Best Bank Loans

Which bank is best for personal loans?

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There might be many reasons to take out a personal loan: You have a financial emergency, you want to cover a major expense, or you just want to build a good credit history. But not all personal loans—or personal loan lenders—are the same. The best will offer a low annual percentage rate, long repayment terms, and little to no fees. And, of course, your personal needs and financial profile will impact which type of lender you'll find ideal, too.

Best Bank Loans of August 2021

Best Big Bank : Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo

 Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is one of the nation’s biggest banks. If you don't want to visit one of their 5,400 branches across the U.S., you can access info on their easy-to-navigate website. Wells Fargo offers competitive rates, a big range of loans, and less stringent credit requirements than others.

Pros
  • Repayment terms up to 84 months

  • No origination fee or prepayment penalties

  • Funding available as soon as same-day

  • Discounts for those who use Autopay or have additional Wells Fargo accounts

Cons
  • No pre-qualification option

  • New clients must apply in person at a branch

Other Important Information

  • Maximum/minimum amount you can borrow: $3,000 to $100,000
  • APR range: 5.74%–24.49% with relationship discount
  • Credit requirements: Although the Wells Fargo website does not disclose a minimum credit score for personal loans, the bank does state that borrowers with excellent credit (760+) will qualify for the best rates depending on their debt-to-income ratio and collateral value. Those with good credit (700-759) will typically qualify for a loan but may not get the best rate. Borrowers with fair credit (621-699) may qualify for a Wells Fargo loan but will likely pay a higher rate.
  • Fees: No origination fee, closing fee, or prepayment penalty. Late fees or returned payment fees may be assessed.
  • Other qualification requirements: Qualifying for a 0.25-0.50% relationship discount includes opting into Autopay from a qualifying Wells Fargo account. Since there is no pre-qualification option, loan applications will require a hard credit inquiry that impacts your credit score.
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 84 months
  • Time to receive funds: Often as soon as same-day or the next business day
  • Restrictions: New customers need to apply in person at a branch. Online and phone applicants must be Wells Fargo account holders.
  • Notes: Most customers will receive a relationship discount of 0.25%. Customers eligible for a relationship discount of 0.50% include those with Wells Fargo Portfolio Checking, Wells Fargo Prime Checking, Private Bank Checking, and Private Bank Interest Checking.

Read the full review: Wells Fargo Personal Loans

Best for Home Improvement Loans : Lightstream


LightStream

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank, now known as Truist. LightStream prides itself on offering loans for nearly every need or occasion, from a new car to a wedding; one of their specialties is financing for home improvement projects. Some people prefer using personal loans for remodels or major repairs because they don't require putting up the residence as collateral, as home equity loans or lines of credit do.

Pros
  • Wide range of loan amounts

  • No fees

  • Lengthy repayment terms available

Cons
  • Stringent credit requirements

  • No pre-qualification option

Other Important Information

  • Maximum/minimum amount you can borrow: $5,000 to $100,000
  • APR range: 2.49%–19.99% (with 0.50% Autopay discount)
  • Fees: None
  • Minimum recommended credit score: LightStream does not disclose a minimum credit score. It will consider the "unique nature of each individual's credit profile."
  • Other qualification requirements: Applicant must have several years of credit history with a variety of accounts and a good payment history, evidence of ability to save, and stable and sufficient income and assets to repay currents debt obligations in addition to a new loan from LightStream.
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Time to receive funds: Within the same day of loan approval if approval process and final verification is completed by 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Restrictions: Minimum APR available will depend on the purpose for your loan (auto purchase, home improvement, debt consolidation)
  • Notes: APR of 2.49% is only available for loan amounts between $10,000 and $24,999 with repayment terms of 24 to 36 months. Only applicants with excellent credit are eligible for the lowest rates.

Read the full review: LightStream Personal Loans

Best for Debt Consolidation Loans : Marcus by Goldman Sachs


Marcus

If you have a mountain of outstanding credit card balances or other high interest liabilities, you might consider using a personal loan to consolidate them into one big debt for better terms. Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the online consumer banking arm of the investment management firm, specializes in such debt consolidation loans to those with decent credit.

