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The Best Personal Loans

Where Can You Find the Best Personal Loans?

Personal loans are a type of borrowing where you can get money from a bank, credit union, or online lender and pay it back over time with interest. Why would you want to take out a personal loan? There are plenty of reasons. Typically, people turn to personal loans for big purchases or expenses you can't afford to pay for all at once, like buying a car, paying for a wedding, or covering unexpected medical bills.

Personal loans can also be helpful if you want to consolidate high-interest debt from credit cards into one lower-interest loan, which can save you money in the long run. Some people also use personal loans to fund home improvement projects or even to take a much-needed vacation.But before you go rushing off to apply for a personal loan, there are a few things you should consider.

Thursday, May 23rd

2024 Personal Loan Reviews

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

Upstart

5 Star Rating
  • Loans between $1,000 and $50,000 (1)
  • Utilizes more than just your credit score to determine eligibility
  • Connects borrowers to a vast network of over 100 banks and credit unions
  • Fixed 3 or 5 year terms (3)
  • Most loans funded within 24 hours (4)
  • Available in 48 states (excluding Iowa and West Virginia)
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Over 40,000 five-star reviews from clients
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Getting a personal loan can often feel like a complicated journey, but with Upstart, it's a breeze. Founded by former Google employees, Upstart takes a refreshing approach to lending, going beyond just your credit score.

They look beyond your credit score

By considering factors like your college degree, field of study, work history, and credit background, Upstart aims to offer fair lending opportunities, particularly beneficial for recent graduates or those with limited credit history. With a whopping 2.7 million customers and $34 billion in loan originations, Upstart has firmly established itself as a frontrunner in the financial realm.

Eligibility criteria to be aware of

Qualifying for a personal loan through Upstart is straightforward. You'll need to meet some basic criteria, including a minimum FICO or Vantage score of at least 580 (or 620 in certain states), with bankruptcies or delinquent accounts potentially impacting eligibility. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old, earn a minimum annual income of $12,000, hold a personal bank account at a US financial institution, and have stable employment or a regular income source.

Apply in minutes, get funds within a day or two

One of Upstart's standout features is the lightning-fast application process. In just 5-10 minutes, you can input essential details such as your name, address, income, employment, and educational background. Importantly, this process won't affect your credit score, as Upstart conducts a "soft" credit check to verify your information. Within minutes of applying, you may receive loan offers, and upon acceptance, funds can be deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day.

Best Personal Loans

Borrow up to $50K

Upstart offers personal loans in 48 states, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, with varying loan limits based on state regulations. Typically, loan terms span three to five years. As you review loan offers, pay attention to any origination fees, which can range from 0% to 8%, depending on your state. Thankfully, Upstart allows early repayments and extra payments, empowering you to pay down your loan sooner.

5-star ratings from over 40,000 clients

With an "A+" BBB rating and accreditation, Upstart boasts an impeccable reputation. Client reviews on platforms like Trustpilot echo this sentiment, with over 40,000 five-star ratings. While a few negative comments exist, they often stem from borrowers not fully understanding the loan terms. Many clients praise Upstart for its swift funding process and user-friendly interface, with some completing the entire borrowing process on their mobile phones.

#1 for personal loans

Upstart clinches the top spot as our preferred choice for personal loans. It's the easiest way to connect with lenders offering competitive rates and terms, backed by thousands of satisfied customers. When you're in need of financing for your personal endeavors, Upstart should be your first stop.

SuperMoney Review 4.5 Star Rating

SuperMoney

4.5 Star Rating
  • Loan referral platform
  • Transparent about their partners
  • Excellent resource for evaluating loan providers
  • Plenty of reviews from other borrowers
  • Loans available up to $100,000
  • Operating since 2013

When you're in need of financial assistance, SuperMoney steps in as your trusted ally, linking you with lenders who can fund personal loans. Since 2013, this service has simplified the process of comparing loan offers from multiple lenders, empowering you to make informed decisions tailored to your specific circumstances.

Research and connect with multiple lending options

With SuperMoney, you gain access to an extensive network of lending partners, including reputable institutions such as SoFi (who you'll find reviewed separately here) and LendingClub. You benefit from comprehensive information about these partners, along with reviews from other customers, enabling you to make well-informed choices before initiating the loan application process.

Loans up to $100,000

With SuperMoney, you can apply for loans of up to $100,000. Of course, what you're actually approved for and under what terms will be heavily impacted by your credit history, income, and other personal factors. Still, it's nice to know that (at least in theory) it's possible to get great rates and large personal loans through this platform.

Best Personal Loans

They won't sell your information to third-party marketers

Your privacy is paramount at SuperMoney. The personal information you provide when filling out the quick online application (like your employment status and credit score) is used solely for the purpose of matching you with suitable lenders. That seems pretty standard, but many of SuperMoney's rivals make no such promises; we're all for a referral platform that doesn't come with a healthy dose of "spam" on the side.

Near-perfect reputation

SuperMoney maintains an exceptional reputation, evidenced by its remarkable Trustpilot rating of 4.9 stars based on over 400 reviews. Customers consistently compliment SuperMoney for making it hassle-free to find personal loan options from multiple financial institutions at once.

