Skip to Main Content

Best low-interest personal loans for February 2024

Feb 22, 2024

Bankrate logo The Bankrate promise

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for . Learn more about who we are and our promise to guide you through life’s financial journey.

|

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

CheckmarkCheck personalized rates from multiple lenders in just 2 minutes
CheckmarkExplore loans ranging from $500 to $100,000
CheckmarkThis will NOT impact your credit score

Filter results

Close X

PERSONAL LOANS

LightStream: BEST FOR GENEROUS REPAYMENT TERMS

4.7

Est. APR
7.99- 25.49%
* with AutoPay
Loan term
2-7 yrs*
Loan amount
$5k- $100K
Min credit score
695
See offersArrow Right

Apply on partner site

PERSONAL LOANS

Upstart: BEST FOR LITTLE OR NO CREDIT HISTORY

4.7

Est. APR
7.80- 35.99%
Loan term
3-5 yrs
Loan amount
$1k- $50K
Min credit score
Not disclosed
See offersArrow Right

Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

Achieve: BEST FOR QUICK APPROVAL

4.6

Est. APR
8.99- 35.99%
Loan term
2-5 yrs
Loan amount
$5k- $50K
Min credit score
620
See offersArrow Right

Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

Upgrade: BEST FOR FAST FUNDING

4.7

Est. APR
8.49- 35.99%
with AutoPay
Loan term
2-7 yrs
Loan amount
$1k- $50K
Min credit score
600
See offersArrow Right

Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

TD Bank: BEST FOR FEW FEES

4.9

Est. APR
8.99- 23.99%
Loan term
3-5 yrs
Loan amount
$2k- $50K
Min credit score
700

PERSONAL LOANS

SoFi: BEST FOR UNEMPLOYMENT PROTECTION

4.7

Est. APR
8.99- 29.49%
with all discounts
Loan term
2-7 yrs
Loan amount
$5k- $100K
Min credit score
680

PERSONAL LOANS

Prosper: BEST FOR NO PREPAYMENT PENALTY

4.7

Est. APR
8.99- 35.99%
Loan term
2-5 yrs
Loan amount
$2k- $50K
Min credit score
600
See offersArrow Right

Check rate with Bankrate

PERSONAL LOANS

Discover: BEST FOR GOOD CREDIT AND FAST FUNDING

4.8

Est. APR
7.99- 24.99%
Loan term
3-7 yrs
Loan amount
$2.5k- $35K
Min credit score
Not disclosed

We helped over 421K people get prequalified loan offers last year. Let's find yours now.

How to compare low interest personal loans

It is important to compare a variety of lenders before deciding on one, especially if getting the lowest possible interest rate is a priority. When comparing lenders, pay attention to the following.

  1. Approval requirements: Each lender has its own approval requirements. Generally, lenders evaluate your creditworthiness by looking at your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, credit history and income.
  2. Interest rates: The lowest rate a company advertises is never guaranteed and depends on the terms of your loan as well as your credit health. Also make sure to incorporate any fees the lender charges into the interest rate, which can significantly impact the overall cost of your loan.
  3. Loan amounts: You should always make sure that the lenders you’re considering offer loans in the amount you need. If you need a small loan, you’ll be looking at different lenders than borrowers who need large sums of money. 
  4. Repayment options: Some lenders offer a wide range of repayment options while others only let borrowers choose between two to three terms.
  5. Unique features: Lenders often offer perks like rate discounts, introductory offers and access to free financial tools. Keep an eye out for any unique features a lender offers.
  6. Customer service: Always look into a company’s customer service options before applying. Many lenders offer over the phone customer service and some even have live chat features on their websites.

Compare low-interest personal loans from Bankrate’s top picks

LENDER BEST FOR APR RANGE LOAN TERM LOAN AMOUNTS MIN CREDIT SCORE
LightStream Generous repayment terms 7.49%-25.49% with Autopay 2-7 years $5,000-$100,000 695
Upstart Little or no credit history 7.80%-35.99% 3 or 5 years $1,000-$50,000 No requirement
Achieve Quick approval 7.99%-35.99% 2-5 years $5,000-$50,000 620
Upgrade Fast funding 8.49%-35.99% with Autopay 2-7 years $1,000-$50,000 600
TD Bank Few fees 8.99%-23.99% 3-5 years $2,000-$50,000 700
SoFi Unemployment protection 8.99%-29.49% with Autopay 2-7 years $5,000-$100,000 680
Prosper No prepayment penalty 8.99%-35.99% 2-5 years $2,000-$50,000 600
Discover Good credit and fast funding 7.99%-24.99% 3-7 years $2,500-$40,000 660

A closer look at our top low interest loan lenders

Here's a deep-dive into each lender, why is the best in each category and specifically who would benefit most from borrowing from the lender.

