When most people think of a personal loan, short-term financing usually comes to mind. But long-term personal loans do exist. In fact, they’re quite popular and may come in handy if you need to fund a home improvement project, cover medical costs, or consolidate credit card debt.
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.
A long-term personal loan typically comes with a longer repayment period of five years or more. If you take one out, you can enjoy lower, more manageable monthly payments. The caveat, however, is you’ll pay for your loan in the long run.
Below, we’ll dive deeper into what long-term personal loans are and the best options on the market. Our team of financial experts reviewed and ranked more than 30 online lenders to help you get funded.
Direct payments to creditors with debt consolidation loans
Pros & Cons
Small borrowing amounts: You can get a Discover personal loan for as little as $2,500.
Attractive rates for good credit: If you have solid credit, you may lock in a low rate that can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Next day funding: Depending on when you apply, you can receive the money the next business day via direct deposit.
No autopay rate discount: Unlike other lenders, Discover doesn't offer a rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments.
Low maximum loan amount: Discover personal loans cap out at $35,000.
Late fees: You’ll have to pay a $39 late fee if you miss any payments after a three-day grace period.
Discover personal loans start at $2,500 with terms that go up to 7 years so they can be a good option if you need a small long-term loan. With a Discover personal loan, you don’t have to borrow more than you truly need.
Discover personal loans range from $2,500 to $35,000 with terms of 3 to 7 years and interest rates between 5.99% and 24.99%.The lender requires a strong credit score of at least 720 and minimum household income of $40,000.
If you have a good credit score and want a small long-term loan, a Discover personal loan should be on your radar.
Large borrowing amounts: LightStream loans cap out at $100,000.
Competitive rates: If you have a strong credit history, you may be able to qualify for a low rate.
No fees: LightStream doesn’t charge any fees, including origination fees, late fees, and repayment fees.
No prequalification tool: You won’t be able to check your offers from LightStream until you formally apply and impact your credit score.
High minimum loan amount: If you only want to borrow a few hundred or thousand dollars to cover expenses, you may find the minimum loan amount of $5,000 a bit too high.
Established credit history required: LightStream requires you have at least a few years of credit history.
A LightStream personal loan may be a good fit if you’re in search of a large long-term loan. Depending on factors like your credit and debt-to-income ratio, you can get approved for up to $100,000 with terms of up to 7 years.
LightStream loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 with terms of 2 to 7 years and rates between 4.99% to 19.99%. The lender requires a minimum credit score of 660 and at least several years of credit with a strong history of on-time payments.
For a large loan of up to $100,000, LightStream may be a smart option, especially if you have good credit and can lock in a low rate.
Member-only perks: Upon approval, you can enjoy a variety of extra benefits that are exclusive to SoFi members.
Low rates: You may lock in competitive rates, as long as you have good credit.
Large loan amounts: SoFi will lend up to $100,000 to borrowers who qualify.
High eligibility requirements: SoFi lends to borrowers with good credit and a strong monthly cash flow.
May have to wait for funding: It may take a few days to receive your funds.
High minimum loan amount: SoFi loans start at $5,000, which can be an issue if you only need a small long-term loan.
Not only do SoFi loans come with terms of up to 7 years, they offer benefits that you might not be able to find elsewhere. As a SoFi borrower or “member,” you can attend in-person events like happy hours and dinners, join a members only Facebook group, receive personalized career advice, speak to an expert about paying for college, and more.
SoFi personal loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms of 2 to 7 years and interest rates between 6.99% to 21.78%. You need a credit score of at least 680 and must be currently employed or have a job offer that starts within 90 days.
For a long-term loan with no shortage of perks, SoFi is the way to go.
Direct payments to creditors: Marcus will send funds from your debt consolidation loan to your creditors directly so you don’t have to.
No fees: While you will have to pay interest, Marcus won’t charge you origination fees, late fees, and prepayment fees.
On-time payment reward: Once you make 12 or more consecutive payments on time, Marcus will let you defer one payment without any interest charges.
High eligibility requirements: If you don’t have the best credit, you may not be able to take out a Marcus loan as the lender has strict eligibility criteria.
No cosigned options: Since Marcus doesn’t accept cosigners, you won’t be able to add a cosigner to increase your chances of approval.
Limited customer support options: While you can get in touch with customer support via phone, there is no way to get in touch with Marcus through live chat or social media.
If you have multiple, high-interest debts, you may want to consolidate them into a single, fixed-rate loan with terms of up to 6 years through Marcus. You can save on interest and streamline the debt payoff process.
Marcus personal loan amounts range from $3,500 to $40,000 with 3 to 6 year terms. Interest rates, which are between 6.99% to 19.99% are quite competitive. To get approved, you’ll need a credit score of at least 660.
