Home Personal Loans Online – 5 Best Providers in 2021
Vidal Arias

Even though credit cards are still the go-to borrowing vehicle of many Americans, more and more individuals are starting to turn their heads toward other vehicles and especially Personal Loans.

One of the main reasons for this is that application processes have become considerably easier and faster, and also the fact that in most cases the interest rates are much lower.

How do personal loans work?

Imagine having credit card debt with an interest rate of 32% and being able to take a personal loan to bring down the length of the loan and the interest rate to only 9.2%. This is one of the many scenarios where Americans are trying to flee the credit card market and land in the safe haven provided by personal loans.

It is important to understand that just like with any other type of borrowing instrument, your credit score will have an important impact on the amount you will be charged in interests. Chances are that if you have a very dented credit score you won’t get such a preferential treatment like in the example of above, but in most cases, you would still be able to refinance and consolidated at a much lower rate to what you are currently paying.

Another important aspect of Personal Loans is the fact that applications on most of the firms can be done online, this allows individuals to fill the documents without living the tranquillity of their house or office. Even if it doesn’t sound like a big deal, this has become one of the key elements that make Americans choose personal loans over any other vehicle that would request visiting a branch. It is worth mentioning that this also allows for an overall cheaper experience since these institutions are not incurring overhead or fixed expenses from keeping employees and a branch available. It also allows for individuals from all states to apply, effectively making these products available countrywide.

In this article, we will go through the very best personal loan providers available in 2021. Even though we’ve done a very extensive comparison and a review of the market, it is important for all individuals to perform their deep review and to analyze all available options before making a financial decision. This is a relatively large market and it has many different players, it is very likely that you will find the right type of institution if you take your time.

What are the Pros and Cons of Getting a Personal Loan?

Based on your situation getting a personal loan might be one of the best possible decisions you can make with your finances. Not only will be secure the health of your credit score, but it can also do so while saving you a considerably large sum of money.

Before many any desition, the best advice I can give is to take your time reviewing and analyzing different pros and cons of any personal loan. This will help you understand better if you truly need a personal loan or if you should aim for an alternative borrowing vehicle.


  • Quick Application: Most financial institutions will even be able to provide an approval or a rejection the same day of your application. Since most companies are currently employing algorithms to review the profiles of the borrowers, the real process takes only a few seconds. Due to federal law, all approvals for emissions of loans must be revised by an authorized individual within the firm, this is actually the main reason why approvals and applications might take longer than they should.
  • Consolidate Debt: One of the main reasons why so many individuals apply for personal loans is to consolidate debt from other borrowings vehicles. The most common type is for individuals to consolidate the debt from multiple credit cards under one single personal loan. This would allow for a better interest rate and an easier model than having to pay different cards every month, plus it also permits individuals to pay a smaller and more accessible payment every month.
  • Open Use: Another benefit of personal loans is that in many cases you won’t have a restriction in terms of what you are planning on doing with the money. While many banks or financial institutions ask about the intention of the funds, they do not enforce any type of objective (unless it is a consolidation of debt). This openness allows individuals to use the money for whatever they need, from renovating a kitchen, paying for medical treatment or simply taking those vacations that you always dreamed about.
  • Reasonable Rates: Even with the level of risk that most financial institutions are taking when lending money without collateral, the interest rates often charged are actually relatively decent. This allows any individual to change their existing debt for a personal loan and save money in the process. Keep in mind that the overall market is still one of the best options for anyone interested in an unsecured loan.
  • Average Credit: Many individuals commit the mistake to think that only individuals with great credit would be able to obtain a personal loan when in reality it is much more accessible. While each minimum will vary from institution to institution, it is important to remember that you need need to get an average credit score to be eligible. Note that just like with other borrowing vehicles, the better your score the cheaper it will be for you in terms of interest rates.
  • Long Lenght  Available: If you are aiming to refinance your debt or simply to consolidate it is very likely that you will also be interested in spreading your payments over a longer period of time. This length extension will allow you to get smaller monthly payments. Depending on your situation this might be a great way to get everything aligned from a credit perspective while being able to have more cash in your wallet. Depending on the situation this might be a great option for individuals who are too tight at the moment but that don’t want to affect their credit score at all.


