Best Low Interest Rate Personal Loans

We track dozens of lenders and these are the lowest rates we could find

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Everyone needs a little help with finances at some point. Whether you need a small amount to cover an emergency, or a bigger loan for home improvements, a personal loan can be a big help. Personal loans from banks and other lenders can help you consolidate debt, pay for a move, cover medical costs, or even plan for personal milestones.

If you’re looking for the best lender or bank for personal loans, we’ve done the heavy lifting by uncovering those with the lowest interest rates. 

The Best Low Interest Rate Personal Loans

Best Low Interest Rate Personal Loans
Best Low Interest Rate Personal Loans

Best for Large Projects : LightStream

LightStream

LightStream 

With LightStream, you can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000 for a variety of needs. LightStream is one of the best choices for large loans because of the low interest rate—with autopay, you can get a rate as low as 2.49% APR. However, you need to have excellent credit to get the best rate, and rates are based on loan amounts and terms, which can range from 24 to 144 months.

According to LightStream, if you complete your application early enough in the day and it’s a business day, you might be able to get funding the same day. And there are no origination fees.

What We Like
  • Fast funding

  • No fees

What We Don't Like
  • Strict credit requirements

  • Higher minimum loan amount

LightStream Personal Loan Details

Fixed APR 2.49%–19.99% with autopay
Loan Amounts $5,000–$100,000
Loan Terms 24–144 months
Fees None
Time to Receive Funds As soon as same day
Recommended Credit Score 670

Best for Home Improvement : Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Logo

 Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers loans for between $3,000 and $100,000 with rates starting as low as 5.74% APR, with a 0.25% relationship discount. That means that in order to get the best rates, you need to use other Wells Fargo products. This is one of the best personal loans from banks for home improvements because you can manage a number of projects, from a small, cosmetic project to a large remodel.

But be aware that if you’re borrowing a large amount, you’ll be stuck with a large monthly payment. For example, a $90,000 loan at 10% interest and an 84 month term would result in a monthly payment of nearly $1,500.

Funding may arrive by the next business day and there are no origination fees. To get the best rate. You will have to have a checking account with the bank and make regular payments from it or another Wells Fargo account.

What We Like
  • Fast funding

  • No fees

What We Don't Like
  • Relationship required for autopay discount

Wells Fargo Personal Loan Details

Fixed APR 5.74%–24.24% with autopay
Loan Amounts $3,000–$100,000
Loan Terms 12–84 months
Fees None
Time to Receive Funds As soon as next business day
Recommended Credit Score 670

Best for Membership Perks : SoFi

SoFi logo

 SoFi

You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000 with SoFi, allowing you to complete big projects or consolidate higher amounts of debt. Repayment terms are 24 to 84 months. Here again, it’s important to note that taking out a $100,000 loan could make your monthly payments high—easily over $1,000—even if you choose the 84-month term.

What sets SoFi apart are its membership perks. SoFi offers unemployment protection (which allows you to pause payments if you lose your job), career coaching, and financial planning advice at no extra cost. Co-applicants are welcome, which is good, because SoFi’s credit requirements are relatively strict.

What We Like
  • Co-applicants allowed

  • Unemployment protection

  • Career coaching

  • Financial planning advice

What We Don't Like
  • Strict credit requirements

SoFi Personal Loan Details

Fixed APR 5.99%–18.85% with autopay
Loan Amounts $5,000–$100,000
Loan Terms 24–84 months
Fees None
Time to Receive Funds As soon as next business day
Recommended Credit Score 670

Best for Credit Card Consolidation : Payoff

Payoff logo
Payoff.

It’s possible to borrow between $5,000 and $40,000 from Payoff, with rates as low as 5.99% APR. Payoff markets itself as a way to help you consolidate and pay off credit card debt, which could help increase your credit score. Payoff offers a support team designed to help you pay off your cards and assist you on the journey.

If your credit score is not great, Payoff offers a loan option for fair credit, with a minimum score as low as 640. All of this service comes at a cost. Payoff charges an origination fee of 0%–5%, depending on various factors.

