Today I want to talk to you guys about the three best personal loans that I’ve found and seriously I looked everywhere for a personal loan. I checked banks, I checked credit unions, I checked online, I had to look everywhere because I needed one in my personal life.

Now I’m gonna share with you guys the three best companies that I found so you can make your own decision if you’re looking for a personal loan. In this post, I’m going to go over why you’d actually want a personal loan and I’ll cover the best three loans that I found and I’ll go over the pros and cons of each of them so that you can make your own decision if you’re looking for a personal loan.

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The first question you’ll be asking is why exactly would you want to get a personal loan?

For me personally, I had to look for a personal loan because I had a ginormous yard project that I had to complete. I didn’t want to do a home equity loan or anything like that because the rates and terms were a lot more simplified to just do a personal loan so basically if you’ve got big home improvements or you’re gonna do something expensive like adoption or you’ve got really expensive medical bills then I would suggest going with a personal loan.

I’d also recommend one if you’re trying to consolidate your credit card debt because if you’ve got credit card debt and you take a personal loan then the rate on the personal loan is probably going to be a lot better than your credit cards rate. In the financial terminology they would call this a debt consolidation loan you’re just taking your credit card debt and you’re moving it into a personal loan that hopefully has a better rate.

The only warning that I have though with consolidating credit card debt is that you’ve got to get on top of your credit cards otherwise you’re going to end up with two bills. If you don’t change your spending habits you’re gonna end up with a personal loan and you’re gonna have
credit card debt so everything’s just going to get worse so if you do end up consolidating your credit card debt through a personal loan or anything like that then just make sure your spending habits change so you don’t end up having credit card debt again.

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The three companies that I’m gonna talk about don’t actually charge adjacent fees and they don’t have prepayment penalties like some of the other guys do. When most of us think of personal loans we’re gonna think of companies like Lending Club and Prosper because those are the ones that pop up all over the place online but most of these guys actually charge origination fees and while 1% on like $10,000 is only a hundred bucks but it’s still a hundred bucks that you’re giving up when some of the other guys don’t actually charge that.

Most of the big banks and the credit unions that I looked into had rates that were so high that I didn’t even bother looking any further so with all the research that I had to do to figure out which personal loan I actually wanted to go with the conclusion I came to was these three specific companies and that’s because they didn’t charge any dirty fees they didn’t have prepayment penalties and their rates and their terms were really good.

One more thing I want to mention about these lenders and getting personal loans is that you have to have a solid credit score to even qualify for these loans through these lenders. If you’ve got a really bad score and I would probably look into some other companies because these ones are just based on good credit scores and seriously if your
credit score sucks then I would highly suggest trying to improve it because you’re never gonna get good rates on any type of money that you’re trying to borrow.

The first lender for personal loans that I want to talk about is American Express. Honestly, I had no idea that American Express tat personal loans I just thought that they focused mainly on credit cards but apparently they do personal loans and they even have savings accounts that have better rates than most banks and once I started looking into American Express as personal loans they actually had really good rates and really good terms their rates are currently about 7% to 20% you can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 from American Express and they offer 12, 24 and 36 month loans. When you compare these numbers to other lenders American Express is extremely competitive but just keep in mind that you do have to be an American Express cardholder in order to actually get one of these personal loans from them.

In the research I did on American Express personal loans I found out that the money that you’re borrowing from them and how long you’re planning on paying it back doesn’t really determine your rate as much as your Credit Score does. With them, it doesn’t really matter how much money you’re borrowing or how long you’re planning on paying the money back they just care about what your credit score is in determining the final interest rate that you’re gonna get for that loan.

The only thing I didn’t like was that their terms only went up to 36 months so if you needed a lot of money and you wanted 60 months you can’t do it with them. Out of the three lenders that I’m talking about American Express was the best when it came to borrowing a little bit of money for a little bit of time because they’re the only ones that will do it $3,500 minimum and they even offer the 12-month loan payback period.

In my opinion, American Express is the best option if you’re just borrowing a little bit of money for a little bit of time. I did check Discover Card for one of their personal loans because I know that they do them too but their rate came in about six points higher than any of the other guys so I didn’t even look any further into them I mean seriously it was a really bad break from them but if you want to check them out go ahead, I did they just didn’t come out with a rate that was good enough for me.

