Best Personal Installment Loans Online

We’ve all been there. There comes a time in life when you want to make a big purchase, but don’t currently have the funds in your bank account to conduct the transaction. And while many of us might whip out a credit card in such situations, there’s another option that might save you more money in the long run. That’s where online installment loans enter into the picture.

But exactly what is an installment loan, and how do such financial arrangements work? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Installment Loans?

If you’re wondering what installment loans are, there’s really no big mystery — they’re simply personal loans that a borrower repays in equal amounts over a predetermined time. These loans can be secured or unsecured, and the installment payments are generally calculated using fixed-interest annual percentage rates (APRs). That APR can vary depending upon the borrower, but it’s usually based on the individual’s specific credit history. In general, the more creditworthy an applicant has proven to be in the past, the lower the APR they’ll likely qualify for in the present. And the lower that APR is, the less interest the borrower will pay over the life of the loan.

Types of Installment Loans

There are several different types of installment loans, and depending upon what you’re seeking funds for, one kind of loan might be a better fit for you than another. Here’s a look at a few of the most popular types of installment loans, and what they can each be used for.

  • Mortgages — Homeowners are intimately familiar with this type of long-term installment loan that makes it possible for people to purchase a place to live instead of simply renting.
  • Auto Loans — Among the most popular types of installment loans, auto loans allow individuals to finance their cars, trucks, and other vehicles over a span of several years.
  • Personal Loans — From small to large amounts, personal installment loans come in all sizes and can be used for nearly any purpose.
  • Student Loans — If you need help paying your college or university tuition, student loans make it possible to afford a higher education without paying for it all at once.
  • Medical Loans — Millions of American rely on these installment loans to make ends meet in the face of staggering medical bills.

How Do Installment Loans Compare to Credit Cards?

You might now be wondering how installment loans compare to credit cards when it comes to making large purchases or borrowing large sums. Each payment method has its own set of advantages to consider. Here are a few of the ways they differ.

  • Advantages of Installment Loans
    • They’re more predictable. With installment loans, you’re responsible for equal payments over the life of your loan, whereas payment amounts can vary wildly with credit cards.
    • Their interest rates are often lower. If you’ve got a decent credit score, you’re far more likely to qualify for a lower APR on an installment loan compared to a credit card.
    • They help build your credit. By taking out an installment loan, you’re diversifying your credit mix, which can improve your credit score when combined with timely payments.
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  • Advantages of Credit Cards
    • You only pay interest on money you use. With installment loans, you pay interest on the entire amount borrowed, but with credit cards, you only pay interest on the funds used.
    • Your credit limit could be flexible. Responsible borrowers can often get their credit lines extended, but with installment loans, the amount you can borrow is fixed from the start.
    • You can earn satisfying rewards. Many credit card issuers offer borrowers attractive, worthwhile benefits to entice them into using plastic instead of an installment loan.

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Which Instant Lenders Should You Choose?

If you’re ready to start evaluating lenders to see which one might be the perfect fit for your situation, here’s a look at three of the most popular providers of online installment loans with instant approval decisions.

Lender APR Loan Limit
Avant 9.95%-35.99% $2,000-$35,000
Best Egg 5.99%-29.99% $2,000-$35,000
Payoff 8.00%-25.00% $5,000-$35,000

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  • Avant — Avant offers loan amounts ranging from $2,000 to $35,000 with APRs from 9.95% to 35.99%. The length of Avant’s installment loans ranges from 24 to 60 months and this institution charges an administration fee of up to 4.75% on every approved loan.
  • Best Egg — Installment loans with Best Egg range from $2,000 to $35,000 and have APRs from 5.99% to 29.99%. Depending upon the terms of your agreement with Best Egg, your APR could include an origination fee anywhere from 0.99% to 5.99%, which is subtracted from loan proceeds. (This fee will be at least 4.99% on any loan term longer than five years.)
  • Payoff — With Payoff, installment loans are accompanied by fixed APRs that range from 5.99% to 24.99%. Loans are available in amounts from $5,000 to $35,000, but the specific terms with Payoff loans do vary by state.

What About Installment Loans for Bad Credit Applicants?

If you’ve already started shopping around for lenders that can meet your needs, there’s a good chance you’ve seen advertisements for institutions offering installment loans with no credit check. Although this type of marketing message can appeal to people with less-than-stellar credit, most aspiring borrowers are probably better off staying far away from any lender willing to give people money without at least looking at the aspiring borrowers’ credit reports first.

Yes, it’s true that if your credit score isn’t very impressive, or you haven’t always been the most responsible borrower, your choices may be limited when it comes to online lenders. But by working with any company that offers installment loans without running an applicant’s credit report, you’re risking a lot, including high-interest rates, expensive fees, and unreachable customer support.

» MORE: Bad Credit Loans


If you’re ready to find a trustworthy lender to provide you with a personal installment loan, one of our recommended institutions might be exactly what you’re looking for. Find out for yourself by applying to any or all of them today.

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