The Best $10K Personal Loan Options | The Simple Dollar

The Best $10K Personal Loan Options | The Simple Dollar

Taking out a personal loan can be a helpful way to fund a variety of financial needs, like debt consolidation, medical expenses or even everyday expenses if you’ve lost your job. Online lenders, credit unions and traditional banks all offer a variety of $10,000 personal loan options. Many of them even make it easy to apply from the comfort of your own home, with no judgment if you’re still in your pajamas at noon.

We compared the best $10K personal loans, using our SimpleScore methodology to rank lenders based on rates, loan amounts, customer satisfaction, support and fees.

The 5 best $10K personal loans of 2020

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

We found results in California.

Best $10K personal loans at a glance

Lender APR From Terms Fees SimpleScore
LightStream 2.99%–20.49% w/out Autopay 24–144 months None 4.8/5
Upstart 8.41%–35.99% 3 or 5 years 0%–8% origination fee 3.4/5
Best Egg 5.99%–29.99% 3–5 years 0.99%–5.99% origination fee 3.75/5
NetCredit 34%–155% 12–60 months 5% origination fee 2.25/5
Citizens One 8.24%–21.13% 36–60 months None 4.2/5

*Rates accurate as of December, 2020, and exclude auto pay discounts

Best for Good Credit – LightStream

You’ll find competitive loan terms with LightStream, but these personal loans aren’t designed for the average Joe or Jane — you’ll need a strong credit and financials to get approved.

APR Range

2.99%–20.49% w/out Autopay


4.8 / 5.0

SimpleScore LightStream 4.8

LightStream offers competitive rates and flexible term lengths, but its $10K loan options are reserved for the strongest applicants. In order to qualify, you’ll need a positive, established credit history featuring a range of accounts, such as credit cards and installment loans. You also need to demonstrate your ability to save money through things like liquid assets or retirement savings.

Successful applicants enjoy fast decisions, with funds available as quickly as the same day. And if you sign up for autopay, you’ll get a 0.50% APR reduction. Another bonus is that there are multiple loan purposes to choose from. If there’s something you want to finance, you’ll likely be able to use a LightStream loan to pay for it.

LightStream Disclosure

Disclaimer: Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66

© 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

Best for Fair Credit – Upstart

Even applicants with a limited credit history may find success with an Upstart personal loan — just keep an eye out for how much you’ll pay as an origination fee.

Citing a higher approval rate compared to traditional approval models, Upstart is designed to use alternative criteria to approve borrowers with limited credit history, but applicants must have a credit score of at least 580 to be eligible. Interest rates aren’t the lowest among the competition and you’ll pay an origination fee as high as 8% of the loan amount. On the plus side, rates may be lower than credit cards, making Upstart a popular option for debt consolidation.

Upstart’s maximum amount to borrow is $50,000 so it’s fair to say that getting approved for $10K personal loan options isn’t impossible. Plus, once you apply and accept your loan offer, you’ll likely get funded within a day.

Upstart Disclosure

* The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart Platform will have an APR of 19% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved. ** Estimated savings are calculated based on the credit profiles of all loans originated by Upstart-powered lenders using the Upstart Platform as of April 1, 2019 in which the funds were used for credit card refinancing. Estimated savings are calculated by deriving current credit card APR using minimum monthly payment and 1% of the principal balance. The estimated credit card APR is then compared to the accepted loan to determine median savings per borrower. To evaluate savings on a loan you are considering, it is important to compare your actual APR from your existing debt to the APR offered on the Upstart Platform. More than 303,000 loans have been originated on the Upstart platform as of July 1, 2019. Images are not actual customers, but their stories are real. † If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and in accordance with federal law. ‡ While most of our borrowers opt for automated recurring payment for ease of use, we also accept payments by check or one time electronic payments. Borrowers have the flexibility to choose the repayment method that works best for them. 9 out of 10 Upstart users surveyed internally reported that they would recommend Upstart. †† When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus. § Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

Best for Transparency – Best Egg

If you’re looking for transparency in the loan process, Best Egg has extensive online resources so you know exactly what to expect.


