#5. Upstart: Best for Debt Consolidation Loans

LightStream’s personal loans offer appealing repayment terms ranging from two to seven years, allowing people to decide whether they want lower monthly payments or a lower total amount paid back.

Unlike many lenders, LightStream doesn’t have hidden costs such as origination fees, prepayment penalties, or late-payment fees. The company also has a rate-beat program, in which it will beat a competitor’s interest rate by 0.1% for certain applicants.

LightStream’s application process is extremely simple, with fast approval times and quick access to funds. However, the company doesn’t make a soft credit inquiry to ascertain your eligibility for the loan. Instead, it conducts a hard check from the beginning, and an unsuccessful application can affect your credit score.

Like many other web-based lenders, LightStream has a customer service platform where users can manage their loans. Borrowers get access to customer support Monday through Saturday and qualify for COVID-19 hardship assistance and a comprehensive online knowledge base.

However, the lack of a pre-approval process and relatively high minimum credit score mean it’s a better option for individuals with high credit scores, long credit history, and a stable income who can cover the monthly payments

Upstart is an online lender that takes a unique approach to loan approvals. The site uses a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning to approve more applications than its competitors. The company reports approving 27% more personal loans than traditional lending models simply by taking factors other than credit score and income into account.

Upstart’s evaluation process considers the applicant’s education, job history, debt-to-income ratio, number of credit checks, and even current residence. While the site advises that applicants have a minimum credit score of 600, the algorithm can also approve people who have yet to establish their credit history.

Borrowers can get a personal loan between $1,000 and $50,000, with APR rates of 5.31% to %. The lender has two loan terms-three and five years-making it less flexible than other lenders.

Unfortunately, Upstart has a loan origination fee of up to 8% of your total loan amount. It also has several hidden costs, such as late fees of $15 or 5% of the due amount, returned check fees, and administrative fees.

Upstart places few limitations on what people can do with its loan funding. It even allows people to use their unsecured personal loan to cover educational expenses, except in states where this is explicitly disallowed, such as California, Connecticut, Illinois, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Overall, Upstart is a good lender to consider if you have a fair credit score and need a personal loan with a rapid approval turnaround. The high maximum APR and high origination fee may give some people pause, but because the company does a soft credit check, you can get an estimate of your monthly payment before committing to the loan. The company also doesn’t have a prepayment penalty, allowing you to pay off your loan sooner than the initial loan agreement.

#6. Avant: Best Loans for Fair Credit

Avant is a leading online lending platform that offers unsecured and secured loans. It is one of the few personal loan companies to specialize in individuals with fair credit, with applicants needing a credit score of at least 580 to qualify for a personal loan. The minimum income requirement is $20,000 per year, making it an attractive option payday loans in Tennessee for many low- to middle-income customers.

The loan amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000. While this maximum is relatively low for some purposes, it’s a great option for individuals who need quick access to funds.