Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

Discover is our pick for best debt consolidation loans

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

High-interest debt can be expensive and time-consuming to pay off, but personal loans for debt consolidation can help. Debt consolidation loans give borrowers the opportunity to pay off several accounts while wrapping up multiple monthly payments into one, typically at a lower APR. This can help you save a significant amount of money.

Debt consolidation loans are usually available at lower interest rates than other types of debt, like credit cards and payday loans. The best personal lenders for debt consolidation can help you pay off debt faster, with a chance to lower your payments and get relief from unmanageable monthly expenses.

Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation of July 2022

Below are Investopedia's top-rated lenders, loan amount and availability may vary by state.
Best Overall
Discover
Investopedia's Rating
4.3
  • 5.99% - 24.99% APR
  • Not Disclosed
    This lender does not offer prequalification.
    Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $2,500 - $35,000 Loan Amount
Best for Additional Features
Avant
Investopedia's Rating
4.1
  • 9.95% - 35.99% APR
  • 580 Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $2,000 - $35,000 Loan Amount
Best Credit Union and for Quick Funding
First Tech Federal Credit Union
Investopedia's Rating
4.2
  • 6.70% - 18.00% APR
  • Not Disclosed
    This lender does not offer prequalification.
    Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $500 - $50,000 Loan Amount
Best for No Fees
First Midwest Bank
Investopedia's Rating
4.2
  • 5.23% - 12.99% APR
  • Not Disclosed
    This lender does not offer prequalification.
    Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $5,000 - $35,000 Loan Amount
Best for Co-Signers
Upgrade
Investopedia's Rating
4.3
  • 5.94% - 35.97% APR with Autopay Discount
  • 550 Estimated Min. Credit Score
  • $1,000 - $50,000 Loan Amount
If youre not seeing anything in the results that are a good fit for your needs, consider warranties from these companies:
Why Trust Us Investopedia collected key data points from several lenders to identify the most important factors to borrowers. We used this data to review each lender for fees, accessibility, repayment terms, and other features to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews to ensure our readers make the right borrowing decision for their needs. Read our Full Methodology
38 Lenders reviewed
40 Loan features considered
1,520 Data points analyzed
112 Primary data sources used

Best Overall : Discover

Investopedia's Rating
4.3

Discover Bank
  • APR Range: 5.99% - 24.99%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $2,500 - $35,000
Why We Chose It

Discover Bank offers debt consolidation loans with APRs starting as low as 5.99%. Loans can be received as quickly as one business day, and payments can be made directly to creditors.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • No origination fee

  • Pre-approval does not impact credit

  • Same-day loan decisions

Cons
  • Credit requirement is not disclosed

  • $39 late payment fee

  • No joint applications or co-signers

Overview

Discover launched its first financial product in 1985 and is now one of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S. But the company also offers personal loans for debt consolidation in all 50 states. 

Discover's personal loan stands out with APRs that range up to 24.99% but start as low as 5.99%. Loan amounts start low too, from $2,500 up to $35,000, and come with no origination fee, which can make Discover a much cheaper option than some other lenders. 

Additional benefits include a rate quote with no hard credit pull. Borrowers can get same-day loan approval and receive funds in as little as one business day.

Drawbacks include a $39 fee for late payments. Discover does not disclose credit requirements upfront, but applicants are required to have a household income of at least $25,000 to qualify. Loans can't be used to pay off secured debt or to pay off a Discover credit card. 

Discover has poor customer ratings on Trustpilot, with customers citing a variety of challenges related to being approved for financial products and managing their accounts, although this isn’t unusual for lenders. 

Discover accepts applications for debt consolidation loans online or by phone, at 1-866-248-1255.

Read the full Discover Personal Loans Review

Best for Additional Features : Avant

Investopedia's Rating
4.1

Avant
  • APR Range: 9.95% - 35.99%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $2,000 - $35,000
Why We Chose It

Avant works with borrowers who have poor credit. While the starting APR is high, and some may have to pay an administration fee, terms may still beat what other lenders offer to applicants with low credit scores.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Available to people with low credit scores

  • Pre-qualification does not impact credit

  • Funds available in one business day

Cons
  • Administration fee up to 4.75%

  • APR starts at 9.95%

  • Minimum loan amounts vary by state

Overview

Avant, a company founded in 2012, services loans from WebBank. 

Borrowers give Avant high ratings for its quick and easy process, from loan application to funding. The lender offers pre-qualification with no hard inquiry, and funds are available in as little as one business day. 

Unique features of this debt consolidation loan include an exceptionally low credit score requirement of just 580. Avant also offers loan modification plans to help borrowers who struggle with repayment.

The downside is that APRs range up to 35.99%, and while Avant's debt consolidation loans are available in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $35,000, minimum loan amounts vary by state. Late payments fees vary by state as well. Joint applications and co-signers are not allowed.

