The Best Personal Loans of 2020, Ranked

The sheer number of personal loan options can be overwhelming. Banks, online lending companies and online marketplaces all claim to offer the best loans, but who can you trust? To help cut through the noise, we put every major lender under a microscope and graded them in 10 quantifiable categories (see our full methodology beneath the list).

After crunching all the data, here’s our ranked list of the best personal loans of 2020.

1st

Grade (out of 100)

SoFi

Thanks to low interest rates, stellar customer satisfaction and flexible terms, SoFi is our top pick for the best personal loans of 2020. Read our full SoFi review.

2nd

Marcus

Marcus is one of the only lenders who doesn’t charge any fees, and its rates, resources and mobile app are among the best in the industry. Read our full Marcus review.

3rd

Discover

High customer satisfaction and crystal-clear transparency makes Discover a fantastic option for personal loans, just beware of the late fee. Read our full Discover review.

The best of the rest

RankGrade
(out of 100)
Lender
4th88Earnest: An extremely low median APR, zero fees and positive customer reviews earns Earnest a high spot on our list.
5th88USAA: Although catering exclusively to military members and families, USAA charges no fees and always takes care of its customers.
6th85Navy Federal Credit Union: Only serving certain members of the military and government, Navy Federal’s long repayment terms and customer satisfaction rating give it high marks. However, it does charge several fees.
7th84Payoff: Payoff’s specialty lies in its name: paying off debt. Through credit card consolidation, Payoff allows borrowers to start again, with lower interest rates and up to five years to pay it off. Read our full Payoff review.
8th83Fifth Third Bank: Although a low loan limit holds Fifth Third back from higher marks, its reasonable APR range, low fees and mobile support mean easy loan management and payments on the go.
9th78LightStream: If the application process isn’t as great as it claims, LightStream will send $100 your way and beat any competitor’s APR by 0.10%. But the transparency of SunTrust’s lending arm leaves something to be desired. Read our full Lightstream review.
10th78Best Egg: A high median APR brings down Best Egg’s score, but its high customer satisfaction rating and transparency in loan details makes it easy for borrowers to shop and compare rates. Read our full Best Egg review.
11th78Avant: Get ready to pay fees and medium-high interest rates if you apply for a personal loan with Avant. However, its next-day funding and easy application process could help borrowers who find themselves in a pickle. Read our full Avant review.
12th77Wells Fargo: Need a large loan? Wells Fargo has borrowers covered to up to $100K with very reasonable interest rates. But with its fees and recent scandals, it scores low in customer satisfaction. Read our full Wells Fargo review.
13th76Upstart: Although Upstart has a relatively high median APR, it’s still lower than most credit cards. As an online personal loan provider, Upstart focuses on consolidating credit card debt with quick and fair funding for borrowers to get a new start. Read our full Upstart review.
14th73PNC Bank: Because of its average rates, loan terms and loan amounts, PNC is just average as a lender. Be prepared for fees and a hard credit pull to check rates.
15th73Upgrade: Low transparency and several fees landed Upgrade at No. 15, but the lender still has virtue with high customer satisfaction ratings and a high maximum loan amount of $50,000. Read our full Upgrade review.
16th69Prosper: There isn’t an easy way to check Prosper’s rates and offerings without starting the application process and authorizing a soft credit pull, making it difficult to shop and compare with Prosper. Read our full Prosper review.
17th67US Bank: With hardly any information about restrictions, loan limits or even if checking the interest rate will be a hard or soft credit pull, US Bank ranks low in transparency and accessibility, but borrowers who already bank with US Bank would probably benefit from its Simple Loan product.
18th65OneMain: Fast funding is where OneMain shines, but only if it’s convenient to head to a local branch to finalize the loan. However, its high customer satisfaction rating and reasonable APR range makes it a great lender to turn to in a pinch.
19th62Lending Club: From a pool of investors, borrowers can secure funding in about four days, as long as they’re okay with higher APRs and an origination fee of 1% to 6% of the loan amount. Read our full Lending Club review.
20th60Citibank: With an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, be wary of how it treats its customers. Other than that, decent APRs and only one fee keep it in the running for the best personal loan providers.
21st56NetCredit: As an online lender catering to those with no credit or poor credit, NetCredit widens its own net with very high APRs — a median of 94.50%. If there’s nowhere else to turn to after rejections from other lenders, NetCredit can still help out.
22nd56OppLoans: Although very similar to a payday lender who specializes in borrowers with low credit and nowhere else to turn, OppLoans skirts that definition with longer repayment terms and lower APRS. But a median APR of 149% is nothing to sneeze at — avoid getting sucked into a cycle of debt if considering this lender. Read our full OppLoans review.

Grading methodology

We selected 10 key metrics we could compare between every major personal loan provider, then assigned a spectrum of possible grades for each metric between 0 and 10. Here’s a breakdown of all 10 metrics and grading spectrums.

