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Personal Loan Quick Guide

Updated: Mai 1, 2024

What are personal loans?

It’s an installment loan paid back on a regular schedule and not backed by collateral such as your car or house. It’s different from a car loan and mortgage because the lender cannot seize assets if you can’t pay back your loan. On the flip side, your credit score will be damaged if you can’t pay your personal loan back.

What are lenders requirement for a personal loan?

Good lenders will almost always check your credit history and ask about your income and debt-to-income ratio before offering you a loan and deciding on your loan interest. Your loan interest is linked to your credit history (the worst your credit the higher your interest will be), and as you can imagine a higher interest will make it costlier to repay your loan. Personal loan have fixed-rates and they vary between lenders and you can see below how the average interest rates on a personal loan.
Lenders will usually require you have either a checking account or savings account to make automatic payment (autopay).

Mai 2024 Personal Loans Rates by State and Credit Score:

      Credit Score    
 State Excellent Good Average Bad Poor
  720 – 850 690 – 719 630 – 689 580 – 629 below 580
Nationally 6.6% 9.0% 11.4% 17.2% n/a
Banks 7.7% 9.8% 11.5% 19.8% n/a
Credit Unions 5.6% 7.8% 10.5% 15.3% 18.5%
Online lenders 6.2% 7.6% 11.4% 17.3% 21.1%
Alabama 6.2% 9.1% 12.3% 16.0% 22.3%
Alaska 6.5% 8.9% 13.0% 17.2% 21.4%
Arizona 6.4% 9.1% 12.3% 18.1% 21.6%
Arkansas 6.3% 9.0% 11.7% 17.0% 22.0%
California 6.3% 8.8% 12.2% 17.3% 21.4%
Colorado 6.2% 8.3% 11.5% 17.3% 21.7%
Connecticut 6.1% 8.4% 11.5% 18.5% 21.2%
Delaware 6.2% 8.9% 13.1% 18.1% 21.0%
DC 7.0% 9.1% 13.1% 18.0% 22.2%
Florida 6.4% 9.3% 12.6% 16.9% 20.1%
Georgia 6.2% 9.3% 13.2% 18.1% 21.1%
Hawaii 6.3% 9.2% 12.4% 16.8% 24.11
Idaho 6.4% 9.1% 12.2% 17.3% 20.1%
Illinois 6.3% 9.1% 11.3% 15.3% 23.4%
Indiana 6.4% 9.1% 13.3% 18.1% 22.2%
Iowa 7.0% 9.2% 13.5% 18.6% 24.0%
Kansas 7.0% 9.2% 13.3% 18.2% 23.1%
Kentucky 6.6% 9.3% 13.3% 17.1% 21.1%
Louisiana 6.4% 9.0% 12.4% 18.1% 21.5%
Maryland 6.5% 9.2% 13.2% 17.4% 23.0%
Massachusetts 6.4% 9.0% 12.4% 17.7% 22.4%
Michigan 6.4% 9.2% 13.5% 17.5% 24.3%
Minnesota 6.6% 9.8% 14.0% 18.2% 24.1%
Mississippi 6.4% 9.2% 13.3% 18.3% 22.1%
Missouri 7.1% 10.0% 14.0% 17.4% 24.3%
Montana 6.7% 9.7% 13.7% 17.2% 20.1%
Nebraska 6.6% 9.6% 13.4% 17.5% 19.7%
Nevada 6.6% 9.6% 13.8% 18.3% 22.3%
New Hampshire 7.1% 9.6% 15.3% 18.4% 23.2%
New Jersey 6.5% 9.2% 13.0% 17.3% 19.5%
New Mexico 6.5% 9.2% 12.4% 16.5% 21.0%
New York 6.4% 9.3% 12.2% 16.6% 20.1%
North Carolina 6.4% 9.4% 13.3% 18.4% 23.1%
North Dakota 7.0% 9.4% 12.3% 16.2% 19.5%
Ohio 6.6% 9.2% 12.3% 16.1% 21.0%
Oklahoma 6.5% 9.3% 13.2% 18.3% 20.3%
Oregon 6.6% 9.4% 12.9% 17.2% 21.1%
Pennsylvania 6.8% 9.3% 12.6% 18.6% 21.1%
Rhode Island 7.0% 9.2% 12.6% 15.2% 21.0%
South Carolina 6.6% 9.1% 13.6% 18.4% 22.2%
South Dakota 6.1% 9.2% 12.8% 16.5% 21.1%
Tennessee 6.2% 9.2% 12.3% 16.5% 22.5%
Texas 6.5% 9.2% 13.3% 17.7% 22.4%
Utah 6.6% 9.2% 12.3% 15.6% 20.6%
Vermont 6.4% 9.3% 12.4% 16.1% 20.1%
Virginia 6.6% 9.2% 13.3% 17.6% 20.1%
Washington 6.4% 9.0% 14.1% 18.9% 22.2%
West Virginia 6.7% 9.3% 13.3% 16.3% 21.1%
Wisconsin 7.2% 9.2% 15.1% 16.5% 20.1%
Wyoming 5.9% 9.1% 14.0% 16.2% 19.0%
Source: MFP’s Users survey (over 42,836 users) who shared their personal loan annual percentage rate (APR) between April 1 to 30 2024.

