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Loans

6 best long-term personal loan lenders of 2024

Some lenders offer repayment terms for six, seven and even up to 12 years.

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Personal loans can be handy when you need funding in a pinch for a big expense. Choosing a personal loan with a longer repayment term gives you more time to repay the entire balance, and your monthly payments will likely be smaller (and thus, slightly easier to budget for).

While this could mean paying more interest over the entire term, choosing a loan without a prepayment penalty and making additional payments can help you save on interest.

Most personal loan lenders give you up to five years to repay the balance. However, some solid options offer much longer repayment terms.

CNBC Select rounded up the best personal loan lenders that offer longer loan terms. We considered key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and, of course, 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.)

Best long-term personal loans

Compare offers to find the best loan

Best for borrowing larger amounts

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    7.49% - 25.99%* APR with AutoPay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, auto financing, medical expenses, and others

  • Loan amounts

    $5,000 to $100,000

  • Terms

    24 to 144 months* dependent on loan purpose

  • Credit needed

    Good

  • Origination fee

    None

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    None

Terms apply. *AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Excellent credit required for lowest rate. Rates vary by loan purpose.

Pros

  • Same-day funding available through ACH or wire transfer (conditions apply)
  • Loan amounts up to $100,000
  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • LightStream plants a tree for every loan

Cons

  • Requires several years of credit history
  • No option to pay your creditors directly
  • Not available for student loans or business loans
  • No option for pre-approval on website (but pre-qualification is available on some third-party lending platforms)

Who's this for? LightStream allows eligible borrowers to apply for as little as $5,000 and as much as $100,000 in funding. This is one of the largest personal loans you can get.

Standout benefits: LightStream offers loans with terms as long as 144 months (12 years), which is longer than any other lender we reviewed. It also offers a Rate Beat Program in which it will beat any competing lender's unsecured loan by .10 percentage points.

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Best for borrowing smaller amounts

Upgrade Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    8.49% - 35.99%

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, major purchase

  • Loan amounts

    $1,000 to $50,000

  • Terms

     24 to 84* months

  • Credit needed

    Fair, good to excellent

  • Origination fee

    1.85% to 9.99%, deducted from loan proceeds

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    Up to $10 (with 15-day grace period)

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No early payoff fees
  • Loans up to $50,000
  • Fixed interest rates (no surprises)
  • Can pay creditors directly (may take up to two weeks)
  • Fast funding in as little as four days

Cons

  • Origination fee of up to 8% (deducted from your loan)
  • Not available in Washington D.C.

Why Upgrade is the best for financial literacy:

  • Free credit score simulator to help you visualize how different scenarios and actions may impact your credit
  • Charts that track your trends and credit health over time, helping you understand how certain financial choices affect your credit score
  • Ability to sign up for free credit monitoring and weekly VantageScore updates

Who's this for? Upgrade offers personal loan amounts starting at $1,000, which makes it appealing to those who only need to borrow a smaller amount. Besides, borrowers are generally advised to avoid applying for more than they can reasonably pay off — the more you borrow, the higher your monthly payments will be, assuming your loan term stays the same. Eligible borrowers have up to 84 months (seven years) to repay their loan balance in full.

Standout benefits: This lender lets you check what rate you may qualify for based on self-reported information, such as your desired loan amount and personal information, without impacting your credit score. It also accepts joint applications, which can be useful if your credit needs work.

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Best for co-applicants

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    8.99% - 29.49% when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, relocation assistance or medical expenses

  • Loan amounts

    $5,000 to $100,000

  • Terms

    24 to 84 months

  • Credit needed

    Good to excellent

  • Origination fee

    No fees required

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    None

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No origination fees required, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Unemployment protection if you lose your job
  • DACA recipients can apply with a creditworthy co-borrower who is a U.S. citizen/permanent resident by calling 877-936-2269
  • Can have more than one SoFi loan at a time (state-permitting) 
  • May accept offer of employment (to start within the next 90 days) as proof of income
  • Co-applicants may apply

Cons

  • Applicants who are U.S. visa holders must have more than two years remaining on visa to be eligible
  • No co-signers allowed (co-applicants only)

Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.49% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.

Who's this for? SoFi allows eligible borrowers to repay their loans over up to 84 months (seven years) and allows potential borrowers to have a co-applicant. A co-applicant is someone who applies for the loan with you and is equally responsible for paying back the full loan amount.

