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The Best Personal Loans

Where Can You Find the Best Personal Loans?

With inflation on the rise and an endless list of possibilities for unexpected expenses - car repairs, visits to the ER, and broken appliances, to name a few - it's no wonder that an increasing number of people are applying for personal loans.

Sound familiar? If you find yourself in need of some cash, you've probably considered borrowing from a friend or relative - but there's no guarantee that your loved ones are in a position to help, and who really wants to ask? Fortunately, you've got options that don't involve an awkward conversation with people you know. There are many lenders that specialize in personal loans ranging from $500 to as much as $100,000, with simple application processes that can be completed 100% online.

Thursday, October 21st

2021 Personal Loan Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Upstart Review 5 Star Rating

Upstart

5 Star Rating
  • Generous loan amounts
  • Terms range from 3 to 5 years
  • Very competitive APR's
  • "A" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Over 95% of borrowers receive their funds very quickly once approved
  • Origination fees disclosed at the time of loan offer
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Upstart was founded by former Google employees, who use comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) to help everyday people unlock opportunity through affordable credit. With this method, they can offer high approval rates from their bank partners, which translates into a greater chance you'll be accepted for an affordable loan.

More than just your credit history

The application process with Upstart starts out fairly standard. First, you select the purpose of your loan, the amount you'd like to borrow, your contact information and your birthdate. From there, the questions get a little more unique compared with other personal loan providers. What's your highest level of education? Where did you go to school, what did you study, and when did (or will) you graduate? How much money do you currently have in bank accounts and investments?

Calculating risk

Upstart asks these types of questions because they calculate risk differently from most lenders. They take your educational background and earning potential into account when determining your eligibility for a loan. Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart's rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan. As their About Us page states, "four in five Americans have never defaulted on a credit product, yet less than half have access to prime credit. With a smarter credit model, lenders could approve almost twice as many borrowers, with fewer defaults." In other words, Upstart is making personal loans accessible to more people - and at a lower risk to the financial institutions that provide them.

Minimum qualifications

To qualify for a personal loan from Upstart, you should have a minimum credit score of 580 (however, if you don't have sufficient credit history to produce a score, Upstart will still let you qualify for a personal loan). You can't have any bankruptcies or accounts currently in collections, past due or delinquent, or that have been wholly charged-off in the last three years. You'll also be found ineligible for a loan if you have more than 6 inquiries on your credit report in the last 6 months - but that doesn't count any that are related to mortgages, vehicle loans, or student loans. Again, this is part of how Upstart measures risk, so that they can make personal loans available to more people.

Personal loans up to $50,000

Your personal loan offer could be anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

Best Personal Loans

Competitive rates and terms

What rates and terms can you expect with a personal loan from Upstart? All loans funded through this service have repayment terms of either 3 or 5 years. They advertise a range of interest rates, and we found them to be very competitive with other lenders in the industry. Upstart's origination fee ranges from 0-8% of the loan amount, and is deducted from the proceeds of your loan. In other words, if you request a $10,000 personal loan and you're charged an origination fee of 3%, you'll get $9,700 deposited to your bank account.

Get your money in 1 business day

If your application is approved and you accept your loan terms, you could have your loan money deposited by the next business day. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

Very happy customers

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Upstart leads the pack. The company has an "A" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but even more impressive is the fact that with over 8,500 client reviews, 99% of them gave Upstart a rating of 4 or 5 stars. Consumers said that their experience was simple, easy, and straightforward, and many people expressed their delight at having loan funds deposited within a day.

Highest rating

There's a lot to like about Upstart. It's refreshing to see a lender that looks at your big picture as a borrower, including your education and employment potential when determining if you're a good candidate for a personal loan. And, there's no arguing with Upstart's loyal fanbase of happy clients. Combined with their innovative approach to broaden lending availability, and competitive loan terms, Upstart earns our highest rating.

LendingTree Review 4.5 Star Rating

LendingTree

4.5 Star Rating
  • Referral service that matches you with up to 5 lending partners
  • Loans available from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Good interest rates
  • Repayment terms between 61 days and 180 months
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 24+ years in business

LendingTree is part of a large financial brand family that also includes Ovation Credit Services, Student Loan Hero, and QuoteWizard. Each brand focuses on specific financial services, and LendingTree gives you access to borrowing options for mortgages, auto loans, and, of course, personal loans.

Broad database of lenders

One of the reasons why we would choose LendingTree over other personal loan referral services is their extensive lender database. This site makes it extremely easy to learn about any lenders who make you a loan offer, from company history to hundreds (if not thousands) of client reviews. That's important, because LendingTree has financial partners you've probably never heard of - and reading through their detailed reviews can set your mind at ease that your personal loan is in good hands.

Basic application process

How do you get started with finding a personal loan through LendingTree? That's easy: first choose the purpose of your loan, such as paying off debt or making a major purchase, in the dropdown box. Then move the slider to the amount you're requesting, and indicate how quickly you need the money (anywhere from "within 48 hours" to "unsure, just browsing rates" ). From there, you'll be asked for your address, your credit score range, your birthdate (to verify your identity), pre-tax income, and several other basic questions.

Option account benefits

In the last step of the account-creation process: you'll be asked if you want to include a free My LendingTree account, which comes with complimentary credit monitoring and monthly score reports, dark web monitoring, and more. Important - you'll automatically be enrolled into this service if you don't uncheck the box.

