The best personal loan will provide you with a lump-sum amount that’s appropriate for your financial goals, with repayment terms fine-tuned to fit your monthly cash flow. Outstanding lenders will also limit nuisance fees and offer credit score flexibility and responsive customer support.
Personal loans are usually unsecured, which means you don’t have to put up your home, car or other assets as collateral against the loan. That can make them an attractive option for borrowers who don’t want to risk losing those valuable assets or who struggle with poor credit scores and are unable to qualify for secured financing.
You’ll find personal loans from banks, credit unions and online lenders. For example, SoFi offers competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms and a fast funding timeline (the company says loan funds are typically disbursed the day after approval). PenFed is another good choice for many borrowers, especially those who need to pay off high-interest credit card debt. It can pay off credit cards directly on your behalf and even offers a rate discount for those who set up automatic payments.
However, you should do some shopping to compare personal loan rates and features. Some lenders offer unique perks like no-fee loans, autopay discounts or the ability to skip a payment after a certain number of on-time payments. You should also check the lender’s website for an online prequalification tool that won’t impact your credit score before applying for a personal loan.