Applications can be submitted online, and Avant can be reached at 1-800-712-5407 for assistance.

Read the full Avant Personal Loans Review

Best Credit Union and for Quick Funding : First Tech Federal Credit Union

Investopedia's Rating
4.2

First Tech Federal Credit Union Logo
  • APR Range: 6.70% - 18.00%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 0 Days
  • Loan Amount: $500 - $50,000
Why We Chose It

First Tech Credit Union stands out for its wide range of loan amounts and low maximum APR. Borrowers can go from application to funding in as little as one business day, and payments can be sent directly to your creditors. 

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Low maximum APR of 18%

  • First payment can be deferred for 45 days

  • Same-day funding available

Cons
  • Must be a credit union member to apply

  • Lowest rates only available for 24-month term

  • Credit score requirement not disclosed

Overview

First Tech Federal Credit Union was founded in 1952 and has physical branches in eight U.S. states. The credit union offers personal loans for debt consolidation across all 50 states, with terms that can be attractive for borrowers with a variety of needs. 

Personal loans from First Tech range from as little as $500 up to as high as $50,000, and borrowers can choose from a 24- to an 84-month repayment period. The credit union also allows joint applications and co-signers.

It only takes a few minutes to complete an online application for a personal loan from First Tech Credit Union. From there, applicants who are approved can expect to receive funds in as little as one business day.

The maximum APR of 18% is relatively low (credit unions are capped at this rate). First Tech charges no origination fee or administration fee, and it has a fairly unique loan feature: You have the option to delay the first payment for 45 days. Borrowers should note that loans may accrue interest during that time.

First Tech doesn't disclose its credit requirements upfront, but applicants can get pre-qualified and see a rate quote without a negative impact on their credit scores. Applications can be submitted online.

Read the full First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans Review

Best for No Fees : First Midwest Bank

Investopedia's Rating
4.2

First Midwest Bank
  • APR Range: 5.23% - 12.99%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 - $35,000
Why We Chose It

First Midwest loans have an exceptionally low APR range and relatively few fees. Even with the $150 documentation fee rolled in, rates can be as low as 5.23% and won't exceed 12.99%.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Low APR range

  • No origination fee or late fee

  • Co-applicants are allowed

Cons
  • Credit requirement is not disclosed

  • Only available in 24 states

  • $150 documentation fee

Overview

As of early 2022, First Midwest Bank is in the final stages of a merger with Old National Bank, which is headquartered in Indiana. First Midwest currently has branches in four states with over 250 physical bank locations.

The bank is outstanding when it comes to interest and fees—or the lack thereof —with an APR range starting at 5.23% and maxing out at 12.99%. There's no origination fee or late payment fee. Borrowers should be aware of the $150 documentation fee, however, which will be rolled into the loan's APR. 

A wide range of loan amounts is available from First Midwest, from $5,000 to $35,000, with repayment terms up to seven years. Funds can be received in as little as 24 hours.

First Midwest is also a certified personal loan lender through LendingTree, where it's received 4.9/5 stars based on more than 4,000 reviews. It gets excellent ratings for its fees, closing costs, and customer service.

Some borrowers may not be qualified. First Midwest does not disclose a credit requirement, but says applicants should have "at least five years of credit history that is free of bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions, and other major credit issues." Eligible borrowers can apply online or visit a physical branch.

Read the full First Midwest Bank Personal Loans Review

Best for Co-Signers : Upgrade

Investopedia's Rating
4.3

Upgrade
  • APR Range: 5.94% - 35.97%
  • Time To Receive Loan: 1 Days
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 - $50,000
Why We Chose It

Unlike many other lenders, Upgrade allows co-signers and joint applicants. That means borrowers with poor credit can get help qualifying for debt consolidation loans.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Co-signers and joint applicants allowed

  • Low minimum credit score requirement

  • Rate quote does not impact credit

Cons
  • 2.9% to 8% origination fee

  • APRs as high as 35.97%

  • Not available in all 50 states

Overview

Upgrade is a San Francisco-based fintech company that services loans from its banking partners, Cross River Bank and Blue Ridge Bank. Upgrade's all-online process includes a rate quote that won't impact your credit, an application that can be completed within minutes, and funding that's available within one business day of approval. Funds can also be sent directly to creditors.

While Upgrade allows co-signers and joint applicants, borrowers with credit scores as low as 550 may qualify on their own. The downside is that you may be charged a hefty origination fee, up to 8%, which is deducted from loan proceeds. That means you'll need to apply for as much as 8% more than you want to borrow.

APRs start low, at 5.94%, but range up to a steep 35.97%, with the lowest rates requiring borrowers to use autopay and set up direct payments to some of their creditors.

