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Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™
100.00 – 20000.00 $

Interest rate

from 0.05 %

Loan term for the financial product

5 days – 3 months

A personal loan epitomizes a financial instrument designed to provide individuals with access to a lump sum of money for diverse purposes, ranging from consolidating debts to funding home improvements or covering unexpected expenses. Unlike specialized loans such as mortgages or auto loans, personal loans offer borrowers considerable flexibility in how they utilize the borrowed funds. Typically disbursed by banks, credit unions, or online lenders, personal loans come with predefined repayment terms, usually ranging from two to seven years, during which borrowers must make fixed monthly payments until the loan is fully repaid. These loans are commonly characterized by their unsecured nature, meaning they do not require collateral for approval. Instead, lenders primarily assess applicants' creditworthiness, income stability, and debt-to-income ratio to determine eligibility and loan terms.

Lenders evaluate prospective borrowers based on various factors, prominently including their credit scores, which serve as a quantitative measure of their creditworthiness. A higher credit score often correlates with a lower perceived risk for lenders, resulting in more favorable loan terms, such as lower interest rates and higher loan amounts.


  1. Fixed Monthly Payments. Personal loans usually come with fixed monthly payments, ensuring consistent loan payment amounts throughout the life of the loan. This predictability helps borrowers manage their budgets effectively, as they know the exact amount due each month.

  2. No Collateral. Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning they do not require borrowers to pledge any assets as collateral. This feature eliminates the risk of losing personal property, such as a car or home if the borrower defaults on the loan.

  3. Repayment Terms of Two to Seven Years. The repayment period for personal loans typically ranges from two to seven years. Longer terms result in lower monthly payments but accrue more interest over time. Conversely, shorter terms involve higher monthly payments but reduce the total interest paid.

  4. Fixed Interest Rates. Personal loans generally have fixed interest rates, which means the rate remains constant for the entire loan term. This stability allows borrowers to predict their monthly payments and overall loan costs accurately.

  5. Loan Amounts. Personal loan amounts can vary widely, typically ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Some lenders may offer loans as small as $250 or as large as $100,000, depending on the borrower's creditworthiness and financial profile.

Pros and Cons


Quick Access to Funds. Personal loans can be processed and disbursed quickly, often within a few business days. Some lenders even offer same-day funding, making personal loans an excellent option for urgent financial needs.

Credit Building Opportunity. On-time payments can help build and improve your credit score, as lenders report loan activity to credit bureaus. This can enhance your creditworthiness for future borrowing needs.

No Restrictions on Use. Personal loans can be used for almost any purpose, from consolidating debt to financing a wedding or covering emergency expenses. This flexibility makes them a versatile financial tool.


Origination Fees. Many personal loans include origination fees, which can range from 1% to 10% of the loan amount. This fee can either be deducted from your loan proceeds or added to the loan balance, increasing the overall cost of the loan.

Impact on Credit Score. Applying for a personal loan typically involves a hard credit inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score. Additionally, missed payments can significantly damage your credit score.

Variable Approval Criteria. Approval for personal loans depends heavily on your creditworthiness and financial profile. Borrowers with lower credit scores may face higher interest rates or may not qualify for the desired loan amount, limiting their options.

How to Get a Personal Loan

Apply for a loan

  1. Assess Your Financial Situation. Before applying for a personal loan, it's crucial to evaluate your financial health. Your credit score is a major factor in loan approval and the interest rate you'll receive. Check your credit score and report for any errors that might affect your eligibility. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio by dividing your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income. Lenders prefer a ratio below 36%.

  2. Research Lenders and Loan Options. Not all lenders offer the same terms, so it’s essential to shop around. For example, traditional banks often offer personal loans with competitive rates for existing customers. Credit unions may provide lower rates and more personalized service.

  3. Pre-Qualify for a Loan. Many lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a loan, which involves a soft credit check that won’t affect your credit score. Pre-qualification provides an estimate of the loan amount, interest rate, and terms you might receive. Use this opportunity to compare offers from multiple lenders.