Fantastic way to connect with providers of personal loans

For individuals seeking personal loans, SuperMoney emerges as a top choice for exploring multiple lending options. Its user-friendly platform, comprehensive lender information, and unwavering commitment to your privacy set it apart as an exceptional resource in the realm of financial services. While the terms and conditions of personal loans ultimately hinge on your chosen lender and your borrower profile, SuperMoney serves as an invaluable starting point for you.

Discover Review 4.5 Star Rating

Discover

4.5 Star Rating
  • Loans ranging from $2,500 to $40,000
  • Terms ranging from 36 to 84 months
  • Next-day funding available after approval
  • No origination fees
  • No penalty for prepayment
  • Over 25,000 five-star reviews for personal loans

Discover offers more than just credit cards. They can also assist you in financing your personal projects, even if you're working with a tight budget.

Competitive rates and terms

Discover's personal loans can be used for just about any purpose, from fixing that hole in the roof to covering unexpected expenses. Available loan amounts here range from $2,500 to $40,000, with repayment terms spanning from 36 to 84 months and competitive interest rates. Considering that some of the lenders on our list have interest rates much higher, Discover really comes in as a contender for personal loans.

Find out your offer in minutes

What's more, there's no minimum credit score required to apply, and you can check your rate without affecting your credit score. Just fill out a short application online, allowing Discover to do a soft pull on your credit, and you'll have an offer within minutes if you qualify.

No origination fees or early repayment penalties

One of the standout features of Discover's personal loans is the absence of origination or prepayment fees. This is a significant advantage, potentially saving you up to 10% compared to other lenders. Additionally, there are no penalties for early repayment, allowing you to save even more money in the long run.

Best Personal Loans

Next-day funding on most personal loans

Discover strives to make accessing funds quick and convenient, offering next-day funding on many loans. Once your loan is approved and accepted, the money can be deposited into your bank account by the next business day, provided the loan is funded on a weekday. Just be sure that all information on your application is accurate, to avoid any delays due to errors.

Stellar reputation with respect to personal loan servicing

Customer satisfaction is a priority at Discover, as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive reviews from borrowers. With nearly 25,000 five-star reviews out of over 26,000 ratings for personal loans, customers commend Discover for offering better rates and terms than traditional banks or credit unions, along with exceptional customer service and a streamlined approval process. Who would have thought that a credit card company would have so much to offer with respect to personal loans?

Great choice for personal loans up to $40K

Discover's personal loans emerge as a surprisingly good option for financing everything from car repairs to home improvement projects. With a well-deserved high rating from us, Discover proves to be a reliable choice for achieving those personal goals that need just a little bit of extra cash to turn into a reality.

Happy Money Review 4 Star Rating

Happy Money

4 Star Rating
  • Loan amounts from $5,000 to $40,000
  • Origination fees of 1.5% to 5.5%
  • Payback terms from 2-5 years
  • Loans geared towards consolidating credit card debt
  • Funds can be deposited to your bank account within 3-6 business days, or directly to your credit cards within 30 days
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 2009
  • Has helped over 300,000 individuals with $6 billion in personal loans

Since 2009, Happy Money has been on a mission to help everyday people get on more solid financial footing by eliminating high-interest credit card debt. They partner with a range of banks and credit unions (like MSUFCU, Veridian, and Alliant) to get the job done - to the tune of $6 billion in loans for more than 300,000 clients.

Loans primarily for consolidating credit card debt

The loans offered here are designed to be used to lower and/or eliminate credit card balances. Happy Money "may be able to assist with certain personal unsecured installment loans as well" (meaning, if you want to borrow money to remodel your basement or fix your car), but that's certainly not the bread-and-butter here.

Eligibility criteria to consider

You'll have to meet some eligibility requirements to qualify for a personal loan through Happy Money. These include the following:

  • Credit score of 640+
  • No current delinquencies
  • 3 years of established credit

They will also take into consideration your debt-to-income ratio and overall credit utilization, but Happy Money doesn't offer specific guidelines on what they're looking for to approve your personal loan application. Available loan amounts range from $5,000 to $40,000, and the repayment term can be from 2-5 years.

Best Personal Loans

Very competitive rates and fees

We're pretty impressed by the low interest rates we found here. A one-time origination fee of 1.5%-5.5% is deducted from the loan proceeds. You'll notice right away that their rates are easily lower than the average credit card, and much lower than the 35.99% maximum APR we've spotted with many lenders and referral platforms on our list.

Quick application and no requirement to accept third-party offers

Start by checking your rate; it should only take two minutes to fill out the online questionnaire, and it won't affect your credit score. (We appreciate that while the application asks for a mobile number, they let you opt in to receiving offers from related companies instead of requiring your consent in order to proceed. High five!) Once you enter your email address and create a password, you'll be taken to a page with all of your loan offers.

Can be direct deposited or sent to your credit card companies

Once you've accepted an offer and completed the full application (which does affect your credit score, of course), you can expect your funds to be deposited to your checking or savings account within 3-6 business days, or reflected on your credit card balance within 30 days. The amount can also be split: maybe you've been approved for $20,000, but it only takes $15,000 to pay off all of your credit cards. If so, the remainder will be deposited to the account you specified during your application.

