Personal loans come with different requirements, and one of them is having a good credit score. So if you’re someone who has taken good care of their credit score and history, count yourself lucky—you get a slew of options because of your access to multiple lenders and better chances to land a good deal on interest rates and loan terms.
If your credit score is at 670 and above, good credit lenders will welcome you with the best personal loans and open arms. The only catch is, having so many options makes shopping around for the best of the best personal loans a little more tedious.
But don’t worry—we’ve done the job for you. We’ve compiled a list of the best personal loans for people with an excellent credit score, factoring in different features that may interest you.
What is a Good Credit Score?
Mirror, mirror on the wall; what exactly does it mean to have a good credit score? While the short answer may be as simple as saying the recognized value, the more accurate answer is it depends on what kind of loan you need and which lender you are borrowing from.
This means that if you’re getting an auto loan or a mortgage, lenders will evaluate your credit score differently than how it would be when you’re applying for a credit card. And just like how beauty is in the eye of the beholder, American Express and Wells Fargo will have different tastes from each other.
Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus in the US, says that a credit score from 670 to 739 is considered a good credit score range, but not all lenders follow this rule of thumb. For example, some lenders may consider a credit score below 700 as only fair credit.
Related: Bad Credit Personal Loans
Why is Having Good or at Least Fair Credit Important?
Having an excellent credit score helps you be eligible for better loan terms and interest rates because lenders look at it to determine how well you can make your monthly payments. But that’s not all it can be used for.
Beyond improving your credit report, a good (or, at times, fair) credit score is helpful for when you’re applying for life insurance. Insurance companies may consider it as a lower risk than those in poor credit risk categories. In addition, employers may consider good or fair credit as a plus—they see it as a sign of stability and financial management skills.
How is Credit Score Calculated?
An individual’s credit score is calculated based on the information on their credit report. The three major bureaus that provide credit reports—namely Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—generate their own credit scores called VantageScores. Still, the one most used by lenders is the FICO score, an abbreviation of Fair Isaac Corporation.
While VantageScores can give you the long and short of the state of your personal credit, the majority of lenders look at your FICO scores. This is because the FICO credit score takes information from the three major credit reporting bureaus for their calculations, lending to the general it being generally more favoured.
Some of the different factors that affect your credit score are:
- Payment History. This accounts for 35% of your score. This considers your ability to make timely payments on different loans so that lenders can calculate the risk of giving or extending your loan.
- Current Debt. This accounts for 30% of your score. This takes into account all the debt you currently have, including any personal loans, student loans, and any credit card debt. While owing money on different credit accounts does not mean you are a high-risk borrower, lenders may take it as a sign that you are over-extended with a risk of defaulting on the loan offer.
- Length of Credit History. FICO credit scores take into account how long your accounts have been established, including the age of your oldest account, your newest account, and the average age of all of them combined. It also considers how long specific accounts have been established and how long it has been since you used certain accounts.
- Credit Mix. While it is not required to have one of each, FICO credit scores consider the variety of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, mortgage loans, and more for their calculations.
- New Credit. Opening several accounts relatively quickly is considered to represent a more significant risk, especially for individuals who don’t have a long credit history.
Top Personal Loan Lenders for Borrowers with Good Credit (August 2021)
So you’ve got excellent credit, and you’re looking for a personal loan. We’ve looked into different personal loans, comparing each of their personal loan APRs (annual percentage rate), fees, qualifications and requirements, interest rates, how you can use your loan, qualifications, fees, minimum and maximum loan limits, and interest.
Here are some of the best personal loans for people with excellent credit:
- Best Overall: SoFi
- Best Minimum Loan Amount: LendingClub
- Best for Fast Funding: LightStream
- Best for Professional Development Expenses: Upstart
- Best for Debt Consolidation: Marcus by Goldman Sachs
- Best Bank: Wells Fargo
- Best Credit Card Company: American Express
- Best Credit Union: Alliant Credit Union
1. Best Personal Loan Offer Overall: SoFi (Social Finance)
SoFi is a well-known wealth management business and one of the biggest online lenders in the US. It began in 2011 as a student loan provider before growing to the lending giant it is today. Read more about taking out a personal loan to pay off student loans.
SoFi offers some of the highest loan principals paired with the lowest interest rates out there, giving it an increased competitive edge when it comes to personal loans compared to its peers. What’s more, it has a myriad of benefits for their customers—or as SoFi calls them, their members—such as unemployment protection and financial management guides.
- High loan amounts: SoFi personal loans can go up to $100,000.
- No fees: There are no charges for late repayments, early repayment, and loan origination.
- Benefits: SoFi members can get personalized career advice, financial planning guides from experienced advisors, and unemployment protection.
- High minimum loan: Compared to other lenders, SoFi requires a minimum loan amount of $5,000.
