Personal Loans in Chicago

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OneMain Financial Avant Illinois Lending
APR 18.00% to 35.99% 9.95% to 35.99% 99.00%
Borrowing limits $1,500 –  $20,000 $2,000 to $35,000 Up to $4,000
Terms 24 to 60 months 24 to 60 months 9 months (approximate)
Origination fee Either a flat rate of $25 to $300, or 1.00% - 10.00% of your loan amount Up to 4.75% No origination fee
Minimum credit requirement Not specified 600 No credit check required

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial is a national loan company with several branches in Chicago. OneMain Financial has a much lower APR than Illinois Lending, though you may be able to borrow smaller amounts and with a shorter repayment term with Illinois Lending.

That said, OneMain Financial’s minimum APR is still high, and the product may be a bad choice for borrowers with strong credit. Avant has a starting APR of 9.95%, and you can find online lenders with even lower starting APRs and fewer fees, such as LightStream or SoFi.

If your credit is only OK, however, you may find OneMain Financial is a solid option with its low minimum borrowing amount and flexible repayment terms. The lender even offers a secured personal loan for borrowers who fear they won’t qualify for a large loan amount or an APR that’s on the lower end. These require collateral (your car, in this case) to reduce the lender’s risk.

One notable feature with OneMain Financial is its lenient cancellation policy. If you have buyers’ remorse with your personal loan, you can cancel it within seven days by signing a cancellation agreement and returning the proceeds.

How to qualify

To see if you’re likely to qualify for OneMain Financial’s personal loans in Chicago, you can apply with a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score. Doing so allows you to see the type of loan terms you may be eligible for, depending on your financial health.

If you choose to move forward with OneMain Financial, you’ll need to visit a local branch to complete your application. (The other lenders in this roundup don’t require this.) You’ll need to verify the following:

  • Your identity
  • Income and expenses
  • Employment
  • Collateral (if you are applying for a secured loan)

Once you are approved and the documents are signed, your funds can be available as soon as one business day later.


Headquartered in Chicago, Avant provides personal loans in Chicago from $2,000 to $35,000. Compared with OneMain Financial and Illinois Lending, Avant has the lowest APR. But the lowest offered APR, no matter the lender, is reserved for borrowers with top-notch credit and finances.

Avant’s repayment terms are comparable to OneMain Financial’s, but it has a higher maximum on the amount you can borrow. You may also be able to avoid Avant’s origination fee. That would help you reduce your overall cost of borrowing.

Notably, Avant allows you to refinance your loan once, in case you need additional funds or want to potentially land a lower APR.

How to qualify

Avant customers have an average credit score of 600 to 700, so you should have decent to good credit before applying. You must also undergo identity verification via questions that only you can answer.

As is standard, you should be prepared to supply income and banking information before your loan application can be approved. Avant releases loan funds as soon as the next day after you’re approved.

Illinois Lending

Illinois Lending has six brick-and-mortar locations in Chicago. But they aren’t your traditional personal loan lender. Their APR is extremely high at 99.00% and you only have around 9 months to repay what you borrow. With many lenders, it’s commonplace to be required to borrow $1,000 or more, but Illinois Lending discloses that you can borrow up to $4,000. So you may qualify for a small loan.

As a general rule, you should avoid lenders that charge APRs near to or in the triple-digits. But Illinois Lending may be worth considering if you’ve exhausted funding options, have bad credit and don’t want to pick up a payday loan. Illinois Lending does not require a credit check.

How to qualify

You have a choice of applying online or stopping in one of Illinois Lending’s locations. You must meet the following requirements:

  • Proof of residence
  • Minimum of $300 per week take home pay (and pay stubs to prove it)

If approved, you can have your money via direct deposit within 24 hours. After 75 days, you can also apply for more money if you need it.

Explore lenders with LendingTree

Using LendingTree, you may be able to see personalized offers from among our partner lenders. Qualification is not guaranteed and depends on your credit health.

How to find bad credit personal loans in Chicago

Getting approved for a personal loan can be difficult if your credit is 600 or lower. Because personal loans are usually unsecured, meaning you don’t need collateral to qualify, lenders rely heavily on your credit information to determine your loan eligibility. And a lower score signals that you may be at higher risk of becoming delinquent on your loan.

However, there are some bad credit loans in Chicago. Opploans, for example, offers personal loans of $500 to $4,000 for those who have bad credit and are looking to rebuild it. Keep in mind that these loans come at a high cost — your APR may be as high as 199.00% and repayment terms are only up to 36 months.

A good option to consider is a payday alternative loan, or PAL. Offered by federal credit unions, these short-term loans have a low cap on application fees and may be an affordable borrowing option for loan amounts.

Personal loans in Chicago: FAQ

Where can I find payday loans in Chicago?
Payday loans help to cover your financial needs until your next paycheck comes in. They are typically required to be repaid by your next pay cycle and the interest rates are insanely high.

Although payday loans are illegal in some states, they are legal in Illinois with some limitations — generally $1,000 or 25% of the gross monthly income, whichever is less. Loans can be taken from 13 days up to 120 days.

How can I find a list of banks in Chicago?

Start your search for the right personal loan by compiling a list of banks and other lenders in Chicago. Google Maps can provide you with a list of Chicago-area banks and credit unions or you can use the FDIC’s BankFind feature. For online-only lenders, you’ll have to take your search on the web. That’s where LendingTree can help.

How can I find a list of credit unions in Chicago?

Start your search for your personal loan by compiling a list of the best credit unions in Chicago. Google Maps can provide you with a list of credit unions in Chicago or you can use NCUA’s Credit Union Locator.


To select personal loan lenders for this roundup, we used Google Maps to search for “personal loan lenders” with local branches in Chicago. We then researched the first 20 unique lenders that appeared in our results, and selected three lenders to feature based on 1) lowest minimum APR, 2) lowest maximum APR, 3) lowest origination fee, 4) widest range of borrowing limits and 5) widest range of term length. Lenders that did not offer information on at least three of the five factors listed above were not considered.