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Best Installment loans In California

The cost of living in California can be high, and this can make it difficult to handle unexpected expenses that arise. Californian installment loans offer flexible payment terms, allowing borrowers to spread out payments over longer periods of time.

Best Installment loans In California
Daniel Lewis
Written by:Daniel Lewis
MBA accredited investment professional
Finimpact Affiliate Disclosure

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may affect which companies we write about and where the company appears on a page. However, any analyses, or reviews expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been approved or endorsed by any partner.

An installment loan may be a great option for anyone looking for quick funding, regardless of their credit score. Average credit score for borrowers is 650, but even with bad credit (as low as 500) you may still be eligible. Fair credit (630-689) may get you more available loans and better terms. Those with good credit (690-850) will have the most options and best interest rates. Installment loans in California are widely available, so borrowers can find one to fit their needs. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before signing any agreement for an installment loan in California.

Best Personal Loans for 2023 reviewed by

Top Picks for Best Installments Loans in California 

Choosing the best installment loan in California can be a daunting task. Our expert loan reviewers consider some the following when assessing loan providers:

  • Loan Features
  • Interest Rates & Fees
  • Application Process
  • Qualification Process 
  • Customer Support 
  • Online User Reviews

Ensure the loan offers flexible repayment terms at low interest rates with minimal hidden fees. 
Check the application and qualification processes to determine if you meet requirements. 
Research customer support and potential perks or bonuses offered by lenders before signing up.  
Read online user reviews to get valuable feedback from real customers before making a decision.


Best Installment loans In California- Full Overview

This overview of the best installment loans available in California will provide information on how to compare different lenders and help  you find the right loan option for your needs. It will also cover key terms and tips on how to get the most 

Best Overall

LightStream — Best Overall Personal Loan

2.99% to 19.99%
Loan Amount
Min. Credit Score
Not Disclosed
Key Features
  • Funding as soon as the same day
  • Allows joint applications
  • No origination fee
Pros & Cons
  • Low APRs for good credit
  • Loan amounts up to $100,000
  • Check your rate with no impact on your credit
  • Auto-pay discount available
  • Not available for borrowers with bad credit
  • Rates without auto-pay are .50% higher
  • Minimum loan amount of $5,000

LightStream is our best personal loan overall because of their high loan amounts and the many repayment terms they offer. This provider advertises some of the lowest rates in the business, and offers an auto-pay interest discount, if you choose that payment option.


Main Features

The amount you can borrow with a LightStream personal loan varies based on the loan purpose, yet amounts up to $100,000 are available and loan terms can be up to 20 years. These loans come with no origination fees and no hidden fees, and a generous .50% auto-pay discount is available. Borrowers who qualify can expect interest rates from 3.49% to 19.99% with auto-pay.

To qualify, you need to have good credit that includes several years of credit history, sufficient income and assets to support your existing debt obligations and requested loan amount.

LightStream also has an app where customers can make payments, apply for new loans, track payment due dates, and track loan balances.

LightStream loans offer some of the industry’s lowest interest rates and some of its highest personal loan limits. If you have strong credit, this lender is ideal for you.

Avant — Best for Small Personal Loans

9.95% to 35.99%
Loan Amount
Min. Credit Score
Key Features
  • Low credit score requirements
  • Allowed to refinance personal loans
  • No prepayment penalties
Pros & Cons
  • Low loan amounts available
  • Check your rate with no impact on your credit
  • Mobile app available
  • Available for fair and poor credit
  • Administration fee up to 4.75%
  • Potential for a high APR
  • Lower borrowing limits than other lenders

Avant is a solid option for borrowers who need a small personal loan from $2,000 to $35,000. Avant has a mobile app that lets you track your repayment progress and make payments using your mobile device.


Main Features

To qualify for a personal loan from Avant you’ll need a minimum credit score of 580. Consider these fair to poor credit loans if you need a smaller amount of $2,000 to $35,000, less an administration fee (similar to an origination fee) of 4.75%. Interest rates range from 9.95% to 35.99% based on creditworthiness, and the loans are repayable over 24 to 60 months.

