Ben Todd | Jun 2, 2017 | 1
The Best Personal Loans For The Year 2017
Are you looking for personal loans that do not require security or any form of collateral? Are you looking for a loan to make a large purchase or to consolidate your debt? If so, then this is the article for you. In no particular order, we have created a list of some of the best personal loans you can get in the year 2017. There is a healthy mix of loans, from loans that will help people with a low credit score consolidate their debt, to loans for people with a high credit rating who are looking to make a large purchase. The loans companies mentioned on this article are independent lending companies; we didn’t purposefully leave out banks, it is simply that none of the banks could compete with the deals that these loan companies are offering.
Sofi Personal Loans
They rely heavily on your credit score, but they also consider how long you have worked in your current job, what type of education you have, and your work experience. They have resume review services, career support services, and interview coaching services to help you get a good job and keep your current job. Sofi loans are not available in Nevada or Mississippi.
Like many other companies, Sofi sometimes has people from its marketing department write reviews. Someone from their marketing department wrote this article using voice recognition. The overly promotional and overly detailed review makes it very obvious that a genuine customer did not write the review. Also, keep a look out for the slew of errors that the voice recognition software created.
Between $5,000 up to $100,000.
Their fixed rates are between 5.95% – 14.95%, and their varaible rates are between 5.95% – 14.24%. If you pay with auto-pay, then their rates go down to between 5.07% – 10.87%.
There is no minimum limit to how long you must have had your credit rating. If you have a credit score of less than 700, then you will probably not get the loan.
Their maximum term for people with a poor credit rating is 3, but that number may go up to 5 or 7 years depending on your credit history, your FICO score and which state you are living in.
There are no origination fees.
[+] There are no penalties for prepayment
[+] They offer unemployment protection
[+] Applying online is easy
[+] Pay with auto-pay and you get an APR discount
[+] Customer support for seven days
[+] A popular lending company with a strong online reputation
[-] The pre-selected adverts do not guarantee that you will get the loan
[-] The variable rate options can go up as well as down
[-] Sub-prime mortgages are really not worth having with this company
Earnest Personal Loans
The biggest problem with Earnest is that their loans are only available in over half of the states in the US. There is a chance that the company will not give you a loan because of the state you live in. Typically, they offer personal loans to people with a great credit rating, good saving habits, and a high income. They will consider you if you have good saving habits, a high income, and no/limited credit history.
One issue with this company is that it takes them as long as 30 days to sign off on your paid loan, which means refinancing takes longer, and it means that the paid debt takes longer to show up on your credit history as actually being paid off. If you carry a lot of debt, then the company will probably turn you down because their loans are not for debt consolidation.
$2,000 – $50,000.
6.00% – 12.00%
[+] You will not be charged extra if you pay off your loan early
[+] Looks at your earning potential, saving history and FICO score
[+] They have no fees at all besides the interest they charge on your loan
[+] You are allowed to increase your repayment amounts at any time
[+] They may provide you with a good interest rate if you have a great credit rating
[+] The automated process means that applying is quicker than when you apply with a bank
[-] They take their sweet time signing off on the paid loan
[-] The company doesn’t provide information to TransUnion or Equifax
[-] Applying has been described as hectic and as having too much e-paperwork
Lightstream Personal Loans
This company uses a simple interest rate rather than a compound interest rate, which favors people who take out bigger loans or loans with longer terms. They rely heavily on your FICO credit score, but they take other factors into account, which means that even people with high credit scores are sometimes refused.
Overall, they are a good lending company, but some of their online reviews are written by their marketing department, especially the ones that seem to attack negative reviewers. Here is a review that one of their marketing department admitted they wrote while giving a live talk on Facebook. Look at the image below and see how obvious the writer has made it by being so fawning and overly promotional.