  • Fees: Origination Fee, Disbursement Fee, Management Fees you name it! When an individual gets a personal loan they usually start the relationship with the left foot since they are not expecting to receive less money than what they borrowed. The problem is that there are many different types of fees that will be charged to you, and this reduces the final number that you would receive in hand. Not two financial institutions are the same, so it is incredibly important for you to take your time to review what is being offered, especially the amount that will be charged in fees!
  • Prepayment Penalties: If you have credit debt then you know that if you win the lottery tomorrow you would be able to pay your debt in full without having to deal with additional fees. In the world of personal loans, it is a little bit different, mostly because if you find yourself in a position of prepaying the loan in full you would still have to pay an additional fee. The reason for this fee or penalty is to cover for the interest that otherwise would have been earned over the term of the loan.
  • Transfer of Debt: Many people failed to comprehend that when they consolidate their debt they are not paying it, instead they are simply transferring into a new vehicle. This usually put many individuals in a lot of problems, mostly because they are not ready for the financial cost of paying for a loan. Even if it sounds like a good idea to get out of a sketchy situation, it is important to understand the risk associated with failing with a credit card for example and falling into a restructuring with a personal loan


Best 5 Online Personal Loans Providers in 2021: Summary

Reviewers Choice
Fundsjoy – Personal Loans
Available Loan Amount
$100 - $5,000
Available Term Length
2 weeks to 12 months
Representative APR
4.99% - 1386%
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Marcus By Goldman Sachs
Available Loan Amount
$3,500 - $40,000
Available Term Length
3-5 years
Representative APR
5.99% – 28.99% (variable)
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Available Loan Amount
$5,000 - $100,000
Available Term Length
2 to 7 years
Representative APR
3.5% to 16.8%
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Avant Credit
Available Loan Amount
$2,000 - $35,000
Available Term Length
2-5 years
Representative APR
5.99% – 28.99% (variable)
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Brigit Loan App Loan
Available Loan Amount
$10 - $250
Available Term Length
Representative APR
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Best 5 Online Personal Loans Providers in 2021:

1. Sofi | Best for Flexibility

Sofi is one of the most powerful names in the world of student loans, but over the years the firm has ventured into other different products and lending vehicles. Today Sofi is one of the most important and also elite online banks in the US.

We say that Sofi is elite because of their high standards in terms of credit and also because on average their users have an annual income of six figures.

When it comes to personal loans the firm allows for a fully online application of their products. Note that unlike much other firms, Sofi requires that money to be spent in three different things that are house remodeling, health procedures and debt consolidation. If you are interested in a loan to pay for anything else you might need to go with a different option, otherwise look no more and take a quick review of Sofi and their platform.

Additional Information


  • Fixed: 5.99% – 16.24% (with autopay)
  • Variable: 5.74% – 14.70% (with autopay)

Loan Amount: $5,000 to $100,000

Length: 2 – 7 Years

Minimum Credit Score: 680 FICO

Minimum Annual Income: None


  • No Origination Fee
  • No Late Fees
  • No Overdraft Fees

Our Rating

  • Flexibility: Sofi has been known for being one of the only true flexible institutions in the market, specifically because of all the different choice you get if you can’t repay your loan. This is a firm that is truly interested in you paying back your money, instead of keeping hostage to charge you more interest. A particular point to mention is the fact that the company already offers unemployment insurance, this will take care of your payments in case you are laid off. This might not sound like much but it does prove how interested this firm really is in you as a customer.
  • Cheap: Due to the fact that the firm focuses on individuals with a considerably better credit score, their average interest rate offered for personal loans is considerably lower than the national average. It is difficult to see products where the best possible option in terms of service and pluses will actually be the cheapest one.
  • No Fees: This is another point where Sofi excels at being the best and also the cheapest option in the market. It is difficult to see firms of this caliber waiving fees that could easily make them several if not hundreds of millions every year.
  • High Credit Score: This is certainly going to be a deal breaker for many individuals with a lower credit score. Don’t forget that even if you have a really low credit score, the only place it has to go left is up. This might not be an option for you to take right now but it is certainly one you should keep for later in your life.
Sofi is a firm where you can firm comfortable borrowing money, besides the fact that it is not available to as many individuals as other firms it is certainly one of the very best options in the market.

