The Best Personal Loans of 2019


Updated on November 26, 2019
By Kat Tretina

Whether you want to consolidate high-interest credit card debt or you have a major purchase to finance, you might be considering taking out a personal loan. That's a smart move, because personal loans carry much lower interest rates than credit cards, allowing you to save big money over the life of your loan. 

However, it’s a good idea to do some research before submitting a loan application. Interest rates and terms can vary widely from lender to lender, and you want to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Check out our carefully screened partners below to find a lender that will work for your needs.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is typically an unsecured form of debt, meaning you don’t have to put up any property as collateral. A personal loan gives you flexibility, allowing you to consolidate debt, pay for home repairs, finance a vacation, or even to cover the cost of your dream wedding.

What makes the best personal loan lenders?

There are literally hundreds of personal loan lenders out there, and, frankly, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the legitimate companies from the bad actors. At Nitro, we have relationships with trustworthy, established lenders.

They’ve gone through an extensive vetting process, and we selected them based on the following criteria:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Reasonable and flexible repayment options
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Responsiveness to customer questions
  • Lender’s history and reputation
#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Whether you're looking to pay off existing debt or make that big purchase, a Citizens One Personal Loan can help you achieve your financial goals.

  • APR: 6.79 - 20.89% (with AutoPay & Loyalty discounts)
  • No Fees.
  • 2 great discounts available: up to 0.50%
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Citizens Bank Personal Loans: Low Rates and No Existing Account Required

We'd recommend a Citizens Bank personal loan as a good option if you have good to excellent credit, especially if you are an existing customer of the bank. However, you don't have to be a customer to apply.

  • Loans from $5,000 - $50,000.
  • Types of loans: Kitchen & Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Engagement & Wedding, Vacations & Timeshares, Recreational Vehicles, and more!

Benefits of a Citizens Bank Personal Loan:

  • No fees ever: No application fees. No annual fees. No late fees. No fees at all.
  • No collateral: You don’t have to use your home or any other assets to qualify.
  • Access to funds: Have the funds in your account right away, often within 2 business days.

#2 View More Details

Low rates. No fees. Personal loans made easy.

  • APR: 5.99 - 17.67% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 680
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Pay off credit cards or invest in home improvements.

Are you paying more than 17% interest on your credit cards? SoFi Personal Loans could help you save thousands. With low personal loan interest rates and a fixed monthly payment, you can get loans to pay off credit cards, pay off high interest debt, or make a major purchase. It only takes minutes to apply.

  • No origination fees.
  • No pre-payment fees.
  • No late fees.
  • Low Rates: Borrow up to $100K with low rates ranging from 5.99% APR to 17.67% APR (With AutoPay).
  • Terms: 2-7 years
  • Easy Experience: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Community Benefits: If you lose your job, we'll temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job.
  • Pre-qualify: Find the rate you qualify for in 2 minutes with no commitment.
#3 View More Details

We're Offering Personal Loans With No Fees. Ever.

  • APR: 5.99 - 28.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

See if you're eligible for a personal loan from Marcus.

Get personal loan options in as few as 5 minutes. Here's how it works:

1) . Tell us about yourself. We’ll customize your personal loan options based on your input.

2). Choose your personal loan. Explore your loan options, and pick one that suits your budget and time frame.

3). Complete your application. Add a few details to verify your identity and finalize your personal loan application.

  • Loans up to $40,000
  • Types of loans: Debt Consolidation, Home Improvement, Wedding, Moving and Relocation, Vacation.

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.
  • No co-sign option.
#4 View More Details

Apply in minutes. Have funds in your account as soon as today.

  • APR: 3.99 - 16.79% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Finally, a loan that rewards your credit. Low rates, great service. Your best loan ever, guaranteed.

When you have a track record of financial responsibility, you deserve an exceptional rate and superior service.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.
  • No minimum income specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.
  • Loans types: Auto, Kitchen or Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Swimming Pool, Medical, Wedding, Timeshare, Etc...

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.
  • Requires several years of credit history.
#5 View More Details

Fund the Unexpected with Laurel Road. The simple solution for personal lending.

  • APR: 8.01 - 16.30% (with AutoPay)
  • Borrow up to: $45,000
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Life can be expensive.

Borrow up to $45,000 with flexible terms to fit your needs. Use a personal loan to pay off high rate credit cards and other high-interest debt, to make home improvements, and more.

With low rates and flexible terms, Laurel Road offers personal loans that fit your needs. Get rates in just two minutes and receive funds in as little as two business days.

