Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

More details
Americor Debt Relief
Learn More
Terms Apply
Our top pick for customer satisfaction and, Americor has lower fees than some competitors
Choice Home Warranty
Learn More
Terms Apply
Protects 25+ systems & appliances. Free quote + $50 off + 1 month free
LifeLock
Learn More
Terms Apply
Helps protect your data and online identity. Take advantage of up to 52% off the first year. Get protected today.
UFB Secure Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Up to 5.25% APY on one of our top picks for best savings accounts plus, no monthly fee
LendingClub High-Yield Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Our top pick for best savings accounts for its strong APY and an ATM card with no ATM fees
Select independently determines what we cover and recommend. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links. This commission may impact how and where certain products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Read more about Select on CNBC and on NBC News, and click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
Loans

4 personal loan lenders to consider if you need to borrow as little as $3,000

We looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and term lengths offered and more.

Share

Personal loans are a common way to pay for large expenses like weddings, funerals and home renovations. These events can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But when it comes to smaller expenses that won't cost as much but still require more than you may have sitting in your emergency fund, there are personal loans out there that can help save the day.

Many personal loan lenders offer funding amounts that start at around $5,000. However, that isn't always ideal for someone who needs to borrow less since it forces them to apply for more money than they'll actually need (which means higher monthly payments and interest charges).

CNBC Select rounded up some personal loan lenders that allow you to apply for as little as $3,000. 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 as little as $3,000

Compare offers to find the best loan

This tool is provided and powered by Engine by Moneylion, a search and comparison engine that matches you with third-party lenders. Any information you provide is given directly to Engine by Moneylion and it may use this information in accordance with its own privacy policies and terms of service. By submitting your information, you agree to receive emails from Engine by Moneylion. Select does not control and is not responsible for third party policies or practices, nor does Select have access to any data you provide. Select may receive an affiliate commission from partner offers in the Engine by Moneylion tool. The commission does not influence the selection in order of offers.

Best overall

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 can be used for consolidating debt, home improvement, weddings and vacations. The minimum loan amount Discover will approve applicants for is $2,500, which also makes it a viable option if you need to borrow just under $3,000.

While there are no origination fees, Discover does charge a $39 late fee if you don't make an on-time payment each month. Discover doesn't charge a prepayment penalty, though, which means you can make extra payments to cut down on interest charges over the life of the loan.

If you're approved for a debt consolidation loan, Discover can pay your creditors directly, which takes some of the hard work out of your hands.

You can receive your money as early as the next business day as long as your application was submitted without any errors (and the loan was funded on a weekday). Otherwise, you'll receive your funds no later than a week after approval.

Best for flexible payment terms

OneMain Financial Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    18.00% to 35.99%

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, major expenses, emergency costs

  • Loan amounts

    $1,500 to $20,000

  • Terms

    24, 36, 48, 60 Months

  • Credit needed

    Poor/Fair

  • Origination fee

    Origination fee starting at $25 to $500 or percentage ranging from 1% to 10% (depends on your state)

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    Up to $30 per late payment or up to 15% (depends on your state)

Click here to see if you prequalify for a personal loan offer. Terms apply.

Pros

  • Approves applicants with bad or fair credit
  • No early payoff fees
  • Reasonable loan minimums ($1,500) for smaller needs
  • Can pre-qualify with a soft credit check (no hard inquiry right away)
  • ACH funding within 1-2 business days (sometimes same day with proper paperwork)
  • Option to apply for secured loan (with collateral) for potentially lower rates
  • Borrowers can choose the date the bill is due each month
  • Applicants may apply with a co-applicant or, if married, may apply for a loan separately from spouse

Cons

  • High origination fee
  • High interest rates
  • No autopay APR discount
  • No co-signers

Information about OneMain Financial's secured loans:

While not required, applicants who don't qualify for an unsecured personal loan with OneMain Financial may be offered a secured loan. A secured loan lets borrowers who want to use the equity from their car potentially qualify for lower interest that way. Rates, repayment terms and agreements vary by individual and the state in which apply. Learn more by checking for offers on OneMain Financial's site.

OneMain Financial link provided by Even Financial.

Not all applicants will be approved. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral) and your state of residence. If approved, not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Highly-qualified applicants may be offered higher loan amounts and/or lower APRs than those shown above. OneMain charges origination fees where allowed by law. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $500. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Visit omf.com/loanfees for more information. Loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB's Regulation Z such as college, university or vocational expense; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase cryptocurrency assets, securities, derivatives or other speculative investments; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: $3,100. North Dakota: $2,000. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these maximum loan sizesNorth Carolina: $9,000 for unsecured loans to all customers, $9,000 for secured loans to present customers. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $12,000. West Virginia: $14,000. Loans to purchase a motor vehicle or powersports equipment from select Maine, Mississippi, and North Carolina dealerships are not subject to these maximum loan sizes.

