Best low-interest personal loans of 2023

Written by Kiah Treece / January 19, 2023
Reviewed by Ashley Harrison

Between interest rates and fees, the costs of taking out a personal loan can add up quickly. Taking out a low-interest personal loan can be a good way to access the cash you need without paying an excessive amount of interest over the life of the loan. Keep in mind that you’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for the best rates available—a good credit score is usually considered to be 670 or higher.

The best low-interest personal loans not only offer competitive interest rates but also a variety of loan amounts and repayment terms. Some of the top lenders also charge minimal fees and provide at least one possible rate discount to further lower your costs. Additionally, several of these lenders allow you to apply with a co-signer or co-borrower, which can help you get a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.

To determine the best low-interest personal loans, we compared 18 personal loan lenders by these metrics along with other factors like state availability, funding time and customer service experience.

Inside this article

  1. Best low-interest personal loans
  2. Best for discounts: SoFi
  3. Best for large loans: LightStream
  4. Best for fast funding: Prosper
  5. Best for no fees: Marcus
  6. Best for small loans: PenFed
  7. Best for building credit: Upgrade
  8. Best for thin credit: Upstart
  9. Best for good credit: U.S. Bank
  10. Best for bad credit: Avant
  11. Compare the best low-interest personal loans
  12. Why some lenders didn’t make the cut
  13. Methodology
  14. Frequently asked questions

Best low-interest personal loans

  • Best for discounts: SoFi

  • Best for large loans: LightStream

  • Best for fast funding: Prosper

  • Best for no fees: Marcus

  • Best for small loans: PenFed

  • Best for building credit: Upgrade

  • Best for thin credit: Upstart

  • Best for good credit: U.S. Bank

  • Best for bad credit: Avant

Best for discounts: SoFi

3.95 stars

Fixed APR: 7.99% to 23.43%

Min. credit score: 680

Why it’s the best

In addition to offering competitive annual percentage rates (APRs), SoFi provides several rate discounts that could help you lower your rate even further. These include discounts for autopay (0.25%), for borrowers who already have a SoFi account (0.125%) and for those who use their loan to consolidate debt and allow SoFi to pay their creditors directly (0.25%).

With SoFi, you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms ranging from two to seven years.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Multiple rate discounts.

  • Member benefits, such as unemployment protection and career coaching.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Must borrow at least $5,000.

  • Not available in Mississippi.

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

More details

  • Interest rates: 7.99% to 23.43%

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years

  • Rate discounts: Autopay (0.25%), existing account holder (0.125%) and direct creditor payment (0.25%)

  • Fees: None

  • Min. credit score: 680

  • Accepts co-signers: No (but can apply with a joint applicant)

Best for large loans: LightStream

3.45 stars

Fixed APR: 5.99% to 23.99%

Min. credit score: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

If you need to borrow a large amount, LightStream could be a good option. Its loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 and come with terms from two to seven years (up to 12 years for some types of loans).

Additionally, if you’ve already been approved for a personal loan with another lender, you could get another 0.10% off your rate through LightStream’s Rate Beat Program. You can also take advantage of a 0.50% rate discount if you sign up for autopay—a higher discount than the typical 0.25% provided by other lenders.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Loan amounts up to $100,000.

  • Rate Beat Program.

  • No fees.

Cons

  • Doesn’t allow borrowers to prequalify.

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

  • Poor Trustpilot reviews.

More details

  • Interest rates: 5.99% to 23.99%

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years (up to 12 years for some types of loans)

  • Rate discounts: Autopay (0.50%), Rate Beat Program (0.10%)

  • Fees: None

  • Accepts co-signers: No (but can apply with a joint applicant)

Best for fast funding: Prosper

3.45 stars

Fixed APR: 6.99% to 35.99%

Min. credit score: 600

Why it’s the best

If you apply for a personal loan with Prosper and are approved, you could get your funds within one business day of signing your loan documents. Speedy disbursement combined with the lender’s quick rate estimation tool can make Prosper a good option if you’re on a tight timeline. 

Prosper loans range from $2,000 to $50,000 and come with terms from two to five years.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Fast funding.

  • Accepts poor and fair credit scores.

  • No prepayment penalty.

Cons

  • No advertised rate discounts.

  • Charges an origination fee.

  • Charges fees for check payments, late payments and insufficient funds.

