July 6, 2022

Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit | U.S. News

Loans have become tougher to get just when people most need them, as the coronavirus pandemic puts millions of Americans out of work. Luckily, excellent credit – a FICO score of 740 or higher – can be an asset when you want to borrow money. But lenders are picky.

If you have excellent credit and need a personal loan, not only can you qualify more easily than borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, but you also get the best terms.

“The benefits of excellent credit can go a long way in helping a person be approved and benefit from the best possible interest rates available at the time,” says Chase Peckham, director of community outreach for the San Diego Financial Literacy Center.

Excellent credit assures lenders that you’re responsible when it comes to borrowing money. The less risky you appear to lenders, the more likely you are to be able to comparison shop and choose from among the lowest rates and fees.

If you want to know where to find personal loans for excellent credit, this guide can help you narrow your short list of lenders.

Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit 2021

LightStream

2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Upstart

8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Payoff

5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Rocket Loans

7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Avant

9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

SoFi

5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Best Egg

4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

LendingClub

10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Peerform

5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Upgrade

7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Discover

6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Axos Bank

6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

FreedomPlus

7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Prosper

7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

U.S. Bank

6.49% to 16.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

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2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.49% to 16.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More

APR

Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

2.49% to 19.99% $100,000 660

6.49% to 17.99% $20,000 Not disclosed

8.69% to 35.99% $50,000 620

5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 640

7.16% to 29.99% $45,000 Not disclosed

9.95% to 35.95% $35,000 550

6.99% to 19.99% $40,000 660

5.99% to 18.28% $100,000 680

4.99% to 29.99% $50,000 640

10.68% to 35.89% $40,000 600

5.99% to 29.99% $25,000 600

7.99% to 35.97% $50,000 Not disclosed

9.99% to 35.99% $25,000 600

6.99% to 24.99% $35,000 660

6.49% to 29.99% $35,000 720

7.99% to 29.99% $40,000 620

7.95% to 35.99% $40,000 640

6.49% to 16.99% $25,000 680

18% to 35.99% $20,000 Not disclosed

Best for low interest

LightStream is the national online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, which in 2019 became Truist after merging with BB&T. The key feature of LightStream’s online personal loans is that they can be up to $100,000 and used for nearly any reason, outside of refinancing existing LightStream loans. Personal loans are available to borrowers with good to excellent credit in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A variety of loan uses are available.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

See full profile

Best for low minimum loan amounts

PenFed Credit Union serves members of the Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, military associations, eligible veterans and retirees, and their families. However, military association is not required to apply for a loan or become a credit union member. The credit union offers personal loans for eligible members and eligible co-borrowers in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Terms of up to 60 months.

  • There are no origination fees.

  • Borrowers can get access to funds as early as the day after approval.

See full profile

Best for borrowers with no credit or poor credit

Upstart is an online marketplace lender that connects borrowers and investors to originate personal loans. It offers loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair to excellent credit nationwide, with the exception of Iowa and West Virginia residents. Since it was established in 2012, more than $7 billion in loans have been originated. Many loan decisions made through the platform are automated and use artificial intelligence.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Upstart may accept applicants with fair credit or even those with no credit history, using artificial intelligence to quantify risk.

  • Upstart loans as low as $1,000 are available in most states.

  • The lender’s credit dashboard allows borrowers to see the impact of loan repayments and to modify payment dates.

See full profile

Best for debt consolidation

Payoff offers personal loans designed to consolidate credit card and other high-interest debt. It operates in most states and provides loans of up to $40,000.

Payoff is not a bank; instead, it works with lending partners that originate loans. The company, which considers itself a financial wellness firm, is based in California.

In 2017, Payoff launched a sister company called Happy Money, which takes a psychological approach to money matters. Today, Payoff is a service under the Happy Money umbrella.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers don’t face prepayment or late fees.

  • Borrowers can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may be eligible.

See full profile

Best for digital customer care

Rocket Loans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa, West Virginia and Nevada. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses and business or other expenses.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available in some cases.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

  • An online application process is available.

See full profile

Best for risky borrowers

Since 2012, Avant has provided access to personal loans to more than 800,000 borrowers nationwide. Borrowers may qualify with fair to excellent credit and can borrow from $2,000 to $35,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Loans as low as $2,000 are available.

  • Funding can happen as early as the next business day after approval.

See full profile

Best for no origination fee

Marcus is the consumer bank and lending arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Established in 2016, the lender offers personal loans of up to $40,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Marcus does not charge any fees on its personal loans.

  • Borrowers can adjust their payment due date.

See full profile

Best for loans of up to $100,000 with no fees

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers personal loans of up to $100,000 to borrowers with very good to excellent credit. The lender operates nationwide, but does not offer personal loans in Mississippi, and is known for offering loans with no fees. In addition to personal loans, SoFi offers student loans, student loan refinancing, home loans and small business financing.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • SoFi offers no-fee loans, including no late fees.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

  • Co-borrowers are accepted.

