How to Compare Personal Loans

personal loan compare

Personal loans are unsecured unsecured loans with fixed-interest rates that offer flexibility to borrowers with excellent credit scores, steady income streams and manageable debt-to-income ratios.

When selecting a lender, many borrowers focus on selecting one with the lowest interest rate; however, other considerations should also be kept in mind. Here are a few points worth keeping in mind when making this choice:

Interest Rates

Interest rates are one of the key components to consider when shopping around for personal loans. Lenders’ rates depend on risk assessments and criteria for qualifying borrowers; those with excellent credit may qualify for lower interest rates than those with poorer scores – but you should know about any lenders’ minimum credit score requirements beforehand.

As most personal loans are unsecured – meaning there’s no collateral asset attached – lenders often charge higher interest rates in order to account for increased risks associated with uncollateralized personal loans. Most providers base their interest rates on how much it costs them to borrow money from each other or from the federal reserve.

Another factor influencing the interest rate on a personal loan is how long it will take you to repay it back. Lenders generally set loan terms that allow borrowers to comfortably pay them back within an acceptable timeframe – this way, debtors don’t become overwhelmed financially when repaying debts.

Many lenders also include an origination fee in the cost of personal loans, to cover their cost in processing your application and reviewing your creditworthiness. Origination fees usually range between 1%-6% of your total loan amount; additionally, some may impose an early payoff penalty should you decide to repay before its maturity date.

Personal loans can be an excellent way to finance expenses, consolidate debt and improve credit if they’re used responsibly. Be sure to compare multiple personal loan offers before selecting one that’s suitable for you; repayment must also be on time; for assistance selecting your ideal terms try an online calculator that displays how different terms could impact monthly payments.

Use our loan calculator below to determine your monthly payment based on loan amount, term and interest rate. Compare multiple lender’s rates and see how different terms impact monthly payments.

Repayment Periods

Personal loans are funds you borrow with interest that must be repaid over an agreed-upon timeframe. They are an effective way of financing major events or unexpected expenses as well as managing debt. Personal loans are available from banks, credit unions and online lenders and typically require filling out an application and qualifying based on factors like your credit score, income level and debt-to-income ratio. Credit unions tend to offer lower rates with more flexible terms for their borrowers – some may even provide special incentives.

Many people turn to personal loans for major life events like their wedding or vacation, emergency expenses such as home repairs or medical bills and consolidating debt payments into manageable monthly installments. Before considering this route though, make sure your budget allows for repaying it without jeopardizing other goals such as savings for emergencies or creating retirement funds.

Personal loans typically span 12 to 84 months in duration. A longer repayment term means lower monthly payments but also greater interest charges; to keep costs to a minimum, select the shortest term length possible that you can comfortably afford.

Personal loans come with both fixed and variable interest rates; fixed loans have fixed rates throughout the entire term while variable ones fluctuate based on an index like Prime. Some personal loans also feature capped interest rates so that rates won’t go beyond an agreed upon limit.

Some lenders provide incentives, like discounts for on-time payments, to encourage borrowers to keep current with their payments. It is wise to shop around to find the ideal personal loan for you; once selected be sure to read all terms carefully before agreeing. Taking care in reading these agreements can ensure you remain financially in control.


Many lenders impose origination fees for personal loans, which can drive up your total cost of borrowing. These charges typically consist of one-off operational charges or percentage of loan amount. Some lenders waive these fees or include them as part of loan terms – it’s important to research all available lenders to find one that best meets your needs.

Additional loan fees could include prepayment penalties, which could range from a flat fee or percentage of the outstanding principal loan balance when you repay early, to fees such as service charges and application fees.

Personal loans are frequently taken out to cover large expenses that are beyond your savings capacity, like weddings and home renovations. You could also use them to consolidate debts such as credit card bills – this may help save interest payments while decreasing overall debt burden – however keep in mind that interest will accrue even if your loan is paid off early.

Personal loans can have a substantial positive effect on your credit score if used responsibly and paid back according to their loan terms. Their effect will depend on several factors, including creditworthiness, loan type and duration as well as associated fees.

Comparing interest rates, fees, loan maximums and repayment periods offered by different lenders is key to finding the most suitable personal loan. A personal finance website or app that matches you with lenders offering the right combination of features may help find you your loan quickly – select provides such an app allowing users to enter their information and be instantly matched with potential loans without impacting credit score – other lenders that provide similar services include SoFi, LightStream and Marcus by Goldman Sachs.


Applicants with lower credit scores or who do not meet lender qualifying criteria could increase their chances of approval by offering collateral as security. You pledge an asset as security for the debt; should you default or fail to repay, your lender can seize it to recover losses. Examples of collateral include real estate, vehicles, stocks/bonds/investment accounts/other financial assets as a source of recouping its losses; many lenders require this as part of loan applications involving individuals with poorer credit histories or high risks of default.

Most lenders have strict criteria regarding what items may be used as collateral and may limit loan amounts based on the value of each asset used as collateral. Some only accept cash deposits into savings and CD accounts as collateral while others accept real estate, home equity lines of credit and automobiles as such. Some also stipulate minimum balance or ownership requirements.

Secured personal loans tend to be easier for applicants to qualify for than unsecure personal loans because lenders have greater confidence that the debt will be repaid should any issues arise. It is important to remember, however, that should you default on this loan or stop making payments, any asset used as collateral may be forfeit.

As every lender has different rules and guidelines when it comes to collateral loans, some offer prequalification or soft credit checks without negatively affecting your score, making it easy to shop around for the best rates and terms. Once you find one with competitive collateral loan rates and terms that suit you best, the application process should begin. It is advisable to compare multiple lenders such as national banks, community and credit union lenders as well as online lenders in terms of interest rate, fees repayment terms maximum borrowing limits as well as how much can be borrowed to ensure it best suits your needs.

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