Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

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Personal loans taken out to consolidate debt are known as debt consolidation loans. These loans come with a variety of various rates, periods, and borrower requirements and may be provided by online or offline lenders. They can assist you in combining your debts into a single, more manageable payment that is more reasonable.

The finest personal loans for consolidating debt include affordable interest rates, minimal fees, flexible repayment options, and are available to both good and bad credit consumers.

Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

BEST OVERALL AND FOR LOW FEESMarcus by Goldman Sachs


Marcus
  • Starting interest rate: 6.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Loan terms (range): 36-72 months1

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Why We Chose It

Our choice for best overall and low fees, Marcus by Goldman Sachs has a strong industry reputation, doesn’t charge any fees to its borrowers, and offers a range of flexible loan terms. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No fees
  • Adequate loan limit
  • Easy application process

Cons

  • Higher APRs
  • Need good credit to qualify for the lowest rates
  • No joint applications

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts$3,500-$40,000
Fixed APR6.99%-24.99%
Loan Terms36-72 months
FeesNo late fees or origination fees
Time to Receive FundsAs little as 1 to 4 business days
Recommended Credit Score660+

RUNNER-UP AND BEST FOR FLEXIBLE REPAYMENT OPTIONSDiscover Personal Loans


Discover
  • Starting interest rate: 6.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Loan terms (range): 36-84 months2

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Why We Chose It

Discover is known for its flexible payment options, including personal loans with repayment times of up to seven years. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Seven-year repayment option
  • Low $2,500 minimum to borrow

Cons

  • Good credit recommended
  • May take longer than one day to receive your funds

Discover Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts$2,500-$35,000
Fixed APR6.99%-24.99%
Loan Terms36-84 months
FeesLate fee of $39, no origination fee
Time to Receive Funds1 day or more
Recommended Credit Score680+

BEST FOR CONSOLIDATING CREDIT CARD DEBTHappy Money


Happy Money Logo
  • Starting interest rate: 7.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Loan terms (range): 24-60 months3

Why We Chose It

Happy Money’s Payoff loan will help you set up a debt reduction plan and it offers competitive rates to consolidate your debt.

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Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Lower starting APR
  • Debt payoff plan

Cons

  • Origination fee of 0% to 5%
  • Higher minimum starting loan amount

Happy Money Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts$5,000-$40,000
Fixed APR7.99%-29.99%
Loan Terms24-60 months
FeesNote late fee, origination fee between 0%-5%
Time to Receive FundsUnlisted
Recommended Credit Score550+

BEST FOR LOW RATESLightStream


LightStream
  • Starting interest rate: 7.99%* with autopay
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Loan terms (range): 24-84 months4

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Why We Chose It

LightStream offers competitive interest rates for borrowers with high FICO scores and it also offers rate reductions for setting up auto-pay.* 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High maximum loan amounts
  • Rate Beat program
  • Same day funding on some loans, conditions apply

Cons

  • Need a high credit score
  • $5,000 loan minimum
  • No pre-qualification option

LightStream Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts$5,000-$100,000
Fixed APR7.99%-22.49% with autopay
Loan Terms24-84 months
FeesNo fees
Time to Receive FundsAs soon as the same day
Recommended Credit Score680+

BEST FOR LARGE DEBTSSoFi


SoFi
  • Starting interest rate: 7.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Loan terms (range): 24-84 months5

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Why We Chose It

SoFi offers debt consolidation loans with higher loan limits and fixed and variable rates that are ideal for taking on large debt. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High maximum loan amount
  • Unemployment protection
  • Loan terms of up to seven years

Cons

  • Income requirements can be stricter than other companies
  • Need high credit score
  • No loans under $5,000

SoFi Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts$5,000-$100,000
Fixed APR7.99%-23.43% with autopay
Loan Terms24-84 months
FeesNo late fees or origination fees
Time to Receive FundsWithin a few says
Recommended Credit Score680+

BEST FOR BAD CREDITUpgrade


Upgrade logo
  • Starting interest rate: 7.46%
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Loan terms (range): 28-84 months6

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Why We Chose It

Upgrade offers low minimum loan amounts to borrowers who don’t have good credit. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fast funding
  • Prequalification won’t affect credit

Cons

  • Higher interest rates
  • Loans come with origination fees
  • Late fees and administrative fees

Upgrade Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts$1,000-$50,000
Fixed APR7.46%-35.97%
Loan Terms24-84 months
FeesLate fee of $15, administrative fee up to 8%
Time to Receive FundsWithin one business day
Recommended Credit Score580+

Final Verdict

For those looking for a personal loan for debt consolidation, all of the companies on our list have something to offer, whether it’s a lower interest rate, higher maximum loan amount, or longer repayment terms. When picking a loan, however, make sure you check all the requirements including credit score as many lenders won’t lend to those with poor credit.  

If you’re not sure which lender to pick, we recommend checking out Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Besides being backed by a financial powerhouse, the company offers an easy application process and doesn’t charge origination or late fees.