See full profile

Best for bad credit

Best Egg is a national online lender offering personal loans starting at $2,000 for a variety of purposes. Loans can be funded in as little as one business day.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funding typically takes one to three business days upon approval.

  • The minimum loan amount is $2,000 in most states.

  • Borrowers incur no prepayment penalty.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

LendingClub is an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors through its network of lending partners. LendingClub initially launched on Facebook and has evolved into an extensive peer-to-peer lender. Borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa and U.S. territories who have fair to excellent credit can get $1,000 to $40,000 loans with LendingClub.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: not rated

Best Features

  • Loans of $1,000 or more are available.

  • Joint applications are accepted.

  • Borrowers can qualify with fair to excellent credit.

See full profile

What Is the Best Interest Rate on a Personal Loan?

When you shop around for the best personal loan interest rate, you can save. Compare your personal loan offers with national average trends for personal loans to know if you’ve found a good deal.

The average personal loan rate is 9.34%. Last week’s average rate was 9.93%.*

*Rate as of May. 21, 2021

Personal Loan Finder

Select your desired loan amount and loan purpose, your credit score range, and your state to see estimated annual percentage rates and loan terms.

What Is the Best Personal Loan to Get With Excellent Credit?

Personal loans aren’t one-size-fits-all. The best loan for you may be different from the best one for someone else, even if you both have excellent credit. You’ll need to consider factors that make a loan ideal for your needs.

Because qualifying isn’t a concern if you have excellent credit, you may choose a personal loan based on the best deal you can get. Interest rate and repayment term could be top considerations as you make your decision.

Which Bank Has the Best Personal Loan Rates?

“My mama told me, you better shop around,” according to an old hit song. Mama wasn’t talking about personal loans, but her advice holds true if you’re going to find the lowest interest rates and save yourself some money.

You can find out a lender’s rate without dinging your excellent credit. Get prequalified or do a rate check, which is a precursor to completing a full loan application. A soft credit inquiry is used for prequalification, which does not impact your credit.

You’ll want to consider whether you’re getting a fixed or variable rate. With a fixed rate, your loan payments always stay the same. You’re gambling a little with a variable rate, because rates could rise, but you save money if rates drop.

You should always shop around for rates regardless of your credit score, Peckham says. “Even if you have excellent credit, every institution with which you are applying is going to have different factors for approving and setting rates for loans,” he says.

He reminds borrowers that credit score is a big factor, but not the only one, when determining loan options and terms.

How Much Will a Personal Loan Cost?

Two main things make up the cost of your personal loan: interest rate and fees. That number is expressed as your annual percentage rate, or APR, and it reflects how much you pay to borrow money on a yearly basis.

Your APR hinges on things like your credit score, income and financials. Getting a personal loan with excellent credit means your rates are likely to be on the lower end.

Fees can include origination fees, prepayment penalties or any other service fees the lender charges.

“Origination fees and the rates and terms can depend on a variety of factors,” says Caleb Cook, vice president of consumer lending at Digital Federal Credit Union.

Lenders charge you an origination fee upfront to process your loan application and underwrite the loan. This can be a flat fee or a percentage of the amount you’re borrowing, and it’s typically deducted from the loan proceeds, though sometimes it’s added to the loan.

You may also be charged a prepayment penalty if you pay off the loan early.

How Much You Can Borrow With a Personal Loan?

Ideally, you should be able to borrow the amount of money you need, but personal loans typically come with borrowing limits ranging from $2,000 to $40,000, though some lenders offer larger loans. With your excellent credit – and enough income – you could get approved for a bigger loan.

What Can You Use a Personal Loan For?

Generally, you can spend your personal loan on whatever you want, but there can be restrictions. For example, lenders may not allow you to use a personal loan for college expenses, business, investments or gambling costs. And just because you can use a personal loan for something, that doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea.

What Repayment Terms Do Personal Loans Offer?

Your repayment terms lay out your APR, your monthly payment and how long you’ll be paying it. Personal loans can offer shorter or longer repayment terms, depending on how much you borrow. You might get two years to repay a smaller loan, while a larger loan may come with a repayment term of five years or longer.

Keeping the repayment term in mind is important for making sure a personal loan fits your budget. If you’re going to be making payments for several years, those payments need to fit your budget now and where it may be down the line.

Where Is the Best Place to Get a Personal Loan With Excellent Credit?

When seeking personal loans for excellent credit, you have several options for borrowing, including:

Unsure where to start? Go local. Cook says to check your local community bank or credit union first.

Your local credit unions and community banks want to keep you as a customer. One way to do that is to offer you incentives to get a personal loan, such as rate discounts or a waiver of certain fees, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Credit unions have the reputation of offering lower rates for loans, but you have to be a member of the credit union to borrow money. Check out the credit union’s membership requirements; they vary from living in a certain area to working in a specific industry or belonging to a particular organization or even making a contribution to a distinct cause.

