Finimpact

Best Online Loans

The best online loans make it easy to borrow money for a variety of purposes, including emergency expenses, home remodeling projects, and college tuition and fees. Our list of online lenders offer funding options with attractive terms and monthly payments you can afford.

Best Online Loans
Holly Johnson
Written by:Holly Johnson
Personal Finance Expert

The top online loans work well for borrowers who need cash but don't want to visit a brick and mortar bank. Online loan applications can take just minutes to complete, and cash can be sent to your bank account electronically upon approval. Our team of financial experts reviewed and ranked more than 100 online lenders to help you get funded, so read on to learn about our top picks, their loan offerings, and how you can apply.

Our Top Picks for Best Online Loan

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
Fundbox review
  • No monthly fees or prepayment penalties
  • Same-day or next-day funding
  • Best for business lines of credit
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 600+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K - $150K
repayment
Loan Repayment 6-12 months
college_ave_logo_sl
  • Auto-pay discount available
  • Flexible repayment terms (up to 15 years)
  • Prequalify without a credit check
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $1K up to the cost of attendance
Fixed APR
Loan Repayment 5-15 years

How to Choose the Best Online Loan?

Before you can choose the best online loan company, you should take the time to compare them based on the factors that matter the most. Our experts considered the following criteria when selecting the reputable online loans for our ranking.

  • Loan features: Compare online loans based on their loan terms, loan amounts, repayment plans offered, and limitations on how you can use funding. Look for online loans that will lend you the cash you need with a monthly payment that makes sense,
  • Interest rates and fees: Compare lenders based on the interest rates they charge, whether you are considering loans with variable rates or a fixed rate loan. Also compare lender fees and strive to choose a loan company that charges minimal fees, if any.
  • Application process: See what it takes to apply for an online loan, and look for lenders that let you get prequalified without a hard inquiry on your credit report.
  • Qualification process: Determine what the minimum qualifications are for the online loan you want. Criteria can include a minimum credit score, a minimum income, a maximum debt-to-income ratio, and more.
  • Customer support: Find out how you can contact the company if you need assistance. Most companies that offer reputable online loans have phone customer support, an email support contact, and an online chat feature.
  • Online user reviews: Compare reviews from past users on websites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Perks and Bonuses: Check for added perks you can qualify for, such as an auto-pay discount or a referral bonus program.

Best Online Personal Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

1.LightStream — Best Overall Personal Loan

LightStream made our list of top online lenders due to the fact they offer some of the lowest interest rates on the market today. This organization offers unsecured personal loans that can be accessed for any reason, whether borrowers have debt to consolidate or they need to finance a large purchase. LightStream personal loans offer some of the most flexible repayment terms of the top online lenders, and borrowers can get prequalified online before they apply.

Pros
Unbeatable rates for good credit
Borrow up to $100,000 for any reason
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Auto-pay discount available
Repayment terms up to 240 months
Cons
Good or excellent credit required
Rates without auto-pay are .50% higher
Minimum loan amount of $5,000 applies

lightstream
The features of LightStream personal loans can vary based on the purpose of your funding. Home improvement loans can be paid off over 240 months through the platform, yet shorter timelines are offered on debt consolidation loans and personal loans for an auto purchase. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, and interest rates can fall between 3.49% to 19.99% APR with auto-pay. LightStream personal loans come with no origination fees, no prepayment penalties, and no hidden fees of any kind.

The Bottom Line

LightStream offers reputable online loans you can count on, whether you need to borrow money to consolidate debt or you want to finance a wedding or a backyard pool. You can even check your rate without any impact to your credit, so there's nothing to lose.

2.SoFi — Best for Loans with No Origination Fee

SoFi is worth considering if you need a large amount of funding, and that's true regardless of the reason. Their personal loans are available in amounts up to $100,000, and they are free of hidden fees that can make borrowing more costly. SoFi says their personal loans are ideal for "home improvements, credit card consolidation, IVF, even unplanned life events that call for emergency funds, and more."

