Loans > Best Loans for Excellent Credit

Best Loans for Excellent Credit

If you have excellent credit, you're likely eligible for a loan from a top lender. Which one has what you're looking for? 

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on tokenist.com. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. This may influence how and where offers are located on this site. The Tokenist does not include all lenders or available loan offers in the marketplace. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

It’s been a long journey, but you finally have that “excellent” credit score everyone’s always talking about. So, now what? Will that save you money?

When it comes to a personal loan, most people are shocked when it comes to just how much they can save.

Credit scores are such a big deal because they impact all your credit-related opportunities, as well as the cost of utility bills, and in some cases, job applications. Essentially, they are the financial sector’s way of determining if you’re responsible and creditworthy.

If you meet all the criteria, the best loan offers are in your grasp – but what credit score do you need to get creme de la creme of interest rates? Luckily, the number you should shoot for isn’t in the high 800s. 

Even though lenders have gotten stricter with their credit requirements after the recent market crash that’s still giving us all a headache, you can get a premium mortgage and other loans with a score of 760. That’s not low, but also not very high considering these are top-notch loans.

Moreover, since borrowers have had a hard time paying off their debt in today’s historically turbulent market, many lenders are offering benefits to help their clients make their payments without worrying about fees and penalties. So, things aren’t looking as grim as we thought they would when this economic mess started. 

We have made a list of lenders with the most attractive offers for good-credit clients, so you know where you can get the first-class loan you deserve. Let’s take a look at some of the best places where you can get an awesome loan online and use your great credit score to its fullest potential.

Top Loans for Excellent Credit

Our picks for the best loans with an excellent credit score:

1. LightStream
Best Overall with the Lowest Rates
2. Payoff
Best for Debt Consolidation
3. Earnest
Best for Student Loans
4. SoFi
Best User Experience
5. Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Best for Transparency and Zero-Fee Loans
6. Discover Personal Loans
Best for Small Loans
7. Best Egg
Best for Quick Funding
LenderAPRLoan Term RangeLoan Amount RangeMinimum Recommended Credit
LightStreamRates vary (see website)Terms vary (see website)$5,000 to $100,000Good to Excellent Credit Profile
Payoff5.99% - 24.99%2 - 5 yrs$5,000 to $35,000640
Earnest3.20% - 11.99%3 - 5 yrs$5,000 to $75,000680
SoFi5.99% - 19.96%2 - 7 yrs$5,000 to $100,000680
Marcus by Goldman Sachs6.99% - 19.99%3 - 6 yrs$3.500 to $40,000680
Discover Personal Loans6.99% - 24.99%3 - 7 yrs$2,500 to $35,000680
Best Egg99% - 29.99%3 - 5 yrs$2,000 to $50,000640

Best Loans for Excellent Credit

Many options are open to you if you have great credit – sometimes, it might be too many. Here’s a list of the best online lenders, all of which specialize in different types of loans.

1. LightStream – Best Overall, Lowest Rates

Lightstream Logo
LightStream is the best overall creditor for clients who have excellent credit.

Pros

  • Very low APRs
  • Broad spectrum of loans
  • $100 loan experience guarantee (if you’re an unhappy customer, tell them why and they’ll send you $100)

Cons

  • Hard credit pulls
  • Requires credit history (several years)
  • Can not change payment dates once the loan is given

Visit Lightstream on Lightstream’s website

LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank and offers personal loans for just about any purpose. This means home renovation, boat or car purchase, medical costs, debt consolidation, etc.

The interest rates are very low — so low that LightStream is at the top of our list of the best low-interest personal loan providers. If you use autopay, which means your funds will be automatically withdrawn from your account every month – you can get an even lower interest rate. That is, of course, if your credit score is high as well.

The company doesn’t specify the exact credit score you’re required to have. However, the “good credit” they mention takes the whole credit profile into account, rather than just a FICO score. Also, having a long credit history is a must.

Unfortunately, LightStream will conduct a hard check of your credit score upon application. This means that your FICO will temporarily drop after the hard check if you have bad credit factors in your report that the credit bureaus haven’t noticed before.

There are a couple of restrictions to keep in mind too. Namely, income gained through the cannabis industry won’t be taken into consideration, and you cannot refinance a LightStream loan and use the money for business purposes or educational fees.

One of the best parts about LightStream’s personal loans: they offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you’ve had your loan for less than 30 days, you can terminate your agreement and they’ll send you $100 as part of their “loan experience guarantee”. All of these things considered make LightStream the top choice if you have excellent credit.


2. Payoff – Best for Debt Consolidation

payoff logo
In case you have an excellent credit and seek the debt consolidation loan, then Payoff has the best offers.

Pros

  • Soft credit pull
  • Competitive interest rates
  • No late payment or prepayment fees
  • Responsive and professional customer support

Cons

  • Only debt consolidation loans are available
  • Citizens from  Mississippi, Massachusetts, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Nevada are not eligible for a loan
  • 0% – 5% origination fee
Visit Payoff on Payoff’s website

Payoff is a specialized lending service – loans can only be used for consolidating debt. This means, piling all your credit card debt into one bundle and paying it off at a preferential rate. This online platform connects eligible borrowers with multiple lenders looking to provide competitive debt consolidation loans so you can use it to pick out the best offer possible.

To apply for a loan, you need to have a 640+ credit score, 3 or more years of credit history, and a debt-to-income ratio under 51%. Also, any major delinquencies currently on your credit report will disqualify you from applying. 

When going through your files, Payoff will conduct a soft credit inquiry. This means that negative items in your credit score can not damage your FICO – so no worries in that regard. The platform will also give you a free FICO score, which is something that only a handful of lenders will give you through their service.

Another boon is that there are no prepayment fees, meaning you can make payments ahead of time to your heart’s content without worrying about additional expenses. Not many lenders offer this, which is a shame because getting rid of your debt ASAP is beneficial for both one’s FICO and overall mood. 

Moreover, you won’t get punished for missing a payment. Payoff doesn’t charge late payment fees – rather you can talk with their agent and come up with a plan to restructure your debt and take care of any due payments.

However, Payoff is a bit strict as they require you to have a debt-to-income ratio under 50%. Also, there are no joint applications, and you have to wait longer than average to get your money. After taking care of all the paperwork, it usually takes 3 to 6 working days to get your loan. If you are interested in more info on Payoff, take a quick look at our Payoff review.


3. Earnest – Best for Student Loans

Earnest Logo
Earnest offers by far the best loans for students.

Pros

  • Very competitive APR
  • Doesn’t require long credit record
  • No fees
  • Transparent company

Cons

  • Hard credit pull
  • Clients from Delaware, Alabama, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Nevada are not eligible.
  • Extensive application process
  • Slow approval process (5-10 business days)

Visit Earnest on Earnest’s wesbite

Earnest is an online lender platform well-known for its affordable and accessible student loans. That is not surprising since they are a branch of Navient, the country’s most popular student loan servicer. 

This company is geared towards borrowers who are at least 18 years old and have little past credit activity – giving them the opportunity to prove their creditworthiness through this student loan. Moreover, the APR is very competitive, minimum requirements aren’t high, and there are no fees – just the regular monthly debt payments.

Since Earnest offers good terms to clients without long credit records, it has a thorough and extensive application process. To apply, you need to have proof of regular income, a clean credit score without missed payments, and have enough savings to cover the first 2 months of payments. Also, you can not have other student loans, mortgages, or other major debt.

The company will also take your spending patterns and choice of college into account when checking you out. It’s not clear which educational avenues Earnest will value more, but courses like engineering and programming will likely be preferred over arts and philosophy because of their marketability. After all, a lender wants to make money first and foremost.

Unfortunately, Earnest will conduct a hard check of your credit score, meaning your FICO can go down temporarily if a negative item is found in your report. If you manage to come out of this application process in one piece, you will get a loan of up to $75,000 with some of the lowest interest rates for student loans. 

Applying isn’t as hard as it sounds, as it is very quick and Earnest’s website is easy to use – you’ll have no problem finding all the important information quickly. Actually getting the money isn’t as quick, though. Earnest usually takes 5 to 10 working days to approve your request and give you the loan, so they are probably not the best choice if you need fast funding.


4. SoFi – Best User Experience

Sofi Logo
SoFi is among the small number of creditors that focus on protection of unemployed clients.

Pros

  • Very competitive rates
  • Unemployment protection
  • High maximum loan
  • No fees

Cons

  • Prefers high-income clients
  • High minimum loan
Visit SoFi on SoFi’s website

If you’re looking for a multi-purpose personal loan, SoFi might be a good choice. As a client, you would have access to some of the lowest interest rates around and wouldn’t have to worry about origination, late, or prepayment fees – there are no fees.

To get the best rate possible, you need to prove your creditworthiness. Aside from good FICOs, the company heavily favors clients with a high and steady income. So, even if you have a top-notch credit rating, having a low income can tip the scales out of your favor. This means – better APRs for high-income users.