LightStream: Best for generous repayment terms

LightStream
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: LightStream is one of the most competitive online lenders in the personal loan space, offering a quick application process, fast funding and low APRs. LightStream is owned by Truist Bank.

Est. APR
7.99%–25.49%
Loan amount
$5k– $100k
Min credit score
695

Upstart: Best for little or no credit history

Upstart
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: Founded in 2012 by ex-Googlers, Upstart is headquartered in San Mateo, California and has originated more than $34 billion in personal loans. If you’re looking to consolidate debt, make a large purchase or cover some personal expenses, an Upstart personal loan may be able to help you do it.

Est. APR
7.80%–35.99%
Loan amount
$1k– $50k
Min credit score
Not specified

Achieve: Best for quick approval

Achieve
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6

Overview: Whether you need money to consolidate credit card debt, make some home improvements or make a large purchase, an Achieve (formerly known as FreedomPlus) personal loan can help you do it.

Est. APR
8.99%–35.99%
Loan amount
$5k– $50k
Min credit score
620

Upgrade: Best for fast funding

Upgrade
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: Personal loans from Upgrade come with the benefit of competitive, fixed rates, a simple application, quick funding process and flexible borrowing amounts. These loans can be used to refinance credit cards, consolidate debt, take on home improvement projects or finance major purchases.

Est. APR
8.49%–35.99%
Loan amount
$1k– $50k
Min credit score
600

TD Bank: Best for few fees

TD Bank
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
4.9

Overview: One of the 10 largest banks in America, TD Bank maintains about 1,100 locations throughout the East Coast. In addition to offering unsecured personal loans, TD Bank financial products include checking and savings accounts, credit cards, home equity lines and loans and mortgages.

Est. APR
8.99%–23.99%
Loan amount
$2k– $50k
Min credit score
700

SoFi: Best for unemployment protection

SoFi
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: A SoFi personal loan is a good choice for borrowers who have a stable income and good-to-excellent credit. Along with a fully digital experience, SoFi has large loans and accepts joint applications. 

Est. APR
8.99%–29.49%
Loan amount
$5k– $100k
Min credit score
680

Prosper: Best for no prepayment penalty

Prosper
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview: Prosper is a personal loan pioneer — the company became the first firm to enter the peer-to-peer lending arena when it launched in 2005. Prosper offers unsecured personal loans through WebBank to customers with a variety of credit profiles. It also offers home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Est. APR
8.99%–35.99%
Loan amount
$2k– $50k
Min credit score
600

Discover: Best for good credit and fast funding

Discover
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
4.8

Overview: Discover is a financial institution with a wide reach that provides a variety of services. The Discover global network extends across more than 200 countries with over 400,000 ATM locations. Known for its credit cards, Discover also offers personal loans among other financial services.

Est. APR
7.99%–24.99%
Loan amount
$2.5k– $35k
Min credit score
Not specified

How we made our picks for best low interest loans

To select the best personal loans, Bankrate’s team of experts evaluated over 30 lenders. Each lender was ranked using a meticulous 20-point system, focusing on four main categories:

  • Checkmark
    Affordability
    The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score. We also give bonus points to lenders offering rate discounts, grace periods and that allow borrowers to change their due date. 
  • Checkmark
    Availability
    Minimum loan amounts, number of repayment terms, eligibility requirements, ability to apply using a co-borrower or co-signer and loan turnaround time are considered in this category.
  • Checkmark
    Customer experience
    This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Checkmark
    Transparency
    For this factor, we consider how well information is presented to the borrower on the lender’s website. This includes listing credit requirements, rates and fees, in addition to offering prequalification.
Clock Wait
47
years in business
Credit Card Search
30+
lenders reviewed
Loan
20
loan features weighed
Rates
665
data points collected

What is a low interest loan?

A low interest personal loan has a rate under the national average. As of January 3, 2024, the average personal loan rate is 11.93 percent. While this may seem high, it's because rates have been incrementally increasing over the past few years due to inflation. 

