The 6 best personal loans of January 2024

Personal loans are the fastest-growing debt category in the last decade. That’s due in part to the rise of fintech and peer-to-peer lending companies, which make accessing these loans cheaper and easier than ever before.

A form of installment credit, personal loans must be paid back in regular increments over a set period of time. Many see them as an affordable alternative to credit cards, because personal loans often have lower interest rates than credit cards, and consumers can use them to finance nearly every kind of expense, from home renovations to relocation costs and sometimes even paying off student loan debt. But that doesn’t mean they’re free money. Personal loan APRs average 11.48%, according to the Fed’s most recent data. Meanwhile, the average credit card interest rate is around 20.09%.

When compiling our list of the best personal loans, CNBC Select evaluated dozens of lenders. We looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and term lengths offered, plus other features including how your funds are distributed, autopay discounts, customer service and how fast you can get your funds. (Read more about our methodology below.)
The best personal loans
Best overall: LightStream Personal Loans
Best for debt consolidation: Happy Money
Best for refinancing high-interest debt: SoFi Personal Loans
Best for smaller loans: PenFed Personal Loans
Best for next-day funding: Discover Personal Loans
Best for a lower credit score: Upstart

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