What are the minimum requirements for a loan?


Lenders requirements are; you need to be 18 or older, a resident of the U.S., have an available bank account and not be in bankruptcy or foreclosure.

With a poor or average credit, you could still get an unsecured personal loan if you have a regular income and little debts. Your fixed-rate personal loan will usually still be higher.

The minimum loan varies by lender but it’s usually between $500 to $1,000.


What about lenders not verifying your credit?


Some lenders do not require you to have a minimum credit score but it doesn’t mean your credit score isn’t verified.

Some lenders provide loans with zero credit check but they’ll charge higher rates, sometime in the 200-300%, just like a payday loan lender. We do not work with those lenders.

Few lenders approve loans for borrowers with poor credit. With those lenders you can expect your fix-rate loan to be at the higher end (up to 36%). If you don’t qualify for a loan with a normal lender don’t use a payday lender (take a look at alternative lenders such as NixLending.com and BuildingSkills.org instead).


How to get the best rate?


Finding the best and lowest rate for your personal loan will depend on 2 key things:

1- Your credit score.
2- Shopping around.

1- Your credit score:

  • The rate you’ll be offered depend on your credit score. The higher your score the lowest your rate will be.
  • You should once a year make sure your credit report has no errors, and if you do getting in touch with the credit reporting agency to fix the inaccuracies will improve your score within days.
  • If your score is low some lenders may let you have a co-signer or provide a collateral (like a car or other possessions of value) as a guarantee. Check with lenders how much interest rate reduction this would provide you.

2- Shopping around:

Shopping around is the best way to find the lowest interest rate for your personal loan.

  • First see with online lenders, like the ones listed at the top of this page, for the rate and loan terms they’d provide you. Take a few minutes to get 2-4 quotes. Once you have them in hand it’s time to…
  • Second, contact your existing financial institution, bank or credit union, to see if f they offer personal loans. Call them and see what are their loan repayment terms and rates. Ask them for a quote. If the interest rate they give you is higher than online lenders, show them the competing rates you got. They may be able to match it or give you a lower one.
  • Third, decide who offer you the best rate and loan term for your need. Don’t forget to take into account any possible fees coming with your personal loan offers.

Personal loan for bad credit


Having bad credit, typically under 630, doesn’t keep you from having a personal loan but makes it harder and means you have fewer options. Your interest rate will be on the higher end compared to someone with better credit. Your monthly payment will accordingly be higher.

The quickest option is looking at online lenders and your best option is going to your local credit unions or community banks. They’re the ones being more open to consumers with bad credit. Your local credit union will probably require you to open an account with them, but it’d be a good idea as they usually also offer better services, fewer fees and better rates for other financial services.

We recommend you always compare rates and fees from a few lenders whether they are a credit union, community bank or online lender.

You can start by getting quotes from our reputable partners at the getting quotes from our reputable partners at the top of this page to compare with other lenders and find your lowest rates.


The effect on your credit score

Getting rates quotes won’t affect your credit as they’ll only do a soft credit pull (they’ll only do a full credit when it’s time to finalize and approve your loan).

Don’t be afraid to do 2-3 full credit check with lenders in a short period of time such as within 30 days. Doing a few full credit verification within 30 days won’t affect your credit score (but doing it many time months after month does).


Getting a loan and paying back completely will improve your credit. But the opposite is also true, if you stop paying your loan and go in default it’ll have a negative effect on your credit score.


The pros of personal loans

  • A personal loan can help you face unexpected situation like repairs or fixes urgently needed. You can use a personal loan for almost any need like medical bills, vacations, home improvements. Using emergency savings is always cheaper but as long as you can pay your loan back it’s a way to finance yourself usually cheaper than a credit card.
  • You can do a debt consolidation by consolidating your debts (credit cards included). You can use a personal loan to consolidate high-interest credit card debt into one monthly  payment at a lower interest rate in order to paying off your debt faster.
  • It can improve your credit score. You may increase your credit score by moving credit card debt to an installment loan because you lower of your credit use ratio and you diversify your debts types.

The cons of personal loans

  • You usually get higher interest rates than a secured personal loan and some credit cards. When you have good credit and can pay off your debt in 12 to 18 months, you can usually get a 0% balance transfer credit card for a year and pay your balance transferred free of interest. Homeowners can also use home equity loans with lower interest rates than a personal loan, and you’d save money too. The con of a home equity loan is your home become collateral.
  • Longer loan application process. Getting your loan approved may take a few days and require more information than credit cards.

Online Lenders Rates & Terms Mai 2024


You can see rates, loan terms, credit scores and the amount for popular online lenders below. You can apply to only one, apply to many, or use some of our partners above to get multiple quotes at once.