Median APR

The APR (annual percentage rate) on a loan is the amount of interest that accrues on the loan’s remaining balance every year. All lenders offer a range of APRs depending on your credit score. We took each brand’s current range and averaged the lowest and highest possible APRs in order to determine the median. (A lower median APR doesn’t necessarily translate into a lower APR for each borrower, but it’s a useful gauge of the lender’s rates.)

PointsGrading spectrum
0N/A
136.00%+
233.00%-35.99%
330.00%-32.99%
427.00%-29.99%
524.00%-26.99%
621.00%-23.99%
718.00%-20.99%
815.00%-17.99%
912.00%-14.99%
10Less than 12.00%

Maximum loan amount

Some lenders cap their personal loans at $10,000 or less, but others go as high as $50,000 or $100,000. We rewarded lenders with more generous maximum loans.

PointsGrading spectrum
0N/A
1Less than $5,000
2$5,000-$9,999
3$10,000-$14,999
4$15,000-$19,999
5$20,000-$24,999
6$25,000-$29,999
7$30,000-$34,999
8$35,000-$49,999
9$50,000-$74,999
10More than $75,000

Maximum loan term

We also rewarded lenders for flexible loan terms. While it’s usually better to pay off a loan in three years instead of five, some borrowers need the added flexibility.

PointsGrading spectrum
0N/A
1N/A
22 years or less
3N/A
43 years
5N/A
64 years
7N/A
85 years
9N/A
106 years +

Customer satisfaction

Since there is no single metric to grade customer satisfaction for every brand, we relied on two: Better Business Bureau grades for BBB-rated lenders, and J.D. Power scores for the rest.

PointsBBB ratingJ.D. Power rating
0N/AN/A
1D+ or lowerN/A
2 C-1/5 circles
3CN/A
4C+2/5 circles
5B-N/A
6B3/5 circles
7B+N/A
8A-4/5 circles
9AN/A
10A+5/5 circles

Rate accessibility

How easy does the lender make it to get a custom quote? Does it require a soft credit check (no impact on your credit report) or a hard pull?

PointsGrading spectrum
0N/A
1N/A
2Hard credit check + doesn’t make this clear until application
3N/A
4Hard credit check + makes this clear somewhere on the website
5N/A
6Hard credit check + lets you know on the main personal loans page
7N/A
8Soft credit check + makes this clear somewhere on the website
9N/A
10Soft credit check + lets you know on the main personal loans page

Fee structure

We looked for three common fees — origination, late payment, and pre-payment — as well as any additional ones.

PointsGrading spectrum
0N/A
1N/A
24 or more fees
3N/A
43 fees
5N/A
62 fees
7N/A
81 fee
9N/A
100 fees

Transparency

We checked to see how easy lenders make it to find the information borrowers need. Do they make the following datapoints clearly visible on their homepages, scatter them throughout their websites or ask you to call for more details?

  • APR range
  • Minimum and maximum loans
  • Loan terms
  • Fees
  • Customer support
PointsGrading spectrum
00 datapoints
1N/A
21 datapoint
3N/A
42 datapoints
5N/A
63 datapoints
7N/A
84 datapoints
9N/A
10All 5 datapoints

Support

How easy is it to speak with a customer support representative about your personal loan?

PointsGrading spectrum
0N/A
1N/A
2Branch-only support (at a physical location)
3N/A
4Phone support
5N/A
6Phone and web-based support
7N/A
8Phone, web and mobile support
9N/A
10Phone, web and mobile support with unique tools and calculators

Resources

Most lenders now offer plenty of resource guides to help borrowers make smarter financial decisions, but we checked to see if they provided content in all of the following categories:

  • Borrowing money
  • Saving for the future
  • Personal money management (including for the home)
  • Credit and debt
  • Investing and career-building
PointsGrading spectrum
0FAQ only
1N/A
21 category
3N/A
42 categories
5N/A
63 categories
7N/A
84 categories
9N/A
10All 5 categories

SimpleScore

We leveraged our trusted partners at The Simple Dollar for their own proprietary metric, the SimpleScore, which assigns personal loan providers with a score between 1 and 5.

PointsGrading spectrum
0N/A
1N/A
2Less than 3.0
3N/A
43.0-3.4
5N/A
63.5-3.9
7N/A
84.0-4.4
9N/A
104.5+

Tiebreakers

If two or more lenders wound up with identical grades, we used the following tiebreakers (in order) to determine which ranked higher on our list.

  1. Median APR (ex: 7.99% would rank higher than 10.99%)
  2. Maximum loan amount (ex: $25,000 would rank higher than $10,000)
  3. Customer satisfaction (ex: an A+ Better Business Bureau rating would rank higher than a B+)

Adam Morgan

Senior Editor

Adam Morgan is a senior editor at PersonalLoans.org. An award-wining journalist with more than 15 years of experience covering finance and culture, his writing has been featured in The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The AV Club, Chicago magazine, The Simple Dollar and elsewhere.