fixed period. Many consider them a more affordable option compared to credit cards, as personal loans typically have lower interest rates. In addition, they serve a variety of purposes, such as covering expenses like home renovations, moving costs, and sometimes even paying off student loans. However, it’s crucial to note that personal loans are not free money.
What Are Personal Loans?
A personal loan is a type of loan that individuals borrow from a bank, credit union, or online lender for personal use. Unlike specific-purpose loans, such as a mortgage for a home or an auto loan for a car, a personal loan can be used for various reasons at the borrower’s discretion.
10 Best Personal Loans of 2024
Securing a personal loan can be a life-changer when it comes to managing unexpected expenses, consolidating debt, or pursuing major life goals. In 2024, the financial market will be teeming with options for personal loans, each offering unique features and benefits.
To help you navigate through these choices, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best personal loans.
SoFi Personal Loan
SoFi personal loans started by helping people with student loans, but now they do more. They give personal loans up to $100,000 based on how good you are at handling money.
This makes them one of the best personal loans. It’s also a good choice if you want to fix your credit card debt, especially if it has high interest rates.
SoFi is different because you get to choose if you want your interest rate to stay the same or if it can change. Most other loans have a fixed rate, meaning it never changes.
LightStream is an online bank called Truist Bank; it gives loans with low interest to people who are good with their money. They don’t give loans for education or small businesses, but they’re okay with almost everything else.
LightStream has the lowest interest rates compared to other lenders. The interest rate changes depending on what you want the loan for. You could use a LightStream loan to buy a new car, fix up your bathroom, put together all your debts, or pay for medical stuff.If you do everything right and have a good credit score, you can get your money on the same day you apply, but it has to be a regular work day.
Discover Personal Loans
Among the top 10 best personal loans is Discover Personal Loans. Discover personal loans are pretty flexible. You can use it for different things, like combining all your debts, fixing up your home, or even attending events.
If you apply for the loan without any mistakes, you might get your money as soon as the next working day. Discover is one of the best personal loans because they don’t ask for extra fees when you start the loan.
Discover sends the money straight to the people you owe. If there’s any money left after paying off your debts, they can put it right into your favorite bank account. It’s a pretty handy way to manage things.
Upstart is great if your credit score is not so good or if you don’t have much of a credit history. It just doesn’t look at your credit score but also checks out other things like your education, job, and work experience.
In addition, it is considered one of the best personal loans, as it doesn’t make you pay extra if you want to pay your loan off early. You can pick a loan that lasts for three to five years and borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000.
Upstart is quick, making it easier for you to get your money by the next business day. If you’re more than 10 days late with your payment, they might charge you 5% of the amount you still owe or $15, whichever is more.
Upgrade, which started in 2017, offers easy-to-use online and mobile credit and banking services. They’ve been pretty busy, making more than $3 billion in credit available to over 10 million people.
If you need a loan, you can ask for an upgrade for anything from $1,000 to $50,000. They let you choose a loan that lasts for two to seven years.
The good thing is, if you want to pay your loan off early, Upgrade won’t charge you extra. So, if you can pay it back sooner, you can save money on the overall cost of the loan. That’s a nice bonus.
LendingClub is a good option if your credit is decent and you can put together your debts or pay for something big. It’s helpful for combining debts. They also give you a discount on the interest rate, and they can send the money directly to the people you owe.
While it might not be the cheapest option, LendingClub is known for being flexible and clear about everything. They stand out by giving you useful details about your credit in their member center.
Most places just give you a credit score, but LendingClub goes further. They show you things like your debt compared to your income and how much of your credit limit you’re using. It’s not common to get these insights for free. However, they have a member center to help you take charge of your money and credit.
Avant is a place where you can get personal loans, and they work with a bank called WebBank. They’re all about helping regular borrowers with decent credit. You only need a score of at least 580 to qualify, so it’s pretty reachable.
This company is especially good for borrowers who might not have the best credit but need money fast. They understand that sometimes you need funds quickly, even if your credit isn’t perfect.
It’s a helpful option for people in that situation.
PenFed Personal Loan
PenFed is a credit union that’s open to everyone, not just certain groups, and they offer various personal loan choices. You can use their loans for different things, like combining debts, fixing up your home, paying medical bills, or getting a car.
Unlike many lenders that start at $1,000, PenFed lets you borrow as little as $600. You can take your time to pay it back, from one to five years. However, when they give you the money, it comes as a paper check. So, while they’re great for smaller amounts, the way you get the funds is a bit old-fashioned.
Happy Money offers a great solution if you’re aiming to bring together and pay off your credit card debts with a lower interest rate. They focus on helping people break free from credit card debt, tailoring their loans specifically for debt consolidation.
You can borrow amounts ranging from $5,000 to $40,000, and the time to pay it back varies from 24 to 60 months. Happy Money has a feature on its website that lets you explore loan options based on your credit report.
Happy Money doesn’t charge late fees or penalties if you decide to pay off your debt sooner than planned. They do have an origination fee, but it depends on your credit score and application. The higher your score, the lower your origination fee and interest rates are likely to be.
Universal Credit operates as an online lending platform, facilitating personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 through its partners. The repayment terms span from three to seven years, offering flexibility to borrowers.
Universal Credit makes obtaining a personal loan accessible, even for individuals with damaged credit; there are some tradeoffs to consider. Notably, it imposes relatively high APRs (Annual Percentage Rates), and there’s an origination fee ranging from 5.2% to 9.9% on all personal loans.
Once your loan is approved, Universal Credit sends the funds to your bank within one business day. However, the actual availability of funds depends on your bank’s processing speed for the transaction.
Selecting the right personal loan is a significant step in managing your finances wisely. The top 10 best personal loans outlined above offer various features to cater to different requirements.
It’s crucial to research the fine print and compare the APR, repayment terms, and any applicable fees. This will empower you to choose the personal loan that best aligns with your financial objectives for the year.