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The personal loan industry has changed drastically in the past few years. Now, you can apply for a personal loan from the comfort of your home and get approved in minutes. Even better, your loan can be disbursed to you in just a few days.
How to get a personal loan in four simple steps:
- Review your credit report
- Meet the minimum requirements to qualify
- Compare multiple personal loan lenders
- Choose your loan
1. Review your credit report
Personal loans and debt consolidation loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have to put up any property as collateral. Because no collateral is needed, lenders will look at your credit score and income to decide whether or not to offer you a loan. This will also help them decide which interest rate you qualify for.
It’s a good idea to review your credit report ahead of time and look for any errors or inaccuracies on it that may be damaging your credit. You can view your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.
2. Meet minimum requirements to qualify
Next, review common requirements from personal loan lenders to ensure you meet their minimum qualifications. In general, you’ll need to have a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a loan. However, the lowest interest rates on an unsecured loan are reserved for borrowers with good credit or excellent credit.
Lenders will also look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to see if you can comfortably afford your payments. Although each lender has their own eligibility criteria they take into consideration when deciding whether to approve your loan application, in general, they look for borrowers to have a DTI ratio under 40%.
3. Compare multiple personal loan lenders
If you intend to take out a personal loan, it’s a good idea to compare offers from multiple personal loan lenders.
When comparing lenders, consider the following:
- Pay attention to loan amounts: Some lenders offer loans as low as $1,000 and as large as $100,000, while others are more limited.
- Keep an eye on fees: Some common fees to keep in mind are origination fees, application fees, late payment fees, and prepayment penalties. Not all lenders charge these fees, so read the fine print and look for a no-fee or low-fee lender to save money.
- Know which terms you need: Some personal loan lenders offer loan terms as long as seven years, giving you a more affordable monthly payment. You’ll pay more in interest with a longer repayment term, but that drawback may be worth it to get a lower payment.
- Compare interest rates: Interest rates vary from lender to lender, and you may be able to qualify for a much lower rate by choosing one lender over another. Get quotes from multiple lenders to ensure you get the lowest rate, and see if they offer autopay discounts to get an even lower interest rate.
- Consider a cosigner: If you have bad credit or don’t have an established credit history, adding a cosigner to your application can help you qualify for a loan. However, not all lenders allow you to do so, so check with each lender.
- Decide how soon you need your money: Some lenders can take days to process your application and disburse your loans, while others will issue you the money the next business day after you apply.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 up to $35,000**||Get Rates|
*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.
|5.99% - 29.99% APR||$2,000 up to $35,000||Get Rates|
|6.99% - 29.99% APR||$10,000 up to $35,000||Get Rates|
|6.95% - 35.89% APR||$1,000 up to $40,000||Get Rates|
†Based on a majority of borrowers from LendingClub's marketing partners who were issued loans between 1/1/19-12/13/19. The time it takes for your loan to be funded may vary.
|15.49% - 34.99% APR||$2,000 up to $25,000||Get Rates|
|4.99% - 16.79% APR||$5,000 up to $100,000||Get Rates|
|6.99% - 28.99% APR1 (For NY residents: 6.99% - 24.99% APR)||$3,500 to $40,0002||Get Rates|
1Rate reduction available for AutoPay.
2You may be required to have some of your funds sent directly to pay off outstanding unsecured debt.
3After making 12 or more consecutive monthly payments, you can defer one payment as long as you have made all your prior payments in full and on time. Marcus will waive any interest incurred during the deferral and extend your loan by one month (you will pay interest during this extra month). Your payments resume as usual after your deferral. Advance notice is required. See loan agreement for details.
|5.99% - 24.99% APR||$5,000 up to $35,000||Get Rates|
|6.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 up to $40,000||Get Rates|
|5.99% - 21.11% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||Get Rates|
|7.99% - 35.97% APR||$1,000 up to $50,000||Get Rates|
|6.14% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005||Get Rates|
4The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 20% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
5Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa.The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in OH is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
6If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.
4. Choose your loan
Once you’ve found a lender that works for you, you can move forward with the loan application process. In most cases, you can apply for online personal loans in just a few minutes.
Generally, you’ll have to provide the following information:
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Social Security number
- Employer name
- Monthly rent or mortgage payment
Some lenders will ask you for documentation of your income, such as a W-2 or recent paystub. And, you will usually have to submit a copy of your driver’s license (or passport) and enter your account number and routing number for your bank account, as well.
Most online lenders will give you a decision right away. If approved, you can have the funds deposited into your account within a few business days.
Applying for a personal loan
If you need to take out an unsecured personal loan for consolidating credit card debt or to finance a major purchase, the application process is typically quick and easy. If you need help finding a lender, Credible allows you to compare offers from multiple lenders at once, so you can find the best personal loans with interest rates and repayment terms that work for you.