- Debt consolidation loans:Debt consolidation is one of the most common uses for personal loans. By taking out one loan to cover your existing debt, you decrease the number of payments you have to worry about each month and receive one (potentially lower) interest rate.
- Credit card refinancing loans: Some companies, like Payoff , specialize in loans for people looking to pay off credit card debt . Because personal loan rates are often lower than credit card rates, a loan may be a good way to clear your credit card balances and pay them off over a longer period.
- Home improvement loans: A home improvement loan may be a good option if you’re looking to pay for a large renovation up front without taking out a secured home equity loan.
- Medical loans: Because medical expenses are often unpredictable, a personal loan may be a good way to decrease the immediate financial burden and pay debt down over a number of years.
- Emergency loans:Emergency loans are useful for a number of purposes. A car breakdown, a smaller medical expense or a burst pipe may be good reasons to take out this type of loan.
- Wedding loans: Weddings and vacations can be pricey, which is why many people turn to personal loans to pay for them . This spreads payments out over a number of years, so you don’t need to worry about paying for a special occasion all at once.
Next steps: Search the Bankrate personal loan marketplace to find the loan that’s ideal for you and your borrowing needs.
Avoid settling for the first offer you receive; instead, take some time and shop around for the best possible interest rate. Compare several types of lenders and loan types to get an idea of what you qualify for.
You can generally find personal loan offers from banks, credit unions and online lenders. If you’ve been a longtime account holder with your bank or credit union, consider checking there first.
Some online lenders also allow you to get prequalified with a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit score. Check with the lenders you are considering to see if they offer a prequalification process. Utilize this option to get a full understanding of the rates available to you.
Lenders that don’t https://paydayloanstennessee.com/cities/collinsville/ offer a prequalification process will typically run hard credit inquiries as part of the loan application process. To limit the effect of hard inquiries on your credit score, it’s best to do your rate shopping within a 45-day period to count them as a single inquiry for credit-scoring purposes.
Takeaway: Don’t settle for the first offer you receive. Compare several lenders and loan types and check for a prequalification option before applying to avoid an impact on your credit.
Next steps: Shop around and compare offers, rates and fees to find a loan with competitive rates . Get prequalified if this is an option.
6. Pick a lender and apply
After you’ve done your research , pick the lender with the best offer for your needs, then start the application process.
Depending on the type of lender, you may be able to do the entire application process online. Alternatively, some lenders may require you to apply in-person at your local bank or credit union branch.
Often, showing that you’ve made positive financial choices for years means your bank or credit union may be willing to look past recent credit missteps or give you a better rate
Every lender is different regarding what information it’ll need on the application, but you’ll typically need to provide your name, address and contact information, your income and employment information and the reason for the loan.