Avant personal loans work for borrowers who need less cash than the other personal loan companies offer. Borrowers can get prequalified without a hard inquiry, and can get funds deposited in their bank account the next business day after approval.
 sofi review

SoFi — Best for Loans with No Origination Fee

6.99% to 21.78%
Loan Amount
Up to $100,000
Min. Credit Score
Key Features
  • No origination, prepayment, or late payment fees
  • Joint applications accepted
  • Offers .25% discount for autopay
  • Borrowers up to $100,000
Pros & Cons
  • Loan amounts up to $100,000 available
  • Check your rate with no impact on your credit
  • No origination fees or hidden fees
  • Unemployment protection offered
  • Same-day funding available
  • High minimum loan amount of $5,000
  • Not available for bad credit
  • Lowest rates require auto-pay

SoFi offers personal loans, student loans, investing, and banking services. The personal loan personal loan comes with no origination fees and no hidden fees, which is ideal for borrowers who want to get a personal loan at minimal cost. SoFi also generous loan limits for those who qualify, and borrowers can check their rate without any impact to their credit.


Main Features

SoFi offers personal loans in amounts from $5,000 to $100,000, and interest rates range from 5.99% to 21.78% with auto-pay depending on creditworthiness. Borrowers can repay their loans over 24 to 84 months, and there are no origination fees or hidden fees. While SoFi does not disclose their minimum credit score requirements, this company offers loans to individuals with good or excellent credit.

SoFi personal loans are perfect for borrowers with good credit who want to avoid origination or other fees. These loans also work well for borrowers who need a high loan amount, as well as those who already use other financial products from this financial services company.

Upgrade — Best for Emergency Loans

5.94% to 35.97%
Loan Amount
Min. Credit Score
Not disclosed
Key Features
  • Funding as soon as the next day
  • Can be approved with fair credit
  • Variety of discounts on rates
Pros & Cons
  • Check your rate with no impact on your credit
  • Funding in as little as one day
  • Generous loan amounts available
  • Choose from flexible repayment terms
  • Origination fee charged on every loan
  • Potential for a high APR

Upgrade personal loans are available for up to $50,000, and you can get your loan funded in as little as one day. This makes Upgrade a smart option if you need an emergency loan. You can get prequalified without a hard inquiry to determine your approval odds before making a full application. Then, once you apply, get approved within minutes.


Main Features

Personal loans through Upgrade come in amounts from $1,000 to $50,000, and borrowers can choose repayment terms that last from 24 to 84 months. Interest rates will fall between 5.94% to 35.97% depending on your creditworthiness. Also be aware that each Upgrade personal loan comes with an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%.

Upgrade personal loans can be funded as soon as the day after you apply. That makes them ideal for people who need a loan quickly , whether funds are required for a large purchase or an emergency expense.

OneMain Financial — Best for Loans with Bad Credit

18% to 35.99%
Loan Amount
Min. Credit Score
Key Features
  • Offers joint and secured loans
  • Accepts low credit borrowers
  • Can fund a loan the same or next business day
Pros & Cons
  • Available for bad credit borrowers
  • Visit 1,400 nationwide locations
  • Check your rate with no impact to your credit
  • Flexible repayment options
  • Lower loan amounts than other lenders
  • Potential for a very high APR
  • High origination fees likely

OneMain Financial does not disclose their minimum credit score requirements. But, their loan options, interest rates, and terms make them ideal for borrowers with poor credit who may not get approved for other loans. Loan amounts are lower than some competing lenders offer, but OneMain Financial personal loans can still help you if you need access to cash. This company is also one of the few on our list that offers in-person branches you can visit if you need personalized help.


Main Features

Borrowers who apply for a loan with OneMain Financial may get approved for from $1,500 to $20,000. Repayment terms are from 24 months to 60 months, and interest rates may fall between 18% and 35.99% depending on creditworthiness. An origination fee of 1% to 10% may apply, although applicants in some states may be asked to pay a flat fee instead.

If you have poor credit but you need a loan, OneMain Financial might be your answer. Interest rates and fees are high, but you could borrow up to $20,000, if you can prove your ability to repay.

Understanding the Benefits of Taking Out an Installment Loan in California

Knowing the advantages of taking out an installment loan in California will help those who are struggling to make ends meet. An installment loan is a loan that is repaid in fixed amounts over a predetermined period of time, typically two to five years. The loan amount plus interest must be repaid in equal installments until the full debt is discharged. This form of loan can provide numerous advantages, including affordability and flexibility.

