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Personal loans

Compare unsecured personal loans from across the market

  • Compare deals from leading brands
  • Searching won’t harm your credit score
  • See your chance of approval

We compare offers from a wide range of lenders from across the market

We work with a wide range of providers. Including most of the big brands to help you borrow the money you need

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What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is a way of borrowing money to be paid back over an agreed period with interest. It might be an option if you’re looking to buy a new car or make improvements to your home. Knowing where to get the best deal can be difficult - that’s where we can help. We’ll compare a broad range of personal loans from across the market to find the right fit for you.

How do personal loans work?

Personal loans are usually unsecured, which means you’re not putting your valuable possessions, such as your home or car, up as security or collateral against the debt. But this limits how much you can borrow – it’s typically up to about £25,000.

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Pick and apply for your loan

Decide on how much you want to borrow and over what period. The lender will then run a credit check and decide whether to approve your application. 

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Receive the money

Once approved, the money should hit your account within a few days. You can use it to make that car purchase or pay for home improvements.

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Pay it back over time

You’ll usually repay in monthly instalments across a period of between one and five years. You’ll pay back the amount borrowed plus the agreed interest.

With a pre-approved loan, the deal you see is the deal you get

When you apply for a loan, it’s not always clear what deal you’ll be offered or whether you’ll be accepted. But when you’re pre-approved for a loan, you know the deal you see is the deal you’ll get – you’ll know where you stand, with information that will help you make the right choice.

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Apply with confidence

When you’re pre-approved, the
loan amount, duration and interest
rate are all confirmed

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Tailored to you

When you know what you’ll be able to
borrow and how much it will cost, you
can choose a loan that’s right for you

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You’re in safe hands

This helps protect your credit score as
you’re less likely to be rejected when
you apply

Advantages and disadvantages of unsecured personal loans 

There are a range of pros and cons of unsecured personal loans to consider when you’re thinking about applying for a loan. Here’s a summary:

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    Quick access to money

    You’ll have the money within days of being approved – so you can make your purchase or consolidate your debts quickly

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    Higher interest rates

    Interest rates on your repayments are often higher when a loan is not secured against collateral, making it more expensive overall

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    Flexible repayments

    You can choose how long you need to pay back the debt, with terms that range from a few months to five years or longer

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    Hard to borrow with poor credit

    If your credit score is low, or you’ve defaulted on other debts in the past, you might not be approved for an unsecured loan

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    Rebuild your credit score

    A personal loan can help to build your credit score if you make sure to meet your monthly repayments 

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    Penalties if you default

    There are big implications if you miss repayments or stop them altogether. This can include a negative impact on your credit file and legal action by lenders

Can I get an unsecured loan with bad credit?

It’s possible to get an unsecured personal loan even if you’re struggled with debts in the past and you’ve got a low credit score, but it’s unlikely you’ll be offered the best deal. You may be asked to pay a higher interest rate or you won’t be able to borrow as much as you would like.

Other loans that might be more suitable if you have bad credit include:

  • Secured loans: You’ll have to put down security, such as your home or car, in case you cannot meet repayments
  • Guarantor loansA family member or close friend agrees to act as a guarantor and is liable for the debt if you default on repayments
  • Loans for bad credit: There are specialist lenders who offer loans for those with a less than perfect credit history, but rates can be high

Alternatives to personal loans

If you can't get a personal loan, or you want to try and get a lower interest rate, there are other finance options available.

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Secured loans

If your patchy credit history stops you getting loan offers, you may be able to take out a secured loan. This lets you offer an expensive item like a house or car as security, so the lender knows they can get their money back if you stop making repayments. Of course, if you do stop paying the loan back, you stand to lose your security.

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Overdraft facility

If you only need to borrow a temporary amount and know you can pay it back quickly, arranging an interest-free overdraft on your current account might be the answer. Unless you're a student, most banks won't offer much more than £500, and you'll be expected not to stay in the red for long.

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Credit cards

If you only need to borrow a smaller sum for a shorter term, paying for it on a credit card is an alternative to a personal loan. Many credit cards offer 0% interest on borrowing – in the case of the best deals for more than two years, while others offer 0% balance transfers for a fee, if you need to consolidate your debts.

