Welcome to this comprehensive guide on the best overall personal loans for 2024. In this blog, you will find information on different types of personal loans, the importance of having a plan before taking out a loan, and an overview of loan terms and interest rates.
Personal loans are a form of installment loans that can be used for various purposes, such as debt consolidation, refinancing, high-interest debt, small personal loans, and even for individuals with low credit scores. It is important to understand the purpose of the loan before applying, as different lenders may specialize in specific types of loans.
Before taking out a personal loan, it is crucial to have a plan on how to use the money and how to pay it back. Consider factors such as the loan term and monthly payments. Most loan terms range from 6 months to 7 years, with shorter terms usually having higher interest rates. It is recommended to choose the shortest term possible that you can comfortably afford.
Loan terms and interest rates vary depending on the lender and your creditworthiness. It is important to carefully review the terms and conditions of any loan before committing. Make sure to compare different lenders and their offers to ensure you are getting the best loan for your needs.
Best Overall Personal Loans: LightStream
When it comes to the best overall personal loans, LightStream is a top contender. They offer a variety of loan purposes and amounts, making it easy to find a loan that fits your needs.
One of the standout features of LightStream is their lack of origination or late fees. This means that you can borrow money without worrying about additional costs.
Another major advantage of LightStream is their same day funding option. If you need money quickly, LightStream can deposit the funds into your account on the same day.
However, it’s important to note that LightStream does have a requirement of several years of credit history. While this may be a disadvantage for some, it helps ensure that borrowers have a strong financial track record.
Best Debt Consolidation Loan: Happy Money
When it comes to finding the best debt consolidation loan, Happy Money is a top choice. With an annual percentage rate ranging from 11.11% to 24.12%, they offer competitive rates for borrowers.
Happy Money specializes in debt consolidation and refinancing, making it an ideal option for those looking to pay off high-interest debt. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $40,000, with terms from 24 months to 60 months.
One of the pros of Happy Money is its peer-to-peer lending platform. This allows borrowers to receive multiple loan offers, giving them the opportunity to choose the best option for their needs.
Another advantage of Happy Money is their customer support and membership benefits. Loan approvals come with Happy Money membership, providing borrowers with additional support and resources.
However, it’s important to note that Happy Money does have high loan minimums. Borrowers must take out a minimum loan amount of $5,000, which may not be suitable for those who only need a small loan.
Additionally, Happy Money requires a fair or average credit score to qualify for a loan. This may be a disadvantage for individuals with poor credit.
Best Loan for Refinancing High Interest Debt: SoFi
When it comes to refinancing high interest debt, SoFi is a top choice. They offer personal loans specifically designed for debt consolidation and refinancing purposes.
With an annual interest rate ranging from 8.99% to 25.81% (when signing up for autopay), SoFi provides competitive rates for borrowers looking to lower their interest payments.
Loan Purpose and Amounts
SoFi’s personal loans can be used for various purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvements, relocation assistance, and medical expenses. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, providing flexibility for borrowers with different financial needs.
Unemployment Protection Feature
One of the standout features of SoFi is their unemployment protection. If you lose your job, you can apply for a loan deferment and make interest-only payments until you find a new job. This feature provides peace of mind and financial security during uncertain times.
Pros of no Origination or Late Fees
SoFi stands out from other lenders by offering no origination or late fees. This means that borrowers can save money on upfront costs and avoid penalties for missed payments.
Cons for US Visa Holders
One potential drawback for SoFi is that US Visa holders must have a minimum of 2 years remaining on their visa to be eligible for a loan. Additionally, SoFi does not accept co-signers for individuals who are not US citizens.
Overall, SoFi’s personal loans are a great option for refinancing high interest debt. Their competitive rates, unemployment protection, and no fees make them a strong choice for borrowers looking to save money and simplify their debt repayment.
Best Small Loan for Personal Loans: PenFed
When it comes to small personal loans, PenFed is a top choice. They offer loan amounts as low as $600, making it easy to borrow a small amount of money.
Loan Purpose and Amounts
PenFed personal loans can be used for various purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvement, medical expenses, and auto financing. Loan amounts range from $600 to $50,000, providing flexibility for borrowers with different financial needs.