  • Autopay discount: Eligible for discount of 0.25% when monthly payments are made automatically from a bank account
  • Min. Credit Score: Good to great
  • Unsecured Personal Loans
  • Online Application: Complete the entire process online from home at your pace.
  • Low Rates: Fixed APRs as low as 8.01%
  • Quick access to funds. Money disbursed directly to your bank account
#6 View More Details

Check Your Rate in Minutes!

  • APR: 5.99 - 29.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 640
  • Loans from: $2,000 to $35,000
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Manage your debt by simplifying your bills.

Put your credit card debt behind you. A low-interest loan from Best Egg gives you the freedom to pay off or pay down your higher-rate balances on credit cards and loans.

Determine how much you need to get things done. Request a loan from $2,000 to $35,000* to handle household remodeling, car repairs, vacations, and even medical expenses.

Make one fixed, monthly payment. Enjoy fixed Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) that range from 5.99% to 29.99%


Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Minimum annual income: Not specified, but average is $80,000.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified, but typically less than 35%.

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Low starting rates.
  • Pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Typical borrower has several years of credit history.

Benefits of a personal loan

When shopping for a personal loan, you should look for the following features:

  • No fees: The best personal loan lenders don’t charge any additional fees, meaning there are no application fees, annual fees, or origination fees. If you opt for a lender that does charge fees, you could be paying back extra money unnecessarily. Why add to the cost of your loan when you can get better terms elsewhere?
  • Quick loan disbursement: Most personal loan lenders offer you quick access to cash, which is important if you’re facing an emergency car repair or home improvement project. Once your application is approved, some lenders will disburse your funds in as little as two business days.
  • Interest rate discounts: Many personal loan lenders offer special interest rate discounts. If you qualify, these discounts could save you serious money over the life of your loan. For example, you could be eligible for a 0.25% rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments with certain lenders.
  • Loan terms: Reputable personal loan companies offer several different loan terms, ranging from one year to seven years in length, so you can choose an option that works best for your budget. Opting for a longer loan term means you’ll pay more in interest, but you’ll get a lower monthly payment.
  • Rate quotes: When shopping for a loan, it’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple lenders so you can find the best rates. Some lenders offer rate quotes with just a soft credit check, meaning there’s no impact to your credit score.

Who is eligible for a personal loan?

Eligibility criteria for a personal loan can vary from lender to lender. In general, they’re looking for borrowers who have good to excellent credit and stable incomes. When they evaluate your application, they’ll review your credit score to determine whether or not to issue you a loan and to decide what interest rate you’ll receive.

Most lenders will include their minimum eligibility requirements on their websites. 

If you can’t qualify for a loan on your own, some personal loan lenders allow you to apply with a cosigner. A cosigner — usually a friend or relative with excellent credit — shares responsibility for the loan and lessens the risk to the lender. With a cosigner, you’re more likely to qualify for a loan and score a low interest rate.

What are the typical rates and fees for a personal loan?

When it comes to personal loans, the following costs may apply:

  • Fees: Some personal loan lenders charge fees, such as late fees, application fees, or origination fees. Those added costs can make your loan more expensive, so it’s a good idea to look for lenders that don’t charge them. 
  • Penalties: Most reputable personal loan lenders don’t charge a pre-payment penalty if you pay off your loan ahead of schedule. If you think you’ll pay off your loan early, make sure there isn’t a penalty for doing do.
  • APR: The annual percentage rate (APR) is how much interest you’ll pay on your loan. The higher the interest rate, the more you’ll pay back over the length of your loan. Personal loans can have fixed or variable interest rates. Fixed rate loans have the same interest rate for the entire loan term. Variable rate loans tend to have lower interest rates than fixed rate loans at first, but the interest rate can fluctuate over time. If you prefer a predictable monthly payment, it's a good idea to opt for a fixed rate loan. 

How to compare the top personal loan lenders

While it's important to consider rates, fees, and payment terms, it’s a good idea to look beyond just the numbers as well; it’s essential that you choose a reputable and trustworthy lender with a reputation for helping customers.

 

CitizensBank PL Logo

Named one of the “best banks in America” by Money magazine, Citizens is a consistently solid choice for a personal loan. Even though it’s one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, Citizens has shown a commitment to being at the cutting edge of technology, offering both convenience and stability to their customers. Plus, Citizens has an excellent record of civic responsibility and engagement. Their staff provides more than 85,000 hours of volunteer time each year to various causes, including teaching financial literacy in the communities they serve. So it’s a bank you can feel good about doing business with.

