Looking for small personal loans to get money to finance unexpected expenses? This article shows you not just the best ways to get these loans but also the best places and traps to avoid.
A “small personal loan” is relative to the borrower.
For instance, for one person, a small loan is in the range of $1,000 – $5,000. For another person, this same range of loan is considered a big loan.
These types of personal loans are borrowed under a specific term and interest. The amount could also range from $500 or $1000 to $10,000 or more.
What’s also great with these types of personal loans is that you don’t have to go looking for how to make extra money fast. You can apply and get the money you need very quickly.
And it doesn’t matter what you want to do with the money. What matters most is that you qualify and can repay.
You can borrow a small personal loan to consolidate your debt, improve or renovate your home, pay for your vacation, acquire or fix assets, finance your auto loan, pay for a medical emergency, finance an education, and so on.
There are many ways and places to get a small personal loan. Friends and family, credit union, the banks, and so on, are some regular options to choose from.
You can also get these loans from reputable online loan companies. These are institutions or businesses set up to offer loans to members, customers, or borrowers.
They pre-qualify the borrower for the right loan, and they approve the loan amount requested after the requirements are met.
This article explains what “small personal loan” mean. It also explains the best ways to get small personal loans, especially from some of the best online lenders.
Also, you will be reminded about the important traps to avoid when you access small personal loans from these lenders.
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What Are Small Personal Loans?
There is no universal definition of a small personal loan. However, since a loan is the temporary provision of money, a personal loan means the temporary provision of money for personal use.
The term “personal” implies what affects the private life of the individual.
Thus, a personal loan affects the private life or personal finance of the borrower.
More so, what constitutes personal finance differs from one person to another.
While one person saying “I need money now to travel” might be personal to them, that might not be personal to another person.
That said, a “small personal loan” then means a “personal loan that is limited in the amount borrowed”. It is an unsecured loan that can be approved fast and having flexible term or repayment.
With most lenders, any amount from $500 to $5,000 up to $10,000 could be referred to as small personal loans.
The money can be used to pay for personal bills, acquire a new asset, offset debts, invest in a business, pay for trips, and support the working capital and so on.
The Best Places to Get Small Personal Loans Online
The following are online lenders of small personal loans. They are some of the best in the industry because of their reputation and rating.
LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank.
It’s one of the best loan places near me and offers personal loans to individuals.
You can apply for different types of loans from this lender. Vehicle loans, home improvement loans, recreation loans, family life loans and so on, are the categories of loans you can apply for.
LightStream allows borrowers to access an amount between $5,000 and $100,000.
You can apply for the amount you want and get the best rates possible.
However, your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile.
If you have excellent credit profile, you will enjoy the lowest rates from Lightstream.
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Avant is another reputable online platform where you can get personal loans.
You can apply for small loans to meet unexpected expenses, especially in those dire situations when you have no money and every little amount you can get help.
This lender can approve a loan amount between $2,000 and $35,000 to borrowers.
The APR ranges from 9.95% to 35.99%, and the loan lengths range from 24 to 60 months.
If your loan amount is approved, you can use the money consolidate debts, run emergency expense, pay for medical bills, do home improvements, and so on.
The reasons you should consider this lender include:
- There are fast approvals for loans
- Over 600,000 customers have benefited from personal loans approved by this lender.
- Over $4 billion has been approved for borrowers.
You can start your loan application by clicking on the “check your loan options” button
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3. Lending Club
Lending Club is another well-known and highly reputable online marketplace that connects borrowers with investors.
It is a peer-to-peer lending company.
This platform is not a bank but it connects people to borrow personal and business loans from investors.
You can apply with Lending Club to get a small personal loan. You can be approved of a personal loan of $1,000 up to $40,000 with a low and fixed rate.
The loan can be used to refinance your credit cards, pay for a vacation, pay to move or relocate, buy something special like used boats or whatever, cover medical expenses, and so on.
You should choose LendingClub because:
- It would only take you minutes to apply online.
- A wide range of loan offers is provided to you and it is based on what you qualify for.
- Your APR depends on several factors, such as your credit rating, the amount you want to borrow, and how much you already owe to other creditors.
- You will get your money in as little as a few days.
- You can make fixed monthly payments.
- The rates are from 6.95%–35.89%.
- There are no prepayment penalties.
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SoFi helps people or their community members to get the money they want. You can sign up with this online lender to get a small personal loan.
With SoFi, you will get the finance that will help you get ahead. You can access loans at the best rates and at the best repayment terms.
SoFi offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000. The fund can be used for just about anything like a vacation, tuition, medical bills, repairs, auto repairs, home improvement, etc.
It’s really up to you what you want to use it for. You can even use it for medical weight loss treatments or whatever else you want to. That’s why it’s called a “personal loan” after all.
Some of the strong reasons to choose small personal loans from this online lender include:
- There is no application, origination, prepayment, or late payment fees.
- The interest rate is competitive as a fixed rate from 5.99% to 16.99% is provided.
- Members can apply for the SoFi Unemployment Protection Program if they lose their jobs to no fault of theirs.
The eligibility requirements to access this loan are:
- You must be employed or have a steady source of income.
- You must live in a state SoFi is licensed to lend.
- You must be a US citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.
- You must be the age of majority in your state.
5. Best Egg
Best Egg is another genuine online lending platform. You can get personal loans for your various personal financial needs.
