Personal loans are an ideal solution for those in need of extra cash to consolidate debt, cover unforeseen expenses, or to lower overall monthly expenses.
The best personal loans tend to come with fixed interest rates as well as fixed monthly payments. These two factors make budgeting your monthly expenses much less complicated in the long run.
Before applying, you will want to do some research to learn which providers are offering the best personal loan rates and terms. Finding the right lender can make the process simple, easy and stress-free.
You can also use our calculators to estimate your APR and monthly payments. So, you know how much loan you can afford.
Furthermore, thanks to the enormous growth of online lending, you currently have more options than ever before. You can compare rates and get online approval in minutes.
So how do you compare these companies and find the best place to get a loan?
Well, following considerable time and effort investigating the country’s leading lenders, we have put together this comprehensive list of the best personal loan companies available as well as a guide to personal loans.
Please be sure to check above for our current list of best personal loans in 2019.
Personal Loan Table of Contents:
- Applying for a Personal Loan Online
- How to Compare Personal Loan Features
- How to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates
- Is a Personal Loan Right for You?
Applying for a Personal Loan Online
When you apply for a personal loan online from leading online lenders or lending partners, you have a better chance of being approved. So, what do you need to do in order to get a personal loan?
Depending on your credit score, you may also qualify for lower interest rates. Online lenders tend to have a more streamlined lending process with flexible criteria and lower interest rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Applying for a personal loan online is quick and easy and you can do it anytime, day or night. All you need to do is simply log onto any internet browser, apply, and present the required documents.
The process is uncomplicated, incredibly fast and the best part is, you can potentially get approved immediately. But, before you accept a personal loan, make sure to thoroughly read through the terms offered by the lender.
You can get personal loans with no credit check but they tend to have much higher rates and less flexible terms. Even if you have bad credit, you will generally be much better off and pay far less by taking a bad credit personal loan.
How to Compare Personal Loan Features
While researching the best place to get a personal loan, you’ll want to identify which loan features are most important to you.
As you compare the best lenders and options, you’ll also want to consider your current credit status. For those with lower credit scores, you may have to look for a lender that offers a secured loan or an option that allows for co-signers.
Once you have established your needs, it is important to compare your options.
These are a few key points to consider:
- Approval Criteria
Every one of the best personal loan companies has its own criteria when it comes to credit approval. Nevertheless, it is usually based on your FICO credit score and total monthly income. However, an ever-increasing number of the best online loan providers are approving applicants with lower credit scores. In fact, many online lenders are now using supplementary criteria to determine arrangements. Companies like SoFi don’t use FICO scores at all preferring to focus on things like employment history, earning potential, and banking history.
- Low Rates
If you are interested in finding the best personal loan rates, you will need to apply to multiple lenders in order to see which lender has the best rate for you. You will be able to check your credit rating with most lenders without negatively affecting your credit score by allowing a soft credit pull.
- Low Fees
A very important step in comparing personal loan features are looking at all of the potential costs involved. All loans will come with fees, such as origination fees or prepayment fees, all of which could potentially add one to five percent more to your total expenses. Therefore you should always compare the total fees to get the full picture.
How to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates
If you would like to get the best personal loan rate, there are a few ways to make that happen. Getting a lower rate can help you lower your overall costs, however, in truth most people will never qualify for a lenders lowest rate. There some common mistakes to avoid though.
Keep in mind, each lender set their interest rate in their own way. Many consider factors such as credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio.
In many cases, these factors may be beyond your current control, but you can look for other lending options. These options include using peer-to-peer lenders or finding a secured loan provider.
Be sure to compare your options before taking the first offer you get. When you are looking for the best interest rates for your personal loan these are some of the factors that can help you get the best rate:
- Look at your total monthly income
Having a good-paying job will likely help you get the lowest and best personal loan rates, but of course, a steady income of any kind will benefit you in terms of receiving a lower interest rate.
- Check your credit history
Having good credit is key and one of the main factors creditors consider. Typically, a good credit score will qualify you for a low interest rate because it allows lenders to feel confident in your ability to repay your loan. It is common for lenders to increase an interest rate when you have a low credit score, based on your assumed risk. You can check your credit score for free here at Investing Personal Finance or you can get a credit report from one of the major reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
- Pay off existing debt
As mentioned earlier, many of the best personal loan companies will look at your debt-to-income ration to determine your ability to pay off debt. However, making minor improvements to your credit score will make a huge difference in your overall credit rating. By paying down debts and vastly improve your chances of receiving a lower interest rate loan.
- Get a cosigner
Even without the best credit, you can still be eligible for a lower interest rate on your loan if you apply for a loan with a co-signer. Getting a cosigner with good credit would vastly improve your chances at receiving a loan with a good interest rate.
- Consider a short-term loan
When taking a personal loan, you are able to decide on the repayment terms, which determines how quickly you repay the loan. For instance, you can choose a repayment length of three months up to twelve years. In general, the shortest repayment terms will have the lowest interest rates.
Is a Personal Loan Right for You?
You never want to jump into a loan without at least looking into all other possibilities. You will, of course, want to avoid accumulating more debt in the long-run. This is true even if you are planning to use one of the best personal loan companies available.
You may want to consider other options if you’re thinking about using a personal loan to cover any of these following situations:
- Consolidate student loans
You may want to try refinancing your student loan and see what rates you can get you use a personal loan to consolidate your student debt.
- Pay off credit cards
Initially, you should try to apply for a lower interest rate from your bank or credit union first but you can use a personal loan to pay off credit cards.
- Cover a wedding, honeymoon, or other large expenses
Consider more affordable alternatives can be covered with the funds you have or postpone your event until you have saved up enough money. Using personal loans for a vacation is always something you should avoid.
If you have decided on getting a personal loan, there are many excellent options to choose from. It can be incredibly easy to find the best place to get a loan.
Take the time to review each of our featured lenders to assess if they match your needs. We have reviewed each of the best personal loan providers thoroughly to ensure their reliability and trustworthiness.
Remember, your loan provider will play a critical role in your financial future and you need to be confident in your decision.
For more information on personal finance and lending options, please visit our article section.
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit
Have less than stellar credit? Don't worry there are many providers that also focus on personal loans for those with bad credit. Learn more about the best personal loans for those with bad credit.