  4. Gather Necessary Documentation. Prepare the documents you’ll need for the formal application process. Commonly required documents include a valid ID such as a driver’s license or passport, pay stubs, tax returns, or bank statements, and contact information for your employer or a signed letter of employment.

  5. Submit a Formal Application. Once you’ve chosen a lender, complete the formal application. Provide personal information, the loan amount requested, and the purpose of the loan. The lender will perform a hard credit inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score.

  6. Reviewing Loan Terms. Carefully review the loan terms, including the interest rate, repayment schedule, and any fees.

  7. Receive Personal Loan Funds. If your application is approved, you’ll receive the loan agreement to sign. After loan closing, the lender will disburse the funds. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a few business days, depending on the lender.


  1. Credit Score. Typically lenders require a credit score of 690 or higher for the best rates, 630 to 689 may still qualify but at higher rates, and below 630, eligible for some loans but with significantly higher rates.

  2. Income. Pay stubs, tax returns, or bank statements are required. Minimum income requirements vary by lender; some may require a minimum annual income (e.g., $25,000).

  3. Employment Verification. Full-time employment or a stable source of income such as freelance earnings, alimony, or Social Security benefits. Some lenders may require proof of employment for a certain period (e.g., at least 6 months).

  4. Identification and Residency. Driver’s license, passport, or state ID. Proof of address such as utility bills or lease agreements.


  1. Loan Amounts. $1,000 to $50,000 (some lenders may offer as low as $250 and as high as $100,000). Personal loans can be used for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical bills, large purchases, and other expenses.

  2. Interest Rates. Fixed rates typically range from 6% to 36%. Variable rates are less common for personal loans but may be offered by some lenders.

  3. Loan Terms. Usually between 2 to 7 years (some lenders may offer terms up to 12 years for larger loans).

  4. Fees. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 10% of the loan amount. Some lenders may charge a fee for paying off the loan early. Late fees are applicable if a payment is missed or delayed.

  5. Discounts and Benefits. Interest rate discounts are available for setting up automatic payments or having a banking relationship with the lender.

Ways to Get the Money

  1. Direct Deposit into Bank Account. The most common method is where the lender deposits the loan funds directly into the borrower’s checking or savings account. The time frame is typically within 24 to 48 hours after loan approval. Active bank account information must be provided during the application process.

  2. Check by Mail. Some lenders may send the loan amount via a physical check mailed to the borrower’s address. It usually takes a few business days to a week, depending on postal services.

  3. In-Person Cash or Check Pickup. Certain banks and credit unions offer the option to pick up the loan amount in cash or check directly from a branch. The funds can be collected immediately after loan approval and paperwork completion.

Best Places to Get a Personal Loan Nearby

  1. OneMain Financial stands as a lender with a century-long legacy, offering personal loans spanning from $1,500 to $20,000. Their commitment to reliability is evident in their fixed-rate loans and predictable payment plans, ensuring borrowers can manage repayments with ease. With an expansive network of approximately 1,400 locations, OneMain Financial prioritizes accessibility and personalized service, catering to the diverse financial needs of individuals across the country.

  2. Mariner Finance provides personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. With a history dating back to 1927, they offer a convenient online application process, often delivering same-day responses. Their extensive network of over 480 branches in 28 states underscores their commitment to accessibility and customer service excellence, making them a reliable choice for borrowers seeking financial support.

  3. Tower Loan offers accessible and flexible lending solutions, catering to a wide range of financial needs with loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $20,000. Their numerous offices across six states and over 240 cities ensure convenience for customers seeking financial assistance. As a reputable financial institution, Tower Loan provides reliable support for both unexpected expenses and planned investments, prioritizing customer satisfaction and financial stability.

  4. World Finance is a reputable lender offering personal installment loans tailored for individuals with imperfect credit or limited credit history. Their loans, ranging from $450 to $10,000 in most states (and up to $12,000 in select states), emphasize responsible borrowing and financial management. Unlike high-risk alternatives like payday or title loans, World Finance prioritizes the borrower's overall financial situation, working collaboratively to establish manageable monthly payments based on their ability to repay.