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Next on my list of personal loans is called SoFi which stands for social finance now these guys have only been around since 2011 but don’t let that fool you because they’ve changed the industry with the way their business model works. They’ve taken everything that we don’t like about traditional loans and they’ve seriously fixed it with their business model they advertise from the very beginning that they don’t have any hidden fees, that they have low rates, and that they have really good terms.

Their big thing is that they don’t hide anything from their customers everything is what it is with social finance and that’s awesome because you know exactly what you’re gonna be getting. They offer student loans, mortgages and personal loans so if you’re in the market for any of these types of loans SoFi is one that you really want to check out.

SoFi advertises that they don’t even charge an origination fee on mortgages which is typically about 1% that you’re just giving up whenever you get one of those loans and traditionally if you don’t have 20% down on a house then you have to pay mortgage insurance but SoFi it doesn’t even charge you mortgage insurance with one of their loans. If you have less than 20% social finance is kind of the new way to get loans and they’ve proven it because they’ve actually lent out over 30 billion dollars so far they’ll even give you half a quarter percent discount if you have more one loan with them – and they even offer what they call unemployment protection which means if you lose your job they’ll actually freeze your payments temporarily until you find a new job so that’s kind of nice.

Currently, SoFi offers personal loans from about five and a half percent to fourteen percent and they’ll let you borrow between $5,000 and $100,000 and then you can choose to pay them back between three and seven years. One thing I did notice though is that their loans fluctuate based on how long you keep them and how much you’re financing so keep that in mind if you’re gonna consider SoFi.

I found that their best rates are actually the 36-month terms with lower amounts borrowed so just keep that in mind. For instance their lowest advertised rate at five and a half percent that one’s only gonna work for you if you do a 36-month loan with them but if you do go with the longer term they still have really good rates you’re just only gonna get the best rate if you go with the 36-month term and I also notice that they’re not as picky about what you’re using the money for and that’s a good thing because a lot of the other lenders are really picky when it comes to what you’re using the money for so just keep that in mind.

In my opinion, I think that everybody should at least consider SoFi if they’re looking for a personal loan. The only problem I have with them is that their minimum amount you can borrow is $5,000 which American Express had at 3,500 bucks so it’s a lot easier to get a little bit of money from American Express than it is with SoFi. The minimum amount was the only thing that bothered me about them everything else seemed to be extremely competitive and really good in my opinion.

Last on my list of personal loans is called Light Stream by SunTrust Bank these guys are actually big bank-owned because of SunTrust but they offer some of the best rates and the best terms that I found from all of these different companies and they do advertise that there’ll be any competitors rate by a tenth of a point as long as it’s the same type of loan.

Light Stream’s personal loan rates are about 3 to 14 percent which is incredible and they’ll also loan between $5,000 and $100,000 their term length ranges from 24 to 144 months which is actually 12 years if you really wanted to max it out that long. I would advise though that you don’t go with 144 months if you’re going with a personal loan but that’s just my opinion.

Now don’t let any of these numbers deceive you with Light Stream loans because everything fluctuates depending on what you’re doing with the loan, how much money you’re borrowing and how long you’re planning on paying it back for so it’s not like you can borrow the minimum $5,000 and finance it over a 144 months. Everything that lights dream offers is dependent upon their predetermined categories but don’t let that deceive you because their rates are incredible.

I found with Light Stream that if you borrow between about $10,000 and $25,000 and you borrow it for 24 to 36 months then you’re gonna get the best rates that they offer and I found that the lower amounts of money that you borrow from them actually have higher rates than borrowing more money so if you do want to borrow less than $10,000 then I’d suggest going with the other guys instead.

I did notice with Light Stream that their lowest advertised rates are for auto loans only so don’t expect to get a 3% rate if you’re consolidating your credit cards. I found that most of the categories ranged from about 6% to 8% interest so just keep that in mind if you’re looking at these guys.

Now out of these three different companies that I looked into I actually ended up going with Light Stream loans. I probably would have preferred to go with social finance but I ended up going with light stream loans because they actually came in about a point and a half lower than the other guys did but that was for me personally.

You’ll want to check all of these different lenders to see which rates you’re gonna end up qualifying for because I didn’t have an origination fee or anything like that I just went with whoever gave me the best rate and for me, at the time it happened to be Light Stream loans.

These are the three best picks that I found but feel free to comment below if you know of any personal loans that I didn’t mention that actually have better rates so maybe you do know of some better personal loans out there but these are the three best that I found and that’s from all the research that I did.