Loans » Personal Loans » Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit in 2021
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Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit in 2021

When you have excellent credit, you have more options available. That means that you will want to do a lot of research to find the best rates.

We may receive compensation from companies that appear on this page. This may impact how and where products appear on a page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). It doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. our opinions are our own.

If you have excellent credit, your score is likely above 720. This score will give you many options, so it can be a good idea to browse for the best rates. Personal loans tend to have interest rates between 5% and 35%, although with a high credit score, you might be able to go lower.

Depending on the type of personal loan, it is estimated that an excellent score will receive between 2% and 4% from banks and credit unions.

All banks, credit unions, and online lenders are going to offer you various loans with differing APR. The difference in interest rates is crucial to watch out for, as it can save you thousands of dollars on your loan.

When you have excellent credit, you have more options available. That means that you will want to do a lot of research to find the best rates. 

Here are The Smart Investor select’s picks for the top personal loans for excellent credit:

Upstart

  • Overview
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

Upstart is the first lending platform to use artificial intelligence with an automated lending process.  Most lenders primarily focus on a FICO score to approve a loan. However, Upstart uses its advanced technologies to look beyond this and explore the risk of your loan. These calculations are used to assess your ability to repay your loan.

The company has a strong belief that if lenders would use its intuitive credit model, they would probably be approving more loans. For borrowers, this means that Upstart can offer high-quality loans. With fair terms for borrowers with excellent credit, Upstart has a strong reputation with excellent reviews on Trustpilot and other sites.

  • Interest Rate Range: 6.76% - 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Terms: 36-60 Months
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 - $50,000
  • Minimum Annual Income: $12,000
  • Funding: 1-2 Days
  • Debt To Income Ratio: Less Than 45%
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Modest Income
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • No Processing Fee
  • Higher low end rates for those with excellent credit
  • Origination Fee
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • High Interest Rates
  • New Company
Upstart Personal Loan Review

SoFi

  • Overview
  • 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: 4.99%-19.63%
  • 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
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Best Egg

  • Overview
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

Best Egg offers personal loans for almost any purpose. You can use the proceeds of your loan to pay for home repairs, make a large purchase, refinance your credit card debt or consolidate existing debt. Over half a million Best Egg customers have borrowed over $9.3 billion.

If you have good credit, you can expect a very low interest rate, and loan processing is fast, taking just a few minutes to complete.

  • Interest Rate Range: 5.99% – 29.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Terms: 36-60 months
  • Loan Amount: $2,000 -$35,000
  • Origination Fee: 0.99% – 5.99%
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Competitive Rates
  • Simple Application Process
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • No Joint Applicants
  • Origination Fee
  • Large Amounts on Short Terms
  • Investing Restrictions
  • Not Available in All States
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Payoff

  • Overview
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

As its name suggests, Payoff Loans offers debt consolidation for borrowers with good credit. This is solely to repay existing debt, including credit cards.

Although Payoff does not force you to pay your credit card debt, they make this recommendation to keep your finance on track. This includes quizzes to assess your financial abilities and resources to help you reach your financial goals.

According to Payoff, this insight empowers borrowers to continue making smart financial decisions.

  • Interest Rate Range: 5.99%-24.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Terms: 24 - 60 months
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $35,000
  • Origination Fee: 0% to 5%
  • Funding: 2-5 days
  • Debt to Income Ratio: 50% or less
  • Free Credit Monitoring
  • Competitive Rates
  • Easy Application
  • Flexible Payments
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • No Late Fees
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Limited Use
  • Origination Fee
  • Pre-Approval Does Not Mean Approval
  • No Joint Applicants
  • Not Available in All States
payoff logo svg

LightStream

  • Overview
  • 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. You can use the loan 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: See website
  • Minimum credit score: Good to excellent
  • Terms: Flexible
  • Discount: 0.5% for auto pay
  • Time to funding: As soon as same day (conditions apply), within 30 days of approval (conditions apply)

 

  • 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
Lightstream Personal Loan Review

Marcus

  • Overview
  • 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% – 19.99%
  • 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
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Understand Personal Loans For Excellent Credit

How Do Personal Loans Work?

When it comes to personal loans, you have the choice between secured and unsecured agreements. With a secured loan, you have to offer collateral, which is taken if you can not pay the money you owe back to the lender.

However, you usually do not have to worry about that, as most personal loans are unsecured. That means you are not required to put up collateral for the loan. If you are unable to make the payments, your credit score can still be damaged or the lender can file a lawsuit against you.