To qualify for a low interest loan borrowers must have a steady income, an excellent credit score and a low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Lenders typically offer rates that are we

Should you consolidate credit card debt with a low interest personal loan?


Nationally recognized student financial aid expert

Credit card debt bases the monthly payment on a percentage of the outstanding debt. This means the payments start off high and get smaller over time. Consolidating credit card debt into a personal loan yields level monthly payments that do not change, which may be initially lower than the payment on the credit card debt and easier to manage. Personal loans often involve lower interest rates than credit card debt and a shorter repayment term, and can save you money. But, beware of consolidating your credit card debt if you will just get new credit cards and run up the balance all over again. But, before consolidating your credit card debt, call the credit card issuer to ask about hardship programs. They may be able to reduce the interest rate or provide you with a more manageable monthly payment. It is also a good idea to undergo credit counseling with a nonprofit credit counselor first.

Senior Loans Writer

The low-interest personal loan is an under-used tool when it comes to debt consolidation. First, it converts multiple debts into one debt with one manageable monthly payment. Second, you don’t need an asset to borrow against. You leave the equity in your home or the value of your car alone with a personal loan. Finally, you get the cash faster with less documentation than you’d need with a home equity loan or cash-out refinance. That puts you on the path to a better financial foundation faster. A personal loan also creates payment discipline because you receive the funds in a lump sum with a fixed monthly payment. You can’t max out a personal loan, because you can’t re-use any of the funds as you repay it. And clearing out revolving debt with installment debt is a very quick way to boost your credit score.

Pros and cons of low-interest personal loans

Green circle with a checkmark inside

Pros

  • You can use the funds to cover almost any expense.
  • Most lenders provide funding within the same week of approval.
  • They tend to have lower rates than credit cards, and are just as flexible.
  • Fixed repayment term and interest rate, means that payments are predictable.
  • On-time payments could boost your credit score.
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Some lenders charge origination fees as high as 10 percent.
  • You could end up with a hefty interest rate if you have low credit.
  • Defaulting could damage your credit for up to seven years.

Where to get a personal loan with a low interest rate

You can get a low interest rate loan where you borrow most financial products. Banks, online lenders and credit unions all offer personal loans. However, online lenders are the most likely to offer the lowest rates, especially for those with strong credit.

Calculate your monthly loan payment

Our personal loan calculator allows you to see how much you’ll pay each month based on your loan amount, estimated interest rate and length of the repayment term. Playing around with these numbers can also shed some light as to how much you can reasonably afford to borrow, without tilting your monthly budget.

Average personal loan interest rates

The average personal loan currently has an interest rate above 11.5 percent. That said, your rate will be based on several factors, including the lender you choose, your credit score and borrowing history.

Average personal loan rates by credit score

CREDIT RATING / SCORE RANGE AVERAGE PERSONAL LOAN INTEREST RATE
Excellent (720-850) 10.73%-12.50%
Good (690-719) 13.50%-15.50%
Average (630-689) 17.80%-19.90%
Bad (300-629) 28.50%-32.00%
Source: Bankrate
Bankrate's image file
See related

How to qualify for competitive rates on low-interest personal loans

Find out the steps you need to take to qualify for a low-interest personal loan.

Arrow Right

Alternatives to low-interest personal loans

In addition to personal loans, there are a few other options you can explore to get the funds you need without paying a lot of interest. 

Caret Down

A cash-out refinance essentially replaces your mortgage with a bigger one, with different terms and interest rates. With this loan, you get to keep the difference between your old mortgage and your new one.
On the downside, your mortgage payment will be higher, the loan can take up to 60 days to be completed and it requires a decent amount of paperwork. That said, a cash-out refi could be a good option if you need a considerable amount of money for home renovations or a big investment as APRs can be as low as 5 percent.

Some credit cards offer 0 percent introductory offers in which you get to make purchases, without accruing interest for a set number of months. To qualify for these, you’ll typically need excellent credit and a stable source of income. This option is better suited for those who only need to borrow a small amount and can pay off the balance before the promotional period ends.

BPNLs are a type of installment loan that allows you to split your purchase into a series of interest-free payments — between four and six, depending on the company. Although these services are often offered through online retailers, some stores are beginning to accept them as a form of payment.

Frequently asked questions about low-interest personal loans