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Compare The Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

LENDERSTARTING INTEREST RATEMINIMUM CREDIT SCORELOAN TERMS (RANGE)MAXIMUM LOAN AMOUNT
Marcus by Goldman SachsBest Overall and Low Fees6.99%66036-72 months$40,000
Discover Personal LoansBest for Flexible Repayment Options6.99%68036-84 months$35,000
Happy MoneyBest for Consolidating Credit Card Debt7.99%55024-60 months$40,000
LightStreamBest for Low Rates7.99%* with autopay68024-84 months*$100,000
SoFiBest for Large Debts7.99%68024-84 months$100,000
UpgradeBest for Bad Credit7.46%58024-84 months$50,000

Guide to Choosing the Best Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation

Are You in Need of a Personal Loan?

Before you apply for a personal loan, you will want to assess your needs to see if you need one, when you need it, and for what purpose. You may need a personal loan to consolidate debt that has been accruing. A personal loan may be able to help you simplify your bills, reduce interest payments, and help you get out of debt sooner. If you’re considering a personal loan for emergency funds, medical expenses, or other reasons, you might want to look at other options instead. 

Compare Personal Loan Lenders

Before choosing a lender, you will want to compare several lenders. You will want to consider the following factors when comparing lenders:

  • Loan amount: You should know the minimum and maximum loan amounts the lender offers and make sure your desired loan amount falls within that range. You don’t want to borrow more (or less) than what you need. Make sure the lender you select offers the amount you’re looking for or you might need to take out another loan. 
  • Interest rate: Is the rate fixed or variable? What will your rate be? What are rates based on and how can you lower your rate? The better your credit score, the lower your rate is usually. This matters because paying high interest rates costs you more money, and you’ll want to pick a lender that charges the lowest interest.  
  • Fees: Know what fees the lender charges upfront. Look for prepayment fees, origination fees, and late fees. The more fees, the more your loan balance and monthly repayment amount will be. You’ll want to choose a lender that has low to no fees attached to the loan. 
  • Repayment periods: You need to know how long you have to pay back the loan and when your payments are due. Some lenders offer flexible terms and others are more stringent. Compare the different options between lenders, and also consider if the shorter term might come with a larger monthly payment. Those payments might not fit your budget. 
  • Funding times: If you need your money in a hurry, choose a lender with next-day loan funding. Funding times vary, but they are usually within a few days of an approved loan application. 
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Apply for a Personal Loan  

You’ll typically apply for a personal loan online, over the phone with an agent, or at a bank or credit union branch with a representative. You will generally need a form of photo identification, your Social Security number, and proof of income. Lender requirements vary but bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns are generally accepted. 

Keep in mind that having your finances in order improves your chances of approval and a good credit score improves your chances of getting a low interest rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Debt Consolidation and How Does It Work?

Debt consolidation is a method of paying down your debt by borrowing a larger loan that you then use to pay off multiple smaller loans or credit cards. You may be able to consolidate high-interest credit card debt or other types of debt through borrowing a large amount.

One of the main advantages of debt consolidation is that it puts all of your debt “under one roof.” Rather than trying to keep track of several monthly payments and interest rates, you only have to make one, fixed monthly payment.

Additionally, depending on the rates you have across your accounts, you may end up with a lower overall interest rate, which could help you save money on the amount you pay in interest.

When Does Debt Consolidation Make Sense?

If you’re hoping to simplify your bills and potentially get out of debt faster, debt consolidation might help. Debt consolidation is most likely to make sense when you have good credit, but your debt amounts might be too high to complete a credit card balance transfer. Additionally, a debt consolidation loan may also be a good move if you don’t want to use the equity in your home to manage your unsecured debt.

If a debt consolidation loan doesn’t fit your budget or financial situation, there are alternatives to consider:

  • HELOC: A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is based on the equity in your home. You might be able to pay off a large amount of debt at a reasonable interest rate. However, you’re securing that line of credit with your home, so if you run into any financial problems in the future, you could potentially lose your house.
  • Credit card balance transfer: It’s possible to use a balance transfer credit card to consolidate and pay off your debts via one line of credit. Many balance transfer cards offer 0% APR for a certain introductory period of time, too, so you can save on paying any interest for, say, 21 months. You may be able to pay off your debt faster when the entire payment goes toward one low-interest balance.
  • Debt snowball: Rather than putting everything together at once, the debt snowball method has you tackle your smallest balance first while maintaining your minimum payments on all other debts. As each debt is paid off in full, you add your old payment amount to the next debt on your list, accelerating the rate at which you pay down your next debt. Ideally, over time, you’ll eliminate each debt one by one until you’re debt free.
  • Debt avalanche: Similar to the debt snowball method, this strategy starts with your highest-interest debt. The debt avalanche method doesn’t offer the quick psychological win of the debt snowball, but it can help you save you money on interest and may be faster.

How Should I Choose a Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation?

There’s no one way to determine the best debt consolidation loans. To find the right fit for you, start by figuring out what you need to accomplish. Decide what’s important, whether it’s fast funding, low or no fees, or the ability to consolidate a large amount of debt. Some lenders also offer longer repayment periods, which could lower the amount you pay per month.

Additionally, if you have poor to fair credit, you might need to look for a lender that specializes in offering personal loans to those with credit problems. Pay attention to origination fees and other costs, and compare your loan options. Depending on what you qualify for, you might have no choice but to pay an origination fee.