Best Personal Loans

See up to five lender offers

The next screen will provide you with loans offered by LendingTree partners, assuming your information was verified. You then click on the loan offer that best meets your needs, complete any lender requirements, and you're on your way to getting your funds. If you aren't matched with any personal loans, expect to get recommendations for budgeting tools and money management advice.

Thousands of 5-star reviews

LendingTree has a strong positive reputation with more than two decades in operation, including accreditation and an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Out of nearly 10,000 independently-verified reviews, the company received over 7,600 perfect five-star ratings from clients.

Some issues to consider

You should be aware that LendingTree has its share of complaints, too. Many customers have reported a spam-like volume of calls, emails, and texts after completing the application process. Some customers still receive calls for weeks after applying for a loan through LendingTree. They could probably do a better job controlling their lending partners when it comes to customer contacts.

Great choice for getting multiple loan offers

If you want the most hassle-free way to compare a variety of personal loan offers from multiple financial institutions, LendingTree is a great choice. The service is easy to use and will very likely match you with a loan that fits your needs.

SoFi Review 4.5 Star Rating

SoFi

4.5 Star Rating
  • Fixed-rate loans from $5,000 to $100,000
  • Competitive APRs (with AutoPay discount)
  • Repayment terms from 2-7 years
  • No origination fees
  • Unemployment protection benefits on all personal loans
  • Available in all states except MS
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

SoFi wants people to be able to manage their money and reach financial independence so they can make ambitions a reality. With over two million customers and $50 billion in funded loans, this service is absolutely helping people like you accomplish just that. While you can definitely use SoFi just for a personal loan and nothing else, you may want to take advantage of their additional products and tools that can give you guidance for attacking your debt with a plan, building and maintaining a safety net, putting your money to work, and even saving for retirement or other goals.

Some unique application questions

To apply for a personal loan from SoFi, you enter your name, state of residence and email address to create an account on their site. Next, you put in the desired loan amount (from $5,000 to $100,000) and click on the category that matches your intended use of the funds. Their next question hints at SoFi's focus on healthy money management: "What monthly payment amount works with your budget?" You can enter any number between $150 and $500, or skip it altogether. The remaining questions help SoFi to verify your identity; otherwise, you'll be asked for your Social Security Number if they can't match your credit history to the details you provided.

Big perks you won't find elsewhere

SoFi has some huge perks compared with many financial institutions offering personal loans. Their interest rates are generally lower than what you'll find elsewhere, with an added deduction if you set your repayments to automatically come out of your bank account each month. Better yet, the APRs on SoFi personal loans have zero origination fees - good luck finding that with other lenders!

Look for sign-up bonus promotions

There was even a promotion in place at the time of our most recent visit to SoFi: a $10 credit for simply checking our offered rate on a loan, and a $300 cash bonus if our loan was funded. Hey, if credit cards can offer sign-up bonuses, why not providers of loans too?

Best Personal Loans

Unemployment protection benefit

Our favorite SoFi benefit, though, is their Unemployment Protection program. If you lose your job through no fault of your own and your personal loan is in good standing at that time, you can apply to have your loan repayments suspended for three months at a time, for a total of 12 months over the life of the loan. SoFi's Career Advisory Group will even help you look for a new job.

Disappointing downturn

However, we were disappointed to find out that in the time that has passed since our last evaluation, several of SoFi's rivals have done a better job of keeping clients happy. In fact, even though the BBB gives them an "A+" rating, Sofi's listing there says "this business receives a high volume of complaints" . That's not good. Looking at nearly 2,500 independently-verified reviews elsewhere, SoFi comes in with a disappointing 3.2 out of 5-star average, and less than 80% of their reviewers would give the service a perfect score. Ouch!

Customer service needs improvement

The biggest complaints we found described frustrating challenges getting ahold of anyone in SoFi's customer service department - and the resulting long timeframes for resolving issues. If you need funds quickly, or if you have any problems with your personal loan, you want to know you'll get a prompt, professional response. Unfortunately, SoFi has some work to do in that regard.

Still a strong option

SoFi has a lot to offer: you'll find low interest rates on your loan, and no other lender we found works with you so supportively if you lose your job. But, there's more to the story, and customer complaints tell a tale that leaves us feeling more than a little disappointed. We really hope to see an upswing in customer satisfaction in the near future, because SoFi has previously been a great option for loans.

Credible Review 4 Star Rating

Credible

4 Star Rating
  • Referral service that matches you with lending partners
  • Loans available from $1,000 to $100,000
  • Wide range of interest rates
  • Best Rate Guarantee (terms apply)
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Getting a personal loan can be a hassle, but it doesn't have to be. Credible simplifies the process by giving you access to more than a dozen lenders with a single application. Since 2012, this service has connected consumers with the loans they need, with fully-vetted partners that meet the highest criteria for transparency and fairness.

Loan referral service

So, to be clear, you can't get a personal loan from Credible. Instead, your application (which only takes a few minutes to complete) is used to give you a results list of lenders that meet your needs, with loans that can range from $1,000 to $100,000. During the application process, you'll provide critical details like your employment status and credit score range, educational background, and your Social Security number.

Soft credit pull

Credible performs a "soft pull" - which will not impact your credit score, as you may already know - and then matches you with lenders who are willing to give you a loan. It's up to you to determine which lender has the personal loan that is the best fit for your situation. Terms vary depending on which one you choose, and the interest rates they offer can vary widely.

