Personal loans have grown in popularity over the last decade as customers seek to consolidate debt and obtain cheaper interest rates than credit cards.
According to a Bankrate analysis, the average personal loan interest rate as of May 10, 2023 is 10.97 percent. However, depending on your specific financial circumstances, the rate you receive may be greater or lower.
Personal loan rates vary according to creditworthiness, lender, and borrower financial stability.
Personal loan interest rates averaged by credit score
Consumers with “good” or “excellent” credit may be able to get average loan interest rates as low as 13.5 percent, however those with “average” or “poor” credit would pay a significantly higher average rate. According to Bankrate data, the following graphic depicts the average interest rate individuals pay based on their credit score.
|Credit score||Average loan interest rate
However, because these are averages, some borrowers will receive substantially lower interest rates.
Loan rates on average by lender type
While brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions guarantee competitive personal loan products, internet lenders frequently provide loans with lower beginning interest rates for individuals with great credit. Consumers looking for an inexpensive loan product can compare the options of their bank or credit union with any internet lenders they are familiar with.
The rates are correct as of May 12, 2023. Check with the lender for any changes.
Personal loan interest rates by online lender
||Loan interest rates
|Earnest||Varies by lender|
|LightStream||7.49%-24.49%* with AutoPay|
|SoFi||8.99%-23.43% (with autopay)|
|Upgrade||8.49%-35.99% (with autopay)|
Average personal loan rates by banks
|Bank||Loan interest rates
|Citibank||9.49%-20.49% (with autopay)|
|Santander Bank||6.99%-24.99% with ePay|
|U.S. Bank||8.74%-21.24% (with autopay)|
|Wells Fargo||7.49%-23.74% (with autopay)|
Average personal loan rates by credit union
||Loan interest rates
|PenFed Credit Union||7.74%-11.24%|
|Members 1st Federal Credit Union||Starting at 12.39%|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||7.49%-18.00%|
|USAA||Up to 18.51%|
Other factors influencing your personal loan rate
While your credit score is important in determining the average personal loan interest rate you might qualify for, lenders also look at other factors to determine your trustworthiness. These are some examples:
- Your income is used to determine how much you can borrow.
- Your debt-to-income ratio helps lenders determine how much debt you already have compared to your income.
- Your employment status helps lenders feel confident about your ability to repay your loan.
- Your loan term can impact your rate: short-term personal loans tend to have higher interest rates than long-term personal loans.
Some lenders have minimum loan requirements, such as a minimum income or credit score.
You may also be denied for a personal loan if you have a recent bankruptcy or an active collections case on your credit record. Before applying for a personal loan, you should review your lender’s FAQ pages to check whether you qualify.
When applying for a personal loan, you should anticipate to produce picture identification, employment and income verification documents such as pay stubs and bank statements, and proof of address.
What is considered a decent personal loan interest rate?
A suitable personal loan interest rate is different for everyone. In general, a decent rate is lower than the average personal loan rate.
How to Get a Low Personal Loan Interest Rate
There are several measures you can take right now to qualify for a decent personal loan rate, or at least the best loan rate you can expect to qualify for based on your credit score, income, and other considerations. Here’s an overview of everything you need do to get an affordable loan:
Improve your credit score by working hard.
When you apply for a personal loan, a lender will look at your credit score to see how hazardous of a borrower you are. In general, the higher your credit score, the greater your chances of obtaining the lowest available rate.
Paying all of your payments on time or early is the most critical step in improving your credit score – payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score. You may also reduce your credit usage ratio, which accounts for 30% of your FICO score.
In addition, removing inaccurate information from your Experian, Equifax or TransUnion credit reports could improve your score. To monitor all three reports for errors, visit AnnualCreditReport.com. If you catch any mistakes, dispute them with the respective credit bureaus.
Shop around and compare lenders
Getting a good personal loan rate also involves shopping around. Different lenders offer different rates to applicants based on their unique underwriting guidelines. This means that applying for a personal loan with a lender that offers the lowest rate won’t ensure you get the lowest rate available.
To increase your odds of finding the lowest rate, prequalify with as many lenders as possible. Prequalifying allows you to get an estimate of the interest rate you could receive when you submit a formal application, and it often has no impact on your credit score.
Check for fees
Remember that your loan’s interest rate isn’t the only personal loan expense to be aware of. You should also check for other fees like origination fees, which can reflect on as much as six percent of your loan amount. To do this, look at a lender’s annual percentage rate — a measurement that includes interest plus fees. Some lenders will give you an estimated APR when you prequalify.
The bottom line
Average personal loan interest rates can vary depending on your credit score and other factors, but you do have some control. Make sure to keep your credit score in the best shape possible and work on paying off debt to lower your debt-to-income ratio. By taking care of your financial health and shopping around to compare typical loan interest rates, you’ll have a personal loan that suits your budget and goals within reach.