Pros
  • No fees

  • Flexibility during repayment

  • Discount for Autopay

Cons
  • Stringent credit requirements

  • No cosigners allowed

  • No pre-qualification option

Other Important Information

  • Minimum/Maximum amount you can borrow: $3,500 to $40,000
  • APR range: 6.99%–19.99% (with 0.25% Autopay discount)
  • Fees: None
  • Minimum recommended credit score: A minimum score of 660 is recommended in a July 2020 post entitled "What Credit Score Do You Need for a Personal Loan?" on Marcus's Financial Resources & Guides page.
  • Other qualification requirements: Your debt-to-income ratio may be taken into account. Loans require a hard credit inquiry at the time of application, which may impact your credit score. Marcus uses an automated system to verify income and employment status but may request documents such as pay stubs or personal bank statements.
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months. Borrowers have the flexibility to change payment dates. Those who pay on time for 12 consecutive months are given a on-time payment reward in the form of the option to skip a month and extend their repayment term by 1 month without accruing any interest.
  • Time to receive funds: 1 to 4 business days once you're approved
  • Restrictions: Individual applicants only; no cosigners allowed.
  • Notes: To use the on-time payment reward option, you must request to defer your monthly payment at least 16 days before that payment is due.

Read the full review: Marcus Personal Loans

Best for Cosigners : TD Fit Loan (TD Bank)


TD Bank

 TD Bank

Those with sketchy credit histories or low credit scores can still often qualify for a loan if the lender allows co-signing. A co-signer acts as an additional repayment source—responsible for the loan should the primary borrower default or fall behind—and their presence not only helps you qualify for the loan but can also improve its terms and size. TD Bank allows for co-signing, and offers competitive terms and features, too.

Pros
  • Fast funding process

  • No fees

Cons
  • Availability limited to residents of only 15 states

  • You might have to visit a branch to complete the application process

Other Important Information

  • Minimum/maximum you can borrow: $2,000 to $50,000
  • APR range: 6.99%–21.99%
  • Fees: No origination fees or application fees
  • Minimum recommended credit score: 660
  • Other qualification requirements: In addition to your creditworthiness, your employment history and income may be taken into account.
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Time to receive funds: As soon as the next business day
  • Restrictions: May need to complete the application process in person. Loans cannot be used for business or education purposes. Eligibility is limited to residents of Washington, D.C. and the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.

Read the full review: TD Bank Personal Loans

Best for Amex Cardmembers : American Express


American Express

 American Express

If you want to borrow money, you could look at a credit card advance. While not all credit cards offer this, many do, and most of the time your cash advance limit is the same as your card's credit limit. But if you don't have that option or need to borrow more than your cash advance limit, you can try a personal loan from your credit card lender. American Express offers personal loans for its card holders based on creditworthiness.

Pros
  • Pre-qualification option

  • Low APR available for borrowers with excellent credit

  • Can use loan for credit card debt consolidation

Cons
  • Must be an Amex cardholder and receive an offer to apply for a loan

  • High minimum amount compared to other lenders

  • A hefty late fee

Other Important Information

  • Minimum/Maximum amount you can borrow: $3,500 to $25,000
  • APR range: AMEX offers competitive APRs comparable to other financial institutions.
  • Fees: No origination fee or prepayment penalty. A charge of $39 will be assessed for late payments or returned payments.
  • Minimum recommended credit score: Company does not disclose a minimum score. Your maximum eligible loan amount will depend on creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Other qualification requirements: Must be an existing American Express cardholder.
  • Repayment terms: 12, 24, or 36 months. Your payment date is not flexible. Your due date is set at the time of loan approval and cannot be changed.
  • Time to receive funds: Once your designated account is verified, you'll typically receive funds within 3 to 5 business days.
  • Restrictions: You can only apply for a personal loan if you receive an offer to apply. Once approved, you will have 3 days to sign your loan agreement or the approval will be withdrawn.
  • Notes: American Express offers pre-qualification for personal loans, meaning no hard credit inquiry is required to apply. Your loan information will be reported to credit bureaus only if your loan is approved and funded. Your loan may not be used for education expenses, business, real estate, securities, vehicle purchases, or to pay down an Amex credit card balance.

