The Best Personal Lines of Credit in 2020

If you’ve been shopping for the best online personal lines of credit, you’ve likely found numerous options from many different companies, all promising to have the best financial products. Lines of credit provide access to needed funds with greater flexibility than traditional loans and lower interest rates than credit cards, but not all lines of credit are ideal in every situation.

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    To help you find the best personal lines of credit for your financial goals, explore this detailed comparison of the important features for top lines of credit below.

    In this article

      The 6 best lines of credit for 2020

      Best personal lines of credit

      PNC bank – Best for everyday expenses

      With limits up to $25,000 and no collateral required, this line of credit is ideal for customers who need cash to cover everyday expenses. There is also no penalty for prepayment, and a customer can draw as little as $50 whenever they need it. PNC Bank will also approve credit lines as low as $1,000, providing flexibility to cover routine monthly expenses whenever cash flow issues occur throughout the month. These features combine to make PNC’s line of credit a top pick for covering everyday expenses quickly.

      Wells Fargo – Best for home improvement

      If you’re looking to make some upgrades to your home, a Wells Fargo personal line of credit offers no origination fee and a minimal $25 annual fee to keep the line of credit open. This means you can open the line of credit in advance without incurring large account maintenance expenses, but you’ll be covered if and when you need it. Once open, your line of credit can cover even major repairs or expenses, as Wells Fargo offers credit lines up to $100,000. This makes it one of the best lines of credit offered for home improvement.

      US Bank – Best for overdraft protection

      In addition to its traditional line of credit, US Bank offers a unique Reserve line of credit offering that protects your US Bank checking account from accidental overdrafts. There are no annual fees to keep the line of credit open, making this a great option for rainy day funds. And any time your checking balance falls below $0, US Bank will automatically transfer funds from your line of credit to cover what is needed, giving you peace of mind, without the hassle.

      Citibank – Best for flexibility

      Citibank’s custom line of credit makes money management even easier with flexible financing options, no cash advance fees and a low $50 annual fee that is waived for anyone who makes a payment or takes a loan at least once during the year. Other account features add more flexibility by allowing customers to convert balances between variable and fixed rates as they see fit.

      SunTrust – Best for large expenses

      Rather than refinancing your house to finance major expenses, consider signing up for a Select Credit Line from SunTrust. The bank offers this special revolving line of credit for Premier clients that is secured by personal investments, and the account has a much lower interest rate than most other loans or lines of credit.  There are no application or annual fees, and qualifying account holders can choose an interest-only repayment option for a limited time.

      Regions Bank – Best secured line of credit

      Regions makes the list for best personal lines of credit for its low-interest rates and flexible use cases on its secured credit lines. Using a Regions savings or money market account as collateral, customers can borrow funds for a myriad of expenses without depleting savings or other investment account balances from earning interest. Furthermore, the annual account fee is only $50, giving you access to a great line of credit without breaking the bank.

      Lines of Credit Summed Up

      ProviderMax AmountDraw PeriodRepayment PeriodAPR
      PNC Bank$25,000ContinuousMonthly when balance is above $0Varies by zipcode
      Wells Fargo$100,000ContinuousUp to 84 monthsAs low as 5.24%
      US Bank$20,000ContinuousMonthly when balance is above $0As low as 10.25%
      Citibank$25,000ContinuousMonthly when balance is above $0As low as 8.24%
      SunTrust$5,000,000ContinuousUp to 5 yearsAs low as 4.75%
      Regions Bank$100,000ContinuousMonthly when balance is above $0As low as 5.25%

      Check Your Personal Loan Rates

      Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

      Get Started

      with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

      What is a line of credit?

      A line of credit is a financial reserve that allows you to pull out funds when needed, up to your credit limit. Similar to the balance on a credit card, you can draw from a line of credit, repay the funds, and then draw again as often as you’d like. Outside of any applicable annual fees, you won’t owe anything on the account until you use some of the funds from the line. Having the account open gives you quick access to funds when needed.

      What’s the difference between a consumer loan and a line of credit?