2. Marcus by Goldman Sachs| Best for Debt Consolidation

As an American, it is very likely that you’ve heard the name of Goldman Sachs when it comes to wall street and the whole investment banking industry. What many people forget or simply don’t know is that Goldman Sachs has their own retail and consumer bank brand call Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

It is important to mention that when doing business with Marcus you are receiving the expertise and the treatment from one of the titan brands in the world. While the company started operating under a traditional banking structure, the firm has been improving its model and have invested in an online platform that permits most processes and requests to be performed online. This might not be the best online bank in the market, but it is certainly an option that is worth paying attention to.

Marcus is a name that has become known for its refinancing products and also their consolidation vehicles. If you are interested in refinancing your credit card debt or simply to consolidate your debt, you should pay extra attention to this company and their fully online banking platform. Your request will certainly be handled by some of the very best institutions in the country and the world.

Additional Information


  • 5.99% – 28.99% Variable

Loan Amount: $3,500 to $40,000

Length: 36 to 72 Months (3 – 5 Years)

Minimum Credit Score: 600 FICO

Minimum Annual Income: $40,000


  • None

Our Rating

  • Soft Credit Inquiry: This is a great benefit as it ensures that your credit score will not be affected with a hard inquiry, it also protects the user in case he/she gets rejected. Take into consideration that even though credit inquiries will only affect a score temporarily, it may still affect the qualification and the ranking if you are tight in your bracket.
  • Application Fully online: While this firm has branches in the US, the company has taken a fully online approach in which the entire process to request any type of loan could be managed from your cellphone. Please note that if you get rejected but you still believe with a proper review you could be approved, I would recommend going to one of the closest branches and ask for a manager to review the case. The reason for this is that in most cases the algorithm is too strict and tight that you might be left out for small things that an agent might let go.
  • No Prepayment Penalty: Prepayment penalties have become a widely used method to recoupe from the missing revenue in loans that get paid before it was initially expected. Keep in mind that in most cases the tenure of the loan will have an impact on the pricing of it. This opens space for discussion as most financial institutions would argue against prepaying while it is a right of the borrower to do so.
  • Only Unsecured Loans: Individuals who are looking for a cheaper interest rate tends to prefer a secured loan where collateral would ensure the debt. Since the overall risk exposure is lower, so are the rates.
  • Not offered to self-employed individuals: The firm focuses on individuals who have received a constant salary for a period of at least 6 months in a row. Anyone that does not falls into this category, this includes self-employed individuals, will be rejected.
  • Pre-Approvals are meaningless: This firm has become known for sending pre approval letters that in reality they are simply a marketing tool. Don’t let yourself be fooled into believing that you have a credit line or a personal ready to take home.

3. Avant | Best For Dented Credit Scores

This Chicago based firm was one of the first fully online lending institutions to completely focused on individuals with a damaged credit score. According to the firm, their target is to help the typical middle-class American consumers improve their finances and their life.

While you might be able to apply for a fully open personal loan, this firm is typically used by individuals who are actually trying to consolidate their debt into one single payment. For most instances the company will provide two options:

  1. You lower your interest rate in exchange for a higher payment, this will help you amortize more to your loan can pay it in full faster
  2. You lower your interest rate in exchange for a smaller payment spread across a longer tenure. This is a great tactic if all you are looking for is to clear some cash out of your wallet.

It is important to mention that even though it is a mid-size firm, you are still going to be dealing with a company that has fewer resources in terms of problem-solving. If you have any situation with your application or your loan, you can easily find yourself spending hours if not days trying to get somebody to help you with it.