In many cases, having a co-applicant can be advantageous since a co-applicant with a higher credit score can help you get approved for a lower interest rate and other more beneficial terms. The idea is that you may be seen as a less risky borrower since two individuals, each with a source of income, are signing on to repay the entire loan.

Standout benefits: SoFi allows eligible borrowers to apply for as much as $100,000, making it another solid contender for those who need to borrow larger amounts of money. SoFi members also enjoy various perks like rate discounts on other SoFi loans and complimentary access to financial planners.

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Best for next-day funding

Discover Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    7.99% to 24.99%

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding or vacation

  • Loan amounts

    $2,500 to $40,000

  • Terms

    36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 months

  • Credit needed

    Good

  • Origination fee

    None

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    $39

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees
  • Same-day decision (in most cases)
  • Option to pay creditors directly
  • 7 different payment options from mailing a check to pay by phone or app

Cons

  • Late fee of $39
  • No autopay discount
  • No cosigners or joint applications

Who's this for? Discover Personal Loans provides borrowers funding as soon as the next business day as long as their application is error-free and the loan is funded on a weekday. This option is handy if you require funding in a pinch.

Standout benefit: Discover allows applicants to check their rate online before applying without impacting their credit score. Shopping around with a few lenders can help increase your odds of landing terms that work best for you.

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Best for borrowing from a credit union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    As low as 7.99% APR

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, medical bills or emergencies

  • Loan amounts

    $500 to $50,000

  • Terms

    2 – 7 years

  • Credit needed

    Not disclosed

  • Origination fee

    None

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    Not disclosed

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Loans as low as $500 and as high as $50,000
  • No origination fees, application fees or prepayment penalties
  • Quick application
  • Ability to defer payments for up to the first 45 days
  • Offers a mobile app

Cons

  • Must be a First Tech member to apply; you may also be eligible if someone in your family is already a member, you or a family member work for one of their partners, you live in Lane County, Oregon or you belong to the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association

Who's this for? First Tech Credit Union is ideal for those who prefer to bank with a credit union to potentially get lower rates and better terms. The credit union offers loan terms as long as 84 months.

You must be a First Tech member to apply for this loan, but there are many ways to join. You can qualify if someone in your family is already a member, you or a family member work for a partner company, you live in Lane County, Oregon or you belong to the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.

Standout benefits: You can check your two-year loan rate before applying without impacting your credit score.

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Best for secured loan option

Best Egg Personal Loan

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    5.99% to 29.99%

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, moving expenses, major purchases, adoption and more

  • Loan amounts

    Up to $50,000

  • Terms

    36 to 84 months

  • Credit needed

    Not disclosed

  • Origination fee

    0.99% to 8.99% of the loan amount

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    $15 fee if the borrower's bank account has insufficient funds

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Possible to secure financing in as little as 24 hours
  • An average APR discount of 20% compared to their unsecured loan*
  • Factors besides credit scores are considered when applying
  • Access to Best Egg Financial Health

Cons

  • 0.99% to 8.99% origination fee
  • Home may be difficult to sell or refinance before the secured loan is repaid

*The Best Egg Secured Loan is a personal loan secured using a lien against fixtures permanently attached to your home such as built-in cabinets, light fixtures, and bathroom vanities. Rest assured, your home itself will not be used as collateral.

Who's this for? Most personal loans are unsecured and many lenders don't offer the ability to secure them with collateral. However, Best Egg offers the option to secure a personal loan using permanent fixtures in your home as collateral. Permanent fixtures can include built-in cabinets, light fixtures, shelving and more. With this option, borrowers do not need to put up personal possessions or the home itself as collateral, according to the lender's website.

Standout benefits: Best Egg allows for repeat borrowers, however, when applying for a second loan your total outstanding loan balance cannot exceed $100,000.

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More on our top long-term personal loan lenders

LightStream

LightStream is an online lender that offers for nearly every purpose except for higher education and small business. It doesn't charge any origination, administration or early payoff fees. Loans can be approved and funded as soon as the same business day if you complete the application process by 2:30 p.m. ET. If you can't make this deadline, you should be able to receive your funds the next business day.