Read the full review: American Express Personal Loans

Best for Military Members : USAA


USAA

 USAA

Founded in 1922 and headquartered in San Antonio, USAA serves over 13 million members through their banking, loan, and investment products. As a member of the military community, you’ll have access to personal loan amounts starting at $2,500 once you join as a member of the bank and open a bank account. Members can also receive rate discounts by opting into autopay.

Pros
  • Discount for Autopay

  • Fast funding process

Cons
  • No pre-qualification option

  • Term requirements for loans of $5,000 or more

  • Relatively low maximum loan amount

Other important information:

  • Maximum/minimum amount you can borrow: $2,500 to $20,000
  • APR range: 7.24%–17.65%
  • Fees: No prepayment penalties or application fees
  • Minimum recommended credit score: Not disclosed on company website
  • Other qualification requirements: Must meet membership requirements and have a valid USAA Bank account.
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 84 months
  • Time to receive funds: Within 24 hours to your USAA Bank account
  • Restrictions: Financing for 12 to 36 months requires minimum loan amount of $2,500. Financing for 48-month term requires minimum loan amount of $5000. Financing for 60-month term requires minimum loan amount of $10,000. Financing for 72-month term requires minimum loan amount of $15,000. Financing for 84-month term requires minimum loan amount of $20,000. Applications for loan terms longer than 60 months must meet higher credit and risk standards than applications for loan terms 12 to 48 months. 

Read the full review: USAA Personal Loans

Best for Relationship Rewards : Citibank


C

Citibank was founded in 1812 and currently has a physical presence in more than 100 countries with service offerings in more than 160 countries. Their personal loans are only available to existing Citibank customers and the bank rewards those with qualifying checking accounts ThankYou Points each month. Plus, it might be easier to qualify for a personal loan since the annual income requirements are lower compared to other banks.

Pros
  • Relatively low annual income requirement

  • Discount for Autopay

  • Joint applications allowed

Cons
  • Only available to qualifying Citibank customers

  • No pre-qualification option

  • Slow funding time

Other important information:

  • Maximum/minimum amount you can borrow: $2,000 to $50,000
  • APR range: 7.99%–23.99% (with Autopay discount)
  • Fees: No origination fee. Possible fees for late payments and returned payments.
  • Minimum recommended credit score: Not disclosed by the company.
  • Other qualification requirements: Must be U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident. Applicants will need an annual income of at least $10,500 and an eligible Citibank account open for 3 months. 
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Time to receive funds: Within 5 business days (mailed by check)
  • Restrictions: Loan funds are processed by check only. Applications for loan amounts greater than $30,000 must be made by phone (not online). You may only have 1 additional Citi personal loan open at the time of application, and it must have been originated at least 6 months prior. Personal loans may not be used for education purposes.

Read the full review: Citibank Personal Loans

Best for Fast Funding : Discover


Discover

 Discover

Discover Bank is one of the largest online banks in the U.S. and offers 100% U.S. based customer service. Personal loan borrowers can take advantage of zero origination fees, plus same-day loan approvals and funding. Rates start at 6.99% for maximum loan amounts of $35,000.

Pros
  • Ability to check rates without impacting credit score

  • Same-day approval and next-day funding in most cases

  • Option to send funds to creditors directly

Cons
  • No joint applications

  • Lengthier minimum loan term compared to other lenders

  • A hefty late fee

Other important information:

  • Maximum/minimum amount you can borrow: $2,500 to $35,000
  • APR range: 6.99%–24.99%
  • Fees: No origination fee or prepayment penalties. A $39 fee may be assessed for late payments.
  • Minimum recommended credit score: Not disclosed on company website. Lowest rates are available to customers will the best credit.
  • Other qualification requirements: Discover will consider your FICO score, other credit information such as number of recent inquiries and length of credit history, as well as key factors such as household income. The applicant needs an annual household income of $25,000. Must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Time to receive funds: As soon as the next business day.
  • Restrictions: Individual applicants only; no cosigners.
  • Notes: Discover may use third-party vendors to verify income and employment status. It may also use pay stubs for income verification or contact your employer to verify employment. If there are errors on your application, your loan is funded on a weekend, or you request your funds to be delivered by a method other than electronic disbursement.