Best Personal Loans

Best Rate Guarantee - but read the terms

One perk that Credible offers is a Best Rate Guarantee. If you find better rates with another lender and close on a personal loan with that provider, you could be eligible for a $200 payment from Credible. We recommend that you read the terms and conditions (by clicking on the Learn More button in the Best Rate Guarantee pop-out), because there are certain criteria that have to be met (like submitting your request within 7 days of closing on your personal loan with someone else).

Good reputation

We were very happy to see that Credible has a strong, positive reputation. They've earned an "A+" and accreditation from the BBB, and more than 3,000 customers have given this service a flawless 5-star rating. Compliments include praise for Credible's reliability and easy-to-use website.

Worth consideration

Of course, with all that said, at the end of the day you'll still wind up having to get your personal loan from an actual lender. That means that even though Credible offers some time savings with a one-application-fits-all process, you'll still have to take the extra step of due diligence to ensure that the lender you ultimately select is giving you a loan that you can pay back on time and with interest rates you can afford.

Upgrade Review 4 Star Rating

Upgrade

4 Star Rating
  • Fixed-rate loans from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Repayment terms from 24-84 months
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Two lending partners

Upgrade got its start in 2017, designed to offer exceptional value through combining rewards checking, affordable personal loans, credit cards and financial education. In its first four years, Upgrade saw more than 15 million people apply for a credit card or loan. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in Phoenix and Montreal.

No surprises in the application process

The quote process for getting a personal loan with Upgrade is simple. Start by entering your desired loan amount, from $1,000 to $50,000, as well as the loan purpose (consolidate debt, make a large purchase, and so on). From there, you'll need to indicate if your application is individual or joint, and provide the corresponding name, address and birthdate of anyone who will be included on the loan documents.

Read the details if you're self-employed

On the next page, you're asked to specify how much you make in a year and any additional annual income. Be sure to click on the FAQ in the text that pops up if you are self-employed: your documentation requirements will be a little different from those who get W2 income.

Verify identity to get loan offers

Finally, to get your personalized rate quotes, you'll need to create an Upgrade account with your email address and desired password, and then enter your full Social Security Number to verify your identity. If Upgrade can't locate your credit profile through TransUnion or another bureau, you'll get a message saying that they can't offer you a loan at this time, and a PDF with the notification of your loan request denial.

Origination fees taken out of loan proceeds

So, let's say you bite the bullet and provide all of the necessary verification info to get a personal loan quote through Upgrade. What can you expect? Generally speaking, all loans through this provider have fixed-rate APRs with repayment terms anywhere from 24-84 months. Those APRs include a one-time origination fee of 2.9-8%, which is deducted from the proceeds of your loan. In other words, if you request a $10,000 personal loan and you're charged an origination fee of 5%, you'll get $9,500 deposited to your bank account.

Best Personal Loans

One-day turnaround for funds

Once your loan is approved, you should see the funds in your bank account within one business day, though it may take your financial institution a few more days to finalize the transaction. How does Upgrade get it done so quickly? Unlike many of the personal loan platforms in our review that operate as a referral service with lots of lenders in the network, Upgrade uses just two financial partners for all their funding: Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank. Having a two-lender-only system means that you won't have to jump through any extra hoops of (re)applying after being matched with a financial institution (which is one of the downsides of using a referral platform for your personal loan).

A+ from the Better Business Bureau

At the time of this evaluation, Cross River bank had a "C" rating from the Better Business Bureau, while Blue Ridge had a more favorable "A" rating. Upgrade itself enjoys both accreditation and an "A+" from the BBB, making us confident that they're overseeing the personal loans made by their two lending partners, regardless of each bank's standing.

Clients love this service

And, Upgrade customers seem to agree: with more than 13,000 independently verified reviews, 94% of them give this lender a 4- or 5-star rating. While a handful of clients reported longer-than-average wait times (both for loan processing and for getting in touch with the customer service team to request help), the vast majority describe the personal loan process at Upgrade as quick, easy, and trustworthy.

New service building a good reputation

Upgrade is an all-around solid option for getting a personal loan. Although they're a little bit newer than some of their competitors who've been in the industry for a decade or two, that's no reason to worry that your personal loan isn't in good hands if you choose Upgrade. Thousands of clients have already used this lender to get the money they need, and we're sure you can too.

SuperMoney Review 3.5 Star Rating

SuperMoney

3.5 Star Rating
  • Loan referral service
  • 14 lender network
  • Loans up to $100,000
  • Competitive APR's
  • In operation since 2013

SuperMoney provides a comparison platform across a wide variety of financial services, from personal loans to banking. In business since 2013, this company has helped people make smart decisions with their money by providing objective and transparent information. SuperMoney has been featured by Huffpost, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider, and many other publications.

Your information is kept private

One aspect of SuperMoney that we really like is their promise not to sell applicants' data off to the highest bidder. If you've applied for a loan through a referral platform before, you're already familiar with the endless number of solicitations that can follow: phone, text, email, even regular mail. The way SuperMoney avoids all of that is by integrating their site directly with their lending partners, letting you compare your options with full transparency and zero pressure.

Just over a dozen network lenders

Another big plus is that there's no guessing who SuperMoney includes in their financial network - most of the lenders are listed right on their main page. The full list of lending partners is available on SuperMoney's Personal Loans-specific page, and you can read client reviews without even applying. They don't have as much borrower feedback as some of their rival referral services, but it's still a good resource.

