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This article first appeared on the Credible blog.
If you need a personal loan, you might choose to work with a bank rather than an online lender, credit union, or peer-to-peer lender.
Bank loans can be used to cover major purchases, unexpected emergencies, or other personal expenses. But keep in mind that some major banks don’t offer bank loans.
9 bank loans to consider
Bank loans are a type of personal installment loan with fixed monthly payments and set repayment terms. You can also use a personal loan from a bank for a variety of purposes.
Ready to find your personal loan? Credible makes it easy to find the right loan for you.
Here are nine lenders that offer bank loans. Keep in mind that some of these lenders are Credible partners.
To qualify for a personal loan from American Express, you must be an existing American Express cardmember and receive an offer from the bank to apply. You can apply with no credit score impact.
With Axos Bank, you could get a $10,000 loan up to a $50,000 loan. If you’re approved, your loan could be funded by the next business day.
Axos Bank offers several types of personal loans, including home improvement loans and more.
If you’d like to borrow $30,000 or less, you can apply for a Citibank loan online. You might be able to borrow a larger amount if you apply in-person at a Citibank branch.
Keep in mind that you must have a Citi deposit account open for at least three months before applying.
Discover provides loans ranging from $2,500 to $35,000, with loan terms up to seven years. If you’re approved, your funds could be disbursed as early as the next business day after acceptance.
You can get several types of personal loans through Discover, including debt consolidation loans and more.
With LightStream, you can borrow up to $100,000. LightStream is also one of the limited number of personal loan lenders that allow you to apply with a cosigner.
Having a cosigner could make it easier to qualify for a loan or get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.
If you decide to borrow through PNC Bank, you won’t have to worry about application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties. You could get up to a $20,000 personal loan (or more, depending on your location).
With TD Bank, you could get a $2,000 personal loan up to a $50,000 personal loan. You might also be approved the same day you apply for a loan.
U.S. Bank offers loans up to $25,000 with terms up to five years. To qualify, you must be an existing U.S. Bank customer with good credit and sufficient income.
How to get a bank loan
If you’d like to get a personal loan from a bank, follow these four steps:
- Build your credit. Many bank lenders require applicants to have good to excellent credit. This means your credit score should be 700 or higher.
- Compare bank lenders. Be sure to consider as many bank lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. This should include not only comparing personal loan rates but also loan terms and any fees charged by the bank. Remember that some banks require you to be an existing customer before you can apply for a loan, which could affect what loans you might be eligible for.
- Fill out your application. Once you’ve compared lenders and have chosen the loan you like most, you’ll need to complete a full application and submit any required documentation. Keep in mind that some banks might require you to apply in person at a local branch rather than online.
- Get your funds. If you’re approved, you’ll need to sign for the loan for the bank to send you your money.
If you’re ready to find your personal loan, you can easily compare lenders with Credible — after filling out a single form, you can see your prequalified rates in two minutes.
How to qualify for a bank loan
Bank lenders sometimes have more rigorous personal loan requirements compared to online lenders and credit unions.
Here are a few things you should have:
- Good to excellent credit: While some online lenders offer loans for bad credit, bank lenders typically require applicants to have good credit.
- Income: Most banks have minimum income requirements. If you meet this requirement, the bank can reasonably expect you to be able to repay the loan.
- Existing relationship: Some banks only lend to existing bank customers. If you don’t have a checking or savings account with the bank, you might need to consider other lenders.
Do all banks offer personal loans?
While many banks offer personal loans, some don’t. Here are a few major banks where you won’t be able to get a personal loan:
- Bank of America
- Capital One
If you already have a checking or savings account with one or more of these banks, you’ll need to consider another lender for personal loans.
Bank loans: Pros and cons
Before taking out a bank loan, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons compared to other types of lenders:
- Higher loan amounts available: Other lenders typically have lower caps on how much you can borrow. But with a bank loan, you might be able to borrow more, especially if you have an existing relationship with the bank.
- Competitive interest rates: You’ll generally need good to excellent credit to qualify for a bank loan. Because of this, you might be able to get a lower interest rate with a bank compared to other lenders.
- Interest rate discounts: Some lenders offer rate discounts if you are an existing bank customer or sign up for automatic payments.
- Might have to be an existing bank customer: While some banks will lend to non-customers, not all do. You might have to be an existing customer for several months before you’re eligible for a loan.
- Bank lenders typically require good to excellent credit: If you have fair or poor credit, it could be difficult to find a bank willing to work with you.
- Some banks can take days to disburse your loan: While online lenders usually offer quick loan disbursement, the time to fund for bank loans can be longer. A personal loan from a bank could take up to a week to disburse after approval.
Bank loan alternatives
If you need money to cover personal expenses, you can also apply for a loan with other lenders, such as online lenders or credit unions.
However, you also have other options than a personal loan. Here are a few alternatives to consider:
- Credit cards: With a credit card, you’ll have access to a revolving line of credit that you can tap into whenever you need it. And if you’re able to pay off your balance by the due date, you might also be able to avoid paying any interest. But if you’re unable to repay your balance by this time, you could be faced with hefty interest charges.
- Home equity loans: A home equity loan lets you access the equity in your home to use as collateral. Because of this, you could get a lower interest rate than you would with a personal loan. However, keep in mind that if you’re unable to make your payments, you could lose your home.
- Personal line of credit: Similar to a credit card, a personal line of credit is a revolving type of credit. Because of this, personal lines of credit tend to have higher interest rates than personal loans.
- Payday loans: While payday loans might get you immediate access to cash, they also come with sky-high interest rates and extremely short repayment terms. A payday loan should always be an absolute last resort if you need a quick loan.
If you decide to take out a personal loan, remember to compare as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.
Methodology: Credible evaluated loan and lender data points in 8 categories to identify the “best banks” that offer personal loans to borrowers. We looked at interest rates, repayment terms, repayment options, fees, discounts, and customer service availability offered by 21 lenders. We also considered each company’s max loan amount, how long it takes to receive funds, whether the minimum credit score is available publicly, and whether consumers could request rates with a soft credit check.
Credible receives compensation from its lender partners when a user of the Credible platform closes a loan with the lender.
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 3.49%-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.
About the author: Kat Tretina is a freelance writer who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.