More details

  • Interest rates: 6.99% to 35.99%

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 5 years

  • Rate discounts: None

  • Fees: Origination fee (1% to 5%), check payment fee (5% of your payment amount or $5, whichever is less), late payment fee ($15 or 5% of the unpaid amount, whichever is greater) and insufficient funds fee ($15)

  • Accepts co-signers: No (but can apply with a joint applicant)

Best for no fees: Marcus

3.4 stars

Fixed APR: 6.99% to 24.99%

Min. credit score: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

Unlike many personal loan lenders, Marcus charges no fees, which can help keep your overall costs lower. Additionally, if you make at least 12 consecutive, on-time payments, Marcus will let you defer one monthly payment interest-free. 

With Marcus, you can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 and choose a term from three to six years.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • No fees.

  • On-time payment reward.

  • Autopay discount.

Cons

  • Doesn’t disclose minimum credit score requirements.

  • Doesn’t allow co-signers or joint applicants.

  • Must borrow at least $3,500.

More details

  • Interest rates: 6.99% to 24.99%

  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000

  • Repayment terms: 3 to 6 years

  • Rate discounts: Autopay (0.25%)

  • Fees: None

  • Accepts co-signers: No

Best for small loans: PenFed

3.3 stars

Fixed APR: 7.74% to 17.99

Min. credit score: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

While many lenders have a minimum borrowing amount of $1,000 or more, you can borrow as little as $600 up to $50,000 with PenFed. Repayment terms range from one to five years.

Keep in mind that while you don’t have to be a PenFed member to apply, you’ll have to join the credit union if you are approved and want to accept the loan.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Can borrow as little as $600.

  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty.

  • Allows joint applicants.

Cons

  • Must join the credit union to accept a loan.

  • Charges late and returned payment fees.

  • Doesn’t disclose minimum credit score requirements.

More details

  • Interest rates: 7.74% to 17.99

  • Loan amounts: $600 to $50,000

  • Repayment terms: 1 to 5 years

  • Rate discounts: None

  • Fees: Late fee ($29) and returned payment fee ($30)

  • Accepts co-signers: No (but can apply with a joint applicant)

Best for building credit: Upgrade

3.25 stars

Fixed APR: 7.96% to 35.97%

Min. credit score: Does not disclose

Why it’s the best

With Upgrade, borrowers have access to free credit score monitoring and personalized recommendations, which can be helpful if you’re looking to build your credit. 

Upgrade personal loans range from $1,000 to $50,000 and come with terms from two to seven years.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Free access to credit health tools.

  • $200 bonus for opening a rewards checking account and making 3 debit transactions within 60 days.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee.

  • Charges late and returned payment fees.

  • Doesn’t disclose information about rate discounts unless you have a registered account.

More details

  • Interest rates: 7.96% to 35.97%

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000

  • Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years

  • Rate discounts: Autopay (amount not disclosed)

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

  • Accepts co-signers: No (but can apply a with joint applicant)

Best for thin credit: Upstart

3.25 stars

Fixed APR: 6.5% to 35.99%

Min. credit score: 300

Why it’s the best

If you have thin credit—meaning too little of a credit history to generate a credit score—Upstart could be a good option. While the lender has a minimum credit score requirement of 300, it also works with borrowers with little to no credit. In addition to your credit, Upstart will consider other factors as well, such as your education and employment, to determine your creditworthiness. 

With Upstart, you can borrow $1,000 to $50,000 with a three- or five-year term. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Accepts thin credit profiles.

  • Considers alternative credit factors.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee.

  • Charges fees for late and returned payments.

  • Limited repayment terms.

More details

  • Interest rates: 6.5% to 35.99%

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000

  • Repayment terms: 3 or 5 years

  • Rate discounts: None

  • Fees: Origination fee (0% to 10%), late fee (5% of past-due amount or $15, whichever is greater) and returned payment fee ($15)

  • Accepts co-signers: No

Best for good credit: U.S. Bank

3.2 stars

Fixed APR: 8.99% to 21.49%

Min. credit score: 660

Why it’s the best

While U.S. Bank’s minimum credit score requirement is 660, this is on the higher end of what’s considered fair credit. A fair credit score is usually specified as falling between 580 and 669. Also keep in mind that if you aren’t a current U.S. Bank customer, you might need a higher credit score than 660 to get approved. Because of this, U.S. Bank is likely better suited to borrowers with good credit. 

Existing U.S. Bank customers can borrow $1,000 to $50,000 with terms from one to seven years. Non-U.S. Bank customers, on the other hand, can only borrow a maximum of $25,000 with terms up to five years.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Accepts fair credit scores.

  • Autopay discount.

  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty.

Cons

  • Higher credit score requirements for non-U.S. Bank customers.

  • Lower borrowing limits and shorter terms for non-U.S. Bank customers.

