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Personal loan rates increased last week. But you can still get a reasonable rate, whether you’re looking to finance a home improvement project, vehicle, unexpected bills, or temporarily need to improve your cash flow.
From August 16 to 20, the average fixed rate on a three-year personal loan was 11.34% for borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher who prequalified on Credible.com’s personal loan market. The rate was 11.31% the week before, according to Credible.com. The average rate on a five-year personal loan fell 0.06% last week to 13.76% from 13.82%.
Keep in mind that the rate you will receive depends on a number of factors including your creditworthiness and the loans available from the lender you have chosen. The most creditworthy borrowers can benefit from rates well below the average.
Related: Best Personal Loans July 2021
How to Compare Personal Loan Rates
You can start the comparison process by prequalifying for a loan. Consider finding lenders who offer prequalification online, which can make the process much more convenient. Prequalifying can give you a more accurate idea of the rate you will receive from a particular lender, as they will prequalify you by performing a smooth credit check (which does not affect your credit score).
Based on this information, the lender will give you an overview of the terms for which you might qualify, including loan rates, terms, and limits. You can pre-qualify with multiple lenders and compare terms to find the best loan for your specific situation.
Screening does not imply approval of a loan. You will still need to submit a formal application and additional documents to get the loan you want. Typically, lenders do a thorough credit check when you formally apply for a loan. Serious credit checks can drop your score from one to five points.
Related: 5 personal loan conditions to know before applying
Calculate your personal loan payments
Once you have an idea of the rate you will receive, you can calculate your monthly payments. You will need to enter the interest rate, amount and term of your loan. This will help you determine how much you will owe monthly and how much you will pay in interest over the life of your loan.
Let’s say you get a three-year, $ 5,000 personal loan at a fixed rate of 11.34%. You would pay around $ 165 per month and around $ 922 in interest over the life of the loan, according to the Forbes Advisor personal loan calculator. You would pay $ 5,922 in total over those three years, which includes both principal and interest.
Personal loan rate by credit score
The rates below are estimated average interest rates for personal loans based on VantageScore risk levels, according to Experian. While the rates below can serve as a general guideline, note that interest rates are ultimately set and determined by lenders.
Get the best rates
The interest rate you receive on a personal loan is based on several factors. This includes your overall creditworthiness, credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Two quick ways to help you qualify for lower rates include paying off existing debt to help lower your DTI and improve your credit score.
Rod Griffin, senior director of consumer education and advocacy at Experian, recommends “checking your credit report and scores three to six months before you apply for a personal loan,” as this will give you plenty of time. to make the necessary improvements.
Although the qualification requirements differ from lender to lender, a minimum credit score of 720 will usually give you the best deal. If your score drops below this marker and you are looking for the lowest possible rate, there are steps you can take to improve your score. Try strategies like lowering your credit usage rate, removing errors from your credit report, and paying your bills early or on time.