Skip to content

Best Installment Loans

SoFi offers the best installment loans

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

Installment loans are lump sum payouts to help fund various things, like consolidating high-interest debt or paying for 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. 

Installment loans are also known as personal loans, and they’re typically unsecured, meaning you don’t have to pledge any collateral to qualify. Most installment loans require decent credit, but some companies offer loans to those with poor credit scores as well.

After reviewing dozens of lenders, we’ve found the top installment loans with competitive rates and flexibility, allowing you quick access to funds when needed.

Best Installment Loans of 2023

Why Trust Us
Lenders reviewed
Loan features considered
Data points analyzed
Primary data sources used
Investopedia collected key data points from several lenders to identify the most important factors to borrowers. We used this data to review each lender for fees, accessibility, repayment terms, and other features to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews to ensure our readers make the right borrowing decision for their needs.

If your credit isn't the best, you may want to look at a slightly different selection of lenders. See our picks for the best personal loans for bad credit for other options.

Best Overall : SoFi

The Balance's Rating

  • APR Range: 8.99% - 23.43%
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 - $100,000
  • Loan Terms: 24 months - 84 months
Pros & Cons
  • Loans are simple fixed interest (unlike credit cards)

  • Same-day funding available

  • Borrow up to $100,000

  • No fees (origination, prepayment, late payment)

  • $5,000 minimum loan amount

  • Good to excellent credit needed

Why We Chose It

SoFi offers personal loans with flexible repayment terms, competitive rates, and amounts up to $100,000, making it our top installment loan lender. There are no fees (origination, prepayment, late payment), and same-day funding is available for some applicants. 

SoFi allows co-signers, giving applicants a better chance to get the best rates. The application process is quick and easy, and the SoFi customer service team is very responsive to both borrowers and applicants looking for assistance.

SoFi offers various perks, like an unemployment protection program which lets borrowers pause payments for up to three months at a time when looking for work. SoFI also provides career counselors who can assist in finding a new job during this time, at no additional cost.

Overall, SoFi is great pick for personal loans if your credit is good enough, and thankfully you can apply with someone else if you’re not quite there.

  • At least the age of majority in your state and able to enter into a binding contract
  • United States citizen, eligible permanent resident, or non-permanent resident alien (including DACA recipients and asylum seekers); documentation may be required.
  • Available in all 50 U.S. states or Washington, D.C. 
  • Must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days

Best for Extra Features : Best Egg

  • APR Range: 8.99% - 35.99%
  • Loan Amount: $2,000 - $50,000
  • Loan Terms: 36 months - 60 months
Pros & Cons
  • Unemployment protection

  • Natural disaster support

  • Can change payment due date

  • Pays your creditors

  • Free credit score

  • Origination fee of 0.99%-8.99% applies

  • Not available in all states

  • Limited repayment terms

Why We Chose It

Best Egg is a great choice if you’re looking for certain loan features to cover specific situations; it has more extra features than most lenders, giving you options if you need them.

Best Egg’s bevy of perks includes:

  • Unemployment protection if you lose your job and need some time to get back on your feet
  • Hardship support if you become a victim of a natural disaster
  • The ability to change your due date to accommodate your finances
  • The option to have your creditors paid directly for debt consolidation
  • Access to one of your FICO credit scores

Best Egg offers installment loans up to $50,000 for qualified borrowers, though its minimum recommended credit score is only 600.

Overall, Best Egg is a great option for borrowers who are looking for something more than just a simple loan.

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or living in the U.S. on a valid visa
  • At least 18 years old (19 years old in Alabama and certain other states)
  • Live in a state supported by Best Egg (not available in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C.)
  • Verifiable income and employment
  • Minimum 600 recommended credit score
  • Minimum $3,500 annual income

Best for Good Credit : Marcus

The Balance's Rating

  • APR Range: 6.99% - 24.99%
  • Loan Amount: $3,500 - $40,000
  • Loan Terms: 36 months - 72 months
Pros & Cons
  • Low rates if you have good credit

  • No fees whatsoever (origination, prepayment, late payment)

  • Terms up to 6 years in length

  • Maximum loan amount only $40,000

  • Funding can take a few days

Why We Chose It

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a banking company that offers installment loans from $3,500 up to $40,000, with low interest rates for borrowers with excellent credit. Loans are available with repayment terms up to six years in length, and there are no fees on the loan, including origination, prepayment, application, or even late payment fees.

