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The Best Personal Loans In California

The best personal loans in California feature an easy application process, pre-qualifying that doesn’t affect your credit score, rapid funding, and several other benefits. Online lenders offer an alternative to dealing with traditional banks and credit unions for personal loan or debt consolidation funding.

They may even offer solutions for those with less-than-ideal credit that traditional lenders may not approve for personal loans.

However, because of the large number of providers available, choosing the best option for your funding needs can seem overwhelming. To that end, we reviewed dozens of online lenders and compiled this review of the best personal loan providers in California.

Deane Biermeier
Home Product and Finance Expert
9.5 Excellent

Credible’s personal loan and debt consolidation offerings stand out as our top performers for personal loans in California. The company provides numerous borrowing options from multiple lenders and allows a pre-qualification step that won’t affect your credit score.

  • Pre-qualification soft inquiry won't affect your credit score
  • Multiple companies and financial products available
  • Some lenders don't require a minimum credit score
  • Table of Contents
Last Updated: April 22, 2024
1
9.5 Excellent

  • Loans available from $600 to $100,000
  • Loan-length terms of up to 12 years
  • Lender-variable fees may apply
  • No minimum credit score needed for some lending partners
2
9.2 Great

  • Over 500 lending organization partners
  • Loans as small as $1,000 available
  • Loan-length terms up to 12 years
  • Other lending and services are also available
  • A+ grade at the Better Business Bureau
3
9.1 Great

  • Short credit histories are okay
  • Funds often available in one day
  • Flexible payment dates
  • No required minimum credit score
  • Pre-qualify with soft credit inquiry
4
8.7 Very Good

  • Other banking services also available
  • Direct creditor payments available for consolidation loans
  • Choice of payment dates
  • 2 to 5-year repayment terms
  • Co-signers allowed
5
8.6 Very Good

  • Adjustable payment dates
  • Early payment fees not applicable
  • 12 to 84-month repayment terms
  • Banking accounts and credit lines also available
  • No application fees

The Best Personal Loans In California Comparison

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Loan Amounts Min. Qualifying Annual come Min. Qualifying Credit Score Best For
Credible 9.5 $600 to $100,000 Varies by Lender None Overall
Lendingtree 9.2 $1,000 to $50,000 Varies by Lender 580 Best Borrowing Options
Upstart 9.1 $1,000 to $50,000 $12,000 None Best for Short Credit Histories
LendingClub 8.7 $1,000 to $40,000 Nondisclosed 600 Best for Additional Services
Upgrade 8.6 $1,000 to $50,000 Nondisclosed 580 Best for Repayment Flexibility

How Do Online Companies Provide the Best Personal Loans In California?

Online or fintech financial companies offer a wide range of services, from personal loans and debt consolidation to general banking and credit card availability. These companies typically have no brick-and-mortar locations and are only available through their website or partner company sites.

The best personal loan lenders and top debt consolidation companies are included in the list of online financial organizations. Lending structures may be through partner banks or credit unions, peer-to-peer funding, or the company itself.

By not having as many restrictions as traditional banks and credit unions and by offering shorter lists of specific lending options, online lenders can offer more flexibility in terms of who can become approved for a loan. Fintech lenders can often approve borrowers for loans that they may not otherwise get approval for at a traditional bank.

Additionally, online lenders generally provide an easy application process, often including a pre-qualification step. The added step can allow potential customers to see what financial products they’ll likely be eligible for, including costs, and provide the opportunity to choose the loan or account that best fits their needs.

Features of the Best Personal Loans In California

Online lenders can all appear quite different at first glance. Each lender may promote various financial products that make it stand out from the crowd. However, while lenders do offer their own unique blend of products, most are quite similar, sharing qualities that make them user-friendly and convenient.

The best personal loans in California found online generally include the following features.

  • Simple application process
  • A pre-qualification step that won’t affect your credit score
  • Fast funding
  • Manageable approval requirements
  • Reasonable borrowing costs.
  • Flexible repayment terms and options

Qualifying for Personal Loans In California

Each provider of the best personal loans in California has specific minimum eligibility and loan approval requirements. It’s essential to note that, in general, the higher a borrower’s credit score and qualifications are, the better the interest rate and loan terms they’ll be offered.

No single factor will ultimately determine every borrower’s approval odds, but there are some consistencies. Typically, the basic minimum approval requirements for a personal loan in California are as follows.

  • Adequate credit score set by each lender—Many lenders don’t have a minimum score requirement.
  • Some lenders forego a credit score requirement, using AI to determine eligibility.
  • Consistent or stable income—Some lenders have minimum income requirements
  • No recent bankruptcies on your credit record
  • Bank account—In most cases
  • Proof of identification and address
  • Social Security number

Pros and Cons of Online Personal Loans In California

Even the best personal loans in California aren’t always perfect for every borrower. Understanding the pros and cons of online borrowing is essential when choosing your best borrowing option.

