Best Small Personal Loans of September 2021


Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”

If you need cash to cover a medical bill, car repair, or other unexpected expense, a small personal loan could be a good option. These personal loans typically start at $3,000 or less, and are available from several lenders.

As you consider your lender options, keep in mind that the best small personal loans should provide competitive interest rates, a wide selection of loan terms, and inclusive eligibility requirements.

Here’s what you should know about small personal loans and where to find them:

10 best small personal loans

Before you take out a personal loan, it’s important to compare as many lenders as possible. This way, you can find the right loan for your needs.

Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer small personal loans:

Lender Fixed rates Loan amounts Min. credit score Loan terms (years)


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

9.95% – 35.99% APR $2,000 to $35,000** 550 2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Fixed APR:
    9.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Variable APR:
    N/A
  • Min. credit score:
    550
  • Loan amount:
    $2,000 to $35,000**
  • Loan terms (years):
    2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Time to fund:
    As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all states except CO, IA, HI, VT, NV NY, WV
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Loan servicer:
    Avant
  • Loan Uses:
    Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes
  • Min. Income:
    $1,200 monthly


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

6.99% – 24.99% APR $2,500 to $35,000 660 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Fixed APR:
    6.99% – 24.99% APR
  • Min. credit score:
    660
  • Loan amount:
    $2,500 to $35,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Time to fund:
    As soon as the next business day after acceptance
  • Fees:
    Late fee
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
     Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service:
    Phone
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Loan Uses:
    Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

7.04% – 35.89% APR $1,000 to $40,000 600 3, 5
  • Fixed APR:
    7.04% – 35.89% APR
  • Min. credit score:
    600
  • Loan amount:
    $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    3, 5
  • Time to fund:
    Usually takes about 2 days
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Loan servicer:
    LendingClub Bank
  • Min. Income:
    None
  • Loan Uses:
    Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

15.49% – 35.99% APR $2,000 to $36,500 580 2, 3, 4
  • Fixed APR:
    15.49% – 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score:
    580
  • Loan amount:
    $2,000 to $36,500
  • Loan terms (years):
    2, 3, 4
  • Time to fund:
    As soon as the next business day
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all states except NV and WV
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Min. Income:
    $20,000
  • Loan Uses:
    Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

18.00% – 35.99% APR $1,500 to $20,000 None 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Fixed APR:
    18.00% – 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score:
    None
  • Loan amount:
    $1,500 to $20,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund:
    As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Must have photo I.D. issued by U.S. federal, state or local government
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Min. Income:
    Does not disclose


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

5.99% – 17.99% APR $600 to $50,000
(depending on loan term)
670 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Fixed APR:
    5.99% – 17.99% APR
  • Min. credit score:
    670
  • Loan amount:
    $600 to $50,000*
  • Loan terms (years):
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund:
    2 to 4 business days after verification
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Does not disclose
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    No
  • Min. Income:
    Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses:
    Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

6.95% – 35.99% APR $2,000 to $40,000 640 3, 5
  • Fixed APR:
    6.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score:
    640
  • Loan amount:
    $2,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    3, 5
  • Time to fund:
    As soon as one business day
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all states except IA, ND, WV
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Min. Income:
    None
  • Loan Uses:
    Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

8.93% – 35.93% APR7 $1,000 to $50,000 560 3 to 5 years 8
  • Fixed APR:
    8.93% – 35.93% APR7
  • Min. credit score:
    560
  • Loan amount:
    $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms:
    3 to 5 years 8
  • Time to fund:
    Within one day, once approved9
  • Loan types:
    Debt consolidation, pay off credit cards, home improvements, unexpected expenses, home and auto repairs, weddings, and other major purchases
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    A U.S. citizen or permanent resident; not available in DC, SC, WV
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