If you need a small personal loan for debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, baby and adoption, moving expenses, home improvement, vacation, special occasions, and other major purchases, etc., then check out loans from Best Egg.
The strong reasons for choosing a personal loan from this platform include:
- You can access loan amount that ranges from $2,000-$35,000.
- You will enjoy fair, affordable, and low APR as low as 5.99% to 29.99%.
- You can apply online with ease and have funds deposited into your account in as little as one day.
- You will get access to Best Egg online intuitive tools and friendly customer service.
They also have one of the best personal loan apps you can use when applying.
To qualify for a small personal loan from Best Egg, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You must have a FICO score of at least 640.
- You must meet your state’s minimum age requirement — 18 in most states.
- You must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
- You must have a verifiable bank account.
- You must live in a state other than Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, Puerto Rico or Guam.
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6. Laurel Road
Laurel Road offers Student loan refinancing, in-school loans, mortgage and personal loans to customers.
You can borrow from $1,000 up to $45,000 as a small personal loan from this online lender.
The loan can be used to deal with any financial needs you may have.
Whether you plan to use it for credit management purposes, pay off credit card debt, make home improvements, consolidate your debts, pay for a vacation, or any other pressing need, a Laurel Road personal loan can come handy.
Laurel Road personal loans have the following features:
- The application can be completed with ease and at your own pace.
- There is fixed APRs as low as 8.01%
- There is an autopay discount of 0.25% when you make your monthly payments automatically from a bank account.
- There is a quick disbursement of fund directly into your bank account.
7. Rocket Loans
Rocket Loans is another legit online lender of personal loans and mortgage to customers. You can check out this platform if you want to access a small business loan.
The money can also used for the financing of debt consolidation, home improvement, medical expense, auto repair, or other small business transactions.
Rocket Loans will approve $2,000 and $35,000 if you meet their requirements.
The interest rate is fixed and the APR for most loans granted that are granted by this platform is from 5.98%–28.99%.
The terms of the loan are usually 3 to 5 years.
To successfully apply for a small personal loan from Rocket Loans, you must fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
- You must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid visa.
- You must have at least 18 years old.
- You must have a valid bank account.
- You must have at least two years of credit history.
- You must have a minimum credit score of 640.
- You must have a minimum annual income of$24,000.
By the way, if you have kids, consider getting kids debit cards, to help them start get ahead with managing money.
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8. OneMain Financial
OneMain Financial also provides personal and auto loans to customers. It has been around since 1912 and it is a trusted lending platform.
If you want to borrow a small personal loan for your need ranging from vacation expenses to debt consolidation, then consider OneMain Financial.
This lender approves a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $30,000. The loan term is from 2 to 5 years. The APR is from 16.05% to 35.99%.
Your loan request is approved fast, poor credit applicants are considered, and secured loans are available.
Yes, they also offer unsecured bad credit loans, so poor credit shouldn’t stop you from applying.
To qualify for a small personal loan from OneMain Financial, you must meet the following basic criteria:
- You must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
- You must, at least, have some established credit history.
- You must meet your state’s minimum age requirement.
Prosper is another legit and well-known peer-to-peer online lending platform. Individuals can borrow from this platform.
You can sign up with Prosper if you need a small personal loan. This platform allows members to borrow from $2,000 to $40,000.
The loan can be tailored for financial needs like consolidation your debts, home improvement, vacation payment, or medical bills, etc.
Prosper offers easy rates and flexible terms. The APR for this loan starts from 6.95% to 35.99%. The loan terms are from 36 to 60 months.
Upstart is another reputable lending platform. You can borrow loans from $1,000 to $50,000.
You can definitely take out a loan from Upstart to pay your bill or rent, make a home improvement, do relocation, pay medical bills, and debt consolidation.
The loan term is for 3 to 5 years. The rate or APR starts from 7.54% to 35.99%.
Important Traps to Avoid When Accessing Small Personal Loans
There are important traps to avoid when you sign up for a small personal loan. You must avoid these traps if you want to maximize your loan application and usage.
Just like instant payday loans, you can fall behind if you don’t know what traps there are to look out for.
These traps include:
1. Origination fees
Most lenders charge an origination fee right when you get the loan.
You must take this into consideration so you don’t get surprised when you don’t receive the exact money you requested.
Origination fees are discounted from the amount before you even get the loan.
For instance, if you borrow $2,000, you may end up receiving $1,800.
This means the lender may charge 20% or $200 on the amount.
Always check to know what the exact fees are with any lender, before going ahead. It also helps you know exactly how much to apply for, that will meet your financial needs.
2. High-Interest rates
Online lenders offer a variety of loans to borrowers. The interest rates are always high but you may not know this because the loans are presented with interest rates lower than many credit cards.
APRs for most of these loans can be as high as 400% in a year.
Yes, definitely won’t get free money to repay with no extras! You can end up paying a LOT more than you got, if you are not careful.
So, compare your options and chose the best loans with optimal interests.
3. Prepayment fees and Late payment fees
You should compare lenders and avoid those that charge prepayment fees and late payment fees.
These fees may be hidden but it is important that you avoid them so don’t have to pay so much to access a loan.
The above are some of the best ways and places to get small personal loans online.
The important traps to avoid when accessing these funds have also been shared, so you can prevent falling for them.
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