Online payday loan lenders can provide an alternative solution if you cannot find a suitable lender in your particular location. Online payday loan lenders offer accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing borrowers to apply for loans quickly and conveniently without the need for physical branches.

  1. SoFi is a financial platform with a remarkable track record, serving a vast community of over 6 million members. Their platform has facilitated rewards exceeding $35 million and has aided in paying off an impressive $34 billion in debt while funding loans totaling $73 billion. Offering attractive features, SoFi allows borrowers to consolidate high-rate debts into a single, manageable fixed payment, potentially saving significantly. With loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, borrowers can access funds swiftly, either receiving them the same day they sign the agreement or having their credit card balances paid off directly. Moreover, SoFi offers unemployment protection, adjusting loan payments during periods of financial uncertainty, and assisting individuals in finding new employment opportunities.

  2. Upgrade is a financial platform renowned for offering personal loans of up to $50,000 with competitive and low fixed rates. One of its primary advantages is the ability to consolidate multiple bills into a single, affordable monthly payment, simplifying financial management for borrowers. With a fast funding process, Upgrade ensures that qualified applicants promptly receive the funds they need, empowering them to address their financial needs with efficiency. Whether for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses, or other personal requirements, Upgrade provides a reliable source of financial support with transparent terms and flexible options.

Things to Pay Attention To

  1. Interest Rates. Interest rates determine the cost of borrowing and significantly impact the total amount you'll repay over the loan term. Lower interest rates result in lower overall costs.

  2. Fees. Pay attention to any fees associated with the loan, such as origination fees, prepayment penalties, and late fees. These fees can add to the overall cost of the loan and affect affordability.

  3. Credit Requirements. Review the lender's credit score requirements to assess your eligibility. Some lenders cater to borrowers with excellent credit, while others may offer options for those with fair or poor credit.

  4. Collateral. Determine whether the loan requires collateral, such as a vehicle or savings account. Secured loans may offer lower interest rates but pose a risk of asset loss if you default on payments.

  5. Reputation and Reviews. Research the lender's reputation and read reviews from previous borrowers to gauge customer satisfaction and service quality. A reputable lender is transparent and responsive to customer concerns.

How to Repay a Personal Loan?

  1. Understand Repayment Terms. Familiarize yourself with the terms outlined in your loan agreement, including the repayment schedule, interest rate, and any applicable fees.

  2. Set Up Automatic Payments. Opt for automatic payments through your lender to ensure consistency and avoid missed payments. Automatic withdrawals can be scheduled on your payday to coincide with your cash flow.

  3. Consider Extra Payments. If possible, make extra payments towards your loan principal to pay off the debt faster and reduce overall interest costs. Even small additional payments can make a significant difference over time.

  4. Communicate with Your Lender. If you encounter financial difficulties or anticipate difficulty making payments, contact your lender immediately. They may offer assistance options such as deferment, forbearance, or restructuring the loan terms.

  5. Monitor Your Loan Balance. Regularly review your loan statements to track your remaining balance, interest accrued, and payment history.

Reasons for Getting Rejected for a Personal Loan

  1. Low Credit Score. Lenders often use credit scores to assess the risk of lending to a borrower. A low credit score indicates a history of missed payments, high credit utilization, or other credit issues, making it more challenging to qualify for a personal loan.

  2. Insufficient Income. Lenders evaluate your income to ensure you have the financial capacity to repay the loan. If your income is deemed insufficient to cover loan payments after considering existing debt obligations, you may be denied approval.

  3. High Debt-to-Income Ratio. Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), calculated by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income, is a key factor in loan decisions. A high DTI suggests that a significant portion of your income is already allocated to debt repayment, raising concerns about your ability to manage additional debt.

  4. Limited Credit History. A limited credit history, especially for young adults or individuals who are new to credit, may result in loan rejection. Lenders rely on credit history to assess creditworthiness, and insufficient credit history provides little insight into your repayment behavior.

  5. Unstable Employment. Lenders prefer borrowers with stable employment and a consistent income stream. Frequent job changes, unemployment, or irregular income may signal financial instability, leading to loan rejection.