$5,000 – $100,000
1.99% – 14.99%
[+] There are no fees other than interest
[+] You will not have to pay penalties for repaying early
[+] Their advertised rates are based on you setting up auto-pay
[+] Their simple interest and fixed rate fully amortizing installment loans
[+] The lending process is uncomplicated
[+] Your money will be with you between 24 and 72 hours
[-] They should show proof that they plant a tree for each loan they give out
[-] Their customer service department will happily give you the runaround
[-] Their ranking and scoring methods seem a little odd
Upstart Personal Loans
Peer-to-peer lenders should be supported, which is why you should consider using Upstart if you are planning to repay your loan. If you take out a $1000 loan with Upstart and draw out $1000 from a credit card, your Upstart loan will save you an average of 27%. You may not get an Upstart loan if you live in West Virginia.
This personal loan company is a little more authentic and real than your average lending company. Their customer service department is very well trained and but are a little apathetic to your questions or problems. Upstart offers some very juicy rewards if you recommend a friend. You do not need a fantastic credit rating to get a loan, and they will also consider your years of credit, your education, your area of study and your job history too.
$1,000 – $50,000
4.66% – 29.99%
Between 1% and 6%.
[+] They will consider your experience and education during your application
[+] There are no pre-payment penalties
[+] It takes as little as 24 hours to get your funds to you
[+] They offer loans to college graduates
[+] You may get a loan if you have no credit history
[+] The application process is easy and very fast
[-] The customer service staff is well trained but apathetic to your needs
[-] APR rates shoot upwards if you have a terrible credit rating
[-] The company needs to grow before it starts taking food out of mouths of banks
Lending Club Personal Loans
The peer-to-peer company called Lending Club is a company we have covered before on this website both because it is a peer-to-peer company (which we like) and because they cater to people with a very low credit rating without hitting them with massive fees. If you have a low credit rating such as 600, then most companies will reject your application or stick you with a 99% APR, but if you get any personal loans with the Lending Club, then the highest APR they have is 35.96%.
You may not apply for their personal loans if you live in Ohio or Kansas. We have plenty of information about this company on our Lending Club review, and Lending Club information pages. We also explain how to get a loan with the Lending Club, and explain how their personal loans work.
$1,000 – $35,000
5.32% – 35.96%
1% – 6%
[+] They will lend to you if you are a personal customer or a business customer
[+] Applying online is very easy and the company is very popular
[+] They are the largest peer-to-peer lending company in the world
[+] You will not be penalized for repaying your debt early
[+] The process is streamlined and efficient
[+] Well reviewed and widely trusted by a great many people
[-] The administrators have people who will sell your email address to spammers
[-] Getting an answer from their customer service department is often impossible
[-] An origination fee of up to 6% is a little too much for some people
NetCredit Personal Loans
The NetCredit lending company is fairly negatively reviewed because it targets people with a poor credit rating and stings them with a very high-interest rate. Their rates are so high that many states in the US have banned the company from operating in their state. They are a predatory lender that targets people who cannot get a loan elsewhere and asks them to pay a very high-interest rate. Their lowest interest rate is 34%, which is higher than the average credit card interest rate.
On the plus side, if you are truly desperate for money, then they do give you an option. The only problem is that if you are in real trouble, then getting a loan with this company will only keep the wolves from your door for a short while, and after getting your loan, you will be in far more debt than you were when you started. Do not use this company for debt consolidation because you will come away worse than when you started.
$1,000 – $10,000
34% – 155%
There is no starting or origination fees
[+] Their terms of service are fairly transparent and simple
[+] It takes between one to three days to receive your funds
[+] They do not charge fees, they only charge an APR on your loan
[+] People with terrible credit ratings can get a loan
[+] They approve loans pretty quickly because they are not fussy about who they lend to
[-] Their high interest rates are just a way of stinging people with a poor credit rating
[-] Their customer service department is nothing to shout about
[-] Make this a last resort company or you will be sorry
Discover Personal Loans
I am aware that many people think that Discover sucks, but their personal loans are not bad. The average APR is not great, but it isn’t terrible either, and they offer loans to people with a less-than-perfect credit rating. It is true that Discover cannot beat the service, rate, or quality of a peer-to-peer loan, but you shouldn’t rule the company out completely.
The company is willing to lend out as much as $35,000 for an unsecured loan, and the company operates in 50 US states. The downside is that their late fees are $39, but they are easily avoided by paying your debts on time. If you want a Discover personal loan, your household needs an average and combined income of $25,000. They have flexible repayment terms and fixed interest rates.
