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Best Installment Loans

How to Choose the Right Lender

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With an installment loan, funds are disbursed in a single lump sum and can be used to pay for various things like consolidating debt or making home improvements. Installment loans carry a fixed interest rate and are repaid in equal installments of principal and interest over a set number of years. This type of non-revolving credit is different from revolving credit in that once the principal is repaid, it can’t be borrowed again. 

Data from the U.S. Federal Reserve System indicated that in November 2021, non-revolving consumer credit, including consumer installment loans in the United States, increased at an annual rate of 7.2%, and revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 23.4%. 

To help you pick the best installment loan, we evaluated over two dozen installment loan lenders based on rates, reputation, credit score needed, and more.

Best Installment Loans for 2022

Best Overall : Best Egg


Best Egg

Best Egg

  • Repayment Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Loan Amount: $2,000 to $50,000
Why We Chose It

Best Egg allows people with credit scores as low as 550 to potentially get approved, and the best-qualified borrowers can get rates as low as 7.99%.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent customer ratings

  • Low minimum credit score of 550+

Cons
  • Low $50,000 maximum loan amount

  • Relatively short time in business

Overview

Best Egg was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. Although Best Egg’s maximum loan amount is relatively low at $50,000, it’s possible to qualify with a credit score as low as 550, and the best-qualified borrowers can benefit from APRs as low as 7.99%. This means a wide variety of people can qualify for an installment loan with Best Egg, and it’s why we selected it as the overall best installment loan.

In addition to its lower-than-average APR and credit score requirement, Best Egg has a solid reputation among users, with many citing that the loan application process is easy and customer service is helpful.

Best for Good Credit : Marcus by Goldman Sachs


Marcus-by-Goldman-Sachs
  • Repayment Terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Loan Amount: $3,500 to $40,000
Why We Chose It

Borrowers with credit scores of at least 660 could qualify for an installment loan.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Good maximum terms of 72 months

  • Only 43 CFPB installment loan complaints during the most recent three years

Cons
  • Low maximum loan amount of $40,000

  • Funding could take up to four days

Overview

Marcus is a division of Goldman Sachs, a financial services company founded in 1869. The headquarters of Marcus by Goldman Sachs is located in Draper, Utah. You can get an installment loan of up to $40,000 with Marcus by Goldman Sachs at an APR starting as low as 6.99%.

To qualify for an installment loan with Marcus by Goldman Sachs, you typically need to have a fair-to-good credit score of at least 660. This is why we chose Marcus by Goldman Sachs as offering the installment loan that’s best for good credit.

A search of the CFPB’s consumer complaint database for Goldman Sachs revealed 43 complaints during the most recent three-year period related to installment loans. This is a relatively low number of complaints compared to other companies we’ve reviewed. Plus, Goldman Sachs provides timely responses to issues, which is a positive sign.

Best for Bad Credit : Upstart


Upstart company logo
  • Repayment Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 to $50,000
Why We Chose It

Upstart only requires a credit score of 580 and looks at various factors when making its lending decisions.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low minimum credit score of 600

  • Factors other than your credit score are evaluated

Cons
  • High maximum APR of 35.99%

  • Relatively short time in business

Overview

Upstart was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Mateo, California. You can get an installment loan of up to $50,000 with Upstart, with rates ranging from 5.60% to 35.99%. Although this is the highest maximum APR of the companies we reviewed, you can also potentially get approved with a credit score as low as 600.

Although the specifics aren't disclosed, they consider more than just your credit score in their lending decision, which is why we think Upstart offers the installment loan that's best for bad credit.

A review of the consumer complaint database for Upstart revealed 45 complaints related to installment loans during the most recent three-year period. This is a relatively low number of complaints compared to many other lenders we've evaluated.

Common issues are trouble getting the loan, problems making payments, and unexpected fees or other charges. These issues highlight the importance of making sure you submit all requested information and carefully review your loan terms before committing to it. 

Best Bank : Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo

 Wells Fargo

  • Repayment Terms: 12 to 84 months
  • Loan Amount: $3,000 to $100,000
Why We Chose It

Wells Fargo has been in business since 1852 and offers installment loans of up to $100,000 at APRs as low as 5.74%. Plus, you won’t pay any origination fees or prepayment penalties.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low starting APRs

  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties

  • High maximum loan amount of $100,000

Cons
  • Credit score requirements not disclosed

  • High number of complaints with the CFPB related to installment loans

Overview

Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco, California. In addition to installment loans, Wells Fargo offers a full suite of banking products, including deposit accounts, credit cards, and mortgages.

The maximum installment loan you can get with Wells Fargo is $100,000, one of our list’s largest. Its starting APR is also reasonable at 5.74%, and you won’t pay an origination fee. Although Wells Fargo doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score, you can expect to need a credit score of at least 600 to qualify. This is why we think Wells Fargo has the best bank installment loans.

