The Best Debt Consolidation Loans of 2020


Updated on December 30, 2019
By Jen Williamso

Have a lot of different debts? If so, your best bet for paying them off fast may be consolidation. When you consolidate your loans, you replace multiple types of debt with a single loan.

Consolidating all your debts under a personal loan brings several key advantages that can help improve your credit.

Benefits of a debt consolidation loan

  • Replacing more-harmful debt with less-harmful debt. Personal loans, such as debt consolidation loans, are installment loans. This type of debt is less harmful to your credit score than credit card debt, which is revolving debt.
  • Diversifying your credit mix. If you have a lot of one type of debt—such as credit card debt—replacing some of it with a different type of loan can also help your credit.
  • Reducing your credit utilization ratio. This ratio is the amount of debt you have on your credit cards, vs. the limits on those cards. The higher your ratio, the lower your credit score. Replacing maxed-out cards with a personal loan can help.

Consolidating your loans with a personal loan can help your credit score. But not all debt consolidation loans are equal. Some have better terms than others—and it’s essential to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible with a reputable lender.

We’ve conducted exhaustive research to identify some of the best debt consolidation loans on the market. Here’s our list of carefully-screened top picks:

#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 - 18.28% (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 18.28% 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.

What makes a great debt-consolidation lender?

So where can you get the best deal on a debt consolidation loan to consolidate your debt? Which rates and terms are the best—and which lenders are trustworthy?

We’ve developed relationships with several key lenders that we’ve put through an exhaustive screening process. Some factors we’ve researched include:

  • Their interest rates—and how they compare with competitors
  • Their repayment terms and options
  • Discounts offered
  • Penalties and fees
  • Customer service
  • Lender history and reputation

What to look for in a debt consolidation loan

When it comes to a debt consolidation loan, how do you know when you’re looking at a great deal? Here are a few factors to take into account:

Interest rates

Different lenders will offer you different rates depending on your credit score, earning potential, and other factors. The best way to compare rates is to fill out an application on their website and get a custom quote. Most lenders will do a “soft pull” on your finances to find out your credit history, which will not impact your credit score.

Fixed vs. variable rates

Most personal loans have a fixed interest rate—meaning the rate stays the same throughout your loan period.

However, some lenders also offer loans with a variable interest rate that changes month by month based on market fluctuations. They’re usually based on the U.S. prime rate, a baseline rate for loans issued in America.

Fixed rates make it easier to plan your finances on a monthly basis—while a variable rate can add some unpredictability to the mix. However, variable-rate loans tend to start out with lower interest rates overall. Some have a maximum limit, but if you opt for a variable rate loan, it’s important to check.

Repayment terms

Terms can vary depending on the lender. However, many personal debt consolidation loans take approximately three to five years to repay.

Some lenders don’t offer personal loans under or over a certain amount. There’s a wide range of limits out there; some banks won’t loan more than $25,000 in personal loans, while others will go up to $100,000 or more.

By contrast, some banks may have minimum limits of $1,000, $10,000, or no minimum limit at all. However, small loan amounts may include very high interest rates and fees—so be aware.

Fees and penalties

Fees and penalties can add up quickly, increasing the cost of your loan over time.

Some typical fees and penalties include origination fees, prepayment fees, and additional fees for bounced checks and late payments. A few lenders may charge a fee for applying for a loan, or for paying by check.

Discounts

Some lenders offer discounts off your interest rate for things like setting up automatic payments, opening a checking account with the same lender, or making 12 on-time payments.

Determining your eligibility for a debt consolidation loan

Lenders have different criteria for assessing your eligibility. These include your current debt level, credit score, debt-to-income potential, and current income.

Interest rates and fees: how much a debt consolidation loan costs

One key consideration is how much your new debt consolidation loan costs. There are a few variables to take into account.

Interest rates

Your interest rate, or APR, is the amount you pay every month on top of the original amount of the loan. Most personal loans have fixed rates that stay the same through the life of the loan. A few have variable rates, which change based on market fluctuations.

Calculate the average of all interest rates on the loans you plan to consolidate. Ideally, your new debt consolidation loan won’t have an interest rate higher than that.

However, your interest rate isn’t the only thing that determines how expensive your loan is.

Fees

Many lenders charge flat fees for various services. These are usually charged only once, or when you need the specific service. A few common ones include:

  • An origination fee for drafting your loan: these may range from 0% to 8% of the amount of your loan.
  • An application fee: Some lenders charge a fee to review your loan application. It’s often nonrefundable, even if the lender opts not to offer you a loan.
  • A check processing fee: Some lenders try to encourage you to set up direct deposit by charging fees for processing your checks. This fee is usually a flat rate; it can be as much as $7 per check.

Penalties

Some lenders charge penalties for various transgressions as well. These may be flat amounts, or a percentage of your payment. Some common penalties include:

  • Prepayment fees: Some lenders charge you more for paying your loan off before the deadline.
  • Late fees: There may be a fee for not paying your bill on time. It can be a flat amount or a percentage of your payment.
  • Bounced-check fees: These are charged when you don’t have enough in your bank account to cover your loan payment check.

Our review of the top lenders

Still not sure how different lenders stack up? Here’s a point-by-point comparison of our top lenders.

 

CitizensBank PL Logo

Named one of the “best banks in America” by Money magazine, Citizens is a consistently solid choice for a debt consolidation 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 debt consolidation 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. You can get a rate estimate without completing a full loan application. 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 debt consolidation 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 debt consolidation loans. By tightly focusing on these two areas, the company is able to offer highly customized financial products.

Key benefits of a Marcus debt consolidation 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 debt consolidation 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 debt consolidation 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 debt consolidation 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.

FAQs about debt consolidation loans

Q: How do I apply?

Most lenders have an online application and some may even allow you to apply over the phone. Some information you may need includes:

      • • Tax returns
      • • Information on your employment and income
      • • Bank statements
      • • Legal identification and basic info about yourself (address, social security no., etc.)

Q: How long does it take to get approved?

You can often a preliminary approval in minutes. However, the official approval may take a few days to a week, depending on whether the lender needs additional information from you.

Q: Is a fixed or variable interest rate better?

There are pros and cons to each, but most people find that a fixed rate is preferable because the interest rate stays the same over the life of your loan. That’s good news if you want to keep your monthly payment the same and predictable. This is often better for long-term loans.

Variable rates fluctuate based on the market. Depending when you apply, you may start off with a lower interest rate but it may change over time. Often, variable rates work better for shorter-term loans that can be paid off quickly.

Q: How much can I borrow?

Most lenders have minimum and maximum limits, and they’re all different. A typical range may be from approximately $5,000 to $50,000, but you may be eligible to borrow more if you have a strong credit score and income.

Q: How soon will I get my check after the loan is approved?

This depends on your lender. Some may promise your cash within 24 hours, however, two to three days is more typical. Some lenders may take as long as a week or even a month. This could be an important consideration if you need access to your funds quickly.

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 - 18.28% (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 18.28% 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.

 

Check Rates