For a long-term debt consolidation loan with no fees, Marcus can be a solid pick, especially if you have great credit.
Cosigners accepted: Since OneMain Financial allows cosigners, you can qualify for a long-term loan that you might not be able to get on your own.
Fast funding: You may receive your funds via direct deposit the same day you apply.
Seven-day cancellation policy: OneMain Financial allows you to cancel your loan within 7 days should you decide it’s not right for you.
No autopay discount: Unlike many other lenders, OneMain Financial doesn’t offer a rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments.
Origination fees: You may have to pay an origination fee of 1% to 10% of the total loan amount or a flat fee of $25 to $500, depending on your location.
High starting interest rate: Even if you have good credit, you may have to accept a high interest rate.
OneMain Financial offers long-term, cosigner loans that go up to 5 years. If you don’t have the best credit, you can apply with a cosigner and increase your chances of approval or favorable rates and terms.
OneMain Financial loans range from $1,500 to $20,000 with repayment terms of 2 to 5 years and interest rates between 18.00% to 35.99%. While the lender doesn’t disclose any hard credit requirements, it does state that it uses a proprietary underwriting system to review your credit information and focuses on your repayment ability.
OneMain Financial is ideal if you’d like a long-term, cosigner loan.
Competitive rates for good credit: If you have a strong credit history, you may lock in a low rate that saves you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your overall loan.
Prequalification tool: You may prequalify for free without any impact to your credit on Best Egg’s website.
Next-day funding: Best Egg states that almost half of its borrowers receive their money the day after they apply so you can cover your expense right away.
Only two repayment terms: Best Egg only offers two term options: three years and five years.
Origination fees: You may have to pay an origination fee between 0.99% to 5.99%.
Cosigners not allowed: Best Egg won’t allow you to apply with a cosigner so if you have bad credit, its long-term loans may not be an option.
Best Egg offers great rates for borrowers with strong credit. If you have a high credit score, you can get approved for an affordable loan with 5 year terms.
Best Eggs loans range from $2,000 to $50,000 with terms of 3 or 5 years. Interest rates are between 5.99 and 35.99%. The lender requires a minimum credit score of 600, an annual income of at least $3,500, and a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 40% or 65%, including a mortgage.
If you have a good credit score and want to score a low rate on a long-term loan, Best Egg is worth exploring.
Bad credit accepted: LendingClub is open to lending to borrowers with fair or poor credit.
Prequalification option: The LendingClub website has a prequalification tool so you can check your long-term loan offer without any impact to your credit.
Payment flexibility: As long as you’re in good standing, you can change your payment due date, either temporarily or permanently.
Higher interest rates: Compared to other personal loan lenders, LendingClub interest rates are high.
Limited term lengths: There are only two terms you can choose from: three years and five years.
Origination fees: LendingClub charges origination fees that range from 3% and 6% of the total loan amount.
LendingClub long-term personal loans come with lenient requirements so you may take one out, even if you have bad credit. The lender requires a minimum credit score of 600 and offers loans with 5 year terms.
LendingClub personal loans range from $1,000 to $40,000 with terms of 3 or 5 years and interest rates from 6.34% to 35.89%. You’ll need a credit history of more than 18 months and a minimum credit score of 600 to get approved.
For a bad credit, long-term personal loan, LendingClub might make sense.
Minimal fees: PenFed doesn’t charge origination fees and prepayment fees, which can increase your overall cost of borrowing.
Small loan amounts: You can get a PenFed loan that ranges from $600 to $50,000.
Mobile app available: You can manage your PenFed long-term loan through a useful mobile app.
Must join PenFed: Even though you can check your loan offers without joining, you must become a PenFed member to move forward with one.
Limited payment date flexibility: PenFed does not offer an option to choose or change your payment date.
No Autopay discount
Unlike many lenders, PenFed doesn’t charge origination fees on its long-term loans with terms of up to 5 years. Since origination fees are usually between 1% and 8% of the total loan amount, this can save you some money on your long-term financing.
PenFed offers personal loans between $600 and $50,000 with repayment terms that range from 1 to 5 years. Interest rates are from 4.99 to 17.99%. While the lender does not disclose any minimum credit score requirements, you do have to join PenFed to take out a loan. This will require you to open a savings account with a minimum $5 deposit.
A PenFed loan is a strong choice if you’d like a loan with no origination fees.
There are a variety of long-term personal loans available. While we did our research to find the top options, our expert team focused on these factors.
Loan Features: Loan features refer to loan terms, loan amounts, and loan use limitations. We prioritized those loans that offer long terms, large amounts, and limited restrictions on what you can do with the proceeds.
Interest rates and fees: Since long-term loans are already expensive due to their long term, we focused on options with lower rates as well as minimal to no fees.