The application process may also vary, depending on where you choose to apply for a personal loan. For instance, if you’re applying for a loan at a bank or credit union, you may need to go into a branch to fill out a paper application. Online lenders and peer-to-peer lenders allow you to apply and upload all of your supporting documents online.

Will a Personal Loan Hurt My Credit Score?

Though you already have an excellent credit score, you will likely lose a few points when you formally apply for a personal loan because the lender will perform a hard credit inquiry.

To avoid multiple hard pulls, try prequalifying first – this involves a soft credit pull that doesn’t cost you any credit score points. You can then look over various personal loan offers and apply only for the loan with the best terms for you. In any case, you’re trading a temporary credit score hit for access to needed funds from a personal loan.

On the positive side, personal loans can add diversity to your credit mix, which accounts for 10% of your FICO credit score. And making your loan payments on time contributes to a positive payment history, which makes up 35% of your credit score. Since you have an excellent score, that means you’ve already been paying your bills on time, so you may not see a big boost from adding a personal loan.

How Can You Compare the Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit?

Before you start shopping for personal loans, check on whether you really do have an excellent credit score. In addition to free sources of your score, such as your credit card issuer or various personal finance websites, you could take a look at your credit scores from all three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each bureau could have a different version of your score, and you might have to pay for the information.

When you consider personal loan options from various lenders, weigh these details:

  • Minimum and maximum borrowing amounts.
  • Minimum credit score requirements.
  • Interest rate range and whether rates are fixed or variable.
  • Loan fees, including origination, prepayment and late fees.
  • What the loan can be used for and whether any exclusions apply.
  • Minimum and maximum loan repayment terms.

Also consider what’s involved with the application process and how quickly you get your money after you’re approved. With some online lenders, you may be able to receive approval and your funds on the same day or the next business day, while a personal loan from a bank could take a little longer.

If you need money from a personal loan to cover an emergency expense, timing could affect which lender you decide to work with.

Finally, keep in mind that it’s still possible to be denied for a personal loan, even with excellent credit, Peckham says.

For example, the lender may be overrun with applications and have a backlog it’s working through. Or it may be carrying too much debt and lack capital to lend. For that reason, he says, it’s important to shop around to find the right personal loan option.

View More Best Personal Loans

Best for peer-to-peer loans of up to $25,000

Peerform is a marketplace lending platform that connects borrowers nationwide with investors. Borrowers with a credit score of 600 or higher may qualify for loans of up to $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for loan amounts of up to $50,000

Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans and lines of credits nationwide. Borrowers can qualify for up to $50,000 in financing.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans and lines of credit are available up to $50,000.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for FICO scores between 580 and 669

LendingPoint, which specializes in loans for borrowers with fair credit, has offered online personal loans since 2014. The lender, operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia, provides loans as large as $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 48 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are available as soon as one day after approval.

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

See full profile

Best for low costs

Discover is a digital bank and payment services company known for its credit cards. But Discover also offers other products including fixed-rate personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The lender boasts no fees as long as you pay on time.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Discover has no fees other than a late fee.

  • Customizable loan terms from 36 to 84 months.

  • Borrowers get free access to their FICO credit score.

See full profile

Best for flexible loan terms

Axos Bank launched in 2000 and is owned by San Diego-based Axos Financial. You won’t find any brick-and-mortar branches, but the bank has offices throughout the country. Aside from personal loans, Axos Bank offers CDs, plus checking, savings, money market and retirement accounts.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 720
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • The loan application process is completely digital because Axos Bank is online only.

  • Flexible loan terms are one to five years.

  • You can borrow between $5,000 and $35,000.

See full profile

Best for below-average credit

FreedomPlus is an online lender offering personal loans ranging from $7,500 to $40,000. Loans are available to qualified borrowers with a minimum FICO credit score of 620.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify for a loan.

  • Loans of up to $40,000 are available.

  • Same-day approval is available, with loans funded in as little as 48 hours.

See full profile

Best for post-sales support

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows borrowers to apply online for fixed-rate, fixed-term loans. Prosper matches borrowers with partner investors including Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and Credit Suisse Fund. Since its founding in 2005, Prosper has expedited more than $18 billion in loans. Prosper lends to borrowers with fair to excellent credit with a minimum 640 FICO score.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Prosper offers preapproval with a soft credit check.

  • Small-dollar loans of $2,000 or more are available.

  • Joint personal loans are available.

See full profile

Best for short-term loans

U.S. Bank offers both short- and long-term personal loans with fixed interest rates.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: three to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are paid out relatively quickly.

  • U.S. Bank doesn’t charge an origination fee.

See full profile

Best for small loan amounts

OneMain Financial offers secured and unsecured personal loans through its nationwide network of branches. The lender provides loans of up to $20,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Secured and unsecured options are available.

  • Borrowers can prequalify with a soft credit check.

See full profile

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