No, if you apply for a personal loan, you do not have to accept it. The lender does not make the loan official or disburse the funds until you sign the loan, either in person or electronically. You are free to decline the lender's offer if you do not like the terms of the loan, or even if you just change your mind.
Although you do not have to accept a personal loan whenever offered, it's not the best decision to decline in most cases. Applying for a personal loan will always result in a hard inquiry into your credit report, which will lower your credit score. And if you decide to apply for another loan after declining the first, you will trigger another hard inquiry and experience further score damage. Applying for multiple loans in close proximity raises a red flag for lenders and decreases your chances of getting approved.
The best way to avoid having to decline a personal loan offer is to get pre-qualified beforehand. Pre-qualification will show you not just your approval odds but also what rates you're likely to get if approved. While you can't expect your final rates to be exactly the same, they shouldn't be too far off. So pre-qualification can help you avoid personal loans whose offers you might not want to accept.
You can use WalletHub's free pre-qualification tool to check your odds and rates with multiple lenders.
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