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Best Installment Loans

Installment loans let you borrow a lump sum and pay it back in monthly payments you agree to ahead of time. Interest rates tend to be low when you compare the best installment loans to other financial products, and there are often no fees required.

Best Installment Loans
Holly Johnson
Written by:Holly Johnson
Award-Winning Personal Finance Contributor

Installment loans are used by borrowers who want to finance a large purchase, as well as those who need to consolidate debt with better rates and terms. These loans come with fixed interest rates and fixed payments that will never change, and interest rates are competitive. Our team of financial experts reviewed and ranked more than 30 installment loan companies to help you get funded, so read on to learn about our top picks and all they have to offer.

Our Top Picks for Best Installment Loans

lightstream._logo
  • Funding as soon as the same day
  • Allows joint applications
  • No origination fee
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not Disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $5K-$100K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 24-240 months
 sofi review
  • No origination, prepayment, or late payment fees
  • Joint applications accepted
  • Offers .25% discount for autopay
  • Borrowers up to $100,000
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 680+
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $100K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 84 months
lendingclub_logo
  • Wide range of personal loans
  • Co-signer option
  • Soft credit pull
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not Disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $1K-$40K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 36-60 Months

How to Choose the Best Installment Loan?

When you're searching for affordable installment loans, there are an array of factors to consider and compare. Our experts studied the following factors for each of the companies that made our list of online installment lenders.

  • Loan features: As you compare the best installment loans, it's important to look at factors such as potential loan amounts and available repayment plans. Look for installment loan providers who will let you borrow the cash you need with a monthly payment you can afford.
  • Interest rates and fees: Check individual companies so you can compare the interest rates they offer, as well as any loan fees they charge. Ideally, you'll find an installment loan company that doesn't charge origination fees or hidden fees.
  • Application process: The top installment loans online let you apply and get funding from the comfort of your home. However, their funding timelines can vary widely, so make sure you can get funding within a timeline that works for you.
  • Qualification process: Find out about installment loan qualification requirements, which can pertain to your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, your income, and other factors.
  • Customer support: Search for companies that offer plenty of ways to contact them if you need customer support, including a phone number, an email address, and online chat.
  • Online user reviews: Look for companies that have mostly positive reviews from past users on websites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Perks and Bonuses: Check for providers who offer special discounts, such as autopay discounts. Also look for refer-a-friend programs, forbearance plans, and other perks.

Best Installment Loans in 2022 - Full Overview

Read on to learn which of the best installment loans we recommend, plus a general overview of the loans each company offers.

1.LightStream — Best Installment Loans Overall

LightStream is a highly-rated installment loan organization that promises funding for debt consolidation, home improvements, weddings, and more. We chose them as our best installment loan company overall due to their highly competitive rates, their flexible repayment terms, and the large loan amounts they offer. LightStream could easily be your best option for an installment loan if your credit score and income is sufficient to qualify for a loan with their best rates and terms.
Pros
Lowest APRs on the market for good credit
Loan amounts up to $100,000 available
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Auto-pay discount available
Repay your loan over up to 240 months
Cons
Not for borrowers with bad credit
Rates without auto-pay are .50% higher
Minimum loan amount of $5,000 applies

lightstream
The exact features of LightStream installment loans depend on the purpose of the funding. For example, borrowers can repay over a longer period of time (up to 240 months) for home improvement loans than they can for debt consolidation loans. Either way, interest rates range from 3.49% to 19.99% APR with auto-pay and borrowers can access $5,000 to $100,000. LightStream installment loans also come with no origination fees, no prepayment fees, and no hidden fees.

The Bottom Line

Due to the low interest rates and lack of fees these loans offer, LightStream is the top lender out there for good credit. The best part? You can get prequalified online without any impact to your credit score.

2.SoFi — Best for Large Loan Amounts

SoFi is a fintech company that offers a broad range of financial services ranging from investing to banking and student loans. They also offer incredible installment loans that let borrowers access large loan amounts they can use for home remodeling projects, consolidation of considerable debt, and more. If you have good credit and sufficient income, SoFi can help you get the funding you need for your next big project.
Pros
Loan amounts up to $100,000 offered
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
No origination fees or hidden fees
Unemployment protection offered
Fast funding available
Auto-pay discounts available
Cons
Minimum loan amount of $5,000 applies
Not available for bad credit
Lowest rates require auto-pay

sofi
SoFi installment loans are offered in amounts that can range from $5,000 to $100,000, and interest rates fall between 5.99% to 21.78% with auto-pay depending on creditworthiness. Borrowers can repay their loans over 24 to 84 months depending on their preferences. SoFi installment loans also come with no origination fees and no hidden fees.

