What is an unsecured personal loan?

An unsecured loan is a loan that does not require you to put up items you own, such as your car or home, as collateral to qualify for the loan. Approval for an unsecured loan typically requires an evaluation of your creditworthiness, income and ability to pay.

While most online personal loans through are unsecured, other lenders may place a lien on other accounts you hold with them. Always review your promissory note (aka the written agreement from the lender) for these details before accepting your loan.

Unsecured personal loans can provide the extra cash you need to pay for many different expenses. But loan amounts, interest rates, loan terms and fees can vary significantly between lenders, so do your homework before taking out this kind of loan. To help you decide, we’ve rounded up our top picks for the best unsecured personal loans with features such as competitive interest rates, fees and the ability to prequalify.

Unlike some other types of loan products, such as mortgages and car loans, where your property may be used to secure the loan, unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral.
If you’re approved, you’ll get a lump sum of money you can use to pay for almost anything. And if the loan has a fixed interest rate, you must repay the amount you borrow, with interest, in fixed monthly installments over the life of the loan.

Unsecured personal loans typically have higher interest rates than secured loans, so it’s a good idea to shop around and compare loan offers. We’ve rounded up our top picks for the best unsecured personal loans to help you find one that might be right for you.

6 best unsecured personal loans

Best for debt consolidation: Marcus
Best for large loan amounts: Wells Fargo
Best for small loan amounts: U.S. Bank
Best for potentially fast funding: LightStream
Best for perks: SoFi
Best for bad credit: OneMain Financial

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