Pros

  • Proper loan management can help improve a poor credit score over time
  • Debt consolidation can reduce monthly payment amounts
  • Many online lenders offer pre-qualification that won’t affect credit score
  • Some lenders provide flexible repayment terms

Cons

  • Interest rates are typically higher than traditional borrowing options.
  • Loan origination and other fees may apply
  • Late payments will appear on credit reports
  • Initial application will temporarily negatively affect credit score

How to Choose the Best Personal Loan In California

Because of the large number of online lenders available, choosing the best personal loan provider for your needs in California can seem overwhelming.

Choosing the right one comes down to identifying your borrowing needs and finding a provider to match. To help get started, determine answers to the following financial questions.

  • How much do I need to borrow, or what financial product do I need?
  • Do I meet the minimum qualifications for approval with the lender I’m considering?
  • How much will borrowing cost, and can I afford the monthly payments now and in the future?
  • Will my payment be significantly lower if I’m consolidating debt?
  • Can I put off getting a loan until I can improve my credit score to save interest money?

Which Are the Best Personal Loans In California?

Our top pick for the best personal loans in California is Credible. Credible is an online financial marketplace that partners with multiple lenders to provide a virtual menu of loan options for borrowers with poor to exceptional credit scores.

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Credible

Best Overall

Credible tops our list for providing the best options for personal loans in California. As an online lending platform, the company partners with numerous lending organizations to offer a wide range of borrowing and financial product options.

Borrowers in California can pre-qualify when using Credible without affecting their credit scores. Additionally, Credible customers can choose from multiple lender offers before formally applying.

Credible Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No fees apply to access and use Credible
  • Offers pre-qualifying, which won’t affect credit score
  • Loan terms of up to 12 years are available
  • Some lenders have no minimum credit score requirements.

Cons

  • Borrowers with poor credit can face steep APRs of up to 36%
  • Some lenders have lower customer satisfaction ratings than others.

Credible Features and Benefits

Credible is a leader in providing Californians with personal loan options simply by offering multiple financial products that meet the needs of many types of borrowers. The company’s marketplace platform allows borrowers to choose the best option for their financial situation.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting credit score
  • No fees apply to use Credible
  • Numerous companies and financial products are available
  • No minimum credit score required for some lenders
  • A+ grade at the BBB
  • Loan amounts from $600 to $100,000 are available
  • Repayment terms of up to 12 years
  • Fees and eligibility vary by lender

Credible Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for Credible: 9.5
Review ratings from multiple ratings platforms award the company an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Our detailed review of the company generally agrees, and produced a score of 9.5 out of 10 possible points.

We awarded Credible points for its ability to provide a wide range of products to a large number of consumers. Its ability to allow customers to choose from a variety of borrowing options, including options for those with less-than-great credit, scored well in our review.

Read Full Review: Credible
Check personal loan rates at Credible

Loan Amounts $600 to $100,000
Terms (Months) 12 to 144
Origination Fee Varies by Lender

Lendingtree

Best Borrowing Options

Lendingtree sets itself apart from typical California personal loan providers. The company’s online lending marketplace structure features a virtual buffet of borrowing and banking options. Lendingtree’s more than 500 lending partners provide a huge selection of various financial products, many of which are obtainable by those with underwhelming credit scores.

Lendingtree Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Partners with over 500 lending organizations
  • Wide range of loan terms of up to 12 years
  • Banking and other services are also available

Cons

  • Maximum borrowing amount on the platform is $50,000
  • Potential for high interest rates of nearly 36% for some borrowers

Lendingtree Features and Benefits

As one of the premier online financial companies, Lendingtree offers a long list of features and benefits related to its personal loan and debt consolidation products.

  • Partners with over 500 lending companies and organizations
  • Graded A+ at the Better Business Bureau
  • Offers lending, banking, and other financial products
  • No hard credit inquiry to pre-qualify
  • Choose from multiple borrowing options from various lenders
  • Free credit score monitoring is available
  • Peer-to-peer lending may be available for some borrowers
  • 580 minimum credit score is required for some services
  • Some lenders may allow a co-signer
  • Fees vary by lender

Lendingtree Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for Lendingtree: 9.2

One stand-out feature Lendingtree offers for those with imperfect credit is the ability to add a co-signer to qualify for some of its loan products, depending on the partner company involved. We awarded Lendingtree a few extra points for that feature in our review. For borrowers with fair or poor credit, having a cosigner option can fetch a better APR and better overall loan terms.

Read Full Review: Lendingtree
Check personal loan rates at Lendingtree

Loan Amounts $1,000 to $50,000
Terms (Months) 12 to 144
Origination Fee Varies by Lender

Upstart

Best for Short Credit Histories

Upstart is our top pick for personal loans in California for those with short credit histories that often accompany lower credit scores. The company’s long list of features also includes flexible payment dates, no minimum credit score requirements, and pre-qualifying that won’t appear on your credit report.

