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Best Unsecured Personal Loans

If you need cash and you don’t want to give up collateral, an unsecured personal loan from an online lender might be the perfect fit. While secured loans sometimes come with lower rates, unsecured personal loans are faster and easier to obtain.

Best Unsecured Personal Loans
Lindsay Frankel
Personal Finance Expert

To get an unsecured personal loan, you don’t need to have equity in your home or vehicle or money in a savings account. You’ll need good credit for the best rates, but there are options for borrowers in every credit tier. What’s more, you won’t risk losing your personal property if you default. And you can use an unsecured personal loan for almost anything, from a large purchase to auto repairs to debt consolidation. To help you narrow down your choices, our team of financial experts reviewed and ranked more than 30 online lenders. Read on for our top picks.

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
 upgrade_logo
  • Funding as soon as the next day
  • Can be approved with fair credit
  • Variety of discounts on rates
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $1K-$50K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 24 to 84 months

How to Choose the Best Unsecured Personal Loan

Our experts considered the following parameters when evaluating lenders. As you compare your options, you may want to pay attention to these factors, which will influence the cost of borrowing and your experience with the loan process.

  • Loan features: Ensure the lender offers a term with a monthly payment you can afford and can offer you the amount you need. Also make sure there are no restrictions that would prevent you from using the funds.
  • Interest rates and fees: Choose the lender with the lowest rates and the fewest fees that you can qualify for based on your creditworthiness. You should always avoid lenders that charge prepayment penalties.
  • Application process: Make sure you understand when a soft credit pull occurs versus a hard credit check. If you need quick cash, choose a lender that offers an easy online application with fast funding.
  • Qualification process: Some lenders are more lenient with bad credit borrowers than others. Some lenders, such as many credit unions, also have membership requirements. Narrow down your options to lenders you can qualify for.
  • Online user reviews: Look for patterns in customer complaints on sites like Trustpilot and ConsumerAffairs to identify potential issues with customer service.
  • Perks and bonuses: Some lenders offer perks like payment flexibility, unemployment protection, mobile app management, and more. If there’s a special feature that’s important to you, prioritize those lenders that offer it.

Best Unsecured Personal Loans for 2022 — Full Overview

1. LightStream: Best for Low Rates

Lightstream is a great option for excellent credit borrowers, as the lender charges no origination fee, late fees, or prepayment penalties and offers some of the lowest rates in the industry. Lightstream is also ideal for anyone seeking a large home improvement loan with an extended term. However, the lender doesn’t offer a prequalification option, so you should be confident that you have excellent credit before applying.
Pros
Zero fees of any kind
Plants a tree for every loan
Rate beat program
Low APRs starting at 3.49% with Autopay
Borrow up to $100,000
Offers joint applications
Same-day funding available
Terms as long as 240 months on home improvement loans
Cons
No prequalification option
Must have good or excellent credit to apply
Cannot change payment due date
$5,000 minimum borrowing amount

lightstream
You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000 from Lightstream and have your money as soon as the same day. Terms range from 24 to 240 months, depending on the type of loan you choose, and APRs range from 3.49% to 19.99%, which includes an Autopay discount. There are no fees on Lightstream loans, including late fees. The lender doesn’t disclose minimum income requirements or a minimum credit score, but you’ll need good or excellent credit to apply. That means you’ll need several years of credit history with a variety of account types and few or no delinquencies. You’ll also need stable and sufficient income.

The Bottom Line

If you need a quick loan, a large loan, or just an inexpensive loan with no fees, Lightstream is a great option — but it’s only available to good and excellent credit borrowers. Since you can’t check your rate without hurting your credit, we don’t recommend applying with a credit score of less than 670.

2. SoFi — Best for Hardship Protection

SoFi is one of the few lenders to offer a formal unemployment protection program along with the option to change your due date once per year. This flexibility can be helpful if you fall on hard times. As a SoFi member, you’ll also get access to free career coaching and financial guidance. What’s more, there are no fees to worry about. But you’ll need a credit score in the high 600’s to be approved.
Pros
No fees of any kind
Unemployment protection
Free educational resources
APRs as low as 6.49% with Autopay
Borrow up to $100,000
Prequalify without hurting your credit
Same day funding available
Flexible repayment terms from 2 to 7 years
Allows joint applications
Cons
Need good credit to qualify
$5,000 minimum borrowing amount
Not available to residents of MS
Mixed customer service reviews

sofi
You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000 from SoFi and repay the loan over 24 to 84 months. APRs vary from 6.49% with all discounts to 21.78% and there are no fees to worry about. Funding can happen as quickly as the same day. While SoFi doesn’t disclose minimum income or credit score requirements, several third-party sources in addition to SoFi’s blog mention that a credit score in the high 600’s is typically needed for a personal loan from SoFi.