Some other positive notes to consider include loans that start as low as $1,000 and range as high as $50,000, no prepayment fee, and the option to change your payment due date. Upgrade also has excellent reviews on Trustpilot, with many customers noting an easy application process and quick funding.

Borrowers in Georgia should note that loans start at $3,005 minimum, and the minimum is $6,400 in Massachusetts. Upgrade loans are not available to residents of Washington, DC, Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, or West Virginia.

Compare the Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation of July 2022

Overall Rating Best For
APR Range
Average Origination Fee
Late Fee
Time To Receive Loan
Loan Amount
Latest Repayment
Reset All
Discover
4.3
Best Overall 5.99% - 24.99% 0.00% - 0.00% $39.00 - $39.00 1 Days $2,500 - $35,000 84 Months Learn More
Hide, not for me
Avant
4.1
Best for Additional Features 9.95% - 35.99% 0.00% - 4.75% $25.00 - $25.00 1 Days $2,000 - $35,000 60 Months Learn More
Hide, not for me
First Tech Federal Credit Union
4.2
Best Credit Union and for Quick Funding 6.70% - 18.00% 0.00% - 0.00% $15.00 - $15.00 0 Days $500 - $50,000 84 Months Learn More
Hide, not for me
First Midwest Bank
4.2
Best for No Fees 5.23% - 12.99% 0.00% - 0.00% $0.00 - $0.00 1 Days $5,000 - $35,000 84 Months Learn More
Hide, not for me
Upgrade
4.3
Best for Co-Signers 5.94% - 35.97% 2.90% - 8.00% $0.00 - $10.00 1 Days $1,000 - $50,000 84 Months Learn More
Hide, not for me
*APR ranges for some companies include a discount for automatic payments or existing bank customers.

Final Verdict

Many lenders offer personal loans for debt consolidation, but our choices stand out from the pack. The best loan for you is one that will bring down your overall cost through a lower APR and minimal fees. Discover and First Midwest Bank are great choices, both offering loans starting below 6% APR with no origination fees.

Your debt consolidation loan should also work for your situation, whether you need low monthly payments or you have poor credit. Borrowers with credit scores below 600 can consider applying through Upgrade or Avant, which allow you to get help qualifying with a co-signer or joint applicant.

Guide for Choosing the Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

Should You Apply for a Personal Loan to Consolidate Your Debt?

The process of paying off debt can be long and costly. Each month you carry debt you're charged interest, which adds to your balance and extends your debt payoff date.

For someone working to be debt-free, debt consolidation can help in a few key ways. If your credit scores have improved since you took on your current debt, or if you have a co-signer or joint applicant, you may be able to qualify for a loan with a lower APR than your current debt(s). Consolidating with a lower APR means lower charges and a shorter timeline to becoming debt-free.

A personal loan from a reputable source—such as a bank, a credit union, or an established online lender—can be one of the most cost-effective solutions to reducing debt. Compared to credit cards, payday loans, or even balance transfers, consolidation loans generally have much lower interest rates and fees.

If you’re struggling to afford your debt payments, a consolidation loan can help in other ways. Debt consolidation could extend your payoff timeline. While this increases the overall cost of repayment, it can also reduce your monthly payments and help you balance your budget.

Before applying for a personal loan to consolidate debt, it's important to determine what your goal is. Compare the rates, fees, and monthly payments to your current situation when deciding if the loan meets your needs.

Comparing Personal Loan Lenders

It can be difficult to narrow down the field of potential lenders, but each one offers something different. Here's what to look for before applying:

  • APR range: Consider both the minimum and maximum APR for loans, including any rate discounts you may be eligible for.
  • Fees: Factor in up-front fees, like origination or administration fees, and determine if the fee will be withheld from your loan amount. Be sure to consider prepayment penalties and other fees that may come into play in the future, too. 
  • Credit requirement: Check to see if the lender discloses the minimum credit score required to qualify, and whether or not it will consider other information in lieu of good credit. 
  • Pre-qualification: Find out if you can get pre-qualified, and receive a quote on the loan you qualify for, without a hard inquiry into your credit.
  • Loan amounts: Calculate the total amount of debt you wish to pay off and check to see if the lender offers loans that cover the full amount.
  • Loan terms: Look at the term, or length of time you'll have to repay your loan. Many lenders present this information as a range of months, e.g. 24 to 84 months. Note that a longer repayment term will result in lower monthly payments but more money paid towards interest charges.
  • Time to receive funds: Consider the length of time from beginning your application to getting approved and receiving funds. While the lender may transfer funds in as little as one business day, it may take several days or more for your bank or creditor to process the payment.
  • Lending restrictions: Make sure loans are available to residents of your state, and that your intended use for the funds is allowed by the lender. The lender may also have age and citizenship requirements.