Application process: We looked for easy online applications and prequalification tools, which can allow you to check your offers without any impact to your credit.
Qualification process: Your credit shouldn’t stop you from being able to take out a long-term personal loan. On the other hand, we believe lenders should reward you for good credit. That’s why we made it a priority to find lenders that cater to borrowers with all types of credit.
Customer support: At some point during your long term, you may need to reach a lender for help. Therefore, we gave bonus points to lenders that offer customer support through various channels, including phone, email, live chat, and social media is ideal.
Online user reviews: Reviews on reputable third-party review sites like Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau gave us a good idea of each lender’s reputation without any bias.
Perks and Bonuses: Some long-term personal loans feature added perks and bonuses like free credit score monitoring, hardship assistance, and repayment flexibility, which make them more attractive.
Best Long-Term Personal Loans - Feature Comparison
Min. credit score
3 or 5 years
3 or 5 years
What Is a Long-Term Personal Loan?
The term “long-term personal loan” refers to the length of a loan, rather than a specific type of loan. While there is no hard and fast rule for what makes a loan “long-term,” personal loans with terms of 5 years or more are usually considered long-term. Long-term personal loans might be worthwhile if you want a smaller monthly payment as long as you don’t mind paying more for them.
Pros and Cons of Long-Term Personal Loans
Just like all financial products, long-term personal loans have benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll go over below.
Pros of Long-Term Personal Loans
Lower monthly payments: Compared to short-term personal loans, long-term personal loans offer lower monthly payments.
No collateral required: Most long-term personal loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t need to back them to collateral like your house, car, or savings account.
Fixed rates: Since long-term personal loans come with fixed interest rates, you’ll be able to budget for your payments in advance.
Cons of Long-Term Personal Loans
Fewer loan options: It might be difficult to find lenders that offer long-term personal loans as short-term financing tends to be more common.
High interest rates: Typically, long-term personal loans feature higher interest rates than short-term loans.
Potential prepayment penalties: Some lenders offer prepayment penalties, which can be problematic if you wish to pay off your long-term loan early.
Types of Long-Term Personal Loans and Their Uses
The various uses for long-term personal loans include:
Debt Consolidation: A long-term debt consolidation loan combines several high-interest debts, like credit card debts, payday loans, and title loans into one, manageable personal loan. With a debt consolidation loan, you can enjoy a lower rate, fixed monthly payments, and less due dates to remember.
Emergency Expenses: Unfortunately, emergency expenses are bound to pop up every now and then. A long-term personal loan can help you cover the costs of a natural disaster, major car repair, unexpected medical bill, appliance replacement, and other surprise expenses. You can receive the cash you need right away and repay it via fixed, monthly payments over a period of 5 years or more.
Home Renovations: You may take out a long-term home improvement loan to finance home renovations. Whether your goal is to remodel your kitchen, finish your basement, or install a swimming pool, it can come in handy. Since they’re unsecured, you don’t have to put your home on the line like you would with a home equity loan or HELOC.
Major Events or Purchases: If you have to pay for an expensive event or purchase like a wedding, move, or even a dream vacation, a long-term personal can make your life easier, especially if you don’t have the cash to cover all of it. You’ll be able to fund important occasions or items without the financial stress.
How to Get a Long-Term Personal Loan
If you’re interested in a long-term personal loan, follow these steps.
Step One: Check Your Credit Score
First and foremost, find out where you stand credit wise. You can check your credit score through a credit scoring website, credit card provider, or nonprofit credit counselor. Once you know what it is, you’ll have a better idea of what types of long-term personal loans are within reach.
Step Two: Determine How Much You Need to Borrow
Ask yourself what you need the long-term loan for. Then, decide how much money you need to borrow to meet your goal. While it may be tempting to overborrow, doing so can be very expensive and steer you into a cycle of debt.
Step Three: Shop Around for the Best Terms and Rates
Not all long-term personal loans are created equal. That’s why it’s your job to explore the various options at your disposal. When you do so, compare rates, terms, fees, and perks. Don’t forget to read lender reviews.
Step Four: Select a Lender
Now it’s time to make a decision. Choose a lender with a long-term personal loan offer that is ideal for your current and future budget and circumstances.
Step Five: Complete the Loan Application
Most lenders will allow you to apply for a long-term personal loan online, from the comfort of your own home or office. Be prepared to share basic personal and financial information. You’ll also need to submit documents like your government-issued ID, pay stubs, tax forms, and bank statements.
Step Six: Receive Your Funds
Upon approval, the lender will distribute your money, usually via direct deposit, check, or prepaid card. Depending on the lender, you may receive them the same day you get approved, within 24 hours, or in a few business days.