Eligible borrowers

Good to excellent credit needed

Loan amounts

$5,000 to $100,000

Loan terms

24 to 144 months

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Upgrade

Upgrade is a fintech company that aims to provide affordable financial products. It also stands out for considering borrowers with fair credit. Its personal loans have an origination fee ranging from 1.85% to 9.99% that is deducted directly from your loan proceeds so be sure to account for this when deciding on the loan amount. Funds are available as soon as one business day after accepting a loan offer and there are no prepayment penalties for paying a loan off early.

Eligible borrowers

Fair, good to excellent credit is needed

Loan amounts

$1,000 to $50,000

Loan terms

 24 to 84 months

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SoFi

SoFi is a large online bank that offers a range of lending products, from private student loans to mortgages, savings accounts and more. Loan applicants can choose between variable and fixed APR, which isn't always an option most lenders only offer fixed-rate personal loans. It also allows applicants to check their rate before applying without impacting their credit score.

Eligible borrowers

Borrowers must reside in a state where SoFi is authorized to lend, be employed and have either sufficient income or an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.

Loan amounts

$5,000 to $100,000

Loan terms

24 to 84 months

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Discover

Discover is a big-name bank that offers five set loan terms: 36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 months. The maximum loan amount of $40,000 is on the lower end compared to some other lenders on this list. You can check your rate with no impact on your credit until you apply and funds can be available as early as the next business day. There are no prepayment penalties, so you can make extra payments to cut down on interest charges over the life of the loan.

Eligible borrowers

You must be over 18 years old, have an individual or household annual income of at least $25,000 and have a social security number to be considered.

Loan amounts

$2,500 to $40,000

Loan terms

36 to 84 months

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First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech is a credit union, but it's fairly easy to apply. In addition to personal loans, it offers a range of other banking products, as well as insurance and investment services. Borrowers have the option to defer their first loan payment for up to 45 days after their funding date, which can be useful for those who need quick funding and a little more time to start repayments. Just keep in mind that deferring your first payment doesn't defer the interest charges so you may end up paying more interest over the life of the loan.

Eligible borrowers

Must become a First Tech Federal Credit Union member. See here for in-depth information on joining.

Loan amounts

$500 to $50,000

Loan terms

2 to 7 years

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Best Egg

Best Egg is an online lender that offers secured and unsecured personal loans. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000 to $50,000, though the maximum may be slightly lower in some states. Borrowers are charged an origination fee of 0.99% to 8.99% which is deducted from the loan proceeds. To be considered for a term of up to 84 months, you must apply for the secured loan option. Otherwise, the maximum loan term is 60 months.

Eligible borrowers

Eligible borrowers must have a credit score of at least 640

Loan amounts

$2,000 to $35,000; Up to $50,000 depending on the state you live in

Loan terms

36 to 84 months

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Common personal loan definitions you should know

Here are some common personal loan terms you need to know before applying.

  • Co-applicants or joint applications: A co-applicant is a broad term for another person who helps you qualify by attaching their name (and financial details) to your application. A co-applicant can be a co-signer or a co-borrower. Having a co-applicant can be helpful when your credit score isn't so great, or if you're a young borrower with little credit history. If your co-applicant has a good credit score, you might be offered better terms, including qualifying for a lower APR and/or a bigger loan. At the same time, both applicants' credit scores will be affected if you don't pay back your loan, so be sure that your co-applicant is someone you feel comfortable sharing financial responsibility with. 
  • Co-signers: A co-signer agrees to help you qualify for the loan, but they are only responsible for making payments if you are unable to. The co-signer does not receive the loan, nor do they necessarily make decisions about how it is used. However, the co-signers credit will be negatively affected if the main borrower misses payments or defaults.
  • Co-borrower: Unlike a co-signer, a co-borrower is responsible for paying back the loan and deciding how it is used. Co-borrowers are usually involved in decisions about how the loan is used. Some lenders will only consider two co-borrowers who share a home or business address, as this is a firm indicator that they are sharing the responsibility of money in mutually beneficial ways. Both co-borrowers' credit scores are on the hook if either one stops making payments or defaults.
  • Direct payments: Some lenders offer direct payments when you select debt consolidation as the reason for taking out a personal loan. With direct payments, the lender pays your creditors directly, and then deposits any leftover funds into your checking or savings account. Until you see your account balance is fully paid off, it's best to keep making payments so that you don't get hit with additional late fees and interest charges.
  • Early payoff penalty: Before you accept a loan, look to see if the lender charges an early payoff or prepayment penalty. Because lenders expect to get paid interest for the full term of your loan, they could charge you a fee if you make extra payments to pay your debt down quicker. The fees could equal either the remaining interest you would have owed, a percentage of your payoff balance or a flat rate.
  • Origination fee: An origination fee is a one-time upfront charge that your lender subtracts from your loan to pay for administration and processing costs. It is usually between 1% and 5%, but sometimes it is charged as a flat-rate fee. For example, if you took out a loan for $20,000 and there was a 5% origination fee, you would only receive $19,000 when you got your funds. Your lender would get $1,000 of the loan off the top, and you'd still have to pay back the full $20,000 plus interest. It's best to avoid origination fees if possible. Having a good to excellent credit score helps you qualify for loans that don't have origination or administration fees. 
  • Unsecured versus secured loans: Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning they are not tied to collateral. However, if your credit score is less-than-stellar and you're finding it hard to qualify for the best loans, you can sometimes use a car, house or other assets to act as collateral in case you default on your payments. When you put an asset up as collateral, you are giving your lender permission to repossess it if you don't pay back your debts on time and in full.