Pros
Borrow up to $100,000
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
No origination fees or hidden fees
Unemployment protection included
Auto-pay discounts can apply
Cons
Minimum personal loan amount of $5,000
Good or excellent credit required
Lowest rates require auto-pay

sofi
Online personal loans from SoFi are offered in amounts that range from $5,000 to $100,000, and interest rates currently fall between 6.99% and 21.78% with auto-pay. Funding can be repaid over 24 to 84 months, which helps borrowers tailor their loan payment to their needs. SoFi personal loans also come with no origination fees and no hidden fees, although a good credit score is required.

The Bottom Line

Consider SoFi for your online loan if you want to borrow up to $100,000 and repay with flexible terms. You can qualify for the cash you need if you meet their minimum requirements, and their low rates and lack of fees means you won't wind up paying more than you need to.

Try SoFi

3.BestEgg — Best for Debt Consolidation Loans

While many of the top online loans can work for debt consolidation, BestEgg personal loans are ideal for this purpose. This is mainly due to their generous loan amounts and repayment terms, as well as the fact individuals with fair credit and poor credit may be able to get approved. This lender also lets borrowers check their rate before they apply, which can help you gauge your approval odds early on.

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Competitive rates eligible applicants
Borrow up to $50,000 for debt consolidation
Available for fair credit and poor credit
Cons
Origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99%
High APRs for bad credit
Limited repayment options available

bestegg
Personal loans from BestEgg come in amounts as low as $2,000 all the way up to $50,000, which makes them perfect for debt consolidation. Interest rates range from 5.99% to 35.99% depending on creditworthiness, and borrowers can repay their funding over 36 or 60 months. While applicants with a credit score as low as 550 may be eligible, all borrowers pay an upfront origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99% on their loan.

The Bottom Line

BestEgg personal loans work well for consumers who want to consolidate high-interest debts or borrow for other reasons, and those with imperfect credit can get approved. Consider this lender if you need funding up to $50,000 for any purpose.

4.Upgrade — Best for Loans for Fair Credit

Borrowers with "fair credit," or a FICO score from 580 to 669, can get the funding they need from Upgrade. These loans come with low fixed rates and affordable monthly payments, and applicants can check their rate without any impact to their credit scores. Upgrade personal loans can also be used for any reason, from debt consolidation to funding a vacation, a wedding, or plastic surgery.

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Available for borrowers with fair credit
Borrow up to $50,000
Repay over 24 to 84 months
Cons
Origination fee of 2.9% to 8% applies
Potential for a high APR

upgrade
Borrowers can turn to Upgrade for loans from $1,000 up to $50,000, and repayment options can last from 24 to 84 months. Interest rates range from 5.94% to 35.97% APR based on creditworthiness, and an origination fee of 2.9% to 8% applies to all of their loans. Upgrade personal loans may be available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 580 as long as other qualifications are met.

The Bottom Line

Borrowers with less than stellar credit can still get the funding they need with Upgrade. This lender even lets you gauge your approval odds and check your rate before you apply.

5.LendingClub — Best for Joint Loans

LendingClub is somewhat unique among the best online lenders since this company lets you apply for a personal loan with a joint borrower or a co-signer. This can make sense if you need a wedding loan and you want to apply with your partner, but it can also make sense if a couple wants to work together to consolidate debt. Loan amounts from LendingClub aren't as high as other lenders, but their loans are available to borrowers with imperfect credit.

Pros
Available for borrowers with fair credit
Low loan amounts available
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Funding available 24 hours after approval
Cons
Average APR of 15.95% for past customers
Only two repayment options
Potential for a high APR
3% to 6% origination fee applies

LendingClub
LendingClub personal loans come in amounts that range from $1,000 to $40,000, and they can be repaid over 36 months or 60 months. Interest rates range from 6.34% to 35.89% APR depending on creditworthiness, and loans may be available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 600. Note that an origination fee of 3% to 6% of the loan amount applies on every personal loan.

The Bottom Line

LendingClub is perfect for joint loan applicants, as well as anyone who needs access to cash for any reason. Consider this lender if your credit isn't great and you don't mind paying an origination fee to access the cash you need.

