Top 10 Best Personal Loans

With hundreds of loan providers to choose from, how will you know who’s the right fit for you?
Consult our chart of the top personal loans providers to find your perfect lender match.

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Personal loans, also known as unsecured loans, are different from payday loans as they have longer terms, offer higher loan amounts and have lower interest rates. Approval for these loans is not based on employment but rather on the line of credit and/or credit history of the borrower. Borrowers with good credit can usually be approved for a personal loan. This loan is a good choice for large payments that may need to be made such as college tuition or home renovation. These loans can also help borrowers consolidate their debt into a single monthly payment with a lower interest rate.

Personal Loan APR

The APR on personal loans will vary depending on your lender but the APR on these loans is lower than what you would typically receive from a payday or short-term loan – usually between 10% and 35%. These loans can be a good alternative to payday loans because they are less expensive than credit cards and as mentioned previously, the APR is lower than it is on payday loans. It is not ideal to owe any money but if you require a loan, then a personal loan could certainly be a viable option.

Representative example: assuming a loan of $10,000 over 60 months at a fixed rate of 3.1% per annum and fees of $60.00. This would result in a representative rate of 3.3% APR, with monthly repayments of $180.80, for a total amount paid of $10,848.00.

Details on Personal Loans

Personal loans have a fixed APR and fixed terms so you know exactly what you will need to pay and when you will need to pay it. Generally you will only need to pay back the loan as well as the interest that is incurred through fixed, predictable payments. However, you may experience extra fees and costs particularly if you are late or miss a payment. In most cases, you will need good credit to get a personal loan and unlike payday loans, your employment usually plays a smaller role in your approval. These loans are beneficial to those who have good credit and have upcoming planned expenses or need to pay large medical bills, home or auto repairs, tuition or other large expenses. While the maximum loan amount can be as great as $25,000 or $35,000 you can also borrow as little as $3,000 or $2,000 depending on your needs. The loan term is typically between 2 to 5 years and as the loan term increases the APR on the loan decreases.

Regulations

All personal loan providers are regulated by federal and state entities and must follow and adhere to all laws in terms of lending and non-payment. It is important to understand the laws and regulations that apply to your loan and your lender before you take out a personal loan.

Important Information on Personal Loans

While personal loans have lower APRs than payday loans, they are still a form of credit and must be paid off. In addition, there are always risks when borrowing and there are consequences if the loan is not paid off. If the loan is not paid, you may be reported to a collection agency and face financial and credit score penalties.

Financial Consequences

Regardless of the length of the loan, they all require payment. Borrowers agree to pay back the loan in a particular amount of time and if borrowers are unable to do that they will likely incur insufficient fund fees, non-payment fees, legal fees, interest and administrative fees.

Credit Score Consequences

On top of the financial costs of debt collection and personal loan fees, failure to pay off a personal loan will usually result in a negative entry in your credit history. Non-payment will usually cause your credit score to drop and other lenders and agencies will see the loan delinquency on your credit history. A delinquent personal loan on your credit history will make future loans you want to receive difficult, more expensive or even impossible to get.