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Best Personal Loans: How to Get the Best Rate on an Unsecured Loan

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One benefit of having a good or excellent credit score is the ability to obtain unsecured personal loans at reasonable interest rates. Using a personal loan instead of a credit card to finance a large purchase or consolidate debt can save you thousands in interest. (Although it’s possible to get personal loans with bad credit, the interest rates are much higher and it may be more difficult to get approved.)

Find your best personal loan rate

The best loan rate you can qualify for is unique to every borrower. It depends upon your credit history, income, loan purpose, as well as today’s market interest rate. It could even depend on how many loans the lender has issued today and how badly (or not) they want to issue more!

So then, the best way to ensure you’re getting the best personal loan rate possible is to use a loan aggregator that per-qualifies you with multiple lenders. To use an aggregator, you’ll need to enter a bit of personal information about yourself and the reason you want a loan. But getting per-qualified is 1) free, 2) will not impact your credit and 3) creates zero obligation for you to apply for a loan.

Get prequlaified now with Money Under 30. We pull loan offers from as many as 30 banks and lenders, without impacting your credit score. Plus, depending on the lender and your loan terms, you could take as long as 12 to 144 months to pay off a loan. This can be a helpful option for people who need to borrow a large amount and keep monthly payments affordable.

As an alternative, Credible is a loan aggregator with a slightly smaller loan range, from $600 to $100,000. You can see all of the lenders available on the platform without even entering any personal information. And if you find a better personal loan rate elsewhere, Credible will give you $200. So it’s definitely worth including this aggregator in your loan search. Terms apply, see Best Rate Guarantee.


Credible is one of the most popular loan portals online today. It is a free tool that specializes in finding borrowers personal loans for the most competitive rates. Loan amounts range from $600-$100,000 and offer interest rates starting at 5.2% fixed APR (with autopay), See Terms*. Borrowers can expect to get repayment terms ranging from two to seven years.

  • Best Rate Guarantee
  • Single application form
  • Personal information is not shared
  • Free to use
  • Limited lending opportunities
  • Lender fees may apply
Learn More
Credible Credit Disclosure - Requesting prequalified rates on Credible is free and doesn't affect your credit score. However, applying for or closing a loan will involve a hard credit pull that impacts your credit score and closing a loan will result in costs to you.

Personal loan lenders

If you have good credit, there are plenty of personal loan lenders that may approve your loan directly. (Just remember, if you apply directly with the lender, it’s impossible to be 100% certain you’re getting the best rate possible).

  • SoFi uses a variety of factors to approve loans, including your financial history, credit score, and monthly income vs. expenses. If you have a good debt-to-income ratio, you could qualify for a better rate than you’d get with a lender that uses credit scores alone. There’s also an autopay discount on your rate. And if you ever lose your job, you can pause your payments and get help from SoFi finding your next gig.
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers no-fee personal loans from $3,500 to 40,000 with a fixed APR rate for the life of the personal loan so it’s always the same amount you owe each month. And bonus: if you pay your loan on time and in full for 12 consecutive months, Marcus gives you a bonus that you can defer a payment where interest does not accrue during this time – and your loan is simply extended for one extra month.Advertiser Disclosure – We do not feature every company or financial product available on the market.
  • OneMain’s online application process is simple and easy, but the lender really stands out by offering (and requiring) an in-person element to the approval process. You must visit a branch and speak to a loan specialist before getting funded. Also, note that OneMain personal loans do require collateral.
  • Best Egg personal loan amounts go from $2,000 to $35,000 and can be used for just about any purpose. In order to qualify for the lowest APR, Best Egg states that you’ll need a 700 credit score and an annual income of at least $100,000. It’s helpful to use these transparent requirements to get an idea of where you stand before even applying.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lenders

The loans you get from these sources will often have higher interest rates and fees than what you’ll pay at a bank or credit union. But they still have certain advantages. For example, you can get a personal loan of up to $40,000 for any purpose. In addition, the loans are completely unsecured.

They can be particularly beneficial with large medical debts. But one area of special consideration is business financing. It can be difficult to get a loan for a business of any type. But if you’re trying to launch a new business, it will be virtually impossible to get one from a bank or credit union. Since P2P personal loans are made for any and all purposes, they can be a perfect source for new business financing.

  • LendingClub lets you borrow up to $40,000 with a fixed rate and monthly payments. It takes just a few minutes to apply and receive an offer. Then your loan will be posted to have investors fund it and you’ll get money in your bank account within a few days.
  • Prosper lets you apply to borrow between $2,000 and $40,000. In order to qualify, you’ll need at least three existing credit lines on your credit report. However, there is some wiggle room on your actual credit score, with the minimum being 640. Of course, you’ll need a higher score in order to qualify for the best rates and higher loan amounts.

Other types of loans for good credit

Home equity loans

With good credit, these can be excellent loan sources. They include both actual home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). You’ll generally get better interest rates than other types of loans, since they’re secured by your home. They also provide larger loan amounts than other loan sources.

Here is a great of option to look into:

  • Hometap lets you sell off a portion of your home’s future value for cash, essentially making the company a co-investor in your property. Once you’re ready to sell, Hometap will take its share of the proceeds.

Getting a personal auto loan with good credit

If you have good credit, getting a personal auto loan is almost certain. The only time you might have trouble is if your credit history shows specific problems with a current auto loan, or if your income is insufficient to qualify for the loan.

Apart from those two issues, not only are you likely to be approved, but you’ll probably have plenty of options. Or, you can check out Fiona to help you find the best rates – so it’s really just more of a convenience for folks with good credit.