Best Online Small Business Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

Online small business loans can help borrowers get funding to cover payroll, equipment or investments in their company. The following small business loan reviews can help you get the funding you need.

1.Fundbox — Best Overall Small Business Loan

Fundbox offers both small business loans and small business lines of credit, and their loans earned the top spot in our ranking since they come with no application fees, no prepayment penalties, and no origination fees. Once an applicant is approved for funding, their loan offer is valid for the next 30 days. Next-day funding is also available.

Pros
No origination fees or hidden fees
Get a loan or a line of credit
Access up to $150,000 in funding
Easily apply online
No hard inquiry to apply
Excellent reviews from past users
Cons
Payments require automatic debiting
Potential for a high APR
Lower loan limits than other borrowers

fundbox
Small business owners who apply with Fundbox can borrow between $1,000 and $150,000 with their small business loans. Payments are automatically debited from a business bank account on a weekly basis, and repayment terms are offered in 24-week and 52-week increments. Interest rates range from 8.33% to 18% depending on the repayment plan chosen.

The Bottom Line

If you are a small business owner who needs up to $150,000 in funding, Fundbox can help you get what you need without any hidden fees. You can choose this lender for a loan or a line of credit based on your borrowing needs.

2.Biz2Credit — Best for Equipment Financing

Biz2Credit offers three different borrowing options for small businesses, including working capital, term loans and larger loans that can be secured with commercial real estate. This makes the company a smart option to seek out if you need equipment financing with multiple plans to choose from. Their term loan is available in larger loan amounts than many other lenders, and applicants can apply online and get in answer in a matter of minutes.

Pros
Borrow up to $500,000 with a term loan
Larger loan amounts up to $6 million
Good reviews from past users
Fast disbursement of funds
Cons
One prepayment plan available
Strict eligibility criteria
No information on fees

biz2credit
Biz2Credit offers term loans in amounts up to $500,000, working capital in amounts up to $25,000, and larger secured loans in amounts up to $6 million. Their term loans can be repaid over 12, 18, 24, or 36 months on a weekly or monthly basis, and interest rates start at 8.99%. Unfortunately, Biz2Credit does not disclose their fees, including any origination fees.

The Bottom Line

Biz2Credit is a solid online lender to consider if you need business funding in almost any amount. Just make sure to check for loan fees before you apply.

3.Credibly — Best for Bad Credit

Credibly offers a range of unsecured loan options for small businesses, including working capital loans, long-term loans, and business lines of credit. Applicants can check their rate and see how much funding they can qualify for without any impact to their credit, and daily, weekly and monthly repayment options are available. Approval in as little as 24 hours is a real possibility with Credibly loans, and applicants with bad credit have a good chance of approval.

Pros
Multiple loan options available
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Borrow up to $400,000
Quick and easy funding
Overall business health considered
Available for applicants with bad credit
Cons
High rates can apply
Origination fees make borrowing expensive
Daily or weekly payments

credibly
Credibly offers several loan options that let applicants borrow between $5,000 and $400,000 for their business needs. Applicants can have a credit score as low as 500, although they need to be in business for at least six months with average monthly revenue of $15,000 or more. Repayment terms vary depending on the type of funding applied for.

The Bottom Line

Credibly offers flexible borrowing options for small business owners, including those with poor credit. If you need funding and you know your credit score isn't that great, this top online lender may be the answer you're looking for.

4.BlueVine — Best for Business Lines of Credit

BlueVine is an online lender that focuses on offering lines of credit for small businesses. This funding option makes it possible for business owners to borrow only what they need, and to access more funding as required up to loan limits. A line of credit also replenishes as payments are made, so this type of funding works well for those who may have ongoing financing needs to keep their business afloat.

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Easy application process
Only borrow what you need
Available for fair credit
No hidden fees
Weekly or monthly payments
Cons
Short repayment terms
Potential for a high APR
Not available in ND, NV, or SD
Repayment through automatic debiting

bluevine
Approved borrowers can turn to BlueVine for a line of credit that ranges from $5,000 to $250,000, and repayment terms can be for six months or 12 months. Weekly or monthly payments are available, and interest rates can be as low as 4.8% depending on creditworthiness. On their website, Bluevine says applicants must have a FICO score of 600+, six or more months in business, and at least $10,000 or more in monthly revenue. The business applicant must also operate in the U.S. or be incorporated in an eligible U.S. state.

The Bottom Line

A BlueVine line of credit makes sense for business owners who aren't sure how much funding they need, as well as those who may need to borrow small amounts over time. This type of loan also works well for borrowers who want to avoid origination fees and hidden fees.

5.Fora Financial — Best for Startup Business Loans

Fora Financial offers working capital loans and small business loans with relatively large loan amounts and the promise of speedy funding. Their application process is simple and transparent, and borrowers can even check their rate without any impact to their credit. Since Fora Financial considers alternative data for approvals, this lender is ideal for entrepreneurs whose credit scores need some work.

Pros
Considers alternate data for approvals
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Quick and easy funding
Borrow up to $750,000
Cons
Potential for a high APR
Pricey borrowing fees

forafinancial
Funding through Fora Financial can be pricey due to the borrowing fees they charge, which fall between 10% and 30% of the loan amount. An origination fee of 2.5% can also apply, and factor rates from 1.1 to 1.3 determine the long-term costs of borrowing. Loan amounts are offered from $5,000 all the way up to $750,000. Also note that Fora Financial business loans require repayment within 4 to 15 months.

The Bottom Line

Fora Financial offers a convenient, albeit expensive, way to borrow money fo a start-up endeavor or an existing small business. However, the fact they don't rely on credit scores for approval means this borrower will work for a broader range of customers.

Best Online Student Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

Many student loan companies also offer online loans with preferable rates and terms. The following providers offer the best options for borrowers who need to pay for college tuition and fees, room and board, or books and supplies.

1.College Ave Student Loans — Best Overall Student Loan

College Ave Student Loans earned the top spot in our ranking of online student loan companies due to the variety of loans offered, their competitive interest rates, and their flexible loan terms. This company offers student loans for attending college as well as refinance options for existing student loans you have. Rates are some of the lowest in the industry, and there are no origination fees or hidden fees.

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
No hidden fees on student loans
Competitive fixed and variable rates
Flexible repayment terms
Easy online application
Cons
Undergraduate students may need a cosigner
Satisfactory academic progress required

CollegeAve
College Ave offers undergraduate student loans, graduate student loans, loans for parents and student loan refinancing, and the rates can vary by loan products and whether they are fixed or variable. As an example, their undergraduate student loans offer variable rates between 1.19% and 11.98% APR and fixed rates that fall between 3.49% and 12.99%. Student loans can be repaid over 5 to 15 years. Although this company does not list minimum credit score requirements, they do let you check your rate and gauge eligibility before you apply.

The Bottom Line

College Ave student loans offer the lowest rates in the business and no hidden fees. Consider checking your rate whether you need an online student loan to attend college or you need to refinance your existing student loans before rates increase.

2.Earnest — Best for Student Loans Without a Cosigner

Even though most of Earnest's customers have a cosigner when they apply, this student loan company does offer options with no cosigner required. Earnest also lets customers check their rate and see if they can qualify before they fill out a full loan application, and applicants with credit scores as low as 650 may be considered for refinancing. Earnest also offers competitive rates and loan terms, and their online application is a breeze to complete

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Get approved with or without a cosigner
Private loans and refinancing available
Low fixed and variable rates available
No hidden fees
Auto-pay discount available
Cons
Borrowing limits apply
Not available for poor credit

earnest
Earnest offers private student loans and student loan refinancing with rates and terms that vary by loan product. Interest rates for undergraduate student loans can be as low as 0.94% variable or 3.24% fixed, and several flexible repayment plans are available. Applicants applying for undergraduate student loans without a cosigner need a minimum credit score of 650 and to be enrolled in school full-time. Other requirements include being in pursuit of a bachelor's degree and having a minimum income of at least $35,000.

