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When your credit score is less than perfect, the thought of applying for a personal loan may be daunting. Joint applications, however, could help you get a better loan offer.
A joint application is when two co-borrowers submit a request for a loan under both parties' names. Both co-borrowers put their name, income information and credit history on the application in order to qualify for the loan. If you're not sure you'll qualify for a personal loan on your own, including someone else on the application with a stronger credit profile could improve your chances of approval.
Both co-borrowers agree to take on the responsibility of repaying the loan. It's important to make sure both parties agree to the risks and obligations involved with borrowing the loan since late payments will impact both borrowers' credit scores.
Not every personal loan lender allows joint applications, but LendingClub offers loan options from $1,000 to $40,000 for co-borrowers and individuals alike.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
8.05% to 35.89%
Debt consolidation, major expenses, emergency costs, moving, weddings
$1,000 to $40,000
36 or 60 months
2% to 6% of the loan amount
Early payoff penalty
15-day grace period to make payments with no penalty
Find the best personal loans
LendingClub's APRs range from 8.05% to 35.89%. At the time of writing, the average two-year personal loan interest rate is 9.46%, according to the Fed.
The lowest APRs are available to borrowers and co-borrowers with excellent credit. Factors like credit score, income, loan amount and loan term will be considered when determining your APR.
LendingClub doesn't provide some of the perks offered by fintech lenders such as SoFi. But it does offer some basic benefits that can have a big impact on your bottom line. LendingClub doesn't charge prepayment penalties. If you decide to pay off your loan completely before your term is up, you won't face fees or penalties.
In addition, applicants may apply for a LendingClub loan with a co-applicant. Joint applications allow two borrowers to apply for a loan together so both credit histories are evaluated equally. However, LendingClub does not accept co-signers on loans.
LendingClub loans come with origination fees ranging from 2% to 6% of the loan amount. This can be a significant expense depending on how much you're borrowing. For example, if you take out a $10,000 loan and you're charged a 5% origination fee, only $9,500 will be deposited into your bank account, while you'll still need to pay back the full $10,000 plus interest.
For loans with no origination fees, check out our best personal loan list.
Those looking for smaller loan amounts can benefit from a LendingClub loan, which start at $1,000. The maximum loan amount you can take out is $40,000.
OneMain Financial is another solid option for borrowers looking for small loans — loans start at $1,500.
LendingClub offers fairly limited term lengths. There are only two options to choose from, 36 and 60 months.
LendingClub personal loans may be a good choice for people needing cash for medical bills, weddings, moving costs or debt consolidation. While LendingClub does not accept co-signers, co-borrowers may apply.
Find the best personal loans
To determine which personal loans are the best for consumers with bad credit, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. When possible, we chose loans with no origination or sign-up fees, but we also included options for borrowers with lower credit scores on this list. Some of those options have origination fees.
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.
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 your 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, many 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.