Marcus is backed by Goldman Sachs, which is a financial firm that has been in business since 1885. This gives borrowers confidence in the integrity of the loans provided by Marcus, as well as the protections for any funds that are held in Marcus accounts. Marcus loans are available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Marcus does offer low rates, but you need a high credit score and decent credit history to qualify for the lowest rates offered. You must also sign up for auto-pay as well. Marcus may also take a few days to fund loans, whereas some competitors offer same-day funding. Overall, Marcus is a great option for borrowers with good credit looking for the lowest rate on a personal loan.

  • Must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama, 21 in Mississippi)
  • Must be a U.S. resident with a Social Security number
  • Rates are based on creditworthiness
  • Income and debt information are reviewed

Best for Bad Credit : Upstart

  • APR Range: 6.70% - 35.99%
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 - $50,000
  • Loan Terms: 36 months - 60 months
Pros & Cons
  • Next-day funding available

  • Minimum credit score only 300

  • Prequalification available

  • Up to 10% origination fee

  • High maximum APR

  • Not available in all states

Why We Chose It

Upstart is a popular online lending platform that offers personal loans for a variety of use cases, and it works with applicants who have low credit scores. The minimum credit score needed to apply is 300, which is the lowest possible credit score—that means Upstart will consider anyone with enough credit history to score. 

Upstart offers only two loan terms, 36 months or 60 months, and fixed interest rates with a pretty wide range. If you have a poor credit score, watch out for higher rates when applying. There is also an origination fee assessed, from 0% up to 10%. Unfortunately, Upstart doesn’t allow you to apply with a co-signer to improve your terms.

If you have poor credit but decent income, you may be able to qualify for a personal loan from Upstart. Just keep an eye on the fees.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must not live in West Virginia or Iowa
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a valid email account
  • Must have a verifiable name Social Security number, and birth date
  • Minimum credit score of 300
  • Must have a full-time job, a full-time job offer starting in 6 months (except if accepted to a partner bootcamp and seeking employment after graduation), a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income
  • Must have a personal banking account at a U.S. financial institution with a routing transit number

Best Big Bank : Wells Fargo

The Balance's Rating

  • APR Range: 7.49% - 23.74%
  • Loan Amount: $3,000 - $100,000
  • Loan Terms: 12 months - 84 months
Pros & Cons
  • Low rates available

  • Flexible repayment terms

  • No origination fees

  • No co-applicants or co-signers

  • Must be a Wells Fargo member to apply online

Why We Chose It

Wells Fargo is a well-known bank that offers personal loans up to $100,000 to Wells Fargo members. With interest rates as low as 7.49%, members can gain access to installment loans with some of the lowest rates around.

Wells Fargo loans can be used to consolidate debt, pay for a wedding, or fix up your house; they can be used for just about anything. The only restrictions are that loans cannot be used to refinance student loans, or used for any post-secondary education. Terms start at one year and go up to seven years, giving you flexible repayment options.

Only current Wells Fargo customers can apply for installment loans online; everyone else will need to visit a Wells Fargo branch in person. You can check your rates quickly online without hurting your credit score, and choose your loan terms prior to submitting a full application.

  • Be a Wells Fargo member, or apply in-person at a branch
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or living in the U.S. on a valid visa
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Qualify based on income, credit score, credit usage, and payment history

Best Credit Union : PenFed Credit Union

  • APR Range: 7.74% - 17.99%
  • Loan Amount: $600 - $50,000
  • Loan Terms: 12 months - 60 months
Pros & Cons
  • Competitive rates

  • Next-day funding on some loans

  • Borrow as little as $600

  • PenFed membership required

  • Term maximum of only 60 months

Why We Chose It

PenFed is a credit union that is available nationwide, offering a suite of banking services including personal loans. PenFed offers loans to members, with the ability to borrow as little as $600, all the way up to $50,000, with no collateral needed.

You can see your rates through the PenFed prequalification tool without impacting your credit score. But while non-members can check their rates, you’ll need to become a member to qualify for a loan and receive funding. Becoming a member is simple; you’ll be prompted to do so during the loan application process, by opening an account with $5.

PenFed has competitive rates for highly-qualified borrowers, though the minimum recommended credit score is just 650. The highest rate available is only 17.99%, which is lower than most competitors (and credit cards), so PenFed may be a good option for consolidating your debt.

Overall, PenFed is a solid credit union with great installment loan options, and membership isn’t a high bar.