Lenders Rates (APR) Terms (months) Credit Score Amount
Avant 9.95% – 35.99% up to 48 600+ Up to $25,000
Barclays 4.99 – 20.99% up to 60 700+ Up to $35,000
Best Egg 5.99% – 29.99% up to 36 700+ Up to $35,000
Discover 6.9% – 24.99% up to 84 660+ Up to $35,000
Earnest 4.99% – 12% up to 84 680+ Up to $100,000
FreedomPlus 7.99% – 29.99% up to 36 640+ Up to $40,000
Laurel Road 7.75% – 24.25% up to 62 700+ Up to $45,000
Lending Club 10.68% – 35.89% up to 60 540+ Up to $40,000
Lending Point 15.49 – 35.49% up to 24 585+ Up to $25,000
LightStream 3.49% – 19.74% up to 144 660+ Up to $100,000
Marcus 6.99% – 19.99% up to 36 660+ Up to $40,000
Payoff 5.99% – 24.99% up to 60 640+ Up to $40,000
Prosper 7.95% – 35.99% up to 36 640+ Up to $40,000
OneMain 18% – 35.99% up to 36 600+ Up to $20,000
Rocket Loans 7.6% – 29% up to 60 640+ Up to $45,000
SOFI 5.99% – 18.53% up to 84 680+ Up to $100,000
Upgrade 7.99% – 35.97% up to 60 580+ Up to $35,000
Upstart 8.69% – 35.99% up to 60 620+ Up to $50,000



Banks Personal Loans Rates & Terms Mai 2024

Traditional banks’ rates are usually higher than other lenders like credit unions and online lenders (see above). They only offer loans to people with good or great credit and you’ll need to have an account at the bank to obtain a loan.

Banks Rates (APR) Terms (months) Credit Score Amount
Citizen Bank 7.89% – 24.49% 12 to 84 680+ Up to $50,000
Wells Fargo 5.99% – 20.24% 12 to 36 700+  Up to $35,000
Citi Bank 7.99% – 17.99% 12 to 60 680+ Up to $50,000
US Bank 7.49% – 17.99% 12 to 60 720+ Up to $25,000
PNC 7.99% – 19.99% 6 to 60 680+ Up to $35,000
TD Bank 6.99 to 21.99% 12 to 60 680+ Up to $50,000
BBT Hide rates Hide Terms Hide scores Hide amounts
Fifth Third Bank 6.99% – 15.24% 12 to 60 680+  Up to $25,000
Key Bank 7.84% – 18.26% 12 to 84 680+ Up to $50,000



When are personal loans good?


Personal loans are best when you have a long term plan to improve your finances.


You can borrow money for other things (car repairs, wedding, vacation or other things) but only if you know you can make your loan payments.

Don’t borrow to push away the unavoidable. If you want to be debt-free make a plan to do it. If you are not able to deal with your existing debt, look at your debt-relief options.

When you have decided a personal loan is the right choice, calculate your payments for the different range of interest rates and loan amounts. This way you’ll have a good idea of what you can afford when you get loan offers.

If you have good credit and have already done business with a bank compare online offers with your bank and use online offers as a negotiation with your bank and credit union.

Lenders on MFP offer rates no higher than 36%. They’re listed at the top of this page. They also all follow the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau standards and take into consideration your credit history and ability to repay.


Common questions about personal loans:

What does it cost to apply for a loan?
Applying is always free. (If someone wants to charge to verify your credit and be approved, beware!) Once the loan is approved some lenders usually take an origination fee. This fee is taken from your loan amount before you receive your funds. For example, if you applied for $5,000 and the origination fee is 2% ($100) you’ll receive $4,900.

Most good lenders don’t have an origination fee so lookout to see if the lender interesting you have such fee.


Can I pay my loan early without a prepayment penalty?

Most good lenders don’t have an early pay off fee. This means some lenders, a minority, may charge you a fee if you increase your payments and pay off your loans earlier than planned. This means if you want to pay it off early and save on your interest payment. some lenders may charge you a fee. Be on the lookout for loans with no prepayment penalty.

How fast do I get my loan once I’m approved?

The length vary greatly. It can be as little as 24h for many online lenders and up to one month for other traditional lenders.
Once I get a loan, can I get another one?
Most of the time yes. Your lender would make it easier for you to get a new loan once you pay off your first one. If you paid on time and fulfilled the lender payments as planned they’ll be more flexible to lend you again.
Can I appeal if the lender refuses my application?
Yes, if the refusal is due to an error on your credit report or new information you can provide them they may change their decision. But if you were declined because you don’t meet their underwriting criteria you can’t appeal their decision.
What if I’m facing difficulties making a monthly payment?
It’s important you reach out to your lender and let them know of your situation (you’re not the only one in your shoes). Your lender should help you figure a way to get back on track of making regular payments.

If you can’t make regular payment and don’t stay behind on your payment the lender should not report it to credit agencies.

If my credit isn’t good enough can some lenders ask me for collateral?
Yes, some lenders may be flexible enough to offer you a loan if you can provide some collateral like a co-signer or a car title for example. If you can provide collateral you should be able to get a lower rate and/or a bigger loan amount.