Best Personal Loans for Retirees

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 26, 2022

Quick Look: The Best Personal Loans for Retirees

  • Best for No Origination Fees: SoFi
  • Best for Excellent Credit Score: Marcus
  • Best for Customized Robo Investing: M1 Finance
  • Best for $0 Origination Fee: LightStream
  • Best for No Collateral: Axos

Even if you retire comfortably, living on a fixed income may not always leave room for emergency car repairs or that bucket list vacation. 

If you’re in need of more cash than you can spare to cover a large expense, but don’t want to get bogged down with large credit card balances and high interest rates, a personal loan may be your solution.

Use Benzinga’s list of the best personal loans for retirees to connect with lenders and loan comparison services that meet your unique needs.

Best Personal Loans for Retirees

With so many lenders old and new offering personal loans, you’re nearly guaranteed to find 1 that works for you. Most personal loans are general use, so they can cover an endless variety of financial needs from emergency expenses, debt consolidation or even something more fun, like that expensive new photography hobby you finally have time for. A personal loan can even be used to generate more income in your retirement. Investments both before and during retirement make up a solid portion of retirement funding. 

Maybe you're eyeing a rental house as a solid stream passive income, but you’ll need some cash for repairs. A personal loan is a good choice to cover an expense like this if the expected return will outweigh the cost of the loan. You can find more resources for planning and saving for retirement here


Sofi has long prided itself on helping consumers refinance debt, get out of debt and manage their finances in an all-in-one setup. When you look for personal loans through SoFi, you can choose terms from 2 to 7 years, pay no late fees, origination fees, etc.

SoFi also makes personal loans easy with:

  • A powerful mobile app
  • Unemployment protection
  • No collateral required
  • U.S.-based customer service associates

You don’t need to become a member to relish in some of the benefits that target borrowers, and you can open other accounts with SoFi at any time. This might be a good way to centralize your finances, improve on your retirement accounts or simply diversify.

Because you’re not paying fees, you have more money to pursue other financial goals in your golden years.

  • securely through SoFi Personal Loans's website
    securely through SoFi Personal Loans's website
    Best For:
    No origination fees
    Read Review

    The following payment example depicts the APR, monthly payment and total payments made during the life of a personal loan with a single disbursement. All loan rates below are shown with the autopay discount (0.25%) and direct deposit discount (0.25%). The monthly payment for a $30,000 loan with a 60-month term and a fixed annual percentage rate (APR) between 12.95% – 25.03% would be $681.82 – $881.07 in monthly payments, with total payments between $40,909.47  – $52,864.05. Your actual interest rate may be different than the loan interest rates in these examples and will be based on term of loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. See for details.

    Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 25.81% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 05/19/23 and are subject to change without notice. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.

    Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-6%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.

    Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

    Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.


Marcus is the personal banking arm of Goldman Sachs, and it offers you the opportunity to obtain a personal loan for everyone, with terms and values that suit most situations. You can even get an APR discount just for setting up autopay. Plus, this might be a place where you have already invested, meaning you will be comfortable borrowing from your current broker.

Marcus also offers:

  • No fee, unsecured loans
  • A soft credit check to pre-qualify
  • Customer support availability every day of the week

Origination fees are competitive, which helps because you’re on a fixed income, but it can take a little time to get your loan funded. There are several repayment plans to choose from, no collateral is needed and you can even defer a payment after making your first year’s worth of payments on-time.

M1 Finance

M1 Finance is an investment platform that allows you to borrow against the balance in your account. You’ve been saving for the future, guiding your investments and trying to use the markets to your advantage. This might be the perfect time to dip into those funds so that you can take your next journey as a retiree.

M1 Finance offers:

  • Competitive rates
  • A massive range of loan values and terms
  • An online loan calculator that helps you understand how the loans work
  • Liquidity that doesn’t require you to sell your assets

Don’t cash out your portfolio when you can borrow against your M1 Finance account to get into the next phase of your life, help out the family and much more.

  • securely through M1 Finance's website
    securely through M1 Finance's website
    Best For:
    Customizable Auto Investing
    Read Review

    Brokerage products and services are offered by M1 Finance, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of M1 Holdings, Inc. ✝Your free trial (a $30 value) begins the date you enroll in the M1 Plus subscription, and ends 3 months after (“Free Trial”). Upon the expiry of the Free Trial, your account is automatically billed a monthly subscription fee of $10 unless you elect annual billing of $95 or cancel your subscription under your Membership details in the M1 Platform


LightStream, like many of its competitors, offers retirees:

  • No collateral loans
  • No late fees
  • The possibility of same-day funding
  • An online application 
  • A quality mobile app

This layout makes it easier for you to access the cash you need so that you’re not worried about extra expenses, especially because you’re retired and are likely living on a fixed income.

There are no monthly service fees and no origination fees when you borrow with LightStream. Plus, the company is highly rated by both Benzinga and the BBB—meaning retirees can rest easy knowing this platform is legitimate and performs well. As the best of the $0 origination fee loan programs, you can choose from a vast range of terms and loan values. Also, it’s easy to reach out to the customer service team for more information on your application, loan balance or repayment.

  • Best For:
    $0 Origination Fee
    Read Review

    *AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Excellent credit required for lowest rate. Rates vary by loan purpose.


When you want to borrow money as a retiree, you can turn to a range of financial platforms or banks. Axos Bank is known for offering consumers a wide range of products from checking accounts to investing accounts and more. With an all-online application, you can choose from a wide range of loan amounts, flexible terms and get your money direct deposited into your account.