Additional Information


  • 9.95% – 35.99% Variable

Loan Amount: $2,000 to $35,000

Length: 2 – 5 Years Minimum Credit Score: 580 FICO

Minimum Annual Income: $20,000


  • Administrative Fee 4.9%
  • Late Fee $25
  • Unsuccessful Payment $15
  • No Prepayment Fee

Our Rating

  • Transparent Fees: It is always good to see a firm that is open about their fee structure and that you won’t have to deal with hidden fees after signing the contract. Fees might be high but you can get a full invoice with the cost of the loan before fully committing with it, this will help ensure you will know exactly how much will get to your hand.
  • Low Credit Score Requirement: As mentioned above, this firm has focused on lending money to individuals with a dubious credit score. While this means that most Americans would be able to get a loan from Avant Credit, you should keep in mind that a full analysis of your profile will be done and it might be even more detailed than a traditional credit check.
  • Grace Periods: The firm knows that like is not static, things break and things happen. They are in business to get paid but they understand that it is better to give some grace period than starting to attack their borrowers after the first strike. Take your time to understand the policies and also the fine print in terms of grace periods.
  • High Admin Fee: An administration fee of almost 4.9% is simply absurd in my opinion. Even if it looks like you can get over the price of the fee, it is still an incredibly large penalty towards your loan. While the firm offers a relatively “ok” service, it is not worth spending and paying the Management Fee.
  • Bad Reviews: While most lending companies are full of bad reviews online, it caught my attention to see too many individuals complaining about the exact same mistake. Imaging authorizing the firm to automatically withdraw from your account and then realize they charged you twice! And being told that they can’t cancel it or give your money back, out of the blue you paid two months in one for their “mistake”. If you have a buffer of cash you might go over this but if you are living paycheck to paycheck this is simply aggression that can not be forgiven.

4. Lending Club| Best P2P Lending

Lending club is a disruptive company that operates in its own category, while it offers access to traditional methods of borrowing, the entire structure is backed by a peer to peer lending. Instead of acting as a final lender who is giving you their money in exchange of interest, the firm connects multiple individuals who are interested in being the lender.

P2P Lending is not a new thing but it has become mainstream as more and more firms digitalize their platforms. Keep in mind that due to the fact that there is an intermediary involved in the whole process, you might actually have to pay a higher rate for your loan.

While the firm openly says that their minimum credit score is 600, it has become known to the public that individuals with an even lower number have been approved. Remember that there is someone backing your loan, chances are that if they are in the market with a higher risk appetite they will be interested in lending you for a higher rate.

Additional Information


  • 6.95% – 35.89% Fixed Rates Only

Loan Amount: $1,000 to $40,000

Length: 3 – 5 Years

Minimum Credit Score: 600 FICO

Minimum Annual Income: None


  • Origination Fee 1% – 6%
  • Late Fee $15 or 5% of payment after 15 days grace period

Our Rating

  • No Prepayment Penalty: It is good to know that if things get better you will be able to pay your loan in full without having to pay a penalty for it. Due to the P2P structure, if you pay your loan early, the money lost in interest rates will be a hit for the lender and not for you.
  • No Hard Credit Inquiry: It is always upsetting to see firms hitting credit scores just for opening your profile With Lending Club you can be certain that the firm will only use a soft inquiry until you signed the contract for the loan.
  • Fixed Rate: In a market as volatile as the one we have today, it is great to see that you will be able to fix your rates without having to pay extra. This is a mechanism that due to the P2P lending structure, will protect both borrowers and lenders.
  • Origination Fee: As mentioned before this is another tax to your money and your loan. With today’s models, you should not be paying up to 6% just to get the money that you will have to pay back in full.
  • Liquidity: This is a particularly odd problem but due to the fact that the firm is not using their money to back your loan, your eligibility will depend on the current liquidity and appetite of the platform. This means that at any point you might want to request a loan without even getting a quote because there are no lenders interested at the moment.

