Best personal loans with no origination fee

Man standing outside in a city, smiling as he reads on his phone about the best personal loans with no origination feeImage: Man standing outside in a city, smiling as he reads on his phone about the best personal loans with no origination fee

In a Nutshell

Some personal loans may come with an origination fee, which is the upfront cost you’ll pay for the lender to process your loan and disburse the funds to you if you’re approved. If you’re looking for a personal loan with no origination fee, we’ve rounded up our picks for some personal loan options to consider.
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If you’re considering applying for a personal loan, you’ll find some lenders charge an origination fee, which is an upfront fee to process your loan.

If you’re hoping to skip the fee, you’re in luck — there are personal loans with no origination fee. Check out a few of the options we think are most notable, organized by the features that makes these loans stand out.

Best for borrowing small amounts: PNC

Why PNC stands out: Not all personal loan lenders offer small-dollar loans, but PNC does. You can apply for a personal loan with a loan amount starting at just $1,000, which might be a good alternative to a payday loan. (Terms may differ on Credit Karma.)

  • Co-applicants allowed: If you don’t have perfect credit, you can apply for a loan with a co-applicant, which might help you qualify for a loan or lower your interest rate.
  • No option to apply for prequalification: PNC doesn’t offer a prequalification application to let you preview potential terms. Instead, you’ll need to complete a formal application to see if you’re approved for a loan.
  • Personal lines of credit available: PNC also offers personal lines of credit if you’d rather have access to revolving credit. Just remember that PNC’s personal loans have fixed rates while its lines of credit have variable rates.

Read reviews of PNC personal loans to learn more.

Best for large loan amounts: Wells Fargo

Why Wells Fargo stands out: Wells Fargo offers unsecured loans, and its maximum loan amounts are higher than what you’ll find at some other personal loan lenders. Wells Fargo offers unsecured personal loans up to $100,000.

  • Customers only: You’ll have to be a Wells Fargo customer for at least 12 months to apply for a personal loan.
  • Direct payments for debt consolidation: If you want to consolidate debt such as high-interest credit cards, Wells Fargo can pay off your creditors directly — as long as you request this option at a branch or over the phone when you apply.
  • Co-applicants allowed: You can apply with a co-applicant, which may help you qualify or get more favorable loan terms if you don’t have strong credit.

Read reviews of Wells Fargo personal loans to learn more.

What you should know about personal loans with no origination fees

A personal loan with no origination fee can save you from having to pay a fee just to have your application processed. But that doesn’t mean a loan with no origination fee is automatically your best bet.

When you compare loan options, you want to zero in on the proposed APR. Your APR gives you a better sense of the true cost of your loan because it includes fees plus the interest rate. If you have a competitive APR offer, an origination fee might be worth it for you.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that the origination fee might be taken from your loan proceeds, meaning you won’t get the full amount you asked for. If you get a $10,000 loan with a 2% origination fee, you’ll actually receive $9,800 if the fee is taken from your loan amount.

Consider all fees when you calculate how much you want to borrow.

How we picked these loans

After reviewing more than a dozen personal loan lenders that don’t charge origination fees, we  considered several things to help complete this list: availability, fees, repayment options, ability to add a co-applicant, prequalification option, loan amounts and other lender perks.

About the author: Dori Zinn is a personal finance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She enjoys helping people find ways to better manage their money. Her work can be found on numerous websites, including Bankrate, FinanceBu… Read more.