A search of the CFPB’s consumer complaint database related to installment loans with Wells Fargo revealed more than 300 complaints during the most recent three-year period. Various reported issues include problems getting loans, trouble making loan payments, and unexpected charges or fees.

Carefully completing your loan application and thoroughly reading your loan documents can help you avoid these types of issues. Although the number of complaints is high compared to other companies we’ve evaluated, Wells Fargo provides timely responses to all complaints. 

Best Credit Union : PenFed Credit Union


PenFed Credit Union personal loans

 PenFed Credit Union personal loans

  • Repayment Terms: Up to 60 months
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 to $50,000
Why We Chose It

Membership to PenFed Credit Union is open to people located throughout the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa. It’s easy to become a member, and you can get rates as low as 7.74%.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Competitive APRs

  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties

  • Small number of CFPB complaints related to installment loans

Cons
  • Credit union membership is required

  • Credit score requirements aren't disclosed

Overview

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, or PenFed, was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. It offers installment loans and other banking products to people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa. Anyone can become a member of PenFed, even those without military experience.

You can get an installment loan of up to $50,000 with APRs starting at 7.74% from PenFed. You won’t pay origination fees or prepayment penalties, and you can get funded as soon as the next day. Although PenFed doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirements, you can expect to need a credit score of at least 680. These are the reasons why we think PenFed Credit Union offers the best credit union installment loans. 

We reviewed the CFPB’s consumer complaint database and found only 30 complaints related to installment loans with PenFed Credit Union in the last three years. This is a low number relative to many of the other companies we’ve evaluated. As is typical, complaints were mostly related to getting the loan, making payments, and experiencing unexpected fees or interest. The good news is PenFed provides timely responses to all complaints.

Best for Large Loans : LightStream


LightStream

LightStream

  • Repayment Terms: 24 to 144 months*
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 to $100,000
Why We Chose It

LightStream offers installment loans up to $100,000 with rates as low as 4.49%.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low starting APR

  • Factors other than credit score considered

  • High $100,000 maximum loan amount

Cons
  • Doesn't specify credit score requirements

  • Factors considered other than credit score aren’t clearly disclosed

Overview

LightStream is a Truist Bank division (formerly SunTrust), a bank founded in 1872 and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company stands out from the competition because it offers installment loans up to $100,000 with APRs as low as 4.49% with autopay & excellent credit and no fees.

You’ll need to have good-to-excellent credit to qualify for an installment loan with LightStream. Although LightStream doesn’t specify the minimum credit score, a reasonable expectation is a score of at least 680. In addition to your credit score, LightStream will also consider the length of your credit history, how much cash you have on hand, whether your revolving credit card debt is manageable, and your level of debt to recurring income, among other factors. 

We reviewed the CFPB’s consumer complaint database and found more than 1,500 complaints about Truist Bank related to installment loans within the past three years. This number is high compared to other companies we evaluated, but the complaints we saw are not out of the ordinary and relate primarily to problems getting loans, making payments, and credit reporting inaccuracies. 

Best for Debt Consolidation : LendingClub


Lending Club

 Lending Club

  • Repayment Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 to $40,000
Why We Chose It

With LendingClub, you can use your loan proceeds for a wide variety of purposes. This includes consolidating your credit cards and other debt, as well as transferring balances. Plus, you might even be able to get approved if you only have a credit score of 600 or better.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Fair credit score of 600+ may be sufficient

  • Factors other than credit score considered

Cons
  • Origination fee of 2% to 6%

  • Low maximum loan amount of $40,000

Overview

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco, LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender. You can use the funds from your LendingClub installment loan to consolidate your debt and credit cards, and you can even transfer balances from other loans, which is what makes it best for debt consolidation.

You can get an installment loan with LendingClub of up to $40,000 with an APR as low as 8.30%. Although its APRs are relatively high and it carries origination fees (which are captured in the APR calculation), even people with a relatively low credit score might qualify for an installment loan with LendingClub. A customer service representative explained that the company looks at around 200 proprietary factors when making its lending decision, and credit scores typically need to be better than 600.

We reviewed the CFPB’s consumer complaint database and found 278 complaints related to installment loans with LendingClub during the most recent three-year period. This is a high volume of complaints relative to other companies we’ve evaluated. However, even though there are many complaints, the nature of the complaints isn’t out of the ordinary. Plus, Lending Club provides prompt responses to all issues. 

Best for Unemployment Protection : SoFi


SoFi
  • Repayment Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 to $100,000
Why We Chose It

Not only does SoFi offer installment loans of up to $100,000, but it also has an unemployment protection program that can help people recover from an unexpected job loss that wasn’t their fault.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • High $100,000 maximum loan amount

  • Unemployment protection available

Cons
  • Funding takes several days

  • Your loan must be in good standing to use unemployment protection

Overview

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in San Francisco, SoFi offers installment loans of up to $100,000 with rates starting as low as 7.99%, but SoFi also has an unemployment protection program available if you lose your job for reasons that are outside your fault.