Most of the time, personal loans are taken out to cover a large expense. You can also use them to pay down your credit or consolidate other forms of debt.

How You Receive Funds

After making all the needed arrangements with the lender, you will receive your funds. The amount agreed upon should be placed into your bank account. Afterwards, you will be responsible for paying back the principal with interest- payments are normally made on a monthly basis.

Consider Your Credit

Your credit score will impact the amount you receive on loans. If you have excellent credit, more options will be available to you.

What is an Excellent-Credit Loan? 

Excellent credit loans are loans reserved for those who have a high FICO score. Interest rates for this type of loan will usually start at 6%, but depending on your credit history, you can go lower. The loan usually falls somewhere between $2,500 and $100,000, depending on your needs.

What is an Excellent Credit Score?

An excellent credit score can vary slightly depending on the credit scoring model the lender is looking at. In general, the following is what credit scores mean:

  • 580 to 669 – Fair
  • 670 to 739 – Good
  • 740 to 799 – Very Good
  • 800 to 850 – Excellent

The highest score is 850, according to FICO. Only about 1% of Americans have that perfect credit score. However, you can still achieve amazing interest rates without having an 850. Usually, anything in the Very Good to Excellent range is impressive to lenders.

Around 20% of the population has a credit score that is 800 or above. If you can receive loans at that level, you will be offered much better interest rates than others- saving you thousands of dollars in most circumstances.

There are a number of factors that influence personal loan APRs. One of the factors with the most weight is credit score. If you have a lower credit score, you represent a greater risk to the lender and this is reflected in the rate. In this chart compiled with LendingTree customer data, you can see that those with a 720+ credit score pay an average of 7.63%. At the other end of the scale, those with a poor credit rating of less than 560, the rate shoots up to an eye watering 113%.

Personal Loan Average APR by Credit Score

How to Compare the Best Excellent Credit Personal Loans?

Before you start comparing the rates, be sure that you know what your current credit score is. Then, you can get started with comparing the personal loan options you have.

What to Look For?

First of all, you will need to know what to look out for. Personal loans have a fixed APR, or Annual Percentage Rate. Usually, the loan with the lowest rate is going to be the least expensive option when you need to pay it back, making it the best choice for you.

6 Steps to Compare

Now, you are going to want to follow these steps to make your comparisons and determine which personal loan is going to benefit you the most.

  1. Get quotes from at least three lenders, more if you can.
  2. Make sure they offer soft credit inquiries.
  3. Make sure you are comparing the same factors. (APR to APR, term to term, principal to principal, etc.)
  4. Determine the total costs and monthly payments for each. Know how they would fit into your budget.
  5. Look over the fine print and small details.
  6. Sign the best option!

Seek Out Soft Inquiries

You will want to go with unnecessary hard inquiries, as they can damage your credit score. Soft inquiries do not hurt your credit, plus, they allow you to see if you qualify for the loan before filing out the lender’s application.

You want to choose soft credit checks whenever you can- hard checks are concerning lenders when they see that you have had multiple of them recently. Multiple hard inquiries lets them know that you might have many other loans you need to pay back as well, making them less likely to pay on their loan.

Still, some credit scoring systems do account for the possibility that you are rate shopping for the best loan. In those cases, your credit score will take less of a hit. You will want to make sure your credit score is prepared before you start taking out loans.

Determine the Payments

It is also important that you determine the payments on each of your loan options. That way, you can be certain that the  bill is going to fit in with your monthly budget. When you take the time to research this beforehand, you will be able to choose the best loan option for your finances.

Overall, when you want to compare the best rates, you will need to do a lot of research- you should not just choose the first offer that comes your way, unless you already know that it is the best one.

How Difficult is it to Maintain Your Excellent Credit?

It is hard to achieve a good credit score- it can take many years for most people. Once you have an excellent credit score, it is a bit easier to maintain. These are the steps you need to take each month to keep your score high.

  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Pay off debts and keep credit card balances low.
  • Apply for new credit accounts only when needed.
  • Do not close credit cards that are unused.

Paying Bills

Your credit history includes when you make your payments. When you make them on time each month, your FICO score will rise or stay high. When you do not pay, that is when your score gets hurt.

Why You Should Keep Unused Credit Open

Even if you have old cards you no longer use, you should keep them open. The amount of time you have had credit will make up 15% of your FICO credit score, so you do not want to close old accounts.