Read the full review: Discover Personal Loans

Compare Bank Loans

Lender APR Range Minimum Loan Amount Maximum Loan Amount Terms
Wells Fargo
Best Big Bank
5.74%–24.49% $3,000 $100,000 12–84 months
Lightstream
Best for Home Improvement Loans
2.49%–19.99% $5,000 $100,000 24–144 months
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Best for Debt Consolidation Loans
6.99%–19.99% $3,500 $40,000 36–72 months
TD Fit Loan (TD Bank)
Best for Cosigners
6.99%–21.99% $2,000 $50,000 36–60 months
American Express
Best for Amex Cardmembers
Competitive comparable to other financial institutions $3,500 $25,000 12–36 months
USAA
Best for Military Members
7.24%–17.65% $2,500 $20,000 12–84 months
Citibank
Best for Relationship Rewards
7.99%–23.99% $2,000 $50,000 12–60 months
Discover
Best for Fast Funding
6.99%–24.99% $2,500 $35,000 36–84 months
Loan amounts, APR, and repayment period may vary by loan purpose or type.

FAQs

Do All Banks Offer Personal Loans?

No, not all banks offer personal loans. Bank of America, one of the biggest financial institutions in the country, doesn’t carry them, for example. Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning they are not backed up by an asset that the lender can take if you default, and some banks don't want the risk. Others just don't want to deal with the expense of lending and servicing relatively small, 4- and 5-figure amounts.

Other large banks that do not offer unsecured personal loans are Capital One and Chase.

What Do I Need to Qualify for a Personal Bank Loan?

If you’re looking to get a bank personal loan, you need to get your paperwork in order first. Before applying, check your credit score and pull your credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com. This will give you an idea of whether or not you’ll qualify for a bank personal loan, as well as how low your interest payments will be.

Most banks require good to excellent credit from personal loan applicants. So you might need a higher credit score than you would for, say, a secured loan (one that does require collateral, like an auto loan or mortgage) or even a credit card. Still, if you have a solid repayment history, avoid maxing out your credit cards, and can prove your creditworthiness, there’s a strong chance you’ll qualify for a bank personal loan.

Do I Need to Be an Existing Bank Client to Get a Loan?

If you’re interested in a personal loan from a bank you don't have a relationship with, make sure that being a client isn’t a requirement before applying. Not all banks request personal loan borrowers be account holders, but some do—or they offer better terms to current clients. Also, you might need to open a checking or savings account there to take advantage of auto-pay discounts on the loan (the payments have to come from an in-house account).

What Are Alternatives to Bank Loans?

While many banks offer personal loans, there are some limitations. As noted above, many require you to have an account with the bank before taking advantage of a personal loan. Others might take longer to get you your loan. You might want to explore the below alternatives to banks for personal loans.

  • Credit Unions: If you have less-than-stellar credit, you may want to reach out to credit unions near you for personal loans. While many require an account with the credit union to be open first, many are competitive with APRs and low amounts to borrow. This is helpful if you don’t need to borrow too much to cover an emergency.
  • Online lenders: Many online lenders, or non-brick-and-mortar banks, give you quick and easy access to personal loans. You can see if you prequalify before applying, which doesn’t hurt your credit. If you do decide to apply, you can do so within a few minutes online, rather than visiting a branch in-person. After approval, you can usually get funds fairly quickly—sometimes within a day. The best online lenders offer little to no fees, flexible repayment terms, and competitive APRs.

The best banks for personal loans vary in your needs, but many have competitive offers for a variety of different potential borrowers. Before you choose to take out a personal loan with a bank, make sure you review all your options, including alternatives, first. Depending on your needs and how quickly you need money, you may find some banks or lenders are more friendly than others. If it takes you days or weeks to apply for a loan and get your money, that won't help in a time-sensitive situation.

How We Chose the Best Bank Loans

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders for all borrowing needs. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders including interest rates, fees, loan amounts and repayment terms to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.

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