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For the majority of people, loans are a part of life. Large purchases, like a house or car, are too expensive to pay for outright. So that leaves us with personal loans that we pay back over time plus interest.
Traditionally people would go into their local bank or credit union and apply. You’d talk to a loan officer and basically make your case, they’d review your financials and they would make their decision. This is still a totally viable option but today there are a lot more choices.
Online lending is a huge industry. You have the lenders that mimic the more traditional way, you get your loan from them and you pay them back. You also have peer-to-peer lenders where you’re borrowing from many investors that have decided to back your loan. It’s group funding.
These online lenders offer rates that are competitive with banks with the added convenience of getting everything done online.
Taking out a personal loan, at a great interest rate, is one of the benefits of having good credit. While they may be a little more flexible with credit scores you’re still going to get a really high APR if your credit is bad.
Keep in mind these are not small, emergency loans. People with really bad credit usually get forced into the more predatory, short-term loans. We recommend trying to stay away from these kinds of loans if possible.
Below you’ll find our personal loan reviews of all the major online lenders.
Personal Loan Reviews
Lending Club is one of the oldest and largest of the online lenders. They are also the biggest peer-to-peer lending marketplaces.
SoFi is definitely on the high end, serving up good loans to well-qualified people. They are a more traditional lender, in that they are the ones actually lending you the money.
Best Egg is a no frills lender for those with a good credit history. Their customers speak highly of their easy application and quick funding.
LendingTree is a bit different. They are a loan matching service, not an actual lender. Some customers seemed to have an issue with how many lenders get their information and contact them.
OneMain Financial is a nearly 100-year-old lender that specializes in loans to people with bad credit. They are a safer bet than the payday industry but there are still better options out there.
Peerform is a peer-to-peer lender that lends to people with poor credit. They may be a good option if you’re having trouble qualifying for the top lenders.
Upstart is looking for young tech professionals to come to their peer-to-peer marketplace. Of course, all are welcome but they’ll lend you money to go to coding boot camp.
Payoff is a prime lender used mainly for paying off existing debt. They also provide support and assistance to help keep you out of more financial trouble.
LightStream is a lender with very competitive rates for good applicants. If you aren’t able to qualify then they do offer the option to bring a co-signer or get a secured loan.
Avant is a bit more flexible on payment terms and lends to those with lower credit. So if you’re having trouble with the top lenders you may want to check them out.
Freedom Plus adds a little bit of personal touch that many of the online lenders don’t have. They also allow you to lower your interest rate by bringing a co-signer.
Discover Personal Loans
Discover Personal Loans is the loan division of the credit card giant. It feels a bit like double dipping, offering up the credit card debt and the consolidation loan, but that’s the way things go.