Example Loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07.

Time to Fund Loans: Funding within one hour after closing through SpeedFunds must be disbursed to a bank-issued debit card. Disbursement by check or ACH may take up to 1-2 business days after loan closing.

Who's this for? OneMain Financial offers loan options that are a little more flexible compared to other lenders. Repayment terms run between 24 months and 60 months and OneMain Financial also allows borrowers the option to secure the loan with collateral in order to potentially receive an interest rate on the lower end of the lender's range. Plus, borrowers can actually choose the date their monthly payments are due and have the option to apply with a co-applicant.

And on top of all that, there is a little more flexibility when it comes to how much you can borrow — you can apply for as little as $1,500 and as much as $20,000. This makes OneMain Financial seem like an attractive option for people who need to borrow smaller amounts of money.

The origination fee is on the higher end: either a fixed fee between $25 and $500 or up to 10% of the loan amount, depending on which state you live in. And while there aren't any penalties for paying off the loan early, there is a late fee that will run you $30 or up to 15% (depending on your state).

Best for a lower credit score

Avant Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    9.95% to 35.99%

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, major expenses, emergency costs, home improvements

  • Loan amounts

    $2,000 to $35,000

  • Terms

    12 to 60 months

  • Credit needed

    Poor/Fair

  • Origination fee

    Administration fee up to 9.99%

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    Up to $25 per late payment after 10-day grace period

Click here to see if you prequalify for a personal loan offer. Terms apply.

Pros

  • Lends to applicants with scores lower credit scores
  • No early payoff fees
  • Can pre-qualify with a soft credit check (no hard inquiry)
  • Quick funding (often by the next day)
  • Late payment grace period of 10 days

Cons

  • Origination fee
  • Potentially high interest (caps at 35.99% APR)
  • No autopay APR discount
  • No direct payments to creditors (for debt consolidation)
  • No co-signers

Who's this for? Avant offers personal loan amounts as low as $2,000 and as high as $35,000, and you can generally receive your funds as early as the next business day (assuming your paperwork gets approved without a hitch).

Avant will consider applicants with credit scores under s600, which may be appealing to those who need to borrow money but are worried they won't be approved with a poor or low credit score. However, just keep in mind that, like with any line of credit, the higher your credit score the more likely you are to receive the lowest interest rates.

While there are no penalties for early payoff, there is an origination fee of up to 4.75% and a late fee of up to $25 after the 10-day grace period.

Best for co-borrowers

Prosper Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    8.99% to 35.99%

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, auto/motor, medical or dental, big purchase and more

  • Loan amounts

    $2,000 to $50,000

  • Terms

    24, 36, 48, and 60 months

  • Credit needed

    Good

  • Origination fee

     2.41% to 5%, deducted from loan proceeds

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    5% of monthly payment amount or $15, whichever is greater (with 15-day grace period)

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Co-borrowers are permitted
  • Repeat borrowers may qualify for APR discounts
  • Option to change your payment date according to when works best for you
  • Wide range of loan amounts
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons

  • High late fees
  • Origination fee of 2.41% to 5.99%, deducted from loan proceeds

Who's this for? Prosper allows co-borrowers to submit a joint application: This can certainly be a huge draw for some borrowers when you consider that this isn't available for all loans. Applying for a loan with a co-borrower, or co-applicant as they're sometimes called, can be beneficial if your co-borrower has a higher credit score — this may allow you to get approved for lower interest rates.

A co-borrower can be beneficial in a variety of other circumstances, too. Like, if a borrower doesn't have a long enough credit history to be approved for the loan. Keep in mind that the co-borrower on a personal loan application shares the liability for repaying the loan with the primary borrower, which is why lenders may see a borrower as less risky if they have another person applying alongside them.

Prosper offers loan amounts between $2,000 and $50,000 with the possibility of next-day funding. You can choose term lengths from two to five years. Also, origination fees are between 2.41% to 5% and get deducted from the loan proceeds.

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

Subscribe to the CNBC Select Newsletter!

Money matters — so make the most of it. Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox. Sign up here.

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 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 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 (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, quick funding, lower interest rates and flexible terms.

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. 

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 article is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of personal 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.

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram 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.
Find the right savings account for you
Learn More
Terms Apply
Help your money grow by finding the savings account that offers the best rates and features for you
Chime
Learn More
Terms Apply
Chime offers online-only accounts that minimize fees plus, get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposits