Where to Get a $20,000 Personal Loan Fast

Content provided by Credible. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

This article first appeared on the Credible blog.

Whether you’re moving across the country for a new job, renovating your home, or facing a sudden expense, there are times in your life when you might have to borrow money.

If you need to take out a large personal loan — such as a $20,000 loan — it’s important to carefully consider as many lenders as possible to find a loan that fits your needs. Here’s what you should know before getting a $20,000 loan.

Where to get a $20,000 loan

You can get a $20,000 loan from the following places:

Online lenders

Getting a low interest personal loan online is convenient — the websites of online lenders are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Plus, online lenders can offer more competitive rates and sometimes even get you your loan amount more quickly (some the next business day).

Tip: Check rates with multiple lenders.In addition to getting a low interest rate, there’s another good reason to check rates with multiple lenders: You might be approved by some lenders and turned down by others. But just because you’re turned down by one lender doesn’t mean you can’t get a loan. You might even be approved for a $20,000 loan with bad credit, but expect to pay a higher interest rate. Interest rates for borrowers with better credit can be significantly lower than those with poor credit history.

Credible makes it easy to compare personal loan rates from multiple lenders, without affecting your credit.


Some banks like Chase, Bank of America, and Capital One don’t offer personal loans. But other big banks like Citibank and Wells Fargo do. Most even offer an annual percentage rate (APR) discount if you set up automatic payments.

While some banks let you apply for loans online, others require you to apply in person at a branch. You might also need to be an existing customer to be eligible for certain loans.

Credit unions

Credit unions can also be a good choice for personal loans. Since they’re nonprofit organizations, credit unions often provide lower rates to their members.

Many “all-access” credit unions have relaxed policies on membership — meaning you can become a member by making a small donation or joining an affinity group.

$20,000 loans for fair or bad credit

If you have fair or poor credit — generally meaning a credit score below 700 — you might think you’re ineligible for a loan.

However, there are several lenders that offer $20,000 loans that are willing to work with borrowers who have bad credit.

Here are a few options from Credible’s partner lenders:

  • Best Egg offers loans up to $35,000 and repayment terms up to five years. If you’re looking for debt consolidation loans, Best Egg could be a good choice.

  • LendingClub is one of the few personal loan lenders that allows applicants to apply with a cosigner, which could increase your chances of getting a loan as well as a lower interest rate. You can borrow up to $40,000 with LendingClub.

  • OneMain Financial provides small loans to borrowers with poor or no credit. With OneMain, you can borrow $1,500 to $20,000 — but keep in mind that higher loan amounts might require collateral.

  • Prosper offers loans from $2,000 up to $40,000. Getting a loan from Prosper could be a good choice for home improvement loans or loans for other personal expenses.

  • Upgrade works with borrowers who have lower credit scores, which could make them an especially good option to consider if you have bad credit. With Upgrade, you can borrow up to $35,000.

  • Upstart evaluates your education and job history in addition to your credit to determine eligibility, which means you might qualify even if you have little to no credit built. You can borrow up to $50,000 with Upstart.

What is the monthly payment on a $20,000 loan?

Your monthly payment on a $20,000 loan will mainly depend on two factors:

  • Interest rate: This is the amount you’ll be charged monthly — essentially, it’s the fee you pay for borrowing money. If you qualify for a low interest rate, you’ll pay less each month than you would with a higher interest rate.

  • Repayment term: Personal loan repayment terms typically range from one to seven years, depending on the lender. Choosing a longer term could get you a lower monthly payment — however, this also means you’ll pay more in interest over time. It’s usually a good idea to pick the shortest term you can afford to keep your interest costs as low as possible. Many lenders also offer lower interest rates with shorter terms.

For example: Say you take out a $20,000 loan and qualify for the average personal loan interest rate of 14.88% on a five-year loan. With these terms, you’d end up paying $475 each month with a total repayment cost of $28,472.

If you chose a three-year term instead with the same interest rate, you’d have a higher monthly payment of $692 with a total repayment cost of $24,916 — so while you’d pay more each month, you’d save $3,556 in the long run.