- Requires better credit scores: Those with higher income and/or credit standing have a better chance of qualifying. Conversely, fair credit borrowers may not qualify.
- Long disbursement times: Your funds may take several days to get to after loan approval.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000 (minimum may be higher in some states)
- APR range: 5.99%–19.63% with autopay
- Fees: No late repayment fees, origination fees, nor prepayment penalty
- Repayment terms: 2 to 7 years
- Disbursement time: After approval, it may take at least a few days
- Minimum credit requirement: 670
- Other requirements: Not available for borrowers in Mississippi. Applicants need to be U.S. citizens in the age of majority in their state and are valid visa holders. They need to bring proof of income or employment. Applications from borrowers who have existing SoFi personal loans need to have three recent on-time payments, except for borrowers of Michigan, who aren’t allowed to have more than one loan at a time.
2. Best Minimum Loan Amount: Lending Club
LendingClub is a peer-to-peer marketplace that connects investors with borrowers. Transactions can go as many as millions per day, and you can be one of them.
It finds its place in this list of personal loans because of its minimum principal—you can borrow as little as $1,000—which is great for borrowers who aren’t looking for massive capital and just need a little bit of extra cash.
- Lowest minimum loan: LendingClub trumps its peers by letting borrowers get loans as low as $1,000.
- No prepayment fees: You don’t have to worry about a prepayment penalty if you want to pay off a loan early.
- Joint applications permitted: You can add a co-signee for the loan.
- Long wait times: It takes a minimum of 4 days before loan disbursal.
- High origination fees: Borrowers have to deal with a comparatively high origination fee for a loan application.
- High maximum APRs: Interest rates can go up to 35.89% APR.
- Strict requirements for best rates: Good credit histories, scores, and low debt-to-income ratios are essential for a reasonable interest rate.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
- APR range: 8.05%–35.89%.
- Fees: Origination fees average at around 5.2% but may cost anywhere from 1% to 6%. The late repayment fee is whichever is higher between $15 or 5% of the past due amount.
- Repayment terms: Either 36 or 60 months
- Disbursement time: Borrowers may get funding as soon as four business days.
- Minimum credit requirement: 600
- Other qualification requirements: You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen with a bank account that can be verified. Borrowers from Iowa or a U.S. territory aren’t eligible for the loan.
3. Best Personal Loan for Fast Funding: LightStream
LightStream offers loans as the online lending arm of Truist Bank. It has a great range of loan amounts, with overall competitive terms.
Best of all, LightStream relatively isn’t as picky when approving personal loans. As a result, borrowers can get approved for almost any loan purpose, which they get as soon as the same business day as the application.
Do note that the minimum APRs and loan tenure will differ depending on the purpose of your loan.
- Minimal fees: No origination fee nor early repayment charges.
- Fast disbursal: As soon as the next business day.
- AutoPay discount: Borrowers using AutoPay are eligible for discounts.
- High minimum loan: Compared to other lenders, LightStream requires a minimum loan amount of $5,000.
- No prequalification option: You won’t be able to get the benefits of prequalification.
- APR fluctuation: Depending on your loan purpose, the minimum APR may change.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
- APR range: 5.95%–19.99%
- Fees: none
- Repayment terms: From 2 to 12 years
- Disbursement time: As soon as the same business day
- Minimum credit score requirement: 670
- Other qualification requirements: Borrowers need to have sufficient income.
4. Best Personal Loan for Professional Development Expenses: Upstart
Upstart is among the leading online lenders out there. It is an artificial intelligence lending platform founded by the bright minds of former Google employees. The AI is designed to increase approval rates while reducing risk and costs for their bank partners.
This is good news for borrowers, as they can qualify for a loan even with a fair credit score range or lower.
- Initial rate check: Checking your initial rate won’t affect your credit score
- Fast disbursal: Borrowers can get their loan proceeds as quickly as the next business day (or within two business days if the loan offer is accepted after 5 pm EST)
- No prepayment fee: Early repayment doesn’t incur a charge.
- Higher interest rates: While quick in approval and disbursal, interest rates can be high.
- Origination fee and late fee: Origination fees can go as high as 8%, and late payments incur a charge that is a percentage of the amount due.
- Limited loan term options: Your tenure can be either 3 or 5 years.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amount: from $1,000 to $50,000 (will differ in some states. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100). And will be based on different factors in your application, such as income, occupation, and even education.
- APR range: 6.76%–35.99% personal loan rates (The average 3-year loan has 24.52% and 36 monthly payments of $37 per $1,000 borrowed). It will vary based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.
- Fees: Origination fee costs range from 0% to 8%, and late fees are 5% of the due amount unless it is less than $15.
- Repayment terms: 3 or 5 years
- Disbursement time: This can be within one business day or two if you accept after 5 pm EST. Three business days for loans for educational funding.