FAQs

A long-term personal loan is a personal loan that offers a longer amount of time to repay the balance. Many personal loan lenders give borrowers up to 60 months (five years) to repay their loan, but some offer longer terms (six years or more).

Keep in mind that because personal loans are a form of installment credit, borrowers must repay the balance in fixed, equal monthly amounts for a specified period.

Personal loans can range in size from $500 to $100,000. Before you apply, consider how much you can afford to make as a monthly payment. Also, keep in mind that your creditworthiness may also determine the size loan you qualify for.

As with any other form of credit, personal loans can impact your credit score positively or negatively. When you apply for a personal loan, a lender launches a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can result in a slight credit score dip at first. However, getting a personal loan can contribute to diversifying your credit mix, which may improve your credit score. Making on-time loan payments consistently can also improve your credit score over time.

As with any other form of credit, your interest rate for your personal loan is decided based on factors such as your credit score, credit history, income, the loan's size and term. Keep in mind that when taking on a personal loan with a longer repayment term, you may be subject to higher interest rates.

A credit score in the good to excellent range (a FICO score of 670 or higher) is generally needed for a personal loan but some lenders consider fair or poor credit scores as well. Just keep in mind that the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate may be.

Bottom line

If you need a personal loan that gives you a longer runway for repayment, there are several solid options. Just remember to consider factors like the amount you need to borrow, the interest rate and credit score needed for approval.

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Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every personal loan review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of loan products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best long-term personal loans.

Our methodology

To determine which long-term personal loans are the best, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions, that come with no origination or signup fees, fixed-rate APRs and flexible loan amounts and terms to suit an array of financing needs.

When narrowing down and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:

  • No origination or signup fee: None of the lenders on our best-of list charge borrowers an upfront fee for processing your loan.
  • Fixed-rate APR: Variable rates can go up and down over the lifetime of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the duration of the loan's term, which means your monthly payment won't vary, making your budget easier to plan.
  • Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts/terms: Each lender provides a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long you need to pay back your loan.
  • No early payoff penalties: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for paying off loans early.
  • Streamlined application process: We considered whether lenders offered same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process. 
  • Customer support: Every loan on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email or secure online messaging. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about the personal loan process and your finances.
  • Fund disbursement: The loans on our list deliver funds promptly through either electronic wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we noted) offer the ability to pay your creditors directly.
  • Autopay discounts: We noted the lenders that reward you for enrolling in autopay by lowering your APR by 0.25% to 0.5%.
  • Creditor payment limits and loan sizes: The above lenders provide loans in an array of sizes, from $500 to $100,000. Each lender advertises its respective payment limits and loan sizes, and completing a preapproval process can give you an idea of what your interest rate and monthly payment would be for such an amount.

After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall financing needs, borrowing larger amounts, no fees, low credit scores and next-day funding.

Note that the rates and fee structures advertised for personal loans are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. However, once you accept your loan agreement, a fixed-rate APR will guarantee interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a hard credit inquiry and request a full application, which could require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more. 

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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