  • Must have U.S. Bank account to check your rates.

More details

  • Interest rates: 8.99% to 21.49%

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000 ($25,000 maximum for non-U.S. Bank customers)

  • Repayment terms: 1 to 7 years (5-year maximum for non-U.S. Bank customers)

  • Rate discounts: Autopay (0.50%)

  • Fees: No origination fee or prepayment penalty

  • Accepts co-signers: No (but can apply with a joint applicant)

Best for bad credit: Avant

3.15 stars

Fixed APR: 9.95% to 35.95%

Min. credit score: 580

Why it’s the best

While most Avant customers have a credit score between 600 and 700, you could qualify for a personal loan with a credit score as low as 580. This could make Avant a great option if you have less-than-stellar credit. 

With Avant, you can borrow $2,000 to $35,000 with a repayment term from one to five years. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Accepts poor and fair credit scores.

  • Fast funding.

  • Excellent Trustpilot reviews.

Cons

  • Charges an origination fee.

  • Charges fees for late payments and insufficient funds.

  • Does not offer any rate discounts.

More details

  • Interest rates: 9.95% to 35.95%

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 and $35,000

  • Repayment terms: 1 to 5 years

  • Rate discounts: None

  • Fees: Origination fee (4.75%), late fee ($25) and insufficient funds fee ($15) 

  • Accepts co-signers: No

Compare the best low-interest personal loans

Interest ratesLoan amountsLoan terms (years)Rate discounts
SoFi 7.99% to 23.43% $5,000 to $100,000 2 to 7Autopay: 0.25% Existing account holder: (0.125%) Direct creditor payment: (0.25%)
LightStream 5.99% to 23.99% $5,000 to $100,000 2 to 7 (up to 12 for some types of loans)Autopay: 0.50% Rate Beat Program: 0.10%
Prosper6.99% to 35.99%$2,000 to $50,0002 to 5None
Marcus6.99% to 24.99%$3,500 to $40,0003 to 6Autopay: 0.25%
PenFed7.74% to 17.99%$600 to $50,0001 to 5None
Upgrade 7.96% to 35.97%$1,000 to $50,0002 to 7Autopay: Amount not disclosed
Upstart6.5% to 35.99%$1,000 to $50,000 3 or 5None
U.S. Bank8.99% to 21.49%$1,000 to $50,000 ($25,000 maximum for non-U.S. Bank customers)1 to 7 (5-year maximum for non-U.S. Bank customers) Autopay: 0.50%
Avant9.95% to 35.95%$2,000 to $35,000 1 to 5None

Why some lenders didn’t make the cut

Of the 18 personal loan lenders that we reviewed, only a fraction made the cut. The reasons for this varied by lender, with some receiving lower ratings due to having higher interest rates or not allowing co-signers while others had limited customer service options or poor customer reviews.

Methodology

Our expert writers and editors have reviewed and researched 18 popular lenders to help you find the best low-interest personal loan. Out of all the lenders considered, the nine that made our list excelled in areas across the following categories (with weightings): loan details (15%), loan cost (40%), eligibility and accessibility (20%), customer service (15%) and ease of application (10%).

Within each major category, we considered several characteristics, including APR ranges, loan amounts and terms, lender discounts, late payment fees, minimum credit score requirements, co-signer acceptance and funding times. We also evaluated each provider’s state availability, customer support options and customer reviews. All interest rates are current and include discounts as applicable as of Jan. 17, 2023.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any 0% APR personal loans?

In general, reputable lenders don’t offer 0% APR on personal loans. You might find 0% APR offers on some products like auto loans or buy now, pay later loans. However, you could still get stuck paying hefty interest charges on these if you don’t meet the requirements set by the lender. This is why it’s essential to read a loan agreement carefully so you understand the total cost of borrowing, including the interest rate, fees and any potential rate increases over time.

If you want to borrow money with 0% APR, you might consider a credit card with a 0% APR introductory period. During this time (typically between six and 21 months, depending on the card), you won’t have to worry about paying interest. Just keep in mind that if you can’t pay off the card before this period ends, you could end up owing interest charges.

What is a good interest rate for a small personal loan?
How can I get a low interest rate on a personal loan?

About the Authors

Kiah Treece

Kiah Treece

Kiah Treece is a small business owner and former attorney with extensive experience in business and consumer finance. She focuses on demystifying debt so individuals and business owners can take control of their finances. Her work has been published on Forbes Advisor, Investopedia, The Spruce, Rolling Stone, Treehugger and more.

Full bio
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.

Full bio

Related Content