When you do, that removes all those years of that card or account from your credit history. If you want to maintain a high FICO score, you should always have some form of credit open- preferably an old account.

J.D. Power 2020: What Can We Learn From It About Lenders and Customer Satisfaction?

J.D. Power in 2020 conducted a consumer satisfaction survey to find out what customers want from their lenders. What can we learn from the results?

J.D. Power U.S. Lending Consumer Satisfaction 2020

Customers said that their repayment terms and the reputation of the lender were the most significant factors leading to their selection. Some other aspects they thought were important were the application process.

Customers wanted to be quick. They wanted to be approved ASAP so that they could use the funds from the loan. It helped when lenders had online options available, so consumers could access their accounts from any device.

Odds are that you also care about these factors. Before choosing a lender, it can help to see what options they have available and what other customers had to say about their services online.

How to Get a Personal Loan With Excellent Credit?

There are a couple of steps you should take in order to get the right loan for your needs:

1. Compare Your Options

Before you do anything else, you will want to compare all of your options. Having good credit can give you an advantage for finding loans with better APR- as long as you take the time to look for them.

Shop around a bit with multiple lenders to compare their rates. The lowest APR is going to be the least expensive to pay back, making it the better choice for most people.

2. Know the Costs

You will want to think about how long it will take to pay back the loan in full. Longer term lengths mean that you will pay more in interest since you will have to make more monthly payments.

3. Make Your Choice

Now that you have thoroughly browsed through and researched the options, you will want to make your choice. Banks, credit unions, and online lenders all have a vast amount of loan offers. You will want to be 100% sure with your choice before you reach out to them.

4. Contact the Lender

You can contact the lender and fill out a pre-qualification form. If you are accepted by the lender, you can apply to receive the loan. They will ask for employment and other financial information. It helps if you have your w-2 or 1099 available for this step. The lender may also need more data.

5. Receive the Loan

The lender will check your credit history and many other factors to determine if they want to lend you the money. If they do, then the funds will be deposited to your account within a week or two.

From there, you can use the money as needed. Once your repayment period starts, you will need to make the monthly payments. Auto deposit options are helpful.

Things to Consider Before Applying to a Personal Loan With Excellent Credit

If you already have an excellent credit score, there are a few things you will want to consider before you apply for a personal loan.

  • Know if You Can Make Payments

Can you make the monthly payments on time? You will need to be certain- if you can not make the payments, your excellent credit score is going to be ruined. Even one missed payment can drop your credit score by 100 points.

Imagine what would happen if you missed more than that.

  • Only Take Loans if You Need Them

Do you need to take out a loan or can you start a new savings account? Emergency expenses aside, you will not want to go into debt for short-term purchases.

For example, while many people get loans for weddings, it is usually not the best idea. However, home remodeling or other house improvement projects are good cases for loans- you are improving the worth of your living space.

  • Applying In Person or Online

Do you want to apply in person or online? It will depend on if you want to talk with a representative from a bank or if you want to read about the loan yourself. Additionally, there are many benefits to staying home, as online lenders are faster when it comes to payments.

Overall, you can receive a personal loan for just about anything. You will want to be sure that this is an expense you can pay back once the repayment period begins.

How Much Will a Personal Loan Cost?

A personal loan can be taken out for anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000. However, there are certain factors that determine the total cost of the loan.

  • APR

First of all, the APR includes the interest rate. The higher it is, the more you are going to pay. Since you have excellent credit, you should be able to find a low rate.

There are a number of reasons for taking out a loan, but this can also influence the average loan amount. In this chart with LendingTree customer data, you can see that credit card refinancing has the highest average loan amount followed by debt consolidation.

This shows that debt restructuring is one of the more costly reasons to take out a loan. On the other end of the scale, the average loan amount for vacations is the least costly reason. This may suggest that consumers may use other finance methods to cover the cost of vacations.

Personal Loan Average APR by Loan Type

There is a large difference between rates- even a few percentage points lower can mean the loan costs a few thousand dollars less.

  • The Term

Next, the amount of time you pay on the loan will impact the cost. The more payments you have to make, the more you are going to have to pay back in interest. Shorter terms generally mean your monthly bill is larger, but you pay less in the long term.

Online calculators can help you determine the amount that you owe each month.

  • Fees

Finally, some fees might raise the cost. Some lenders require you to pay a percentage back quickly, while others charge an annual fee. It will all vary between lenders, so you will want to ensure that you know what the potential fees and penalties are with your loan.

How Big of a Personal Loan Can I Get With an Excellent Credit Loan?