5. Discover | Overall Best for Debt Consolidation

Discover might be known for their payment network and their vast range of credit and debit cards. But in silence, the firm has become one of the most important and fully operational online banks in the US. If you are in need of a personal loan and you have a good credit score, this might be an option that should not miss.

Keep in mind that in a market full of companies offering sketchy products and taking advantage of individuals with a low credit score, names like Discover act as safe havens and heroes for individuals in need. While the problem might always occur with any type of institution, it is comforting to know that you are doing business with a mature and reputable company.

There are only a handful of names in the financial markets where I can truly say that the firms best interest is the client best interest, and Discover is one of them. If you don’t want to lose your sleep over a personal loan you might want to review Discover as your best possible option.

Additional Information


  • 6.99% – 24.99% Variable

Loan Amount: $2,500 to $35,000

Length: 3 – 7 Years

Minimum Credit Score: 660 FICO

Minimum Annual Income: $25,000


  • No Fees

  • Direct Payment to Creditors: The fact that in case of debt consolidation you can get your creditors paid directly by Discover takes a lot of pressure of your shoulders. If you are consolidating it means that you really want to get over everything and get rid of everything with your previous lender, don’t take your chances by getting the money and then go pay your previous debt. This is one of those situations where it is better having another financial institution fighting for you.
  • No Closing or Origination Fees: Finally a lender that won’t steal your money in management fees. Even though it is the common practice in the market, it does not mean you have to be ok with it.
  • Competitive Interest Rates: This might not be the cheapest option in the market, but once you consider the service, the platform and the fact that you won’t pay any fees then it certainly becomes probably one of the best. While much individual focus too much on the interest rate that they are being charged for, they missed the fact that in reality, they would be better off with a higher rate but with no fees.
  • Unsecured Loans only: If you were planning on using your house or some securities as collateral for a loan then you might want to look somewhere else as this firm only offers unsecured loans. The main reason for this is all the infrastructure needed to manage custody of assets in an upscale.
  • Low Max Loan: At only $35,000 many individuals will have to pass if they are looking for a larger loan. Keep in mind that the average debt consolidation in certain states is considerably higher than that.
  • No Personal Attention: Even though you don’t expect an online bank to have branches around the country, it is always good to know that if things go south you would have somewhere to sit down with an executive. With discover, all communications will be done via phone call or simply via email. It is important to understand that not all individuals feel comfortable with this method and it can easily become a deal breaker for some.


What different types of loans are there?

There are a number of different loan types. If you are looking for a specific type of loan, browse our list below which contains detailed guides about each type of loan


Before even thinking about choosing one provider over the other it is important to have a clear picture of why you need the loan in the first place. The main reason for this is to be able to have an objective perspective, maybe you want to get the cheapest loan in terms of interest and make bigger payments or actually the opposite and what you want is to free some cash from your wallet every month.

This is a very big market and it gets even bigger once you understand that most of these institutions will give you several different options to choose from.

A personal loan will not solve all your problems, but it will certainly help you regain control of your finances if you’ve lost it or one reason or another. After knowing and understanding how easy it truly is to request a loan online, there isn’t really a reason or an excuse to justify procrastinating it.

Our best advice is to weight the necessity of the loan and to deeply understand the structure of the borrowing in order to be on the same page with the lender. The idea of getting a personal loan should be to improve your life and not to impact your credit score because you did not have the capacity to repay the money.


Glossary of Loan Terms


What’s the Minimum Credit Score for a Personal Loan?

What is the Origination Fee?

What are prepayment penalty Fees?

How long does it take to get the money in my account?

Secured vs Unsecured Personal Loans


Types of Loan – A-Z Directory

Vidal Arias

Vidal Arias

Vidal is an experienced Strategist and Portfolio Manager with a keen interest and passion for the financial markets and also writing. During his career, he has developed excellent market timing skills, focusing mainly on the macro analysis of the US Equity Market and the overall US Financial Market. He started his career as a financial analyst for a major American bank and continued his way into the trading desk as a Sr. Trader and later as a Portfolio Manager for an Offshore Hedgefund in Europe. Linkedin: vidalarias Email: [email protected]