Best Long-Term Personal Loan Lenders of 2023

Personal loans can come in handy when you need funding in a pinch for a big expense. Of course, it’s important to remember that any money you borrow would need to be paid back with interest. Choosing a personal loan with a longer repayment term gives you more time to repay the entire balance, and your monthly payments will likely be smaller (and thus, slightly easier to budget for).

The drawback to having a personal loan with a longer repayment term is paying more interest charges over the life of the loan. However, if you choose a loan that doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, you can make additional payments whenever you can to pay off your loan faster and save on interest.

Most personal loan lenders give you up to five years to repay the balance. However, there are some solid options that offer much longer repayment terms.

CNBC Select rounded up six of the best personal loan lenders that offer longer loan terms. When compiling our list, we looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and, of course, term lengths offered, plus other features including how your funds are distributed, autopay discounts, customer service and how fast you can get your funds. (Read more about our methodology below.)

The best long-term personal loans

Best overall

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    5.99% to 23.99%* when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, auto financing, medical expenses, wedding and others

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • Same-day funding available through ACH or wire transfer
  • Loan amounts up to $100,000
  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • LightStream plants a tree for every loan

Cons

  • Requires several years of credit history
  • No option to pay your creditors directly
  • Not available for student loans or business loans
  • No option for pre-approval on website (but pre-qualification is available on some third-party lending platforms)

Who’s this for? LightStream offers loans with terms as long as 144 months (12 years), the longest term on this list. Aside from that, this lender allows eligible borrowers to apply for as little as $5,000 and as much as $100,000 in funding. While LightStream approves applicants with good credit scores (670–739), having an even higher credit score can allow you to qualify for the lowest interest rates, longest loan term and more funding.

Its loans can be used for just about anything except higher education and small business. If applying for a loan for debt consolidation purposes, just keep in mind that this lender doesn’t offer an option to pay your creditors directly; you’ll need to manually pay creditors using the funds.

Best for borrowing smaller amounts

Upgrade Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, major purchase

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

    2.9% to 8%, deducted from loan proceeds

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    Up to $10 (with 15-day grace period)

Pros

  • No early payoff fees
  • Loans up to $50,000
  • Fixed interest rates (no surprises)
  • Can pay creditors directly (may take up to two weeks)
  • Fast funding in as little as four days

Cons

  • Origination fee of up to 8% (deducted from your loan)
  • Not available in Washington D.C.

Why Upgrade is the best for financial literacy:

  • Free credit score simulator to help you visualize how different scenarios and actions may impact your credit
  • Charts that track your trends and credit health over time, helping you understand how certain financial choices affect your credit score
  • Ability to sign up for free credit monitoring and weekly VantageScore updates

Who’s this for? Upgrade gives eligible borrowers up to 84 months (seven years) to repay their loan balance in full. This lender also offers personal loan amounts starting at $1,000, which makes it appealing to those who only need to borrow a smaller amount. Besides, borrowers are generally advised to avoid applying for more than they can reasonably pay off — the more you borrow, the higher your monthly payments will be, assuming your loan term stays the same.

This lender caters to borrowers with fair credit or better, so if your credit score is on the average side, your application will still be considered.

Best for co-applicants

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    7.99% to 23.43% when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, relocation assistance or medical expenses

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Unemployment protection if you lose your job
  • DACA recipients can apply with a creditworthy co-borrower who is a U.S. citizen/permanent resident by calling 877-936-2269
  • Can have more than one SoFi loan at a time (state-permitting) 
  • May accept offer of employment (to start within the next 90 days) as proof of income
  • Co-applicants may apply

Cons

  • Applicants who are U.S. visa holders must have more than two years remaining on visa to be eligible
  • No co-signers allowed (co-applicants only)

Who’s this for? SoFi allows eligible borrowers to pay back their loans over the course of up to 84 months (seven years). What sets SoFi apart is the ability for potential borrowers to have a co-applicant. A co-applicant is someone who applies for the loan with you and is equally responsible for paying back the full loan amount.

In many cases, having a co-applicant can be advantageous since a co-applicant with a higher credit score than you can help you get approved for a lower interest rate and other more beneficial loan terms. The idea is that you may be seen as a less risky borrower since two individuals, each with a source of income, are signing on to repay the entire loan. Not all personal loan lenders allow co-applicants but SoFi does — especially for those who are DACA recipients.

