4 personal loan lenders that offer an autopay APR discount

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Personal loans are a common way to borrow money for large expenses — like weddings, funerals and home renovations. Of course, the money must be paid back over a fixed period of time with interest. The interest charges can sometimes make the loan seem more costly to many borrowers. Fortunately, though, some lenders offer a way to alleviate a little bit of that strain when it comes to interest charges.

Some lenders offer what’s known as an autopay discount. Autopay gives you the ability to have monthly payments automatically deducted from your bank account and sent to your lender. It can really come in handy since you won’t risk accidentally forgetting to make a payment one month and incurring late fees. Some lenders actually give you an interest rate discount — usually 0.25% off the APR — for signing up for autopay.

Select rounded up some personal loan lenders that provide an autopay discount. We also looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and 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.)

Select’s picks for personal loans with an autopay discount

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Best overall

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    3.49% to 19.99%* 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 some of the lowest interest rates compared to many other personal loan lenders, but with an autopay discount of 0.25%, borrowers can end up securing an even lower rate — especially when paired with a good or excellent credit score.

LightStream provides personal loans for just about every purpose except for higher education and small businesses. And, you can apply for as much as $100,000. You’ll generally receive your funds on the same day as long as you apply during a banking business day, your application is approved, you can electronically sign your loan agreement — you won’t need to visit a physical branch to sign anything — and you verify your direct deposit banking account information by 2:30 p.m. EST. And if you can’t meet that deadline for same-day funding, you’ll still usually be able to receive your funds on the following business day.

LightStream also doesn’t charge any origination, administration or early payoff fees, while its loan repayment terms range from 24 to 144 months, making them some of the longest terms on our list.

Best for borrowing higher amounts

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    5.74% – 21.28% 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 Personal Loans allow applicants to borrow as little as $5,000 and as much as $100,000, which makes SoFi personal loans a great option for those who need more money to cover bigger expenses.

Similar to LightStream, SoFi offers a 0.25% APR discount when you sign up to make your monthly payments using autopay.

Many personal loan lenders only offer fixed APR’s but with SoFi, there’s some more flexibility when it comes to choosing the type of interest rate you receive. Loan applicants can choose between variable and fixed APR. Fixed APRs give you one rate that you pay for the entirety of your loan, and variable interest rates fluctuate depending on the market, but SoFi caps them at 14.95%. Fixed rates can therefore make it easier to budget for your monthly payments, but variable rates could potentially save you money or make you pay more interest.

Lastly, after your loan is approved, you can expect to receive the funds in your bank account within a few days. Applicants can choose from term lengths from between 24 to 84 months.

Best for flexible payment options

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    6.99% to 19.99% 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? A Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loan is a good choice for those who are looking for some flexibility, especially when it comes to using the funds to consolidate their debts.

Some lenders don’t provide a choice between having the funds sent directly to creditors or having the funds deposited into your account; Marcus by Goldman Sachs provides a little more flexibility. When you’re approved for a Marcus debt consolidation loan, the company will ask you if you’d like to use direct payments to send money to up to 10 creditors, which helps ensure that funds are used to directly wipe out your debt. To choose this option, you’ll need to provide your creditors’ account numbers and addresses, as well as the amount(s) you’d like paid. Marcus then deposits anything that’s left over into your connected bank account. Using the direct payment option comes at no extra cost to you.

Marcus also offers personal loans for home improvement, weddings, vacations or moving costs. Applicants can qualify to borrow up to $40,000. 

Marcus also offers that 0.25% APR discount to help you save money for signing up for autopay. Term lengths vary from 36 to 72 months.

Best for debt consolidation

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 allows you to apply for up to $50,000 and typically requires good credit to receive a loan. This lender is a great choice for debt consolidation since it allows you to have your funds sent directly to your creditors (otherwise, you’d have to wait for the funds to hit your bank account and send the money to each of your creditors yourself). In this respect, it is similar to the Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loan.

Just keep in mind that Upgrade personal loans have an origination fee of up to 8%, which is deducted directly from your loan proceeds. So, if you know you’ll need a specific amount, you should account for the origination fee.

Upgrade doesn’t have any prepayment penalties, but it does have a late fee: If you pay late or miss a payment, you could be hit with a $10 late fee if your payment is not received in full within 15 calendar days of the due date. Despite these fees, though, borrowers still have the opportunity to save on their loan by signing up for autopay to receive a 0.25% APR discount.

Our methodology

To determine which 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 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 for fair or good credit, we focused on the following features:

  • 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 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 having no credit history, borrowing smaller loan amounts, flexible terms, applying with a co-applicant and getting secured loan options.

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. Before providing 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.