Best Personal Loans

A+ from the BBB and plenty of satisfied clients

Happy Money has earned both an "A+' rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with just 20 complaints (all answered in a timely, appropriate way) over the year leading up to this review. But, we noticed that some of the rating averages proudly advertised on the Happy Money site didn't track when we went to the actual sources: Bankrate and Nerdwallet's scores were accurate, Credible's was off by 0.1 and LendingTree's was off by 0.6, but Trustpilot had this company only at a 3.8-star average (instead of the 4.6 score posted by Happy Money).

Deeper dive showed better results

When we took a deeper look specifically at the Trustpilot score discrepancy, we found that most of the recent 1-star reviews there were from people in Great Britain who had been scammed by a company posing as Happy Money - who only operates in the US. Looking through the feedback from individuals (in the US, of course) who had actually used the service to get a personal loan, comments tend to offer praise like "easy process" and "no unpleasant surprises" . Whew!

Excellent choice for consolidating your credit card debt

There's a lot to love about Happy Money's personal loans for purposes of credit card debt consolidation. The interest rates are undoubtedly going to be lower than what you're currently paying, the origination fees aren't super-steep, and customer satisfaction looks to be consistently high. The only thing really keeping this lending platform from earning our best rating is that focus on debt consolidation: if you're taking out a personal loan for some other purpose, Happy Money may not work for you. Otherwise, we have no problem giving this company an enthusiastic recommendation.

SoFi Review 4 Star Rating

SoFi

4 Star Rating
  • Loans available from $5,000 to $100,000
  • Rates may include origination fees of up to 7%
  • Flexible repayment terms spanning from 2 to 7 years
  • Most loans funded same or next day
  • Available in all states except Mississippi
  • Live customer support 7 days a week
  • "A+" BBB rating
  • Thousands of 5-star ratings from happy clients

Need a personal loan to take care of some upcoming expenses? SoFi might have the solution for you. With over two million members and a staggering $50 billion in funded loans, SoFi has solidified its position as a reputable player in the financial sector.

Borrow up to $100K for up to 7 years

SoFi offers personal loans that can be utilized for various purposes, including home improvements. These loans range from $5,000 to $100,000, boasting competitive APRs. With flexible repayment terms spanning from 2 to 7 years, you have the freedom to manage your loan repayment comfortably. Plus, most loans are funded either on the same day or the next day, ensuring you have timely access to the funds you need. While SoFi boasts competitive rates, be sure to review the terms and conditions thoroughly, as origination fees up to 7% may apply, despite some places on the website that make assurances to the contrary.

Save with autopay and direct deposit

One standout feature of SoFi is the potential to save on your interest rate. By enrolling in autopay for your loan, you could typically receive a 0.25% APR discount. Additionally, setting up direct deposit to your SoFi account may grant you an extra half-percentage point discount on your interest rate.

Best Personal Loans

Plenty of positive feedback from borrowers

SoFi has been awarded an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and has received over 7,000 five-star ratings on Trustpilot, indicating its reputation as a trustworthy lender. While some complaints have been filed against SoFi, they have been adequately addressed, and many are unrelated to personal loan products.

Definitely worth considering

SoFi presents a compelling option for financing your personal projects, offering convenience, flexibility, and borrower protections. While they may not offer the absolute best rates and terms, their commitment to customer satisfaction and innovative features make them a lender worth exploring. If you're in need of funds for various expenses, SoFi could be the personal loan solution you're looking for.

Splash Financial Review 3.5 Star Rating

Splash Financial

3.5 Star Rating
  • Operates as a loan referral service
  • Primarily works with student loans, but expanded to include personal loans
  • 0.25% discount when you set up autopay
  • Origination fees of 0 to 12%, depending on the chosen lender
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 2013

Founded in 2013, Splash Financial emerged from a desire to alleviate the burden of debt experienced by friends and family. Operating from a modest office in Cleveland, OH, this company established a marketplace connecting individuals with banks and credit unions eager to assist in refinancing student loans, offering competitive rates nationwide. Over the years, Splash Financial has evolved into a prominent player in the student loan refinancing arena, facilitating over 100,000 accounts and managing over $6 billion in refinancing requests.

Service now offers personal loans

Expanding its services, Splash Financial has successfully launched personal loans, maintaining its dedication to customer service. Despite its growth, Splash Financial remains committed to its initial goal: empowering individuals to conquer their debt. Utilizing innovative automated underwriting technology, Splash Financial streamlines the loan process, offering personalized solutions and connecting customers with a diverse range of lenders, including small banks and credit unions, all accessible online for a seamless and efficient experience.

Some application questions go beyond the norm

You can find out what personal loans you qualify for in as little as three minutes. You'll start by creating an account (not our favorite intro, to be honest) with your email address and desired password. Indicate your requested loan amount and what you intend to use it for (pay off credit cards, make a major purchase), employment situation, and so forth. One question we got here that we didn't see elsewhere: "In the last 6 months, how many credit card cash advances have you taken?" We were also surprised to see an option to enroll in autopay, even before knowing which lenders we might be matched with; fortunately, you can always click on "decide later" , if you wind up opting to work with a financial institution who gives you a discount on your interest rate for doing so.