The Bottom Line

SoFi is a smart option to consider if you need access to up to $100,000 and the flexibility to repay your loan over up to 84 months. Like other top installment loan companies, you can even gauge your approval odds online without any impact to your credit score.

Try SoFi

3.LendingClub — Best Installment Loans with a Cosigner

LendingClub is another online lender that offers flexible loan terms and repayment plans. They even let you apply for an installment loan with a joint application or a cosigner, and this factor helps them stand out from the competition. While loan amounts offered aren't as high as some other lenders, LendingClub offers personal loans to borrowers with a broad range of credit profiles, including fair credit and bad credit.
Pros
Available for borrowers of all credit profiles
Installment loans starting at $1,000
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Funding available 24 hours after approval
Cons
Average APR of 15.95% for installment loans
Only two repayment plans available
Higher rates than competitors
3% to 6% origination fee applies

LendingClub
LendingClub installment loans are offered in amounts that can be as low as $1,000 and all the way up to $40,000. Borrowers can choose to repay their loan amount over 36 months or 60 months, and funding can be available as soon as 24 hours after an application is approved. While LendingClub loans don't have any prepayment penalties, they do charge an upfront origination fee of 3% to 6% of the loan amount. Borrowers with credit scores as low as 600 may be able to qualify.

The Bottom Line

LendingClub is an installment loan organization that lets you apply with a joint borrower or cosigner. This, along with their availability for borrowers with fair credit and poor credit, helps them stand out from the competition.

4.BestEgg — Best for Debt Consolidation

We chose BestEgg as our best installment loan for debt consolidation due to their generous loan amounts and flexible repayment terms. We also like the fact that BestEgg offers loans to individuals with fair credit and poor credit, and that borrowers can get prequalified ahead of time without any impact to their credit score.
Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Competitive rates for qualified borrowers
Borrow up to $50,000 for debt consolidation
Low minimum credit score requirements
Cons
Origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99% applies
Potential for a high APR with bad credit
Only two repayment plans available

bestegg
BestEgg installment loans are offered in amounts that range from $2,000 to $50,000, which makes them ideal for debt consolidation. Borrowers can choose from 36-month or 60-month repayment plans based on their needs and goals, and loans are available for borrowers with credit scores as low as 550. Note that an origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99% will apply based on creditworthiness.

The Bottom Line

Best Egg is a solid option to consider if you have high-interest debts to consolidate and you want a competitive interest rate. They even let you check your rate online before you apply.

5.Universal Credit — Best for One-Day Funding

Universal Credit is another online installment loan company that offers loans to borrowers with poor credit, fair credit, and good credit. This lender also offers one-day funding options, which can be crucial if you need cash from your installment loan at lightning fast speed. Note that Universal Credit is owned by a company called Upgrade, which also offers a selection of financial products including personal loans.
Pros
Speedy one-day funding available
Loan amounts as low as $1,000 available
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Repay with flexible repayment terms
Cons
4.25% to 8% origination fee applies
High APRs for all credit profiles
Lowest rates require auto-pay

universal credit
Universal Credit offers installment loans from $1,000 to $50,000, and borrowers can repay their balances over 36 to 60 months. While there are no prepayment penalties if you pay off your loan early, these loans do charge an origination fee of 4.25% to 8% of the loan amount. Interest rates also tend to be on the high end, ranging from 8.93% to 35.93% APR based on creditworthiness.

The Bottom Line

If you have good (but not great) credit and you need cash quickly, Universal Credit could be the answer you're looking for. This provider offers an unsecured installment loan in amounts up to $50,000, and you can get your money within one business day after you apply.

6.Rocket Loans — Best for Home Improvements

Rocket Loans has a long history of operation within the mortgage industry, and they are currently one of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States. That makes their personal loans ideal for home improvements. Borrowers can access up to $45,000 in cash for a new kitchen, a bathroom upgrade, or major upgrades or repairs, and they can repay their loans with flexible terms that last up to 60 months.
Pros
Competitive rates for good credit
Check your rate with no impact to your credit
Borrow up to $45,000 for home improvements
Cons
Origination fees apply
Best rates require auto-pay
Only two repayment options
Lower loan limit than other lenders

rocket loans
Rocket Loans lets their customers access up to $45,000 they can use for home remodeling projects or other purposes. Applicants who get approved can choose a monthly payment as well as a repayment term of 36 or 60 months. Interest rates range from 5.970% to 29.99%, although the lowest rates require applicants to sign up for auto-pay. Rocket Loans charges an upfront origination fee that can range from 1% to 6% of the loan amount.