Plus, Axos offers:

  • Flexible criteria
  • Loans to cover any of life’s challenges
  • Information that helps you determine if a personal loan is right for you

You can use these loans to fund vacations, college tuition, emergencies and much more. Considering applying even though you’re retired because there are options available at Axos.

Types of Personal Loans for Retirees

Most personal loans fit a fairly common mold. You can expect 1 lump sum payment. You’ll repay the loan in fixed monthly installments over a fixed period of time. Although you may be able to repay some loans early depending on its specific terms. Rates and terms vary with your needs and financial situation. 

But there are ways that personal loans may differ. Your financial situation, credit history and type and amount of loan will determine what loan offers you receive. 

Secured Loans

A secured loan is backed by collateral. This could be in the form of an asset like your house or even your savings account balance. 

Secured loans are often offered if you’re requesting a large loan or have something on your credit report that gives a lender pause. Only accept a secured loan if you are sure that you can repay the loan while meeting all the set terms. Defaulting could mean losing whatever collateral is backing the loan. 

Unsecured Loans

Unlike a secured loan, unsecured loans are only backed by your creditworthiness. While this means you aren’t at risk for losing important collateral like your house, your integrity as a trustworthy credit user is at stake. These types of loans are typically preferred to secured loans, especially if the amount you need to borrow is relatively low. 

If you treat these loans as seriously as you would a secured loan, you’ll be in good shape.

Fixed-Rate vs Variable-Rate Loans

Fixed and variable refer to the interest rate applied to a personal loan. Fixed rate loans are especially beneficial to those living on a fixed income as you can budget to the penny how much a loan will cost you to borrow. 

Because a loan must be profitable for a lender, a fixed rate may be higher or mean higher monthly payments. These slight downsides are usually outweighed by saving money in the long run.

There may be some instances in which a variable rate personal loan is preferred. If you’d rather pay lower monthly payments now so you can conserve cash even if it means paying more overall, this is a solid option. Maybe you need to lend your adult child some money and know they’ll be able to pay you back. If you rely in part on investments for income, you may get a higher return by investing your regular income than you’re paying in interest on the loan.

Personal Loan Requirements and Criteria

Although you’ll want to firm up on details with your lender, you can generally expect personal loan approval to rely on the following:

  • Your FICO credit score
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Delinquencies or negative remarks on your credit report
  • Credit utilization (your credit balance vs. your credit limit)
  • Open accounts with a positive standing (payments being made on time and the like)

Some lenders may offer special loan considerations for retirees or people over a certain age. And will connect you with lenders willing to work with imperfect credit. You can even use its loans to start rebuilding your credit by taking out small amounts and repaying them within the given terms.

If you think you’re on solid ground credit-wise, utilize a free loan comparison service like Credible to easily compare lenders you qualify with. You can compare rates and terms from multiple lenders without visiting a million different websites.

Personal Loan Considerations

If you’re living on a fixed income or don’t want to dip into your savings for an emergency expense or large purchase, a personal loan is a solid option. Be sure you can meet any and all loan terms before agreeing. If you can’t repay, you could face collateral seizure or see your creditworthiness take a hit. 

Try to look for loans with the best rates and flexible terms. Personal loans with minimal fees and penalties are also ideal. You won’t spend more than you planned on the loan this way.

Be sure to watch out for unethical lenders looking to prey on retirees. Thoroughly research lenders, especially online or payday lenders. 

Or use a loan comparison service like Even. It only works with trustworthy lenders, so you can safely navigate the borrowing process without worrying about being taken advantage of.

Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards

While personal loans and credit cards are similar in function. Both amplify your purchasing power, but each is more useful in different instances.

Large or unexpected expenses may be best covered by personal loans. Personal loans often offer a higher credit limit and lower interest rates than credit cards, making them better for larger purchases. 

Personal loans are also usually more ideal for debt consolidation. The personal loans from Payoff serve this exact purpose. You can roll multiple debtor payments into 1 streamlined payment, preferably under a low, fixed interest rate. 

This personal loan use can also be a great way to polish up your credit report — lowering your credit utilization while raising your overall credit limit can often mean a score increase. And having multiple types of credit on your report looks good to potential lenders.

Personal loans aren’t revolving. Your payments only go towards paying down what you owe. With open credit cards, each payment both lowers your balance and increases your available credit. Because you can reuse the line of credit, a credit card is great for small or recurring purchases that you can budget to repay monthly. 

Credit cards can also help your credit if you keep the balances low and meet the minimum monthly payment. But, they often have higher interest rates, so be careful not to let your balances get too high and pay them down as low as possible every month so using credit doesn’t cost you more than it’s worth.

Increase Your Spending Power Now

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean your money needs to stop working for you. A personal loan can be a great way to supercharge your current spending power while budgeting for it over a longer period of time. 

This is great for debt consolidation or improving your home to increase its sale price before you finally move to that warmer climate you’ve always dreamed about. You didn’t work hard all your life to restrict yourself in retirement.

Get in touch with 1 of the lenders or loan comparison services on Benzinga’s list to get cash in your account ASAP.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are retirees able to get personal loans?


Yes, anyone can use personal loans to manage their finances, and retirees can qualify if they have enough income and a good credit score.


Should retirees use personal loans to manage their finances?


Retirees can use personal loans to manage their finances if they have the income to pay them off.