Best Personal Loans

Personal loans funded anywhere from 1 business day to 2 weeks

Once Splash Financial verifies your identity from the information you provided, you'll be shown multiple offers from their financial partners. Many of the lenders they work with can get you your loan proceeds within one business day after you complete the full application, but Splash has a disclaimer that it can take as long as two weeks. As you'd anticipate, it depends on your situation and the lender you choose.

Gets high marks for customer service

We're happy to note that Splash Financial is "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, with only 5 complaints filed there over the last three years. While most of the people leaving feedback with the BBB and in other places like Trustpilot are typically commenting on student financial products (like loans and refinancing), it's still worthwhile to point out that over 800 people have given Splash Financial a 5-star rating. One commenter sang this company's praises for being able to get them a personal loan when every other service rejected their application. Several others gave Splash Financial kudos for having knowledgeable and friendly customer representatives: "it was nice to talk to an actual person" and "it's true when they say "we'd love to talk'" are just some of the compliments that stood out to us.

Could be more open about their lending partners

But, there are a couple of downsides to Splash Financial that are worth mentioning. First, they're extremely tight-lipped about which lenders they use to fund personal loans. While most of their rival referral platforms not only tell you who they use upfront, but they also give you ample information and reviews from borrowers, Splash Financial says next to nothing. Digging around online, we found that some of their lending partners are probably credit unions, and taking out personal loans there typically comes with a membership requirement (which is usually easy enough to do by creating a savings or checking account).

Best Personal Loans

Higher-than-average rates and fees are possible

Second, Splash Financial's partners had a starting interest rate that was several percentage points higher than many competitors' published rates. Granted, most people aren't going to qualify for loans at that end of the spectrum anyway, and Splash's partners' high end was the same as what you'll see in most other places (35.99% APR at the time of this evaluation). But, we also noticed that the origination fees through Splash's network can go as high as 12%, and that definitely won't save you money in the long run.

Not closely focused on personal loans

Finally, this service is heavily focused on student loans and refinancing them. Yes, they've expanded into personal loans and we're here for that. But, it keeps them from competing with some of our higher-ranked options that have a strong emphasis on personal loans (and thus with a broader, more transparent network of lenders who specifically offer this type of financing).

Good but not quite great

Generally speaking, there's nothing overly concerning about Splash Financial. You could definitely use this referral service to get a personal loan, and if you need any guidance along the way, you can certainly count on receiving personable help from their reps. But, if you really like the idea of completing a single online application to get offers from an openly-disclosed set of financial institutions, you should check out some of Splash's competitors first.

LendingTree Review 3.5 Star Rating

LendingTree

3.5 Star Rating
  • Personal loans available up to $50,000
  • Referral service connects you with up to five lending partners
  • APRs vary per lender
  • Repayment terms range from 24 to 84+ months
  • Accredited with an "A+" rating by the Better Business Bureau
  • Operating for nearly 30 years

Since its inception in 1998, LendingTree has led the charge in online financial referral services, connecting individuals like you with a range of financing options, from personal loans to credit cards and small business funding. Leveraging their extensive network of trusted partners, LendingTree matches you with up to five lenders who are ready to assist you in achieving your financial goals, whether it's funding that dream vacation or consolidating debt.

Great place to research prospective lenders

Unlike platforms offering limited lender choices, LendingTree has a vast network of financial partners. This site prioritizes transparency, providing comprehensive information about each partner's background and customer feedback. This transparency can give you quite a bit of reassurance about who you're potentially borrowing from, particularly when considering lenders you may not have heard of before.

It all depends on the lender you pick

Your rates and terms will be determined by the lender you choose. Wondering about the loan amounts and interest rates available? It all hinges on factors such as your credit history, income, and borrowing requirements. Generally, LendingTree's partners can finance personal loans up to $50,000, with interest rates set by individual lenders. While LendingTree assures borrowers that no loans through their service carry an APR higher than 35.99%, personalized offers are only available upon application.

Easy to apply

Getting started with LendingTree is a breeze. Simply indicate the amount you wish to borrow and your desired timeframe for receiving the funds (from "ASAP" to "just browsing" ). Then, provide details like your birthdate, credit score range, annual income, and address. LendingTree will attempt to verify your identity using this information, and if necessary, they may request the last four digits of your SSN for a soft credit pull.

Best Personal Loans

Get up to 5 offers from lending partners

Once your identity is confirmed, you'll gain access to offers from lenders in LendingTree's network interested in providing you with a personal loan. Take advantage of the platform to compare offers thoroughly before proceeding with a full application to your chosen financial institution.

Good reviews but we could live without the spam

While LendingTree maintains an "A+" BBB rating and receives thousands of five-star reviews, some users have reported receiving an excessive amount of unwanted communications after providing their contact details to LendingTree. Though this issue isn't uncommon with referral platforms, it's worth considering if you're as annoyed by spam as we are.

