So you want a loan, and you don't want to put up any collateral. Great news - there are hundreds of lenders out there who provide exactly that.
Not all these lenders were created equal. We want you to find the best unsecured personal loans, so we've reviewed the top lenders and put together this comparison page. Read on to find a review of your lender and see how they stack up against the best in the business.
Best Unsecured Personal Loans -
Although there are many 'one size fits all' for every aspect of life- it does not mean it literally is meant for everyone. Each person is an individual with their own personality, body build, tastes and outlook on life. Not every piece of 'one size fits all' clothing fits or looks good on you. It needs to be 'you' - your fashion taste, your affordability, your body type. Unsecured personal loans are the very same thing. Everyone is in a different financial position. Different town, different job, different lifestyle, different health and different family needs. The 'best unsecured personal loan' is NOT a 'one size fits all'. The best unsecured personal loan is the one that is best for you. It is the one that fits your financial position, your monthly income and requirements. So how do you find the best unsecured personal loan for you?
First of all - what is meant by 'best unsecured personal loan'. We need to understand what a personal loan is - it is a loan that is not backed by the equity in your home, your assets or vehicle. With an unsecured personal loan, the lender cannot seize your asset in the event you default on repaying the loan back. A personal unsecured loan is a loan that carries much more risk for the lender and therefore the guidelines, terms and rates may be more stringent and much higher than a personal loan secured by your home or vehicle.
What is an Unsecured personal loan?
An unsecured personal loan is not backed by collateral like your home or car, so the lender cannot seize your assets if you do happen to default.
Personal loans are a type of instalment loan that has a fixed repayment term, usually two to five years, and often carry a fixed interest rate. You’ll receive a lump sum up front and then repay the loan along with the interest in regular monthly instalments. The higher the interest, the higher the payment. Most personal loan lenders will show you upfront before you sign how much it is going to cost you to borrow the money. For instance if you borrow $25,000 with an annual interest of 7.5% repaid over 5 years it will cost you a total of $5,057 in interest payments. You will repay $30,057 for borrowing the $25,000. Your monthly payment will be $500.96 which will include repaying the principal and interest. Say your credit is below 660 and you want to apply for an unsecured personal loan. Because you have fair credit your interest rate could very easily be 9.5%. Borrowing the same $25,000, it will cost you $6,053 in interest over the 5 year term. Your monthly payment will increase to $525 and your will pay $31,503 to borrow the $25,000. When applying for a personal loan be sure to calculate what it is really going to cost you to borrow the money.
Why would you need a personal loan? There are as many reasons as there are people. Some of them may be - purchasing a used vehicle, education, health, home renovations, a trip, a major purchase, or debt consolidation. These are just a few of the typical reasons but the list is long.
Its Simple to Apply for a Personal Loan
Information Required to Apply
- Your credit score
- Credit history
- Current employment information
- Debt to income ratio also referred to as DTI
- You will need to be 18 years old to apply
- A US citizen, permanent resident or in some cases a working visa
Before you look for the Best Unsecured Personal Loan -
There are a few very important steps to know and follow and it will depend on you and your personal situation.
1. What do you need the money for?
Determine the what and why you are applying for the loan. Ask yourself - do I really need this. Is there any other way I can purchase this big ticket item or repay my existing loans and credit cards without borrowing more money. It is very easy to want something and make an emotional purchase. Our society promotes immediate gratification. I have found that the older I get, I am realizing that all of those 'things' really are not necessary or bring more happiness. What it brings is more debt and more things to dispose of when I no longer require them. A friend whom I worked for once said to me 'if money will fix the problem, then it isn't a problem, but if money cannot fix it - then you have a real problem on your hands.' So, what is it you need the money for?
2. How much net income does your household earn?
Knowing how much money you bring in as a household, how much you spend for daily living and how much you have over will determine if you can manage another payment. If you are applying for a personal loan to consolidate debt, then I would use a personal loan calculator on the internet to determine if this new loan is manageable. If it is just another payment which will leave you cash poor, then you may want to postpone applying or consolidate your existing debt. We do not know what tomorrow holds - your job may be secure today, your health is good, but what if one of you loses their job or your health takes a turn for the worse. Be sure that by adding a new payment you will be able to manage on one salary should something happen.
3. Credit Score
This is a BIG item. Credit Scores determine how much money we can borrow, the term and the interest rate. Our credit score is something that we should protect our entire lives as it dictates our credit worthiness. If you have collections and /or bankruptcies on your credit report and your credit score is below 620, lenders will have to determine how big of a risk they want to take when lending you money. If you have not paid your bills and other loans on time, they will consider you a high risk client with a higher risk of not having the loan repaid. The better your score, your credit history, the easier it is to find an unsecured personal loan. You will also be offered better interest rates and better terms. If your score is below 620, you may want to rebuild your score before applying for another unsecured personal loan. Credit Scores range from 280- 850. Scores from 725 and higher are offered the best rates and terms. Under 600 is considered fair to poor credit and you are limited as to lenders, rates and terms.Debt To Income Ratio or DTI
Before you apply for a personal loan, you will want to know if you can manage the new monthly payment. This new loan payment, combined with what you are already paying on your existing debt, is referred to as your debt to income ratio or DTI. If you are taking a debt consolidation loan, make sure to calculate the new payment, less everything you are planning on paying off. This link will connect you to an article explaining more about debt to income and a DTI calculator to find out if you can manage the new monthly payment.
Will This Loan Application Affect My Credit Score
Most providers start with a soft credit pull and the lenders normally advertise this on their site. The lender will usually require a hard pull before they finalize the loan.
What Can We purchase with an Unsecured Personal Loan
You can use an unsecured personal loan to finance a variety of expenses including debt consolidation, auto purchase, home repairs, medical expenses, weddings, and vacations. If you're planning a major home renovation, you may want to consider a secured loan.
Unsecured Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation
It is very common to take out a personal loan and use the funds for a debt consolidation loan. If you have credit cards that you unable to pay off every month and the interest is above 20%, it is a wise step to consolidate this debt into a personal loan. If you are only making the minimum payment now on your credit card, a debt consolidation loan will start the process of reducing debt every month.
Secured or Unsecured Personal Loan
Unsecured personal loans can be more difficult than a secured loan. A good credit score is required when the loan is not secured by assets or collateral. The most common assets used for security are home equity and vehicle refinance. You may pay higher interest rates with an unsecured personal loan in comparison to a secured loan. We have added options below on secured and unsecured loans.
Loan Interest Charges
Interest rates for unsecured personal loans start near 5% with a credit score above 720. Interest rates can go as high as 35.99% if the borrower's credit score is near 590+. Some lenders charge origination fees and closing costs. The interest cost and additional fees make up the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of the loan.
When credit scores are below 590, an unsecured personal loan above $1,000 may not be an option. There are lenders that specialize in bad credit loans that can help with financing with poor credit.
Criteria for finding the Best Unsecured Personal Loan:
- Best interest rate based on credit score?
- Once you enter your state in the loan finder, lenders that offer loans in that state will appear. You can sort the lenders by APR, Minimum Credit score and Maximum loan amount
- What are the origination fees for applying with the lender?
- Not all lenders charge origination fees. They range from 0-6%
- How fast can you get your loan and is their information easy to understand?
- Check the review of each lender when you find the loan provider that meet your requirements
Credit Score Chart
This credit score chart is designed to help estimate interest rate offers. There is a calculator at the bottom of the page to calculate a loan payment. Applying for a personal loan with a lower credit score is expensive. It will raise the interest rate and in many cases, shorten the term of the loan. If your credit score is not where you want it to be, apply with Novita to improve your credit score first.
The America Loan Service online request form connects consumers to hundreds of personal loan lenders at one time with rates starting at 5.99%. The service is designed to connect consumers based on lender credit criteria.
The process is very simple:
- Fill out the short form, it is safe and secure
- See if you are approved in real time from a large network of lenders
- Check your bank account to see if the money arrived as early as the next business day if you are approved
- Loan Amounts: $1000 to $35,000
- Credit Score: 580+
- APR: See ALS Detailed Review for up to date APR information
- Terms: 3 to 36 months
- Fees: Vary by the lender
The lenders will review your request quickly to determine whether your information meets the lender's loan qualification criteria. You will receive notice within a few minutes if there is a lender interested in discussing a loan. Loans are normally funded within 1-5 business days depending on the lender and if they have all information required to fund.
If a lender is satisfied with all of the information with your request and has decided to offer you a loan, you will be directed to the lender's website. At this point, you will leave America Loan Service and we recommend that you review the terms and conditions of the lender. Take your time to go through all of the information from the loan provider. We recommend that you ask every question to be sure you fully understand the loan. The lender should explain the following information:
- Loan amount offered
- Finance charge and fees
- Annual percentage rate (APR)
- Loan term
- Payment schedule
Upgrade was started by two of the founding member of Lending Club, a pioneer in marketplace lending. They were part of facilitating $33 billion in loans and made credit available to over 2 million America families over the last decade.