How to Apply for a Personal Loan

Once you've narrowed down your list of potential lenders, you'll need to submit an application. Most lenders accept applications online, however you may be able to visit a physical branch or get assistance over the phone.

To complete an application, you'll likely need to submit the following information:

  • Contact details
  • Income and employment details 
  • Social Security number or ITIN
  • Reasons you're applying for the loan
  • Desired loan amount

The lender may follow up by requesting more information. If your application is approved, you can review the offer before accepting. You may also be required to create an online account with the lender in order to manage your loan. 

Be sure to make note of when your first payment is due and, if desired or required, set up autopay. You may also be able to change your due date.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is the act of using one loan or credit card to pay off multiple debt accounts, usually at a lower APR. 

This is often done to reduce the overall cost of debt repayment, but it can be a good way to get immediate financial relief by reducing the cost of your monthly debt payments. It can also help by reducing the number of accounts you have to manage.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Getting a Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation?

Pros

  • Consolidate multiple debt payments into a single monthly payment
  • Lower your APRs and save money on the overall cost of debt repayment
  • Potentially eliminate debt faster
  • Set a clear debt payoff date
  • Improve credit scores by paying down debt faster and reducing revolving credit utilization

Cons

  • Borrowers with poor credit may not qualify for better terms than their current debt
  • Fees and interest can make consolidation loans costly
  • Stretching out debt repayment can lead to paying more over time

Do Debt Consolidation Loans Hurt Your Credit?

Debt consolidation can affect your credit in a few ways but the effects are typically positive overall, after enough time has passed. Applying for and opening a new loan account can cause a short-term drop in your credit scores, due to the hard inquiry and new account. But paying off credit cards can lower your credit utilization ratio, which can help your scores grow, and reducing the number of accounts with balances can be good for scores as well. Making on-time debt payments each month also helps build your scores over time.

What Is the Difference Between Debt Consolidation and a Balance Transfer?

Debt consolidation refers to paying off multiple accounts, usually with a single new loan. A balance transfer, on the other hand, is a feature of credit cards; it refers to moving a balance from one account (of any kind) to a credit card. You can transfer just one balance, or, depending on the card issuer, you may be able to transfer multiple balances—just like debt consolidation.

Credit card balance transfers may require an upfront fee, often 3% of the total amount you transfer. You'll also pay interest charges each month on the balance you carry, unless you use a balance transfer card with a promotional 0% APR (this can be a great way to pay off debt). By comparison, a debt consolidation loan does not involve a transfer fee but will come with interest charges and may involve other fees, like an origination fee.

How We Chose the Best Debt Consolidation Loans

Our team evaluated 38 lenders and collected 1,520 data points before selecting our top choices. We weighed more than 20 criteria and gave a higher weight to those with a more significant impact on potential borrowers. 

The top picks were selected based on factors like membership requirements (weighted 15%), average fixed APR (weighted 15%), and average origination fees (weighted 10%). 

We also took into account the flexibility of repayment terms, helpful features like pre-qualification, and whether a co-signer or joint applications are permitted to ensure borrowers get the best possible experience. For further information about our selection criteria and process, our complete methodology is available.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Nilson Report. "Issue 1214 | Feb 2022." 

  2. Discover. "Welcome to Discover." 

  3. Discover. "Personal Loans from Discover." 

  4. Discover. "Personal Loan FAQs."

  5. Trustpilot. "Discover Financial Services." 

  6. Discover. "Contact Us." 

  7. Avant. "Is this a WebBank loan or an Avant loan?

  8. Avant. "About Our Company." 

  9. Trustpilot. "Avant." 

  10. Avant. "What are the fees?

  11. Avant. "Debt Consolidation Loans." 

  12. Avant. "Accessibility." 

  13. Avant. "How can I contact Avant?

  14. First Tech. "About Us." 

  15. First Tech. "First Tech Locations." 

  16. First Tech. "Rates & Fees." 

  17. First Tech. "Personal Loans." 

  18. First Midwest Bank. "Personal Loan Rates." 

  19. First Midwest Bank. "Personal Loans." 

  20. First Midwest Bank. "All First Midwest Bank Locations." 

  21. First Midwest Bank. "Who We Are." 

  22. First Midwest Bank. "Borrowing Products & Services at a Glance." 

  23. LendingTree. "First Midwest Bank a division of Old National Bank."

  24. Upgrade. "About Us." 

  25. Upgrade. "Upgrade Bank Partners."  

  26. Upgrade. "Consolidate Your Debt." 

  27. Upgrade. "What are the benefits of a personal loan through Upgrade?

  28. Trustpilot. "Upgrade Reviews." 

  29. Upgrade. "Press Room." 

  30. Upgrade. "How much can I borrow with a personal loan through Upgrade?