Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit

Borrowers with excellent credit may qualify for the best personal loan rates

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If you have excellent credit, there are plenty of personal loan options available to you. Although lenders consider many factors when determining if you’ll be approved for a loan, your credit score is one of the most significant factors. An excellent credit score and repayment history demonstrate that you’re someone who handles debt responsibly and pays bills on time. Rather, you’re seen as a less risky borrower and will likely qualify for the best rates and terms.

Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit of 2022

Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit
Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit

Best Overall and Best Loan Range : LightStream


LightStream

LightStream

  • APR Range: 3.99% - 19.99%* with AutoPay
  • Minimum Credit Score: 680
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
Why We Chose It

Not only does LightStream offer some of the lowest rates and highest loan amounts of the lenders we reviewed, but it will also beat competitor offers and give you $100 if you aren’t fully satisfied with your loan experience. 

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Low APRs and commitment to beat competitor rates

  • High maximum loan amount

  • Same day funding available

Cons
  • Several years of credit history required

  • Minimum loan amount is $5,000

Overview

LightStream offers one of the lowest annual percentage rates (APRs)—as low as 3.99%, with no origination fees—and the highest loan amounts (up to $100,000) of the providers we reviewed. Plus, with its Rate Beat Program, LightStream will offer you a rate 0.10 percentage points lower than comparable offers on unsecured loans. These features make LightStream stand out as the overall best personal loan for excellent credit and as having the best loan range. LightStream is a subsidiary of Truist Bank, a bank formed in 2019 after the merger of SunTrust and BB&T.

This lender provides personal loans in all 50 U.S. states, often with same-day funding. You can use the funds from a LightStream personal loan for several purposes, such as making home improvements, funding an adoption or IVF treatments, paying medical bills, consolidating debt, and more. You can apply for the loan online or on your mobile device via the LightStream app. If you’re not satisfied with the loan experience and complete a questionnaire within 30 days of receiving your loan, LightStream will send you $100. This feature makes this provider stand out from competitors.

To qualify for a personal loan with LightStream, you’ll need to have good credit, though the best rates and terms are reserved for people with excellent credit. While you’ll likely need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify, LightStream considers more than just your credit score when assessing your creditworthiness. Some of the factors LightStream considers are: 

  • Length of your credit history (several years is required)
  • Type of debt you have and how it’s been used (e.g., credit cards and mortgage debt)
  • Timeliness of your payments (i.e., you should have very few late payments)
  • How well you save your money (e.g., if you have savings accounts and manageable credit card balances)
  • Whether you have sufficient income to repay the personal loan and your existing debt

Read our full LightStream personal loans review.

Best for Debt Consolidation : Discover


Discover

Discover

  • APR Range: 5.99% to 24.99% (no autopay discount)
  • Minimum Credit Score: Not disclosed
  • Loan Amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
Why We Chose It

Discover makes it easy to use its personal loan to consolidate debt via direct payments to your creditors and also offers some of the lowest rates of the providers we reviewed.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Loan proceeds can be sent directly to your existing creditors

  • Low APRs and no origination fees

  • Same day approval and next day funding available

Cons
  • Maximum loan amount is $35,000

  • Minimum credit score not disclosed

  • Autopay discounts aren’t offered

Overview

Discover’s personal loan is the best for debt consolidation because it has one of the lowest possible APRs of the lenders we reviewed and is available in all 50 states. What’s more, Discover doesn’t charge any origination fees. Plus, it offers flexible repayment terms of 36 to 84 months, and you’re given an option to have Discover pay off your creditors directly. 

You can pre-qualify for a Discover personal loan online in minutes without impacting your credit score, as Discover uses a soft credit check to pre-approve you. You’ll undergo a hard credit check once you submit a full loan application. In most cases, you’ll know if your loan is approved the day you apply. You can expect to receive your funds as soon as the business day after you’ve accepted the loan terms.

