Are you looking for the right loan to fund an expense but don’t want to deal with an in-person process?
Yeah, you’re definitely not alone.
Thankfully, online loans exist! In every flavor and variety.
Although the specific process of an online loan application will vary based on the lender, the end result is the same. You’ll be able to complete the application and obtain the funds you need without ever going to a physical location for any reason.
Today, I’ll explore the best online loan options and help you learn what to look for when seeking the best loan for your situation.
Overview of the best online loans
Company Best for Minimum credit score APR Repayment terms
Credible Low rate seekers Varies starting at 4.99% APR (with AutoPay), See Terms* Varies
Fiona Fast rate shopping 550 4.99% to 35.99% 2 to 7 years
Monevo Comparison shopping Varies 2.49% - 35.99% APR 12 months to 144 months
SoFi Fast funding 680 5.99% to 20.25% (with autopay) 2 to 7 years
Upstart Fair credit borrowers 620 6.46% to 35.99% 2 to 5 years
Payoff Credit card debt consolidation 640 5.99% to 24.99% 2 to 5 years
OppLoans Bad credit borrowers 350 59% to 199% 9 months to 3 years
- APR – starting at 4.99% APR (with AutoPay), See Terms.
- Loan amount – $1,000 to $50,000.
- Minimum credit score – Varies.
Credible is an online marketplace that can help you find the best deal on the online loan you are looking for. You can find offers on private student loans, student loan refinancing, and personal loans through the site. For each of these loan opportunities, you’ll find competitive rates (starting at 4.99% APR (with AutoPay), See Terms* for personal loans) through a convenient loan portal.
There will only be a soft credit check to help narrow down the right lenders. At that point, you can explore your different options to determine which loan is right for your situation. Once you decide on the right loan, Credible will connect you with the lender for a hard credit pull.
If you don’t end up working with Credible because you find a better offer elsewhere, Credible will give you $200 to make up for the time you lost!
Fiona is an online loan aggregator that will connect you with the right lender in seconds. You can find personal loans and student loan refinancing opportunities through Fiona.
You won’t complete the loan process with Fiona, though. Instead, you’ll finalize the loan documents with the lender itself, but Fiona sets the stage for a smooth loan comparison process.
With this easy-to-use service, you can move through the comparison of different lenders very quickly. Plus, you may be able to get the funds in your account within hours! That can be a big reason to choose this platform if you need funds immediately.
Monevo provides a smooth shopping experience for personal loan borrowers. Although Monevo is not a lender, they can help you do the legwork of finding rate quotes efficiently. With quotes for 30 lenders within minutes, you can narrow down your options without spending any time filling out applications for individual lenders.
The search tool will ask for the purpose of the loan and some personal information. Through a soft credit pull, Monevo is able to determine which lenders are willing to offer you great terms.
The most important feature is that you won’t have to wade through dozens of applications to find the best rate. Instead, it will only take a couple of minutes to get through the otherwise time-consuming part of finding an online loan.
SoFi has a robust offering of online loans, including student loan refinancing, personal loans, parent loans, student loans, and mortgages. With SoFi, you will be working directly with this company as a lender.
Importantly, SoFi takes a unique approach to lending. Unlike many other lenders, SoFi is willing to work with borrowers that have a minimal credit history for student loans. However, SoFi does require a reasonably good credit score to access personal loans and mortgages.
Another great feature of SoFi is the unemployment protection built into their loans. If you are out of work, you can choose to put your loan payments on hold for a little bit. Personally, I love this feature and the built-in peace of mind that comes with it.
If you are a young borrower with a minimal credit history, you’ve likely struggled to obtain a personal loan with fair terms. That’s where Upstart can step in to change things. Upstart is a lender that offers a new different type of loan – peer-to-peer lending for personal loans.
Although this is a unique approach to lending, it solves a problem that many face when looking for a traditional lender. With the peer-to-peer lending setup, Upstart is able to cut through some of the red tape that prevents lenders from working with some borrowers.
One drawback to consider is the high origination fee. You’ll have to pay up to 8% to complete the funding process. Of course, this is a steep fee. But it could be worth it depending on why you need the loan.
Payoff works with borrowers that have extensive credit card debt and want to consolidate. When you consolidate your debt through a personal loan with Payoff, you stand to save yourself thousands in interest
Although paying off credit card debt can be a daunting task, Payoff is there to help you streamline the process. You’ll likely be able to find a much lower interest rate on a loan through Payoff.
The entire philosophy of Payoff is to help their customers keep their financial goals on track. You’ll find helpful money assessments to help you better understand your relationship with money as you move forward. Plus, there is some payment flexibility built in to provide some reprieve in difficult times.
OppLoans offers an amazing opportunity to borrowers with low credit scores. You’ll notice that you can work with OppLoans with credit scores as low as 350. This can help you get the money you need quickly.
However, you should be willing to pay for the privilege of borrowing with OppLoans. Unfortunately, the APRs attached to these personal loans are very high. But if you need to cover an emergency expense, OppLoans is still a better option than a traditional payday or title loan.
The costs of this loan are relatively high, but they could be the solution you need if you are in need of a loan with bad credit. If you have a higher credit score, then you’ll likely find better terms with another lender.
How we came up with this list
Curious about how we came up with this list? Here’s what we looked for in each company while creating this list.
An online loan without a fair APR is not a good idea for anyone. However, a fair APR will depend on your credit range. With that, we made sure to include a range of options to help you find a fair APR for your situation.
Solid customer reviews
No one wants to work with a company that treats their customers badly. So, we avoided putting any companies on this list with terrible customer reviews. We want you to have a good experience – no matter which company you choose to work with.
A variety of borrowers were kept in mind
Some borrowers have a great credit score, others not so much. Either way, you should work with a lender that is ready and willing to treat you fairly based on your loan application. That’s why we included lenders that work with a range of borrowers.
What is an online loan?
An online loan is any loan that can be conducted entirely online. That’s right. You won’t have to worry about any in-person activities with an online loan.
From the loan application to the finalization, you will be able to complete everything from the comfort of your own home.
Why should you use an online loan?
Online loans can be a good option for some.
Need a loan quickly? An online loan could be the right way to get funds quickly. You might be able to get through the application to funding in a day or two.
Chances are that your local lender won’t have the absolute best rates on the market. But online lenders can offer competitive rates to help keep your loan affordable.
Borrowers with strong financial positions
If you have a great credit score, then you can likely secure an online loan with favorable terms. An online loan could provide the funds you need for a short-term cash flow issue very affordably.
Why shouldn’t you use an online loan?
Some should steer clear of online loans.
Extremely low credit scores
Be careful if you have a low credit score with online loans. Although it may be your only option, a low credit score will likely lead to less than favorable loan terms. If at all possible, seek out another option.
Want to get a personalized experience with a local loan provider? An online loan will not the be right fit for you.
Most important features of an online loan
As you seek out an online loan, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
The APR will correlate to the total cost of the loan. A higher APR will mean a more expensive loan. With that, look for the lowest possible APR with a reputable lender.
Fees are an unavoidable part of most financial products and online loans are not the exception. Seek out a loan with minimal fees to keep your borrowing costs low.
Need the money fast? Keep that in mind as you explore potential lenders. Find a lender that fits within your funding timeline needs.
An online loan can help you get the funds you need in an efficient way. Take advantage of this opportunity if you need a loan but don’t want the physical paperwork headache.