Through Upgrade, consumers can access affordable personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 with low fixed rates that never change. Personal Loans may be used to pay off high-interest credit cards, make home improvements, make a major purchase and much more!
- Loan Amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
- Credit Score: 620+
- APR: See Upgrade Detailed Review for up to date APR information
- Terms: 36 to 60 months
- Fees: 1% to 6% Origination Fee and will vary by loan term
- Debt to income of 50%
- Funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications
Upgrade is introducing an unsecured credit line up to $50,000. Go online to Upgrade and join their waitlist.
A personal loan from SoFi could help save thousands. With low-interest rates and a fixed monthly payment, you can pay off credit cards, fund home improvements, or make a major purchase.
Members get a 0.125% rate discount on an additional SoFi loan—just for being a member.
Financial Advisors – Members get complimentary guidance from licensed financial advisors. We also waive our fees to invest with SoFi Wealth for members.
- Loan Amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
- Credit Score: Starting at 660+
- APR: See SoFi review for up to date APR information
- Terms: 3,4,5,6, or 7 years
- Fees: No application fees, no origination fees, and no prepayment penalties
- Added Benefits of SoFi
- Will consider borrowers with limited credit history with great cash flow
- Unemployment protection: If you lose your job, SoFi will temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job (unique to SoFi. Check out their disclaimer on the SoFi website for full details) If approved for the program, SoFi will put their loans into forbearance, suspending their monthly SoFi loan payments.
- SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS and NV. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK, OK, TX and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of ME is 12.24% APR and for residents of CO, CT, HI, KS, SC, VA is 11.99% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of Michigan who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, IL, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, IL, OK, TX, WY
- Loan Amounts: $5000 to $35,000
- Credit Score: 660+
- APR: See Payoff Detailed Review for up to date APR information
- Terms: 2 to 5 years
- Fees: No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
- Added Benifits of Payoff
- Payoff is a team of financial services professionals, research and clinical psychologists, data scientists, neuroscientists, Member Advocates and technology experts working together to better understand and accelerate people’s journey toward financial wellness.
- Soft Pull only to start
- Specialize in consolidating credit card debt
LendingPoint was established in 2014 offering personal loans throughout America. The company is based in Kennesaw Georgia and has an A+ rating with the BBB. The company specializes in fair credit loans starting at 590+. LendingPoint combines data and technology to create a proprietary risk model that adds new, multi-variate dimensions of credit analytics that are beyond the traditional FICO scoring process. This model allows the company to get a complete financial story of the consumer in order to approve more people who otherwise could have been overlooked by traditional credit models based on FICO.
- Loan Amounts: $2000 to $25,000
- Credit Score: 590+
- APR: See LendingPoint Detailed Review for up to date APR information
- Terms: 2 to 5 years
- Fees: Origination fees range from 0 to 6%
- The company specializes in fair credit loans starting at 590+.
- Soft Pull only to start
- Loan Amounts: $10,000 to $35,000
- Credit Score: 600+ Rates decrease with a qualified Co-signer or a retirement fund with a minimum of $40,000
- APR: See freedomplus Detailed Review for up to date APR information
- Terms: 2 to 5 years
- Fees: Origination fees range from 0 to 5%
- Added Benefits of Freedomplus
- Offering co-signer loans
- Minimum income of $30,000 to apply
- Soft Pull only to start
- Debt to income of 40%
- Loan Amounts: $1000 to $50,000
- Credit Score: 640+
- APR: See Credible Detailed Review for up to date APR information
- Terms: 2 to 5 years
- Fees: Fees will vary by lender
- Added Benefits of Credible
- Apply once to Lending Club, Prosper, Avant, Upstart, FreedomPlus, Payoff, Best Egg
- Soft Pull only to start
21 Month Interest-Free Balance Transfer 0% Credit Card
Many credit card companies offer program like "Get 0% Intro APR for 21 Months" if you have good to excellent credit
If you are considering a debt consolidation loan, a 21 month 0% balance transfer credit card is another excellent option to clear high-interest expense rather then taking out a personal loan and paying interest now. Credit cards with 0% interest are a great option and provides an excellent way to reduce interest expense and pay off the debt over the 21 month term. If you still have debt remaining after 21 months, then apply for a debt consolidation personal loan. Only word of caution on this type of credit card. Set up a autopay fro myour bank account on the 0% interest credit card that equals the entire debt over the term of the card. This forces disciplne. You will be very pleased with yourself at the end of this term if you can 100% pay off the debt interest free. Your credit score and credit history will determine the length of 0% interest term and your credit score with determine the loan amount.