Unlike some of its competitors, Discover doesn’t offer autopay discounts. Even so, its rates are among the lowest of the lenders we reviewed. Also, Discover doesn’t disclose whether you’ll need to have a specific credit score to be eligible for a personal loan. You do, however, need to have at least $25,000 in household income to qualify. Discover will also consider your credit history and other factors when evaluating your application.  

Read our full Discover personal loans review.

Best for Quick Funding : Rocket Loans


Rocket Loans

Rocket Loans

  • APR Range: 6.72% to 29.99% (lowest APR includes autopay discount)
  • Minimum Credit Score: 580
  • Loan Amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
Why We Chose It

With Rocket Loans, you can get approved in minutes and may be able to receive your funding the same day you apply.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Low minimum APR

  • Quick same day funding

  • Pre-qualification with no credit score impact

Cons
  • Origination fee of 1% to 6%

  • Relatively small maximum loan amount of $45,000

  • Limited repayment terms of 36 or 60 months

Overview

One thing that makes Rocket Loans stand out from the competition is that you can get approved for a loan and funded on the day you apply. This funding speed is quick, as many lenders take days to disburse loan funds. Plus, the lowest APR offered by Rocket Loans is competitive, even factoring in its origination fee of 1% to 6%, with the lowest rates reserved for people with the best credit. However, it only offers 36- or 60-month repayment terms. 

You can see if you pre-qualify for a personal loan with Rocket Loans without impacting your credit score. This is because Rocket Loans uses a soft credit check to pre-approve you. If you decide to move forward with the loan, you’ll complete the application and provide Rocket Loans with any required information (e.g., your bank account number and sometimes documents like pay stubs, bank statements, etc.). You’ll also be subject to a hard credit check.

Although you’ll get the best rates from Rocket Loans if you have excellent credit, even people with credit scores as low as 580 may be able to qualify. Besides your credit score, Rocket Loans will also consider your income and the amount of existing debt you have when determining if you qualify. Plus, you need to be at least 18 years old in most states (19 years old in Nebraska and Alabama). 

Personal loans from Rocket Loans are available in all states except Nevada and Iowa. 

Read the full Rocket Loans personal loans review.

Best Credit Union and Best for Military Members : Navy Federal Credit Union


Navy Federal Credit Union logo

Navy Federal Credit Union logo

  • APR Range: 7.49% to 18.00% (no autopay discount)
  • Minimum Credit Score: No minimum
  • Loan Amounts: $250 to $50,000
Why We Chose It

Members of all branches of the armed forces may be eligible for a personal loan with Navy Federal Credit Union, plus its APR range and repayment terms are among the best we reviewed.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Competitive APRs with no origination fee

  • Repayment terms as long as 180 months

  • Loans as small as $250 available

Cons
  • Need to be a credit union member to qualify

  • Qualifications aren’t clearly disclosed

  • Can’t borrow more than $50,000

Overview

Navy Federal Credit Union offers personal loans with competitive APRs, no origination fees, and repayment terms as long as 180 months. Its personal loans are a great option for people serving in the military, as servicemembers of all armed forces branches are eligible to become members. You can also become a member if your family member serves in the armed forces or if you work for the Department of Defense. Navy Federal’s loans are offered in all 50 states. 

You can apply for a personal loan with Navy Federal Credit Union in a few minutes online. Plus, if you don’t want to apply online, you can apply by calling Navy Federal Credit Union or visiting one of its branches. In many cases, you’ll be able to receive same-day funding and have your money directly deposited into your Navy Federal Credit Union checking or savings account. 

Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t require a specific credit score to qualify for a personal loan. While its qualifications aren’t disclosed, you’ll likely need acceptable credit history (e.g., no current delinquencies) and income sufficient to repay your existing debt and the new personal loan to get approved.  

Read our full Navy Federal Credit Union personal loans review.

Final Verdict

LightStream is our choice as the overall best personal loan for excellent credit because of its competitive rates, Rate Beat Program, and high maximum loan amount. Plus, people with excellent credit will likely qualify for the best rates. However, if you don’t have at least good credit, you’re likely better off shopping around for a different lender.