5.94% – 35.97% APR $1,000 to $50,000 560 2, 3, 5, 6
  • Fixed APR:
    5.94% – 35.97% APR
  • Min. credit score:
    560
  • Loan amount:
    $1,000 to $50,000*
  • Loan terms (years):
    2, 3, 5, 6
  • Time to fund:
    Within a day of clearing necessary verifications
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all states except West Virginia
  • Customer service:
    Email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Min. Income:
    Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses:
    Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

6.46% – 35.99% APR4 $1,000 to $50,0005 580 3 to 5 years4
  • Fixed APR:
    6.46% – 35.99% APR4
  • Min. credit score:
    580
  • Loan amount:
    $1,000 to $50,0005
  • Loan terms (years):
    3 to 5 years4
  • Time to fund:
    As fast as 1 business day6
  • Fees:
    Origination fee
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Min. Income:
    $12,000
  • Loan Uses:
    Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes
Compare rates from these lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | Read more about Rates and Terms

Avant

If you have fair credit, Avant could be a good choice for a small personal loan. With Avant, you can borrow $2,000 to $35,000* with repayment terms ranging from two to five years**.

If you’re approved, you could get your funds as soon as the next business day.


4.6


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 9.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Variable APR: N/A
  • Min. credit score: 550
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000**
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, IA, HI, VT, NV NY, WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan servicer: Avant
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes
  • Min. Income: $1,200 monthly

Pros

  • Fast funding
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Poor and fair credit scores accepted

Cons

  • Origination fees up to 4.75%
  • Charges late and dishonored payment fees
  • Not available in Colorado, Iowa, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Vermont, or West Virginia

Discover

If you’re looking for a longer repayment term, Discover could be a good option — you can borrow $2,500 to $35,000 and could have three to seven years to pay it back.

Just keep in mind that if you choose a longer term, you’ll pay more in interest over time.


4.4


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 6.99% – 24.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Loan amount: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day after acceptance
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility:  Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan Uses: Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

Pros

  • Long repayment terms available
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Fast loan funding

Cons

  • Charges late fees
  • Could be hard to qualify if you have poor credit
  • Must borrow at least $2,500

LendingClub

With LendingClub, you can borrow $1,000 to $40,000 with a three- or five-year repayment term. LendingClub is also one of the few lenders that allow cosigners on personal loans — which could make it a good choice if you need a cosigner to qualify for a loan.


4.3


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

LendingClub Personal Loans

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 7.04% – 35.89% APR
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Time to fund: Usually takes about 2 days
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Loan servicer: LendingClub Bank
  • Min. Income: None
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes

Pros

  • Poor and fair credit scores accepted
  • Allows cosigners
  • Fast loan funding

Cons

  • Origination fees from 3% to 6%
  • Charges late fees
  • Limited repayment terms (only 3 or 5 years)

LendingPoint

LendingPoint specializes in working with borrowers who have near-prime credit — usually meaning a score in the upper 500s or 600s.

With LendingPoint, you can borrow $2,000 to $36,500 with terms from two to five years.


4.5


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

LendingPoint Personal Loans

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 15.49% – 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $36,500
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except NV and WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: $20,000
  • Loan Uses: Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Pros

  • Fast loan funding
  • Accepts poor and fair credit scores
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons

  • Origination fees from 3% to 6%
  • Not available in Nevada or West Virginia
  • Must have a minimum income of $20,000

OneMain Financial

Unlike many other lenders, OneMain Financial doesn’t have a minimum required credit score — which means you might qualify even if you have poor credit. In addition to your credit, OneMain Financial will consider your financial history, income, expenses, and loan purpose to determine your creditworthiness.

With OneMain Financial, you can borrow $1,500 to $20,000 with terms from two to five years. Keep in mind that higher loan amounts might require collateral.


4.1


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

OneMain Financial Personal Loans

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 18.00% – 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: None
  • Loan amount: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Must have photo I.D. issued by U.S. federal, state or local government
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose

Pros

  • No minimum credit score
  • Fast loan funding (usually requires a branch visit)
  • Previous customers might qualify for larger loans

Cons

  • Might require collateral
  • Charges origination fees (amount varies by state)
  • Rates can be higher compared to other lenders

PenFed

PenFed could be a good choice for small loan amounts — you can borrow as little as $600 to $35,000 with a term from one to five years.

