Updated 10-17-2017

Personal LoansPersonal Loans

Have a medical emergency and need money as soon as possible? Need a loan to consolidate your debt without having to deal with a bank? Personal loans from lending services are a great way for people to borrow the money they need quickly and without the headaches that can come from dealing with a conventional bank. These loans come in two varieties — peer-to-peer and a more traditional loan from the personal loan service itself. While some personal loan services have local branches you can visit to talk to a representative in person, they all offer the convenience of taking a loan out from the comfort of home and the freedom to use the money for almost any purpose you desire. We've reviewed a range of lenders to help you find the best option to suit your needs.

Personal Loans Reviews & Ratings

View Full Comparison Chart
Services: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
Lending Club Rating: stars
Simple application process and low rates make this peer-to-peer service a great choice for those with average or better credit
Prosper Rating: stars
Great choice for those with good/average credit or better; Low interest rates, personalized application process and a unique rating system
SoFi Rating: stars
Personal loans with both fixed and variable rate options allow borrowers flexibility; education and work history considered alongside credit information; excellent customer service; includes unemployment protection
Upstart Rating: stars
Evaluates financial information, work history and academic performance; allows loans for educational purposes; great choice for students/recent grads without much credit or work history; strong customer service
Avant Rating: stars
Good choice for those with fair to average credit; excellent customer service and reporting to the credit bureaus are a plus
FreedomPlus Rating: stars
Competitive rates and long loan terms; works to connect borrowers with the best overall loan option; spotty customer service but a stellar reputation
NetCredit Rating: stars
Credit bureau reporting can help build credit, but limited access and high interest rates may deter some borrowers
OneMain Financial Rating: stars
Good choice for those who favor a hands-on approach with a local branch, but lack of information prior to application can be frustrating

NextAdvisor Personal Loans Blog Headlines

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Although owning a credit card is a great way to help establish and build your credit, there are times when a credit card can get you into trouble, or worse, into serious debt, particularly if you aren’t practicing responsible credit card habits. By making unplanned purchases that result in constant credit card balances which don’t seem […]

The Best and Worst Reasons to Apply for a Personal Loan
Personal loans are an accessible way to borrow money that you can then use any way you want. However, not all loans end up benefiting you in the long run. Personal loans work best when you’re using them to make investments in your life, either to give yourself the ability to make more money, or […]

What Happens When I Miss a Credit Card Payment?
When used responsibly, credit cards can be a great tool to help boost your credit. Part of practicing responsible credit card habits is to avoid carrying a balance and maxing out your credit card limit, as these are things that directly affect your credit scores. The most important responsible credit card habit, however, is paying […]

3 Things to Know About Debt Collection
One of the scariest things about owing debt is the fear of it going into collections. Debt collectors have a bad reputation and tend to inspire worries of insecurity and loss in a lot of people. However, dealing with debt collection isn’t uncommon, and it isn’t the end of the world. The Consumer Financial Protection […]

Will applying for a loan hurt my credit?

The short answer: no. Most personal loan services allow you to apply and see what interest rate you qualify for before submitting a full application for a loan. During the qualification process, the personal loan service will make a soft inquiry to get a snapshot of your credit. This type of credit check will not be noted on your credit reports, so it won't have a negative affect on your credit should you be turned down. However, if you qualify for a loan and go forward with a full application, the personal loan service will perform a hard inquiry to get your full credit history — which will show up on your credit reports.

How is this different from a payday loan?

Payday loans and personal loans have some similarities, such as the ability to obtain money quickly without a lengthy wait or tons of paperwork. However, unlike payday loans — which assess a fee per $100 borrowed and require full repayment in a period of just a few weeks — personal loans use an APR (Annual Percentage Rate) to determine how much interest you will pay and offer long repayment terms. Personal loans also involve much larger sums of money than a payday loan. Whereas a payday loan service might allows borrowers to take up to $250 at a time, many personal loan services will let you borrow a maximum of $10,000 or more if you qualify.

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