5 best bank personal loans

Young woman sitting with her laptop in a restaurant, looking up the best bank loansImage: Young woman sitting with her laptop in a restaurant, looking up the best bank loans

In a Nutshell

If you want to finance a large purchase or consolidate debt, you may be searching for a personal loan. We’ll compare your options for the best bank personal loans, ranking them based on loan use, terms and other features.
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If you’re on the hunt for a personal loan, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. But it’s important to shop around so that you can find the best loan for your situation.

Whether you want to consolidate credit card debt or finance a home renovation, here’s our roundup of the best bank personal loans and the features that make them stand out.

Best for home improvements: Wells Fargo

Why Wells Fargo stands out: Wells Fargo is one of the nation’s largest banks, with about 4,900 bank branches in 37 states. When you’re planning a home renovation, it can be tough to predict exactly how much money you’ll need. Wells Fargo’s unsecured loans of up to $100,000. Just be careful not to borrow more than you need so you don’t wind up paying more in interest.

Here are some more details about Wells Fargo personal loans.

  • Competitive interest rates — Wells Fargo offers competitive interest rates, particularly if you have good credit. The company also offers a 0.25% interest rate discount if you have a qualifying checking account and sign up for autopay.
  • Multiple repayment options — Wells Fargo offers repayment terms ranging from 12 months to 84 months.
  • Wells Fargo customers only — To qualify for a Wells Fargo personal loan, you’ll need to be an existing customer.
  • No origination or prepayment penalty fees — The bank doesn’t charge an origination fee to process your personal loan, and you also won’t have to pay a prepayment penalty if you decide to pay off your loan early.

Read our Wells Fargo personal loan review for more information.

Best for co-applicants: PNC Bank

Why PNC Bank stands out: If you’re worried about qualifying for a personal loan on your own, PNC Bank may be a good option for you because it allows co-applicants. If you apply for a personal loan with a co-applicant, you’ll have to include the person’s address and annual income.

Here’s some more info about personal loans from PNC Bank.

  • Rate discount available — If you have a PNC checking account and make automatic loan payments from it, you’ll get a 0.25% discount on your interest rate. PNC’s rates are competitive if you have strong credit. Any way to lower interest rates is a nice bonus.
  • Small loans available — PNC personal loans start at just $1,000, which may be helpful if you need to borrow only a small amount.

To learn more, read our PNC Bank personal loan review.

Best for short loan terms: U.S. Bank

Why U.S. Bank stands out: If you prefer a one-stop shop, U.S. Bank’s personal loans may be a good option. U.S. Bank is one of the country’s largest banks. It offers a range of products, including personal and business checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and more.

Here are some more things to know about U.S. Bank personal loans.

  • Autopay discount — U.S. Bank offers competitive rates. And if you set up automatic monthly payments through your U.S. Bank checking account, you’ll be eligible for an interest rate discount. Lower rates are always a plus.
  • Loan terms as short as 12 months — Not all lenders offer loan repayment terms as short as 12 months. If you want to pay off your loan quickly, this may be a good option.

Read our U.S. Bank personal loan review for more details.

Best for a range of loan options: Regions Bank

Why Regions Bank stands out: Regions Bank has more than 1,300 branches in the Midwest and South, and it has a range of personal loan options. The company offers three fixed-rate personal loans — a secured installment loan, a deposit-secured loan and an unsecured personal loan.

Here’s some more info about a personal loan from Regions Bank.

  • Apply for prequalification — If you apply for prequalification, you can see potential loan offers, with estimated rates and terms, without hurting your credit scores. Just remember that prequalification isn’t a guarantee of loan approval. If you complete a formal loan application it will trigger a hard credit inquiry, which may cause your credit scores to dip.
  • Earn rewards by pairing with a Regions credit card account — If you apply and are approved for a Regions Relationship Rewards credit card account, you’ll earn rewards that you can redeem for cash, travel or merchandise.

For more info, read our Regions Bank personal loans review. 

Best for lower credit scores: OneMain Financial

Why OneMain Financial stands out: If you don’t have a great credit history, you may want to consider a personal loan from OneMain Financial. The lender says it looks at a number of factors when considering someone for a loan, including annual income, expenses and the purpose of the loan.

Here’s some more info about OneMain Financial.

  • Quick loan application and funding process — OneMain says its application can take as little as 10 minutes, and you may receive the money as soon as the next business day if you’re approved by a certain time. But keep in mind that depending on your bank, there may be a wait before you can access your cash.
  • Higher interest rates — OneMain may approve people with lower credit scores, but it may charge a higher interest rate as a result. The company’s starting rates are higher than the other lenders on our list.

Read our OneMainFinancial personal loan review to learn more.

What you should know about personal loans from banks

There are several reasons why you might want to apply for a personal loan from a bank. You may need cash for a specific purpose like home improvements or a loan to pay off high-interest credit cards.

But not all banks offer personal loans. Even some large financial institutions like Bank of America and Chase Bank don’t.

Banks may also have stricter credit requirements for you to qualify — sometimes you’ll have to have good or excellent credit. If you have lower credit scores and qualify for a loan, you probably won’t get the best rates. But even if you’ll pay higher rates, there are personal loan options for bad credit.

If you don’t like your personal loan options from a bank, you can explore personal loans from credit unions or online lenders instead.

Whether or not you apply for a personal loan from a bank, it’s important to do your homework. If you’re approved for a loan, make sure to read your loan contract — and don’t be afraid to ask questions if there’s anything you don’t understand. You’ll rest easier knowing you made an informed choice.

How we picked these loans

We reviewed a number of personal loans offered by national and regional banks. We looked at each lender’s loan eligibility requirements, loan amounts, application and funding process, interest rates, fees and loan terms. We also considered the ability to prequalify without a hard credit inquiry, rate discounts and extra perks.

About the author: Kate Dore is a Nashville-based personal finance writer and Candidate for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certification. She teaches financial literacy with Junior Achievement and writes for Business Insider, Investopedia… Read more.