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Personal loan rates fell last week, giving qualified borrowers the opportunity to benefit from a relatively low interest rate and finance a project, purchase, or even unexpected bills.

From November 22 to November 26, the average fixed rate on a three-year personal loan was 11.69% for borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher who prequalified on Credible.com’s personal loan market. . The rate was 11.72% the week before, according to Credible.com. The average rate on a five-year personal loan increased from 1.04% last week to 15.13% from 14.09%.

Keep in mind that the rate you will receive depends on several factors, including your creditworthiness and the loans available from the lender you choose. The most creditworthy borrowers can benefit from rates well below the average.

Related: Best personal loans 2021

Personal loan rate by credit score

The rates below are estimated average interest rates for personal loans based on VantageScore risk levels, according to Experian. While the rates below can serve as a general guideline, note that interest rates are ultimately set and determined by lenders.

Compare personal loan rates

When you start shopping for a loan, look for lenders who offer a prequalification process. Lenders offer a range of rates online, not an exact rate based on your specific qualifications. Prequalification provides a more accurate picture of the rate you will receive. During the prequalification process, lenders perform a gentle credit check, which has no impact on your credit score.

Once you’ve prequalified, the lender can provide you with an overview of your loan options. This snapshot typically includes loan rates, terms, and limits. To find the best loan for your situation, consider prequalifying with multiple lenders and comparing terms.

Approval is not guaranteed if you pre-qualify. Lenders always require that you submit a formal application and additional documents. After submitting your formal application, lenders usually perform a serious credit check, which can lower your credit score by one to five points.

Related: 5 personal loan conditions to know before applying

Get the best rates

Two quick ways to help you qualify for lower rates include paying off existing debt to help lower your DTI and improve your credit score. Personal loan interest rates are based on a number of factors including your overall creditworthiness, credit rating, income, and debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

Although the qualification requirements differ from lender to lender, a minimum credit score of 720 will usually give you the best deal. If your score drops below this marker and you are looking for the lowest possible rate, there are steps you can take to improve your score. Try strategies like lowering your credit usage rate, removing errors from your credit report, and paying your bills early or on time.

Calculate your personal loan payments

You can estimate your monthly payment and how much you will pay in interest once you know the interest rate, duration and amount of your personal loan.

For example, let’s say you get a $ 5,000 personal loan with a five-year term at a fixed interest rate of 15.13%. You would pay about $ 119 per month and about $ 2,157 in interest over the life of the loan, according to the Forbes Advisor personal loan calculator. All in all, you would pay $ 7,157 in total, which includes both principal and interest.