Top 10 Loan Companies in America (USA)
Here’s our selection of the top personal loan lenders organized according to what they do best, from which you can choose the right one for you:
Best personal loan companies overall:
SoFi, Marcus, and LendingTree
Best personal loans for good credit:- SoFi
Best personal loans for fair credit:-
LendingClub, Upgrade, and Marcus
Best personal loans for young professionals:-
Best online lending marketplace:- LendingTree and Monevo
Best lender for a small loan:- LendingClub
Best loan for covering large debts:- SoFi and LendingTree
Best for large range of loan amounts:- Monevo and Even Financial
Best personal loan for debt consolidation:-
Best personal loan for bad credit:- LoansUnder36 and 5K Funds
Credit Score Table
The Types of Personal Loans
Unsecured vs. secured loans
The main difference between an unsecured and secured loan is that an unsecured one doesn’t require you to put up any collateral. That’s the good news. The bad news is that because the loan is “unsecured” (no collateral), the lender is taking a bigger risk on you, and typically will assign you a higher interest rate. Lenders will also give you a lower ceiling on the loan, as well as a shorter repayment term.
These loans typically appeal to borrowers who don’t have assets like a car or a house, but still want some financial assistance.
A secured loan requires the borrower to put up some form of collateral. While it’s more risky for you in that you have to put up an asset that the bank can seize if you default on the debt, you stand to enjoy an easier interest rate, a higher borrowing ceiling, and a longer repayment period.
Peer-to-Peer lending has become a major industry in recent years, and provides all types of opportunities for borrowers who may have had less options in the past. Often called “social lending” or “crowd lending,” P2P sidesteps the banks and connects borrowers and lenders directly with one another online. It’s a solid option if you have less than great credit or lack assets to put down as collateral. That said, there are some costs, including origination fees which can range from 0.5% to 5% of the loan. Late fees can also be expensive if you don’t make your payments on time. In addition, as unsecured loans, the interest rates tend to be around 15% or so.
Fixed rate vs. variable rate loans
With a fixed rate loan the interest rate stays constant throughout the life of the loan, which will help you budget every month and stay on top of your payments. With variable rate loans, the interest rate fluctuates in accordance with the market. You may get a lower initial rate than you would with a fixed rate loan, but because the market can be unpredictable, it can be harder to know for certain what your future payments will be.
Lines of credit
These are loans that are given as a line of credit that you can use for any purpose. They are typically unsecured, so the interest rates tend to be high, though not as high as a credit card. Also, these loans give you the freedom to draw from the credit line as needed, so you only owe what you spend.
These are sometimes called character loans or good faith loans. This is an unsecured loan that only requires you to put down your signature. Because there is no collateral and the lender is taking a risk, these loans come with higher interest.
Cash advances and balance transfers
A cash advance is taken against the credit line on your credit card, and typically comes with fees in addition to the interest on repaying the money. With a credit card balance transfer you move the money you owe on one card to another credit card with a lower interest rate. This typically includes a fee.
This is just a term to refer to a loan that is repaid over a set period of time with set payments. A mortgage and a car loan are good examples of installment loans.
The Top 3 Personal Loan Companies
Personal loans are changing the lives of millions of people every day, opening new windows of opportunity and financial relief where none existed before. Now that you know the basics of this fundamental financial resource, you are ready for a comparison of the leading loan providers. Here are some of the best names in the industry for securing a personal loan for yourself.
Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
Loan term: 36-84 months
SoFi stands for Social Finance and it began by helping students drowning in debt get loans. The institution has since expanded, offering mortgages, personal loans to pay off expenses—such as credit card debt—and wealth management services.
Loan amount: $1,000-$35,000
Loan term: 3-180 months
LendingTree doesn’t directly lend money, rather, it’s a marketplace that brings together reliable lenders who compete for your business by offering the best rates possible. Potential borrowers fill out a pre-approval form for Lending Tree, which then sends them a list of lenders that fit their needs. As a borrower, you can choose the lender with the most beneficial loan terms.
3. Lending Club
Loan amount: $1,000-$40,000
APR: 5.99%-35.89%Loan term: 36-60 months
Lending Club is a customer-focused, award-winning peer lending system, devoted to helping customers receive low interest loans. Run completely online, Lending Club facilitates personal and business loans from third parties, and the loans can be used for anything from debt consolidation to home improvement.
Visit Lending Club
Tpes of Lenders
This is a company that directly loans money to borrowers and doesn’t merely facilitate lending between lenders and borrowers.
These are companies that don’t lend out money themselves, rather, they facilitate loans between borrowers and lenders, by creating an online marketplace where borrowers can apply to all types of lenders at the same time, typically with one simple application.
These are private lenders who are not part of a bank or other financial institution. These are private individuals who loan money, and often with interest rates and other terms that are not as good as those with more established lenders.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders refers to private lenders and borrowers which are connected to one another online. P2P lending is a way for lenders to invest some money in small-scale loans, typically spread out across a large number of borrowers in order to offset the default risk. For borrowers without collateral who have less than ideal credit, these can be a great option, despite the origination fees and often high interest rates.
This is the most traditional, tried-and-tested way to attain a loan. That said, banks tend to be more cautious, and if you’re credit isn’t in good shape, or you don’t have any collateral, you might have real trouble finding a loan through a bank.