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Best Low-Interest Personal Loans

Best Low-Interest Personal Loans

A personal loan can help you pay for debt consolidation, home improvement or other expenses, but you’ll need to pay it back – with interest. Shopping around for a competitive rate, even on a low-interest personal loan, can reduce the amount of money you pay over the life of the loan. Find out where to shop for low-interest rate personal loans and what to ask before you agree to a new loan.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why is a low-interest personal loan important?
  • What is a good interest rate on a personal loan?
  • Can you get a low-interest loan?


APR 3.99% to 19.99%
Max. Loan Amount $100,000
Min. Credit Score 670

PNC Bank

APR 5.99% to 13.84%
Max. Loan Amount $35,000
Min. Credit Score Not disclosed


APR 5.99% to 24.99%
Max. Loan Amount $35,000
Min. Credit Score 660

Happy Money

APR 5.99% to 24.99%
Max. Loan Amount $40,000
Min. Credit Score 600

U.S. Bank

APR 6.99% to 19.49%
Max. Loan Amount $50,000
Min. Credit Score 660

Axos Bank

APR 7.15% to 17.99%
Max. Loan Amount $50,000
Min. Credit Score 700


APR 6.99% to 22.23%
Max. Loan Amount $100,000
Min. Credit Score Not disclosed


Learn More


Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

3.99% to 19.99% $100,000 670
5.99% to 13.84% $35,000 Not disclosed
6.24% to 10.24% $50,000 Not disclosed
5.99% to 24.99% $35,000 660
5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 600
6.74% to 17.99% $50,000 650
6.99% to 19.49% $50,000 660
7.15% to 17.99% $50,000 700
6.99% to 19.99% $40,000 660
6.99% to 22.23% $100,000 Not disclosed

U.S. News selects the Best Loan Companies by evaluating affordability, borrower eligibility criteria and customer service. Those with the highest overall scores are considered the best lenders.

To calculate each score, we use data about the lender and its loan offerings, giving greater weight to factors that matter most to borrowers. Personal loan companies are evaluated based on customer service ratings, interest rates, maximum loan term, minimum and maximum loan amounts, minimum FICO score, online features, and origination fees.
The weight each scoring factor receives is based on a nationwide survey on what borrowers look for in a lender.

To receive a rating, lenders must offer qualifying loans nationwide and have a good reputation within the industry. Read more about our methodology.

LightStream is the online consumer lending division of Truist, which formed in 2019 from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust. SunTrust acquired the assets of online lender FirstAgain in 2012 and relaunched the business as LightStream. LightStream’s online personal loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 and can be used for nearly any reason. Personal loans are available to borrowers nationwide with good to excellent credit.

PNC Bank can trace its history back to 1852 and the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Co. Today, PNC Bank is the seventh-largest bank in the U.S., and it features a wide range of consumer and business banking services. Among its suite of products, PNC offers personal, unsecured installment loans up to $35,000. Applicants are considered based on satisfactory credit history, ability to repay and income.

If you need money fast, Alliant Credit Union typically makes same-day online personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. The $14 billion Chicago-based credit union, founded in 1935, is one of the biggest in the nation, with 600,000 members. In addition to personal loans, Alliant offers home and auto loans, credit cards, checking and savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, trust accounts, and insurance policies.

Discover is a digital bank and payment services company known for its credit cards. But Discover also offers other products, including fixed-rate personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers nationwide. The lender charges no fees as long as you pay on time.

Happy Money offers Payoff personal loans designed to consolidate credit card debt. It operates in all but two states and provides loans of up to $40,000. Happy Money is not a bank and instead works with lending partners that originate the loans. The California-based financial wellness company takes a psychological approach to money matters.

Although PenFed Credit Union – officially Pentagon Federal Credit Union – serves members of the armed forces, military associations, veterans and retirees, and their families, a military connection is not required to become a member. The credit union offers personal loans for eligible members and eligible co-borrowers in all 50 states, as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico and Okinawa, Japan.

