If you need $15,000 to cover a big-ticket purchase, home improvement project, financial emergency or debt consolidation, consider personal loans. A personal loan is a viable option to get the funds you need, and some lenders offer rapid decisions and same or next-day funding.

Before applying, run the numbers to decide if you need a $15,000 loan or if a smaller amount could work. You should also familiarize yourself with the requirements to receive a personal loan to avoid any surprises during the application review process. It’s also helpful to use a personal loan calculator to understand the costs of a $15,000 loan over time.

How to determine if you need a $15,000 loan

Before you apply for a loan, you should know how you intend to spend it. Ideally, you should only apply for what you need to keep the cost of borrowing to a minimum and to avoid overspending. It’s equally important to review your budget to determine if you can comfortably afford to make the monthly loan payments.

In some instances, it can be beneficial to borrow more than you need to ensure you have a little cushion if unexpected costs come up. For example, if you’re paying for a wedding or home improvement project, it’s not uncommon to omit expenses that you later determine are much needed.

But if you’re planning to use the funds to cover an immediate financial need, specific purchase or consolidate debt, you’ll likely have a concrete idea of how much you need. You should only request the amount you need to avoid taking on more debt than necessary.

Requirements to receive a personal loan

The eligibility requirements vary by lender. However, most lenders require similar things.

You’ll need to complete a loan application and authorize the lender to perform a hard credit check. Also, be prepared to submit at least two forms of identification to verify your identity and a document that provides proof of address. Depending on the lender, you may also need to provide proof of income.

The lender will review your credit profile to determine if your credit score meets the minimum borrowing threshold and the interest rate and loan term(s) you qualify for. Your debt load and income information will also be analyzed to gauge if you can afford the monthly payment on a $15,000 personal loan or if it could possibly stretch your budget too thin.

Personal loan lenders that offer $15,000 loans

Personal loans for $15,000 are available through banks, credit unions and online lenders. Most will have a wide range of loan amounts that should cover a $15,000 expense.

APR range Loan amount range Minimum credit score requirement
LightStream 7.49%-25.49%* with Autopay $5,000-$100,000 695
PNC Bank Varies by ZIP code $1,000-$35,000 Not disclosed
SoFi 8.99%-29.49%* with Autopay $5,000-$100,000 680
Happy Money 11.72%-17.99% $5,000-$40,000 585

LightStream

LightStream offers some of the lowest rates in the industry. It is most suitable for borrowers with good or excellent credit who want flexible loan terms of up to seven years. You can also get same-day funding on loans approved before 2:30 EST on weekdays, or you can choose to receive the loan proceeds at a later date that’s more convenient for you and coincides with when the expense(s) will be incurred.

PNC Bank

If you’re looking for a lender that offers in-person service, PNC Bank could be an ideal option. There are over 2,600 brick-and-mortar locations in 28 states and Washington, D.C. Rate discounts are also available on personal loans to current PNC customers who enroll in autopay. Even if you’re new to PNC, you could still qualify for a loan with a competitive interest rate if you have a solid credit history. However, borrowers outside its service area won’t be able to qualify — and California residents can only borrow loans of $10,000 or less.

SoFi 

SoFi is an online lender that offers resources and financial education coaches to help borrowers responsibly manage loan payments. Autopay discounts are also available, along with unemployment protection that allows you to stop paying without incurring fees or damaging your credit if you lose your job. And best of all, SoFi has optional origination and prepayment fees, allowing you to tailor your payments to your needs.

Happy Money

Previously known as Payoff, Happy Money features personal loans with competitive interest rates, even if you don’t have perfect credit. Beyond offering flexible personal loan solutions, Happy Money also prides itself on financial wellness. It offers a suite of financial assessments to borrowers to facilitate the path to responsible debt management and better financial health.

Costs of a $15,000 personal loan in the long term

The price you’ll pay for a $15,000 personal loan depends on the loan term and interest rate you receive. Federal law requires this information to be included in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure you’ll receive before signing on the dotted line.

Generally, the best personal loan interest rates are reserved for consumers with excellent credit scores. As of May 16, 2022, the average interest rate for borrowers with excellent credit scores ranges from 10.3 to 12.5 percent and increases to anywhere from 17.8 to 19.9 percent if you have average credit.

A solid credit score could equate to cost savings of several hundred or even thousands of dollars. For example, if you get a five-year, $15,000 personal loan with an 11 percent interest rate, the monthly payment will be $326, and you’ll pay $4,568.18 in interest. But if you have a lower credit score and the rate is 18 percent, these figures will increase to $381 and $7,854.08, respectively.

If you want a more affordable monthly payment, you can choose an extended loan term. Just know that you will pay more in interest since the lender will have more time to collect from you — and because lenders tend to assign higher interest rates to borrowers who opt for longer repayment periods.

Bottom line

Whether you need to get over a financial hump, consolidate debt or cover significant expenses, a $15,000 personal loan can provide much-needed relief. Most lenders offer a relatively simple application process. You could hear back the same or next business day and have the funds deposited into your bank account shortly after.