The Top Personal Loan Providers for Funding Holiday Purchases

Top10.com StaffByTop10.com StaffSep. 26, 2019
Personal Loans Providers for Holiday Shopping
‘Tis the season for early holiday gift shopping–and for figuring out how to fund all those expensive purchases.

American consumers spent more than $1,000 on gifts during last year’s holiday season, equivalent to about 1.2 times the median weekly salary, according to the National Retail Federation. That figure is for gifts only, and doesn’t take into consideration the cost of putting up Christmas decorations or hosting a dinner for Xmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or other winter festivities. 

With unemployment at 3.7 percent–close to a 50-year low–and full-time median weekly earnings up 3.7% year on year in the second quarter of 2019, the average holiday spend is likely to rise again this year.

Should You Use a Personal Loan to Fund Your Holiday Shopping?

For millions of Americans, the biggest question ahead of the holiday shopping season isn’t what to buy, but how to finance it. A recent Federal Reserve survey found that almost 4 out of 10 Americans would need to borrow or sell something to pay for an unexpected expense of $400. When it comes to a large, expected expense like Christmas shopping, it would be safe to say a majority of Americans use one form of financing or another, such as a credit card or unsecured personal loan.

For those who can manage it, self-financing is the best option for funding those expensive holiday purchases. Dave Ramsey, a popular blogger who specializes in personal budgeting, provides some useful tips on setting up a Christmas holiday budget. With discipline and planning, most people can put themselves in a position where their entire holiday budget is self-financed.

If self-financing isn’t an option this 2019 holiday season, you may want to consider applying for financing from a personal loan provider. Even small personal loans carry interest of anywhere from 3% to 35.99%. With that said, if you take out a small loan and take care to pay it back on time over a repayment period of 1 to 2 years, the total amount of interest paid will be minimal. For example, a personal loan of $1,000 at the national average personal loan rate of 10.63% and a 2-year repayment term would require you to make $46 in monthly payments and pay total interest of $114 across the life of the loan. In addition, you would need to pay a one-off 1-5% origination fee and pay your monthly payments on time in order to avoid late penalties.

Top 5 Personal Loan Providers for the Holidays

When planning your holiday spending, we recommend thinking about self-financing before applying for a personal loan. If you do choose to apply for a personal loan, we suggest checking out these trusted lenders.

Max. Loan Amount
$100,000
$40,000
$50,000
$40,000
$50,000
Min. APR
4.99%
6.95%
3.99%
4.99%
6.99%
Loan Term
24-84 months
36-60 months
3-180 months
24-84 months
36-60 months
Min. Credit Score
680
600
None
None
620
Best For
People with good credit scores
Flexible eligibility requirements
Comparing hundreds of loan providers
Quickly comparing multiple loans
Free credit monitoring with your loan

1. Credible

Loan amount: $1,000 - $100,000

APR: 4.99% - 35.99%

Loan terms: 24-84 months

Credit scores start from: 680

Best for: People with good credit scores

Credible is an online loans broker that connects borrowers with verified lenders at no cost. Credible returns up to 6 preliminary loan offers so you can easily compare your options and then contact the lender to complete the loan process. Credible caters to people with credit of 680 or better. If you have strong credit but low cash reserves, Credible can help set you up with a low-interest loan to finance all your upcoming holiday shopping.

Pros

+ Complete transparency about fees

+ Readable, side-by-side comparison guide

+ Some partners offer next-day funding

Cons

- High minimum credit score

- Doesn’t work with credit unions

Credible Credible Get My Rate

2. LendingClub

Loan amount: $1,000 - $40,000

APR: 6.95% - 35.99%

Loan terms: 36-60 months

Credit scores start from: 600

Best for: Flexible eligibility requirements

LendingClub is the world’s largest peer-to-peer personal loan marketplace, matching borrowers with private investors. The P2P lending model offers many benefits over traditional lending, including flexible eligibility requirements and a range of loan rates and terms. Applying for a LendingClub personal loan is quick and easy. The waiting time between close and funding is typically 3-7 days, which is more than enough if you plan your holiday shopping in advance.

Pros

+ Largest peer-to-peer personal loan marketplace

+ Open to borrowers with below-average credit

Cons

- Some partners take 7 days to provide funding

- Not available in Iowa

LendingClub LendingClub Get My Rate

3. LendingTree

Loan amount: $1,000 - $50,000

APR 3.99% - $35.99%

Loan terms: 3-180 months

Credit scores start from: N/A

Best for: Comparing hundreds of loan providers

LendingTree is the oldest and largest loans marketplace on the web, having helped fund millions of borrowers since it was founded in 1996. LendingTree connects borrowers with the best loan options for a massive network of hundreds of lenders. It works with all types of lenders, from big to small and nationwide to local. It covers the full range of personal loan options, from low to high interest and short to super-long repayment terms. In summary, LendingTree has loans to suit all types of Xmas shopping budgets.

Pros

+ America’s largest personal loan marketplace

+ Option of very short repayment terms

+ Great for low-credit borrowers

Cons

- Partners vary in terms of reliability and loan terms

- Not all lenders offer lowest rate

LendingTree LendingTree Get My Rate

4. AmOne

Loan amount: $1,000 - $40,000

APR: 4.99% - 35.99%

Loan terms: 24-84 months

Credit scores start from: N/A

Best for: Quickly comparing multiple loans

AmOne is another loans marketplace that works with a network of lenders to connect borrowers with the best loan options. Its partners range from large, nationwide lenders to small, regional lenders. Like other marketplaces, AmOne is a good place to go if you’re looking to quickly compare multiple lenders with just the one application form. This service works quickly, leaving you more time to build that holiday gift list.

Pros

+ Large partner network

+ Potentially low rates

+ Good for borrowers with poor credit

Cons

- No direct funding

- Terms and conditions vary from partner to partner

AmOne AmOne Get My Rate

5. Upgrade

Loan amount: $1,000 - $50,000

APR: 6.99% - 35.99%

Loan terms: 36-60 months

Credit scores start from: 620

Best for: Free credit monitoring with your loan

Upgrade is a loans marketplace that provides added value through its free credit monitoring tools. With Upgrade, borrowers can get quick access to multiple loan options in minutes. But the best thing about this service is the tools and resources, which exist to help you boost your credit score and get yourself the best rates and terms possible from lenders. Improving your credit score takes time, so this is a good option for people thinking ahead to the 2020 holidays.

Pros

+ Multiple loan options with one form

+ Quick online application

+ Free credit health tracker

Cons

- High origination fees

- Strict minimum cashflow requirement

Upgrade Upgrade Get My Rate

Fund Your Expenses Wisely

If it seems like holiday shopping becomes more stressful every year, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have trouble financing their entire holiday spend out of pocket. If self-financing isn’t an option, there are other options – including a small unsecured personal loan. Before applying for a personal loan, take care to request a loan amount you can afford to repay and always conduct a thorough comparison of top lenders.

Top10.com StaffByTop10.com StaffJun. 24, 2019
Our editorial staff is comprised of writers who are knowledgeable about financial services. We specialize in simplifying the process of choosing the right personal loan provider for your needs.