Keep in mind that while you don’t need to be a PenFed member to apply for a loan, you’ll have to join the credit union if you are approved and want to accept the loan.


4.5


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 5.99% – 17.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 670
  • Loan amount: $600 to $50,000*
  • Loan terms (years): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Time to fund: 2 to 4 business days after verification
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

Pros

  • Can borrow as little as $600
  • Allows cosigners
  • No fees

Cons

  • Must join the credit union to have your loan funded
  • Loan funds are sent by mail, which can take longer (unless you pay a fee for expedited shipping)
  • Doesn’t disclose minimum income requirements

Prosper

Prosper offers personal loans from $2,000 to $40,000 with three- or five-year terms. Keep in mind that because Prosper operates a peer-to-peer lending platform, investors must agree to fund your loan, which means it could take longer to get your money.

However, you might also be able to get your funds in as little as one business day if you’re approved.


4.5


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 6.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Min. credit score: 640
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Time to fund: As soon as one business day
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA, ND, WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: None
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Pros

  • Accepts fair credit scores
  • Variety of loan uses
  • No minimum income requirement

Cons

  • Origination fees from 2.4% to 5%
  • Charges late fees
  • Not available in Iowa, North Dakota, or West Virginia

Universal Credit

With Universal Credit, borrowers have access to free credit score monitoring, educational tools, and personalized recommendations that could help you build your credit. Universal Credit personal loans are available from $1,000 to $50,000.


4.3


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

Universal Credit Personal Loans

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 8.93% – 35.93% APR7
  • Min. credit score: 560
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 3 to 5 years 8
  • Time to fund: Within one day, once approved9
  • Loan types: Debt consolidation, pay off credit cards, home improvements, unexpected expenses, home and auto repairs, weddings, and other major purchases
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: A U.S. citizen or permanent resident; not available in DC, SC, WV
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes

Pros

  • Accepts poor and fair credit scores
  • Fast loan funding
  • Free credit score monitoring, educational tools, and personalized recommendations to help you build your credit

Cons

  • Origination fees from 4.25% to 8%
  • Limited repayment terms (3 to 5 years 8)
  • Not available in Arkansas; Kansas; Maine; South Carolina; Vermont; Washington, D.C.; Wisconsin; or West Virginia

Upgrade

With Upgrade, you can borrow $1,000 to $50,000 with terms from three to five years. If you’re approved, you could get your funds within a day of clearing necessary verifications.

Additionally, Upgrade borrowers have access to free credit monitoring and educational resources that could help you improve your credit.


4.3


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 5.94% – 35.97% APR
  • Min. credit score: 560
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000*
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 5, 6
  • Time to fund: Within a day of clearing necessary verifications
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except West Virginia
  • Customer service: Email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: Does not disclose
  • Loan Uses: Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Pros

  • Fast loan funding
  • Accepts poor and fair credit scores
  • Free credit monitoring and educational resources to help you build your credit

Cons

  • Origination fees from 2.9% to 8%
  • Not available in West Virginia
  • Limited repayment terms (Within a day of clearing necessary verifications)

Upstart

In addition to your credit, Upstart will consider your education and job history to determine your creditworthiness — which means you might still qualify even if you have little to no credit. You can borrow $$1,000 to $50,0005 with Upstart.