Before you take out a personal loan, it’s important to consider how much that loan will cost you — this way, you can be prepared for any added expenses. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using Credible’s personal loan calculator.

With Credible, you can compare rates for free from multiple personal loan lenders.

What to consider before applying for a $20,000 loan

Make sure you do your homework and find a personal loan lender who’s offering the loan terms and rates that are best for you.

Repayment terms

When evaluating your loan options, you’ll often have a choice of repayment terms, which is the length of time you’ll have to pay your loan back.

Typical repayment terms for personal loans are two to seven years.

Keep in mind: The shorter the repayment term, the lower the interest rate offered by most lenders. But since you’ll be making fewer payments, your monthly loan payment will usually be larger if you choose a loan with a short repayment term. Picking the loan with the shortest repayment term and largest monthly payment you can afford can save you hundreds or even thousands in interest.

Savings by accelerating repayment on a $20,000 personal loan

The table below shows how selecting a loan with a shorter repayment term might save money on a loan if you’re willing to make a bigger monthly payment.

All of the loans are offered by the same lender, but you could get a lower interest rate and reduce your repayment costs overall with a shorter-term loan.

Choosing a shorter loan term might get you a lower interest rate — meaning you could reduce your overall repayment costs. Interest rates are hypothetical for purposes of illustration only.

Interest rates

Most personal loans are offered as fixed-interest-rate installment loans. But if you’re offered a variable-rate personal loan, just remember that your monthly payment can go up (or down) with your interest rate.

The table below shows how much shopping around for a better interest rate could save money on a loan. All of the hypothetical loans in this table have the same loan repayment term, but the lenders are offering different loan rates.

Alternatives to personal loans:

If you don’t like the interest rates you see when shopping for a personal loan, you might consider a secured loan, such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or cash-out mortgage refinance.

One drawback of a secured loan is that you need collateral (in this case your home) — unlike personal loans which are generally unsecured loans. This is used as a guarantee that you’ll pay the loan back.

Fees and discounts

Some lenders charge fees, which could add to your overall loan cost. Common fees to look for include:

  • Origination fees, which charge you a percentage of your loan amount before the loan is disbursed

  • Late and returned payment fees if you miss a payment or your payment is returned to you for insufficient funds

  • Prepayment penalties that apply if you decide to pay off your loan early

Tip: When shopping for a loan, be sure to research what fees you might have to pay since each lender is different. Keep in mind that if you take out a loan with one of Credible’s partner lenders, you won’t have to worry about any prepayment penalties.

If you’re applying for a loan, pay attention to possible discounts, too. Some lenders offer autopay discounts if you sign up for automatic payments or loyalty discounts if you’re an existing customer.

How to qualify for a $20,000 personal loan

A $20,000 loan is a significant amount of money. To qualify for a $20,000 loan, lenders will typically review the following eligibility criteria:

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: Lenders will check your DTI ratio — which is the amount of debt you have relative to your monthly income — to see if you can comfortably afford your loan payments. You can lower your DTI ratio by repaying existing debt.

  • Credit score: You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan, though some lenders also provide options for borrowers with poor or fair credit. You can improve your credit score by making all of your monthly payments on time, paying down your existing balances, and avoiding new credit.

  • Income: You’ll typically need to show a steady source of income, generally with pay stubs or tax returns.

  • Cosigner: If you don’t meet a lender’s requirements on your own, you might still qualify if you have a creditworthy cosigner willing to apply with you. Keep in mind that only a limited amount of lenders permit cosigners on personal loans, though.

How a personal loan will affect your credit score

When you apply for a personal loan, the lender will perform a hard credit check to determine your creditworthiness. This could cause a slight drop in your credit score. However, the effect is usually only temporary, and your score will likely bounce back within a few months.

Additionally, taking out a personal loan might actually help improve your credit score in the long run. This positive impact on your credit could end up outweighing any initially negative effects.

For example: If you make all of your payments on time or are able to diversify your credit mix with a personal loan, you could see a boost in your credit score over time.

If you’re ready to find your $20,000 personal loan, be sure to shop around and consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.

Credible makes it easy to find the right loan for you.

About the author: Kat Tretina is a freelance writer who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.