U.S. Bank has physical locations in more than 25 states and offers both short- and long-term personal loans with fixed annual percentage rates. Current customers may qualify to borrow up to $50,000 with a credit score of 660 or above, and options are available for noncustomers willing to open a checking or savings account.

Axos Bank is a digital bank founded in July 2000 with one product, a basic checking account. The San Diego-based bank has since focused on providing innovative products and solutions, including personal loans, to customers nationwide. Potential borrowers can prequalify online with no credit damage and obtain personalized loan options and rates.

Marcus is the consumer bank and lending arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Established in 2016, the lender offers personal loans of up to $40,000.

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers personal loans of up to $100,000 to borrowers with very good to excellent credit. The nationwide lender was founded in 2011 and is known for offering loans with no fees. In addition to personal loans, SoFi offers student loans, auto and student loan refinancing, home loans, and small-business financing.

Personal loan interest rates decreased this week, trending slightly lower for three-year and five-year loan terms. Here are the average personal loan rates offered to well-qualified applicants with a credit score of 720 or greater, as of Oct. 31:

    • Three-year personal loan term: 17.71% (up from 16.24% a week ago).
    • Five-year personal loan term: 18.73% (up from 17.42% a week ago).

Personal loan rates vary widely based on creditworthiness. Borrowers with very good or excellent credit scores will see much lower interest rates than those with fair or poor credit, as seen in the chart below:

Powered by Bankrate

A good interest rate on a personal loan is lower than the national average, according to the credit bureau Experian. And if you’re consolidating high-interest credit card debt, you’ll want to find a personal loan with a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying on your credit cards. You’ll pay down debt faster on a low-interest personal loan than on a credit card with a higher rate, says David Bakke, personal finance expert at Dollar Sanity, a financial education website.

Personal loan interest rates decreased this week, trending slightly lower for three-year and five-year loan terms. Here are the average personal loan rates offered to well-qualified applicants with a credit score of 720 or greater, as of Oct. 31:

    • Three-year personal loan term: 17.71% (up from 16.24% a week ago).
    • Five-year personal loan term: 18.73% (up from 17.42% a week ago).

Personal loan rates vary widely based on creditworthiness. Borrowers with very good or excellent credit scores will see much lower interest rates than those with fair or poor credit, as seen in the chart below:

Powered by Bankrate

The lower your personal loan interest rate, the less you’ll pay to borrow money. This scenario shows how interest rates affect the cost of a personal loan:

Let’s say you received an offer for a $5,000 personal loan with a 9.3% annual percentage rate and a four-year repayment term. With this loan, you would pay $1,006.66 in interest alone.

Now assume that you were approved for a $5,000 personal loan with a 6.75% APR and the same four-year term. Your total interest charges on this loan would be $719.30, resulting in interest savings of $287.36.

But getting approved for a low-interest personal loan depends on your credit profile, including credit history and score, income, and debt. All lenders have their own criteria for setting borrowers’ personal loan interest rates and terms.

You’ll want to consider a number of factors when choosing the best low-interest personal loan:

  • What terms can I expect? Not only will you want to lock down a low interest rate, but you’ll also want to get the loan repayment length you need. Use these factors to calculate your monthly payment to be confident the loan is something you can afford.
  • What fees does the lender charge? Some lenders charge an origination fee that can vary from 1% to 10% of the loan amount, which greatly affects the payout you’ll actually receive. Also check for prepayment penalties, late payment fees and any other fees the lender lists.
  • What loan amounts does the lender offer? Most lenders offer a minimum and a maximum loan amount, so it’s worth noting before you apply. After all, if a lender’s maximum amount is less than you need, don’t waste your time.
  • What are the repayment options? Lenders usually offer multiple payment options, including online, check and automatic payments. Automatic payments might come with a discount. Some lenders also provide flexibility with your payment date, so you can change it to a date that works best for you.
  • Are there any loan use restrictions? Some lenders have restrictions on how you can use your loan, and be sure to be honest about how you’ll use the money – lying on your loan application can be deemed loan fraud and result in extra charges.
  • How is the lender’s customer service? Check online reviews, such as the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If the lender is a financial institution, you might reach out to family and friends about their personal experience.