Personal loans go up to $35,000
No starting fees
[+] They accept payment over the phone, online, and by check in the mail
[+] There are no origination fees
[+] They are willing to lend out as much as $35,000
[+] There are no pre-payment/early payment penalties
[+] The customer support staff seems to know what they are doing
[+] It can help you save money and pay off your credit card debt if you consolidate and repay quickly
[-] It can take a long time to do the e-paperwork and get your money
[-] Approval usually takes around 48 hours because they do a lot of checks
[-] Online reviews say that they give students loans, but the APR rates are rather high
Their maximum debt-to-income ratio is 50% (excluding your mortgage), and since their required FICO score is 640, there is a strong indication that this company aims to give loans to people in financial trouble in order to help consolidate their debts. You may not be able to get a great rate if you have a poor credit rating or credit history, but having a Prosper loan may allow you to lower the amount you pay out per month, and may help you pay off your credit card debt by converting your credit card debt to a loan.
If you are late paying your bill, then they will charge $15 or 5% of your payment amount if your payment amount is more than $300 (do the math and you will see why that makes sense). The starting fee is scraped off the top of your loan, and it ranges from between 1% and 5%. Typically, their starting fees range from between $100 to $500. We have written a few other articles about Prosper that you should consider looking up because they are a solid peer-to-peer company with a lot to offer.
Up to $10,000 for unsecured loans. They also offer up to $35,000 for secured loans or people with a great credit rating and credit history
5.99% APR (AA) to 36.00% APR (HR)
1% to 5%
[+] You will not be penalized if you pay back your loan early
[+] There are no hidden fees, but there are fees
[+] Great for debt consolidation if you have a good credit rating
[+] You will get a low-interest rate if you have a fantastic FICO score
[+] They are happy to accept people with a lower credit score
[+] The Prosper app is great for keeping an eye on your accounts
[-] If you are placed in a lower grade band, then it may not be worth getting a loan
[-] It can take as long as ten days to be approved and a further three days to get your money
[-] The “high volume of calls” message plays almost all day long when you phone their customer service department
Payoff Personal Loans
With this company, you will need at least a three-year credit history, which is not very much, you need a 660+ credit rating, which is also not much. You also need a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less, which is achievable. All of this means that getting a personal loan some Payoff is not very difficult. The fact that they target people with poor credit is one of the reasons why you are not allowed to get a loan with Payoff in many US states. In New York, you may only get a loan with an interest rate of 16% APR with Payoff.
The company is ideal for people who are trying to fix their credit rating. Getting a loan is comparatively easy when compared with banks, and if you pay it off without incident and you do not mess up in any other ways, then you will see approximately a 40-point rise in your FICO score. If you are applying in order to consolidate your debts and pay off your credit cards, then you are in luck because they love that sort of thing. I managed to find one review on Credit Karma that was written by their marketing department.
$5,000 to $35,000.
8% APR – 25% APR
Between 2% and 5% of your loan
[+] The rates are nasty, but if you have a low credit rating of over 660, it is better than their competition
[+] The wait time is far better than some banks and some of its competitors on this website
[+] You can work on your credit rating with this company
[+] The user interface is sophisticated while easy to use in a way that offers a good user experience
[+] Their customer service department is better than most of their independent competitors
[+] They report to the biggest FICO scoring companies in the country, which helps your credit score when you pay off the personal loan
[-] There are a great many states where you are not able to get a Payoff loan
[-] They target people with poor credit scores, which is why some consider them to be predatory
[-] How they judge and rate your application is unclear
iLoan Personal Loans
If you are planning to use iLoan, then be aware that it is a small company with a very poor online presence when compared with its competitors on this article. There is an origination fee of around 5% of what you spend when you use iLoan, and the late fee you pay will vary depending on the US state you are living in. One of the weird things about iLoan is its website and the way the company is run. It is almost like a family business and/or a one-man show.