Great info and loan options if you can get past the marketing

Despite this concern, LendingTree remains a reliable option for individuals seeking personal loans. While the third-party marketing issue detracts from its overall rating, LendingTree earns a solid rating here for its extensive lending network and user-friendly platform.

Prosper Review 3 Star Rating

Prosper

3 Star Rating
  • Loans available up to $50,000
  • Origination fees ranging from 1% to 7.99%
  • Peer-to-peer lending platform
  • Accredited with an "A+" rating by the BBB
  • Established since 2005

When it comes to securing basic personal loans, Prosper offers a distinctive approach. It stands out as the sole service in our lineup operating as a peer-to-peer lending platform (though there used to be another one). Since 2005, Prosper has been fostering connections between individuals through investments, acting as the intermediary between those seeking to invest in others (literally) and those in need of financing.

Be sure to accurately specify how you'll use the loan

Here's how it works: you input the desired loan amount (ranging from $2,000 to $50,000), hit "check your rate," and specify the purpose of your loan. This step carries more weight at Prosper compared to other lenders and platforms on our list. Why? Because it operates as a peer-to-peer platform, investors select which loans to fund based on borrowers' credit profiles and the purpose of the loan. So, if you indicate "Debt Consolidation" or "Home Improvement" as your loan purpose, you might attract investors interested in funding those specific needs.

Rates and fees are average

Yes, origination fees are part of the equation with Prosper. Depending on your overall borrower profile, these fees can range from 1% to 7.99% and will be deducted from your loan amount. Here's some good news though: If you repay your loan ahead of schedule, you might be eligible for a refund of any unearned portion of the fee exceeding 5% of the original principal amount.

Best Personal Loans

You may have to wait to get your loan funded

Once your application is approved, the waiting game begins. Prosper "may" fund your loan as quickly as one business day, but the timing largely depends on the lenders investing in your loan. This aspect is one reason Prosper doesn't rank higher on our list: the peer-to-peer model introduces potential delays not encountered elsewhere. While this might not pose an issue if you're flexible with your financial timeline, it could be problematic if you require immediate funds for pressing matters.

Some mixed reviews

What about reputation? At the time of our evaluation, Prosper held an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, alongside more than 450 complaints over the past three years. While the volume of complaints isn't ideal, it's reassuring to note that all received timely, appropriate responses from Prosper representatives. Additionally, over 10,000 individuals have left 5-star reviews for Prosper on Trustpilot. Many describe the process as streamlined, particularly for repeat borrowers, with loans typically funded within days.

Solidly... average

Prosper ranks as solidly average. Its unique approach to personal loans might come with some funding delays, albeit not excessive ones. Although Prosper falls a little lower in our rankings due to the origination fees and slightly less competitive interest rates, it remains a reliable lender worthy of a respectable rating from us.

Bad Credit Loans Review 2 Star Rating

Bad Credit Loans

2 Star Rating
  • Refers you to lenders in their network
  • Loans from $500 to $10,000
  • Repayment terms from 90 days to 6 years
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

Bad Credit Loans connects prospective borrowers with a vast network of lending partners, which can include banks, credit unions, even state and Tribal lenders. You can use this platform to borrow anywhere from $500 to $10,000, and repayment terms from 90 days to 6 years. Obviously that's a huge spectrum, and your loan offer will naturally depend on your individual credit profile.

Doesn't vet any of their lending partners

We aren't thrilled with the fact that Bad Credit Loans has this disclaimer: "We are not a lender and don't endorse or control any of the lenders or other providers in our network or our extended network." In other words, they'll pass your information along to anyone who wants to pay for it, and Bad Credit Loans takes no responsibility for making sure any of those lenders are trustworthy. And they certainly don't come out and tell you anything about who those lenders are in advance, so that you can see reviews and determine if you feel comfortable taking out a loan with them. Okay, then.

Basic eligibility requirements

You have to meet some eligibility requirements to use this service to get a personal loan. You have to be at least 18 years old, have regular income and a checking account in your name, and be willing to provide home and work phone numbers plus a valid email address.

You could get unrelated marketing offers

When you fill out how much you'd like to borrow, Bad Credit Loans gets right down to it, asking for your zip code, last 4 digits of your SSN, and your date of birth. Hit the continue button, and you're giving them consent to send you marketing communications for loans and "credit-related products like debt relief, credit repair, banking, and credit-monitoring" . They'll also look up whether or not you have an existing account with their affiliated websites, but they don't tell you what sites those might be.

Best Personal Loans

They ask for your banking info upfront

We also don't love that, as part of the process of even getting an initial personal loan offer, Bad Credit Loans requires applicants to provide not only their full SSN but also their bank routing number and account number. We get that eventually everyone has to provide those details to get loan proceeds, but asking for it before even making an offer feels like a sleazy way to grab some really sensitive data before providing anything of value. But, if you decide to bite the bullet and give Bad Credit Loans all of that information, they promise to match you with "up to 5" loan offers from partners in their network.

Reviews are outdated and not universally positive

Bad Credit Loans is "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau, with no complaints filed there over the last three years. But, feedback for this company is relatively limited, with just a dozen or so ratings on Trustpilot (with the most "recent" dating back to 2022) and 30 or so reviews on various financial blogs and websites. And, most of those reviews are fairly average, with some showing appreciation for being able to use this service to get a personal loan, with others complaining about high interest rates or the depth of the information collected prior to receiving a loan offer.

Not really worth your time

So, let's recap. Bad Credit Loans has a large lender network, but they don't come out and tell you who they work with. You won't be able to borrow as much here as with other options on our list, with a max loan of just $10,000. And, you'll have to provide your most sensitive financial information just to fill out the preliminary inquiry. But, Bad Credit Loans' "A+" from the Better Business Bureau and some "good enough" reviews are enough to keep this service off the bottom of the barrel, coming in with a mediocre-rating from us.

Ace Cash Express Review 1.5 Star Rating

Ace Cash Express

1.5 Star Rating
  • Online loans only available in Delaware, Florida, Missouri, Texas
  • Online loan amounts range from $100 to $1,000 or $2,000, depending on location
  • 900 in-person locations across 22 states + DC
  • No application fee
  • 5-month repayment term
  • Interest rates as high as 495.76% APR
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business for over 50 years
  • Over 38 million customers served

Ace Cash Express is a financial services company known for its diverse range of offerings, including payday loans, installment loans (also known as personal loans), check cashing, and prepaid debit cards. With over 900 locations across 22 states and DC, Ace Cash Express provides convenient access to short-term financial solutions for people facing unexpected expenses or cash flow challenges, catering primarily to those with less-than-perfect credit or those in need of immediate funds.

Mostly a provider of payday and title loans

It's important to understand how limited your options are at Ace Cash Express. First off, you should only use this service if you're okay with using a company that primarily specializes in payday and title loans (industries that are well-known for being, shall we say, less than reputable).

Online personal loans only offered in 4 states

Next, you'll only be able to apply online for a personal loan (typically referred to on this site as an "installment loan" ) with Ace Cash Express if you live in Delaware, Florida, Missouri, or Texas. And, the state you live in will determine how much you can apply for: it's up to $2,000, unless you live in the Sunshine State where the max loan amount is $1,000.

A few eligibility criteria to meet

But, let's say you do live in one of those four states and you want to know more about Ace Cash Express' personal loans. Here's what we can tell you. First, you can opt to have your loans directly deposited to your bank account or available for pickup at a brick and mortar location near you. Either way, you'll need to have proof of a steady source of recurring income (like a job, disability, or retirement) and of a bank account that has been open for at least a month.

Best Personal Loans

Interest rates are downright scary

Here's where it really gets ugly: Ace Cash Express doesn't mention anything about loan interest rates or repayment terms in any easy-to-find place on their site. We had to turn to Google to find the PDF disclosing some "sample loan rates" and a fee schedule, and we immediately understood why they're not more forthcoming with those little details: your personal loan here will have a 5-month repayment term, and the "sample" interest rates were from 396.54% to 495.76%. They even do the math for you, pointing out that on an example loan of $400, you'd wind up paying back a total of $1,004 and change. Scarier still, our research showed that there are some personal loans here with APRs of a whopping 630%.

Has helped people in desperate circumstances

The only thing saving Ace Cash Express from getting our absolute lowest 1-star rating is the fact that they have an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and more than 8000 5-star reviews on Trustpilot. For people in truly desperate financial circumstances, Ace Cash Express has come through in a pinch.

Not recommended for personal loans

Still, compared with other options on our list (whose maximum interest is a more "reasonable" 35.99% APR), Ace Cash Express doesn't even come close to getting our recommendation. You certainly wouldn't use a loan here to consolidate debt or pay off your credit cards. This is a personal loan option you'd only turn to if you literally couldn't get approved anywhere else, and we don't recommend it for the average person trying to pay off high-interest debt or fund a home improvement project.

Personal Loans Review 1.5 Star Rating

Personal Loans

1.5 Star Rating
  • Lender referral service
  • Connects you with lenders offering anywhere from $250 to $35,000
  • Parent company has an "A" rating from the BBB

If you're considering Personal Loans for funding your financial needs, you might want to think again. Operated by a company called IT Media, Personal Loans acts strictly as a referral service, connecting you with lenders who pay to receive your information. While this might not be inherently negative, it's essential to dive deeper into how Personal Loans operates before deciding if it's the right choice for you.

You're consenting to receive third-party marketing offers

When you start the process with Personal Loans, you'll be asked to enter the amount you'd like to borrow, ranging from $250 to $35,000. However, by providing this information, you're also consenting to receive marketing communications from companies specializing not just in loans but also in credit repair, banking, and credit monitoring - a detail that's easy to miss in the fine print. Opting out of additional credit-related offers seems like a logical choice, but it's not straightforward with Personal Loans - if you uncheck the box (which shows up much later in the application), you're unable to proceed, which feels deceptive and inconvenient.

No guarantees on how they handle your info

Moving forward in the application process, you'll be prompted to provide personal details such as your zip code, last 4 digits of your SSN, and date of birth, presumably for soft credit checks and identity verification purposes. However, Personal Loans doesn't explicitly state this, leaving you to wonder about the handling of your sensitive information.

