How to get a $100,000 personal loan

If you need money for a large purchase or debt consolidation, you may be able to qualify for a $100k loan. Learn about the application and approval process. (iStock)

Many financial institutions offer personal loans — loans that provide a lump sum that can be paid back with interest in set monthly installments over a specific time period — that range from $1,000 to $50,000. But some lenders will offer as much as $100,000 to certain borrowers.

Applying for and obtaining a personal loan of this size requires a higher level of qualification. Here’s everything you need to know about getting a $100k loan.

You can compare personal loan interest rates from these and other Credible partner lenders using Credible.

  • Where to get a $100k personal loan
  • How much will a $100,000 loan cost with interest?
  • How can I qualify for a $100k loan?
  • Getting a $100,000 loan with fair or bad credit
  • What to know about personal loans
  • Alternatives to a personal loan

Where to get a $100k personal loan

Banks and credit unions are popular places to get a variety of loans, but most don’t offer unsecured personal loans as large as $100,000. If you have an existing relationship with one, you can reach out to your banker and ask. 

To get a large $100,000 loan, you’ll likely have to use an online lender. Not only do these alternative lenders typically offer higher loan amounts, but they’re also convenient, with a web-based application process that’s often approved within a day.

Interest rates, terms and fees can vary greatly on personal loans of any size. For that reason, it’s essential to do your homework and compare a variety of financial institutions. A fraction of a percentage point can result in saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of the loan when you’re dealing with such a large principal amount.

The following two Credible partner lenders both offer $100k personal loans.

Lightstream

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank. LightStream loans may be the best choice for someone with good credit. The lender requires a minimum credit score of 660.

Pros

  • No origination, prepayment or late fees
  • Competitive rates
  • Rate discount for customers who sign up for autopay

Cons

  • No prequalification 
  • Restrictions on how loan funds can be used
  • Set due date

SoFi

SoFi is an online lender that offers competitive rates for borrowers with excellent credit. SoFi personal loans can be used for credit card debt consolidation, home improvement and other financial needs.

Pros

  • No origination, prepayment or late payment fees
  • Unemployment protection offers a three-month forbearance if you lose your job 
  • Borrowers can be preapproved to check interest rates

Cons

  • High minimum credit score required
  • The approval time is longer than other lenders
  • No option to secure or have a cosigner on the loan 

How much will a $100,000 loan cost with interest?

Lenders look to credit scores to get an idea of how likely you’ll be to repay a loan. If your credit score is very good to excellent, you’ll likely have a better chance of getting a $100,000 loan than someone with fair or poor credit. And your good credit could help you secure a more competitive interest rate. 

Your interest rate can have a major impact on the total cost of the loan. For example, a $100,000 loan at 5.99% interest for four years will result in a $2,348 monthly payment and a total of $12,706 paid in interest over the life of the loan. Your $100,000 loan will cost you a total of $112,706.

If your credit score is lower, you may qualify for a $100,000 loan with an interest rate of 14.99% for a term of seven years. In this case, you’ll pay $1,929 monthly and $62,046 in interest over the life of the loan. Your total loan payment will be $162,045. 

A personal loan calculator can help you get an idea of monthly payments and total interest costs for your $100k loan. 

How can I qualify for a $100k loan?

Before you apply for a personal loan from a bank, credit union or online lender, make sure you do your homework. Research the personal loan rates currently available and what makes the most sense for you.

When you've settled on a lender, do these three things to prepare for the application.

  • A government-issued identification
  • Proof of income
  • Bank statements

Getting a $100,000 loan with fair or bad credit

There’s no sugar-coating it — if you have bad credit, or even just fair credit, it could be very difficult to qualify for a $100,000 loan. 

But you may be able to find a smaller loan that could help meet your needs, even with a thin credit history, since some lenders offer loans specifically for people with bad credit. These loans typically come with a higher interest rate than loans for borrowers with good credit. If you can’t afford the payments with the higher rate, you have options.

First, consider getting a cosigner, such as a family member or close friend, who has good or excellent credit. Lenders are more likely to approve the loan because cosigners agree to assume the responsibility for the debt if you can’t repay it for any reason. But use caution with this type of arrangement. If there’s a chance you may be unable to cover the monthly payment, you risk damaging your relationship with the cosigner by defaulting. And if they’re unable to pay the loan, their credit could suffer, too.

Your second option is to take steps to build up your credit profile before applying for a loan. If the reason you need the personal loan isn’t urgent, make sure to pay your bills on time. You can also pay down loan balances to lower your credit utilization ratio. Take on a second job to increase your income and build your debt-to-income ratio. And avoid closing an old account as it can help your length of credit. 

Adding a cosigner or improving your credit score can save you money in the long run by helping you qualify for a lower interest rate.

What to know about personal loans

Personal loans are unsecured loans, which means you usually don’t have to offer collateral to be approved for one. Depending on the lender, personal loans can be used for virtually anything, such as debt consolidation, home improvements, weddings, vacations and more. Interest rates can be fixed or variable.

Here are some personal loan terms to know:

  • Interest rate — This is the amount lenders charge to borrow money. 
  • APR — Annual percentage rate includes your interest rate and other costs associated with your loan. Because it incorporates all your loan-related expenses, like fees, APR is a better indicator of the true, total cost of a loan.
  • Monthly payment — This is the amount of principal and interest a borrower will pay each month to the lender. It’s based on the loan amount, loan term and interest rate. 
  • Fees —  Some lenders charge fees. A lender may charge an origination fee to process a new loan. If you pay after the payment due date, your lender may charge a late fee. Prepayment penalties kick in if a borrower pays off the loan before the end of the term and the lender uses this fee to recoup some of the interest it will lose.
  • Repayment term — The repayment term is the amount of time you have to pay off your loan. With personal loans, this often ranges from two to seven years, although some lenders may allow longer or shorter terms. Repayment terms will impact your payment and total interest. Longer terms, for example, usually have lower monthly payments but a larger amount of interest paid overall. 
  • Total principal — This is the amount you want to borrow, not including interest. If you have good or excellent credit, you can usually qualify to borrow higher total principal amounts. 
  • Total interest — This is the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the term of the loan. The longer the loan term, the more total interest a borrower will pay.

Checking personal loan interest rates on Credible won’t affect your credit.

Alternatives to a personal loan

While personal loans are a convenient, flexible way to borrow money, they’re not your only option for taking out a $100,000 loan. Here are two alternatives.  

  • Home equity loan — If you own a home and have considerable equity in it, you can borrow against its value. Depending on your credit, home equity loans or home equity lines of credit may offer lower interest rates because they’re secured by your home. But you’ll need to use your home as collateral. If you’re unable to repay the loan, the lender could foreclose on and repossess your house. 
  • Credit cards — Some credit cards offer low introductory rates for people with excellent credit. But interest tends to be higher than personal loans for people with fair credit, and you may not have a high enough credit limit to get as much as you need. 

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