      With a consumer loan, typically the entire loan amount is dispensed when the loan closes, and the principal balance plus interest is repaid in installments until the entire balance is repaid. With a line of credit, you can choose to use only a portion of your available credit, or even none at all. Your payment and interest will only be based on the portion used, and you can pull out the funds when they are needed, rather than right when the loan is finalized.

      Check Your Personal Loan Rates

      Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

      Get Started

      with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

      The best consumer loans

      Sofi – Best personal loans

      If you need funds for personal expenses, SoFi offers personal loans up to $100,000 with extended repayment terms. The company also offers unemployment protection, making this a particularly attractive option in financial downturns.You can read more on our personal loans review.

      • APR: starting at 5.99%
      • Terms: 2 to 7 years
      • Top benefit: Large loan amounts with no fees

      Earnest – Best student loans

      Funding college can be a complicated process, but Earnest makes finding private student loan financing a bit easier. In addition to its low APR on new private student loans, Earnest also provides student loan refinancing options for qualified borrowers. The company also allows students who make on-time payments to skip one monthly payment per year and provides a discount for automatic payments.

      • APR: starting at 4.39%, fixed
      • Terms: Varies by loan amount and type
      • Top benefit: Additional 3-month grace period after leaving school

      Rocket Mortgage – Best home loans

      Backed by one of the largest online mortgage lenders in the country, Rocket Mortgage is known for providing prompt service and a variety of loan types to meet varying needs. A variety of online tools make applying for a Rocket Mortgage simple and efficient.

      • APR: starting at 3.139%
      • Terms: Up to 30 years
      • Top benefit: Simply online processing options

      Lightstream – Best auto loans

      Although their loans are structured as personal loans, LightStream’s high maximum loan amounts and competitive interest rates make this loan ideal for auto purchases. While LightStream does have more stringent credit requirements than some of its competitors, those who meet the standards will find this loan option an ideal match for new vehicle purchases.

      • APR: starting at 3.49%
      • Terms: 2-7 years
      • Top benefit: Low rates and high max loan amounts

      Best Egg – Best debt consolidation

      During the application process, Best Egg only does a soft pull on your credit history, so you won’t take a credit hit. You’ll also save money on fees and interest since Best Egg offers interest rates much lower than traditional credit cards and eliminates prepayment penalties. Best of all, many loans can be turned around in as quickly as a day, so you can finally get that financial monkey off your back.

      • APR: starting at 5.99%
      • Terms: 3-5 years
      • Top benefit: Fast funding

      Methodology

      SimpleScore

      The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

      For every review, our editorial team:

      • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
      • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
      • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore

      Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best personal loans of 2020.

      Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

      To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.

      However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare NetCredit’s personal loans according to our criteria for the best personal loans, it scores a 2.3 out of 5. But when we compare NetCredit according to the criteria for the best bad credit personal loans, it scores considerably higher, since the criteria for the latter review are more lenient (lenders who serve borrowers with bad credit will always offer higher rates, so we needed to adjust our category methodology to account for different industry standards).

      Questions about our methodology?

      Email Hayley Armstrong at hayley@thesimpledollar.com.

      Rates

      We looked at the maximum APR for each lender — the lower their maximum rate, the higher their score.

      Loan Size

      We awarded higher scores to lenders with more generous loan sizes.

      Customer Satisfaction

      We leveraged the J.D. Power 2019 Personal Loan Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each lender. (If a lender wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)

      Support

      We awarded higher scores to lenders with the most channels for customer support.

      Fees

      We looked at the three most common fees — origination, late payment, and pre-payment — and penalized lenders for each fee charged.

      Julia Taylor

      Contributing Writer

      Julia Taylor is a freelance writer based in Nashville, TN. She takes complex business, financial, and technical topics and makes them easy to understand. You can find her work published on a variety of business blogs, including Paychex, Kapitus, Sanford Brown, Fortis Educational Institutes, American University of Antigua and Interest.com

      Reviewed by

      • Courtney Mihocik
        Courtney Mihocik
        Editor

        Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.