Alternatives to Long-Term Personal Loans
Not sure if a long-term personal loan is right for you? Consider these alternative options.
Home Equity Loans
Home equity loans allow you to borrow against the equity in your house, which is the current market value of your property minus what you owe on your mortgage. In general, you need anywhere between 15% and 20% in equity to qualify.
Since terms may last between five and 30 years, you can receive a longer term than you’d be able to with a personal loan lender. Just keep in mind that if you default on a home equity loan, your home may go into foreclosure.
A credit card is a revolving line of credit. This means you can borrow as much or as little as you’d like, up to a set credit limit, which is usually based on your credit score. As long as you make the minimum payment each month, you can take your time paying back your balance. Compared to long-term personal loans, credit cards are far more flexible. But the downside is you may not have access to as much funding as you would with a long-term personal loan.
With a cash-out refinance, you refinance your primary mortgage for more than you currently owe on it. Then, you pocket the difference in cash. If you get approved for lower rates than you’re paying on your mortgage, a cash-out refinance might be a good option. Note that you may have to pay high closing costs so it’s important to do the math and make sure this is a cost-effective choice.
If you have a 401(k) retirement account, you can borrow up to 50% of the vested balance or $50,000, whichever is less. Since the interest will be paid back directly to your account, you’ll essentially pay interest to yourself instead of a bank. To avoid an early withdrawal penalty of 10%, you must be at least 59.5 years old or meet the 55 IRS guidelines. The repayment term for a 401(k) loan caps out at five years.
Borrowing from Friends and/or Family
There are a number of perks of borrowing money from loved ones. Typically, the approval process is easier and you can lock in a much lower interest rate than you would with a bank, credit union, or online lender. Also, if you face financial hardship, a friend or family member will likely be understanding and willing to work with you. But if you don't repay your loan according to the terms of your agreement, you may strain an important relationship.
Meet Your Long-Term Financial Goals
If you want to add value to your home through a major home improvement project, consolidate significant amounts of credit card debt, pay for a medical emergency, or anything in between, a long-term personal loan may be the ultimate solution. Just be prepared to spend more than you would with a short-term financing option.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Is It Better to Have a Long-Term Loan?
A long-term loan is ideal if you’re facing home repairs,
medical bills, or other large expenses, and don’t have enough credit on a
credit card to cover them. Or you may want to avoid high interest charges or
enjoy lower monthly payments. In these situations, a long-term loan is the
What Is the Longest Term for a Personal Loan?
Most long-term personal loans come with terms of 5 years or
longer. There are some lenders, however, that offer repayment terms of up to 15
years. Remember that the longer the term, the lower the payments but the more
you’ll pay in interest over time.
Do Long-Term Personal Loans Have Lower Interest Rates?
Long-term personal loans typically offer higher rates as
lenders consider them riskier than short-term loans. This is because the more
time you have to repay a loan, the greater the chances that your finances will
change and prevent you from being able to make your payments. Also, unless you
pay off your loan early, you’ll pay more in interest.
How Do Credit Scores Affect Interest Rates for Long-Term Loans?
Your credit will play a role in the interest rates you
receive for long-term loans. Here’s a look at the average personal loan rates
by credit rating.
Excellent (750 - 850): 12.14%
Good (700 - 749): 16.14%
Fair (640 - 699): 22.02%
Bad (300 - 639): 27.70%
Are Long-Term Personal Loans Secured or Unsecured?
In general, long-term personal loans are unsecured, meaning
they don’t require collateral like your house or car. With a secured personal
loan, you’ll have to put collateral on the line. If you fail to make your
payments, the lender will have the right to seize it.
How Much Can You Borrow With a Long-Term Personal Loan?
Most lenders will allow you to borrow anywhere from $5,000
to $50,000 with a long-term personal loan. However, some will lend you up to
$100,000, depending on your credit and other financial factors.
How Much Are Payments on a $10,000 Long-Term Loan?
Let’s say you take out a $10,000 personal loan with an 18%
interest rate and 7-year term. You’d pay $210 per month and $7,655 in interest
or a total of $17,654. If you opt for the same loan with a 2-year term, you’d
have monthly payments of $499 but you’d only pay $1,982 in interest or a total
Is It Easy to Get Approved for a Long-Term Personal Loan?
Every lender has their own unique eligibility criteria for
long-term personal loans. While some are lenient and will approve most
borrowers, regardless of their credit, others have rigorous requirements and
only lend funds to those with good credit.
How Do You Qualify for a Long-Term Personal Loan with Bad Credit?
You can get approved for a long-term personal loan with bad
credit if you choose a lender that is open to borrowers with fair or poor
credit. Just note that you may receive a high interest rate and pay hundreds or
even thousands more in interest than someone with a high credit score.