  1. Credit Cards. Credit cards offer a revolving line of credit that you can use for various purchases and expenses. They provide flexibility in spending and repayment, allowing you to borrow up to a certain credit limit and pay off the balance over time. However, be mindful of high interest rates and potential credit card debt accumulation if not managed responsibly.

  2. Home Equity Loans or Lines of Credit. If you own a home with sufficient equity, you may qualify for a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC). These secured loans use your home as collateral, typically offering lower interest rates than unsecured personal loans. Home equity loans provide a lump sum, while HELOCs allow you to borrow against a revolving credit line as needed.

  3. Credit Union Loans. Credit unions, non-profit financial institutions owned by their members, often offer competitive loan rates and terms. Personal loans from credit unions may be more accessible to individuals with lower credit scores and may include perks such as lower interest rates and flexible repayment options.

  4. Peer-to-Peer Lending. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms connect borrowers with individual investors willing to fund loans. These online lending platforms offer an alternative to traditional banks and may provide competitive rates and flexible terms. P2P loans typically require a thorough application process and credit evaluation.

Editorial Opinion

Personal loans serve as a versatile financial tool for individuals seeking funds for various purposes, from consolidating debt to covering unexpected expenses. While offering convenience and flexibility, personal loans come with considerations such as interest rates, fees, and repayment terms that borrowers should carefully evaluate. Like any financial product, personal loans have both advantages and potential drawbacks, and individuals should weigh their options thoughtfully and consider their unique financial circumstances before committing to a loan.


Keeping your Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio below 30-40% of your monthly income is crucial. This will help you avoid potential financial problems in the future. Additionally, always assess the necessity and feasibility of taking a loan, ensuring you can comfortably manage its repayment.

How to Choose a Lender

  1. Make sure to confirm whether the lender is licensed to operate in your state. You can verify this information with your state regulator or attorney general.

  2. Check if the lender is a member of a reputable association, such as the Community Financial Services Association of America. Membership in such organizations may provide an extra level of reliability.

  3. Carefully review all the terms and conditions of your payday loan contract.

  4. Thoroughly examine the interest rates on payday loans and ensure that your contract includes a detailed breakdown of the total cost of the loan.

  5. Take advantage of your right of rescission. Usually, you can rescind the loan within three days after signing the agreement. Alternatively, there is typically a "cooling-off" period, which allows you several days to thoroughly review the contract before making an informed decision to enter into a consumer loan agreement based on the terms specified by the lender.

  6. Choosing a payday lender is a significant decision that demands careful consideration and a good understanding of how such organizations operate.

Additional resources


How can I find personal loan lenders near me?

Finding personal loan lenders near you can be as simple as conducting an online search or checking local directories. Banks, credit unions, and online lenders often have branches or offices in various communities, making it convenient to access loan products and speak with representatives in person.

Additionally, many financial institutions offer online loan applications, allowing you to apply for a personal loan from the comfort of your own home while still benefiting from the services of a local lender. Utilizing online resources and tools can help you identify nearby lenders and explore your borrowing options efficiently.

Can I borrow money with a 500 credit score?

Having a credit score of 500 or below can pose challenges when seeking traditional loans from banks or credit unions, as lenders typically prefer borrowers with higher credit scores, which are indicative of lower risk. However, individuals with lower credit scores may still have options for borrowing money. Some online lenders specialize in providing loans to individuals with poor or fair credit, offering tailored loan products with higher interest rates and more lenient eligibility criteria. While borrowing with a 500 credit score may limit your options and result in higher costs, exploring alternative lenders can help you secure the funds you need.

What is the easiest place to get a loan?

When searching for the easiest place to get an unsecured personal loan, it's essential to consider factors such as convenience, accessibility, and eligibility requirements. Online lenders often offer streamlined application processes and quick approval times, making them a popular choice for borrowers seeking fast access to funds.

Many online lenders provide pre-qualification tools that allow you to check your eligibility and potential loan terms without impacting your credit score, helping you compare options and choose the most suitable loan product for your needs. Additionally, payday loan providers and cash advance services may offer quick approval and funding for individuals facing urgent financial situations, although these options often come with higher interest rates and fees, so careful consideration is advised before proceeding.