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Best Personal Loans in Columbia, SC

Explore the finest personal loans in Columbia, SC, to achieve your financial goals. With an array of lenders offering competitive interest rates and loan amounts, along with flexible repayment terms, residents of Columbia can find the ideal borrowing solution tailored to their unique needs.

Best Personal Loans in Columbia, SC
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.

Finimpact has meticulously selected the top lender options for loans in Columbia, SC, by conducting thorough research, vetting, and reviewing each lender to ensure the most reliable recommendations. Our loan reviews are trustworthy, as we prioritize accuracy and transparency in our evaluation process. 

Best Personal Loans for 2023 reviewed by

Top Picks for Personal Loans in Columbia, SC

By choosing Finimpact as your trusted source, borrowers can feel confident in securing the best loan terms tailored to their needs. The financial landscape for loans in Columbia, SC, is competitive, offering a variety of options for residents. With our fluid, friendly, and trustworthy approach, we aim to guide you towards the most suitable financial solutions available in Columbia.

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LightStream — Best Overall Personal Loan


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.

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

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.

The Bottom Line

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

Avant — Best for Small Personal Loans

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.

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

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.

The Bottom Line

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.

Try Avant

SoFi — Best for Loans with No Origination Fee


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.

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 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.

The Bottom Line

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.

Try SoFi

Upgrade — Best for Emergency Loans

Upgrade — Best for Emergency Loans

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.

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

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%.

The Bottom Line

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

OneMain Financial — Best for Loans with Bad Credit

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.

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

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.

The Bottom Line

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.

Loan Fees and Charges to Watch Out for in Columbia, SC

When applying for a personal loan in Columbia, SC, it's essential to be aware of the various fees and charges that may accompany your loan. Some lenders may charge origination fees, prepayment penalties, or late payment fees, which can significantly impact the overall cost of your loan. Understanding these charges and comparing them across different lenders can help you find the best loan option for your needs in Columbia, SC.

Origination fees: These fees are charged by some lenders to cover the cost of processing your loan application. Typically, they are calculated as a percentage of the loan amount and may range from 1% to 6%.

Prepayment penalties: If you decide to pay off your loan early, some lenders may charge a prepayment penalty. Ensure you check the loan terms and conditions to avoid unexpected charges.

Late payment fees: Missing a payment deadline can result in late payment fees, which may vary depending on the lender. Always make timely payments to avoid these additional charges.

Application fees: Some lenders may charge a non-refundable application fee, which covers the cost of processing your loan application. Compare application fees across different lenders before applying.

Check processing fees: If you choose to make loan payments via paper checks, some lenders may charge a check processing fee. Opt for electronic payments to avoid these additional costs.

Steps to Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying

Improving your credit score before applying for a loan or credit card can increase your chances of approval and secure better interest rates. By taking a few key steps, you can work towards boosting your credit score and building a solid financial foundation. The following steps can help guide you on your journey to improve your credit score, regardless of whether you're in Columbia, SC, or anywhere else in the United States.

Review your credit reportObtain a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus, and check for any errors or discrepancies. Report any inaccuracies to the respective bureau for correction.
Pay bills on timeTimely payments have a significant impact on your credit score. Set up automatic payments or reminders to ensure you never miss a deadline.
Reduce credit card balancesHigh credit card balances can negatively affect your credit utilization ratio. Aim to keep your balances below 30% of your credit limit to improve your score.
Diversify your credit mixHaving a variety of credit types, such as credit cards, mortgages, and personal loans, can demonstrate responsible credit management and boost your score.
Limit new credit inquiriesEach new credit application can temporarily lower your score. Limit the number of applications to avoid unnecessary dings on your credit.
Maintain old accountsKeeping old accounts open and in good standing can positively impact your credit score by lengthening your credit history.
Develop a budgetCreating a budget can help you manage your finances, make timely payments, and avoid taking on excessive debt, which can ultimately improve your credit score.

Assessing the Total Cost of Borrowing

When assessing the total cost of borrowing in Columbia, SC, it's crucial to understand the various factors that contribute to the overall expense. Interest rates, fees, loan terms, and other charges can all impact how much you'll pay over the lifetime of a loan. By evaluating these components, you can make an informed decision about which loan option is best for your financial situation.

  • Interest rates: The percentage you'll pay on your borrowed amount annually. A lower interest rate results in lower overall costs.
  • Loan term: The length of time you have to repay the loan. Shorter terms usually mean higher monthly payments but lower overall costs.
  • Origination fees: One-time fees charged by lenders to process your loan. Compare lenders to find the lowest fees available.
  • Prepayment penalties: Charges for paying off the loan early. Avoid loans with prepayment penalties to save on costs.
  • Loan type: Different loan types (e.g., personal loans, mortgages) may have varying costs. Choose the loan type that best meets your needs.
  • Credit score: A higher credit score may qualify you for better loan terms and lower interest rates. Work on improving your credit score to reduce borrowing costs.
  • Additional fees: Look out for hidden fees like late payment penalties or annual fees. Factor these costs into your assessment to ensure an accurate comparison.

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.

More about me

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