This factor along with the higher-than-average minimum borrow limit makes SoFi’s credit unavailable to many potential clients. On the bright side, if you like the terms you get and apply, your loan will be given to you in under 5 working days – which is quick considering that most lenders take a full week before giving you the green light.

As a client, you get some perks that go beyond the low interest rates and nonexistent fees. For instance, should you lose your current job, they will briefly stop your payments and assist you in finding new employment – a very nice gesture. This means you probably won’t miss payments and see your FICO score desolated, which is always very welcome. 

This loaning service isn’t the full extent of the SoFi empire which has its fingers in most other parts of the finance industry – the company offers financial advisory services, a bank, as well as one of the best robo-advisors around. However, SoFi is best known for the SoFi Invest online brokerage that has no fees or account minimums and provides a beginner-friendly platform.


5. Marcus by Goldman Sachs – Best for Zero-Fee Loans

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Logo
In case you want a fee-free loan, then Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the best choice.

Pros

  • No fees
  • Flexible loan terms
  • Benefits for 12 months of timely payments

Cons

  • Relatively low maximum loan ($40,000)
  • APRs are higher than the competition’s
  • Very transparent

Visit Marcus by Goldman Sachs on Marcus’ website

Marcus is the loaning branch of the banking giant, Goldman Sachs. If you go to the FAQ section on this lender’s website, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how transparent they are about every single fee you have to pay and terms you need to know. 

You will be even more pleasantly surprised that there are no fees – origination, prepayment, or late payment. So, the only expenses you have to worry about are your monthly payments, and if you make these on time for 12 consecutive months, you get to postpone one future payment without penalty. This perk, along with the 3 to 6 year repayment period, gives clients some much-needed flexibility.

To get in on the action, you need to be an adult, have a valid bank account, and have an individual tax or social security ID number. However, you also need a 680+ credit rating to get a loan for a major purchase or debt consolidation.

Loans from Marcus have a few downsides too. The APRs are not the lowest by any means, there are no joint applications, and the maximum loan is only $40,000, which isn’t a huge amount, especially if you’re looking to buy a house or make multiple big purchases.

Making an application for a personal loan with Marcus is a straightforward process and doesn’t take long. What’s more, it will only take 1 to 4 working days before your request is approved and the money deposited into your bank account – which is quick compared to most lenders.


6. Discover Personal Loans – Best for Small Loans

Discover Logo
In case you need a small loan, the Discover platform comes with the best offers.

Pros

  • Low minimum loan
  • Flexible payment terms
  • Relatively low application requirements
  • Soft credit pull

Cons

  • Restrictions on debt consolidation
  • $39 late payment fee
  • Low maximum loan
Visit Discover on Discover’s website

Discover Bank is the lending branch of its parent company Discover Financial Services. Discover specializes in giving out small loans with low interest rates, unlike most major lenders that only give their lowest rates to clients looking for large loans.

The minimum loan is $2,500 and getting approved isn’t very hard. Discover accepts adult US citizens with very good credit scores who have a household income of $25,000 or more – which is a lower requirement than most top lenders.

The APRs start at a low point, 6.99%, and there are no origination or prepayment fees. This means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront and that you can settle your debt early without penalties – which is great since this is a good way to boost your FICO. The only fee you need to watch out for is the hefty late payment fee of $39.

Discover conducts soft credit checks that can not harm your FICO in any way, and they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If for some reason you do not like the loan you’ve been given, you can cancel it without paying any fees whatsoever. To do this, just email the bank within 30 days of getting the money and send them a check for the full amount of the loan.

If you want to use this loan to consolidate your debt, Discover will send the money directly to your creditors. You will then be required to give at least 70% of your proceeds to the companies to whom you owe – if you don’t meet this requirement, your APR might rise. This makes Discover ideal for debt consolidation, at least if you compare them to the best debt consolidation lenders.

After you request a loan, your application will get approved and you will get the money in under 7 working days. Discover also offers help to clients who have been put in a tough spot because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any pandemic-related problems, you can contact the customer service and all your payments and fees will be postponed for 60 days without incurring penalties or damaging your credit score.


7. Best Egg – Best for a Quick Loan

Best Egg Logo
Best Egg has the best offers for clients who need a loan as quick as possible.