Best Personal Loans

Not transparent about their lending partners

After submitting your information, Personal Loans redirects you to a page where their partners may offer you a loan (which, in our case, was much lower than what we requested), followed by a request for your bank routing and account numbers. The lack of transparency throughout the process, coupled with the excessive amount of personal information requested, raises red flags about the platform's reliability and trustworthiness.

Don't waste your time

Despite Personal Loans' parent company boasting an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, the lack of current feedback and transparency about how they handle personal information tanks our confidence in the service. Ultimately, Personal Loans falls short when it comes to providing a secure and user-friendly experience for borrowers, making it a poor choice for securing financing. It's far better for you to explore other reputable lenders on our list that prioritize transparency and customer satisfaction, giving you a smoother and safer borrowing process.

Upstart Disclosure

(1) 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.

(3) The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 22.00% and 60 monthly payments of $25.03 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $15,018 including a $600 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no downpayment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

(4) 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.

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Continued from above...

First, think about whether you really need the money and if you can afford to pay it back. Taking out a loan is a big responsibility, and you don't want to get in over your head with debt. Take a look at your budget and make sure you can comfortably make the monthly payments.

Next, you'll want to shop around and compare loan offers from different lenders to make sure you're getting the best deal. Pay attention to things like interest rates, fees, and repayment terms. You can usually get prequalified for a loan online without affecting your credit score, which can help you see what kind of offers you might be eligible for.

Speaking of applying online, should you do it? Absolutely. It's super convenient to apply for a personal loan online since you can do it from the comfort of your own home and compare offers from multiple lenders without having to visit a bunch of banks or credit unions in person.

Plus, many online lenders offer quick approval and funding, so you can get the money you need fast. Just make sure you're dealing with a reputable lender and that you understand all the terms and conditions of the loan before you sign on the dotted line.

Now that you're ready to apply for a personal loan, which lender or website is best? Here are some things to look for as you make the decision:

  • Can the lender offer you the amount you're thinking of borrowing? Some personal loan providers only go up to $10K, while others go as high as $100K.
  • Rates and fees. It's important to know not only how much you'll be paying in interest but also in fees (like origination). Fees are often taken out of the loan money before it hits your account, which can affect the amount of the loan you need to request.
  • Funding timeframe. How long will it take for your loan money to get to you? Can you get it deposited into your bank account in a day or less? If you need the money quickly, choose a lender that can get it done fast.
  • Reputation. Does the lender or referral service have a good reputation? Do people who have used it to borrow money recommend it? Has the Better Business Bureau given the company a good grade?

To help you find the best option for getting a personal loan, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have reviewed and ranked some of today's most popular lenders and referral platforms. Use our research to start your journey with a trustworthy company and get the funds you need!

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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.

What Factors Affect Being Approved for a Personal Loan?

A personal loan can be an ideal tool to consolidate debt, pay an emergency expense or start a business. However, there is no guarantee that a lender will approve your request for financing. Let's take a closer look at the factors that a financial institution will typically look at when evaluating a loan application.

Do You Want a Secured or Unsecured Loan?

A secured loan is generally easier to obtain than an unsecured loan because there is less risk to the lender. If you fail to make a payment in a timely manner, the bank simply seizes your collateral and liquidates it to recoup any losses it has incurred. Common types of collateral include the title to a home, car or other valuable assets. In some cases, you can use funds inside of a bank or brokerage account to secure a personal loan.

What Is Your Credit Score?

Historically, personal loans were reserved for those who had poor credit scores or didn't have any credit history at all. Today, these types of loans are available to borrowers with any credit score. To get the best interest rate, you will need to have a credit score of at least 700. To simply qualify for a personal loan, you'll generally need a score of at least 550.

Do You Have any Significant Blemishes on Your Credit Report?

If you have filed for bankruptcy at any point in the previous seven years, it will appear on your credit report. The same is true if you are past due on other accounts or have defaulted on a loan in the last seven years. However, lenders will generally only hold these things against you if they have occurred in the past two years. Otherwise, they will assume that you have learned from your mistakes and are better able to manage your debt today.

How Much Do You Earn Each Month or Year?

You will need to show proof of income as part of the personal loan application process. This may be done by attaching a copy of your most recent pay stub, a copy of your most recent tax return or by supplying a copy of a recent bank statement. Many lenders will have minimum income requirements that they will disclose when it comes time to submit your applications.

What's Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio will play a significant role in whether you qualify for a loan. It will also play a role in determining how much you are allowed to borrow. Ideally, you will have a DTI of less than 50% to maximize your odds of getting the financing that you need.

To determine your DTI, simply compare your monthly income to your monthly debt obligations. For instance, let's say that you earn $10,000 a month and have debts totaling $5,000 a month.

In such a scenario, your DTI would be 50%. If your debt obligations totaled $4,000 a month, you'd have a DTI of 40%. Ideally, you will look for ways to get rid of debt whenever you can even if you aren't planning on borrowing money.

How Long Have You Been Employed?