Simple, standard application questions

Your process begins when you click on "Get Competing Offers" and choose the category that best fits the intended purpose of your loan, from everyday expenses to major life events and major purchases. Move the slider to indicate the amount you owe or would like to borrow (depending on the loan category you selected), then use the next slider to enter your credit score. You'll be asked questions about your employment status, whether you own or rent, name/address/birthdate, and finally your Social Security Number (all to verify your identity and do a soft pull of your credit history). Before you're taken to your offers page, you'll need to create an account with SuperMoney.

Best Personal Loans

Still have to complete application with chosen lender

Once you've reached your loan offers, you're given the option to finalize the application process on the lender's website. That means you'll have to take a few more steps to complete your loan application, as opposed to going directly to one of those partners' sites, but the additional legwork might be worth it if it lets you compare your options first.

Limited - but positive overall - client feedback

We're not sure why SuperMoney couldn't be found in the listings at the Better Business Bureau, given how long the company has been around. We were able to find just over 200 reviews elsewhere, and an impressive 96% of those gave the service a perfect five-star rating. Granted, not all of those reviews were specific to personal loans, but it's a good sign that SuperMoney delivers what it promises.

Good for doing research, better options out there

You can use SuperMoney to research lending companies and offers before choosing a personal loan. You'll get valuable information that might help you pick a loan and a lender that's right for you. But, compared with other loan referral services, SuperMoney doesn't have a reputation that's as well-established. Plus, many of their lending partners are also referral platforms, which could have you jumping through all of the same hoops a second time. SuperMoney is good - but not quite great. We hope to see continued progress from them in the personal loan marketplace.

Prosper Review 3.5 Star Rating

Prosper

3.5 Star Rating
  • Peer-to-peer lending platform
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Minimum credit score of 640 for new borrowers
  • Repayment terms of 3 or 5 years
  • All fixed-rate loans
  • Origination fees of 2.4% to 5%
  • Wide range of APRs

Prosper is the only peer-to-peer lending marketplace in our review. What does that mean? You can expect a slightly different experience if you apply for a personal loan here, because they're all funded by investors (individuals and institutions). Though you might think that would lead to a fairly low volume of loans being requested and funded, Prosper has facilitated over $18 billion in loans to more than a million people since its start in 2005.

Need a credit score of 640+

If you have a credit score of at least 640, you can borrow anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000 through Prosper's personal loans platform. First enter the amount of the loan you want, and then you'll be taken to a screen with multiple loan purposes: big purchase, taxes, vacation, baby/adoption, and home improvement, to name a few. This is important because Prosper investors can choose to invest in your loan based on your intended use of it.

Finish the application

Next, indicate if you're applying alone or with a co-borrower, then enter the corresponding name(s) and birthdate(s) for all applicants. The rest of the questions relate to your address, your source and amount of annual income, and the email and password you'd like to use for your Prosper account. If Prosper can match that information with a credit profile, it'll be used to qualify you for a personal loan; if not, you'll be asked to take the extra step of entering your full SSN to check your credit report before being shown your loan possibilities.

Investors fund your loan

Your loan offers will show you the maximum amount that you're qualified to borrow, and then several loan options. You can choose between a repayment term of three or five years, depending on whether you want to pay less interest over the course of the loan or have smaller payments throughout. Your interest rate will be clearly displayed: no secrets there. Once you've selected the loan with the rate and terms you prefer, you will need to submit verification documents that confirm your income, your bank account information, and so forth. After that, your loan will be listed to Prosper's marketplace; the completion of your loan depends on how quickly individuals and/or institutions decide to fund your loan.

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Thousands of borrowers give service a perfect score

Prosper measures up well with respect to reputation. An "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau show that the platform is doing a good job connecting borrowers with personal loans in a manner that is professional and competitive with other services. Looking at customer feedback, over 5,000 people have given Prosper a perfect five-star rating: nearly 90% of clients rate the service as "great" or "excellent" . We are always glad to see reviews from repeat customers too, and Prosper has its fair share of those.

Get your money in 24 hours... or 30 days... or never

Since your loan is funded by individual investors, someone on the peer-to-peer network must make the decision to lend you their money. There's a wide range of timeframes for this. Many people get their loans deposited within 24 hours - however others report that it took 30 days or more. It's even possible for a loan to expire without being fully funded. This service may work best for people that don't need their money in a hurry, and are willing to wait for their loan terms to be fulfilled.

Unique option in the personal loan industry

Prosper offers a unique take on personal loans, both for borrowers and investors alike. Their eligibility criteria might make this platform a no-go for some consumers with lower-than-average credit scores, and their funding timeframe may be a turn-off to others. Still, Prosper is a solid company and presents a worthwhile option to consider.

LendingClub Review 3 Star Rating

LendingClub

3 Star Rating
  • Fixed-rate loans from $1,000 to $40,000
  • Minimum loan amounts vary by state
  • APRs vary widely
  • Origination fees ranging from 3% to 6%
  • All loans have repayment terms of at least 36 months

LendingClub has experienced some big changes over the last few years. Originally created as a peer-to-peer platform, where individual and business investors could choose to fund consumer loans (hence the name LendingClub), this source of personal loans now operates like a traditional financial institution. All funding is provided by LendingClub's own bank by the same name, making the loan application extremely streamlined when compared with platforms that refer you to multiple lenders at once.

No surprises in the application process

To get a personal loan through LendingClub, start by entering your desired loan amount (between $1,000 and $40,000) and selecting the loan's purpose in the dropdown box, then click on "Check Your Rate" . Indicate whether you're applying alone or with a co-applicant, your date of birth, and your total annual income. Finally, enter your first and last name, plus your address, and LendingClub will try to verify your credit report. If it can't do so based on the information provided, you'll be asked for your Social Security Number.

