5 Places to Get a Personal Loan

Multiple types of financial institutions offer personal loans, including online lenders, banks, and credit unions.

If you need money in the near future, a personal loan can help tide you over.

Here are five options to consider for taking out a personal loan.

Online lenders

Online lenders make it easy to research, qualify, and apply for personal loans, as they typically allow you to complete all of these steps online.

If you seek fast funding, online lenders can be a good option since they are often able to fund loans within a few business days of receiving approval.

In some cases, funding can be obtained the next business day.

Banks and credit unions

If you prefer to apply for a loan in person, a bank or credit union may be a good option for you.

You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for the best rates available from a traditional financial institution. But if you have an existing account with them, a bank or credit union may offer you a discounted rate.

Prior to getting a personal loan, it is important to consider the options from multiple lenders, and it is a good idea to get at least three quotes; here are five places to consider.


It is worth noting that Avant has a minimum income requirement of $1,200 per month and a minimum credit score requirement of 550, so borrowers with poor credit may still find Avant to be an attractive option.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 5

Discover Bank

Discover Bank could be the right choice for you if you need to repay a loan over a longer period of time than most lenders will offer.

  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 7

There are a number of advantages to working with Discover when it comes to funding and flexibility. The lender also charges no origination fees.

However, qualifying for one of their loans requires at least fair to good credit.


LendingClub does not require borrowers to earn a certain income level, making it an excellent option for those who may have difficulty qualifying with other lenders.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Loan terms (years): 3 or 5

Unlike traditional lenders, LendingClub makes your loan application available to multiple investors so that you are more likely to receive an offer with terms that meet your needs. However, LendingClub charges an origination fee, which ranges from 2% to 6% of the loan amount.


It is likely that you will want to consider LightStream if you need to borrow a large amount of money from a lender.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (years): 2 to 7 (up to 12 for home improvement loans)

As long as you meet its eligibility requirements, no origination fees will be charged on your loan.

PenFed Credit Union

PenFed is a lender that will lend as little as $600 at a time to applicants who need a smaller loan, so you might find the loan amount you need.

  • Loan amounts: $600 to $50,000, depending on the repayment term
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (years): 1 to 5

You may need to take some additional steps to borrow with PenFed. Namely, you’ll likely need to become a member of the credit union in order to qualify for a loan.

However, this lender has one of the lowest APRs on this list and no origination fees.