The website is weird because it has an uneven navigation structure where the more you dig, the more you find that is curious, such as a big article on why bidding for the Olympic games is wrong, and an Infographic and article about borrowing from family and friends. It is almost as if the website started a blog and then scrapped it and spread the articles around the website in odd places. This company may grow in the future and become a powerhouse in the lending industry, but at the moment they appear small. Even their cooperate pictures do not look genuine with the exception of the small office with around six employees.
$2,550 – $25,000
11% to 36%
600+ if you have had a job for at least the last six months
They vary, but the origination fees tend to be around 5%.
[+] Approval usually takes less than one day
[+] Some people receive funds in their bank as few as 24 hours after being approved for the loan
[+] The step-by-step online application process is very easy to follow
[+] Their FAQ and learning section is okay
[+] The company is upfront with its terms and conditions, but you will have to read all the small print
[-] You are not allowed to pay off your loan early, you have to go by their schedule
[-] Their service is largely untested as they do not have a great deal of customers to testify for them
[-] Few people qualify for loans above $10,000, you need a great credit score and credit history to get a loan for a higher amount
BestEgg Personal Loans
Their personal loans are remarkably transparent if you take the time to read their small print. For example, they say that if you want a typical loan such as one up to $40,000, then you need a household income of around $130,000 per year. The company does quite a bit of verification to check to see who you are. If more loan companies do this, then terrorists wouldn’t be as well financed through easily-obtained loans.
BestEgg skim your origination fee from your loan amount rather than adding to your loan. There are a few loan companies that do this, and it is dumb. They should add the origination fee on to the top of the loan, but instead they take it from you. For example, if we ignore interest for a second, if you get a loan for $20,000 and the origination fee is $1000, then your loan should total $21000. But, BestEgg charge the origination fee by giving you $19,000. When you complain, they say you should read the small print when the truth is that they should change the way they do business if they want to stop people posting negative online reviews.
3 years to 5 years
Origination fee from 0.99%–5.99%.
[+] They offer a fixed rate where you know your monthly payments upfront
[+] A good option if you need to consolidate credit card debt
[+] Some people receive their money within two days
[+] You may engineer your loan to lower your outgoings every month
[+] The actual e-paperwork only takes around 20 minutes
[+] An 800+ FICO score means a 5-8% APR
[-] They need to stop sending people so much advertising mail
[-] The level of verification they require is annoying
[-] Their targeted adverts address you by name and say you have been pre-approved only to deny you
[-] Don’t pay it off early because they will keep taking payments out
Avant Personal Loans
The type of loan you get will depend on the state you live in. If your state has dictated how much money you may borrow or the maximum interest rate that may be charged, then that is what you will be offered (if at all). You are lucky you live in the USA, because Avant charges almost 50% APR in other countries.
Avant is suitable for rebuilding your credit history and credit rating. Your credit score may be as low as 580 and they will still give you a loan. If you pay off the loan without incident, then you may improve your FICO score as a result. They are handy if you want a smaller loan and you want the money fairly quickly. Their origination fee is not bad, and their late fee is only $15. If you have a poor credit rating, then you should probably avoid this company because they will charge an APR that is worse than a credit card.
from $1,000 to $35,000
9.95% to 36.00%
2 years to 5 years
Between 0.95% – 3.75%
[+] There are no fees or penalties for repaying your loan early
[+] They have a very large online presence
[+] It may be your only choice if you have a very poor credit rating
[+] You may improve your credit score if you pay off the loan without incident
[+] Getting your money is relatively fast and approval takes just a few hours
[+] You can pay by check without having to pay a fee for doing so
[-] They have a habit of collecting information
[-] Avant takes its sweet time reporting that you closed your loan to the credit agencies
[-] If you pay it off early, then the company cannot record your transactions correctly and their customer support team will not close your account
Conclusion – Don’t Be Too Hasty
I had a little moral dilemma with this list because some of the companies are borderline predatory. Do not do anything hasty if you are in need of money to help you get by. Some of the companies will give you a loan even if you have a very low credit rating, and their high APR interest rates will chew you up and spit you out. It is sometimes better to overdraw your account and take the credit hit than it is to patch over your money problems with a high-interest loan. Keep it in mind before you make your application.