Best Online Loans of July 2023

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Our experts answer readers’ personal loan questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess personal loans). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own.

An online loan works like this: You apply to borrow a certain amount of money. The lender will show which offers you qualify for based on factors such as your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and ability to repay the loan. The best personal loans will offer a variety of term lengths and low interest rates.

Best Online Personal Loans

  • LightStream Personal Loan: Best for large loan amounts
  • SoFi Personal Loan: Best for good credit
  • Avant Personal Loan: Best for lower credit scores
  • Happy Money Personal Loan: Best for credit card consolidation
  • Upstart Personal Loan: Best for small loan amounts

Next Step: See if you’re prequalified for a loan without impacting your credit score.

Some lenders have minimum credit score requirements that might make you ineligible for one of their loans. Others may allow you to get a loan with a poor credit score, but could saddle you with high interest rates as a result. If you’re going to borrow money with an online loan, make sure you understand how much it will cost you each month, and that you have a plan to pay it back.

Be sure you’ve exhausted other options before you apply for a loan online, such as borrowing money from  friends or family, taking out a home equity loan, or in some cases, using a credit card. These options may offer better interest rates than an online loan.

If you want to turn to an online loan provider, here are a few of the best places to start your search.

Compare the Best Online Personal Loans

LightStream Personal Loan

4.75/5

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LightStream Personal Loan

4.75/5

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Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

7.99% to 25.49% (with AutoPay discount, rates vary by loan purpose)


Loan Amount Range

$5,000 to $100,000

Get matched with personal loan offers


LightStream Personal Loan

LightStream offers some of the lowest rates on personal loans out there, provided you have a great credit score. The lender also has loans of up to $100,000 and can supply you with funding on the same day you apply and are approved.

Details


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

7.99% to 25.49% (with AutoPay discount, rates vary by loan purpose)


Loan Amount Range

$5,000 to $100,000

Pros & Cons
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SoFi Personal Loan

4/5

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SoFi Personal Loan

4/5

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Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

8.99% to 25.81% (with all discounts)


Loan Amount Range

$5,000 to $100,000

Get matched with personal loan offers


SoFi Personal Loan

SoFi is a strong personal loan lender for those with high credit scores — you’ll get perks like unemployment protection and no fees required. The best personal loan for you depends on your credit score, which will determine what you qualify for and can lower your rate.

Details


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

8.99% to 25.81% (with all discounts)

Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 25.81% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 05/19/23 and are subject to change without notice. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.
Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-6%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.
Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

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Loan Amount Range

$5,000 to $100,000

Pros & Cons
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Avant Personal Loan

3.75/5

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Avant Personal Loan

3.75/5

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Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

9.95% to 35.99%


Loan Amount Range

$2,000 to $35,000

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Avant Personal Loan

Avant Personal Loan is a good personal loan provider, especially if you have a lower credit score and need to receive your loan money quickly. Just be prepared to pay a high APR if you do have a low score.

Details


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

9.95% to 35.99%


Loan Amount Range

$2,000 to $35,000

Pros & Cons
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Payoff Loan™

3.5/5

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Payoff Loan™

3.5/5

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Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

11.52% – 24.81% APR


Loan Amount Range

$5,000 to $40,000

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Payoff Loan™

A Happy Money Payoff Loan personal loan is a great option for those with good credit scores who are eligible for the lender’s lowest APR. However, borrowers can only use the funds to consolidate credit card debt.

Details


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

11.52% – 24.81% APR


Loan Amount Range

$5,000 to $40,000

Pros & Cons
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Upstart Personal Loan

3.25/5

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Upstart Personal Loan

3.25/5

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Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

4.60% to 35.99%


Loan Amount Range

$1,000 to $50,000 (borrowers in four states are subject to higher minimum loan amounts: Massachusetts: $7,000, Ohio: $6,000, New Mexico: $5,100, Georgia: $3,100)

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Upstart Personal Loan

Upstart could be the right lender if you have a strong work and education history, but you have a low credit score or limited credit history. The best personal loan for you depends on your credit score, which will determine what you qualify for and can lower your rate.

Details


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

4.60% to 35.99%


Loan Amount Range

$1,000 to $50,000 (borrowers in four states are subject to higher minimum loan amounts: Massachusetts: $7,000, Ohio: $6,000, New Mexico: $5,100, Georgia: $3,100)

Pros & Cons
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Online Loans Frequently Asked Questions

A payday loan is designed to bridge the gap between paydays, so term lengths are much shorter than personal loans you might get online.  They also come with incredibly high APRs and have lower minimum borrowing amounts that generally start around $50, compared with about $1,000 for a personal loan. 

