Best personal loans for excellent credit in December 2020

As of

Having a stellar credit score comes with many perks, including access to some of the best personal loan APRs available. Excellent credit is typically defined as a credit score above 720. Because excellent credit gives you lots of options, it pays to shop around when searching for a personal loan. Offers and terms can vary significantly: Personal loan interest rates range from as low as 5 percent to as much as 36 percent, and loan amounts can be anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

APR from
5.95%*
with AutoPay
Term
2-7yr*
Max. loan amount
$100,000
NEXT
APR from
5.99%
3 or 5 year term
Term
3-5yr
Max. loan amount
$30,000
NEXT
APR from
5.99%
with AutoPay
Term
2-7yr
Max. loan amount
$100,000
NEXT
APR from
5.99%
Term
2-5yr
Max. loan amount
$35,000
NEXT

Not Rated

APR from
6.49-17.99%
Term
1-5yr
Max. loan amount
$20,000
NEXT
APR from
6.99-19.99%
Term
3-6yr
Max. loan amount
$40,000
NEXT
APR from
7.95-35.99%
Term
3-5yr
Max. loan amount
$40,000
NEXT
APR from
7.98-35.99%
Term
3-5yr
Max. loan amount
$50,000
NEXT
APR from
7.99-35.97%
with AutoPay
Term
3-5yr
Max. loan amount
$50,000
NEXT
APR from
9.95-35.99%
Term
2-5yr
Max. loan amount
$35,000
NEXT
APR from
10.68-35.89%
with AutoPay
Term
3-5yr
Max. loan amount
$40,000
NEXT

The Bankrate guide to choosing the right personal loan with excellent credit

by Mia Taylor
As of Saturday, December 05, 2020

Why trust Bankrate?

At Bankrate, our mission is to empower you to make smarter financial decisions. We’ve been comparing and surveying financial institutions for more than 40 years to help you find the right products for your situation. Our award-winning editorial team follows strict guidelines to ensure the content is not influenced by advertisers. Additionally, our content is thoroughly reported and vigorously edited to ensure accuracy.

When comparing loans for excellent credit, compare lenders offering the most competitive APRs. Additionally, check to see if lenders require a minimum income to receive the lowest APRs; while excellent credit will help you receive competitive rates, some lenders may also require a high income to get the absolute lowest rates.

Loan details presented here are current as of the publish date. Check the lenders’ websites for more current information. The lenders listed here are selected based on factors such as credit requirements, APR, loan amounts, fees and more.

Personal loans for excellent credit: Best of December 2020

Lender
Best for
Estimated APR
Loan amounts
Term lengths
LendingClub
Financial education benefits
10.68%–35.89%
$1,000–$40,000
3 or 5 years
Credible
Applying once and receiving multiple offers
4.99%–35.99% (with autopay)
$600–$100,000
1 to 7 years
Best Egg
Quick funding
5.99%–29.99%
$2,000–$35,000
3 to 5 years
Payoff
Additional member benefits
5.99%–24.99%
$5,000–$40,000
2 to 5 years
PenFed
Military members
6.49%–17.99%
$600–$20,000
1 to 5 years
LightStream
Flexible use of loan funds
2.49%–19.99%
$5,000–$100,000
2 to 12 years
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
No-fee loans
6.99%–19.99%
$3,500–$40,000
3 to 6 years
TD Bank
Convenience
6.99%–21.99%
$2,000–$50,000
3 to 5 years
Earnest
A range of loan amounts
Starting at 4.99%
$1,000–$100,000
2 to 7 years
SoFi
Extra features
5.99%–18.28% (with autopay)
$5,000–$100,000
2 to 7 years
Laurel Road
No fees
7%–24.75% (with autopay)
$5,000–$45,000
3 to 5 years
PNC Bank
In-person service
Starting at 7.24% (with autopay)
$1,000–$35,000
6 months to 5 years

Summary: personal loans for excellent credit in 2020

What is an excellent-credit loan?

An excellent-credit loan is a personal loan made for people with credit scores above 800. Because this is considered the strongest credit tier, personal loan lenders are much more likely to approve applications from these borrowers. If you have excellent credit, you're also likely to receive the best interest rates, highest loan caps and most competitive terms.