Expect origination fees and just-average interest rates

What can you anticipate if you are matched with a loan? That largely depends on your details: how much you're trying to borrow, your credit history, your income, and so forth. All personal loans funded through LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of at least three years, giving you ample time to repay it. Interest rates here are fairly average, and you should expect origination fees that range from 3% to 6%. These are typically rolled into the total cost of the loan or deducted from the payout deposited to your bank account. LendingClub's fine print at the bottom of the personal loans page says that their average loan has an origination fee of 5% and an APR of 15.95%.

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Still being re-evaluated by the BBB

How about LendingClub's reputation? Since their business model has changed so drastically, it's difficult to put their past history into perspective. However, a few items stand out and are worth keeping in mind. The company used to have an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but their listing during our most recent check with the BBB was simply "Not Rated" . That indicates that LendingClub's new structure is still under consideration. More reassuringly, their sole lender WebBank received both accreditation and an "A+" from the BBB: you shouldn't encounter any issues with fraud or other problems if you pursue a personal loan through the LendingClub website.

Plenty of recent, positive customer comments

We also followed the link on the LendingClub site to see some of the more than 57,000 independently-verified reviews posted there, so that we could see what their most recent comments indicated about the new service. Most of the clients gave LendingClub a rating of 4 or 5 stars, and we were pleased to see that a decent number of those came from repeat customers.

Wait and see

LendingClub appears to be on the right track, having made quite a few changes to their service that have received positive feedback from their borrowers. But until the company puts in more time with their new lending model, and has an actual rating from the BBB, we hesitate to give LendingClub a rating higher than average. Reputation matters, and while LendingClub seems to have fixed some of the issues that they had in the past, we'd like to see confirmation of that. You should be fine if you choose to take a personal loan here, but we encourage you to consider other options too.

OppLoans Review 2.5 Star Rating

OppLoans

2.5 Star Rating
  • Loans available from $500 to $4,000
  • Interest rates higher than other personal loan lenders
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Available in 33 states
  • Funds available within 24 hours
  • No prepayment fees

OppLoans specializes in personal loans for "middle income, credit-challenged consumers" who may have a hard time getting funding through more traditional lenders. They've helped over 500,000 customers get up to $4,000 within one business day over the last 10+ years.

Easy to qualify to borrow money

What are the eligibility requirements for applying for a personal loan with OppLoans? You only have to be at least 18 years old (or 19 in Nebraska and Alabama) and have a regular source of income with direct deposit going to a checking or savings account.

Available in 33 states

You also have to live somewhere that is part of OppLoans' area of operations. At the time of this review, OppLoans offered loans in 33 states nationwide. In four states (Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, Wisconsin), OppLoans funds personal loans directly but in others they're originated by one of the provider's lending partners. Rates and terms vary by location, and you can get sample loan information by clicking on the "Rates and Terms" link and then on your state of residence.

Extremely high interest rates

Objectively speaking, those rates and terms aren't very appealing. In fact, they're closer to what you'll find in a payday loan rather than a traditional personal loan. Running through the rates listed on their website, we ran through several examples where the amount of money required to pay back the loan was almost twice the amount that you borrowed in the first place. Clearly this personal loan option is meant for people with few alternatives.

Helpful financial education available

On a more positive note, OppLoans has a credit education course called OppU that anyone can use for free. It teaches financial topics like budgeting, saving, credit education and more - which you may need if you're in a position where you're considering a high interest rate personal loan like the ones offered by OppLoans!

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No prepayment penalty

Another plus is that OppLoans doesn't charge any prepayment fees. If you take out a high interest rate personal loan, you'll want to pay it off as quickly as you can to save money. We appreciate that this lender doesn't penalize you for making a good financial choice by paying back what you borrowed as soon as possible.

Good reputation

In spite of the high rates and terms of the personal loans here, we're glad to see that the lender maintains an "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. There were about 100 complaints filed against OppLoans in the three years leading up to this evaluation, but hundreds of positive reviews were also submitted over that same timeframe. Clients said that OppLoans was extremely easy to work with, transparent with all of the loan terms, and a great option for anyone who doesn't qualify for a more traditional personal loan with another lender.

Featured by many loan referral services

We were also reassured to see OppLoans included by many of the personal loan referral platforms in our review. Such services work hard to connect borrowers to reputable lenders, which is a good indicator that OppLoans can be trusted.

Trustworthy option for the "credit challenged"

For the "credit challenged" , OppLoans is a helpful resource. The company offers personal loans at high rates, but that are still lower than the average payday lender. All signs show that the entire process is clearly explained and serviced well throughout the lifetime of the loan. For those with decent credit, there are much more affordable ways to get a personal loan - but if those options fail you, OppLoans is worth consideration.

Personal Loans Review 2 Star Rating

Personal Loans

2 Star Rating
  • Loans from $1,000 to $35,000
  • "A+" rating from the BBB
  • Personal loan referral service

Personal Loans works as a referral service for those looking to borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $35,000. You submit your information through a short online form, and Personal Loans' lending partners decide whether or not to offer you funding. If you are offered a loan, you'll then have to complete an application with the lender itself.

A+ from the Better Business Bureau

The last time we evaluated Personal Loans, the company had no listing with the Better Business Bureau. More recently, however, we were able to see that this service has an "A+" rating there, with only two complaints filed in the 12 months prior to this review. While Personal Loans doesn't have accreditation with the BBB, parent company IT Media Solutions does. Those are all good signs!