Best for borrowing from a credit union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, medical bills or emergencies

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • Loans as low as $500 and as high as $50,000
  • No origination fees, application fees or prepayment penalties
  • Quick application
  • Ability to defer payments for up to the first 45 days
  • Offers a mobile app

Cons

  • Must be a First Tech member to apply; you may also be eligible if someone in your family is already a member, you or a family member work for one of their partners, you live in Lane County, Oregon or you belong to the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association

Who’s this for? First Tech Federal Credit Union offers loan terms as long as 84 months (seven years) and loan amounts ranging from $500 to $50,000. Since it’s a credit union, you must be a First Tech member to apply for this loan. Alternatively, you can qualify if someone in your family is already a member, you or a family member work for one of their partners, you live in Lane County, Oregon or you belong to the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.

If you’d like to check your rate before you apply, First Tech uses your information to run a soft inquiry — meaning your credit score won’t be impacted — to quickly give you a personalized rate for a two-year loan term.

Best for debt consolidation

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    6.99% to 24.99% APR when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, moving and relocation or vacation

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Will send direct payment to up to 10 creditors (for debt consolidation)
  • Monthly VantageScore updates
  • Earn a one-month payment vacation (interest-free) after making 12 on-time consecutive payments
  • Ability to choose your due date when you accept the loan (and again up to two more times after that)

Cons

  • Does not accept joint applications and/or co-signers
  • Not the fastest funding (can take a week or 10 business days)
  • Slightly tougher approval requirements (especially for larger loans/lower interest)

Who’s this for? Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans offers loan terms of up to 72 months (six years). This lender is an extremely solid choice for personal loans for a variety of needs but especially for debt consolidation since it’ll use the funds to directly pay up to 10 of your creditors.

Besides not charging any origination fees, early payoff fees, or late fees, this lender offers a few other features that make paying back your loan feel a little easier. Marcus gives borrowers the ability to earn a one-month, interest-free payment “vacation” if they make 12 on-time consecutive payments. All borrowers can also choose their payment due date upon accepting the loan (and can make any changes to the date up to two more times after that). This provides some level of flexibility so you can make payments at a time each month that’s most convenient for your payment schedule.

Best for next-day funding

Discover Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding or vacation

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

    36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 months

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees
  • Same-day decision (in most cases)
  • Option to pay creditors directly
  • 7 different payment options from mailing a check to pay by phone or app

Cons

  • Late fee of $39
  • No autopay discount
  • No cosigners or joint applications

Who’s this for? Discover Personal Loans provides borrowers funding as soon as the next business day as long as their application is error-free and the loan is funded on a weekday.

Borrowers can choose between five set loan terms: 36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 months. Borrowers who need a longer period of time to pay back the loan can elect to take on the 72-month or 84-month terms. The maximum loan amount of $35,000 is on the lower end compared to that of other lenders on this list. Though, if you don’t plan on borrowing more than $35,000, that shouldn’t be a deterrent for you.

FAQs

What is a long-term personal loan?

How big of a long-term loan can I get?

Personal loan sizes can be anywhere from $500 to $100,000. Before you apply, consider how much you can afford to make as a monthly payment. Also, keep in mind that your creditworthiness may also factor into the total amount your lender approves you for.

How does a personal loan impact my credit score?

How is my personal loan rate decided?

Common personal loan definitions you should know

Here are some common personal loan terms you need to know before applying.

Bottom line

If you need a personal loan that gives you a longer runway for repayment, there are several solid options. Just remember to consider factors like the amount you need to borrow, the interest rate and credit score needed for approval.

Our methodology

To determine which long-term personal loans are the best, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions, that come with no origination or signup fees, fixed-rate APRs and flexible loan amounts and terms to suit an array of financing needs.

When narrowing down and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:

  • No origination or signup fee: None of the lenders on our best-of list charge borrowers an upfront fee for processing your loan.
  • Fixed-rate APR: Variable rates can go up and down over the lifetime of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the duration of the loan’s term, which means your monthly payment won’t vary, making your budget easier to plan.
  • Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts/terms: Each lender provides a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long you need to pay back your loan.
  • No early payoff penalties: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for paying off loans early.
  • Streamlined application process: We considered whether lenders offered same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process. 
  • Customer support: Every loan on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email or secure online messaging. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about the personal loan process and your finances.
  • Fund disbursement: The loans on our list deliver funds promptly through either electronic wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we noted) offer the ability to pay your creditors directly.
  • Autopay discounts: We noted the lenders that reward you for enrolling in autopay by lowering your APR by 0.25% to 0.5%.
  • Creditor payment limits and loan sizes: The above lenders provide loans in an array of sizes, from $500 to $100,000. Each lender advertises its respective payment limits and loan sizes, and completing a preapproval process can give you an idea of what your interest rate and monthly payment would be for such an amount.

After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall financing needs, borrowing larger amounts, no fees, low credit scores and next-day funding.

Note that the rates and fee structures advertised for personal loans are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. However, once you accept your loan agreement, a fixed-rate APR will guarantee interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a hard credit inquiry and request a full application, which could require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more. 

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.