This depends on how much you’d like to take out, what APR you receive from your lender, and how long it takes you to pay off the online loan. The higher the loan amount and APR, the more an online loan will cost you. With a longer term length, you will spread out your payments over an extended period so your monthly payments will be smaller, but you will pay more in the long run. 

Depending on the lender, you can get your money for an online loan as soon as the same day. For instance, with a US Bank personal loan you could get funding in as little as a few hours if you’re already a US Bank customer. Usually, a lender will send the money fairly quickly after the application is approved, but there is often no guarantee on the speed of the process. See our guide to the best quick personal loans if this is a top consideration for you.

It’s as safe to take out a loan from a reputable online lender as it is from a bank or credit union. Online lenders are must meet the same lending rules as their brick-and-mortar counterparts and are equally trustworthy. Make sure you’re on the lookout to avoid personal loan scams.

The best personal loans online are from lenders with low interest rates, low or no fees, and a wide range of borrowing amounts and term lengths. These include LightStream, SoFi, Avant, Happy Money, and Upstart.

Best Online Personal Loan Company Reviews

LightStream Personal Loan

LightStream’s online loans are best for those with good credit. While you can qualify for a loan with a minimum score of 660, you won’t be able to take advantage of LightStream’s lower rates without a score of around 800. The lender also has slightly more stringent eligibility requirements than some of our other top picks, including several years of credit history, stable income, and few or no payment delinquencies on your credit report.

If you’re looking to borrow a large sum of money, LightStream’s maximum loan amount of $100,000 is significantly higher than most of the other lenders on our list. Its minimum APR is one of the lower on our list of top picks, reducing the overall cost of your loan.

LightStream Personal Loan Review

SoFi Personal Loan

SoFi has the highest minimum credit score requirement of any lender on our list. You’ll need at least a credit score of 680 to get one of its personal loans online. But if you do qualify, you may like the lender’s low rates, high range in loan amounts, and unique perks.

Even if your credit history isn’t immaculate and you aren’t eligible for SoFi’s lowest rate, the company’s maximum APR is the lowest on our list. SoFi offers a higher maximum online loan amount than most other lenders, allowing you to take out up to $100,000.

Additionally, the company has no origination fees required and has no late payment penalty, lowering the overall cost of your loan. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, SoFi also has an unemployment protection program. If approved for the program, SoFi will put your loans into forbearance, suspending your monthly payments. It’s worth noting that interest will continue to accrue on your loan when it is in forbearance. 

SoFi Personal Loan Review 

Avant Personal Loan

Avant is one of the easier lenders to qualify for on our list. Its minimum credit is just a guideline, not a requirement, but most borrowers who get Avant’s personal loans online have a credit score between 600 and 700. However, you can likely get a lower rate elsewhere if you have a high credit score. The best 0% APR credit cards may also offer a lower APR, provided you’re eligible. 

If you are looking for a smaller loan, Avant’s $2,000 minimum is lower than most comparable lenders. Avant funds online loans quickly — if the company approves your loan by 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, funds are often put into your account by the next business day.

Avant also has excellent customer service hours, with its phone line open at least 13 hours every day of the week. The lender also has a strong mobile app, which is something not all lenders offer. 

Avant Personal Loan Review

Payoff Personal Loan

Happy Money could be another good option for an online loan if you have a lower credit score, as its minimum requirement of 640 is relatively low. If you have a good credit score, the company also offers one of the lowest APRs of lenders on the list. 

Happy Money’s Payoff online loans are specifically designed to help borrowers eliminate high-interest credit card debt. This means you are limited in what you can use your loan for — you should choose a different lender if you aren’t aiming to consolidate credit card debt. 

The company doesn’t charge any prepayment fees or late fees, but may charge an origination fee between 0% to 5%. Happy Money also has one of the slowest money transfer times of any online loan company, as it takes between two to five business days to have money deposited in your account. 

Happy Money Personal Loan Review

Upstart Personal Loan

You may qualify for an online loan more easily with Upstart than with some of the other lenders on our list — the minimum credit requirement for Upstart is 600. As a result, if your credit score is low, you might end up paying a high APR and could potentially get a better deal elsewhere. 

