The Ascent's 2020 Personal Loan Awards Winners
Looking to consolidate debt or finance a large purchase? The Ascent’s 2020 personal loan award winners offer competitively low interest rates, great customer service, and diverse loan terms to fit your budget.
Best Personal Loan Overall
LightStream wins best personal loan lender hands down. The lender's low APR -- and promise to beat other lender's rates -- is just the beginning. LightStream also stands out for its customer experience and satisfaction, and is so confident in its process that it offers a $100 loan experience guarantee. Loans are available for practically anything and are funded as soon as the same business day, so you can get your hands on between $5,000 and $100,000 quickly.
Best Personal Loan for Good Credit
SoFi has strict credit standards, but borrowers who meet them benefit from a no-fee loan with one of the lowest APRs in the industry. Submitting an online application to borrow up to $100,000 is easy, and live support is available seven days a week. SoFi offers more repayment options than many others, and its unemployment protection feature not only allows you to pause payments if you lose your job but even helps you find another one. SoFi members also get access to exclusive benefits, including discounts for using multiple products and free financial planning services.
Best Personal Loan for Fair Credit
Upgrade is a leading option for borrowers with fair credit, and it allows a lower minimum loan amount than most lenders, along with a higher debt-to-income. Upgrade offers ways to lower the cost of your loan, and a hardship program for borrowers who experience a sudden financial challenge. If you are borrowing for the purpose of debt consolidation, Upgrade can help you kickstart your debt payoff by sending the funds directly to your creditors.
Best Personal Loan for Bad Credit
Upstart is a leading personal loan provider for borrowers with bad credit. Upstart also caters to younger borrowers, immigrants, people who avoid credit and others who might not have a strong credit history or have a thin credit file. Upstart considers nontraditional data, such as job history, rental history, and education, in its lending decisions. Loans fund quickly. We also like that Upstart will send loan funds directly to your creditors when consolidating credit card debt.
Best Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation
This lender is known for their debt consolidation loans, and for good reason. Their loan amounts range all the way up to six figures, and they offer one of the lowest fixed-rate APRs out there for creditworthy borrowers. No origination fees, no late fees, and no prepayment fees make it easier to save big through debt consolidation, and with a seamless mobile experience, you can easily keep track of your progress while you pay off debt.
Best Low-Interest Personal Loan
It's hard to find a personal loan lender with lower interest rates than LightStream, especially when you factor in the AutoPay discount. You'll need good credit to qualify for the best low-interest loans, but if you're eligible, going with LightStream could save you a lot of money. On top of that, LightStream offers large loan amounts to qualified borrows, and you never have to worry about origination or prepayment fees.
Best Medical Loan
Medical debt is stressful enough. The last thing you need if you're already dealing with health issues is the added stress of high interest rates and poor customer service. LightStream guarantees its APRs are lower than any competing lenders. Not only that, but its no-fee loans come in high enough amounts to cover many medical bills. LightStream also shines in terms of customer service, offering a $100 questionnaire to unsatisfied customers. You'll need good credit and proof of income to apply.
Best Personal Loan for Renovations
What better foundation for your home improvements than a top-notch personal loan? Many people have spent more time at home this year, pushing renovations up their priority lists. LightStream's excellent customer service, low APRs, and lack of fees made it our renovation loan pick. You can stretch your repayments over as long as 12 years and -- assuming you have good or excellent credit -- you'll find some of the lowest APRs available. Plus, if you're impatient to get started on your remodeling, you might be able to access funds the day you apply.
Best Loan for Online & Mobile Experience
SoFi covers all the personal loan basics: no fees, low APRs, and flexible repayment terms. But it's the online and mobile functionality that really sets it apart. SoFi's customer-orientated approach makes its online application process smooth and quick -- and prequalification won't hurt your credit score. Its online and mobile products are easy to use and allow borrowers to join SoFi's community, making them members rather than customers. Members can manage their loan application and payments through the SoFi mobile app, as well as accessing career coaching, discounts, and financial planning tools.
*A complete list of 2020 award winners, from banking to mortgages, can be found here.
**You can also find more personal loans to compare by checking out The Ascent's best personal loans page.
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned.