Where to Apply for a Personal Loan
Personal loans are used for many purposes such as consolidating debt, making home improvements, paying tuition, starting a home business, etc.
Even if you have less than perfect credit you can get a loan but the difference will be in the interest rate you will pay.
So where should you apply for a personal loan?
There is always a traditional lender such as a bank or credit union. However, if you prefer to shop around without leaving the comfort of your own home then an online lender would be best.
An online lender is a remarkable time saver because it allows you to apply online quickly and easily with no hassle or confusing paperwork to fill out. Best of all, before applying you have the freedom to shop around, compare rates, fees, payback periods, and even have lenders compete for your business.
Here’s what you’ll need to apply:
- Personal information
- Employment information
- Social Security number
- Monthly housing costs
- Co-applicant information
Before you apply it is important to calculate the loan amount, APR and number of months it will take to repay the loan you are seeking.
For example, a $10,000 loan with a 7.99 APR and 60 months to repay will have a payment of $202.72. The total amount you will pay including interest will be $12,162.97.
Calculating these figures allows you to answer three important questions:
- Can you afford to make the payments?
- How long will it take to pay off the loan?
- What amount will be paid in interest?
The following lenders provide personal loans online:
- One Main Financial – Offers unsecured and secured personal loans up to $10k with terms ranging from 12-60 months.
- E-Loan – Offers unsecured personal loans up to $30k with terms ranging from 12- 60 months.
- Lending Tree – Lenders compete for your business with up to 5 online offers. Personal loans up to $30k with terms ranging from 12- 60 months.
- Wells Fargo – This lender allows you to apply online for an unsecured personal loan or line of credit but you must have an existing account with them for one year or more.
- Prosper.com – Social lending marketplace offering unsecured personal loans from $2k to $25k with fixed rates starting at 6.59% APR and payment terms ranging from 12 -60 months.
- LendingClub.com – Social lending marketplace offering unsecured personal loans from $1k to $35k with fixed rates starting at 6.78% APR and payment terms ranging from 12 -60 months. *Loans from $1k to $15,975 are only available with a 36-month term.
- America One – Offers unsecured personal loans to $50K with rates starting at 6.78% APR and payment terms ranging from 6-84 months.
Obtaining a personal loan online does not have to be a hit-or-miss approach when you take the time to follow these simple steps.
First, know where your credit stands by going to MyFICO and ordering your credit scores. Secondly, calculate the loan amount, terms, and rates you are willing to accept. Finally, shop around and identify a lender that meets your criteria.
With the right preparation, a personal loan is a great option because it is fast, easy, and readily available.
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About the author
Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for AllBusiness, a subsidiary of Dun and Bradstreet and author of “Eight Steps to Ultimate Business Credit” and “How to Build Business Credit with No Personal Guarantee.” His articles and blogs have also been featured in American Express Small Business, Business Week, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Tribune, Scotsman Guide, Alltop, Entrepreneur Connect, and Active Rain.