Although SoFi doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirements on its website, one of the company’s customer service representatives told us that you need a score of at least 680. Once you get a loan, make sure to pay as agreed, so you’re able to take advantage of SoFi’s unemployment protection program should you need it. This is because, in addition to showing that it wasn’t your fault that you lost your job (in other words, the job loss was involuntary), your loan also must be in good standing. This feature is what makes SoFi best in our review for unemployment protection.

If you’re approved for unemployment protection, your loan will be placed into forbearance. This status will be reported to the credit bureaus, meaning there could be some impact on your credit score. Make sure to carefully review the terms of the forbearance agreement before accepting it.

A review of the CFPB’s consumer complaint database for installment loans with SoFi revealed 1,600 complaints over the past three years. The number of complaints is high, but the nature of the complaints is not ordinary compared to other companies we’ve evaluated. Plus, SoFi provides quick responses to all issues, which is great news.

Final Verdict

We reviewed over two dozen lenders to find the best installment loans. The best lenders can get you financing of up to $100,000 with rates ranging from a low of 3.22% to a high of 35.99%. You can even get approved with credit scores as low as 550, and some of the lenders consider factors other than your credit score when making their decision.

Although all of the installment loans on our list are good options, we chose Best Egg as the best overall installment loan because the company has an excellent reputation and even people with credit scores as low as 550 can potentially get approved for an installment loan at lower rates than some of the other lenders we picked.

Compare Loan Providers

Lender Repayment Terms Loan Amount APR Range
Best Egg 36 or 60 months $2,000 to $50,000 7.99% to 35.99%
Marcus by Goldman Sachs 36 to 72 months $3,500 to $40,000 6.99% to 24.99%
Upstart 36 or 60 months $1,000 to $50,000 5.60% to 35.99%
Wells Fargo 12 to 84 months $3,000 to $100,0000 5.74% to 20.99%
PenFed Credit Union Up to 60 months $1,000 to $50,000 7.74% to 17.99%
LightStream 24 to 144 months* $5,000 to $100,000 4.49% to 16.99%*
LendingClub 36 or 60 months $1,000 to $40,000 8.30% to 36.00%
SoFi 24 to 84 months $5,000 to $100,000 7.99% to 23.43%

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an Installment Loan?

An installment loan is financing that has a fixed interest rate and is repaid in regular installments of principal and interest. The loan is repaid in full by the end of the financing term (e.g., three or five years). Installment loans can either be secured by collateral (e.g., a car) or unsecured. Since lenders are taking more risk when they issue an unsecured loan, these come at a higher cost than secured loans.

What Is the Difference Between Installment Loans and Revolving Credit?

An installment loan is issued in a single lump sum, has a fixed interest rate, and is repaid in equal payments of principal and interest over a set number of years. Once an installment loan is repaid, you have to apply for another loan to get more money.

In contrast, revolving credit is money that can be borrowed and repaid repeatedly. You’ll typically only be required to make interest-only payments on revolving credit, although some lenders require you also to repay a small portion of the principal each month. Revolving credit usually has a variable rate

Are Installment Loans Secured or Unsecured?

Installment loans can either be secured or unsecured. Some lenders issue unsecured personal loans that can be used to consolidate high-interest credit cards or other debt, pay for medical expenses, purchase solar panels or other energy-efficient improvements to your home, or make different types of home improvements. 

You can also get secured installment loans. A car loan is a typical example of a secured installment loan. 

Who Should Get an Installment Loan?

Consider an installment loan if you don’t have enough cash to make a necessary purchase but have enough income to pay off the loan in the short-term, typically three to five years. An installment loan might also be the right way for someone to consolidate their debt with higher interest rates into a single lower interest rate loan. This can make it possible to repay the debt more quickly.

What Do Installment Loans Cost?

The cost of an installment loan varies depending on the collateral, the borrower’s qualifications, and the loan term’s length. This is because there is more risk associated with loans that are unsecured, made to less creditworthy borrowers, and with longer repayment terms

For an unsecured loan with a repayment term between 12 and 84 months, you can expect to pay an APR ranging from 2.5% to 36%.

How We Chose the Best Installment Loans

We evaluated over two dozen lenders before selecting our list of the best installment loans. The lenders on our list have good reputations, clearly disclose their rates and fees, offer loans with credit score requirements to fit various circumstances, and can get you funded in days. 

All of the choices on our list offer reasonable rates and terms, help people with various credit situations get financing.

*Lightstream Disclosure: Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $300.00.

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