  • Save money. Low-interest personal loans may help borrowers consolidate high-interest credit card debt and pay it off more quickly at a lower interest rate.
  • See a quick turnaround. You may potentially receive funds for personal loans in as little as one business day.
  • Provide no collateral. Low-interest personal loans are typically unsecured, so you won’t need to use your home or car for collateral.
  • There may be fees. Your lender may charge an origination fee, prepayment fee or late payment fee.
  • Restrictions may apply. Some lenders may restrict how you can use the money. For example, you may not be able to use it to pay for college tuition.
  • You may not qualify. If you don’t have stellar credit, you likely won’t qualify for a low-interest personal loan.

Here are a few key areas that lenders look at to determine personal loan approvals and interest rates:

Your credit score is one of the major factor’s lenders consider for personal loan eligibility, says Lauren Anastasio, director of financial advice at Stash, a financial technology firm.

“Lenders don’t always disclose whether they have a minimum credit score for applicants, but often they prefer to see a good or excellent credit history,” she says.

Meeting the minimum credit score doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for the lowest loan rates advertised. A FICO credit score in the mid-700s or higher is considered very good to exceptional and generally earns you a competitive interest rate.

Borrowers with fair or bad credit shouldn’t expect low interest rates on personal loans.

“If you don’t have a stellar credit score or don’t make very much, adding a co-borrower to your loan might increase your chances of approval,” Anastasio says. “They might also help you get a better interest rate and repayment terms.”

Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income – your earnings before taxes or other deductions – you put toward debt. It helps lenders gauge whether you can manage a personal loan payment without financial hardship.

“In a nutshell, the maximum debt-to-income ratio you want if you’re looking for a personal loan is right around 35%,” Bakke says. “Anything higher than that and the lender will be thinking twice about whether or not to extend the loan.”

Additionally, some lenders may have a minimum annual income requirement.

Whether your personal loan is secured or unsecured can influence your interest rate. With a secured loan, you are providing collateral that the lender can claim if you default on your loan.

“Secured loans, backed by assets owned by the borrower, like a car or house, are less risky to the lender and therefore often come with much lower interest rates, reducing the cost of borrowing over the life of the loan,” Anastasio says.

But before jumping on a secured personal loan, factor in the risk of losing whatever you used as collateral if you can’t make the monthly payments.

Some lenders offer a small APR percentage point reduction for existing customers or signing up for automatic payments. Some lenders list interest rates that include autopay discounts.

Find the Personal Loan That’s Right for You

Take these steps to find the lowest rates on personal loans.

Lenders may advertise an APR range, but you won’t find out your rate until a lender checks your credit. Prequalification uses a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t hurt your credit score, to tell you whether you could be approved for a low interest rate personal loan.

“Many lenders allow potential borrowers to see if they prequalify for a loan before applying,” Anastasio says. “This process shows how much the loan would potentially be approved for (and) what your repayment terms and your interest rate could possibly be.”

Not all lenders offer prequalification, but online lenders generally do.

The information you will need to prequalify can vary by lender but may include your desired loan amount and your income. If you can prequalify online, the process can take just a few minutes.

Prequalifying for a personal loan doesn’t guarantee approval when you apply. But this option gives you great insight into whether you might meet borrower criteria and estimates loan terms without a hard credit check that could lower your credit score.

2. Check With Your Bank or Credit Union

When you’re rate shopping, getting a quote from a financial institution you have a relationship with could pay off.

“Your bank or credit union would be a great place to start,” Bakke says. “However, rates and fees do vary, so it’s recommended that you get quotes from at least three lenders.”

Your bank or credit union might be able to offer a more competitive rate or origination fee than rivals because it has a window into your finances that the others don’t. If you have deposit accounts, for example, the bank may consider your wages, spending patterns and savings.

3. Work on Your Credit and Try Again

If you can’t get approved for a competitive interest rate on a personal loan, you might want to pause and focus on raising your credit score. Check your credit reports for errors to dispute, pay down debt, make on-time monthly payments, and take other steps to improve your credit before you reapply for a personal loan.