No information provided about lenders

But, compared with other referral services for personal loans, we don't love this platform. Why? There's no information about the lenders that Personal Loans uses in its network, requiring you to provide a lot of financial details without knowing who is going to be receiving them. Most personal loan referral services tell you outright which lenders they partner with, long before you offer your credit score, employment details, or current banking situation. How can the average consumer know if they're getting the best possible loan offers - or just offers from lending partners that benefit Personal Loans the most? Unfortunately, they can't.

Lack of details is concerning

In fact, most of the information you'll get from Personal Loans is disappointingly vague. Do they offer loans in your state? Apply to find out. How much money can you get? Apply to find out. What will your rates be? You get the idea.

Standard questions in the online application

Still think you want to give Personal Loans a try? To get started, you'll choose the reason for your loan from the dropdown box; options include debt relief, auto purchase, education, emergency, vacation, and so on. You can use your funds however you like, but Personal Loans may be able to match you with a loan tailored to your specific financial needs. For example, you might get better rates and terms on a loan for debt consolidation than a basic personal loan for a special occasion.

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Some conflicting details

On the next page, you'll have to decide if you want to provide your zip code, last four digits of your SSN and your date of birth, to allow Personal Loans to see if you have an account on file. If you already know you don't, you can click on "skip lookup" to continue. Then, you'll be asked for your first and last name; this page also has the disclaimer that Personal Loans may share your information with their marketing partners, not just their lending network. On the page that asked how much we'd like to borrow, we were surprised to see that we could enter a requested amount as low as $100: everywhere else we looked on the Personal Loans site, it referenced a minimum loan amount of $1,000.

No choice but to provide personal information

From there, expect to be asked for a lot of personal information: your employer's name and contact information, how often you get paid and when your next paycheck will be, and even your driver's license number and SSN. There were also two pages where we could theoretically opt out of having our information being given to "extended network partners" and receiving "other credit-related offers" , but unchecking the boxes led to a red flag saying they were required! So much for having a choice.

Waste of time

After entering information for a sample candidate, we were taken to a screen with "sponsored listings" from Personal Loan's partners and given the opportunity to click to search matching loan offers on those third-party sites...where we essentially had to start the entire process all over again. Why waste the time?

Better options out there for personal loan referrals

Generally speaking, referral services for personal loans are a good idea if you want to save some time and hassle, getting curated funding options tailored to your financial situation. However, Personal Loans doesn't have much to offer when compared with more transparent services out there. You'll have a better experience as a prospective client with one of the higher-ranked sources of personal loans in our review.

LifeLoans Review 1 Star Rating

LifeLoans

1 Star Rating
  • Loans from $100 to $40,000
  • Loan referral service
  • All credit scores welcome

LifeLoans is one of several referral services in our review. These platforms require you to fill in a short online form so that they can match you with partner lenders for a personal loan. For many reasons, LifeLoan earns its rock-bottom position in our rankings.

Nothing troublesome at first

At first, LifeLoans looks fairly similar to other personal loan referral providers. You start by selecting your desired loan amount in the dropdown box, as well as the reason for your loan, then entering your email, date of birth, and current amount of credit card debt. So far, so good. The next page goes into more detail: you get to enter your full name and address, how often you get paid and with what type of employment, as well as your phone number and full SSN. (Though, for reasons you'll soon understand, we recommend that you hold off on giving them accurate information there!) At the end of the form, there is a checkbox to consent to be contacted by phone/text; you can leave the box unchecked and still submit your information to be considered.

Exactly where does your personal information go?

When we did that, we were redirected to a third-party personal loan provider. Our details had carried over from the LifeLoans site, but we were still asked to confirm the last four digits of our SSN. Exactly how many lenders had been given our full Social Security Number? We had no idea. (Good thing we used a sample profile and not our actual details!) Could we trust the lender we were passed along to? Again, no idea: LifeLoans doesn't disclose any of the names of the partners in their network until you fill out the online application.

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Many business names for the same poor service

LifeLoans doesn't have much in the way of a solid reputation. We couldn't find a listing with the Better Business Bureau under that name, but when we searched the BBB using the contact phone number listed on LifeLoans' website, voila: a listing for a completely separate business name (Next Day Personal Loan) at the same address. That business had an "F" rating and a handful of consumer complaints registered there. As a matter of fact, we found a surprising number of "businesses" all registered to that phone number and address: Lending For Bad Credit, 100 Lenders, Swift Funders, and Cash Corner, to name a few. None of them had anything but an "F" from the Better Business Bureau.

Questionable intentions

Looking at the fine print in the application process, we spotted the parent company name for all of these "lenders" : Search ROI LLC. Does that sound like a place to get a personal loan that's really going to work hard for you - or more like a way for someone else to make money when you provide your information? We think it definitely sounds like the latter, don't you?

Zero reason to use this site

Taking out a personal loan can be a sensitive transaction, and you want to ensure that your finances are in good hands. There's nothing about LifeLoans that gives us any indication that they're deserving of your trust. You'll be better off with a higher-rated source of personal loans.

Leap Credit Review 0.5 Star Rating

Leap Credit

0.5 Star Rating
  • Loans from $500 to $3,500
  • Only operates in a few states
  • Extremely high interest rates
  • Poor reputation

Leap Credit offers small personal loans designed to help you bridge the gap between paychecks, when unexpected expenses arise. The company has been in business for less than 5 years.