Your employment history will likely have an impact on whether or not you are approved for a personal loan. If you are unemployed, your chances of receiving the money that you want or need are lower than if you have a job. This is because without a job, you may lack the income needed to make your monthly loan payment.

It's worth noting that you may have a harder time getting approved for a personal loan if you are self-employed or if you have only been employed for a short time. This is because it may be harder to prove that you have the ability to earn a steady income over a period of several months or years.

Lenders may overlook your lack of a steady wage income if you have sufficient cash reserves or have assets that you can liquidate if necessary. Lenders may also loan to those who have alternate ways of earning money such as income derived from a rental property or royalties from a book deal.

Do You Have a Cosigner?

If your credit score is 700 or higher, you should be able to get a relatively low interest rate even if you don't have a cosigner. This may be especially true if you opt for a secured loan as opposed to one that is not secured by collateral.

In the event that your credit score is below 700, it may be in your best interest to at least consider asking someone to vouch for you to a lender. This may also be a good idea if you have filed for bankruptcy in the past 24 months or may otherwise present an elevated risk to a bank or other financial institution.

Your cosigner can be anyone who is over the age of 18 and is of sound mind when agreeing to serve in such a capacity. Therefore, you can ask a friend, or any other adult who you know to help you obtain the money needed to stabilize or improve your life.

Do You Have a Relationship With Your Preferred Lender?

It may be easier to get a loan from a bank or institution that you have a prior relationship with. This is because they know that you have a track record of repaying your debts in a timely manner. Furthermore, the loan application process may be easier to complete because most lenders will save your information for future use. Therefore, you may be able to simply confirm that your information is correct and then send the application in for approval.

How Much Do You Want to Borrow?

The amount that you want to borrow could have an impact on whether or not your application is approved or denied. Let's say that you earn $25,000, have a DTI of 25% and no assets, it may not be feasible to borrow $100,000. It's also important to point out that some lenders will place limits on how much they will let a single person borrow. Therefore, even if you might otherwise qualify to borrow $100,000, you may only get $50,000 because that's how much a lender is willing to part with.

What Is the Purpose of the Loan?

As a practical matter, you can use the proceeds from a personal loan for any purpose that you can think of. However, it's not uncommon for lenders to only cater to certain segments of the market. For example, a lender may choose to work only with those who are using a personal loan to consolidate credit card balances. If you were looking for funds to pay for college or take a vacation, you probably wouldn't want to work with a niche financial institution.

Other Factors May Apply If Deemed Relevant

A lender reserves the right to impose any restrictions or terms that it wants as long as they don't violate state or federal lending laws. For example, your application may be denied if you have too many open credit accounts on the date that it was reviewed. Credit accounts might include credit cards, auto loans or other outstanding personal loans. If you have any questions about the loan application process, be sure to talk to a lender representative prior to submitting a request for money.

Personal loans may be ideal for those who have bad credit or no credit history at all. They may also be ideal for those who are trying to consolidate their debts at a lower interest rate. If you are in the market for such a loan, it may be a good idea to compare rates and terms from at least three different lenders. Doing so may make it easier to determine if you can find loan terms that meet your needs and budget.

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

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  • Upstart
  • SuperMoney
  • Discover
  • Happy Money
  • SoFi
  • Splash Financial
  • LendingTree
  • Prosper
  • Bad Credit Loans
  • Ace Cash Express
  • Personal Loans
Upstart vs SuperMoney Upstart vs Discover Upstart vs Happy Money Upstart vs SoFi Upstart vs Splash Financial Upstart vs LendingTree Upstart vs Prosper Upstart vs Bad Credit Loans Upstart vs Ace Cash Express Upstart vs Personal Loans SuperMoney vs Discover SuperMoney vs Happy Money SuperMoney vs SoFi SuperMoney vs Splash Financial SuperMoney vs LendingTree SuperMoney vs Prosper SuperMoney vs Bad Credit Loans SuperMoney vs Ace Cash Express SuperMoney vs Personal Loans Discover vs Happy Money Discover vs SoFi Discover vs Splash Financial Discover vs LendingTree Discover vs Prosper Discover vs Bad Credit Loans Discover vs Ace Cash Express Discover vs Personal Loans Happy Money vs SoFi Happy Money vs Splash Financial Happy Money vs LendingTree Happy Money vs Prosper Happy Money vs Bad Credit Loans Happy Money vs Ace Cash Express Happy Money vs Personal Loans SoFi vs Splash Financial SoFi vs LendingTree SoFi vs Prosper SoFi vs Bad Credit Loans SoFi vs Ace Cash Express SoFi vs Personal Loans Splash Financial vs LendingTree Splash Financial vs Prosper Splash Financial vs Bad Credit Loans Splash Financial vs Ace Cash Express Splash Financial vs Personal Loans LendingTree vs Prosper LendingTree vs Bad Credit Loans LendingTree vs Ace Cash Express LendingTree vs Personal Loans Prosper vs Bad Credit Loans Prosper vs Ace Cash Express Prosper vs Personal Loans Bad Credit Loans vs Ace Cash Express Bad Credit Loans vs Personal Loans Ace Cash Express vs Personal Loans
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