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You can use a $20,000 personal loan to cover almost any large expense, such as a home improvement project, a wedding or a medical bill. But before you borrow such a significant amount of money, you should spend some time figuring out whether it’s the right move for you.
Before you take out a $20,000 personal loan, be aware of common eligibility requirements, where to find one and how to estimate your total borrowing costs.
Taking out such a large loan is a huge financial decision. If you take on more debt than you can afford to repay, there could be serious financial consequences, such as:
That said, here are some scenarios where taking out a $20,000 personal loan could improve your financial situation:
Eligibility requirements vary, but lenders typically consider these factors when you apply for a personal loan:
You can get a loan for this amount at several financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions or online lenders. Here’s a list of lenders that offer $20,000 loans to help jumpstart your search:
|APR range||Loan amount range||Minimum credit score requirement|
|Avant||9.95% to 35.99%||$2,000 to $35,000||550|
|SoFi||6.99% to 22.28% (with autopay)||$5,000 to $100,000||680|
|LightStream||3.99% to 19.99% (with autopay)||$5,000 to $100,000||Not disclosed|
|TD Bank||5.99% to 19.99%||$2,000 to $50,000||Not disclosed|
Avant specializes in offering unsecured personal loans to borrowers who have fair and less-than-stellar credit scores. If you qualify, your funds can be deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day. The downside, however, is that Avant’s advertised rates are on the high side— they range from 9.99% to 35.99%.
SoFi offers a wide range of loan amounts, has competitive interest rates and doesn’t charge any fees. Its loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000; interest rates range from 6.99% to 22.28% (with autopay). To qualify, you’ll need good credit and a decent income. The minimum credit score requirement is 680; the minimum income requirement is $45,000 per year.
LightStream offers a wide range of repayment terms and loan amounts from $5,000 to $100,000 and offers a low minimum interest rate of 3.99% (with autopay) to well-qualified applicants. Repayments terms range from two to 7 years for most loans; and two to 20 months home improvement loans, swimming pool loans and solar loans. If you need a large loan for those purposes, you can enjoy lower monthly payments.
TD bank offers personal loan amounts ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 without origination fees, prepayment penalties or application fees. It offers competitive interest rates that range from 5.99% to 19.99%. If you qualify, you can get loan funds deposited into your account as quick as one business day. However, a major drawback is that loans are only available in 15 states.
Long-term costs of a $20,000 personal loan
Your overall borrowing costs depend on several factors, such as your interest rate, repayment term and any fees the lender charges. Common personal loan fees include origination fees, prepayment penalties and late payment fees.
Choosing a lender that has minimal or no fees can lower your costs. You can also reduce your borrowing costs by choosing the shortest term available. The tradeoff is that your monthly payments will be higher.
For example, say you take out a $20,000 personal loan at 8% and a three-year loan term. In that case, your monthly payment would be $627, and your total borrowing cost would be $22,562.18.
By contrast, your total costs would be more for a $20,000 personal loan with the same interest rate but a five-year loan term. Although your monthly payments would be lower — $406, your total borrowing costs would be higher — $24,331.67.
To estimate your total borrowing costs, use Bankrate’s personal loan calculator.
Taking out a $20,000 personal loan is a major financial decision. Before you move forward, first figure out if you actually need to take out such a large loan. Then estimate your borrowing costs to see how much you’ll spend over the life of the loan. If you determine that it’s the right move, be sure to compare personal loan rates and terms from multiple lenders to get the best deal.