This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the personal loans market including personal loans market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the personal loans market in the US.

Current market landscape

In an environment of rising debt levels, the affordability of financial commitments and manageability of budgets are paramount. Rationally, consumers respond to this mandate for responsible debt management by ranking interest rates as far and away the most important factor to be considered when evaluating personal loans. However, despite this acknowledgment of the superior significance of interest rates, only one in three personal loan customers compared rates from multiple lenders before selecting their personal loan. This gap between awareness of the impact of high interest rates and the willingness to scour the marketplace may shrink as rising rates intensify the penalty for missed payments.

Market share and key industry trends

Future market trends in personal loans

The greatest driver of change in the personal loans market will doubtlessly be consumer reaction to the current inflationary climate. The Federal Reserve has continually increased the federal funds rate throughout 2022 in an effort to fight persistent inflation, causing consumers to feel the impact of rising interest rates on their variable-rate loans, including credit card APRs. In addition to the challenge that inflation poses to the affordability of daily purchases, this has worsened the penalty for missing payments on existing debt.

This presents the personal loan market with a sizeable opportunity, as more consumers are turning to personal loans both to meet short-term payment needs and to refinance their existing debt. However, reluctance to assume further debt may cause consumers to be hesitant to pursue large projects like home renovations or vacation planning due to the disadvantageous current rate environment.

Read on to discover more about the personal loans consumer market, read our US Credit Card Benefits Market Report 2022, or take a look at our other Financial Services research reports.

Quickly understand the personal loan industry

  • Usage and consideration levels of personal loans and adjacent products.
  • Motivations behind opening personal loans.
  • Future plans to open personal loans.
  • Most important factors when evaluating personal loans.
  • Behaviors of current personal loan owners.
  • Attitudes toward personal loans and debt.

Covered in this personal loan market report

Brands include: SoFi, NetCredit, Upstart, American Express, Citibank, Chase.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Patrick Rahlfs, a leading analyst in the Finance sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The personal loan market is on the precipice of burgeoning consumer consideration with rising inflation and interest rates driving debt levels higher and necessitating solutions to managing regular expenses and existing debt.
Patrick Rahlfs, Senior Research Analyst
Patrick Rahlfs
Senior Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Consumers are increasingly lender-agnostic
                  • Figure 1: Personal loan ownership, 2022
                • Millennials are already sure of impending loan needs
                  • Figure 2: Plans to apply for personal loan, by generation, 2022
                • Women are more likely to seek loans for everyday expenses
                  • Figure 3: Personal loan motivations, by gender, 2022
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 4: Category outlook, 2022-27
                • Opportunities and challenges
                  • Refer-a-friend offers can sway young consumers
                    • Figure 5: SoFi Personal Loan Refer-a-Friend email, 2022
                  • Credit card debt creates new market but corresponding challenges
                    • Key consumer insights
                      • Millennials are most open to non-traditional lenders
                        • Figure 6: Personal loan attitudes, by generation, 2022
                      • Just 33% of consumers compared rates from multiple lenders
                        • Figure 7: Personal loan behaviors, 2022
                    • Market Size

                      • US loan debt is accelerating in growth
                        • Figure 8: US debt composition, 2003-22
                      • Credit card originations rebounded in 2021
                        • Figure 9: Year-over-year change in number of accounts, by loan type, 2004-22
                      • Credit cards are the loan type most frequently in serious delinquency
                        • Figure 10: Percent of balance 90+ days delinquent on loans, by loan type, 2003-22
                    • Market Factors

                      • Disposable personal income remains suppressed
                        • Figure 11: Year-over-year change in disposable personal income, 2012-22
                      • TV spend on personal loan products has risen in mid-2022
                        • Figure 12: Personal loan cross-category spend, 2019-2022
                    • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                      • NetCredit ramps up TV spend for its “more personal loan”
                        • Figure 13: NetCredit Personal Loan television ad, 2022
                      • Upstart provides the statistics to support its personal loan
                        • Figure 14: Upstart Personal Loan direct mail piece, 2021-22
                      • American Express illustrated its loan’s advantage against credit card debt
                        • Figure 15: American Express Personal Loan direct mail piece, 2022
                      • Citibank targets existing customers with personal loan marketing
                        • Figure 16: Citibank Personal Loan direct mail piece, 2022
                    • The Personal Loans Consumer – Fast Facts

                      • Personal Loan Usage and Interest

                        • Two thirds of US consumers are in debt
                          • Figure 17: Types of debt, 2022
                        • Personal loan providers split market share fairly evenly
                          • Figure 18: Personal loan ownership, 2022
                        • Personal loans from traditional banks are losing popularity
                          • Figure 19: Personal loan ownership, 2022
                        • BNPL has matched bank-issued personal loans in usage
                          • Figure 20: Personal loan usage and interest, 2022
                      • Personal Loan Motivations

                        • Reasons for personal loans are disparate
                          • Figure 21: Personal loan motivations, 2022
                        • Women are more likely to seek personal loans for everyday expenses
                          • Figure 22: Personal loan motivations, by gender, 2022
                      • Personal Loan Plans

                        • Nearly 40% of Millennials plan on applying for a loan in the next year
                          • Figure 23: Plans to apply for personal loan, by generation, 2022
                        • Higher-income consumers plan for loans with more certainty
                          • Figure 24: Plans to apply for personal loan, by age and income, 2022
                      • Factors in Choosing Personal Loans

                        • Interest rates are of top concern among product details
                          • Figure 25: Most important factors in personal loans, 2022
                        • Millennials crave ease of application and speed of funds
                          • Figure 26: Factors in choosing personal loan, by generation, 2022
                        • Recommendations can sway young consumers
                          • Figure 27: Personal loan referrals, by generation, 2022
                        • Lower-income consumers seek pre-qualification offers
                          • Figure 28: Factors in choosing personal loan, by income, 2022
                      • Personal Loan Behaviors

                        • Only one in three consumers compared rates before applying
                          • Figure 29: Personal loan behaviors, 2022
                        • 35-44 year olds are facing growing balances, prompting lender comparisons
                          • Figure 30: Personal loan behaviors, by age, 2022
                        • Parents are having trouble with loan payments
                          • Figure 31: Personal loan behaviors, by parental status, 2022
                      • Personal Loan Attitudes

                        • 60% of consumers would refinance if offered a sufficiently low rate
                          • Figure 32: Lending and debt attitudes, 2022
                        • Millennials consider the widest variety of lenders
                          • Figure 33: Personal loan attitudes, by generation, 2022
                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                        • Data sources
                          • Consumer survey data
                            • Marketing creative
                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                • Abbreviations

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