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Personal loans can help you refinance your debt, pay for large expenses or cover unplanned expenses with fixed rates that are often lower than credit cards.
If you understand the ins and outs of personal loans, they can help you manage costs including medical bills, vacations, home remodels, financial emergencies or even car payments.
Select reviewed dozens of personal loans and found Discover Personal Loans to be our best loan for next-day funding. Discover can send you the funds as soon as the next business day after your loan is approved and all necessary paperwork has been submitted.
In most cases, you can apply online or over the phone and receive a decision the same day. Discover provides funds for a variety of purposes, which you'll have to claim on your application. Funds can either be sent directly to your creditors (in the case of debt consolidation) or they can be deposited in your bank account.
Find the best personal loans
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
7.99% to 24.99%
Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding or vacation
$2,500 to $40,000
36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 months
Early payoff penalty
Discover personal loans have APRs ranging from 5.99% to 24.99% Factors that determine your loan's APR include your credit score, credit history, application information and the term you select. Customers with the best credit are eligible for the lowest APR.
Discover offers a few more payment options than most other lenders on Select's list. You can make payments over the phone using the automated system or by speaking to a representative, by mail, wire transfer, electronic bill pay through your bank account or online through your Discover account. (The easiest way to avoid missing a payment is to sign up for autopay.)
However, there is no discount for signing up for autopay.
Another perk is the ability to change your payment due date: Users may do so up to two times in total to suit their monthly budget. (There must be a 12-month period between any payment date changes you request.)
Discover offers a 30-day no-commitment guarantee if you were to change your mind about wanting the loan. If you return the funds within 30 days you do not have to pay any interest, but the inquiry will still show up on your credit report and will count as a hard inquiry.
The exception to this 30-day guarantee is if Discover had already made direct payments to your creditors. You will not be able to get that money back and would have to pay Discover back with your own money in that case.
Discover borrowers get access to the Discover ScoreCard, an online portal where you can check your FICO Credit Score for free and get information about what is helping and hurting your credit score.
There are no origination fees with Discover loans. Discover also does not charge any early payoff fees, meaning you can make extra payments to pay off your loan quicker without penalty or owing future interest. (Note that you will not receive a refund for any interest you already paid, however.)
If you miss a payment you will be charged a late fee of $39.
Loan amounts range from $2,500 to $35,000, depending on what you apply for. The amount you are eligible for and the terms of the loan are determined when you apply based on factors including your credit score and credit history.
In order to be eligible for a loan you need to have a minimum household income of at least $25,000, be age 18 or over and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Term lengths vary between 36 to 84 months depending on what you apply for and a number of factors including your credit score and credit history.
There are many factors that you should take into consideration when taking out a personal loan including how much money you need, how long you can have to pay it back and how much interest you will have to pay.
With up to seven years to pay off the Discover Personal Loans and relatively low interest rates for those with good credit, this loan is suitable for people who want to take advantage of next-day funding (when required paperwork is approved) and flexible payoff plans.
However, a major drawback of this loan you cannot have any co-signers or joint applications. That eliminates your chance to get better terms by combining your credit score and history with someone else.
PenFed personal loans give you the option to apply with a co-borrower and could be a better option for young couples or family members who want to take out a loan together.
Depending on the reason for your loan, one of these five personal loans could also be a great option for you, provided you understand the fine print and feel comfortable taking on the payments.
To determine which personal loans are the best for refinancing debt, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions.
When narrowing down and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:
- 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 more than one financing option 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 $1,000 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.
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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