- Minimum credit requirement: 600
- Other qualification requirements: A borrower needs to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old in most states. They must have a full-time job or a full-time job offer that starts within six months or some source of regular income. Borrowers also need to provide the proper certification if using the loan for post-secondary education purposes. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa.
5. Best Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation: Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the consumer banking division of the well-known investment management firm. It offers personal loans that work well for debt consolidation, hence finding its spot here.
Marcus stands out from its debt consolidation lending peers as they do not charge any fees while offering some of the most extended, flexible repayment terms in the world of lending. This is excellent for people who want to focus on their existing debt, do not want extra expenses, and need time to make repayments.
- Long loan terms: Borrowers can get tenures as long as 72 months which helps lower monthly payments.
- Customizable loan payment terms: Repayment dates can be customized for your convenience.
- No fees: There are no charges for late repayments, early repayment, and loan origination.
- Higher rates: Borrowers who choose longer terms may get higher APRs.
- Possible long disbursement time: Up to 4 business days of wait time.
- No joint applications: You are locked out of the option of having a co-signee.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amount: Borrowers may get a loan from $3,500 up to $40,000
- APR range: 6.99%–19.99%
- Fees: No late, prepayment, or origination fees
- Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months
- Disbursement time: May arrive as early as one business day to up to 4 business days after approval
- Minimum credit score requirement: 660
- Other qualification requirements: A borrower needs to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old in most states. They must provide a valid Social Security or Individual Tax I.D. number and a valid U.S. bank account to apply.
6. Best Bank: Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has a long history as a financial institution, starting in New York in 1852 to the multinational banking giant it is today. Wells Fargo’s headquarters is currently in San Francisco, California, with has over 5,400 branches around the country.
Wells Fargo offers a wide range of loans with rates starting at 5.74%, but new customers must apply in person.
- Minimal fees: No origination fee nor prepayment fee.
- Rate discount: Borrowers may get a relationship discount of 0.25%.
- Fast disbursal: Loan proceeds can be available as soon as the following business day.
- In-person application: New customers need to visit a brick and mortar location
- High minimum loan amount: The minimum loan is at $3,000
- High credit requirement: The recommended score is 760 and above.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amount: Borrowers may get a loan from $3,000 up to $100,000
- APR range: 5.74%–24.24% (0.25% relationship discount included )
- Fees: None
- Repayment terms: 12 to 84 months
- Disbursement time: The next business day after approval
- Minimum recommended credit score range: 760+
- Other qualification requirements: Borrowers need a qualifying Wells Fargo bank account with autopay for a relationship discount. New customers must go to a brick-and-mortar branch for an application.
7. Best Credit Union: Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union is the cream of the crop among other credit unions. Founded in 1935, this member-owned financial cooperative is not restrictive regarding requirements: any individual can join by donating to Foster Care to Success (FC2S).
Borrowers have four different loan terms to choose from, and they can be sure it comes without an origination fee and prepayment charge.
- Minimal fees: no origination fees and prepayment penalties.
- Fast disbursement: Applicants may get the proceeds on the same business day.
- Benefits: Members experiencing financial difficulty may go into the hardship program.
- Membership required: Applicants need to be members of Alliant Credit Union to be eligible for the loan.
- Limited loan options: Only four loan term options are available.
- Variable rates: Alliant Credit Union’s offers do not have fixed monthly payments.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amount: Borrowers may get a loan from $1,000 up to $50,000
- APR range: 6.24% to 10.24% interest rates with autopay discount
- Fees: No origination fee or prepayment penalties
- Repayment terms: Terms range from 12 to 60 months
- Time to receive funds: As soon as the same business day
- Minimum recommended credit score: 670
- Other qualification requirements: Only credit union members may apply, and rates may depend on factors such as your income and credit history.
8. Best Credit Card Company: American Express
American Express is another long-established company dating back to 1852. Cardholders of American Express are eligible to get a personal loan with the company’s competitive rates and low loan amounts.
American Express loans are suitable for existing customers who may want to consolidate their credit card debt. Although there are no origination fees, you may be charged a high late fee. Currently, you need to be invited to apply for a personal loan.
- Fast disbursement: Approval can take seconds, and you may receive your funds as soon as the following business day
- Minimal fees: No origination fee or prepayment penalties
- Pre-qualification: Soft credit check with pre-qualification, meaning checking does not affect your credit score.
- Exclusivity: Exclusive to pre approved cardholders.
- High late fee: Missing repayments will incur a high late fee of $39.
- No joint application: You can’t add a co-signee to the loan.
- Minimum & Maximum loan amount:$3,500 to $25,000
- APR range: 7.98%–19.98%
- Fees: $39 late fee
- Repayment terms: 12 to 36 months
- Time to receive funds: As soon as the next business day
- Minimum recommended credit score: 670
- Other qualification requirements: Borrowers need to be existing American Express cardholders and must be preapproved.
Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards
Personal loans aren’t your only option when using funding for debt consolidation, covering emergency expenses, or making large purchases. People who are currently unemployed may use a credit card.
Both options each have their pros and cons, so here is what to keep in mind before choosing:
- Lower rates: Compared to a credit card, a personal loan will usually have lower rates, especially for borrowers with great credit.
- Fixed monthly payment: A personal loan may be a fixed-rate loan, which means your monthly payment costs may remain the same throughout the repayment period.
- Co-signing available: You may share the responsibility of the loan with a co-signer, which means higher approval chances due to lower risk from the lender and lower risk for yourself.
- Set loan amount: These loans come with a fixed loan amount, meaning you’ll need to apply for a new one if you want more money.
- Immediately accrues interest: Origination fees and interest charges accrue right away.
- May have fees: Lenders that offer personal loans may charge different fees for processing and as a penalty for early or late repayment.
- 0% APR: Cards may often come with a 0% APR period, which means you won’t be subject to interest if you pay before the period ends.
- May help build credit: Credit cards help continue to positively affect your credit usage history as long as you make payments on time.
- May come with rewards: They may come with perks and rewards such as air miles or cash back.
- Higher rates: Compared to a personal loan, credit cards have higher rates.
- May tempt you to overspend: It’s easy to swipe your card for every indulgence. Unfortunately, this easy access may tempt you to spend well over your credit limit.
- May have fees: Depending on the card, you may incur fees for different transactions such as cash advances, balance transfers, etc.
Other Points to Consider
What Credit Score Do You Have?
- Excellent Credit: 800–850
- Very Good Credit: 740–799
- Good Credit: 670–739
- Fair Credit: 580–669
- Poor Credit: under 580
What is a Good Credit Score to Get a Personal Loan?
Having a FICO score within the “Good” range and above will already give you access to a better loan amount, rate, and terms. The general rule of thumb is the higher you have, the better.
How Do You Know if You Have Good Credit?
The best way to find out if you have an excellent credit score is by accessing your credit report. You are entitled to a free copy of your report annually as provided by the three credit reporting companies.
You may also sign up for a free credit monitoring service to check. While they may not use the exact same scoring models lenders use, they are a good way to check your standing.
Otherwise, a few signs that you have good credit include:
- You make consistent, prompt repayments.
- You don’t accrue more than 30% of your credit limit across your cards.
- You have no defaults or bankruptcies.
What Else Helps You Qualify for a Personal Loan?
Meeting the minimum credit requirements doesn’t mean you’ll already qualify for a loan. Lenders have different criteria when it comes to approving a loan application. Some may even go as far as consider where you went to college.
Here are some to keep in mind:
- Credit history: A long one is a big plus for lenders, while some may even require a minimum of two or three years. The rule of thumb is, the longer, the better. The more accounts you have may also serve as a sign of how prompt you are making payments, which is why having more accounts (auto loan, mortgage, etc.) in your credit history makes you more likely to qualify for a loan.
- Debt-to-income ratio: Lenders look for borrowers who generate enough income to meet different monthly financial responsibilities and make payments. This is where your DTI ratio comes to play, which serves as a way for lenders to determine whether you can handle another layer of debt over your existing one.
- Free cash flow: Your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t account for your daily expenses, so lenders may look at your bank transactions for expenses like gas, utilities, rent, groceries more to determine how much money borrowers have left after other expenses. Lenders refer to this as “free cash flow.” The more you have, the less risk for a lender and the more likely you qualify.
What Options Are There for People With Fair Credit?
People with poor to fair credit will often only be approved with high rates and low amounts, but there are fair credit lenders that can give you a loan while looking past your credit score.
A credit union may give fair credit loans considering your standing within the institution and other factors.
Because applying for a loan can cause a temporary dip in your credit score, pre-qualification is a good way to check your options without affecting your score.
You may also try applying with a co-signer to help mitigate your low score.
Finding The Best Personal Loan for Borrowers With Good Credit Scores
When shopping for loan options, you should understand all the terms and conditions of each choice to find one that addresses your needs and will cost you the least.
Look for a loan that provides you the best mix of loan amount, interest rates, fees (or lack thereof), tenures, and the like. Keep in mind that interest rates are essential—the lower the APR, the less you’ll be paying for the loan through its tenure.
The Bottom Line
- A good credit score gives you plenty of options. Be sure to shop around.
- Make sure to review the features of the different options. Some can be more appropriate for your situation compared to others.
- Take note that there are other considerations for your eligibility. Make sure that it’s not just your score that is good.
The better your credit, the better you’re off. You get better terms, access to higher amounts means, and more options to choose from. With that in mind, every lender will have different offers, so make sure to be thorough in your search to find the perfect loan that best addresses your financial needs.
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