The Bottom Line

If you trusted Rocket Loans with your mortgage, you can also turn to them when you need cash for home improvements and repairs. Their loan amounts and repayment options are generous and flexible, and you can even get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

7.Upgrade — Best for Fair Credit

Upgrade installment loans are ideal for individuals with fair credit, and they are actually available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 580. You can check your rate online without a hard inquiry as well, which makes it easier to see if you can get approved ahead of time. While Upgrade personal loans can be used for any reason, many borrowers lean on this funding for debt consolidation, home repairs, weddings, and more.
Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Available for fair and poor credit
Generous loan amounts available
Repay over 24 to 84 months
Cons
Origination fee applies
Potential for a high APR

upgrade
Upgrade installment loans can come in amounts that range from $1,000 to $50,000, and flexible repayment terms are available from 24 to 84 months. Interest rates can be on the low end for good credit, yet they climb considerably higher for those with fair credit or poor credit. Current rates fall between 5.94% to 35.97% APR. Note that an origination fee of 2.9% to 8% applies to every installment loan.

The Bottom Line

If you need access to cash and your credit is just fair, Upgrade installment loans can work for your needs. You may pay a higher interest rate to access funding than you would with good credit, but you can choose a monthly payment and repayment term that fits with your budget and goals.

8.NetCredit — Best for Poor Credit

If you need an installment loan but your credit score is on the low end, NetCredit may let you borrow up to $10,000. Interest rates tend to be high, and your loan terms can vary widely depending on your state of residence. However, you can check your rate without having to fill out a full loan application, and borrowers in most states can get up to $10,000 as soon as the next business day.
Pros
Installment loans up to $10,000
Lines of credit up to $4,500
Available for bad credit borrowers
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
No origination fees or hidden fees
Cons
Loan terms can vary by state
Low loan amounts
High APRs for all credit profiles

netcredit
NetCredit installment loan features can vary by state. In California, for example, borrowers can access $2,500 to $10,100 in funding and repay their loan over 12 to 60 months with an APR of 36% to 36.08%. However, Florida borrowers can access up to $10,000 maximum, and their interest rates range from 34.99% to 99.99%. On the upside, these loans don't have any origination fees or hidden fees.

The Bottom Line

While NetCredit does charge high interest rates on their installment loans, they are in a position to approve borrowers with bad credit when other lenders won't. Also note that their installment loans come with no origination fees, so that's one silver living to be aware of.

Best Installment Loans — Main Features Table


Company Name

Estimated APR

Minimum Credit Score

Loan Amount

Loan Terms

LightStream

3.49% to 19.99% APR with auto-pay

660

$5,000 to $100,000

36 to 240 months

SoFi

6.99% to 21.78% APR with auto-pay

Not disclosed

$5,000 to $100,000

24 to 84 months

LendingClub

7.04% to 35.89%

600

$1,000 to $40,000

36 or 60 months

Best Egg

5.99% to 35.99% APR

550

$2,000 to $50,000

36 or 60 months

Universal Credit

8.93% to 35.93%. APR with auto-pay

Not disclosed

$1,000 to $50,000

36 to 60 months

Rocket Loans

5.970% to 29.99% APR with auto-pay

Not disclosed

Up to $45,000

36 or 60 months

Upgrade

5.94% to 35.97% APR

580

$1,000 to $50,000

24 to 84 months

NetCredit

Varies by state

Not disclosed

Up to $10,000

12 to 60 months

What Is an Installment Loan?

Installment loans are unsecured personal loans that let borrowers access a lump sum of cash then pay it back via predictable monthly installments. These loans come with fixed interest rates, fixed monthly payments, and a predetermined repayment schedule that will never change.

How Do Installment Loans Work?

Unlike credit cards that give you a line of credit you can borrow against, installment loans let you access a lump sum of money. After your loan is approved, the loan amount is typically transferred to your bank account electronically. Once you receive the funding, you begin making regular monthly payments for the duration of the loan term.

As we mentioned already, installment loans come with fixed interest rates, fixed monthly payments, and a fixed repayment schedule.

Types of Installment Loans

While personal loans are the most common type of installment loans, there are many types of loans that fall into this category.

  • Personal loans are unsecured loans used for debt consolidation, home remodeling projects, and large purchases.
  • Student loans let borrowers finance higher education then repay their balances over time.
  • Auto loans are secured by a vehicle, and they let people make installment payments toward their balances.
  • Mortgage loans let borrowers use equity in their property as collateral. From there, they pay for their property via regular monthly installments.

