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Of all the many kinds of debt, high-interest credit card balances are often the most troublesome, thanks to compound interest and sky-high APRs.
Personal loans can be a strategic way for you to consolidate your debt and pay it off over a specific period of time, whether a few months or years. With average APRs of 9.65% (compared to 16.28% for credit cards), personal loans might be able to save you money and simplify your bills.
CNBC Select named the Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans as the best personal loan for debt consolidation because it allows you to send automatic direct payments to up to 10 creditors, saving you time and the hassle of doing it yourself.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
6.99% to 19.99% APR when you sign up for autopay
Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, moving and relocation or vacation
$3,500 to $40,000
36 to 72 months
Early payoff penalty
Marcus loans offers fixed-rate APRs ranging from 6.99% to 19.99%. When you enroll in autopay you receive a 0.25% discount on APR. The APR you qualify for depends on your credit.
Potential customers can use the soft inquiry tool on the Marcus website to see what loan options are available to you without it affecting your credit score.
Once approved, borrowers can take advantage of seeing monthly VantageScore updates on their credit scores after logging into their Marcus account.
Most notably, Marcus can send direct payments to up to 10 creditors of your choice with no extra fees. The remainder of your loan balance is deposited into your bank account.
Marcus also allows you to chose what date you want your payments to be due on when you accept the loan. You can then change the due date two additional times.
Customers can earn one month of no-interest payment vacation after making payments on time for 12 consecutive months. However, this will extend your loan by a month, for which you will pay interest.
This loan comes with no origination or late fees and Marcus does not penalize customers for paying off their loans early.
Marcus offers loans ranging from $3,500 to $40,000. The money can be deposited into your account within a week to 10 business days.
Term lengths for this loan vary from 36 to 72 months. You may qualify for more options when you have a better credit score.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans personal loans are a good fit for you if you have high-interest debt that you are looking to pay off. A drawback of this loan is that it does not accept joint applications or co-signers.
If you are looking to apply with a co-borrower check out PenFed personal loans. Applying with a co-borrower can allow you to qualify for better rate because both of your credit scores and histories are taken into account.
If you are looking for a larger loan, SoFi Personal Loans offer qualified borrowers loan amounts up to $100,000.
To determine which 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, debt consolidation and refinancing, small loans 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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