The Bottom Line

SoFi is a great option for good or excellent credit borrowers who want some payment flexibility and hardship protection on a personal loan with no collateral. SoFi loans come with a ton of perks that support your financial health as well. However, bad credit borrowers or those seeking small loans will need to look elsewhere.

Try SoFi

3. Upgrade - Best for Discounts

Upgrade is more welcoming to fair credit borrowers than others on our list, and also offers a joint application option for its no collateral loans. This can help you get a lower rate if you apply with a creditworthy co-borrower. Furthermore, existing rewards checking customers qualify for a big discount.
Pros
Borrow as little as $1,000
Joint applications allowed
No prepayment penalties
Check your rate without hurting your credit
Up to a 20% rate discount for rewards checking customers
Flexible repayment terms from 24 to 84 months
Excellent customer service reviews
Welcoming to fair credit borrowers
Cons
Charges an origination fee
Charges a late payment fee
APRs go up to 35.97%
Not available in Iowa or West Virginia

upgrade
Upgrade offers personal unsecured loans in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 with flexible repayment terms from 24 to 84 months. APRs start at just 5.94% with all discounts but go up to 35.97%. There’s an origination fee of between 2.9% and 8% of the loan amount and a late fee of up to $10. Funds are available the next business day. Upgrade doesn’t specify a minimum credit score or minimum income requirements, but the lender will evaluate your individual income along with your co-borrower’s income should you choose to apply with one. You’ll likely need fair credit to be approved, but you can check your rate without hurting your score.

The Bottom Line

Upgrade is a great option for fair credit borrowers who want to apply on their own or with a co-borrower. It’s an especially good deal for existing rewards checking customers. However, if you have excellent credit, you might find fewer fees and lower rates elsewhere.

4. Oportun — Best for Bad Credit

Oportun reports that they are open to borrowers with all different financial backgrounds, including those who have faced bankruptcy, and you can prequalify without hurting your credit. At the same time, the lender offers a 35.99% rate cap, which is much lower than most no credit check lenders can provide. Small loans are also available, but the maximum borrowing amount is $10,000.
Pros
Available to bad credit borrowers
No prepayment penalties
Prequalification option
$300 minimum loan amount
Co-signers may be allowed
Financial advice and career guidance
In-person support if you need it
Most applicants receive funds the same day
Cons
Charges an origination fee
Charges a late payment fee
Limited term options in some states
No due date changes or forbearance programs

oportun
Oportun offers loans without collateral in amounts ranging from $300 to $10,000. Terms vary by state but range from 12 to 48 months, and APRs vary from 7.99% to 35.99%. There is an origination fee that will depend on your state, and the lender charges a late payment fee and returned check fee. There are no minimum credit score or income requirements, and people with bad credit are invited to apply. Most applicants receive their funding the same day.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve made credit mistakes in the past and you need an unsecured loan, Oportun may be your best bet for getting a reasonable APR. Though borrowing amounts and flexibility are limited, an unsecured personal loan from Oportun is much safer than many other options available to bad credit borrowers.

5. Upstart — Best for No Credit History

If you don’t have sufficient credit history to generate a credit score, Upstart may still consider you eligible for a loan, since the lender uses a variety of information to evaluate you. The minimum credit score required for application is also 300. You can check your rate without hurting your credit, and APRs are capped at 35.89%.
Pros
Open to all credit tiers, including applicants with no credit history
Flexible payment due date
Borrow as little as $1,000
Offers direct payment to creditors
Excellent customer service reviews
Cons
Only two repayment terms
Charges an origination fee
Charges a late payment fee
No co-signed or joint applications
Not available in West Virginia or Iowa

upstart
You can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 from Upstart and repay the loan in 36 or 60 months. APRs vary depending on the lending partner but are capped at 35.99%. Depending on your creditworthiness, you may also be charged an origination fee of up to 8%. There’s also a late payment fee costing the greater of $15 or 5% of the past due amount. To qualify, you must have a minimum credit score of 300 or insufficient history to generate a score. You also can’t have a debt-to-income ratio of more than 50% (45% in some states), but there are no specific minimum income requirements.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an online unsecured loan and you’re new to building credit, Upstart will likely be your best option for getting approved at a reasonable rate. Borrowers with excellent credit will find fewer fees elsewhere, and fair credit borrowers who want more flexibility may be better served by another lender.

