Grace Enfield, Content Writer
To get a personal loan for the first time, you should start by checking your credit score and comparing relevant lenders based on factors like APRs, fees and loan amounts. Next, you need to choose the loan that works best for you, apply for it and wait for a decision and funding.
It usually takes up to 7 business days to get a personal loan. For the best results, check to see if you’re pre-qualified by your chosen lender before submitting your application. You can check whether you’re pre-qualified with multiple lenders at once using WalletHub’s free prequalification tool. You can also see the full step-by-step process of getting a personal loan for the first time below.
How to Get a Personal Loan for the First Time in 5 Steps
Check your credit score.
Checking your credit score helps you figure out which loans you can qualify for. Most major lenders have minimum credit score requirements in the 580 - 680 range. Some other lenders don’t have a minimum credit score because they don’t check your credit when you apply.
Pre-qualify, if possible.
Some lenders let you pre-qualify before you officially apply. Checking to see if you pre-qualify will give you a sense of your approval odds as well as the rates you may receive.
You’ll need to compare lenders based on factors such as APRs, loan amounts, repayment periods and fees. To see the top ranked offers, check out WalletHub’s picks for the best personal loans.
Apply for the loan.
You can apply for a loan online, over the phone or in person at a branch. During the application process, you’ll need to give the lender some personal and financial information, like your name, address, income and employment status.
Wait for a decision and funding.
You may get a decision the same day you apply or a few business days after. Once you’re approved, you should get your funds within a few business days.
You should also consider some alternatives to personal loans. Using a credit card or getting a loan from a friend or family member may be better options for you. You could also consider getting a credit-builder loan, but a credit-builder loan works differently than a personal loan.
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