“When applying for a personal loan, credit is extremely important because of the huge disparity in interest rates," says James Lambridis, CEO of DebtMD. “Many personal loan companies offer interest rates from as low as 7 percent to as high as 35 percent, so having a good or excellent credit score can result in saving thousands of dollars in interest throughout the term of the loan.”

What is considered an excellent credit score?

Credit scores typically range between 300 and 850, and an excellent credit score is in the 700-plus to 850 range.

From a lender’s point of view, higher credit scores represent a history of better credit decisions. This makes creditors more confident that you’ll repay debts. A good credit score often reflects many years of on-time payments, a good ratio of debts to income and a good mix of credit accounts — like credit cards, car loans and mortgages.

Average personal loan rates for excellent credit

The average personal loan rate for excellent credit is 10.3 percent to 12.5 percent APR. However, with some lenders, your rate could be much lower. The minimum APRs for the lenders profiled on this page range from 2.49 percent to 10.68 percent, and those rates are attainable if you have stellar credit.

Estimated APR by FICO credit score ranges

Category
Credit Score
Percentage of people in this category
Estimated APR
Excellent
800–850
21%
10.3%–12.5%
Very good
740–799
25%
10.3%–12.5%
Good
670–739
21%
13.5%–15.5%
Fair
580–669
17%
17.8%–19.9%
Very poor
300–579
16%
28.5%–32%

Source: ExperianBankrate

How to choose the best excellent-credit personal loan

Before making a final decision, consider all the variables involved with each lender. Consider fees, interest rates, available discounts and terms. Not all lenders have long repayment terms, and some don’t offer high-dollar loan amounts. Compare a few lenders, ideally using prequalification, before choosing the one that best fits your needs.

Some of the top considerations for choosing the best lender include:

  • Fees and rates: A good lender will be upfront about fees and work with you to calculate overall cost.
  • Discounts: Some lenders offer discounted rates if you have a certain level of retirement savings or when there’s a co-signer who has sufficient income.
  • Terms: Most personal loans have terms of 36 to 60 months, though some offer terms as short as 24 months or as long as 84 months. The rate you choose will impact your monthly payment.
  • Communication and customer service: Some lenders provide only online access, with no human interaction. You may benefit from having one-on-one discussions with loan consultants to identify the best loan terms and rates.
  • Prequalification: Many lenders let you see if you're prequalified by filling out a form on their websites. You'll enter very basic details about yourself and can see your rate and terms without the lender doing a hard credit check.
  • Unique features: Beyond the basics, you may find lenders with features that appeal to you, such as hardship assistance, free credit score monitoring, financial education and flexible payment schedules. These could be the determining factor when choosing between two competitive lenders.

How to get a personal loan with excellent credit

Getting a personal loan can be done in a matter of days. Here's how to get started:

  1. Check your credit score. Even if you think you know what your credit score is, it's always a good idea to make sure that your reports are free of errors. The higher your score, the better terms you'll receive.
  2. Calculate how much you need to borrow. Some lenders specialize in small loans, while others will extend loans up to $100,000. Before selecting a lender, determine how much you need, whether it's for debt consolidation or a home renovation.
  3. Compare at least three lenders. A good rule of thumb is to pull quotes from three lenders, but it never hurts to compare more. Using prequalification forms will allow you to see what you qualify for without hurting your credit.
  4. Apply for the loan. After getting prequalified, you'll have the chance to select the loan offer that looks best for you. Come prepared with pay stubs, tax documents and employment information; doing so will help get you your loan funds more quickly.
  5. Set up a repayment plan. If possible, choose your lender's automatic payment option. You may be able to receive a discount for autopay, and it will help you stay on top of your loan payments.

Details: best personal loan rates for excellent credit in 2020

LendingClub: Best loan for financial education benefits

Overview: One of the most well-known peer-to-peer platforms, LendingClub specializes in connecting borrowers with investors. It offers personal loans to refinance credit card debt, pay for home improvements, consolidate debt and more. While the minimum credit score is 600, most borrowers have a score that is closer to 700.

