Unexpected expenses, like a costly medical procedure, can quickly change your financial fortune. Often, credit card debt gets racked up in an effort to survive the hardship.

For many, this can be crippling. There must be a better way.

There is—and that’s where personal loans come in. When you need cash, these products can offer a superior option compared to costly credit card debt.

Still, they’re not all created equal. For optimal results, you need to select the right lender.

Over the next few minutes, you'll learn about the best personal loans in Massachusetts. While each provider offers an excellent product, depending on your circumstances and preferences, one may be more suitable than the others.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Once you secure a loan, you need to manage it effectively. Ensure you read to the end to learn the top five tips for managing personal loans responsibly.

Best personal loans in Massachusetts: Methodology

To determine the best personal loans in Massachusetts, lenders were assessed based on their reputation, interest rates, available options, and unique features.

LightStream: Best overall lender

LightStream was selected as the best overall lender based on its combination of competitive interest rates, a wide range of terms and loan amounts, and its lack of fees.

  • APR range: 7.99%-25.49%
  • Term range: 2-7 years
  • Loan range: $4,000-$40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Customer ratings: WalletHub: 2.9/5, BBB: 1.3/5
  • Unique features: Discounts are offered for autopay, no fees

LendingClub: Best for borrowers with poor credit

LendingClub permits borrowers to apply for a joint loan option. This feature can be critical for individuals with poor credit looking to secure financing.

Without a joint signatory, financing would be inaccessible to many people. If you struggle with bad credit, LendingClub might be your best choice.

  • APR range: 9.57%-35.99%
  • Term range: 2-5 years
  • Loan range: $1,000-$40,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Customer ratings: WalletHub: 3.5/5, BBB: 4.54/5
  • Unique features: Loans as low as $1,000 are available, ability to apply with a co-borrower, which can help people with poor credit secure funding

Upgrade: Best for debt consolidation

Neobank Upgrade is an excellent choice if you’re considering debt consolidation in Massachusetts. This entails combining your existing debts into a single, larger debt, usually with a lower interest rate.

Upgrade often takes on borrowers with a low minimum credit score that other lenders would refuse. And unlike many lenders, Upgrade has no minimum gross income requirements.

  • APR range: 8.49%-35.99%
  • Term range: 3-5 years
  • Loan range: $1,000-$50,000
  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Customer ratings: WalletHub: 3.3/5, BBB: none available
  • Unique features: There are no gross income requirements, loans as low as $1,000 are available

Wells Fargo: Best for borrowers who need cash quickly

Wells Fargo can fund your account in as little as one business day. This makes this established lender an excellent choice for people who need funds right away.

The best part? Clients with an existing relationship are eligible for a 0.25% discount on their annual APR.

  • APR range: 8.49%-24.49%
  • Term range: 1-7 years
  • Loan range: $3,000-$100,000
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Customer ratings: WalletHub: 3.7/5, BBB: 1.06/5
  • Unique features: Discounts of 0.25% are offered for those with an existing relationship with Wells Fargo, short-term loan options are available (12 months), credit decisions are made on the same day for most customers

Upstart: Best for borrowers who want competitive rates

For competitive interest rates , consider Upstart. Not only can you potentially secure a favorable rate, but Upstart also accepts borrowers with limited credit history. This makes it a suitable choice for new or young borrowers.

  • APR range: 5.2%-35.99%
  • Term range: 3-5 years
  • Loan range: $1,000-$50,000
  • Minimum credit score: no minimum (Upstart will consider all applicants for potential eligibility)
  • Customer ratings: WalletHub: 3.7/5, BBB: 1.24/5
  • Unique features: Ability to pre-qualify with a soft credit check (i.e., a credit check that won’t harm your score), flexible eligibility requirements

How to apply for a personal loan in Massachusetts

  • Gather and organize required personal documentation: Collect proof of your income (i.e., pay stubs), identification, and credit reports.
  • Select a reputable lender: Choose one that meets your requirements in terms of cost, repayment period, and options. Ensure the lender is reputable, like those listed in the article.
  • Complete the application: Most applications are now completed online through a lender’s website. In rare instances, you may need to visit a bank or a credit union to complete the process in person.
  • Await approval: Once your application is submitted, the lender will review your documents and credit health to assess eligibility.
  • Accept loan terms: Assuming the lender approves your loan, carefully review the terms before accepting and signing the offer.

Top five tips for managing personal loans responsibly

  • Prepare and plan: Create a realistic budget that accurately captures your financial situation. Ensure you can comfortably cover the monthly obligation should you accept the loan.
  • Automate payments: Setting up automatic transfers from your bank account is a good idea to avoid late payments.
  • Understand the terms and conditions: Carefully read through the terms, interest rates, and other fees associated with your loan.
  • Shop around: While the lenders on the above list are excellent choices to consider, don’t hesitate to perform additional research if necessary.
  • Extra payments: Consider making additional payments toward the loan balance when possible. This will help you save interest over time and repay the loan faster.