If you’re looking to finance a big expense, pay off debt or start a business, the best personal loan may be one of many available through lenders including banks, credit unions and online lenders. You should consider the interest rate offered as well as any fees and repayment terms.
Personal loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards and home equity lines of credit. They also tend to have fixed interest rates so you know exactly what your monthly payment will be, which makes it easier to budget for the cost of the loan over time. Personal loans are also often easier to qualify for than major loans like a mortgage or auto loan, with lenders accepting applicants with a wide range of credit scores.
The cheapest personal loan lenders offer competitive rates, especially for borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores. If your score could use some work, you can still qualify for a personal loan by improving your credit profile and applying at a later date.
Some lenders charge origination fees, late payment fees or prepayment penalties. Look for a fee-free lender to minimize the amount of money you’ll have to repay. If you choose a longer repayment term to reduce your monthly payment, keep in mind that it will increase the total cost of your loan and you’ll have to pay more interest overall. You should also consider whether the loan is unsecured or secured, which determines your creditworthiness and how you must secure the loan funds.