While all of the lenders on our list offer great personal loans for excellent credit, nobody’s financial situation is exactly the same. For this reason, it’s important to shop around to find the best loan for your needs.

Compare the Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit

Company APR Range Minimum Credit Score Terms Loan Amounts Online Application
LightStream Best Overall and Best Loan Range 3.99% to 19.99% (with 0.50% autopay discount) 680 24 to 240 months $5,000 to $100,000 Yes
Discover Personal Loans Best for Debt Consolidation 5.99% to 24.99% (no autopay discount) Not disclosed 36 to 84 months $2,500 to $35,000 Yes
Rocket Loans Best for Quick Funding 6.72% to 29.99% (lowest APR includes autopay discount) 580 36 or 60 months $2,000 to $45,000 Yes
Navy Federal Credit Union Best Credit Union and Best for Military Members 7.49% to 18.00% (no autopay discount) No minimum 36 to 180 months $250 to $50,000 Yes
Loan amounts, APR, and repayment period may vary by loan purpose or type.

Guide for Choosing the Best Personal Loans for Good Credit

Do You Need a Personal Loan for Excellent Credit? 

Even people with excellent credit may face a situation where a personal loan can be helpful. For example, you may need funding to make home improvements, consolidate variable-rate credit card debt into a lower fixed-rate payment, or pay for unexpected medical bills. The good news is that those with excellent credit can qualify for funding from more lenders and may receive the lowest possible interest rates on their loans. 

You’ll be able to qualify for a personal loan with many lenders if you have excellent credit, as long as you also meet their other borrowing requirements. Since you can likely qualify with most lenders, you’ll need to decide the most important features to you when searching for a loan. For example, you may need to consider the speed of funding, the size of the loan you can get, and available repayment terms.

How to Compare Personal Loan Lenders for Excellent Credit

People with excellent credit and income sufficient to repay their debt should be able to qualify for a personal loan with most lenders. So, some of the most important factors to consider are:

  • APR range and fees: You’ll usually get the best rates if you have excellent credit. So, one of the biggest factors to consider is the rate you can get and if you’ll be required to pay any fees. Remember that the APR includes fees, so compare APRs instead of interest rates when shopping around.
  • Funding speed: Some lenders can get you approved and funded as quickly as the day you apply. Others may take a few days to get you approved and funded. Choose a lender that can get you your money as fast as you need it.
  • Repayment terms: One of the ways to get the smallest possible payment (besides getting a low-interest rate) is to choose a longer repayment term. However, you’ll end up paying more interest over the life of the loan than with a shorter term. You’ll need to decide if you want to pay less interest or have a smaller payment before you apply for a loan.
  • Loan size: The amount of money you need to borrow is likely one of the biggest factors to consider. If you only need to borrow a few hundred dollars, make sure the lender offers loans that small (loans of at least $2,500 are common). Also, many lenders only offer personal loans up to $50,000—options above this amount are more limited.

How to Apply for a Personal Loan with Excellent Credit

Applying for a personal loan if you have excellent credit is basically the same process as it is for anyone else. The main difference is you might not need to provide the lender with as much documentation as a borrower with a lower credit score. For example, some lenders might not require that you provide information like tax returns or pay stubs since your excellent credit score shows you have a history of repaying your loans on schedule. 

Regardless of your credit score, you’ll usually start the personal loan application process by submitting an application online. You’ll need to provide the lender with basic information like details about your income, your Social Security or tax identification number, why you need the loan, and how much you need to borrow. 

If the lender offers a pre-qualification option, you’ll review the loan offers, accept the offer you like, and create an account online to manage your loan. Then, you may be asked to provide some other documentation, like proof of income. Once this is done, you’ll receive your funding and manage your account online through a portal or a mobile app.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Considered an Excellent Credit Score?

Personal credit score ranges are typically 300 to 850, with higher scores considered better. In the simplest terms, your credit score indicates how risky it is for a company to lend you money or provide other services (e.g., rent you an apartment).

Higher credit scores indicate that you’ve effectively managed your credit and paid your loans on time, so you are considered lower risk. Excellent credit is typically a FICO credit score of 800 to 850. 

According to research by Experian, the average FICO score in the United States in 2021 was 714, which is considered good credit. FICO score ranges are typically defined as follows:

  • Excellent credit (or exceptional credit): 800 to 850
  • Very good credit: 740 to 799 
  • Good credit: 670 to 739
  • Fair credit: 580 to 669
  • Poor credit: 300 to 579

Understanding where you stand in terms of your credit score is important. It can mean the difference between a loan with an interest rate in the double digits (if you have a less-than-good score, under 660 or so) or one just a few percentage points above prime (if you are in the excellent-score category). Other benefits to having a higher credit score include the ability to borrow higher loan amounts and longer repayment terms.

Will Getting a Personal Loan Hurt My Credit Score?

Many lenders let you pre-qualify for a loan by performing a soft credit check, which won't impact your credit score. If you decide to formally apply for a loan, the lender will complete a hard pull on your credit. A hard pull can cause your credit score to drop slightly. If you're approved, the personal loan will also show up on your credit report, which could also impact your credit score.

If you have excellent credit, the hard inquiry and the personal loan may not affect your score very much or for very long. Plus, if you apply for multiple personal loans within a short time frame, the credit bureaus may view them as one inquiry. Credit bureaus are aware that borrowers like to compare offers before making a decision and won't necessarily ding you for due diligence.

Make sure you understand if your lender uses a soft credit check or hard credit check to pre-qualify you. Some lenders only use a hard credit check, which will show up on your credit report and could impact your credit score.

What Can I Use My Personal Loan For?

Generally, you can use a personal loan to fund almost any personal expense. However, you usually can’t use a personal loan to pay for college or fund business expenses. Some of the most common uses for personal loans are:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Home improvement or repairs
  • Medical procedures
  • Weddings or special vacations
  • Funerals
  • Other unexpected or emergency expenses

Nineteen percent of American couples surveyed in the Weddings & Money 2021: A Brides and Investopedia study said they plan to take out a personal loan to pay for their wedding.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Personal Loan for Excellent Credit?

Before taking out a personal loan, consider the pros and cons.
Pros: 

  • Higher loan amounts than credit cards: With a personal loan, you’ll usually be able to borrow more money than you can with a credit card. For example, some lenders will allow you to borrow as much as $50,000 to $100,000 at a time. 
  • Lower interest rates than credit cards: Personal loans carry fixed interest rates, which are usually lower than the variable interest rates you’ll pay on a credit card. 
  • No collateral and quick funding: Most personal loans aren’t secured by collateral. This means the funding speed is usually much faster than a comparable secured loan since the lender doesn’t have to take time to evaluate your collateral or get an appraisal.

Cons: 

  • Smaller loan amounts than on secured debt: Although you can borrow more money with a personal loan than you can with a credit card, it’s often less than what you might be able to get with a collateral-secured loan. For example, with a home equity loan, you might be able to borrow up to 80% or more of your home’s value (less any other debt you owe on the home).
  • Higher interest rates than on secured debt: Personal loans are riskier to lenders because they are not secured by collateral. Lenders compensate for this risk by charging higher interest rates on unsecured debt, including personal loans.
  • Shorter repayment terms than on secured debt: You’ll usually need to repay your personal loan in two to seven years. This is much shorter than the 15 to 30-year repayment terms commonly offered on mortgages and home equity loans.

Where Can I Get a Personal Loan?

As someone with excellent credit, you’ll be able to find a personal loan in many places. Many borrowers tend to think the only places are through banks and credit unions, but many alternative lenders offer fairly competitive rates–especially if they're online. In fact, such lenders have some of the lowest rates since they’re not subject to the overhead costs that brick and mortar institutions are.

How We Chose the Best Personal Loans for Excellent Credit

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 prequalification, 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.
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