Key features of a Citizens Bank personal loan:

  • Borrow from $5,000 to $50,000.
  • Lenders' rates fluctuate all the time based on market conditions, but Citizens has a rock-solid history of offering some of the lowest interest rates available at any given time. 
  • On top of already low interest rates, you can take advantage of multiple discount opportunities. If you sign up for automatic payments, Citizens Bank will reduce your interest rate by 0.25%. And, if you’re already a Citizens Bank customer, you can qualify for an additional 0.25% loyalty discount.
  • Get a fast, easy rate quote that won’t ding your credit. The process takes just two minutes, and it has no impact on your credit score.
  • No need to worry about fees. Citizens Bank doesn’t charge application fees, annual fees, or even late fees.

Apply Now with Citizens Bank

lender-redirect-sofi

The folks behind SoFi, which stands for “social finance,” feel your pain when it comes to debt. The company was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. Today, they offer a variety of lending products through their online platform.

Key benefits of a SoFi personal loan include:

  • Borrow up to $100,000 — a higher maximum loan amount than offered by most other lenders.
  • Complete your application online. SoFi is all about making the lending process fast and easy.
  • If you’re a highly qualified borrower and you take advantage of available discounts, you could score an interest rate as allow as 5.99%, as of September 2019.
  • If you lose your job through no fault of your own, SoFi may allow you to deter payments temporarily until you get back on your feet. (However, it’s important to note that interest will continue to accrue during the non-payment period.)

Marcus PL Logo

Marcus is the retail banking arm of finance giant Goldman Sachs. Founded in 2016, Marcus currently focuses on two things: high-interest savings accounts and personal loans. By tightly focusing on these two areas, the company is able to offer highly customized financial products.

Key benefits of a Marcus personal loan include:

  • Award-winning customer service. The company was named #1 in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power.
  • After 12 consecutive on-time payments, you have the option to defer one monthly payment with no additional interest or fees.
  • Personalized loan options based on your desired payment term and monthly payment. Their handy online calculator can help you determine how much you need to borrow, and help you design a payment plan that will set you up for success.

LightStream PL Logo

Lighstream is the digital banking arm of SunTrust Bank. It was founded with the vision to simplify the lending process for borrowers with good to excellent credit. If you have a high credit score and a solid income history, Lightstream is definitely worth taking a look at.

Key benefits of a Lightstream personal loan:

  • If you have excellent credit, you could qualify for loans up to $100,000. (However, it’s important to note that your online application will involve a hard credit pull, so do a little homework on qualifications before you apply.)
  • As part of its Rate Beat program, Lightstream says it will beat any competitor’s interest rate by 0.10% if you can show that you’ve been approved for a loan of identical terms.
  • It’s possible to apply, be approved, and receive your money all on the same day.

LaurelRoad_Logo_2CB-3

Laurel Road has small-town roots, but it has grown into a national online lending powerhouse. In fact, it was one of the first lenders to completely digitize the loan process using proprietary technology. Expect a seamless online experience if you decide to take a out a loan from Laurel Road.

Key benefits of a Laurel Road personal loan:

  • • Borrow up to $45,000.
  • • Apply online and get the money disbursed right into your bank account.
  • • Get 0.25% knocked off your interest rate when you sign up for automatic payments.

bestegg PL Logo

Best Egg is an online-only lending platform that was conceptualized by veterans from the banking industry who wanted to bring a tech-startup vibe to online lending. The goal: make banking easy for the way that people live today.

Key benefits of a Best Egg personal loan:

  • APRs start as low as 5.99% for highly qualified borrowers.
  • Borrow from $2,000-$35,000.
  • There are no prepayment penalties.
  • About half of approved applicants get their money within 24 hours of approval.
  • You can get a no-obligation pre-approval online without a hard pull on your credit.

Personal loan FAQ

1. What do I need to apply?

In most cases, you can apply for a personal loan online; the process takes just a few minutes.

To complete the application, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Employer name and contact number
  • Monthly rent or mortgage payment

2. Does it cost money to apply for a personal loan?

Most reputable personal loan lenders don’t charge an application fee. 

3. Will applying for a personal loan affect my credit?

When you submit a full application for a personal loan, lenders will perform a hard credit inquiry, which does impact your credit.

To shop around and get the lowest rates, it’s a good idea to get rate quotes before you apply. Some lenders will allow you to get an estimate with just a soft credit check, which doesn’t affect your credit.

4. How long does it take to get approved for a personal loan?

Most personal loan companies will make a decision within a few minutes after submitting your application. In some cases, the lender may reach out to you for additional information or documentation, such as copies of your pay stubs.

If approved, you can get your money in as little as two business days.

Best Personal Loans of 2019

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Whether you're looking to pay off existing debt or make that big purchase, a Citizens One Personal Loan can help you achieve your financial goals.