Perks: LendingClub’s online application process takes mere minutes. The lender offers competitive interest rates for borrowers with the best credit scores, as well as a variety of financial education support via blogs and reports about financial literacy.

What to watch out for: LendingClub offers a limited selection of loan terms. Borrowers can choose between 36- or 60-month repayment timelines. Other lenders offer two, three, four and five-year terms. In addition, LendingClub charges an origination fee of 2 to 6 percent.

Lender LendingClub
Bankrate Rating 4.5 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score 600
Est. APR 10.68%–35.89%
Loan Amount $1,000–$40,000
Term Lengths 3 or 5 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Origination fee: 2% to 6%; Late fee: 5% or $15

Read Bankrate's expert LendingClub Review

Credible: Best loan for applying once and receiving multiple offers

Overview: As an online marketplace, Credible helps you get personalized loan quotes from multiple lenders. You can use the loans to consolidate credit card debt or pay for home improvements, moving, weddings, vacations and other major expenses. The lenders that work with Credible look for applicants with a good credit history, but minimums will vary by lender.

Perks: There are no hidden fees when borrowing through Credible, and approved loans can be funded by the next business day. You can get prequalified quotes without impacting your credit score.

What to watch out for: Credible is not a direct lender. It is a marketplace that shares your application with a variety of lenders. Before accepting a loan through the Credible platform, you’ll want to research the lender that’s providing the funds.

Lender Credible
Min. Credit Score Not specified
Est. APR 4.99%–35.99% (with autopay)
Loan Amount $600–$100,000
Term Lengths 1 to 7 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Origination fee: 0% to 8%

Best Egg: Best loan for quick funding

Overview: Best Egg personal loans are aimed at high-income earners. Best Egg has a minimum credit score requirement of 640, but a minimum 700 FICO score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 is required to qualify for Best Egg’s lowest APR. In addition to debt consolidation and credit card refinancing, you can use Best Egg loans to fund special occasions, adoptions, home improvements and vacations.

Perks: Best Egg’s application process takes just a few minutes, and borrowers can receive funds in as little as one day. Because Best Egg is a company with no brick-and-mortar presence, underwriting costs tend to be minimal.

What to watch out for: Best Egg charges an origination fee between 0.99 and 6.99 percent.

Lender Best Egg
Bankrate Rating 4.7 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score 640
Est. APR 5.99%–29.99%
Loan Amount $2,000–$35,000
Term Lengths 3 to 5 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Origination fee: 0.99% to 6.99%; Late fee: $15; Returned payment fee: $15

Read Bankrate's expert Best Egg Review

Payoff: Best loan for additional member benefits

Overview: Payoff loans are available for just one purpose: taking control of credit card debt by rolling multiple payments into one monthly payment.

Perks: There are no late fees with Payoff loans, which are designed to help borrowers increase their credit score. Payoff also offers a number of unique member benefits, including free monthly FICO score updates designed to allow you to see your credit score progress and empowerment assessments to help you understand your relationship with money.

What to watch out for: Payoff loans cannot be used for any purpose outside of debt consolidation. Additionally, the company charges an origination fee of 0 to 5 percent.

Lender Payoff
Bankrate Rating 4.6 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score 640
Est. APR 5.99%–24.99%
Loan Amount $5,000–$40,000
Term Lengths 2 to 5 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Origination fee: 0% to 5%

Read Bankrate's expert Payoff Review

PenFed: Best loan for military members

Overview: PenFed primarily serves military members and their immediate family. However, it has expanded its loans eligibility, claiming that anyone can now qualify for membership. You can use loans from PenFed to cover home renovations, debt consolidation, travel and even auto repairs.

Perks: There are no origination fees when obtaining a personal loan through PenFed, and interest rates can be competitive.

What to watch out for: There are a couple of limitations to keep in mind with PenFed. To access PenFed loans, you’ll need to join this credit union, which requires an additional application. PenFed loans are also limited to a maximum of $20,000.