3.8 / 5.0

Customer Satisfaction N/A

Like many other online lenders, Best Egg has an easy online application that can result in fast funding if you’re approved for the loan. But it really stands out in the amount of relevant information provided in its Help Center. You’ll find specific details on what fees to expect, what pre-approval really means and how and when your credit is impacted.

Some online lenders offer limited information until you submit your contact details. With Best Egg, however, you can easily find out everything you need to know about the application and repayment process. That way you won’t have any surprises when it comes time to apply.

Best Egg Disclosure

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of “Best Egg” on this site mean and shall refer to “the Best Egg personal loan” and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,500; in NM and OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Best for Bad Credit – NetCredit

You can customize your NetCredit loan offer before you sign on the dotted line, but be sure to watch out for high interest rates that can cause your balance to soar.


2.3 / 5.0

SimpleScore NetCredit 2.3

Customer Satisfaction N/A

Once you apply for a NetCredit personal loan, you’ll receive an offer if you’re approved. But that doesn’t mean your loan terms are set in stone. You can adjust elements of your offer like loan amount and repayment period to fit your goals, whether that’s paying down the loan faster to save on interest or keeping your monthly payments low.

Credit requirements are more flexible with NetCredit, which is why $10,000 is the maximum loan amount you’re able to borrow. APRs are also high, starting at 34% and potentially moving into triple digits. Making on-time payments does help build your credit score over time, however, since they report to credit bureaus. NetCredit loans are currently only available in 37 states, so check your local offerings before you get ready to apply.

Best for Existing Customers – Citizens One

A more traditional application process lets you talk through your options with an actual banker. That may slow down the application process, but funding is fast once you’re approved.


4.3 / 5.0

SimpleScore Citizens One 4.3

Customer Satisfaction N/A

Citizens Bank offers personal loans between $5,000 and $15,000 with no application fees or origination fees to worry about through its lending arm, Citizens One. You can also qualify for a rate discount of up to 0.50% when you combine the loyalty discount and automatic payment benefit.

Citizens One stands out in that it’s a traditional bank rather than a strictly online lender; although you can still get fast funding within two business days. On the downside, there’s no automated online application process. You’ll need to call its national number or contact a local branch. But if you like a personal touch and want to talk to someone about your $10,000 personal loan options, Citizens One could be worth considering. If you’re interested in an in-person experience, Citizens One has branches in 11 states.

What is a personal loan? 

A personal loan is a type of financing product that lets you borrow a lump sum of money. You then repay the lender with fixed payments for a set repayment term. In addition to paying back the amount you borrowed, you’re also charged interest on the loan. Some lenders include other fees as well, such as an origination fee which is deducted from your loan funds before you receive them. Unlike credit cards, personal loans come with fixed interest rates so you have the same payment amount each month and know exactly when the loan will be paid in full.

[ Read: Personal Loans for Self-Employed ]

Where to get a $10,000 personal loan 

There are several types of lenders to choose from, giving you more options to find the best personal loan.

Online lenders 

Online lenders make it easy to explore and apply for 10k loan options from the comfort of your home. Different lenders focus on different types of borrowers so you may find more options suited for your credit profile, including bad credit personal loans. Applying typically only takes a few minutes and you can get a financing decision quickly as well. Many online lenders are also known for getting your funding within a day of approval. Just be sure to do a reputation check before applying. Also compare your loan terms carefully, particularly when it comes to rates and origination fees.

Credit Unions 

Credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit, so you may be able to find lower interest rates and fees when looking for personal loans. Depending on the size of the credit union, the application process may not be as tech-savvy. But they often have in-house loan approvals, which means they may be more forgiving, especially if you already have a history of banking with them. Membership is also required in order to join a credit union and use their financial products. It’s usually pretty easy, like living or working in a certain geographic area or making a contribution to a designated charity. But you’ll have to join before you can find out your $10K loan options.