The Bottom Line

Earnest is a good choice to consider if you need to apply for college financing with or without a cosigner. Applicants can even check their rate without any impact to their credit before they apply.

3.Laurel Road — Best for Student Loan Refinance

Laurel Road is a top provider of student loan refinancing products, and it shows in their seamless application process and their competitive rates and fees. Applicants can discover their rate and repayment options with no impact to their credit, and they can choose from variable or fixed rates along with flexible repayment terms.

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Competitive fixed and variable rates
Five repayment plan options
Easy online application process
Auto-pay discount available
Cons
Not available for fair credit or poor credit
Strict eligibility requirements apply

laurelroad
Laurel Road offers student loan refinancing for working professionals who earned an eligible degree from an approved school. Interest rates vary depending on the repayment plan chosen, but variable rates are currently at 1.64% to 4.70% for five-year loans while fixed rates fall between 2.74% and 4.80%. Borrowers can repay their loans over five to 20 years depending on their needs and how much they want to pay each month.

The Bottom Line

Check out Laurel Road if you need to refinance your student loans in order to secure better rates or a more affordable monthly payment. You can even check your rate before you apply.

4.Splash Financial — Best Student Loan Comparison Site

Splash Financial is a student loan comparison site that makes it easy to shop around for and compare loans in one place. Applicants can check their rate with multiple lenders before they apply, and more than one lender may be willing to compete for their business. The online application only takes a few minutes to complete, and the entire process takes place virtually for convenience.

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Lenders compete for your business
Competitive rates and terms
No origination fees or hidden fees
Cons
Refinance loans only
Strict eligibility requirements apply

SplashFinancial
Splash Financial offers refinance loans with varying repayment plans. Their loans offer variable rates from 1.74% to 8.27% with auto-pay and fixed rates from 1.99% to 8.27% with auto-pay. Applicants must have earned an eligible degree at an approved school as defined by Splash Financial. Since Splash Financial is a loan aggregator, qualification requirements like a minimum income or minimum credit score can vary.

The Bottom Line

Splash Financial is worth checking out if you want to compare multiple student loan refinance options on a single platform. This company offers incredibly low rates and fair terms, and you can check your rate in a matter of minutes.

5.Discover Student Loans — Best for Graduate Student Loans

Discover may be better known for their credit cards and personal loans, but they also offer student loans for undergraduate and graduate students. Their graduate school loans are especially broad since they can apply to traditional graduate school programs as well as residencies and bar exams. Rates are competitive and terms are flexible, although you'll need good credit to qualify.

Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Broad loan options for graduate students
Easy online application process
Auto-pay discount available
Rewards for good grades
No origination fees or hidden fees
Cons
Satisfactory academic progress required
Not available for bad credit

discover
Discover student loans come with variable rates from 1.79% to 11.09% and fixed rates from 3.99% to 11.59%, and there are no origination fees or hidden fees involved. Borrowers can qualify to borrow up to 100% of school-certified college cost of attendance, although aggregate loan limits apply. Available repayment terms depend on the loan amount and the repayment plan selected.

The Bottom Line

Choose Discover if you need to borrow money to fund your graduate school education. You may be able to borrow up to the full cost of attendance, and these loans come with no origination fees and no hidden fees. You can even qualify for a one-time reward for good grades worth 1% of the loan amount if you can prove a 3.0 GPA or equivalent.

What Is an Online Loan?

An online loan is a type of loan that is easy to access from the comfort of your home. The top online lenders let you apply virtually without having to visit a loan office, and your funding is automatically sent to your bank — sometimes in as little as 24 hours.

Online loans are advantageous because they're easier to access than loans from traditional financial institutions. Without a brick and mortar building to maintain, online lenders can also offer funding with better rates and terms.

Reasons to Get an Online Loan?