4.6


Credible rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

Ready to find a personal loan?
Compare rates from top personal loan lenders to find the right one for you.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

  • Fixed APR: 6.46% – 35.99% APR4
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,0005
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 5 years4
  • Time to fund: As fast as 1 business day6
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. Income: $12,000
  • Loan Uses: Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Pros

  • Fast loan funding
  • Accepts poor and fair credit scores
  • Will consider your education and job history to determine creditworthiness

Cons

  • Origination fees from 0% to 8%
  • Charges late and returned check fees
  • Limited repayment terms (3 to 5 years4)

Learn More: Need a $5,000 Personal Loan? Follow This Process to Get It Fast

Methodology

To find the “best companies,” Credible looked at loan and lender data points from 10 categories to give you a well-rounded perspective on each of our partner lenders. Here’s what we considered:

  • Interest rates
  • Repayment terms
  • Repayment options
  • Maximum loan amount
  • Loan funding time
  • Fees
  • Discounts
  • Customer service availability
  • Whether the minimum credit score is available publicly
  • Whether consumers could request rates with a soft credit check

Our hope is that this will be a win-win situation for you and us — we only want to get paid if you find a loan that works for you, not by selling your data. This means Credible will only get paid by the lender if you finish the loan process and a loan is disbursed. Additionally, Credible charges you no fees of any kind to compare your loan options.

Check Out: Emergency Loans: How to Get a Personal Loan Fast

Other personal loan lenders

Here are more personal loan companies we evaluated that offer small personal loans. Keep in mind that these lenders aren’t offered through Credible, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform like you can with our partner lenders listed above.

Lender
Loan terms (years)
Loan amount
Best for
hsbc bank

Show details

2, 3, 4, 5
$3,000 – $50,000
(depending on relationship with HSBC Bank)
HSBC: Best for existing HSBC customers
  • Rates: Fixed
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $3,000 – $50,000 (depending on relationship with HSBC Bank)
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Does not disclose
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except WI
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, chat
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: 1 – 3 days
pnc bank

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3
$1,000 – $35,000
PNC: Best for small loan amounts
  • Rates: Fixed
  • Loan terms (years): 3
  • Loan amount: $1,000 – $35,000
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Does not disclose
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: Does not disclose
rocket loans

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3, 5
$2,000 – $45,000
Rocket Loans: Best for quick loan funding
  • Rates: Fixed
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $2,000 – $45,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA, NV, and WV
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: Does not disclose
The lenders in this table aren’t our partners. But you can use Credible to compare rates in 2 minutes from other lenders who offer personal loans.

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How to apply for a personal loan

If you’re ready to apply for a small personal loan, follow these four steps:

  • Compare lenders. Be sure to compare as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. Consider not only rates but also repayment terms, any fees charged by the lender, and eligibility requirements.
  • Pick a loan option. After you’ve compared lenders, choose the loan option best suited to your needs.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.
  • Get your funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so the funds can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders offer next- or same-day loans if you’re approved.

Check Out: How to Get a Fast Personal Loan for Quick Cash

How to qualify for a personal loan

Eligibility criteria for a personal loan can vary by lender. However, there are a few common requirements you’ll likely come across, including:

  • Good credit: You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan. A good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. There are also several lenders that offer personal loans for bad credit — but keep in mind that these loans typically come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans.
  • Verifiable income: Lenders want to see that you can afford to repay the loan. Some lenders have a minimum income requirement while others don’t — but in either case, you’ll likely need to show proof of income with pay stubs, tax returns, or other documentation.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the amount you owe in monthly debt payments compared to your income. To qualify for a personal loan, you’ll typically need a DTI ratio of 40% or less — though some lenders might require a lower ratio than this.

Learn More: Personal Loans With 550 Credit Score: Can I Get One?

How much will a personal loan cost?

There are several factors that will determine how much a personal loan will cost, including:

  • Your credit: In general, the better your credit, the lower the interest rate you’ll likely get — which will reduce the overall cost of your loan.
  • Repayment term: Many lenders offer lower interest rates for shorter terms. It’s usually a good idea to choose the shortest repayment term you can afford to keep your interest costs as low as possible.
For example: Say you take out a $3,000 personal loan with a five-year term and qualify for a 13.76% interest rate — the average personal loan interest rate offered to Credible borrowers who took out a five-year personal loan during the week of Aug. 16, 2021. With this rate and term, you’d end up paying $1,166 in interest with a total repayment cost of $4,165.