Only in a few states

At the time of our review, Leap Credit was only authorized to provide funds in the following states: Alabama, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Illinois. However, if you live in a state not included in that list, they say that if you fill out an online application they can match you with a lending partner in their network. Even in some of the states where Leap Credit is licensed to lend money (such as Texas), you may still be connected with a third-party lender.

Loans up to $3,500

How much can you borrow through this platform? That depends on where you live. Click on "Terms and Rates" at the bottom of the site, and then select your state of residence to find out what's on offer there. While available loan amounts vary, we found that most states have loan amounts ranging from $500 to $3,500.

Nightmarish interest rates

You'll also want to pay very close attention to the interest rates posted for your state. When we first looked, we thought there was a mistake - but no, it turns out that Leap Credit offers loans with exorbitant APRs: up to 800%. Yes, that means you could wind up paying a total of $6,000 for a $500 loan (as one customer cited). Ironically, Leap Credit describes their service as offering you a "financial life preserver" , when really it could wind up being a weight that drags you deeper into trouble.

Best Personal Loans

Poor reputation

Leap Credit doesn't have an outstanding reputation. The Better Business Bureau gives them a "B" rating. In school, a "B" is pretty good, but when it comes to companies you're trusting with your finances, you should want as high a rating as possible. We were also troubled by the fact that, on the application page, Leap Credit has an icon claiming to be accredited by the BBB - but their listing actually had no accreditation. Considering that the lender had more than 50 complaints registered with the BBB just in the 12 months prior to our review (and a whopping 250+ complaints in the three years prior), it's no wonder that the BBB gave them a less-than-perfect grade and no accreditation.

Complaints of fraud

On the Leap Credit site, they feature client reviews through a well-known independent rating platform. In fact, all the reviews shown on the lender's page are 4- and 5-star evaluations. But, when you go directly to the review site, it tells a very different story. Reading through consumer comments there, and on the Leap Credit BBB listing is scary. More than a few people said they never signed the paperwork for their loan, after reading the offer and deciding it wasn't what they wanted - but the loan went through anyway. Leap Credit was then difficult to contact, making it almost impossible to get the situation fixed. Even more frightening are the multiple reports from people who never visited the Leap Credit site, and who paid their loans in full, and yet had payments drafted out of their accounts. Companies offering personal loans shouldn't have you needing to file a police report for fraud!

Look elsewhere for a personal loan

We can't see any reason to trust Leap Credit if you're looking for a personal loan. "Shady" and "scam" are two of the words most often used by people describing their experience with this company. We strongly encourage you to get the funds you need from a more reputable lending partner.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

What's the catch? There isn't one, as long as you choose your lender carefully. Some providers of personal loans charge excessively high interest rates and offer shorter-than-average terms, making it harder for you to pay it back on time. On the other hand, most reputable sources of personal loans are completely transparent with their interest rates, give repayment terms of up to five years, and won't charge you any fees if you're able to pay off your loan earlier than anticipated.

How can you determine which lender is the best choice for your personal loan? That largely depends on your individual circumstances, but there are several factors to keep in mind as you consider your options. They include the following:

  • Loan amount. How much can you borrow? Some lenders offer a maximum loan of $4,000 or less, while others can fund loans of $25,000 or more. Make sure the provider you choose can actually give you the money you need.
  • Loan terms. How much will you pay in interest? How long will you have to repay the personal loan? Are there any origination fees, prepayment penalties, or other costs associated with the loan?
  • Eligibility. What is required to qualify for a loan? Some lenders have minimum credit score requirements, residency requirements, or other criteria you need to meet to be approved for a loan.
  • Referral service or direct lender. Some personal loan platforms work as a one-stop shop to compare offers from multiple institutions, while others fund your loan directly. A referral service is a great way to make sure you're getting the lowest possible interest rates, but you may still have to go through the application process with the lender itself.
  • Reputation. What do other borrowers say about their experience with the lender? Has the company gotten a positive evaluation from the Better Business Bureau?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best providers of personal loans available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the money you need, deposited quickly and at the lowest possible rates!

The Best Personal Loans Compare Personal Loans Compare Personal Loan Reviews What are the best Personal Loans Best Personal Loan Reviews

Personal Loan FAQ

Any way you like! Personal loans typically don't come with restrictions on how they're used. Paying off high-interest credit cards, splurging on a luxury item you've always wanted, taking a much-needed family vacation: you can use your personal loan for all of that and more.
Most banks and credit unions offer personal loans, but your financial institution might not offer the most competitive rates. There are many lesser-known sources that want to earn your business with lower APRs and more personalized attention over the life of the loan.
That depends on a number of factors, such as your credit history and income. It's definitely worth shopping around, just like you would when buying a car or other big-ticket item. Consider using a service that allows you to get loan offers from multiple lenders with a single application: that will make it more likely that you'll get the best possible rate and terms on your personal loan.
When you're making an initial inquiry to see if you qualify for a personal loan, it usually involves a "soft pull" on your credit - verifying your identity, credit score, and current debts. That will not lower your credit score. However, if you take the next step and apply for a specific loan, expect that your credit score may dip a (but only temporarily).
Most lenders allow you to complete the process online, from beginning to end. That's a big perk for people who can't get to a brick-and-mortar bank during regular business hours.
Personal loans are available in amounts ranging from $100 to $100,000. Before you get too excited and start planning how you'll spend the money, keep in mind that the amount you'll actually be approved for depends on your financial situation. The higher your credit score and the lower your outstanding debts, the more likely it is that you will qualify for a bigger loan.
The application process can be extremely fast: some lenders can approve your loan in just a few minutes. Once you accept a personal loan offer, most providers will direct deposit the funds within 1-5 business days.
As with any kind of loan, it's important to keep track of the details: don't borrow more money than you can comfortably repay, make on-time payments every month, and communicate with your lender if unforeseen circumstances arise (e.g. unemployment, natural disaster, disability) and you need forbearance or other accommodations. It's also wise to check out the reputation of the lender: reviews from previous clients and a rating from the Better Business Bureau can be very informative as you decide which provider to use for your personal loan.