Reasons to Get an Installment Loan

There are numerous reasons to consider the best installment loans, including the following:

  • Debt consolidation: Use an installment loan to consolidate high-interest debts from credit cards and other loans you have.
  • Major home remodeling projects: Use your loan proceeds to remodel your kitchen, add another bathroom, or build an outdoor deck or patio.
  • Weddings: Finance your dream wedding then pay it off with regular monthly installments.
  • Medical bills: Consolidate medical bills and keep debt collectors off your back.
  • Auto repairs: Pay for auto repairs you weren't prepared for, such as collision repairs, new brakes, or a new suspension.
  • Unexpected expenses: Get cash you can use for any reason, including surprise bills that pop up.
  • Splurge purchases: With competitive rates and loan terms, installment loans are a good option if you want to finance a boat, an RV, or a backyard pool.

How to Get an Installment Loan?

Although the process involved in getting an installment loan varies by lender, the same basic moves are required. The following steps can help you get the personal loan you need for a price you can afford.

  • Step 1: Decide how much you need to borrow, and use an installment loan calculator to see an estimate of your monthly payments.
  • Step 2: Look at our list of online installment lenders to see which ones offer the loan amounts and repayment terms you need.
  • Step 3: Check your rate online with at least three lenders, and look for the company with the most affordable installment loans.
  • Step 4: Look at loan terms offered to you, and see if one lender stands out from the others in terms of your future installment payment amount, your repayment timeline, and fees required.
  • Step 5: Choose a provider for your unsecured installment plan, and move forward with a loan application.
  • Step 6: Fill out the installment loan application with your full contact details, Social Security number, employment information, income, and more.
  • Step 7: Wait to receive notification that your installment loan application has been approved.
  • Step 8: Watch for your loan funds to show up in your bank account.
  • Step 9: Begin making installment payments based on the loan terms and repayment plan you agreed to ahead of time.

Where to Get an Installment Loan

Since installment loans are personal loans are one and the same, you can apply for an installment loan with an array of online lenders and brick and mortar institutions.

  • Online Lenders: The top installment loans online are easiest to access since you can compare companies and apply from the comfort of your home. Without a brick and mortar location to maintain, online personal loans companies tend to offer the best rate and terms.
  • Traditional Bank: Traditional banks also offer installment loans, so make sure to compare them to the loans you can get online. Bank customers who have a long history of working with an institution may be able to qualify for an affordable installment loan with a flexible repayment plan.
  • Credit Union: Installment loans are also available through credit unions, and current customers may be able to qualify for preferential rates and terms. Make sure to compare credit union loans to the low interest installment loans you can find online.

Installment Loans vs. Payday Loans

Where installment loans offer an affordable way to borrow money with fixed rates and terms, payday loans tend to be predatory in nature. While payday loans typically only let you borrow up to $500, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warns that interest rates can be as high as 400%. With crushing interest rates that make borrowing extremely costly, payday loan customers are often caught in a cycle of debt that's difficult to escape.

Installment Loans vs Revolving Credit

Revolving credit is different from installment loans since you don't get access to a lump sum of cash. Instead, revolving credit offered through products like credit cards gives you access to a line of credit you can borrow against or make charges with. Revolving lines of credit also tend to charge much higher interest rates, and they do not come with a fixed repayment plan you agree to ahead of time. According to Federal Reserve data, the average interest rate on credit cards worked out to 16.17% as of February 2022, whereas the average 24-month installment loan came with a rate of 9.41%.

Conclusion

Installment loan companies provide an affordable way to borrow cash when you need it, whether you have bills to pay off and consolidate or you have a large purchase coming up. If you're after this type of funding, you should take the time to compare the top installment loan companies that made our ranking based on their loan features, their loan fees, and their reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I get an installment loan if I have bad credit?
While not all lenders offer installment loans for bad credit, many organizations do. In fact, you may be able to use a company like NetCredit to get an installment loan up to $10,000, although you'll pay higher interest rates with poor credit than you would with good credit.
Does an installment loan hurt your credit?
Applying for a loan will cause a hard inquiry on your credit reports, and this inquiry can temporarily ding your credit score. However, installment loans can also help your credit when you make on-time payments and use credit responsibly.
Are installment loans secured or unsecured?
Most installment loans are not secured by collateral. However, installment loans like auto loans and mortgage loans are considered secured loans.
Can I pay off an installment loan early?
You can always pay off an installment loan early, and the top installment loans online let you do so without any prepayment penalties.

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About the Author

Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson

Personal Finance Expert

Holly Johnson is an award-winning writer who covers personal finance topics such as insurance, loans and loan products, budgeting, credit cards and loyalty programs.

More about me