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Top 14 Best Personal Loans Of 2021

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Loan limits

This refers to how much money you are able to get from your lending partner. Some establishments have a minimum amount you can take out, while others only make an upward cap.

Your credit score and other factors will also determine your loan limits.

You want to find a lending partner that will not limit your loan too low so you are able to take out the money you need, like LightStream which offers loans up to $100,000. (A word of caution: Limits are healthy though, and you should avoid taking out more money than you are able to responsibly pay back.)

Loan terms

Loan terms are simply the terms of the loan you’re taking out including interest rates, repayment length, and any additional charges.

These will be set out by the lending partner, but will need to be approved by the borrower (you) for the loan to go through.

Various lending partners will have a range of terms, but the best ones will give you plenty of flexibility to make approval and repayment of the loan as comfortable as possible.

SoFi has the most flexibility, offering 7-year repayment plans, but plenty of others like PayOff, Prosper, and Upstart have 5-year loans as well.

Geography

Look to see what areas a lending partner is able to service. Because of taxes, regulations, and simple reach, some lending partners are limited as to how far they can extend their services. Of course, you don’t need a lending partner that works all over the world; just make sure it services your specific area before you get into an in-depth discussion.

Transparency and reputation

As with anything in life, you want to look for a lending partner with a solid reputation for quality service.

Read reviews online, ask friends, and go on social media. Remember that there will always be somebody ready with a complaint even about the most reliable businesses, so take reviews with a grain of salt.

At the same time, read several reviews to give you a general picture of a company’s trustworthiness.

Transparency is how honest the company is being with customers.

Does this brand hide important information and loan caveats in fine print within its terms and conditions or is everything clearly spelled out on the website?

Are you required to hand over private information before accessing basic information?

How upfront and transparent a brand is will tell you a lot about the overall experience you’re going to have with it.

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