Getting a personal loan is a lot easier than many people think. Most people are familiar with the credit card application process, however, and getting a personal loan is very similar. In general, you comparison shop to find an offer that suits your needs in terms of loan amount, length and APR. Then, you check for pre-approval to gauge your odds of success. Once you’re confident you want to apply, you fill out an application with some key personal and financial information, submit it and wait for a decision. Applying for a personal loan can be done in a matter of minutes, and you may find out whether you’re approved within a few days.
How to Get a Personal Loan:
- Compare offers after checking your credit score.
- Check for pre-qualification.
- Fill out an online application.
- Get a decision.
- Receive a bank transfer for the loan amount.
The first step in the personal loan process is always to check your credit score. Personal loan companies, just like credit card issuers, will look at your credit when you apply to see if you qualify. The higher your credit score is, the more loans you’ll qualify for and the better terms you’ll get. You can check your credit score for free with WalletHub. It’s also a good idea to take a look at your credit report and dispute any errors before applying.
Once you know your credit score, you’re ready to compare personal loan offers. Take note of the credit requirements that each available loan has, and narrow them down to ones you can likely qualify for. Then, compare other terms, like interest rates, estimated monthly payments, loan amounts and timeframes. These can vary widely depending on the lender.
After you’ve narrowed down your selections to a few personal loans with the best terms you can find, you’ll want to see whether any of the lenders offer pre-qualification. Pre-qualification is a way to check how likely you are to get approved for a loan without actually applying. You’ll just have to give the lender some basic personal information like your Social Security number. Pre-qualification will not affect your credit. If you are pre-qualified, you won’t necessarily be approved. But your chances are about as high as they can get.
By this point, you should make a decision on which loan to apply for. When you apply, it’s best to do so online. That way, you’ll have the potential for the fastest decision possible. The application will ask for basic personal information like your name and address, plus financial information like your income, employment status and monthly housing payment. Be sure to fill out everything accurately and truthfully.
All that’s left now is to wait for a decision. It could happen instantly or could take a few weeks, based on how well you meet the loan’s credit and income requirements and how quickly the lender can verify your personal information. If you’re approved, the lender will send you a bank transfer for the amount of the loan. Make sure you manage the loan responsibly after that. Pay on time every month, and pay more than the monthly minimum if you’re able to.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.