When you have excellent credit, you should be able to get a larger loan. However, the bank or credit union will also consider your other debts and the amount of income you make each month. They want to be certain your income is high enough to make the amount back.

The lender will be the one to determine how much of a personal loan you can get. Some are able to supply you with more funds than others. When considering which bank, credit union, or online lender to go with, you will also want to see how much they can offer.

Average Loan Amount by Loan Type

Personal loans can fall anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000. When you have a higher credit score, you can receive an amount on the higher end. If you have an outstanding score, you could possibly receive $100,000 in a loan. Although, you could also go as low as you needed to, so you do not put yourself into more debt than needed.

Typically, if you need a loan that is more than $50,000, you will need to have Very Good to Excellent credit. If you need a lot more than that, lenders will only consider excellent credit scores.

How Fast Can I Get a Loan With Excellent Credit?

The amount of time it takes to get approved will depend on the lender you are going with. Having an Excellent credit score will speed things up, but at the end of the day, it is going to be most dependent on your lender.

  • Online Lenders

Online lenders tend to be a lot faster than alternatives. The application time usually only takes about 15 minutes to complete. After that, approval averages between three and seven days. Once you are approved, you can expect the amount to appear in your account after 24 hours to a few business days.

  • Banks and Credit Unions

These brick and mortar options tend to take a bit longer to process. The application time can range between 15 minutes to an hour. The approval process is a bit more complicated, so it can take anywhere between 24 hours to several days. Having a good FICO score can help the process move along a bit faster.

You can receive funding after being approved the same day in rare cases. It is more likely that it takes several days for the institution to send you the funds.

How Does My Credit Score Affect My Loan Chances?

Your credit score will greatly impact your loan chances. If you have an Excellent credit score, you will be eligible for lower interest rates and can take out more money. Additionally, the lenders will see you as less of a risk- allowing you to successfully make it through the application process.

If you want to have better odds of being approved, you will also want to ensure that you have a long credit history. When lenders see that you have kept a high credit score for a long period, they are more inclined to trust you.

Overall, a better credit score is going to give you more options in personal loans. You will be able to find better APRs, take out higher amounts in the loan, and have a much stronger chance of being approved by the lender.

How to Check Your Lender Rate on TrustPilot and Why Your BBB Rating is Important

If you are not sure what your lender rate is, you will want to visit TrustPilot online. All you need to do is select the banks category and search for your lender.

From there, you can find the lender’s BBB rating. These ratings indicate how the Better Business Bureau finds the business in question’s performance and if they are trustworthy. It is important to know when considering lenders, as this information could save you a lot of trouble.

If you find a lender with an F rating- you will not want to go with them. Only consider highly rated banks, credit unions, and online lenders for personal loans. You do not want to run into issues with them later.

Overall, we recommend that you consider finding a BBB rating for a lender as part of your general research. It is something that you will not want to skip out on.

What are the Expected Fees for an Excellent Credit Loan?

A person with excellent credit can expect to find the same fees as others with different credit scores. There are a few you will want to be aware of.

Origination Fee

Some lenders will charge you a fee on the loan, usually up to 8%, upfront. This fee is for processing your loan application and disbursing the funds to your account.

Late Payment Fees

If you pay your loan late, you will likely experience a late payment penalty fee. You can be charged additional interest too- making it a costly mistake.

Prepayment Penalty

A prepayment fee applies if you pay off the loan earlier than your term. It is not always a part of personal loans, but still good to watch out for.

Where Can I Get a Personal Loan?

There are three options when it comes to getting a personal loan. They are:

  • Banks
  • Credit unions
  • Online lenders

Each can offer you something a little different when it comes to personal loans.

Banks

There are likely many banks that offer personal loans in your area. Citibank is one example of many. They offer decent rates, but are sometimes more difficult to be approved with.

Credit Unions

These institutions offer personal loans with lower interest rates than banks and other lenders, on average.

Online Lenders

When you go with this option, you can stay home- making them more convenient. You can also more easily compare your loan options this way.

Loan Sources to Avoid When You Have Excellent Credit

You will want to avoid:

  • P2P Lenders

With excellent credit, you will not need to go the P2P route. The rates will not be as good or reliable as a bank- meaning you probably should not consider them.

  • Car Dealerships

Car dealerships consider financing through auto loans a main source of revenue for their business- meaning they have many reasons to charge you a higher interest rate. Get pre-approved from your bank or credit union first. Then, bring that with you to the dealer.