18 Month Interest-Free Balance Transfer 0% Credit Card
If you have fair credit and considering debt consolidation, an 18 month 0% balance transfer credit card is an excellent way to clear high-interest expense instead of taking out a personal loan and paying interest now. In most cases, you can receive 0% interest for 6 months on purchases.
Co-signed Personal Loans
If you are struggling with getting an unsecured personal loan, we have a loan provider that specializes in co-signed loans. Freedomplus offers to co-sign in the states listed below.
FreedomPlus Personal Loan Co-signer
Struggling to qualify for a loan and need a Cosigner? Contact FreedomPlus Today
- Credit score to qualify without cosigner: minimum of 640+
- Rates starting as low as 5.99% APR to 29.99% APR
- No collateral required and No prepayment penalties
- Qualified Applicants:
- Loan amounts between $10K - $40K
- Origination fee range from 0% to 5%
- Earn a minimum of $30,000/year
- Debt to income ratio is less than 40%
- All states except CO, CT, HI, IA, KS, ME, NH, NY, ND, OR, RI, VT, WI, WV, WY
Auto Loan Refinancing
Used auto loans are often purchased with an unsecured personal loan. Here is a lender that offers loans for purchasing a new or used car, refinancing an existing vehicle or buying out an existing vehicle lease.
If the timing is right, adding a loan amount to your existing mortgage is another option to consider other than an unsecured personal loan. If your mortgage is up for renewal and you've built up some equity, this may be a great solution.
When to consider a Secured Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit
Secured loans and lines of credit are protected with assets and provide the lenders the ability to increase the borrowing amount, lower interest rates, and work with a lower credit score. The main advantage of a secured loan is that you can access more capital when you use an asset to secure the loan. Secured loans require collateral and the process can be longer as the collateral must be verified by the lending institution. This step can be well worth your time when you receive lower interest rates.
A home equity loan will provide lower interest rates and we would recommend either a loan equity loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) if you have the time to wait. For many people that have just purchased their home or if the equity is not available to secure a home equity loan, an unsecured personal loan can get the job done and it can be completed very quickly.
Renovating your home can be one of the best ways to increase the value of a property. A home equity loan, home equity line of credit, refinancing your home or applying for an unsecured personal loan is four great options.
Refinancing your home, a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit (HELOC) loan amount will be based on the equity in your home. Your home will require an appraisal to determine it's new value. Mortgage providers will take a look at your current debt to Income Ratio (DTI) and determine the amount of risk they will take with your home's equity. We have seen lenders range from 65% to 80% of your properties value.
If your home is valued at $400,000 today, some lenders will offer you a new mortgage up to of your property value 80%, while another lender will offer you 65%. The lender will look at your DTI and your credit score to determine if you can manage the new monthly payment.
Renovating a Home has been one of the Best ways to increase Property Value
As we update this article in September 2018, the research that we have been seeing on remodeling and spending trends are still as strong today as they were in 2016. In the article attached from Harvard University, they are discussing spending levels and trends with remodeling in 2016. The graph below shows strong trends going forward. This is important to us as we were caught in a downturned market for many years and have been cautious in moving forward with additional spending.
Mortgage Refinance, Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit
The difference between your current property value and your mortgage is your equity. You are normally charged an appraisal fee and possibly a fee for setting up the HELOC or home equity loan. If you have been in your home for many years, the equity should be available for you to use for a home equity loan. If your mortgage is up for renewal, this is a great time to increase your existing mortgage instead of creating the credit line or HELOC.
You may also want to talk to your accountant or tax advisor about writing off the interest on the renovation costs. Not all Interest payments on home equity loans and HELOC's are tax deductible so make sure you do your research. Here are the links to connect to over 1,500 lenders offering home refinance, home equity and HELOC.
Personal Loan or unsecured credit line vs a Home Equity Loan, Refinance or HELOC
Home equity loans can work for you:
- The interest on the new loan may be tax deductible
- The interest rate on the HELOC and home equity loan are typically very reasonable with good credit
- You can spread the cost out over a long period of time and retain more of your savings
- You could add the new renovation cost to your existing mortgage if you start the work when your mortgage is up for renewal
- Depending on your renovation size, your work schedule and timing with contractors, a personal loan is done in days where a home equity loan could take a few weeks to complete.