Easy Ways to Start Saving Money

Saving money isn't fun. Why put it somewhere when you could spend it now, on that thing you've been wanting for months? Well, there are some easy and simple ways to start saving now, so that if there's an emergency - like a car accident or an unexpected health bill - you can be assured to have money for it. Being prepared isn't the trendiest idea, but in the future you'll thank yourself for saving your behind!

Saving money doesn't have to be all dark and dreary. There are a variety of small changes you can make to your daily routine to start preparing for the future.

The first tip to cut daily costs might just be the hardest for some. Many people spend money every day on coffee, especially from those expensive java bistros. Cue the gasps - but if you're still reading, then listen to this: While many people spend money on coffee every morning, major coffee companies (you know the ones) upcharge drinks to an almost comical degree. The reason these companies get away with this is because they count on the consumer being unwilling to make their own and come to them instead. You don't even have to get up any earlier if you make your own cup of coffee in the morning, since you'll be saving time on your commute. But getting up every morning and making your own coffee is a much more cost efficient alternative to giving a chunk of your paycheck to some other company.

Another simple trick to saving money is to cancel subscriptions you're not using. We can almost hear you shrieking "but what if I need to use it!" The thing is, you won't. If you're spending even $10 a month on something that you're not using, than it's not worth it. It's hard to stop something that used to bring you joy, or even that you're used to. But if you seriously want to start saving money, this is one of the most achievable and easy ways to do it. Go through your spending and look at all the things you're paying for that you didn't use this month. Then, go back and look at the previous month. If that isn't enough to convince you, go back one month further. If you haven't used something in 3 months, then you've spent a quarter of the year paying for nothing and it's time to stop.

A final bit of advice on the best ways to save money is another little thing. Use the 48 hour rule. If you see something and really want it, wait 48 hours. If you still want it after that, than you know it's not an impulse buy. On the other hand, if you've completely forgotten about it, then you just saved yourself some money.

It's especially difficult, the younger you are, to get out of the You Only Live Once mindset. You see something, and you think "hey, I really want that thing! I'll totally use it all the time, even though I've never thought about it before today!" Really - it's not worth it. You have to stop thinking "I need this now because it will make me happy", and instead think of the future. When considering whether you should blow your money on the impulse buy, picture the expensive item and think of how much more you'll enjoy it if you save for it.

These are just a few little things you can do to start saving money. Remember that it's important to save your money now, in order to save yourself future heartache. Soon you'll be on your way to affording that trip to Paris or whatever else you want!

Compare Personal Loans

Select any 2 Personal Loans to compare them head to head

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  • Upstart
  • LendingTree
  • SoFi
  • Credible
  • Upgrade
  • SuperMoney
  • Prosper
  • LendingClub
  • OppLoans
  • Personal Loans
  • LifeLoans
  • Leap Credit
Upstart vs LendingTree Upstart vs SoFi Upstart vs Credible Upstart vs Upgrade Upstart vs SuperMoney Upstart vs Prosper Upstart vs LendingClub Upstart vs OppLoans Upstart vs Personal Loans Upstart vs LifeLoans Upstart vs Leap Credit LendingTree vs SoFi LendingTree vs Credible LendingTree vs Upgrade LendingTree vs SuperMoney LendingTree vs Prosper LendingTree vs LendingClub LendingTree vs OppLoans LendingTree vs Personal Loans LendingTree vs LifeLoans LendingTree vs Leap Credit SoFi vs Credible SoFi vs Upgrade SoFi vs SuperMoney SoFi vs Prosper SoFi vs LendingClub SoFi vs OppLoans SoFi vs Personal Loans SoFi vs LifeLoans SoFi vs Leap Credit Credible vs Upgrade Credible vs SuperMoney Credible vs Prosper Credible vs LendingClub Credible vs OppLoans Credible vs Personal Loans Credible vs LifeLoans Credible vs Leap Credit Upgrade vs SuperMoney Upgrade vs Prosper Upgrade vs LendingClub Upgrade vs OppLoans Upgrade vs Personal Loans Upgrade vs LifeLoans Upgrade vs Leap Credit SuperMoney vs Prosper SuperMoney vs LendingClub SuperMoney vs OppLoans SuperMoney vs Personal Loans SuperMoney vs LifeLoans SuperMoney vs Leap Credit Prosper vs LendingClub Prosper vs OppLoans Prosper vs Personal Loans Prosper vs LifeLoans Prosper vs Leap Credit LendingClub vs OppLoans LendingClub vs Personal Loans LendingClub vs LifeLoans LendingClub vs Leap Credit OppLoans vs Personal Loans OppLoans vs LifeLoans OppLoans vs Leap Credit Personal Loans vs LifeLoans Personal Loans vs Leap Credit LifeLoans vs Leap Credit
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