Best personal loan rates for August 2021

How Do Lenders Determine Personal Loan Rates?

Your credit score is an important factor that lenders use to set your rate, but it is not the only one. They also consider income, existing debt, and credit history on a personal loan application.

Some lenders look at additional information, such as where you went to school, your occupation, and where you live. A lender may also consider the loan amount requested and the reason you want to borrow to determine your rate.

How to get the best personal loan rate

The best personal loan rates generally go to borrowers with excellent credit, high and stable incomes, little existing debt, and a credit history showing consistent on-time payments on credit cards and other loans.

If you don’t think you can get a low rate on a personal loan, here’s what to do to help you get a lower rate:

  • Examine your credit report before you apply. If your credit rating is low, you can check your report to see what can weigh it down and fix it before you apply. For example, an overdue account could be a reason why a lender would give you a high rate or not approve you at all.

  • Adjust your loan amount and repayment term. Asking for a large loan or a long repayment term could cause a lender to give you a higher interest rate. Calculate your monthly payment to decide how much loan you can afford.

  • Benefit from price discounts. Lenders offer discounts for different reasons. Many online lenders offer rate reductions for setting up automatic payments. Some banks offer rate reductions to existing customers who hold certain bank accounts.

  • Add a co-signer, co-borrower or collateral. Borrowers with bad credit who add someone with a better credit profile and higher income to their application may qualify for a lower rate. You can also get a personal loan at a lower rate by using collateral like a vehicle or CD account. Just know that there is consequences in the event of a fault on the loan.

Many online lenders and some banks and credit unions let you prequalified for a personal loan. To do this, you provide information about your credit, income, and employment – as well as how much you want to borrow and why – and the lender will tell you the potential loan amount, rate, and repayment term you could. get.

Since prequalifying triggers a drop in credit, you can do it as many times as you want without affecting your credit score. A hard credit draw will only be triggered if you submit a full application after prequalification.

Average Online Personal Loan Rates By Credit Score

Unlike mortgage rates, personal loan rates rarely fluctuate. Sometimes lenders can update their rates and credit score requirements, but these changes are usually a few tenths of a percentage point. Here are the average estimated APRs of online personal loans, based on FICO score ranges:

28.7% (lower scores are unlikely to qualify).

Source: Average rates are based on aggregated and anonymized supply data from users who prequalified in the NerdWallet Lender Market from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Rates are estimates only and are not intended for use. specific to any lender.

Online lender rates vary depending on the type of borrower they are targeting. A lender with bad credit may offer higher rates than a lender with good credit. Unlike many banks and credit unions, online lenders allow borrowers to prequalify and generally fund a loan faster. Some offer a fully online application process and a mobile app to manage the loan.

Rate for excellent credit

The lowest average monthly rates excellent credit borrowers received in 2020 were 10.7% to 12.4%, according to data from users who prequalified with NerdWallet. High income and a long credit history showing on-time payments to other creditors will help you get the lowest rates. Lenders who approve borrowers in this credit band may also offer special benefits, like rate reductions and zero fees.

Rate for good credit

According to NerdWallet user data, the lowest average monthly rates that good credit borrowers received on personal loans in 2020 were 15.5% to 19.5%. The lowest rates in this credit bracket often go to borrowers who have low debt and high income, and a credit history showing accounts in good standing.

Rate for fair credit

The lowest rates for NerdWallet users who prequalified with fair credit averaged 21% to 25.7% in any given month of 2020. The addition of a co-signer or a co-borrower with better credit and higher income than you can help you receive a lower rate.

Bad credit rate

Bad credit borrowers can expect rates on the higher end of a lender’s APR range. The lowest rates of NerdWallet users who prequalified into this credit band in 2020 were on average 26.7% to 32.4% in any given month. Those with the lower scores may not qualify, but applying for a lower loan amount, adding a co-signer, or securing your loan could help improve your chances of funding.

Personal loan rates in banks

Banks may offer competitive rates – and rate discounts if you’re an existing customer – but they usually have more stringent eligibility requirements and may take longer to fund your loan than online lenders. The average rate banks charged in February 2021 for a two-year loan was 9.46%, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve.

Personal loan rates in credit unions

Loans from credit unions may have lower rates than banks and online lenders, especially for those with good or bad credit, and loan officers may be more willing to consider your overall financial situation.

The average rate charged by credit unions in March 2021 for a three-year fixed-rate loan was 8.86%, according to the National Credit Union Administration. Federal credit unions cap the APR on personal loans at 18%.

You must become a member of a credit union to apply for a loan, which may mean paying fees or meeting certain eligibility requirements.

What is the difference between the APR and the interest rate?

The APR on a loan includes the interest rate plus any fees. If a lender charges origination fees, for example, those would factor into the annual percentage rate.

Refinance a personal loan to get a lower rate

You can lock in a lower rate by refinance a personal loanespecially if you’ve improved your credit rating or reduced your debt since your first loan. Some lenders allow borrowers to refinance a personal loan you have with them, while others will refinance a loan from another lender.

If you are refinancing, consider the term of the new loan. Even with a lower rate, a longer repayment term could mean that you will pay higher overall interest.


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