It’s important to remember that auto lending is not as uniform as other types of lending, particularly mortgages. This is because auto lending is a diverse industry. There are banks, credit unions, and subprime lenders, and each has their own criteria.

If you have good credit, you should be able to get an auto loan from your bank or credit union at a very reasonable rate. At a minimum, get a pre-approval, then make the car dealer beat it with a better offer.

Your credit score still matters with personal auto loans even if you have good credit

Even though you have good credit, your specific credit score will largely determine the interest rate you’ll pay on your auto loan.

Check out our auto loan calculator to get an idea of what kind of personal loan rate you’ll get.

Whatever your credit score is, be sure to shop around. You can often do better with credit unions than banks, and certainly than dealer financing. For example, DCU Credit Union – which lends nationally – is offering auto loans as low as 2.74% APR. The minimum credit score they’ll accept is 650, which is actually a little bit below the 670 to 739 range normally considered to be good credit.

Getting a mortgage with good credit

Most mortgage lenders will give you a loan if your credit score is at least 620, and there are a few that’ll go down to 600 or even 580. The catch is you’ll pay a higher interest rate with a credit score that low. And those are all considered to be fair credit, which is in the 580 to 669 credit score range.

If you’re in the good credit score range – 670 or higher – your likelihood of approval is much greater. And while you may not get the lowest mortgage rates available, the one you will get will be a lot better than if you were in the fair credit score range.

What’s more, if you have good credit, you’re less likely to have to get a cosigner, or to make a large down payment. Your credit will be good enough that it won’t need to be offset by a major compensating factor.

As far as which mortgage lender to use, there are no particular recommendations here. Virtually all mortgage lenders originate loans through either the FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac. That means that while there’s some flexibility between lenders, they’re all following essentially the same guidelines.

Once again, you can use our mortgage calculator, you can determine the effect of credit score ranges on your interest rate and monthly payment for a mortgage.

Credit cards for people with good credit

While personal loans may work better for some, using a credit card to pay off your debt could be a better option.

Many balance transfer credit cards offer 0% interest for anywhere between 12-18 months. That gives you a year or more to pay off your debt with ZERO interest. So if you decide to make a big purchase – whatever it is – balance credit cards buy you time and therefore money. Also, if you have debt that you know you can pay off in that amount of time, going with a balance transfer card over a personal loan is usually a better choice.

What exactly is good credit?

Good credit is often in the eyes of the beholder – or in this case, the lender. There are different definitions of good credit based on various loan types. The credit score range may be different depending on whether you’re applying for a credit card, an auto loan, or a mortgage.

According to Experian – one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion are the other two) – good credit is considered to be credit scores between 670 and 739. People in the good credit range are 21.5% of the population.

Once again, not all lenders use that standard. With some lenders, a credit score below 700 is viewed as more in the fair range. Still, others may consider 700 or 720 as the beginning of excellent credit. At those score ranges, you’ll begin to experience preferential interest rates and pricing on most loan types you apply for.

Let’s look at what kinds of loans are available for you if you have good credit.

Common document requirements for a loan application when you have good credit

Below is a list of documentation commonly required for loans of all types. Exactly which items you’ll be required to furnish will depend on the lender and the kind of loan you’re applying for.

  • Your most recent pay stub and W-2(s) to document your income.
  • Evidence of Social Security or pension income (award letter or 1099).
  • Contact information for your employer (the lender will verify your employment directly).
  • Copies of completed income tax returns for the past two years, if you’re self-employed or work on commission.
  • Make, model, and value of your car; VIN number if you’re applying for an auto loan.
  • If you’re paying or receiving child support or alimony, list the amount you’re paying or receiving.
  • Bank or brokerage statements, or even retirement account statements.
  • Written explanations for late payments or other credit problems that may show up on your credit report.

How to move from good credit to excellent credit

Excellent credit is considered a credit score of 740 or better. Now you don’t need a credit score this high to get through in life. But it’s still a goal worth pursuing, and here’s why:

An excellent credit score can get you the very best financing deals available. Small differences in interest rates can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

A single 30-day late payment can drop your credit score by 50 points. It happens in the real world, sometimes by mistake. If your credit score is well north of 740, a 50-point drop will bring it down to the good credit level. If you’re at 700, a similar drop will bring you down to 650, which is fair credit.

Strategies to improve your credit

It can be difficult to improve on an already good credit score. It’s likely you’ve been making your payments on time, and for a very long time. There’s no way to improve on that, but here are a few strategies to enable you to go from good to excellent credit:

Monitor your credit on a regular basis, and be on alert for errors

You can monitor your credit through multiple different services. If you find any errors on your credit report, correct them with the creditors immediately.

Hint: if you have a credit monitoring service, they’ll alert you when they find any errors and will start the correction process for you.

Open a variety of accounts

One of the factors that determine your credit score is the type of debts and accounts you have. It looks better to have multiple accounts that you make timely payments for each month. So if you pay a credit card bill, a mortgage, and your student loan each month, your credit score will definitely thank you.

Pay down debt

Your credit utilization affects your credit score as well. So if your credit card constantly has a high balance, you’ll never get to an excellent credit score. So I suggest that you work on paying down your debt with two proven methods: the snowball payoff method or the avalanche payoff method.

With the snowball method, you’ll pay off your debts from smallest balance to largest balance. But with the avalanche method, you’ll pay off your balances from their highest interest rate to the lowest interest rate.


To move your credit from good to excellent, slow and steady wins the race. You’ll want to avoid doing anything dramatic, while at the same time gradually paying down your debts.

And if you can move from good to excellent credit, you’ll find yourself sitting atop the credit food chain. It’s a nice place to be.