If you have bad credit, you likely won’t be able to qualify for a low-interest loan. Borrowers with bad credit often end up with high interest rates and other less-than-ideal terms for personal loans. Take some time to compare lenders and choose a loan with the lowest overall cost, factoring in APRs, account fees, repayment terms, collateral requirements and lender reviews.

Depending on why you need the funds, there may be alternatives to consider before committing to a personal loan.

  • Look at other types of loans. A home equity loan or a home equity line of credit may be an option for home repairs, and an auto loan for a new or used car purchase. Compare other types of loans and their terms to see if they offer a better rate.
  • Make a payment arrangement. Costs such as unpaid medical expenses can significantly impact your credit score, but always attempt a payment arrangement with the medical provider before taking out a personal loan.
  • Tap into your 401(k). Although traditional advice would strongly dissuade you from taking money out of your retirement account, a 401(k) loan is a valid option under certain circumstances. As long as you pay back the loan within about a year, the impact on your long-term gains should be minimal.
  • Borrow from a family member. Asking for money may be difficult, but if someone is in a position to help, then it may be even better than a low-interest personal loan. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of borrowing from friends or family.

Best Egg is an online lender founded in 2014 that financial technology company Marlette Holdings Inc. owns and operates. Best Egg offers personal loans starting at $2,000 that can be used to cover medical bills, home remodeling and a variety of other expenses. Cross River Bank in New Jersey issues Best Egg loans, which can be funded in as little as one business day.

LendingClub connects borrowers and investors through its online marketplace. LendingClub originated on Facebook and evolved into an extensive peer-to-peer lender, though it no longer offers peer-to-peer loans. Borrowers in all U.S. states can apply for $1,000 to $40,000 loans with LendingClub.

Upgrade offers access to personal loans, the Upgrade card with a personal line of credit, rewards checking, and credit monitoring and educational tools. Founded in 2017 in San Francisco, the firm also has operations offices in Chicago, Phoenix and Montreal.

Founded in 2005 and based in San Carlos, California, Oportun originates unsecured personal loans of up to $12,000 in 11 states. Loans are available in 30 additional states through Oportun’s partnership with Pathward, formerly known as MetaBank. The lender has no credit history requirement, making its loans an option for consumers with no credit or limited credit. In addition to unsecured personal loans, the lender offers secured personal loans to borrowers in Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.

Rocket Loans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all 50 states. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses and business or other expenses.

FreedomPlus is an online lender affiliated with Freedom Financial Network offering personal loans from $5,000 to $50,000 and promising quick approval and disbursal. A prospective borrower can apply online and talk with a loan consultant. All loans available through FreedomPlus are made by New Jersey-based Cross River Bank.

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows borrowers to apply online for fixed-rate, fixed-term loans from $2,000 to $50,000. Investors such as Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners and Institutional Venture Partners provide backing for Prosper. Since its founding in 2005, Prosper has made possible more than $22 billion in loans. Prosper lends to borrowers with at least a 640 FICO score.

LendingPoint is an online lender specializing in unsecured personal loans from $2,000 to $36,500 for borrowers with fair credit. The Georgia-based lender issues loans with annual percentage rates of 7.99% to 35.99% and repayment terms of two to six years to people in every state but Nevada or West Virginia. Funds may be available as soon as the next business day after the lender approves the loan and receives all documents.

Lending USA was founded in 2015 to be a lending solution for merchants. Lending USA provides point-of-sale customer financing through more than 10,000 merchant partners in various sectors including medical services, pet services, funeral services and consumer services.

Universal Credit is an online lending platform that is powered by the fintech firm Upgrade, which has been in operation since 2017. Universal Credit is not a bank itself, but facilitates loans through its lending partners. It specializes in personal loans, especially for debt consolidation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the loan offers on this website come from businesses that are Newsonnline.com advertising customers. The placement of offerings on the website may be influenced by advertising considerations, but editorial choices like which loan products we write about and how we evaluate them are unaffected. This website does not contain all loan providers or loan offers that are accessible on the market.

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