Pros of Low Minimum Loan Amount
One of the standout features of PenFed is their low minimum loan amount. This means that borrowers who only need a small loan can still access financing without having to borrow more than necessary.
Cons of Receiving Funds in the Form of a Physical Check
However, it’s important to note that PenFed disburses funds in the form of a physical check. This can be inconvenient for borrowers who prefer electronic transfers or need immediate access to the funds.
In order to apply for a personal loan with PenFed, borrowers must become a member of the credit union. While membership is available to anyone, it does require a $5 fee.
Fast Funding with Next Day Funding: Discover Personal Loans
When it comes to fast funding, Discover Personal Loans is a top choice. They offer next day funding, allowing you to access the funds you need quickly.
Loan Purpose and Amounts
Discover Personal Loans can be used for various purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvements, weddings, vacations, and more. Loan amounts range from $2,500 to $40,000, providing flexibility for borrowers with different financial needs.
Ability to Pay Creditors Directly
One of the standout features of Discover Personal Loans is the ability to pay your creditors directly. If you are using the loan for debt consolidation, you can link your existing credit card accounts and Discover will pay them directly. This simplifies the repayment process and ensures your creditors are paid on time.
Pros of No Origination Fees and Low Penalties
Discover Personal Loans stands out from other lenders by offering no origination fees. This means that you can borrow money without worrying about upfront costs. Additionally, Discover Personal Loans does not have any early prepayment penalties, allowing you to pay off your loan early without incurring any additional fees.
Cons of Late Fee
One potential drawback of Discover Personal Loans is the late fee. If you miss a payment, there is a late fee of $39. It is important to make your payments on time to avoid this fee.
Best for Low Credit Scores: Upstart Personal Loans
When it comes to personal loans for individuals with low credit scores, Upstart is a top choice. They offer loan amounts up to $50,000, making it easier for those with low credit to access financing.
Upstart takes into consideration factors beyond just the credit score when determining eligibility. They consider factors such as education, employment, and credit history, giving borrowers with low credit scores a chance to qualify for a loan.
One of the standout features of Upstart is their fast funding. They can fund loans as quickly as the next day, allowing borrowers to get the money they need quickly.
However, it’s important to note that Upstart does have a high late fee of 5% of the loan amount or $15, whichever is greater. Additionally, they may charge an origination fee of up to 10% based on your credit. It’s important to carefully review the terms and fees before committing to a loan.
Overall, Upstart personal loans are a great option for individuals with low credit scores who need access to funds quickly. Their consideration of factors beyond credit score and fast funding make them a strong choice for those with low credit.
In conclusion, this comprehensive guide has provided information on the best overall personal loans for 2024. It is important to choose the loan that suits individual needs and consider factors such as loan purpose, loan amounts, and loan terms.
LightStream offers a variety of loan purposes and amounts, with the advantage of same day funding and no origination or late fees. Happy Money specializes in debt consolidation and refinancing, offering competitive rates and membership benefits. SoFi is a top choice for refinancing high interest debt, with features like unemployment protection and no origination or late fees.
PenFed is a great option for small personal loans, with low minimum loan amounts, while Discover Personal Loans offers fast funding and the ability to pay creditors directly. Upstart is an ideal choice for individuals with low credit scores, considering factors beyond credit score for eligibility.
Remember, the loan amount range varies depending on the lender, with options ranging from $600 to $100,000. It is crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of any loan before committing. Consider your creditworthiness, loan purpose, and repayment plan to ensure you make the best choice.
Overall, personal loans can be a valuable tool for financing various needs, such as debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses, and more. By choosing the right loan and managing it responsibly, individuals can achieve their financial goals and improve their overall financial well-being.
Make sure to take advantage of the useful financial literacy tools provided by some lenders, such as cash flow tracking and stress tests, to help you stay ahead of your money. And always remember to make your payments on time to avoid any late fees.
So, whether you’re looking to consolidate debt, refinance high interest debt, or fund a personal project, there is a personal loan option out there for you. Take the time to explore the different lenders and their offers to find the best loan that suits your needs and helps you achieve your financial goals.