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Loans

Do you need a large personal loan? These lenders could give you as much as $50,000

CNBC Select analyzed key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and term lengths offered.

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Personal loans are a common way to pay for large expenses like weddings, funerals and home renovations. Sometimes these events can wind up being a lot more costly than we might expect and a basic emergency fund or borrowing just a small amount of money may not suffice.

Fortunately, though, some personal loan lenders offer funding amounts as much as $50,000 (or more in some cases). Just make sure that you aren't applying for more money than you actually need and that you have a plan to pay it back, because you'll need to pay back the amount you borrow in full and with interest.

CNBC Select rounded up some personal loan lenders that allow you to apply for as much as $50,000. We looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and 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 personal loans for borrowing $50,000

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Best for fast funding

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    7.49% - 25.49%* 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 offers personal loans for as much as $100,000 and lower interest rates compared to some other lenders (this lender also provides a 0.50% APR discount if you sign up for autopay). Of course, applicants with good or excellent credit scores will be able to take advantage of the lowest interest rates available.

LightStream provides personal loans for just about every purpose except for higher education and small businesses. You'll generally receive your funds on the same day as long as you apply during a banking business day, your application is approved, you can electronically sign your loan agreement — you won't need to visit a physical branch to sign anything — and you verify your direct deposit banking account information by 2:30 p.m. ET. Even if you can't make the deadline, you should be able to receive your funds on the next business day, making this an especially appealing option for anyone in need of funding in a pinch.

LightStream also doesn't charge any origination, administration or early payoff fees, while its loan repayment terms range from 24 to 144 months, making them some of the longest terms on our list.

Best for a lower credit score

Upstart Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    6.4% - 35.99%

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, wedding, moving or medical

  • Loan amounts

    $1,000 to $50,000

  • Terms

    36 and 60 months

  • Credit needed

    Credit score of 300 on at least one credit report (but will accept applicants whose credit history is so insufficient they don't have a credit score)

  • Origination fee

    0% to 12% of the target amount

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    The greater of 5% of last amount due or $15, whichever is greater

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Open to borrowers with fair credit (minimum 300 score)
  • Will accept applicants who have insufficient credit history and don't have a credit score
  • No early payoff fees
  • 99% of personal loan funds are sent the next business day after completing required paperwork before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Cons

  • High late fees
  • Origination fee of 0% to 10% of the target amount (automatically withheld from the loan before it's delivered to you)
  • $10 fee to request paper copies of loan agreement (no fee for eSigned virtual copies)
  • Must have a Social Security number

Who's this for? Upstart allows borrowers to apply for up to $50,000 and has a minimum credit score requirement of 600. This makes it a bit more accessible to those who have a lower credit score but still need to borrow money.

This lender also accepts applicants with no credit history, making it a good choice for someone who needs to borrow a larger amount of money but doesn't have sufficient credit history. Just keep in mind that if you are approved for the loan with a lower credit score, you may be subject to a higher interest rate. Upstart also allows you to apply with a co-applicant, so if you don't have sufficient credit or you have a low credit score, you still have the opportunity to receive a lower interest rate.

While there are no penalties for paying off your balance early, Upstart does charge an origination fee (up to 12% of the amount you borrow) and late fees ($15 or 5% of the past due balance, whichever is greater).

When it comes to repaying the balance, loan terms range from 36 to 60 months, which can be appealing to borrowers who think they may need a longer time horizon to repay the entire loan.

Best for applying with a co-borrower

PenFed Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    7.99% to 17.99% APR

  • Loan purpose

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

  • Loan amounts

    $600 to $50,000

  • Terms

    1 to 5 years

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

  • Origination fee

    None

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    $29

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Credit union membership available to anyone
  • Loans as low as $600
  • Can pick up a physical at a branch
  • May apply with a co-borrower

Cons

  • Funds come as a physical check
  • Must be a member to get funds (no membership needed to apply)
  • Must pay for expedited shipping to get your funds next day
  • Maximum loan amount of $50,000
  • Late fee of $29

Who's this for? PenFed provides personal loan options for debt consolidation, home improvement, medical expenses, auto financing and more. Potential borrowers need to apply with good or excellent credit, and they can apply for as little as $600 and as much as $50,000.

PenFed loan terms range from one to five years. While you don't need to be a member to apply, you will need to sign up for a PenFed membership and keep $5 in a qualifying savings account to receive your funds.

One possible drawback is that you'll receive your funds in the form of a paper check. If there is a PenFed location near you, you can pick up your check directly from the bank. However, if you don't live close to a branch, you have to pay for expedited shipping to get your check if you need it in a hurry.

Much like with any other personal loan lender, the best way to qualify for the lowest interest rate on a PenFed loan is to apply with a higher credit score.

See if you're pre-approved for a personal loan offer.

Best for debt consolidation

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 allows you to apply for up to $50,000 and typically requires good credit to receive a loan. This lender is a great choice for debt consolidation since it allows you to have your funds sent directly to your creditors (otherwise, you'd have to wait for the funds to hit your bank account and send the money to each of your creditors yourself).

Just keep in mind that Upgrade personal loans have an origination fee of up to 8%, which is deducted directly from your loan proceeds. So, if you know you'll need $1,000, you should account for the origination fee.

Upgrade doesn't have any prepayment penalties, but it does have a late fee: If you pay late or miss a payment, you could be hit with a $10 late fee if your payment is not received in full within 15 calendar days of the due date. 

Otherwise, these loans are fast and easy to secure, and the funds should arrive in your checking account within one business day of submitting the required documents and being approved.

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 personal loans.

Our methodology

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 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 for fair or good credit, 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 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 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 having no credit history, borrowing smaller loan amounts, flexible terms, applying with a co-applicant and getting secured loan options.

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. Before providing 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. 

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

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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