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For bad credit

Don’t despair if your credit rating isn’t as good as you need it to be to take out an unsecured personal loan: there are options available. You might be able to find a secured loan with a higher rate of APR, or you could try a guarantor loan, where a friend or family member promises to pay your debt if you default.

How to get the best personal loan deals?

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    Shop around

    Comparing deals from a range of lenders means more choice than going direct, helping you find the best deal to suit your needs. We can do the hard work for you by searching across the market and show you your chances of being accepted for each loan.

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    Check your credit score

    Make sure your credit score is as good as it can be by checking it regularly. This can help you  to spot and fix any errors that could mean your application is denied or mean you’d be offered a worse deal. You can also get tips on how to improve your score when you sign up to our free credit monitor service.

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    It can be cheaper to borrow more

    While you shouldn’t borrow what you can’t afford to pay back, you may find yourself paying less for a bigger loan. It’s worth checking to see whether borrowing a little more moves you into a lower APR bracket. 

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    Check the terms

    What if you miss any payments, need a payment holiday or want to pay off the loan early later down the line? Make sure the loan (and APR and fees) you’re offered suits your personal circumstances and any changes that could affect you in the future.

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How to compare personal loans with MoneySuperMarket

Find the right loan for you and see which rates you’ll be guaranteed to get.

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It doesn’t take long

Tell us a little about yourself, your finances and the loan you want

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We’ll browse the market

We’ll search through loans from a wide range of lenders on the market

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Choose your loan

You’ll be able to sort loans by the overall cost and the likelihood you’ll be accepted

You won’t need many details to apply for an unsecured personal loan. You’ll typically be asked for proof of

  • Identification, such as driving licence or passport 

  • Address (for example on a recent utility bill) 

  • Income (on your payslip). 

A lender will then perform background checks on your credit history and let you know if you’re eligible.

While many personal loans are taken out to buy a car, car finance is a broad term used to explain the different ways you can purchase or lease a vehicle. For more information on financing a car, take a look at our guide on how car finance works

You can repay your unsecured personal loan early, but you might incur an early repayment charge.  
 
While you’ll save on interest repayments if you clear the debt, you should factor this against how much you’ll be penalised for paying off the loan ahead of schedule. 
 
Look out for early repayment charges before taking out a loan because your financial circumstances will invariably change over time.

Personal loans are useful if you need cash in the short-term to make a substantial purchase you might otherwise be unable to afford – or you don’t have the time to save up.

You have to be able to prove to the lender that you'll be able to meet your repayment responsibilities. If you're not sure you can make your monthly repayments, a personal loan may not be for you.

An interest-free or low-interest credit card is an alternative to a personal loan, especially if you only want to borrow £1,000 or less.

People with a good credit rating can often find credit cards offering long periods interest-free, so if you always meet your minimum monthly repayments, a credit card will be a cheaper way to borrow money. If you need several thousand pounds, a personal loan may be a better bet – albeit more expensive.

The amount you’ll be eligible to borrow will depend on your personal circumstances and credit history, but it’s usually only up to £25,000.

The length of your loan can vary depending on the type of loan and the provider you choose, but it could be anywhere between one and 10 years. Taking out a loan for a longer period of time may reduce your monthly repayments, but you’ll end up paying more in interest overall.

You’ll need a good credit score to be accepted for the most competitive loans with the lowest interest rate (APR), but some providers offer loans designed for people with poor or no credit. For example, you can get guarantor loans, in which someone else commits to make your repayments if you can’t.

A soft search or soft application is a way of finding out where you stand in terms of getting a loan without leaving a mark on your credit report. It’s a way to find out if you’re eligible for a loan without harming your chances of being accepted.

Missing repayments can mean extra charges and interest from your lender, and it could also bring to an end any low- or zero-interest rate deals you have. You may also see your interest rate increase.

APR, or your Annual Percentage Rate, is the interest rate at which you pay back money you’ve borrowed. It takes into account the actual interest rate you pay, plus any other fees or charges involved in the deal, to give you a more complete picture of what your loan will cost.

When you see a rate advertised as the representative APR, this means the lender is required to offer this rate to at least 51% of applicants – however it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to receive this interest rate yourself.

If you’re struggling with your finances and you think you might not be able to make your repayments, you should call your lender as soon as possible – it may be able to help you work out an alternative repayment plan or a repayment holiday. Not letting your bank know could mean you’ll be penalised for missing any payments.

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