Pros

  • The quickest loan approval out of all lenders
  • Soft credit pull
  • Accessible credit requirements

Cons

  • Relatively high APR
  • Origination fee (0.99% to 5.99%)
  • Late payment and processing fees

Visit Best Egg on Best Egg’s website

Marlette Funding, LLC’s Best Egg is an online lending service geared toward clients who want a loan ASAP. Other lenders on this list offer far better terms for the most part, but Best Egg is super quick, as they can approve your loan and send you the money on just one business day.

The minimum requirements also aren’t very high. Aside from a 640+ FICO, you need to have at least 3 open credit accounts, a debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower, and more than $50,000 of annual household income. As with all other lenders, you need a clean credit report without delinquencies, tax liens, or bankruptcies to apply.

The loans start at $2,000 and go up to $35,000. If you have an excellent FICO and seem like a valuable client, Best Egg will let you borrow up to $50,000, but this area is off-limits to all but the bank’s favorite clients.

You can also get a second loan as long as your first loan is older than 6 months and the total amount of the two doesn’t exceed $50,000. The rates, however, aren’t the lowest. The minimum APR is 6.99%, and if your credit performance is subpar, the APR can go up to 29.99%, which is not good by any stretch of the imagination.

Enrolling in automatic payments might be a good idea since manual payments incur a $7 fee. Aside from the 0.99% – 5.99% origination fee, you should also be aware of the $15 late payment fee, but hey… at least there’s no prepayment fee.

The $2,000 minimum loan isn’t available for everyone – Massachusetts residents must take out at least $6,000. In New Mexico and Ohio, the minimum is $5,000 and for Georgia, it is $3,000. All in all, Best Egg isn’t the best in anything except speed. If you need very quick funding this is the best option, but otherwise, you should check out the other names on this list.


How Can I Get a Loan With Excellent Credit?

If you have a credit score around 740-799, then you’re near the top of the credit food chain. If you’re above the 800 mark, then you can get just about every loan you want and pay the lowest rates available. However, with great credit comes a bucket load of loan choices. 

Naturally, some choices are better than others – having an excellent score means you should go through all your options and choose a loan with the lowest interest and best terms. Essentially, if you settle with an average credit offer, you’re not using the potential of an awesome credit score. Let’s see what avenues you can take to fully benefit from your great score and get the best deal possible.

Banks & Credit Unions

Needless to say, a great score entitles you to the best of the best. A credit union is owned by its members and bears the title of a non-profit. This is why credit unions usually have lower rates and why it’s usually best to consider them first.

Even so, if you have a great score and valuable assets at a bank, it will likely offer you preferential terms. This means better-than-usual rates and a more relaxed payment schedule. It’s definitely worth contacting your bank and checking out what they have in store for you, as these offers can be even better in some cases.

Loan Aggregators

A loan aggregator is an organization that lets you announce you want a loan, after which lenders will compete to get you or your business as their client. You need to sign up and fill out a few short forms, and you’ll start getting credit offers – if you have a good score, these offers will be plentiful and you’ll likely come across one that suits you perfectly.

It doesn’t hurt to take a look at a few banks and credit unions first, but a loan aggregator should be your next stop. Check out our list of the top loan aggregators if you want to see how these platforms work and which one is best for you and your business.

Home Equity Loans 

Also known as a “second mortgage”, a home equity loan can get you some of the lowest rates available. If you own a home, you can use it to vouch for your creditworthiness. Loans secured with real estate property are often very flexible and have low rates because they are low-risk for lenders. Of course, the bank can take your house if you don’t pay them back, which is why this might not be the best first choice for everyone.

This way, you can get an ordinary, one-time loan, or a HELOC (home equity line of credit). HELOC is essentially a credit card secured by your property. As such, it has many advantages like low rates and very high credit limits which sometimes go up to $50,000 or more. 

This limit is based on the price of your home, as well as your credit rating and income. Also, your first mortgage will limit your HELOC the higher it is – if your house is worth $200,000 and your first mortgage is $140,000, the credit limit for the second one will be $60,000, roughly speaking. These loans have risen in demand lately and lenders have upped the requirements for HELOCs, which is one of the reasons why it pays to have good credit nowadays.

As with all loans, beware of the fine print! Home equity loan contracts can have hard-to-notice terms that you must know about. For example, your payments can be stretched out to 20 years, but after 15 you can be required to pay the remainder of the debt in one go. Reading credit contracts carefully is a given, but especially when it comes to home equity loans. 

The Best Auto Loan

As a creditworthy client, you have many good options here. Banks, credit unions, and car dealerships will give you the best loans if they like your rating. A credit aggregator platform like EVEN Financial’s Fiona can also help with this. Basically, you should see all the best offers and compare them to find your perfect match.