However, if you were able to get a lower interest rate of 11.34% and chose a three-year term instead, you’d pay $553 in interest with a total cost of $3,553 — saving you $612 in comparison.

Be sure to consider how much a personal loan will cost you before you borrow — this way, you can be prepared for any added costs. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.

Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay

Total Payment
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Total Interest
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Monthly Payment
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With a
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loan, you will pay
$
monthly and a total of
$
in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of
$
over the life of the
loan.


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Pros and cons of a small personal loan

There are some instances where borrowing a little bit of money is a good idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best decision.

A small personal loan could be a good idea if:

  • You need the money soon to pay for a one-time expense.
  • You have the credit score to qualify for borrowing.
  • You have room in your budget to afford repayment.

A small personal loan might not work for you if:

  • You need ongoing cash instead of a one-off lump sum.
  • Your credit score is too low to qualify.
  • Your income and expenses don’t allow for any extra payments.
Keep in mind: Not all personal loan lenders have the same lending terms and qualifying requirements. This means your eligibility as well as the interest rate you qualify for can vary depending on the lender you choose.

Learn More: How to Get a Personal Loan With a 600 Credit Score

Personal loan alternatives

A personal loan isn’t your only option for borrowing money. Here are a few other options to consider:

  • Payday alternative loans (PALs): While payday loans have short terms (generally two to four weeks) and high interest rates, payday alternative loans are small loans that are offered by credit unions. The National Credit Union Administration allows federal credit unions to offer loans from $200 to $1,000 with loan terms ranging from one to six months. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to be a member of the credit union for at least a month before applying.
  • Nonprofits and charities: Local nonprofits, charities, and religious organizations offer help to those who are financially struggling. These organizations can help with things like utilities, food, rent, and other financial emergencies. Call 211 or check their resources to see if you qualify for help.
  • Credit cards: While pulling out the plastic is one of the most convenient options you have, there are a few caveats. There’s usually a fee for a cash advance depending on how much you withdraw. Or if you pay for something with your credit card, you’ll face an interest charge if you don’t pay it off by the end of the billing cycle.
  • Friends and family: Asking for financial help is no easy task, but if you don’t have the credit score to get a personal loan or another alternative it can be a smart choice. If you go this route, make sure you have some sort of written agreement that details a repayment plan and what happens in case things don’t go according to plan. If you don’t have anyone to loan you money, consider asking those with solid credit scores if they can serve as a loan cosigner.

Check Out: Direct Deposit Loans: 10 Alternative Loans with Fast Funding Times

Types of small loans to avoid

If you’re looking for quick, short-term loan options, here are a few types of loans that are typically best to avoid unless as a last resort:

  • Payday loans: This kind of loan lets you borrow a small sum of money until your next paycheck. Payday loans can come with astronomically high rates and fees — sometimes as high as 400% APR or more.
  • Pawn shop loans: With this type of loan, you’ll put up something of value (such as jewelry or machinery) at a pawn shop to act as collateral for the loan. While rates and fees on pawn shop loans might not be as high as you’d pay with a payday or car title loan, you could still end up paying 200% APR or higher with some pawn shops. You also risk losing your collateral if you can’t pay off the loan in time.
  • Car title loans: This kind of loan requires you to use your vehicle title as collateral. Car title loans can come with APRs of 300% or more, and if you can’t pay off the loan, the lender could take your car.

If you decide to take out a small personal loan, remember to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your situation. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.

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Dori Zinn contributed to the reporting of this article.


About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.

About the author

Taylor Medine

Taylor Medine

Taylor Medine is a Credible authority on personal finance. Her work has been featured on Bankrate, Experian, The Balance, Business Insider, Credit Karma, and more. She’s also the author of The 60-Minute Money Plan, a self-published intro to budgeting guide for people who hate budgeting.

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