  • Installment loans are frequently less expensive than other types of credit because they allow borrowers to repay their bills over a longer period of time.
  • Installment loan payments may be tax deductible if used to pay for eligible expenses such as college tuition or company start-up fees
  • They are frequently easier to obtain than other types of credit since lenders require less documentation and fewer qualifications for acceptance.
  • If you have low credit or no credit history, you may still qualify for an installment loan if you have a stable source of income and a good repayment history with other lenders.
  • These loans can assist consumers in establishing or rebuilding their credit scores if all payments are made on time and in full each month. Many lenders provide flexible payment plans, allowing borrowers to change their repayment schedule based on their current financial condition.
  • Before agreeing to take out an installment loan in California, borrowers should check all terms and conditions before signing any agreement with a lender to ensure that the terms are favorable to them.

Navigating the Risks of Installment Loans in California

All lenders in California are required to be licensed by the Department of Business Oversight (DBO). Before taking out an installment loan, do your homework and make sure the lender is licensed. This helps to guarantee that you are working with a genuine lender who is abiding by all applicable laws and regulations. Also, it is crucial to read through the loan agreement thoroughly before signing anything. This can assist you in comprehending any potential fees or charges for late payments or other issues that may arise during the course of your loan.

It's also important to understand your consumer rights when it comes to installment loans in California. The DBO has protections in place for borrowers who take out installment loans, including caps on interest rates and fees paid by lenders. You should also be aware that when dealing with any form of lender, including those offering installment loans in California, certain consumer protection regulations apply.

If you are having trouble making payments on an installment loan or are feeling overwhelmed by debt related to one, don't be afraid to seek help from organizations such as Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco or Money Management International (MMI) Financial Education Center in Los Angeles County, both of which provide free financial education classes and counseling services that can help you get your finances back on track. You may reduce the dangers associated with these types of loans in California by completing your homework before getting into an agreement with any lender regarding an installment loan and being aware of your rights as a consumer!

How to Apply for an Installment Loan in California

Applying for a California installment loan is a procedure that requires some planning. Installment loans are a sort of loan that can be used to cover big expenses such as medical bills or house renovations, and they are typically repaid over time with monthly payments. When applying for an installment loan in California, it is critical to grasp the state's regulations and requirements. To apply for an installment loan in California, follow these steps:

  • Do lender research: It is critical to conduct research and evaluate several lenders in order to choose one that best meets your needs and budget. Examine their interest rates, repayment conditions, and any other lending expenses.
  • Collect all required paperwork: Before applying for a loan, you must collect all of the documentation requested by the lender. Proof of income, bank statements, tax records, and other kinds of identification may be required.
  • Submit application: After gathering all of the required documents, you can submit your application online or in person at a local branch office, depending on the lender's laws and restrictions.
  • Wait for approval: After completing your application, you will need to wait for approval from the lender before progressing with any other steps in the process.
  • Sign papers: Once you've been authorized for an installment loan in California, you'll need to sign paperwork establishing all of the details of your loan, including the interest rate and repayment conditions, before you can receive funds from the lender.
  • Make payments: Finally, after signing paperwork, it is critical that borrowers make timely payments on their loans in accordance with the terms outlined by their lender so that they do not fall into delinquency or default on their loans, which could have serious consequences for their credit score and overall financial health in the future.

Final Word

The top installment loans in California provide consumers with competitive rates and conditions. California residents have several wonderful options to pick from, with internet lenders offering some of the best rates. Nonetheless, it is critical to examine various lenders and their offerings in order to select the one that best meets your demands. When looking for an installment loan provider, it is also vital to evaluate other elements such as customer service and loan terms. Also, before signing any agreement, ensure that you understand all of the terms and circumstances of the loan. Borrowers may ensure they are getting the greatest deal for their money when applying for an installment loan in California by following these steps.


Are there any risks associated with taking out an installment loan?

Yes, taking out an installment loan can involve certain risks depending on your financial situation and credit score. Before agreeing to a loan agreement it’s important to understand all terms and conditions fully so as to ensure you can make timely payments on time each month without putting yourself into further financial hardship.

Are there any fees associated with taking out an installment loan?

Most lenders require some type of origination fee to be paid before you can take out an installment loan, which is usually between 1% - 8% of the total loan amount. Additionally, you may also be charged late payment fees if you are unable to make payments on time according to your agreement. 

How long will it take to process my application?

The processing time for an installment loan application will vary from lender to lender but typically takes anywhere from a few hours up to several days until approval is granted. During this time a credit check will usually be conducted by the lender in order to assess your ability to repay the loan according to its terms and conditions.

About the Author

Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis

MBA accredited investment professional

Daniel Lewis is an MBA accredited investment professional who wants to assist small business owners to gain access to finance.

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