Lender PenFed
Min. Credit Score Not specified
Est. APR 6.49%–17.99%
Loan Amount $600–$20,000
Term Lengths 1 to 5 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Late fee: $29; Returned payment fee: $30

LightStream: Best for most flexible use of loan funds

Overview: LightStream personal loans cater to applicants who have a strong credit history. Loans are designed to cover a range of needs, with the lender advertising many uses that other lenders don't, such as adoptions, IVF financing and horse loans.

Perks: For those who have a solid credit history, LightStream loans offer competitive, fixed rates. The application process is nearly paperless; borrowers can apply and sign loan agreements online. Loan proceeds are available rapidly, sometimes on the same day as approval.

What to watch out for: Unlike many lenders, LightStream does not offer loan preapprovals. You must submit a full application to be considered for a loan. You will also need several years of credit history and a track record with a variety of accounts to get approved.

Lender LightStream
Bankrate Rating 4.6 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score 660
Est. APR 2.49%–19.99% (with autopay)
Loan Amount $5,000–$100,000
Term Lengths 2 to 12 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees None

Read Bankrate's expert LightStream Review

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Best for no-fee loans

Overview: Marcus loans are for borrowers with good to excellent credit. You can use the loans to fund major purchases or pay off credit card debt.

Perks: Marcus does not charge origination fees, application fees or late fees. The company also lets you skip one payment without accruing interest after a year of on-time payments.

What to watch out for: Marcus does not allow co-signers.

Lender Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Bankrate Rating 4.7 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score Not specified
Est. APR 6.99%–19.99%
Loan Amount $3,500–$40,000
Term Lengths 3 to 6 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees None

Read Bankrate's expert Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review

TD Bank: Best loan for convenience

Overview: TD Bank offers loans for a variety of uses, including vacations, home renovations and debt consolidation.

Perks: If you’re located on the East Coast and prefer a brick-and-mortar lender, TD Bank may be a good choice, as it has more than 1,200 locations in the region. Loan funds from TD Bank could be available in as little as 48 hours.

What to watch out for: TD Bank's personal loans are limited; to qualify, you must live in Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maine, Rhode Island, Maryland, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire or Virginia.

Lender TD Bank
Bankrate Rating 4.2 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score Not specified
Est. APR 6.99%–21.99%
Loan Amount $2,000–$50,000
Term Lengths 3 to 5 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Late fee: 5% or $10

Read Bankrate's expert TD Bank Review

Earnest: Best loan for a range of loan amounts

Overview: Perhaps best known for offering student loan refinancing, Earnest also offers low-interest personal loans in partnership with Fiona.

Perks: Earnest partners with personal loan search engine Fiona to search loan offers from multiple providers. While the available loan amounts and APRs will vary by lender, Earnest advertises low rates and loans from $1,000 to $100,000.

What to watch out for: Because Earnest uses a loan marketplace to match you with a lender, your terms and fees will vary.

Lender Earnest
Min. Credit Score Varies by lender
Est. APR Starting at 4.99%
Loan Amount $1,000–$100,000
Term Lengths 2 to 7 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Varies by lender

SoFi: Best loan for extra features

Overview: Perhaps most known as a student loan refinancing company, SoFi also offers personal loans and other financial products. Rates on SoFi loans are among the lowest on the market, which the digital lender attributes to its lack of overhead.

Perks: SoFi loans do not charge any fees — no origination fee, prepayment fees or late fees. The lender also offers unemployment protection, temporarily pausing payments and offering job-search assistance if you lose your job.

What to watch out for: SoFi’s loans and perks are reserved for those with the best credit scores. Additionally, SoFi says it takes a few days to receive your funds, while some lenders may deposit funds as soon as the next business day.

Lender SoFi
Bankrate Rating 4.7 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score 680
Est. APR 5.99%–18.28% (with autopay)
Loan Amount $5,000–$100,000
Term Lengths 2 to 7 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees None

Read Bankrate's expert SoFi Review

Laurel Road: Best loan for no fees

Overview: Laurel Road, part of KeyBank, looks for the most creditworthy borrowers. Though Laurel Road started out offering student loans, it has since expanded into personal loans.