Upstart offers the smallest loan amount of all the lenders on our top picks, so if you just need a little cash to tide you over, this could be the lender for you. Additionally, the company usually funds loans within one business day, which is useful if you need your money fast. 

Upstart Personal Loan Review

Other Online Loans We Considered

Online Loan Lender Trustworthiness

Whether you’re interested in taking out a $5,000 loan or a $20,000 loan, finding the right lender can help improve your experience and increase the likelihood of success with your online personal loan application. We’ve only selected providers of online loans with no public controversies in the last three years. We’ve also compared each institution’s Better Business Bureau score.

The BBB, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust, measures businesses based on factors like their responsiveness to consumer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and clarity about business practices. Here is each company’s score:

All of our top picks for online loans are rated A or higher by the BBB. Keep in mind that a high BBB score does not guarantee a positive relationship with a lender, and that you should continue to do research and talk to others who have used the company to get the most comprehensive information possible. 

How to Choose the Best Online Loan

To find the best choice for your individual situation, take stock of the factors that are most important to you before you apply for a personal loan online. Many borrowers prioritize the lowest loan interest rate, but also consider any fees, the minimum credit score needed, and the accessibility of the lender’s customer service. You’ll also want to make sure you’re able to select a term length that works for you and that your loan’s purpose is allowed by the lender you choose.

Guides like this one will help you compare multiple lenders in the same place to weigh their pros and cons. Make sure to also read individual reviews of any lenders you’re considering. 

How To Get an Online Loan With Bad Credit

Getting a loan with bad credit can be challenging. If you don’t qualify for a loan with your preferred lender or are receiving a higher APR than you can afford with another online loan company, here are some tips you may consider to improve your credit score and increase the chances that your online loan application will be approved: 

  • Ask for and review a copy of your credit report. Look for any errors on your report that may be tanking your score. If so, reach out the credit bureau to talk about rectifying the mistake.
  • Maintain low credit card balancesKeeping a credit utilization rate — the percentage of your total credit you’re using — of 30% or less will prove to lenders that you can manage your credit appropriately.
  • Devise a system for paying bills on time. Your payment history makes up a significant percentage of your credit score, and lenders like to see consistent and reliable payments in the past. Set up calendar reminders or automatic payments so you don’t fall behind.

Why You Should Trust Us: Our Methodology

Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to assist smart people in making the best decisions possible with their money. With that in mind, we compared many different online loans, digging into the fine print so you don’t have to. We evaluated several factors to determine the best lenders, including:

  • Annual percentage rates: The lower the interest rate you have to pay on your online loan, the better. So we focused on lenders who have solid rates for people with fair or better credit histories.  
  • Loan term length: We looked for online loans with a variety of repayment lengths. 
  • Loan amount range: We know some people are looking for a small amount of cash, while others are looking to take out a substantial amount. We found lenders with a variety of minimum and maximum loan amounts to best fit your needs.  
  • Minimum credit score: Depending on your credit score, you may be eligible to take out an online loan from some lenders and may not qualify with others. We picked lenders with a range of minimum credit scores so you have options no matter your credit history.
  • Trustworthiness: Borrowing from an honest lender is often a top priority for many people. We made sure each lender had an A or above grade from the Better Business Bureau to provide the most transparent lenders possible.

See our full ratings methodology for online loans and personal loans » 

OneMain Financial Personal Loan disclosure: Not all applicants will be approved. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral) and your state of residence. If approved, not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Highly-qualified applicants may be offered higher loan amounts and/or lower APRs than those shown above. OneMain charges origination fees where allowed by law. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $500. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Visit omf.com/loanfees for more information. Loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z such as college, university or vocational expense; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase cryptocurrency assets, securities, derivatives or other speculative investments; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: $3,100. North Dakota: $2,000. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers in these states are subject to these maximum loan sizes: North Carolina: $9,000 for unsecured loans to all customers, $9,000 for secured loans to present customers. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $15,000. West Virginia: $14,000. Loans to purchase a motor vehicle or powersports equipment from select Maine, Mississippi, and North Carolina dealerships are not subject to these maximum loan sizes. Example Loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07. Time to Fund Loans: Funding within one hour after closing through SpeedFunds must be disbursed to a bank-issued debit card. Disbursement by check or ACH may take up to 1-2 business days after loan closing.

 

 

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