The Best Personal Loans 2020

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Personal loans are loans that are often sought after due to their versatility. Funds acquired through personal loans can be used for whatever the borrower needs.

Often these funds are used for consolidating debts into one payment, planning for future needs, and an almost endless number of other things.

These loans are often unsecured loans which means their interest rates and other terms and conditions vary from case to case. The biggest factor in the variations is your credit score. The biggest problem is which loans are actually worth looking into.

Just like the list of how funds can be used, the list of personal loan lenders is a long one. Now, you have to figure out which one is trustworthy and will help you, not hurt you. This is actually why we are here.

We have gathered information of the best personal loans so that you can shorten your time hunting for the perfect loan that fits your needs. 

Here are The Smart Investor Select’s picks for the top personal loans:

Lighstream

Lightstream Personal Loan Review

On Lightstream Secure Website

  • Overview
  • Loan Details
  • Pros & Cons

Lightstream is an online lender that offers very high loan amounts yet at low interest rates. LightStream is part of the Truist Bank group, formerly the SunTrust Bank. The loans are not specific to tuition, and you can use them for any purpose, including home improvements, debt consolidation, etc.

LightStream does not charge fees. So, there are no late payment fees, processing fees, or pre payment fees. Most of the loans have a term of two to seven years, but this may be extended to 12 years for solar financing, home improvement loans, or swimming pool loans. 

  • Interest Rate Range: 3.34% – 16.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Debt to income ratio: 50% or less
  • Discount: 0.5% for auto pay
  • Time to funding: As soon as same day, within 30 days of approval

 

  • No Fees
  • Flexible Term Options
  • Competitive Rates
  • Many Loan Uses
  • Joint Applicants
  • High Maximum Amount
  • Not For Bad Credit Borrowers
  • No Soft Pull
  • Restrictions for Business Use
  • Stipulations

SoFi

SoFi Personal Loan Review

On SoFiSecure Website

  • Overview
  • Loan Details
  • Pros & Cons

The original idea of SoFi was to have school alumni invest funds in refinancing recently-graduated students’ debt. SoFi has moved away from that business model and moved to a “non-traditional underwriting approach focused on lending to financially responsible individuals. SoFi uses an underwriting model that examines free cash flow, professional history and education in addition to a history of responsible bill payment to evaluate its borrowers.”

SoFi offers plenty of benefits for those who qualify for a personal loan. They also have some of the highest credit and cash flow standards. Also, SoFi offers professionals many benefits and tools that can help them become more financially independent.

  • Interest Rate Range: 6.99%-14.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Terms: 24-60 months
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Origination Fee: None
  • Time to funding: Up to 7 days
  • Joint Borrowers
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Competitive Rates
  • Unemployment Protection
  • No Fees
  • Autopay Discount
  • Slower Turnaround Times
  • High Requirements
  • Limited Uses
  • Not Available in All States
  • Higher Minimum Amount

Marcus

Marcus Personal Loan Review

On Marcus Secure Website

  • Overview
  • Loan Details
  • Pros & Cons

Marcus is an online only lender offered by Goldman Sachs. It offers personal loans with no fees including late fees, prepayment fees or sign up fees. Since you’re only required to pay the principal loan sum and interest, the interest rates are a little higher than the competition. However, this can be a good option for those with a good credit score who want to avoid annoying fees.

Where Marcus personal loans are a little different is that there is the option of prequalification. If you’re not sure if you will be eligible for a loan, you can complete a basic, short form. This only involves a soft check, so you can avoid triggering a hard credit check and potentially compromising your credit score. Prequalification will allow you to check and compare your Marcus loan options.

  • Interest Rate Range: 6.99% – 24.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Terms: 36-72 months
  • Loan Amount: $3,500 – $40,000
  • Origination Fee: None
  • Funding: 1 to 4 days
  • No Fees
  • Competitive Rates
  • One Time Payment Deferment
  • Simple Application Process
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • More than One Loan
  • Multiple Loan Options
  • High Requirements
  • Not for Limited Credit
  • Pre-Approval Does Not Mean Approval
  • Limits on Loan Amount for Loan Use
  • No Joint Applicants
  • Not Available in All States

Rocket Loans

rocket loans

On RocketLoans Secure Website

  • Overview
  • Loan Details
  • Pros & Cons

Rocket was founded to offer a rocket fast loan processing system to provide personal loans to eligible borrowers. Rocket is part of the Quicken group, which includes Rocket Mortgage and Rabid Advance.

Qualifying for a Rocket loan is contingent on creditworthiness rather than business type. You can use your loan for any purpose, including starting a business.

However, Rocket only qualifies people with a credit score minimum of 640 and a good credit history. You also need to have a permanent source of income and a low debt to income ratio.

Where Rocket stands apart is that loans are processed very quickly. 85% of borrowers receive loans within a day.

  • Interest Rate Range: 7.161%-29.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Terms: 36-60 months
  • Loan Amount: $2,000 -$35,000
  • Origination Fee: 1% to 6%
  • Funding: As soon as same day
  • Minimum Annual Income: $24,000
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Competitive Rates
  • Easy Application
  • Same day funding
  • Auto Discount
  • Business Loan
  • Limited Terms
  • Origination Fee
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • Restrictions on Use
  • Late Fees and Check Processing Fee

Prosper

Prosper Personal Loan Review

OnProsper Secure Website

  • Overview
  • Loan Details
  • Pros & Cons

Prosper is the first peer-to-peer lending marketplace, established in 2006 in San Francisco with $13 billion in loans. Peer-to-peer lending is a platform that matches lenders with borrowers.

Prosper marketplace is a great place to start in your personal loan search. Prosper focuses on the mass market of borrowers and their personal loans can be used for a wide range of reasons. They also have a lending arm for medical costs, Prosper Healthcare Lending. They offer personal loans for a wide variety of purposes and to a large market of borrowers. 

They do have a high origination fee while other providers do not have one. The process will take longer than with other platforms, so if you need funds quickly Prosper may not be the right place to start your search.

  • Interest Rate Range: 6.95% - 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Terms: 36-60 Months
  • Loan Amount: 2,000 - $40,000
  • Origination Fee: 2.4%-5%
  • Funding:  Up to 14 days and then 1 to 3 days to deposit
  • Competitive Rates
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Peer to Peer
  • Wide Range of Borrowers
  • Business Loan
  • More than One Loan
  • Potentially Long Turn Around times
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • Origination Fee
  • Potential to Go Unfunded
  • Not Available in All States

Discover

Discover Personal Loans Review

On Discover Secure Website

  • Overview
  • Loan Details
  • Pros & Cons

Discover offers a variety of products including personal loans with competitive rates and no origination fees.

You can use a Discover personal loan for various reasons, from financing a large purpose, such as home repairs or a wedding to debt consolidation. You can also use your personal loan to cover unexpected expenses, remodeling your home or purchasing a new vehicle.

If you want to use a Discover loan for debt consolidation, Discover will send funds directly to your creditors. You will need to use at least 70% of your loan for your existing creditors, or your final APR may be impacted.

  • Interest Rate Range: 6.99% – 24.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Terms:  36 to 84 months
  • Loan Amount: $2,500 – $35,000
  • Minimum Income: $25,000 annually
  • Time to funding: 1 to 7 days
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • No Origination Fee
  • Direct Payment to Creditors
  • Competitive Interest Rates
  • Available in All States
  • Longer Application Process
  • Smaller Max Amount
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • Large Late Payment Fee