Perks: Laurel Road offers quick access to funds, with the money disbursed directly to your bank account. Signing up for autopay will earn you a 0.25 percent interest rate discount, and there are no application or origination fees.

What to watch out for: Laurel Road loans max out at $45,000, so if you need more, it may not be the best lender. It also offers only three repayment terms: three, four and five years.

Lender Laurel Road
Min. Credit Score Not specified
Est. APR 7%–24.75% (with autopay)
Loan Amount $5,000–$45,000
Term Lengths 3 to 5 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees Late fee: 5% or $28; Returned check fee: $20

PNC Bank: Best loan for in-person service

Overview: PNC is a traditional brick-and-mortar bank that is holding its own with online lenders. The rates and fees are competitive, and loans are available for consolidating debt, making a large purchase and more.

Perks: There are no prepayment penalties, application fees or origination fees. And because it has around 2,300 branches — mostly down the East Coast — it could be a good option if you prefer in-person banking and customer service.

What to watch out for: Those who don’t have a checking account with PNC will pay slightly higher rates. Additionally, rates, terms and available products vary based on location; details presented here are based on the 10019 ZIP code.

Lender PNC Bank
Bankrate Rating 4.5 / 5.0
Min. Credit Score Not specified
Est. APR Starting at 7.24% (with autopay)
Loan Amount $1,000–$35,000
Term Lengths 6 months to 5 years
Min. Annual Income Not specified
Fees None

Read Bankrate's expert PNC Bank Review

Frequently asked questions about excellent-credit personal loans

How does my credit score affect my loan chances?

Since most personal loans are unsecured, your credit score is the most important part of your application. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for a personal loan at the lowest interest rate offered.

That also means the lower your credit score, the less likely you are to qualify for a personal loan. And if you do qualify, you won’t get the lowest interest rate available. The best personal loans for excellent credit will give you the lowest interest rate, fewest fees and best repayment term for your budget. If you don’t have excellent credit, there are still personal loans available, but they might not have all these features.

Will a personal loan hurt my credit score?

Having a personal loan won’t hurt your credit score, but applying for one will temporarily cause a dip. That’s because applying for a personal loan causes a hard credit check — when you give a lender approval to check your credit score. Hard credit checks tend to cause a small drop, but it’s not for long, and these checks don’t have a huge impact on your overall score. The weight of hard credit checks also goes down with time.

If you keep up on-time payments every month and pay off your loan, your credit score could see a jump. The opposite is also true: Missing payments will lower your credit score over time.

How much will a personal loan cost?

Personal loan costs vary by lender. For excellent credit, there are some lenders that don’t charge any fees. You’re only responsible for paying back the principal (or the amount you borrowed) plus interest. The lower your interest charges, the less you’ll pay back over the life of the loan.

Where can I get a personal loan?

When it comes to shopping for personal loans, the better your credit score, the more options you have. Generally speaking, there are three main options when it comes to applying for a personal loan:

  1. Online lenders: Since all of the loan application process can be done online, this could be a convenient way to apply and receive funds quickly. Online lenders also make it easy to compare rates, APRs and fees.
  2. Banks: Some banks, like USAA and CitiBank, offer personal loans. Applying with a bank could get you a lower rate if you have an existing checking or savings account with the bank. This could also be a good option if you prefer in-person customer service.
  3. Credit unions: A local credit union may offer more affordable rates and fees than banks and online lenders, especially if you're already a member. However, it's important to be aware that some credit unions may not offer prequalification, so applying could cause a temporary dip in your credit score.

What can you use a personal loan for?

Most personal loans can be used for any legal purpose, with the most common being debt consolidation, home renovations and emergency expenses. However, you can't use personal loan funds to pay for your education costs, and some lenders may restrict usage further. Payoff, for instance, limits its personal loans to credit card debt consolidation.

How much can you borrow with a personal loan?

The exact loan amounts available often depend on your credit score. The good news is that with excellent credit, you'll likely have access to the full range of loan amounts that a lender offers. Most lenders have minimum loan amounts from $1,000 to $5,000, and maximums can stretch from $50,000 to $100,000.

Additional personal loan resources