6. AmOne — Best for Loan Comparison

If you want to compare rates from top lenders in one spot, AmOne is our top pick of the loan comparison platforms. You’ll find unsecured loan options for different credit tiers, and you can speak with a U.S.-based support specialist if you need assistance. AmOne has excellent customer service reviews on Trustpilot. However, be aware that you may receive calls from multiple lenders even after you have chosen a loan.
Pros
Compare rates without hurting your credit
Borrow up to $50,000
Excellent customer service reviews
Open to borrowers with all credit scores
Funding as soon as the next business day
Cons
Requires personal information
May result in unwanted calls from lenders

amone
With AmOne, one simple application gets you access to loan offers from multiple lenders. You can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 with APRs ranging from 2.49% to 35.99%, depending on the lender. Some lenders on the platform may charge an origination fee or other fees. Terms of up to 72 months are available. AmOne doesn’t specify a minimum credit score, but notes that there are products for borrowers with scores as low as 500. There’s also no minimum income requirement to use the platform.

The Bottom Line

AmOne is a great option for finding the lowest rate from a top lender without submitting your info for rate checks on each lender’s website. You can save time with the streamlined application. Just be aware that lenders may contact you after you check your rate.

Try AmOne

7. Rocket Loans - Best for Instant Loan Offers

With Rocket Loans, you can check your rate for an unsecured personal loan in seconds without hurting your credit, apply online, and receive your funding the same day. It’s a great option for borrowers who want a quick personal loan without collateral, but excellent credit borrowers may find fewer fees elsewhere.
Pros
Same day funding
No prepayment penalties
Excellent customer service reviews
View your rate without hurting your credit
Use the funds for almost anything
Low starting APRs
Cons
Charges an origination fee
Charges a late payment fee
Only two term options
Not available in Iowa, Nevada, or West Virginia
No cosigned or joint applications

rocket loans
With Rocket Loans, if you sign your loan documents by 1:00 pm ET on a business day, the funds will be transferred into your bank account on the same day. You can borrow between $2,000 and $45,000 with APRs ranging from 5.97% with Autopay to a maximum of 29.99%. There’s a 1% to 6% origination fee that will be deducted from the loan proceeds. In addition, Rocket Loans charges late fees and return check fees. You can choose a 36 or 60-month term. Rocket Loans does not disclose a minimum credit score but notes that you’ll typically need a score between 600 and 700 for approval. While Rocket Loans evaluates your income, there’s no specific minimum requirement.

The Bottom Line

Rocket Loans is best for people who have good credit and want to receive cash the same day. While excellent credit borrowers may find better options without fees, Rocket Loans is a great fit for borrowers with a good FICO score, and is one of our top picks for emergency loans.

8. PenFed: Best for a Credit Union Loan

PenFed is ideal for borrowers who want low rates and the option of in-person support. You don’t need to be a member to apply, but if you choose to accept your loan offer, you’ll need to sign up. However, the process is fast and straightforward. PenFed has excellent customer service reviews and caps rates at 17.99%. However, you’ll likely need good credit or a creditworthy co-borrower to be approved.
Pros
Low APRs
No origination fee
No prepayment penalties
Prequalify without hurting your credit
Excellent customer service reviews
Allows joint applications
Funding within 48 hours
Borrow as little as $600
Flexible repayment terms
Cons
Membership required
Charges a late fee
No Autopay discount

penfed
PenFed offers loan amounts between $600 and $50,000 with terms ranging from 12 to 60 months. APRs vary from 5.49% to 17.99%, and there are no origination fees or early payoff penalties. You may be charged a late fee of $29 for each late payment, however. PenFed funds are available within 48 hours after accepting your loan offer. PenFed doesn’t disclose minimum income or credit score requirements, but several sources report that you’ll need good credit to work with the credit union. Applying with a co-borrower may increase your chances of approval.

The Bottom Line

PenFed is ideal for borrowers who want a small loan or anyone seeking low rates who does not mind becoming a PenFed member. If you have credit issues, you may still be approved with a co-borrower. It’s a good idea to check your APR with PenFed before deciding if you want to become a member.

