Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.
Last week, personal loan rates went up. However, if you are looking for a personal loan to finance a project, the purchase of a vehicle, unexpected bills or to improve your cash flow, it is possible to obtain a decent rate.
From June 20 to June 24, the average fixed rate on a three-year personal loan was 11.40% for borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher who prequalified on Credible.com’s personal loan marketplace . The rate was 10.96% the previous week, according to Credible.com. The average five-year personal loan rate rose 0.13% last week to 12.87% from 12.74%.
The most qualified borrowers generally benefit from the best rates. In fact, qualified borrowers can benefit from a rate that is significantly lower than the average. The rate you receive depends on many factors, including your creditworthiness and the loans available from your chosen lender.
Related: Best Personal Loans
Personal loan rate by credit score
Here are the estimated average interest rates for personal loans based on VantageScore risk levels, according to Experian. Please note that interest rates are determined and set by the lenders. The prices provided are estimates.
How to Compare Personal Loan Rates
You can start the comparison process by prequalifying for a loan. Consider looking for lenders that offer online prequalification, which can make the process much more convenient. Pre-qualification can provide you with a more accurate view of the rate you will receive from a particular lender, since they will pre-qualify you by performing a soft credit check (which does not impact your credit score).
After your prequalification, the lender can provide you with an overview of your loan options. This snapshot typically includes loan rates, terms, and limits. To find the best loan for your situation, consider prequalifying with several lenders and comparing terms.
Prequalification does not imply loan approval. 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. Credit checks can lower your score by one to five points.
Related: 5 personal loan requirements to know before applying
Get the best rates
Your credit is an important factor in the rates you receive. According to Rod Griffin, senior director of education and consumer advocacy at Experian, “checking your credit report and scores three to six months before applying for a personal loan” is a good idea. This gives you enough time to make the necessary corrections.
A credit score of 720 or better will generally get you the best deal. If you’re not quite in this credit score range, consider taking steps to improve your credit score. Pay off your existing debts to reduce your credit utilization ratio, remove errors from your credit report and pay your bills in advance or on time.
Calculate your personal loan payments
Once you have an idea of your personal loan interest rate, 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 interest you will pay over the life of your loan.
For example, suppose you get a $5,000 personal loan with a term of five years at a fixed interest rate of 12.87%. You’d pay about $113 a month and about $1,806 in interest over the life of the loan, according to Forbes Advisor’s Personal Loan Calculator. Overall, you would pay $6,806 in total, which includes both principal and interest.