  • APR: 6.79 - 20.89% (with AutoPay & Loyalty discounts)
  • No Fees.
  • 2 great discounts available: up to 0.50%
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Citizens Bank Personal Loans: Low Rates and No Existing Account Required

We'd recommend a Citizens Bank personal loan as a good option if you have good to excellent credit, especially if you are an existing customer of the bank. However, you don't have to be a customer to apply.

  • Loans from $5,000 - $50,000.
  • Types of loans: Kitchen & Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Engagement & Wedding, Vacations & Timeshares, Recreational Vehicles, and more!

Benefits of a Citizens Bank Personal Loan:

  • No fees ever: No application fees. No annual fees. No late fees. No fees at all.
  • No collateral: You don’t have to use your home or any other assets to qualify.
  • Access to funds: Have the funds in your account right away, often within 2 business days.

#2 View More Details

Low rates. No fees. Personal loans made easy.

  • APR: 5.99 - 17.67% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 680
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Pay off credit cards or invest in home improvements.

Are you paying more than 17% interest on your credit cards? SoFi Personal Loans could help you save thousands. With low personal loan interest rates and a fixed monthly payment, you can get loans to pay off credit cards, pay off high interest debt, or make a major purchase. It only takes minutes to apply.

  • No origination fees.
  • No pre-payment fees.
  • No late fees.
  • Low Rates: Borrow up to $100K with low rates ranging from 5.99% APR to 17.67% APR (With AutoPay).
  • Terms: 2-7 years
  • Easy Experience: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Community Benefits: If you lose your job, we'll temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job.
  • Pre-qualify: Find the rate you qualify for in 2 minutes with no commitment.
#3 View More Details

We're Offering Personal Loans With No Fees. Ever.

  • APR: 5.99 - 28.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

See if you're eligible for a personal loan from Marcus.

Get personal loan options in as few as 5 minutes. Here's how it works:

1) . Tell us about yourself. We’ll customize your personal loan options based on your input.

2). Choose your personal loan. Explore your loan options, and pick one that suits your budget and time frame.

3). Complete your application. Add a few details to verify your identity and finalize your personal loan application.

  • Loans up to $40,000
  • Types of loans: Debt Consolidation, Home Improvement, Wedding, Moving and Relocation, Vacation.

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.
  • No co-sign option.
#4 View More Details

Apply in minutes. Have funds in your account as soon as today.

  • APR: 3.99 - 16.79% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 660
  • Min. annual income: None
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Finally, a loan that rewards your credit. Low rates, great service. Your best loan ever, guaranteed.

When you have a track record of financial responsibility, you deserve an exceptional rate and superior service.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.
  • No minimum income specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.
  • Loans types: Auto, Kitchen or Bath Remodel, Debt Consolidation, Swimming Pool, Medical, Wedding, Timeshare, Etc...

Pros

  • No fees.
  • Co-sign option.
  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.
  • Requires several years of credit history.
#5 View More Details

Fund the Unexpected with Laurel Road. The simple solution for personal lending.

  • APR: 8.01 - 16.30% (with AutoPay)
  • Borrow up to: $45,000
  • Terms: 3-5 years
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Life can be expensive.

Borrow up to $45,000 with flexible terms to fit your needs. Use a personal loan to pay off high rate credit cards and other high-interest debt, to make home improvements, and more.

With low rates and flexible terms, Laurel Road offers personal loans that fit your needs. Get rates in just two minutes and receive funds in as little as two business days.

  • Autopay discount: Eligible for discount of 0.25% when monthly payments are made automatically from a bank account
  • Min. Credit Score: Good to great
  • Unsecured Personal Loans
  • Online Application: Complete the entire process online from home at your pace.
  • Low Rates: Fixed APRs as low as 8.01%
  • Quick access to funds. Money disbursed directly to your bank account
#6 View More Details

Check Your Rate in Minutes!

  • APR: 5.99 - 29.99% (with AutoPay)
  • Min. Credit Score: 640
  • Loans from: $2,000 to $35,000
View More Details
Check Rate View Loan Disclosure

Manage your debt by simplifying your bills.

Put your credit card debt behind you. A low-interest loan from Best Egg gives you the freedom to pay off or pay down your higher-rate balances on credit cards and loans.

Determine how much you need to get things done. Request a loan from $2,000 to $35,000* to handle household remodeling, car repairs, vacations, and even medical expenses.

Make one fixed, monthly payment. Enjoy fixed Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) that range from 5.99% to 29.99%


Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Minimum annual income: Not specified, but average is $80,000.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not specified, but typically less than 35%.

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Low starting rates.
  • Pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.
  • Typical borrower has several years of credit history.

Looking for a personal loan? Check out our top pick for 2019.

 

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