9. Marcus by Goldman Sachs — Best for Flexible Repayment Terms

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers nine term options so you can customize your monthly payment. Choosing the term that most closely matches the monthly payment you can afford may help save you money on interest when compared to another lender. Furthermore, Marcus offers loans without any fees whatsoever. And if you pay on-time 12 months in a row, you’ll have the option to defer a payment. However, you’ll likely need good credit to be approved, and Marcus doesn’t allow co-signers or co-borrowers.
Pros
No fees of any kind
Flexible repayment terms from 36 to 72 months
Low APRs capped at 19.99%
Check your options without hurting your credit
Change your due date up to three times
Cons
Funding time can take up to 4 business days
No co-signed or joint applications allowed
Fair credit borrowers may not be approved

marcus by goldman sachs
Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers loans from $2,000 to $45,000 with no fees of any kind. There are no origination fees, prepayment fees, or even late fees. APRs range from 6.99% to 19.99% and terms range from 36 to 72 months, with nine specific options. Marcus doesn’t have minimum income or credit score requirements, but we don’t recommend applying unless you have good credit. Once you sign and accept your loan offer, it will take one to four business days to receive your funds.

The Bottom Line

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is great for good credit borrowers who want flexibility with repayment. Between the nine term options, the on-time payment reward, and the ability to change your due date, Marcus offers the most flexibility of any of the lenders on our list.

Try Marcus

10. Discover — Best for Debt Consolidation

If you’re looking to consolidate high-interest debt, Discover is one of the unsecured lenders that offers direct payment to your creditors. And with free access to your FICO score, you can monitor your progress. Plus, there’s no origination fee or prepayment penalties.
Pros
No origination fee
No prepayment penalties
Pays creditors directly
Free FICO score
Check your rate without hurting your credit
Flexible repayment terms
Same day decisions in most cases
30-day guarantee
Cons
Charges a late payment fee
Can’t be used to pay off secured loans or Discover cards
Good credit needed for approval
No co-signed or joint applications
Minimum $25,000 income required
Minimum $2,500 borrowing amount

discover
Discover offers loans between $2,500 and $35,000 with flexible terms ranging from 36 to 84 months. Fixed APRs range from 5.99% to 24.99% and there is no origination fee. You won’t have to worry about prepayment penalties, either, but there is a $39 late payment fee. Discover’s debt consolidation loans can’t be used for educational purposes or to pay off a secured loan or directly pay a Discover credit card. To be eligible for a loan from Discover, you need at least $25,000 in annual income. While Discover doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score, several sources report that you’ll need good credit to be approved.

The Bottom Line

If you need to consolidate debt and you have good credit, Discover is one of the best unsecured loan options. Just make sure your estimated rate is lower than what you’re currently paying on your debts before you apply.

Best Unsecured Personal Loans — Feature Comparison

Company Name

Est. APR

Est. Credit Score Needed

Loan Amount

Loan Term

SoFi

6.49% to 21.78%

Good

$5,000 to $100,000

24 to 84 months

LightStream

3.49% to 19.99%

Good

$5,000 to $100,000

24 to 240 months

Upgrade

5.94% to 35.97%

Fair

$1,000 to $50,000

24 to 84 months

Oportun

7.99% to 35.99%

Poor

$300 to $10,000

12 to 48 months

Upstart

Up to 35.99%

300

$1,000 to $50,000

36 or 60 months

AmOne

2.49% to 35.99%

Poor

$1,000 to $50,000

Up to 72 months

Rocket Loans

5.97% to 29.99%

Good

$2,000 to $45,000

36 or 60 months

PenFed

5.49% to 17.99%

Good

$600 to $50,000

12 to 60 months

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

6.99% to 19.99%

Good

$2,000 to $45,000

36 to 72 months

Discover

5.99% to 24.99%

Good

$2,500 to $35,000

36 to 84 months

What Is an Unsecured Personal Loan

An unsecured personal loan is a fixed rate loan, provided in a lump sum and repaid in installments with interest, which does not require the borrower to offer collateral. While home and auto loans are secured by an asset, unsecured personal loans are not.

How Do Unsecured Personal Loans Work?

