When it comes to banking, Bank of America is one of the most well-known companies. In fact, according to the most recent J.D. Power survey on national banking, Bank of America was No. 6 in terms of customer satisfaction.
If you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you’ve already built a level of trust with the company. So when it comes to your other banking needs, you likely think of going to it first, especially when it comes to taking out a personal loan.
But although Bank of America offers several financial products — including home loans, credit cards, and auto loans — it doesn’t offer personal loans.
5 Bank of America personal loan alternatives
If you’re a devoted Bank of America customer, finding out that you can’t take out a personal loan through the company can be disheartening. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take out a loan.
Here are five alternatives available to you when Bank of America personal loans aren’t an option.
1. Online personal loan lenders
If you need your money quickly, an online personal loan lender may be your best bet. Online lenders typically review and approve your application within minutes; you could get your money in just a few days.
Keep in mind that loan rates vary depending on your credit. If you’re not sure where to start to find a reputable lender, check out our list of the best personal loan lenders.
2. Traditional banks
While Bank of America doesn’t offer personal loans, some other banks do. For example, Lightstream, a division of SunTrust Bank, and Wells Fargo offer unsecured personal loans. With an unsecured personal loan, you don’t have to put up any form of collateral, such as your home or your car, to guarantee the loan. That means there’s less risk to you.
For unsecured personal loans from traditional banks, you can typically borrow up to $100,000 and have up to 10 years to pay it off. Loans with shorter terms tend to have a lower rate.
3. Credit unions
Another option to consider is applying for a personal loan from a credit union. Unlike most banks, which are for-profit institutions, credit unions are nonprofit organizations. Their goal is to help customers like you. A credit union can often offer lower interest rates and a better loan term on personal loans than other financial groups.
If you aren’t a member of a credit union already, you can find one near you by using the Credit Union Locator tool.
4. Peer-to-peer lending
If you have trouble getting a personal loan from other lenders — for example, if your credit score is too low for traditional banks or lenders — peer-to-peer lending services like LendingClub or Prosper may be able to help.
With this approach, individual investors pool their resources to issue you a loan. They’re often willing to take greater risks, so you’re more likely to get approved for a loan than with other alternatives. As a tradeoff, you’ll likely pay higher interest rates, but it can be a way to get the money you need when you’ve exhausted your other options.
5. Secured loan lenders
Most personal loans are unsecured loans. But if your credit is less-than-stellar (or if you have bad credit), you may need to put down a form of collateral to qualify for a personal loan that’s secured. When you have to put down a valuable to guarantee the debt, the loan is known as a secured personal loan.
Different banks, such as TD Bank and BB&T, will accept different forms of collateral, such as real estate, savings accounts, cars, or even your home. Keep in mind that if you fall behind on your monthly payments, the bank can seize your collateral to pay for the debt, so there’s more risk to you with this approach.
Applying for a personal loan
Although Bank of America personal loans might have been your first choice, it’s important to know that there are several alternatives available to help you reach your financial goals.
If you’re ready to apply for a loan, it’s a good idea to compare both variable and fixed rates from several different lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Credible allows you to compare rates from multiple lenders in just 2 minutes.