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4 Personal Loans To Apply To If Your Credit Score Is 740 Or Lower

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Financial experts typically recommend that people begin building positive credit habits in order to work their way up to a good or excellent credit score. That’s because there are many advantages to having a credit score that sits in the “good” range (670–739). For one, a high credit score can help you get approved for financial products — like personal loans — with a lower interest rate. And keep in mind that lower interest rates allow you to save more money over the life of a loan.

Generally, the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate will be when you get approved for a personal loan. So if you’re still working your way up toward an excellent credit score but still need funding to cover large expenses like a home renovation or surprise medical bill, there are some personal loan lenders you might want to consider.

Below, Select rounded up four of the best personal loan lenders that accept applicants who have credit scores in the “good” range (no higher than 740). We looked at fees, interest rates and flexible repayment options for different credit scores. (You can read more about our methodology below.)

Select’s picks for the top four personal loans

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Best overall

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    2.49% to 19.99%* when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, auto financing, medical expenses, wedding and others

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Who’s this for? LightStream offers low-interest loans with flexible terms for people with good credit or higher. The lender even offers a 0.25% APY discount for using Autopay to make your monthly loan payments. If you’re applying for a personal loan with a credit score that falls in the “good” range (670-739), you stand a solid chance of getting approved for low interest rate from LightStream but, of course, the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate will be.

You can use a LightStream personal loan for just about anything except for funding higher education and small businesses; home renovations, debt consolidation, medical expenses and wedding expenses, to name a few, are all fair game.

You can generally receive your funds on the same day if you apply on a banking business day, your application is approved and you electronically sign your loan agreement and verify your direct deposit banking account information by 2:30 p.m. ET. But if you can’t make this deadline, you should be able to receive your funds the next business day.

Another pro to using this lender is that LightStream doesn’t charge any origination, administration or early payoff fees, and repayment terms range from 24 to 144 months.

Best for debt consolidation

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    6.99% to 19.99% APR when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, moving and relocation or vacation

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Will send direct payment to up to 10 creditors (for debt consolidation)
  • Monthly VantageScore updates
  • Earn a one-month payment vacation (interest-free) after making 12 on-time consecutive payments
  • Ability to choose your due date when you accept the loan (and again up to two more times after that)

Cons

  • Does not accept joint applications and/or co-signers
  • Not the fastest funding (can take a week or 10 business days)
  • Slightly tougher approval requirements (especially for larger loans/lower interest)

Who’s this for? A Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loan is a good choice if you’re looking for a personal loan to finance debt consolidation.

When you’re approved for a Marcus debt consolidation loan, you can use direct payments to send money to up to 10 creditors, which helps ensure that funds are used to directly wipe out your debt. To choose this option, you will need to provide your creditors’ account numbers and addresses, as well as the amount(s) you’d like paid. 

Once the funds are sent to your creditors, now you’ll just need to pay off the Marcus personal loan. This is why debt consolidation can be an instrumental way to feel more in control of your debt and to pay off multiple debts faster.

Additionally, there are no sign-up fees, prepayment fees or late payment fees. You can get approved for up to $40,000 and have the funds deposited into your bank account in up to four days.

Plus, when you enroll in AutoPay, you’ll receive a 0.25% reduction in the interest you’re charged. And even if you choose not to use AutoPay, Marcus still offers fixed rates for the entire life of the loan, so once your rate is locked in, you don’t have to worry about it changing at any point during the life of the loan.

The loan term ranges for the Marcus personal loan go from 36 months to 72 months. But unlike with most other lenders, when you make 12 on-time, consecutive payments on a Marcus personal loan, you’ll be able to skip one payment without being penalized with more interest. This might come in handy for someone whose financial situation might change a year into the term of loan and needs a little flexibility with their payments.

Best for borrowing higher amounts

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    5.74% – 21.28% when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, relocation assistance or medical expenses

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Unemployment protection if you lose your job
  • DACA recipients can apply with a creditworthy co-borrower who is a U.S. citizen/permanent resident by calling 877-936-2269
  • Can have more than one SoFi loan at a time (state-permitting) 
  • May accept offer of employment (to start within the next 90 days) as proof of income
  • Co-applicants may apply

Cons

  • Applicants who are U.S. visa holders must have more than two years remaining on visa to be eligible
  • No co-signers allowed (co-applicants only)

Best for quick approval

Discover Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding or vacation

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

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 offer same-day approval and can disburse your funds 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, your funds will take no later than a week to be disbursed). This makes it a very appealing lender for when you really need the money in a pinch for that emergency home fix or car repair.

While there are no origination fees, Discover does charge a late fee of $39 if you fail to repay your loan on time each month. This lender also doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty for paying off your loan before the term ends. Plus, Discover Personal Loans accepts applicants with good credit.

Similar to the Marcus personal loan, If you’re getting a debt consolidation loan, Discover can pay your creditors directly. Once you’re approved for and accept your personal loan, you can link the credit card accounts so Discover will send the money directly. You just need to provide information such as account numbers, amount you’d like paid and payment address information.

Our methodology

To determine which personal loans are the best, 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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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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