To get a personal loan from a bank, first check your credit score, then compare available offers to find the best rates, fees and payoff periods. Some major nationwide banks that offer personal loans include American Express, Citibank, Discover, TD Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Local banks might have some good offers, too. After that, check for pre-qualification, submit an application either online or in person and wait for a decision. The steps may not sound all that complex, but preparing to get a loan can be time consuming.
There aren’t too many differences between how to get a personal loan from a bank and how to get one from other types of lenders. But there are a few. First off, you’re more likely to need a credit score of 660 or better to get a loan from a bank, while credit unions and online lenders are more likely to cater to people with subpar credit. In addition, unlike online lenders, banks offer the ability to apply in person. You can have a credit specialist sitting right there with you as you apply.
How to get a personal loan from a bank:
- Check your credit.
- Choose between the available offers.
- Check for pre-qualification.
- Apply online or in person.
- Wait to hear back.
The first step in getting a personal loan from a bank is always to check your credit score and reports because credit history is the biggest deciding factor for approval and most personal loans require a credit score of 660 or higher. There are some major banks that offer secured personal loans for people with bad credit, including Wells Fargo, PNC, Fifth Third Bank and KeyBank. But if your score is on the lower side, you may want to consider credit unions or online lenders instead, as they are more likely to offer personal loans for bad credit.
Next comes the most difficult part of the process, comparison shopping. WalletHub’s tool can help you find available loans from banks that cater to your credit level. From there, you can choose which loans are best for you based on their lengths, required payments, interest rates and more.
Once you’ve decided on a few good options, you will want to check if you are pre-qualified for any of them. The bank may have a tool to do this on their website, or you may be able to check in a branch. If you want to get pre-qualified with multiple lenders at once, you can use WalletHub’s free pre-qualification tool. Getting pre-qualified means you have very high (but not 100%) chances of being approved. Pre-qualification also has no effect on your credit.
Eventually, you’ll settle on one personal loan. At that point, you can apply either online or at a bank branch. Applying online typically gives you the fastest decision, since it’s automated. But applying in-branch may plug you right into an automated system, too. And you’ll have the expertise of a banker with you.
In most cases, it won’t take long to receive a decision. You may get one instantly, and typically won’t have to wait more than a few business days. Occasionally, it could take up to a few weeks. After you’re approved, it will usually take at least one business day for the bank to transfer the funds to you.
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