[ Next: Documents Required for a Personal Loan ]


Banks vary greatly in size and experience, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for personal loans. Larger banks are likelier to have a fast online application process, while smaller institutions may require you to apply in person. Traditionally, banks are known for slower approval and funding times, but that’s changing as more join the online lending sphere. You may  need to look at a few different options to find a bank offering a personal loan that suits your needs.

Pros and cons of a personal loan


  • Fixed payment schedule
  • Use funds for almost anything
  • Get funded fast


  • Interest rates may be high
  • Origination fee may apply
  • Late fees may apply

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

The cost to repay a $10K personal loan 

The best personal loans are the ones you can afford to pay without damaging other areas of your finances. The amount you’ll end up paying on a $10k personal loan depends on several factors, including your repayment period, fees and interest rate.

Let’s take a look at a few example scenarios to get an idea of what to expect in terms of total cost for a personal loan of this size.

Most lenders offer a term length ranging between two and five years, so for this example let’s assume a term of four years (or 48 months).

  • A $10,000 personal loan with a 5% APR would have a monthly payment of $230. Over the course of four years, you would pay $1,054 in interest.
  • A $10,000 personal loan with a 15% APR would have a monthly payment of $278. Your total interest paid over four years would jump to $3,359.
  • A $10,000 personal loan with a 35% APR would have a monthly payment of $390. The total interest on this loan skyrockets to $8,706 over the four-year repayment term.

Also remember these figures don’t include the cost of origination fees, late payment penalties and other fees you may encounter from your lender. Weigh both the pros and cons of these costs before signing a loan agreement. It may not be worth the monthly payment and interest in some cases, while other situations, like a debt consolidation loan, it may make sense.

[ Read: How to Refinance Your Personal Loan ]

How long will it take to pay off a $10,000 personal loan? 

Most lenders offer $10,000 personal loans with the option to repay over two to five years. The term you choose will likely have an impact on your interest rate. Typically, lenders offer a lower interest rate for shorter terms because they’ll get the money back more quickly. While this option helps you save the amount of money you pay in interest over the course of the loan, your monthly payments will be higher. It’s not because you’re paying more for the loan, you’re just spreading out the payments over a shorter period of time.

With a longer loan term, you’ll likely be charged a higher interest rate since it takes longer for the lender to get the balance paid back. You’ll pay more in interest over time, but the burden is spread out longer. That makes your monthly payments lower, even though it will take an extra year or two (or three) to pay off your loan.

It’s up to you to choose the better option for your unique situation. If you can comfortably handle the higher monthly payment, then a shorter term can save you cash in the long-term. But if you need the money for a financial emergency and need to keep your monthly budget as low as possible, you may benefit from a longer loan term.

[ More: How to Start Building an Emergency Fund ]

What to consider when comparing loans 

  1. Application requirements: Lenders often advertise basic requirements such as credit and income. Also check to make sure the lender offers personal loans in your state.
  2. Fees: Look to see how much each lender charges. Remember you’ll only qualify for the lowest rates if you have a strong credit history. Also check origination fees and early payoff penalties. Any origination fee is deducted from your loan funds. So you’ll be paying off the full amount, but you’ll have a fraction deducted for lender administrative fees. 
  3. Funding time: Every lender has their own timeline for funding. If you need cash quickly, you may focus on lenders that advertise fast approvals and quick funding times. Note that it may take longer for funds to appear in your account, depending on your individual bank.

[Read: How to Raise Your Credit Score]

Personal loan FAQs

Minimum credit score requirements vary based on the lender. Some lenders focus on borrowers with high credit scores (offering competitive rates) while others cater to lower credit borrowers.

Some lenders may offer $10,000 loan options with bad credit. But you’ll pay for it with higher interest rates and potentially other fees as well.

Your monthly payment amount depends on your interest rate and repayment term. A loan with a 9% APR and a four-year term would have a monthly payment of just under $250. Change that to a 35% APR and the monthly payment increases to nearly $390.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the personal loans we recommend. Contact us at with comments or questions.

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