  • Be a PenFed member, or join during the loan application process
  • Live in the United States
  • Be the age of majority as defined by state of residence
  • Be a United States citizen (PenFed does not support permanent residents)
  • Minimum recommended credit score of 650

Best for Large Loans : LightStream

The Balance's Rating

  • APR Range: 7.99% - 25.99%
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 - $100,000
  • Loan Terms: 24 months - 120 months
Pros & Cons
  • Same-day funding available

  • Borrow up to $100,000

  • No fees (origination, prepayment, late payment)

  • Low rates

  • $5,000 minimum loan amount

  • No prequalification available

Why We Chose It

LightStream is an online lender that offers large installment loans, up to $100,000, with competitive rates. LightStream offers a wide range of repayment terms (up to 10 years), and no fees on its personal loans (no application, origination, prepayment, or late payment fees).

LightStream offers same-day funding on some loans as well, meaning you may receive your funds on the same day you sign your loan agreement. 

LightStream doesn’t offer prequalification, meaning you will have to submit a full application to see your rates and loan terms. But the lender only lends to those with good to excellent credit, so if your credit is fair or worse you’ll need a co-applicant to improve your chances.

Overall, LightStream offers large loans and decent rates, but you’ll need a solid credit profile to get them.

Submitting a full application will result in a hard credit pull, which can affect your credit score.

  • At least the age of majority in your state
  • United States citizen, eligible permanent resident, or non-permanent resident alien
  • Available in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. 
  • Minimum recommended credit score of 660

Best for Debt Consolidation : LendingClub

The Balance's Rating

  • APR Range: 8.05% - 36.00%
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 - $40,000
  • Loan Terms: 24 months - 60 months
Pros & Cons
  • Pays creditors directly

  • Next-day funding available

  • Prequalification available

  • Origination fee up to 6%

  • Not available in Iowa

Why We Chose It

LendingClub is a popular online lender that offers debt consolidation loans with decent interest rates and amounts up to $40,000. LendingClub will pay your creditors directly to settle your outstanding debts, and effectively consolidate all of your debts into a single payment.

LendingClub allows borrowers to check rates through an online prequalification tool, which requires a soft credit pull and will not impact your score. 

While the lowest rates are reserved for applicants with excellent credit, the upper end of the range is quite high. And there is an origination fee tacked on of 3% to 6% on each loan, so make sure to look and see what the estimate is before signing up. If you won’t get a lower rate overall, the fee could make consolidating a bad idea.

  • At least the age of majority in your state
  • United States citizen, eligible permanent resident, or non-permanent resident alien
  • Reside in a supported state (not available in Iowa)

Best for Fair Credit : First Tech Federal Credit Union

  • APR Range: 8.99% - 18.00%
  • Loan Amount: $500 - $50,000
  • Loan Terms: 0 months - 84 months
Pros & Cons
  • Recommended credit score minimum of 600

  • Same-day funding available

  • Loan terms up to 7 years

  • No fees (application, origination, prepayment)

  • Must be a member

Why We Chose It

First Tech Federal Credit Union is a national credit union that offers banking services to members, as well as personal loans that can be used for a variety of purposes. Loans start at only $500, and you can borrow up to $50,000 in total. If you have fair credit, First Tech may be a good choice, as its recommended credit score is only 600.

First Tech FCU offers a wide range of repayment terms, from two to seven years in length, and interest rates are competitive. The downside of the longer-term loans is that the minimum interest rate will be a bit higher, although this is fairly typical among lenders.

First Tech requires membership to apply, but it’s fairly easy to join and open to anyone. Overall, First Tech is a great option for anyone with lower credit scores to get an installment loan.

  • Age of majority in your state
  • Recommended credit score of 600 or higher (or have a creditworthy co-signer)
  • Member of First Tech FCU

To join First Tech FCU, you must meet one of the below criteria: 

  • Have a family or household member that is a current member of First Tech FCU
  • Work for one of the credit union’s many partner employers 
  • Work or live in Lane County, Oregon
  • Belong to the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association (you can join online; digital memberships start at $15 per year)

Best With a Co-Signer : Regions

The Balance's Rating

  • APR Range: 7.99% - 29.99%
  • Loan Amount: $2,000 - $50,000
  • Loan Terms: 36 months - 60 months
Pros & Cons
  • Co-signers allowed

  • Loans may fund the same day

  • No origination fees

  • Relatively high credit requirements

  • Up to $100 late payment fee

  • Only available in 15 states

Why We Chose It

Regions is a bank with relatively high credit requirements, but it allows co-signers to help you qualify and get better rates and terms. You can apply for a loan online, over the phone, or in one of Regions’ local branches.

Loans are available starting at $2,000 up to $50,000 in total, and they can be used for nearly anything, such as home improvement, paying off credit card debt, or buying a car. Rates start at just 7.99%, which is close to the lowest available, but you may need a co-signer to get that APR. There is a late payment fee of 5%, or up to $100.

Regions bank is only available to customers in select states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. 