When you apply for an unsecured personal loan, you tell the lender how much you need to borrow and provide your income information. The lender will run a hard credit check, which will cause a small dip in your score. If you’re approved, the money can be deposited into your bank account within a few days. You’ll then pay back the loan in bi-weekly or monthly payments of principal plus interest. Over time, you’ll pay back more than you originally borrowed for the privilege of getting the lump sum at one time.

Reasons to Get an Unsecured Personal Loan

A personal loan without collateral can be used for almost anything, but you should avoid using a personal loan to purchase something you don’t need. Some good reasons to get a personal loan include:

  • Home improvement projects
  • Auto repairs
  • Debt consolidation
  • Medical bills
  • Emergency travel
  • Appliance replacement
  • Planning a wedding
  • Relocation
    Veterinary bills

How to Get an Unsecured Personal Loan

While the process varies by lender, here’s what you can typically expect.

  1. Check your credit so you know where you stand and can dispute any errors
  2. Prequalify with a few lenders that offer a soft credit pull
  3. Choose the loan offer with the best rates and terms you can qualify for
  4. Formally apply for the loan by uploading the required documents
  5. Review your final offer and sign and accept your loan documents
  6. Wait for the funds to be transferred to your bank account
  7. Set up one-time or ongoing repayments through the lender’s online portal

Unsecured Personal Loan Interest Rates

Below are the average APRs on unsecured loans by credit tier, according to data from online loan marketplace Credible. The overall average APR across 24-month personal loans from commercial banks is 9.41%, according to The Fed.

Credit Score

3-Year APR

5-Year APR

Less than 600

30.64%

29.32%

600 to 639

26.62%

28.19%

640 to 679

22.06%

22.17%

680 to 719

16.35%

17.84%

720 to 779

12.02%

14.01%

780 or above

8.89%

11.38%

Pros and Cons of Unsecured Personal Loans

Pros

Cons

  • Doesn’t require the risk of losing an asset

  • Faster access to funds

  • Fixed APRs

  • More difficult to qualify for

  • Higher rates than secured loans

  • Doesn’t provide a grace period like credit cards

Alternatives to Unsecured Personal Loans

If an unsecured personal loan isn’t quite the right fit but you’re still looking for an unsecured product, you might consider the following:

  • Paycheck Advance: If you just need a small loan, your employer may provide you with an advance on your paycheck, or you can request the money through a paycheck advance app.
  • Crowdfunding: You might try a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for your financial need, especially if it is medical or veterinary-related.
  • 401(k) Loan: You can borrow money from your 401(k) without a credit check and without collateral. Just be sure to pay the money back with interest to avoid penalties, and don’t choose this option if you’re planning to leave your current job.
  • Friends and Family: While it can be tough to ask for help, a loan from friends or family will come with a lower rate (if any) and more flexibility than an unsecured personal loan. Just be sure you have a plan for repayment so you don’t destroy your relationships.
  • Credit Card: A credit card can help you manage cash flow issues without paying interest. If you can qualify for a 0% introductory APR card, you may also use it for a large purchase or to pay down debt faster with a balance transfer.
  • Secured Options: If you’re not worried about default and don’t mind putting forth collateral, you might consider a home equity loan, HELOC, auto equity loan, or cash-out refinance.

Conclusion

No matter your financial need, your budget, and your credit score, you have options when it comes to personal loans with no collateral. Aim for the fewest fees and the lowest rates you can qualify for while ensuring the lender offers a monthly payment that fits into your budget. Once your loan is paid off, you’ll want to focus on building an emergency fund so you can avoid needing to borrow in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

How Much Money Can You Borrow on an Unsecured Loan?

Different lenders offer different amounts, and your creditworthiness will determine how much you’re eligible to borrow. However, the most you can borrow from an unsecured personal loan lender is typically $100,000.

What Is a Good Reason to Get an Unsecured Personal Loan?

Unsecured personal loans are best for debt consolidation and pressing financial needs. For example, if you have an emergency home or auto repair, medical or veterinary bill, or relocation or travel need, you can get the cash you need quickly with an unsecured personal loan.

Do Unsecured Loans Affect Your Credit Score?

An unsecured personal loan will impact your credit score in a few ways. First, the hard credit check required for the application will cause a temporary decrease in your credit score. But as you repay your personal loan, your credit score may improve with your on-time payments. Additionally, if you use an unsecured loan to consolidate credit card debt, you’ll lower your debt utilization ratio, which will positively impact your credit. However, if you miss a payment or default on your personal loan, that can have a devastatingly negative effect on your credit.

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