Here’s a tip if you want to get a loan that’s even better. Car dealerships like to finance your purchases because loans make up for a large chunk of their profits, so here is what you can do. 

Get approved for the best loan you can find at a bank or credit union and then show that to your car dealership – they will likely try to outmatch the offer you’ve already gotten elsewhere. This might not work every time, but it is in the car dealer’s interest to give you a loan, so they probably will. On top of all this, auto loan rates are the lowest they have been since 2013, so it’s as good a time as any to get one.

What Credit Score Is Excellent?

The coveted title of “excellent” belongs to credit scores of 800 and above. This gives its owner the ability to get all the best loan offers available, and seem very trustworthy to financial institutions and utility providers in general. The 800+ area is also called “perfect” because you can’t get extra benefits and better deals by going above the 800 mark. 

Credit Score Brackets
These credit score brackets show that the majority of Americans have a good FICO credit score.

Can You Have a 900 Credit Score?

A credit rating of 900 is not possible, but it’s also completely irrelevant. Lenders measure credit scores from 300 to 850, however, having the maximum score isn’t necessary. An 800+ FICO is already considered “perfect” – this means that going beyond this point won’t really get you any exclusive offers or benefits. Essentially, the only value of going past the 800 mark is that if your score drops slightly you’ll still be in the “perfect” area from where you can get all the best interest rates and loan terms.

Can a Personal Loan Damage Your Credit Score?

It depends. Applying for a personal loan can cause a dip in your credit rating if the lender conducts a hard credit inquiry, also known as a “hard credit pull”. Basically, the lender will go through your credit report and try to find any bad items like missed payments and delinquencies. 

If they find something negative that your credit bureau hasn’t already factored into your score, your rating will naturally drop. However, this can be avoided if your lender uses a “soft pull” or if your credit report is already clean and free of negative items.

How To Keep Your Rating High

If you already have a 740+ credit score you probably know what to do very, very well. However, some folks use the mighty potential of their excellent credit scores one day, just to see their rating drop the next day. Here are some crucial factors you must keep in mind to keep your credit in the upper echelons of creditworthiness.

Pay on Time

Nothing will help your credit score go down the drain in a short time more than missing a few payments. Using the full extent of your high rating might be tempting, but overextending yourself with numerous credit obligations can get you in a tough situation – especially in today’s turbulent market.

Do Not Apply for Too Many Loans

The first danger of getting too many loans and credit cards is overextending, as we just mentioned. Moreover, applying for credit frequently in it of itself will damage your score instantly. If possible, stretch out your credit applications.

Monitor Your Credit and Fix Reporting Errors

Checking your credit reports regularly can tell you your FICO, but that’s not all there is to it. Credit bureaus that write credit reports often make mistakes.

This means your report can contain typing errors and outdated items – basically, your report will show that you have more debt than you actually do. Fixing these errors isn’t hard and needn’t be expensive, as you can use good credit repair software to easily take care of them yourself.

Do Not Co-Sign Loans

If you have a choice in the matter, avoid co-signing loans even if you are not the primary borrower. If the other person makes a late payment or defaults, it will reflect on your credit very badly. 

Keep Your Credit Utilization Low

Having a credit limit of $10,000 on your credit card doesn’t mean you should use all of it. Actually, using 30% or less of your maximum credit is a good way to keep your score high, or increase it. The closer you get to your credit limit the more it will impact your score negatively.

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

If you are a responsible credit user with a strong score and you follow all the rules of credit maintenance, your score will probably not go down – at least not through “natural” means. What we mean by this is that you are not the only one that can affect your FICO. Hackers can as well.

If an ill-intentioned fraudster or cyber-criminal gets a hold of your personal data, they can use it for nefarious purposes. This includes opening a credit account in your name or using the money from your credit cards and maxing them out. If this happens, your rating can go down overnight, so it’s best to protect yourself.

This can be done through safe browsing, having strong passwords, and keeping your personal info under lock and key. However, credit bureaus and banks are the prime targets of cyberattacks, which is why your data can get stolen and exploited even if you do everything by the book. 

The thickest layer of defense against identity theft is credit monitoring services with good ID protection, which monitor your account and provide large sums in insurance in case they fail to keep your assets safe. These services can cost as much as $40 per month in some cases, but the best credit monitoring services are a good way to protect and insure yourself from anyone who can steal your money and ruin your credit. 

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on tokenist.com. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. This may influence how and where offers are located on this site. The Tokenist does not include all lenders or available loan offers in the marketplace. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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