Barclays personal loan review: Competitive rates, no origination, late or prepayment fees

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In a Nutshell

Personal loans from Barclays come with competitive rates, no origination, late or prepayment fees, and direct payments for debt consolidation. But the maximum loan amount you can borrow is low, and the bank has no physical branches.

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Pros Cons
Can be used for many purposes Minimum loan amount is $5,000 (max is $35,000)
No origination, late or prepayment fees No branch network
Easy to check if you prequalify

What you need to know about a Barclays personal loan

Barclays is an international bank that serves customers in 40 countries around the world.

Barclays offers unsecured personal loans that eligible borrowers can use for almost any purpose, including debt consolidation, home improvements, major purchases and more. If you’re considering a personal loan from Barclays bank, here are some key features to consider. 

Simple prequalification process

Some lenders require you to submit a formal loan application, which includes a hard credit inquiry, without the chance to get an idea of your interest rate beforehand. But Barclays’ prequalification process makes it easy for you to check your estimated rate without affecting your credit scores, and it can be completed online in just a few minutes.

No origination, late or prepayment fees

Some lenders charge multiple fees that can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the cost of your loan. Barclays doesn’t charge common fees, including …

  • Origination fees There are no charges for setting up your loan account.
  • Prepayment fees — You can pay off your loan early without being penalized.
  • Late fees — If you’re unable to make your monthly payment by the due date, you won’t be charged a separate fee. But your account will continue to accrue interest, which will impact the total amount you have to repay. Making late payments can also negatively impact your credit scores.

Limited loan amounts

The minimum loan amount you can borrow is $5,000, and the maximum is $35,000. If you want loan amounts above or below these limits, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

No branch network

Although Barclays has customer service representatives, it doesn’t have any physical branches. Instead it offers a fully digital experience that allows you to access your accounts any time, from anywhere. If you want the option of walking into a local branch and talking to a representative in person, this isn’t the lender for you.

Competitive interest rates

Barclays offers competitive personal loan rates based on your credit history and other factors. The highest interest rate Barclays charges on its personal loans is lower compared to some other lenders.

Barclays doesn’t include credit score requirements on its website, but if you complete the prequalification process you can find out whether you could qualify and see your estimated rate. Just remember that prequalifying for a loan doesn’t mean you’ve been approved — and if you apply and are approved for a loan, the terms and rates can be different than what you prequalified for.

Barclays personal loan details

If you’re trying to decide whether a Barclays personal loan is right for you, here are some additional details to consider.

  • Barclays offers repayment terms of 36, 48 and 60 months, so you can select the option that fits your budget.
  • If you take out a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt, Barclays will make direct payments to up to five credit cards.
  • If you’re approved for a personal loan, you’ll receive your funds within a few business days.
  • You must make your payments electronically through Barclays’ customer service website. You can log into your account monthly to make your payments, or you can set up automatic payments.
  • Barclays doesn’t issue paper statements for personal loan accounts, but you can view your account details online.

Who a Barclays personal loan is good for

Since rates are competitive and there are no origination, late payment or prepayment penalties, Barclays could be ideal if you’re eligible and need some extra cash for just about anything. Because it provides direct payment to up to five credit card balances, a Barclays personal loan could be an especially good choice if you want to consolidate high-interest credit card debt.

With a prequalification process that doesn’t impact credit scores, you can check your estimated interest rate and compare it to offers you receive from other lenders before submitting a formal application. 

How to apply with Barclays

The first step in applying for a Barclays personal loan is to apply for prequalification using the simple, online application. To complete the prequalification process, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Loan purpose
  • Name
  • Address
  • Monthly housing payment
  • Employment information
  • Contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth

If you want to move forward after you complete the prequalification, you’ll need to submit a formal loan application, which will result in a hard credit inquiry and impact your credit scores. You may be asked to provide documentation to support the information on your application.

Not sure if a Barclays personal loan is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • LightStream: A LightStream personal loan might be a better option if you have an excellent credit history and may be able to qualify for lower interest rates than Barclays offers.
  • Mariner Finance: A personal loan from Mariner Finance may be a good bet if your credit history is less than stellar.