What We Like
  • Regular check-ins from “member advocates” the first year

  • Fair-credit personal loan available

What We Don't Like
  • Higher minimum amount

  • Origination fee

Payoff Personal Loan Details

Fixed APR 5.99%–24.99% with autopay
Loan Amounts $5,000–$40,000
Loan Terms 24–60 months
Fees 0%–5%
Time to Receive Funds Typically 2–5 business days
Recommended Credit Score 640

Best for Fair Credit : Best Egg

Best Egg

Best Egg

Best Egg offers the lowest borrowing minimum on this list, with the ability to borrow as little as $2,000 and up to $35,000. It’s best for borrowers with fair credit, with a score requirement of 640. Additionally, there’s an option to change your payment date if it’s not working for you.

The maximum loan amount is the lowest allowed by any of the lenders on this list, and the origination fee is among the highest. That said, your loan could be funded as soon as the next business day.

What We Like
  • Allows you to choose your due date

  • Fair credit accepted

  • Fast funding

What We Don't Like
  • Low maximum amount

  • Origination fee

Best Egg Personal Loan Details

Fixed APR 5.99%–29.99% with autopay
Loan Amounts $2,000–$35,000
Loan Terms 36–60 months
Fees 0.99%–6.99%
Time to Receive Funds Typically 1–3 business days
Recommended Credit Score 640

Compare Lenders

Lender Fixed APR Loan Amounts Recommended Minimum Credit Score
LightStream
Best for Large Projects
2.49%-19.99% $5,000–$100,000 670
Wells Fargo
Best for Home Improvement
5.74%–24.24% $3,000–$100,000 670
SoFi
Best for Membership Perks
5.99%–18.85% $5,000–$100,000 670
Payoff
Best for Credit Card Consolidation
5.99%–24.99% $5,000–$40,000 640
Best Egg
Best for Fair Credit
5.99%–29.99% $2,000–$35,000 640

FAQs

How Do Interest Rates Impact a Personal Loan?

The interest you pay on a loan is the cost you pay for borrowing. It’s one of the ways banks make money on personal loans. The higher the interest rate, the higher your cost. Let’s say you borrow $10,000 for three years. If you have a 5% APR, you’ll end up paying $789.52 in interest. With a 7% APR, the interest cost is $1,115.75. As you can see, just a difference in interest rate means paying more than $300 in extra costs.

What’s Considered a Low Interest Rate?

Since there are ranges for the APR, the interest you’re charged depends on your situation. In general, what’s considered low and high is based on market rates and other factors. For a personal loan, a low rate is one that is in the range of 3% to 6%. 

What Determines the Interest Rate on a Personal Loan?

Interest rates on personal loans from banks are tied to the economy, the cost of the funds to lend (whether from customer deposits or borrowed from elsewhere at market rates), and competition among lenders. With that baseline established, the individual rate you get is based on your credit score and profile. If you have a lower credit score, you are likely to be offered a higher interest rate, since the lender feels you might be a bigger risk.

How to Get a Low Interest Rate on a Personal Loan

Some of the things you can do to get a lower rate on a personal loan include:

  • Improve your credit score: Work on boosting your credit score so you qualify for a lower rate
  • Pay off debt: A lower debt-to-income ratio can help you qualify for a lower interest rate
  • Get a co-applicant: Some personal loans from banks allow you to get a co-applicant. If you can find someone with a better credit score, you might be able to get them to apply with you, and their situation can lead to a lower interest rate.
  • Shop around: Compare loan rates from various lenders to see where you can get the best APR.
  • Use autopay: Some bank personal loans come with discounts when you sign up for autopay. This can be a way to get a lower interest rate.

How We Chose the Best Low Interest Rate Personal Loans

We evaluated the 30+ lenders in our database to determine which had the lowest starting interest rates. Other factors, such as who a loan might be good for based on loan amount or credit score were also considered. We also recognize that borrowers have individual needs and financial situations and a variety of priorities, which is reflected in the range of lenders on the list. Not every recommendation is right for every borrower, so consider all of your options before applying.

Article Sources

  1. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "How Do Lenders Set Interest Rates on Loans?" Accessed March 11, 2021.

  2. The Federal Reserve Board. "5 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score." Accessed March 11, 2021.

  3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Debt-to-Income Ratio? Why Is the 43% Debt-to-Income Ratio Important?" Accessed March 11, 2021.