Upstart Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Options for borrowers with short credit histories
  • One-day funding is often available
  • Flexible payment date options are available
  • No minimum credit score requirements

Cons

  • An origination fee will likely apply
  • No rate discount for autopayments is available
  • Cosigners not allowed

Upstart Features and Benefits

Upstart offers its services to borrowers in a wide range of financial situations. Many poor to fair credit score holders also contend with short credit histories, making it even more difficult to be approved for an unsecured personal loan. Upstart can often work with borrowers in those situations and doesn’t automatically refuse service on that basis alone.

  • Borrowing options for short credit histories
  • Uses artificial intelligence to determine creditworthiness
  • No minimum credit score
  • Pre-qualifying won’t affect credit score
  • Funds often available in one day
  • Payment date flexibility options available
  • Direct payment to creditors for consolidation loans
  • Loan Amounts of $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms 36, 60, or 84 months

Upstart Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for Upstart: 9.1
While Upstart offers some of the best personal loans in California, the company isn’t perfect and lost a few points in our review for its limited loan-length repayment terms, potential origination fees, and lack of autopay or other discounts.

However, the company scored well in several other areas, including having no minimum credit score requirements, offering payment date flexibility, and providing the potential to overlook a short credit history.

Read Full Review: Upstart
Check Upstart personal loan rates at Credible

Loan Amounts $1,000 to $50,000
Terms (Months) 36,60, and 84
Origination Fee 0% to 12%

LendingClub

Best for Additional Services

Our review of LendingClub focuses on how the company works to provide some of the best personal loans in California. However, during our research, we learned that LendingClub also offers online banking services, including banking accounts and credit line availability. The company also scores well among consumers for its cosigner options and payment date flexibility potential.

LendingClub Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Banking and other account services are available
  • Cosigners allowed
  • Flexible payment dates are often available

Cons

  • Offers only two repayment term options
  • Charges a loan origination fee of 3% to 6%
  • No rate discount for autopayments is available

LendingClub Features and Benefits

By providing borrowers with poor credit an option for joint borrowing, LendingClub customers with a cosigner can often realize a lower interest rate and better loan terms than their single credit score might allow.

  • Minimum credit score of 600 required for eligibility
  • Loans are typically funded in one week or less
  • Offers payment date flexibility options
  • Cosigners okay
  • Fully online application and approval process
  • Deposit, banking, and credit line accounts are also available
  • 24 to 60-month loan terms
  • Loan origination fees apply

LendingClub Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for LendingClub 8.7

LendingClub stands out in our review for a number of reasons. Offering flexible payment dates and the ability to add a cosigner are just the start. Providing options for banking and other financial services to help consolidate accounts through one source also rated well with our research team. However, the company lost significant points for charging origination fees for personal loans.

Read Full Review: LendingClub
Check LendingClub personal loan rates at Credible

Loan Amounts $1,000 to $40,000
Terms (Months) 24 to 60
Origination Fee 3% to 6%

Upgrade

Best for Repayment Flexibility

Upgrade features excellent personal loan and debt consolidation repayment flexibility options. By offering customers multiple loan-length terms from one to seven years, allowing cosigners, and providing flexible payment dates. Upgrade makes finding one of the best personal loans in California easy.

Upgrade Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Adjustable payment date flexibility
  • Credit lines and credit cards are also available
  • Cosigners accepted

Cons

No autopay discount is available
Origination fee applies
$10 late payment fees apply

Upgrade Features and Benefits

Among Upgrade’s many features and benefits, the company also offers credit cards and other banking tools for borrowers with a wide range of credit scores.

  • 12 to 84-month loan repayment terms
  • $1,000 to $50,000 loan amounts are available
  • Autopay discounts aren’t available
  • Origination fees apply to loans
  • A mobile app is available to manage loans
  • A minimum 580 credit score is necessary for eligibility
  • Allows joint applicants
  • Deposit accounts and credit lines are also available

Upgrade Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for Upgrade: 8.6

Upgrade earned points with our research team for its flexible personal and debt consolidation repayment terms, among other benefits. However, we deducted points in our review of the company for charging origination fees and not offering autopay or other discounts.

Read Full Review: Upgrade
Check personal loan rates at Upgrade

Loan Amounts $1,000 to $50,000
Terms (Months) 24 to 84
Origination Fee 1.85% to 9.99%

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most common questions surrounding the best personal loans in California

Is personal loan interest tax deductible in California?

Generally speaking, personal loan interest payments aren’t tax deductible in California. However, there are a number of other tax situations to consider. In limited cases, a personal loan for business use may affect the interest deductibility. It’s essential, however, to discuss this option with a tax adviser. Additionally, if a personal loan is discharged, the amount will likely be considered income, resulting in the need to pay taxes on the discharged amount.

What is the easiest place to get a personal loan?

The easiest place to get a loan is typically from a payday or no-credit-check lender. However, these products can come with extremely high borrowing costs and other risks. Online personal loan providers, such as Credible, Lendingtree, LendingClub, Upstart, and Upgrade, offer safer borrowing options than payday loans.

How much would an $8,000 loan cost per month?

Depending on the interest rate, other fees, and loan length, the monthly payment for an $8,000 loan is between just over $100 to over $800.