  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Have a verifiable source of income
  • Must have a valid bank account
  • If you are a Regions customer, provide your online banking credentials or your ATM or debit card numbers
  • Live in an eligible state 

Compare the Best Installment Loans of 2023

Overall Rating Best For
APR Range
Average Origination Fee
Late Fee
Time To Receive Loan
Loan Amount
Latest Repayment
Reset All
Best Overall 8.99% - 23.43% 0.00% $0.00 0 days $5,000 - $100,000 84 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
Best Egg Best for Extra Features 8.99% - 35.99% 0.99% - 8.99% $0.00 1 day $2,000 - $50,000 60 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
Best for Good Credit 6.99% - 24.99% 0.00% $0.00 1 day $3,500 - $40,000 72 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
Upstart Best for Bad Credit 6.70% - 35.99% 0.00%–10.00% 5% of the late payment amount or $15, whichever is greater 0 days $1,000 - $50,000 60 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
Wells Fargo
Best Big Bank 7.49% - 23.74% 0.00% $39.00 1 day $3,000 - $100,000 84 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
PenFed Credit Union Best Credit Union 7.74% - 17.99% 0.00% $29.00 1 day $600 - $50,000 60 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
Best for Large Loans 7.99% - 25.99% 0.00% $0.00 0 days $5,000 - $100,000 120 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
Best for Debt Consolidation 8.05% - 36.00% 2.00% - 6.00% N/A 0 days $1,000 - $40,000 60 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
First Tech Federal Credit Union Best for Fair Credit 8.99% - 18.00% 0.00% $0.00 0 days $500 - $50,000 84 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me
Best With a Co-Signer 7.99% - 29.99% 0.00% 5.00% - $100.00 0 days $2,000 - $50,000 60 months Check Rates
Hide, not for me

Final Verdict

There are quite a few options for installment loans, with most lenders offering quick online applications and flexible loan terms. SoFi, our top overall choice, gives borrowers access to low rates, next-day funding, and large loan amounts to cover just about anything. There are several credit unions that also offer great terms and no origination fees, which can save borrowers money.

Guide to Choosing the Best Installment Loan

Best Place to Get an Installment Loan

Installment loans, or personal loans, are available with various online lenders and financial institutions, with pros and cons to each. The best source for a personal loan depends on your needs.

  • Online lender: Online lenders offer the widest selection of installment loans, with options for those with various credit histories and flexible loan terms. Comparing online lenders is a great way to find the perfect fit for your personal loan needs. Plus, the process is quick and easy.
  • Traditional bank or credit union: Many traditional banks and credit unions offer installment loans to members. You may be able to snag a lower rate due to your relationship with the bank, as well as any member discounts that might be available.
  • Loan marketplace: Several online loan marketplaces are available to help you compare loan rates. You can plug in your loan needs and personal financial information, and they will present a list of available options. This can be a great way to shop rates, but you still may benefit from checking each company directly before selecting a loan. Plus, not all lenders are represented, so it is still good to shop around.

Should You Apply for an Installment Loan?

Personal installment loans can be a great way to fund an upcoming large expense, or consolidate various debts into a single monthly payment. You may be able to find a lower rate on a personal loan compared to using a credit card or financing an expense through a store, and there are typically more flexible terms available as well, with no fees for paying off the loan early.

But if you are not prepared to pay back the loan, you’ll likely end up hurting your credit. And some personal loans charge high up-front fees and interest rates, which can cost you a lot more in the long run compared to other lenders.

Comparing Installment Loans

When comparing personal installment loans, here are a few important factors to consider:

  • APR
  • Fees (origination, late payment, etc.)
  • Minimum and maximum loan amount
  • Minimum and maximum loan repayment terms
  • Credit score minimums
  • Co-signer or co-applicant availability
  • State availability
  • Loan use restrictions
  • Income requirements
  • Citizenship requirements

How To Qualify and Apply for an Installment Loan

To qualify for a personal loan, you will typically need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security number (or other ID)
  • Have a valid email address

Qualification also depends on several financial factors, including:

  • Income
  • Credit score
  • Credit history
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

When applying for a loan, you will typically fill out a simple application to prequalify so you can see your rates and terms before moving forward with a full application. Then, you will need to submit documentation, including income statements, bank statements, and possibly tax documents.

After final approval, you will sign a promissory note to guarantee repayment of the loan, and once approved, funds will be disbursed to your bank account. In the case of debt consolidation, funds may go directly to your creditors.

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%.


The Balance is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected hundreds of data points across more than 40 lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs.

Two women discussing finance

 Olha_Tsiplyar / Twenty20

Related Articles