The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, December 8, 2022

2022's BestPersonal Loans

Our team of finance experts have reviewed and rated the top personal loan services below, ranking them based on each service's reputation, offer details, loan terms, and approval rates.

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Personal Loans Category Editor

Toby Sembower has hand-rated and ranked the top personal loans services.

  • Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $35,000
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Loans can be used for anything
  • Five minute application
  • Funding possible in as few as 24 hours
  • Large lending network with multiple partners
Overall Rating
  • Short-term loans up to $5,000
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2 million customers
  • Not available in NY or CT
Overall Rating
  • Loans from $500 to $10,000
  • All credit types accepted
  • Receive a loan decision in minutes
  • Get funds directly to your bank account
  • Use the loan for any purpose
Overall Rating
  • Quick loans of up to $5,000
  • Submit one form to receive multiple options without harming your credit score
  • All credit ratings welcome to apply
  • Requires a driver's license, bank account, and SSN
  • Get your funds as soon as tomorrow
Overall Rating
  • Loans from $250 to $5,000 available
  • Cash deposited directly into your account
  • Get money as soon as tomorrow
  • Bad Credit OK
  • More than 750,000 customers since 1998
Overall Rating
  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $10,000
  • Compare quotes from a network of lenders
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Easy online application & 5-minute approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Lending partners in all 50 states
  • Loans can be used for any purpose
  • Fast online approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
  • Personal loans from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types are considered and welcome
  • Simple, no credit impact form
  • Helping consumers since 2001
  • 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot rating with 2,000+ reviews!
Overall Rating
  • Personal loans from $100 to $20,000
  • Receive an approval decision in as little as 2 minutes
  • Funds can be deposited into your account in one business day and used for any purpose
  • No hidden fees
Overall Rating
  • Loan amounts range from $100 to $1,000
  • Short-term loans with flexible credit requirements
  • Compare quotes from a network of lenders
  • 5-minute approvals and 24-hour funding
  • Minimum monthly income of $1,000 required
  • Current employment with 90 days on the job required
Overall Rating

7 Important Facts About Personal Loans

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Finance Editor
7 Important Facts About Personal Loans

The most flexible of all loans, personal loans can be used to accomplish a wide range of financial goals. Before you start filling out those loan applications, however, be sure you know all the facts.

1. Personal Loans Are Unsecured Credit Lines

One of the key things that separates a personal loan from an auto loan or home mortgage is the fact that most personal loans are unsecured credit lines. This means you won’t be required to supply a cash deposit or other form of collateral to obtain a personal loan.

On the other hand, the financial risk represented by an unsecured loan is much higher than the risk of a secured loan because the creditor has no vehicle or property to use to recoup its losses. Therefore, the interest rates and other fees of a personal loan will typically be higher than those for secured credit lines.

2. Short-Term and Installment Loans Are Repaid Differently

When looking for a personal loan, you’ll likely come across two main types: short-term loans and installment loans. In general, the difference between the loan types will come down to the length of the loan and the way the loan is repaid.

Specifically, short-term personal loans will usually have terms from seven days to six months and require that the entire balance — the principal loan plus any applicable interest — be paid on the due date. In contrast, installment loans have terms as long as 72 months and are repaid via a series of smaller, regular payments (called installments).

3. Your Interest Rate Will Depend on Your Credit

As with most credit products, personal loans will charge interest fees based on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of the individual loan. While some variation in APRs will be present across providers and regions, the specific APR you are offered will primarily come down to your personal credit.

Those with the highest credit scores will typically receive offers with the lowest rates and fees. At the same time, applicants with low credit scores or limited credit histories will be more likely to receive offers with higher interest rates and fees.

4. Personal Loans Can Be Used to Consolidate Debt

One of the most common uses of a personal loan is to consolidate other types of debt, such as credit card debt that is spread across several cards. Since personal loans generally have much lower interest rates than credit cards and other revolving debt, consolidating with a personal loan can lower your interest rate as well as merge multiple debts into a single, easier-to-manage loan.[/about_item]

5. Borrowers with Bad Credit May Need a Co-Signer

Although the credit marketplace is full of lenders willing to lend to those with poor credit, that credit may have a few catches. This includes paying higher interest rates and fees than those with good credit. Additionally, consumers with very low credit scores or limited credit histories may be required to use a co-signer when applying.

A co-signer is another adult with good credit who acts as a guarantor; in essence, the co-signer agrees to pay the loan if the primary borrower is unable to do so. A well-qualified co-signer can not only increase your chances of approval, but may also help you obtain a lower interest rate.

6. Long-Term Loans Tend to Result in Paying More Interest Overall

Given the fact that personal loans can have extensive term lengths, it may be tempting to take on the longest possible loan period to ensure the lowest monthly payments. Unfortunately, what few consider about this strategy is that it increases the overall interest paid on the loan by a considerable amount.

For example, a $5,000 loan with an interest rate of 10% that is repaid over a period of three years will cost approximately $810 in interest, making the total repayment amount $5,810. That same loan repaid over a period of six years will charge $1,675 in interest, making the total repayment amount $6,675.

7. Online Lending Networks Allow You to Compare Multiple Offers

Not long ago, most loans were obtained in person through the local bank or credit union. Today, the easiest way to find and compare rates and terms for a personal loan is through an online lending network. Connecting thousands of lenders from all across the country, online lending networks allow borrowers to receive multiple loan offers simply by filling out a single digital form.

Editorial Note: Our site content is not provided or commissioned by any credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed on are the author's alone, not those of any credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by credit card issuers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information; however, all credit card offer details, including information about rewards, signup bonuses, introductory offers, and other terms and conditions, is presented without warranty. Clicking on any offer on will direct you to the issuer's website, where you can review the current terms and conditions of the offer.

About the Author

Ashley Dull Ashley Dull Finance Editor

Ashley has managed content initiatives for CardRates since 2015, having worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, as well as press and news outlets, to publish comprehensive content. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets, including CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest.