Best Debt Consolidation Loans of 2023

Written by Ashley Harrison / January 11, 2023
Reviewed by Jamie Young

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt, taking out a personal loan to consolidate them could be a good option. To find the right loan for your needs, it’s important to shop around and compare your options with as many debt consolidation lenders as possible.

The best debt consolidation lenders offer competitive interest rates, reasonably high loan limits, a variety of repayment terms and lenient credit score requirements. Some of them also provide the option to pay off your creditors directly, further simplifying the debt consolidation process.

To determine the best debt consolidation lenders, we compared 15 lenders using these metrics as well as other factors like state availability, co-signer capability and customer experience to determine the best lenders for a wide array of borrowers.

Inside this article

  1. Best debt consolidation loans
  2. Best for discounts: SoFi
  3. Best for fast funding: Achieve
  4. Best for co-borrowers: LendingClub
  5. Best for bad credit: Upgrade
  6. Best for long repayment terms: Discover
  7. Best for credit card consolidation: Happy Money
  8. Best for competitive rates: LightStream
  9. Best for direct creditor payments: Marcus
  10. Compare the best debt consolidation loans
  11. Why some lenders didn’t make the cut
  12. Methodology
  13. Frequently Asked Questions

Best debt consolidation loans

  • Best for discounts: SoFi

  • Best for fast funding: Achieve

  • Best for co-borrowers: LendingClub

  • Best for bad credit: Upgrade

  • Best for long repayment terms: Discover

  • Best for credit card consolidation: Happy Money

  • Best for competitive rates: LightStream

  • Best for direct creditor payments: Marcus

Best for discounts: SoFi

4 stars
Fixed APR: 7.99% to 23.43% (with all discounts)
Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

Why it’s the best

In addition to offering competitive APRs and charging no personal loan fees, SoFi offers a 0.25% rate discount to borrowers who have their funds sent directly to their creditors. You can also get another 0.25% off your rate if you sign up for automatic payments plus another 0.125% reduction if you’re already a SoFi customer.

SoFi’s debt consolidation loans are available for $5,000 to $100,000 and come with terms ranging from two to seven years. Borrowers also have access to a wide range of benefits, such as unemployment protection, financial planning, and career advice.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Multiple discounts available (up to 0.625%)

  • Maximum $100,000 loan amount

  • Same-day funding available

Cons

  • Could be hard to qualify if you don’t have good credit 

  • Must borrow at least $5,000

  • Not available in all states

More details

  • Interest rates: 7.99% to 23.43% (with all discounts)

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years

  • Discounts and perks: Direct lender payment discount (0.25%), autopay discount (0.25%) and existing customer discount (0.125%); member benefits such as unemployment protection

  • Fees: None

  • Min. credit score: 680

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: Yes

Best for fast funding: Achieve

3.75 stars
Fixed APR: 7.99% to 29.99%
Loan amounts: $5,000 to $50,000

Why it's the best

If you’re looking for fast funding, Achieve—which rebranded from FreedomPlus in December 2022—could be a good choice. The lender offers same-day approval decisions as well as funding within 24 to 72 hours. You can borrow $5,000 to $50,000 and choose a term from two to five years.

Achieve also offers rate discounts to borrowers who opt to have the lender pay off their creditors directly apply with a co-borrower or show proof of sufficient retirement savings. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Same-day approval decisions

  • Funding within 24 to 72 hours

  • Accepts credit scores as low as 620

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee

  • Not available in all states

  • Must borrow at least $5,000

More details

  • Interest rates: 7.99% to 29.99%

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $50,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 5 years

  • Discounts and perks: Rate discount for borrowers who opt to have their creditors paid directly, apply with a co-borrower or show proof of sufficient retirement savings; no prepayment penalty

  • Fees: Origination fee (1.99% to 6.99%)

  • Min. credit score: 620

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: Yes

Best for co-borrowers: LendingClub

3.45 stars
Fixed APR: 8.05% to 36%
Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000

Why it’s the best

Unlike many personal loan lenders, LendingClub allows you to apply with a co-borrower, which could help you qualify for a larger loan amount or better rate than you’d get on your own. Note that you and your co-borrower will be equally responsible for repaying the loan. 

LendingClub loans range from $1,000 to $40,000 and come with terms from three to five years. If you’re approved, you could receive your funds in as little as 24 hours.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Allows co-borrowers

  • Funding in as little as 24 hours after approval

  • Accepts credit scores as low as 600

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee

  • Charges late fees

  • Limited repayment terms

More details

  • Interest rates: 8.05% to 36%

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000

  • Repayment terms: 3 to 5 years

  • Discounts and perks: No prepayment penalty

  • Fees: Origination fee (2% to 6%), late fee (5% of outstanding payment amount or $15, whichever is greater), and insufficient funds fee ($15)

  • Min. credit score: No minimum

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: Yes

Best for bad credit: Upgrade

3.35 stars
Fixed APR: 7.96% to 35.97% (with autopay discount)
Loan amounts: $1,000 up to $50,000

Why it’s the best

Upgrade provides access to free credit monitoring as well as educational resources to help you know how best to manage and improve your credit health. This could make an Upgrade a good option if you’re looking to better understand and build your credit.

With Upgrade, you can borrow $1,000 up to $50,000 to cover small as well as extensive amounts of debt. Additionally, you could have your loan funded within one day of approval. The lender also provides the option to send the money directly to your creditors to make the process even easier.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Free credit monitoring and educational resources

  • Loan amounts up to $50,000

  • Repayment terms as long as 7 years

Cons

  • High maximum APR 

  • Charges an origination fee

  • Charges fees for late and returned payments 

More details

  • Interest rates: 7.96% to 35.97% (with autopay discount)

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to $50,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years

  • Discounts and perks: No prepayment penalty

  • Fees: Origination fee (1.85% to 8.99%), late payment, fee (up to $10) and returned payment fee ($10)

  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: Yes

Best for long repayment terms: Discover

3.3 stars
Fixed APR: 6.99% to 24.99%
Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000

Why it’s the best

If you’d like to pay off your debt over a longer period of time, Discover might be a good option. Terms range from three to seven years with loan amounts from $2,500 to $35,000. Keep in mind that while choosing a longer term can reduce your monthly payments, you’ll also end up paying more in interest over time.

Unlike most personal loan lenders, Discover charges no origination fees, which can help you save money on a debt consolidation loan. 

Pros and cons

Pros 

  • Repayment terms as long as 7 years

  • No origination fee

  • Repayment assistance programs available

Cons

  • Lower loan amounts compared to some lenders

  • Co-borrowers not permitted

  • Charges late fees

More details

  • Interest rates: 6.99% to 24.99%

  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000

  • Repayment terms: 3 to 7 years

  • Discounts and perks: No origination fee or prepayment penalty

  • Fees: Late fee ($39)

  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: Yes

Best for credit card consolidation: Happy Money

3.25 stars
Fixed APR: 5.99% to 23.99% (with autopay)
Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

Why it’s the best

Happy Money (previously Payoff) offers personal loans specifically for credit card consolidation. These loans range from $5,000 to $40,000 (minimum of $5,100 in New Mexico and $6,100 in Maryland) and come with terms from two to five years. Happy Money also provides the option to pay your credit card issuer directly.

While Happy Money’s loans do come with an origination fee from 0% to 5% of the loan amount, you won’t have to worry about any other fees typically associated with personal loans.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • No late fees or prepayment penalties

  • Accepts fair credit scores

  • Excellent Trustpilot reviews

Cons

  • Loans can only be used for credit card consolidation (certain unsecured installment loans might also be accepted for consolidation)

  • Charges an origination fee

  • Doesn’t allow co-signers

More details

  • Interest rates: 7.99% to 29.99% 

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 (minimum of $5,100 in New Mexico and $6,100 in Maryland) to $40,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 5 years

  • Discounts and perks: No fees outside of origination fee

  • Fees: Origination fee (0% to 5%)

  • Min. credit score: 640

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: Yes

Best for competitive rates: LightStream

3.25 stars
Fixed APR: 5.99% to 23.99% (with autopay)
Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

Why it’s the best

If you’ve already been approved by a debt consolidation lender, it might still be a good idea to check your options with LightStream’s Rate Beat Program. This program could get you a rate that’s 0.1% lower than any competing lender’s rate offer that you’ve been approved for—meaning you could qualify for a highly competitive APR.

With a LightStream debt consolidation loan, you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with terms from two to seven years. You can also take advantage of a 0.50% rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments prior to your loan funding. However, unlike other lenders, LightStream doesn’t provide the option to pay your creditors directly.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Can get a rate 0.1% lower than competitor offer through Rate Beat Program

  • Loan amounts up to $100,000

  • No fees 

Cons

  • Direct creditor payment not available

  • Must borrow at least $5,000

  • Doesn’t let borrowers prequalify

More details

  • Interest rates: 5.99% to 23.99% (with autopay)

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years

  • Discounts and perks: Rate Beat Program and autopay discount (0.50%)

  • Fees: None

  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: No

Best for direct creditor payments: Marcus

3.2 stars
Fixed APR: 6.99% to 24.99%
Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000

Why it’s the best

Marcus simplifies debt consolidation by offering to pay up to 10 of your creditors directly and disburse the rest (if any) to your bank account. You can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 and choose between terms from three to six years.

Additionally, if you make on-time, consecutive payments for at least 12 months, Marcus will let you defer one monthly payment interest-free. Marcus loans also come with no fees, which can help you save money overall.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Offers direct payment for up to 10 creditors

  • No fees

  • Can defer a payment after making 12 consecutive, on-time payments

Cons

  • Must borrow at least $3,500

  • Doesn’t accept joint applications

  • Poor Trustpilot reviews

More details

  • Interest rates: 6.99% to 24.99%

  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000

  • Repayment terms: 3 to 6 years

  • Discounts and perks: No fees; autopay discount (0.25%); on-time payment deferral

  • Fees: None

  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose

  • Can make direct payment to third-party creditors: Yes

Compare the best debt consolidation loans

Interest ratesLoan amountsLoan termsDirect payment to third-party creditors?
SoFi7.99% to 23.43%$5,000 to $100,0002 to 7 yearsYes
Achieve7.99% to 29.99%$5,000 to $50,0002 to 5 yearsYes
LendingClub8.05% to 36%$1,000 to $40,0003 to 5 yearsYes
Upgrade7.96% to 35.97% $1,000 to $50,0002 to 7 yearsYes
Discover6.99% to 24.99%$2,500 to $35,0003 to 7 yearsYes
Happy Money7.99% to 29.99%$5,000 to $40,0002 to 5 yearsYes
LightStream5.99% to 23.99% $5,000 to $100,0002 to 7 yearsNo
Marcus6.99% to 24.99% $3,500 to $40,0003 to 6 yearsYes

Why some lenders didn’t make the cut

Of the 15 personal loan lenders that we reviewed, only a fraction made the cut. The lenders that didn’t have high enough scores to be included received lower ratings due to having higher interest rates, not offering direct creditor payment and not allowing co-signers.

Methodology

Our expert writers and editors have reviewed and researched 15 popular lenders to help you find the best debt consolidation loan. Out of all the lenders considered, the eight that made our list excelled in areas across the following categories (with weightings): loan cost (35%), loan details (25%), eligibility and accessibility (20%), customer service (10%) and direct creditor payment (10%).

Within each major category, we considered several characteristics, including APR ranges, prepayment penalties, maximum loan amounts and terms, minimum credit score requirements, and co-signer acceptance. We also evaluated each provider’s customer support options and customer reviews. All interest rates are current as of Jan. 6, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does consolidating debt affect your credit score?

When you apply for a debt consolidation loan, the lender will perform a hard credit check to determine your creditworthiness. This could affect your credit score by causing a slight but temporary drop—usually around five points, though this can vary. You can generally expect your score to bounce back after a few months.

Keep in mind that your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, so you could see an improvement in your score over time if you consistently make on-time payments on your loan. Getting a debt consolidation loan might also boost your score if you’re able to reduce your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount you owe on revolving credit lines (like credit cards and lines of credit) compared to your total credit limits.

What is the downside to consolidating debt?
How long does debt consolidation stay on your record?

About the Authors

Ashley Harrison

Ashley Harrison

Ashley is a personal finance authority who has worked in the online finance space since 2017. She’s passionate about creating helpful content that makes complicated financial topics easy to understand, and her work has appeared on Forbes Advisor, Credible, Fox, and Student Loan Hero.

Ashley is also an artist and massive horror fan who had her short story “The Box” produced by the award-winning NoSleep Podcast. In her free time, you can find her drawing, scaring herself with spooky stories, playing video games, and chasing her black cat Salem.

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Jamie Young

Jamie Young

Jamie Young is an authority on personal finance who has been writing and editing for online media for 10 years. Her work has appeared on some of the best-known media outlets including Forbes, Time, CBS News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, AOL, MSN, and more.

Jamie is passionate about finance, technology, and the Oxford comma. In her free time, Jamie takes care of her two crazy cats and ever-growing collection of plants. She’s also an avid gamer who watches way too many true crime documentaries. 

Full bio

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