There are an endless number of reasons to apply for an online loan, including the most common ones we list below:

  • High-Interest Debt: You need to consolidate high-interest debts and you want to secure a lower APR and a fixed monthly payment you can afford.
  • Higher Education: College expenses are coming up and you need funding to cover tuition, fees, and living expenses.
  • Wiggle Room: You're short on cash to pay your bills this month and you don't want to fall further behind.
  • Home Upgrades: Roof repairs and other home upgrades are on your agenda, but you don't have enough cash to pay upfront.
  • Big Expenses: You have a large expense coming up and you need cash to cover it.
  • Major Purchases: You want a way to pay for home improvements, a wedding, or the vacation of your dreams.
  • Business Growth: Small business funding is crucial if you want to grow your business, and you need a lender that can help.

How to Apply for an Online Loan?

The process involved in applying for an online loan can vary widely depending on the lender, yet most applications require the same basic information. The following steps can help you apply with the best online loan company for your needs.

  • Step 1: Assess your borrowing needs, and look for a lender that offers loan amounts that fit with your goals.
  • Step 2: Compare the best online loans and their providers to find out which ones offer the type of funding that suits your needs best.
  • Step 3: Check your rate with at least three different lenders so you can compare offers.
  • Step 4: Compare loan terms offered to you, and see how their monthly payment options stack up.
  • Step 5: After you compare reputable online loans based on their features, see how they compare in terms of their fees.
  • Step 6: Choose an online lender and move forward with your loan application
  • Step 7: Fill out all the information they require, which will likely include your name, your contact information, your address, your Social Security number, and more.
  • Step 8: Wait to see if you're approved for funding, which could happen within a matter of minutes or within a few days.
  • Step 9: Wait for your loan funds to show up in your bank account.
  • Step 10: Begin making payments on your online loan based on the payment plan you agreed to ahead of time.

Pros and Cons of Online Loans

Online loans offer a convenient way to get funding, but there are advantages and disadvantages to be aware of. Read on to learn the pros and cons of working with legitimate online loan companies.

Pros

  • Convenient Applications: Borrowers can complete the entire application process without having to speak with a loan officer or visit a loan office in person.
  • Flexible Loan Options: With so many reputable online loans available, you can choose from several lenders that offer repayment plans or monthly payments that could work.
  • Easy Comparison Shopping: Online loans make it easy to compare lenders based on their loan terms, rates, and fees
  • Competitive Rates and Terms: Many online lenders offer competitive rates and terms that can make borrowing very affordable.
  • Broad Approval Requirements: There are online lenders that work with borrowers with any type of credit profile, from excellent credit all the way down to no credit.

Cons

  • No Personal Touch: You may apply for a loan and get funding without ever speaking to a live human being.
  • Online-Only Service: Online lenders do not have branches you can visit if you want in-person customer service or assistance.
  • Spam Emails and Calls: Checking rates with several online lenders can leave you getting spam emails and phone calls for months

Conclusion

Online loans can be used for a variety of purposes, and the lenders that operate in this space tend to be fair and reputable. That said, you should take the time to compare the best online loans based on their features and fees, and don't stop looking until you find a lender that offers exactly what you need. Once you're ready, online lenders let you apply and get funded without ever leaving your home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Online Loans Safe?
Online lenders use upgraded security features and encryption to ensure your personal details are kept safe when you apply. As an example, SoFi encrypts all your information and offers two-factor authentication on every account.
Can You Get an Online Loan With No Credit Check?
Some online lenders let you apply for funding without a hard inquiry on your credit report, although they will do a soft pull instead. You'll also have to supply considerable information about yourself or your business, including monthly and annual revenue, industry details, and more.
Can I Get a Loan Online Instantly?
While you can apply and get an online loan approved within a day or within minutes in some cases, your cash won't be transferred to your bank account right away. However, many online loan companies do offer same-day or next-day funding for eligible applicants.
What Is the Quickest Online Loan?
The fastest online loans typically get your account funded within a few hours on the same day or within a few business days after you apply, although this is only after your information has been fully verified. Make sure to compare the best online loan companies to see which ones offer same-day or next-day funding.

Related Loan Picks

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